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such as passion, fear, discord, and impudence; and also diseases of the body, such as fevers;–and mere nonentities, and the most foolish deities, adapted to the most minute things— things which it would be indecorous and absurd to mention. The Jews, a nation formerly consecrated to the Lord, divided into different sects, were polluted with different kinds of error and of superstition. The morals of all were impure and abandoned, which neither human laws, nor the philosophy of the age, nor Mosaic discipline, nor prophetical warnings, could at all correct. But thou, O Christ! the Brightness of thy Father, the Light of the world, the Sun of righteousness, thou hast dispersed the darkness. Thou hast recalled us from dumb idols to thee, the true God. Thou hast most lucidly discovered that God is a spirit, and therefore to be worshipped with a pure and sincere spirit. Thou hast set forth the example of piety, justice, benignity, mildness, patience, modesty, and finally, of every virtue. Thou, in order to obtain a pardon from God for all our sins, hast offered thyself an atoning victim in our stead. And, that thou mightest impart to us the hope of immortality, thou, the bands of death being broken, hast clearly demonstrated thyself to be alive again, and received up into heaven. Thou hast commanded those who repose upon thee, and imitate thy example, to trust in a reconciled God, and to be of a cheerful mind. Thou hast promised eternal rewards to the pious, and hast threatened eternal torment against the wicked. Thou hast most efficaciously reconciled God to us, as well as us to God. Finally, thou hast brought celestial wisdom to our world, and hast taught us, in human nature, to lead a holy and a heavenly life, until the days of our exile being closed, we shall be translated into a happier world, and be enraptured with the eternal enjoyment of God.
| Such was the primeval appearance of Christendom. Such were the celestial secrets which the only-begotten Son disclosed from his Father's bosom. Such the “wisdom among them that are perfect,” which rude and ignoble men, fishermen and artificers, with no aid from birth, from wealth, or dignity, not with carnal weapons, nor the persuasive words of man's
eloquence, oppressed with difficulties, dangers, and tortures, spread within a few years, over the various regions of the habitable world. O return to me those happy times, when truth, clothed in human vesture, obscured by no clouds of passion or of error, shall permit herself once more to be seen by mortal eyes! Then there were not many codes of faith imposed upon Christian minds, but the sum of faith and of salvation consisted in the knowledge of the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom he has sent. Christians were not then exercised in the subtle devices of men, nor in metaphysical disquisitions, drawn from the schools of Zeno, Plato, or Aristotle. That was a far different doctrine which descended from heaven, not produced for contentions, but for life eternal; plain and simple, and adapted to the comprehension of all. Then it was not the subtle investigation of divine secrets, nor the rash determination upon things above our knowledge, nor wrathful altercation concerning trivial questions, which constituted and adorned the Christian; but the new man, born again by the word of our God, and faith which worketh by love, even that religion which purifies the defiled, and consoles the miserable. In short, it was the image of the divine virtues, formed in the mind. Then no multiplied rites nor laborious ceremonies, imposed by men, loaded the Christian worship. But all its celebrity consisted in prayer, in preaching the word, and in administering the holy sacraments. Then even the apostles themselves, although divinely inspired, never attempted to domineer over the faith, or haughtily to reign over the heritages of the Lord, but their only glory was to feed the flock committed to their care, and to serve for the faithful's joy. Then it was a part of Christianity, “that if any who was called a brother, was a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner: with such an one, no not to eat, nor wish him God speed.” Then there was one mind and one soul among brethren in Jesus, nor were they reluctant, when occasion required, to have all things in common. Then, if there happened to be different opinions, provided the prime points of faith were safe, they did not
immediately split into schisms; they did not separate; they did not anathematize; but they were mutual in forbearance; they walked by the same rule, and waited for illumination from on high. Then, in fine, the sum and glory of Christianity consisted, not merely in the knowledge of the mysteries of Christ, nor in idle professions, nor in fruitless altercation, but in living the life of Christ, in being led by his Spirit, and conformed to his example.
[To be continued.]
