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Grammatical Commentary completes the struggles and victories of Israel daring the work : Mr.Wright, himself a Hebrew scholar glorious period of the Maccabees.' If so, of the first class, bas consulted Dr. Wright the Lecturer must have access to some and Professor Delitzsch. The temper of the historical authority, of which we have no Lecturer is all but invariably fine, the only intimation, and to which he makes no exception being the contemptuous tone reference. And what of the authoritative which he allows himself to assume towards interpretation of that prince of latter-day Bishop Wordsworth (p. 256, note). He expositors, St. Paul, in Romans xi, ? seeks " light from all quarters, from Inconsistency and incoherence are the Modernist and Romanist, as well as from sure indices of error. The Lecturer suporthodox and evangelical expositors. The plies several instances of this. Thus, in book is, in fact, å repertory of diverse explaining the vision of the angel-riders' interpretations ; yet he keeps in view his (i. 8, 9), he says: "The variety of the primary object, to take a calm survey of colours in the horses is no doubt signifithe results of modern criticism.' The cant.' (P. 12.) But, in interpreting that result is a firm decision in favour of the of the four chariots' (vi. 6,7), he writes : oneness of the authorship of the Book of • The truth seems to be that the colours of Zechariab, and the direct Messianic re- the horses harnessed to the four chariots, ference of many of its predictions.
like the colours of those ridden by the This volume contains some fine speci. angels in the first vision, are of no sym. mens of right workmanly exposition. But bolical signiticance. (P. 135.) We are it is not without monitory instances of at a loss to think what significance other self-reliant blundering. Take his comment than symbolical the colours of the horses on chapter viii. : 'Many of the prophe- can have, and Mr. Wright does not tell us. cies which are still viewed by the latter- Ho admits that it is natural that attempts day expositors as unfulfilled have long should bave been made to compare those ago been accomplished. But the ideal of passages in the Book of the Revelation, in the Prophet has sometimes not been at. which similar symbols occur, with this tained through the sin of man.' (P. 181.) vision of Zechariah,' yet he adds: It does On reading this, one naturally asks : Is not necessarily follow that the symbols in s prophecy, then, absolutely conditional ? later prophet are to be regarded as explanDoes the perversity of any generation of atory of those which may occur in passmen neutralize the prediction ? definitively ages of an earlier writer." (P. 13.) Troe, frustrate its fulfilment ? Or does it only but there must be some right explanation postpone its historic realization? Does which is common to both, mutatis mu• prophecy imply no foresight of a time, in tandis. The significance of the colours the latter day,' when the Spirit of God must surely be the same in both. There sball overcome at last' tbe inveterate must be consistency in the symbolic languperversity of man? Is a prophet an age of Revelation-in the meaning of proidealist only ? Latter-day expositors! phetic hieroglyphics-else exegesis would Who can help being a 'latter-day exposi. be hopeless. Mr. Wright's only reason for tor' who prays believing Thy kingdom denying their significance is that he is not come ; Thy will be done in earth as it is satisfied with the explanations of his predein heaven'? But our author, like many cessors, and yet cannot himself improve others, unconsciously puts on
This is the argument from sneer when he becomes over-confident in impatience. Was the universe & clumss; his own opinion. Of course, he himself is unplanned structure, till Copernicus and obliged to be a latter-day expositor before Newton studied it ? The fact on which the he reaches the conclusion of Zechariah's Lecturer lays such stress—that the colour prophecy, and comes to treat of " "the last ‘speckled 'of Zechariah can scarcely be the things as seen in the light of tbe Old same colour as the 'pale' in the Revelation Dispensation.' (Chapter xiii.) Take, - does not prove that 'white,' 'red' and again, his exposition of chapter x. 8-10, black 'hare not the same meaning in both. etc.: 'I will hiss for them, and I will Again, on vii. 4-6, the Lecturer says gather them...... And I will sow them that the Prophet's object is ‘To bring out (as seed) among the nations, and in the into bold relief the truth that fasts and distant lands they will remember Me, feasts are a matter of total indifference in and live with their sons and return. God's sight...... The sense of the reply was, And I will bring them back from the land fasting is neither enjoined nor forbidden of Egypt, etc.'— If they did not return in by God.' (P. 171.) But what of the greater numbers to Palestine, the fault lay enjoined feasts? The lesson is, to say the with themselves. The blessing was there, least, very awkwardly put in the following had they embraced Jesus of Nazareth as sentence : Men are neither better in God's their Messiab. The predictions of this sight by fasting, nor are they the worse for chapter were fully realized in the trials, feasting.' (P. 172.)
Mr. Wright's interpretation of the mag- Still further, Mr. Wright's interpretanificent description in chapter ix. 13, etc., tion arbitrarily and violently detaches the of the raising ap of the sons of Zion passage from the foregoing context. He against the sons of Greece, is to our mind recognizes in ver. 9, a prophecy of Christ's very unsatisfactory. He insists peremp- triumphal entry into Jerusalem, and in ver. torily that it refers to the wars of the 10, a prediction of the setting up His spiriMaccabees, and waxes warm against Bishop tual kingdom among the nations' (though Wordsworth for finding its fulfilment in he, strangely en gh, doubts whether the triumphs of Apostolic preaching over the blood of thy covenant,' in ver. 11, Greek philosophies and idolatries. After refers in this connection to the bloodshedquoting a passage from the Bishop's Com- ding of Christ). And then he makes the mentary, he writes: We feel it a duty to Prophet, without any indication of change protest, in the interests of Evangelical in. of subject, such as invariably mark such terpretation, against all such
expositions, change in the preceding chapters, with from whatever quarter they come.' The sudden eccentricity turn back to take op a learned Lecturer will find it much easier to new subject altogether. scorn and protest than to make good his Lastly, the Lecturer is obliged to brave own interpretation against that which he his own impassioned protest. He cannot despises. Had the protest been against blind himself to the fact that, after all, the the ambitious juvenile rhetoric of the only adequate realization of this prophetic sentences he quotes from Bishop Words- picture of the war of the sons of Zion' is worth we might have joined in it, but as to be found in the early triumphs of the 'evangelical interpretation' we cannot but Gospel. '... Our Lord and His Apostles regard it as having greatly the advantage were Jews, and the majority of the early over that which Mr. Wright would sub- evangelists were men of that nation,-in stitute for it. As to the purport of the the wonderful fact that the Jews, though prophecy, all are thus far agreed : 'that a politically crashed beneath the Gentile contest would take place between the Greek yoke, conquered the nations of the earth culture and religion and the religion of the by means of that religion which sprang God of Israel.' (P. 254.). And it is from their midst; in such facts this şurely no disparagement to the holy and prophecy, and other similar prophecies, heroic contest of the Maccabee chieftains found a most glorious and real fulfil. with the Greek rulers of Syria,' to say that ment.' (P. 289.) One of Mr. Wright's the contest of primitive Christianity with hermeneutic canons seems to us vers un. 'the Greek culture and religion' afforded sound : "The question is, What sense could a far grander and worthier fulfilment of have been put upon the passage ( They the prophecy. Why reject the nobler and shall look on Me Whom they have pierced”) more satisfactory realization in favour of by those persons who were primarily a much inferior? Again, the imagery em- addressed by the Prophet?' (P. 385.) The ployed by Zechariah in this passage is so Lecturer is not the only recent interpreter accordant with the language of the New who lays too much stress on this consideraTestament, and so apt as descriptive of the tion. A question, very interesting and not preaching of the Gospel, 'with the Holy unimportant, it certainly is, but, as cerGhost sent down from heaven,' that it has tainly, it is not the question. To say that it passed into the very vernacular of the is the question is to mistake the nature of evangelical Churches from Jerome's day prophecy, and to forget the fact that the to ours ; Christian hymnology and homi- Prophets themselves as well as those whom letics are full of it. His arrow shall go they immediately addressed-had to study forth as the lightning.' Did not Christ their own prophecies, and to be content Himself call two of His Apostles 'sons of with a very dim and uncertain perception thunder'? and is not the phrase "arrow of of the meaning of their own words : conviction' as forcible as it is familiar ? searching what, or what manner of time The Lord Jehovah shall blow the the Spirit of Christ which was in them trumpet, and shall walk forth with whirl. did signify, when it testified beforehand winds of the south.' 'Ask ye of the Lord the sufferings of Christ, etc.' "To whom it rain in the time of the latter rain.' The was revealed, that not unto themselves (and comparison of the activity of the Spirit of then, of course, not to their contempor. God to the wind and the rain is frequent aries), but to us they did minister.' It was in both Testaments. They shall drink, to them an objective revelation, which they and make a noise as through wine, and be themselves bad not composed, and in their filled as the sacrificial bowl.' Who can own consciousness, very faintly compreread this without thinking of Peter's reply hended; how much more their fellowat Pentecost to the charge of intoxication, countrymen! To tone down, in any degree, and of Paul's antithesis : ‘Be not drank the light which the New Testament sheds with wine ;...but be filled with the Spirit'? on the Old, out of deference to what we imagine the Jews of a particular date must have been capable or incapable of conceiving—is very questionable Christian commenting.