REMARKS ON THE SEA OF GLASS,
THE language of the book of Revelation is chiefly symboli-
water; and in the surrounding lavers, which were filled by water drawn from the molten sea, the priests washed themselves when about to engage in religious exercises, and also the sacrifices, previous to their presentation on the altar of burntofferings. - - This sea, when considered in relation to the purposes to which it was appropriated, fitly represented the efficacy of the blood of Christ, in washing away the stain of sin, both from the priests and the sacrifices which they offered. For it was not the water of the sea in the temple, or of ten thousand other seas, but that which this water typified, that could cleanse them from their pollutions. This allusion of the molten sea to the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world, will throw light upon the promise of God to his people, that he “will cast all their sins into the depths of the sea,”—i.e. into the depths of Christ's blood. In this all believers must wash. They are all priests, “to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ;”f and this is the only way in which they can find acceptance either for themselves or their sacrifices. In themselves they are vile and sinful. “All their righteousnesses are aS filthy rags, and they are altogether as an unclean thing;” but thanks to God for the record, “that the blood of Jesus Christ his Son, cleanseth us from all sin.” Thanks to God for the assurance that this is the “fountain opened to the house of David, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, for sin and for uncleanness.” This interpretation of the sea of glass, by an allusion to the molten sea in the temple, is rejected by other commentators. It is said, “that the brazen laver was not before the throne, nor near the throne, either in the tabernacle or temple; but in the court, (in atrio;) that waters confined any where in a narrow laver, cannot with propriety be called a sea, nor be compared to a sea;” and to show the absurdity of connecting liquid sea, and solid glass together, it is said that in the 15th chapter and 2d verse, those who have “gotten the victory over the beast,” are represented as standing on the sea of glass. To preserve
* 1 Kings vii. 23.
the congruity of the metaphors, reference is made to the 24th chapter of Exodus and 10th verse: “they, (i. e.) Aaron, Nadab, Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel, saw the God of Israel: and there was under his feet as it were a paved work of a sapphire stone, and as it were the body of heaven in his clearness.” This reference is made to confirm the interpretation, that the sea like unto glass, represents the basis upon which the throne and government of God rest— his justice and judgment, as they are manifested in Christ Jesus.”
To these objections we reply,
1. That the laver of brass was located between the tabernacle of the congregation and the altar; and therefore, though not immediately before the mercy-seat, was at least obliquely so, and but a little distance from it.}
2. It is a fact that the waters contained within a circumference of about 51 feet, and 9 in depth, were called a sea.[ And to show that there is no absurdity in applying the epithet sea to waters confined in a comparatively small compass, we may remark, as a general and well-known fact, that the Hebrews gave the name of sea to all great collections of water. What they styled the sea of Tiberias or Gennesareth, would,
*“Sed quantum video, est illud plane ab hoc loco alienum. Etenim (2) Labrum AEmeum in tabernaculo aut templo non fuit ante thronum, vel proximum thromo: sed in Atrio. (3) Aqua, conclusae angustiis labri alicujus, quo commodo sensu appellari poterunt mare, vel cum mari comparari? (Y) Si aqua illa visae sint in labro, aut alio aliquo vase majore: quare illius nulla hic loci est mentio? (3) cap. xv. 2. exhibentur nobis qui victoriam obtinuerant de bestia stantes exi roy $4Aaaaay thy taxiway super mare crystallinum, non apud mare crystallinum: ut ibidem habet Beza. Persuasissimum itaque mihi est, hic describi ipsum throni celestis stratum sive pavimentum, quod Joannes widit sustineretum ipsius Dei et Presbyterorum thronos;–alludi autem his verbis ad duo loca V. T. in quibis idem de divino throno, quemadmodum sanctis in visione exhibitus est, affirmatur. Ezech. i. 22. Exod. xxiv. 10. Pavimentum divini throni et totius Dei Regni idoportet significet in emblemate quod aliunde nobis constat esse basin et fulcimentum throni, hoc est Regni Dei : id., inquam, quo clare intelligimus Regnum Dei in Christo Jesu miti et fundari.”—Wide Vitringa in loco.
* Exod. xxx. 18. f 2 Chron. iv. 2. 1 Kings vii. 23.