Our readers must not allow these strictares very reluctantly made-to deaden
the effect of the well-deserved commenda. tion with which we began our notice of this very able book. It is a work of great merit and value, and will be recognized as the standard English Commentary on Zechariah.
P. MULLETT ELLIS.
SELECT LITERARY NOTICES. The Destiny of the Wicked. By the judicious and enterprising Edinburgh Rev. A. M. Wilson. London : Hamilton, theological publishers have yet conferred Adams and Co, 1878.-This small volume on British students of the Scriptures. is a searching criticism of Mr. Cox's Salva- Here we have, in a marvellously compact tor Mundi. Mr. Wilson tracks Mr. Cox's form, at the price of two shillings, the argument page by page, and point by point, very cream of commenting, on the last slurring over nothing and omitting nothing. three books of the Old Testament. This He devotes mach space to a careful and exposition is at once popular and scholarly, minute investigation of the meaning of the and both in a high degree. The introducBiblical words denoting eternity, punish- tions to the three books, though not in ment, hell, and their cognates. The
every respect unexceptionable, are the volume is, perhaps, too exclusively critical work of a master. The notes are intensely for the general reader ; but its criticisms interesting, enriched and embellished lat. are nearly always acute, sensible and scho- ishly with choice and apt quotations from larly. Now and again, we are compelled the stores of secular literature. The homito differ from Mr. Wilson, but not often, letic portion is marked by robust common and even then on matters comparatively sense and manly fearlessness and earnestunimportant. We trust that our delay in Yet the book has a few strange noticing this book will not lead any one to and grave defects. Dr. Dods is too posi. suppose that we have under-estimated its tive in rejecting the older interpretation of value. It is a useful little treatise.
"the Desire of all nations' in Haggai, and Handbooks for Bible- Classes. Edited makes very poorly ont in the modern by the Rev. Marcus Dods, D.D., and the gloss he would substitute for it. The Rev. A. White, M.A. The Post- Exilian most unaccountable defect is his note on Prophets : Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi. • They shall look upon Me Whom they With Introduction and Notes. Ву have pierced,' makes no reference to the Marcus Dods, D.D. Edinburgh: T. and quotation of the passage in the Gospel, or T. Clark. 1879,--If this series prove
to the allusion to it in the Revelation of throughout according to the samples which St. John! We say again, if these Handhave come to hand-the work now before books keep up to this rank of excellence, us, and Dr. Macgregor's Commentary on they will prove an incalculable advantage the Epistle to the Galatians (which we to thousands of Sunday-school teachers, hope to notice next month, our limits not Lay Preachers, Ministers and devout, admitting an adequate review just now), thoughtful men of business, with little --this will be the greatest boon which the
leisure and less spare cash.
OBITUARY. MR. JOSEPH HARDING, father of the heard me to the end ; then proposed that Revs. Richard and Isaac Harding, was we should take a walk in the fields. On born at Wanstrow, in the Frome Circuit, reaching the top of a hill on his farm, be March 28th, 1805. When ten years old said : "Let us kneel beneath these trees he lost his father, and was left, the eldest and ask God to bring you through.” He of six children, to the care of bis widowed prayed earnestly for me and my young mother. In attendance on his father's family; then asked me to pray, which I sick-bed was an aged Christian woman, did, but with little comforting, result.... who promised the dying man that as long Another Christian friend soon joined us,... as she lived she would pray daily for his and they prayed sweetly and earnestly for widow and fatherless children--a promise me, when a comforting assurance dawned which she faithfully performed. The upon my mind that all would yet be well.' Great Prayer-answerer heard : in early life Shortly after this religious awakening, the entire family became truly converted Joseph Harding removed to Comptonto God. The five sons were called to do Dando, where he opened a spacious room public service for God, three of them as in the old farm-house for the preaching of Local Preachers and Class Leaders, two as the Gospel. Here for ten years, until his Missionaries, the younger of whom still return to Marksbury, where he finished his labours in Queensland, though in compara- course, he held his Class-meeting, to which tive retirement; the other, after an earnest his youngest children were freely admitted. and successful career of forty-four years, To this circumstance some of the family passed into the rest that remaineth for the can trace their religious impressions, and people of God. The prayers of that hum. now reflect with unbounded gratitude upon ble, godly woman were instrumental in the holy influence of those meetings. directing the life of an entire family, and A more earnest belief in the early conthrough them the lives of several others, version of our children would go far to into the peace and service of God.
bridge the gulf between the Font and Joseph Harding married in early man- the Lord's Supper.' Thousands of our hood; and not long after, he and his wife baptized children never receive the grace joined themselves to the Church of God. of pardon, and consequently do not seek In his case conversion was a very gradual membership in the Church. change ; he could never fix the exact date Exemplary as was the character of this when he was enabled to say: 'I am my godly man, it was in the domestic circle Lord's and He is mine. He was endowed that he shone the brightest. For more with a singularly genial, generous disposi. than fifty years his wife had in him a wise tion, which, together with a rich vein of and tender adviser. His was a strong arm humour and a passionate love of music, on which to lean, a warm heart in which led him into dangerous company. For a to confide. The influence of his character season the young Christian faltered, and was felt and acknowledged by all, but by family prayer was discontinued. "Con- none more heartily than by his children. science, however, spoke too loudly to be When in the later years of his life three disregarded ; he recommenced the duty of his children were taken from him by which became his delight, and never again death, he submitted with Christian resig. abandoned it.
nation. About this time he removed to Marks- Those who were privileged to witness bury, in the Midsomer-Norton Circuit. In the triumphant death of his son Joseph at that village an extraordinary revival of the age of eighteen, can never forget the religion broke out, and Joseph Harding wonderful brightness and hope of the dying worked almost day and night' in praying youth, and the patient, earnest, submissive and directing souls to the Cross of Christ. faith of the watchful father. The father Whilst thus ministering to others his own never ceased to pray, but when all was spiritual life was wonderfully, quickened, over, and so well over, he rose and said, and from that time he grew in grace and with tremulous emotion, · The Lord gave, in the knowledge of Jesus Christ.
and the Lord hath taken away ; blessed be His appointment as Leader of these
new the name of the Lord.' A few years later, converts gave him much anxiety, which death bore away his son John, in the prime induced him to rely upon the wise direc- of manhood. His life had been singularly tion of the Holy Ghost. Ready sympathy, blameless. John knew his life would in clear insight into character, and cheerful all probability be short, and so he wisely piety eminently qualified him for the office. crowded into it as much work for God as A friend writes of him :'I confided to his weak frame would permit. His faith him the troubles which crowded my path, enabled him to hold converse with the and especially my fears for the future. He great Unseen. He could always say, with
triumphant joy, 'The Lord liveth, and morning, for forty years, he was accustomed blessed be my Rock; and let the God of my to sing with great sweetness and mach salvation be exalted.' He died as he had feeling the hymn: God of my life, through lived, in the unshaken faith of the Gospel. all my days, etc.' Those words possessed a These repeated strokes seemed but' to charm for him which to the last would al. refide and elevate the character of Joseph ways bring a tear to his eye and a smile Harding.
upon his lips. A few days before he died, During the storm which barst over the his son Richard preached in the house, Church in the years 1849-52, his attach- within hearing of the patient safferer, from ment to Methodism was severely tested, but "He brought me to the banqueting-house, he remained firm. His public speeches and His banner over me was love.' Though and his letters in defence of the Methodist exceedingly prostrate, the sufferer enjoyed Ministry and polity do credit alike to the
The following Sabbath he loyalty of his heart and the strength of his sank into a stapor, and the next morning, intellect. Henceforth he paid constant May 1st, 1876, his spirit passed into the attention to the training of his children in presence of his Redeemer.
He died aged the principles of the Church he so ardently seventy-one. loved, and to the guarding of his Class His usefulness is not ended. His memory from disaffection. The pecaliar difficulties will always be fragrant to those who knew of the Church at this time loudly called him. for an increase of Local Preachers,and gave Joseph Harding was tranquil in temper to bim an opportunity of realizing a long both in youth and age; blessed with equabut secretly cherished hope of preaching nimity strengthened by tbe power of a the Gospel. Modestly, but with a strong simple, child-like faith, he passed more sense of duty, be entered apon the work. serenely than most men through the storms His preaching was marked by simplicity of life, and bore up with submissive and and aptness of Scripture quotation, and was trusting composure under the heavy soroften accompanied with rich spiritual rows which at one period of his life power. The intelligent were edified and crowded in upon his soul. Gentle, yet the poor heard him gladly. If it was pos- honest in admonition, be failed not on sible to attend he never neglected an ap
needful occasions to reprove, to rebuke, to pointment, for his heart was in his work; exhort. He kept bis ground both in and even wben bowed down with the feeble- judging and acting. Patient in listening ness which betokened approaching paraly- and not hasty in forming a judgment, he sis, he could not be induced to give up his made you feel that it was always worth labours.
your while to state a case to him, or argue In the summer of 1870 be preached his & point, or request his consideration of a last sermon, and the following day was matter, and you were sure there would be seized with paralysis, to which he gradu- no basty prejudgment or an unintelligible ally succombed. During the tedious ill- deliverance. ness of six years which followed, and As one who had heard much, read mach, which for two years before his death pre- seen much, he both interested and edified vented conversation, he loved to hear in conversation. He never forgot a friend. selections from the Bible and Hymn-Book, He was intensely fond of the company of and often referred to his last text, 'The Wesleyan Ministers, and always spoke Lord is good, a strong hold in the day of kindly of them. These servants of God, trouble; and He knoweth them that trust many of whom had long since passed away in Him'; intimating that he realized its into rest, never seemed to fade from his truth in his extreme weakness. In June, memory, but like light from old suns long 1874, the Quarterly Meeting was held in set, continued to the last to illuminate and Marksbury. He expressed an earnest wish gladden the soul of the aged saint. He to join his brethren, and was taken to the devoutly thanked God for what he was able chapel, where for the last time in public to do during his lifetime for his Master, he partook of the Lord's Supper. From but never counted it too much. He lived this time his strength very visibly dimin- to be useful, and now that he is dead, all isbed, until he was reduced to a state of that was true of him becomes truer, the painful feebleness ; yet his faith in God powerful becomes more powerful, the noble never faltered, and very often when he be- becomes nobler, the fruitful becomes more lieved himself alone be was heard attempt- fruitful, and without fear of reverse, or ing to pray or to repeat his favourite failure, or discomfitare, or weariness, the hymns, and Scripture texts especially: liberated saint rejoices in the anticipation *Bless the Lord, O my soul : and all that is of eternal usefulness-usefulness in a]] within me, bless His holy name.
respects illimitable, usefulness far beyond There could be no anxiety felt as to his that of his most productive days on earth. spiritual state, for he manifestly knew in
ISAAC HARDING. Whom he had believed. Every Sabbath
HAZELL, WATSON, AND VINKY, PRINTERS, LONDON AND AYLISBURY,