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the version made about 285 years before Christ, by learned Jews, who at that time especially must have been well versed in the mean. ing of Hebrew words, reads, as translated by the Hon. Charles Thompson, in his English version of the Septuagint, "say something for the Lord,” (citov ni onun eis Kyprov,) and one made, it is presumed, by Jews, soon after the Christian era, renders it, “bless God," (ευλογησον θεον.)
Such are the facts in this case. Many more of the same kind might be adduced, but the limits to which this article must be restricted, will not admit of their addition, and these are abundantly sufficient to satisfy every candid mind that Dr. Conant's rendering, as published by the American Bible Union, is not, as alleged by you, an obvious alteration of the sacred text,” nor a "new phase" given to the language and sentiment of Job's wife, an innovation upon the uniform sentiment of the church in all ages and climes;" they are all-sufficient to show that one who has “no great knowledge of the ancient Scriptures" undertakes too much when he attempts to “expose the glaring absurdity and positive wrong” of Dr. Conant's version. For I am sure, that though you may still regard that rendering, which is at least coeval with the Christian church, and which is found in the most generally received versions of the Latin, the German, the Dutch, the Swedish, the Danish, the Spanish, the Portuguese, the Italian, and the French languages, as well as in the English version of the Catholic church, and several English versions made by Protestants, as a * new phase" given to "the language and sentiment of Job's wife," contrary to "the uniform sentiment of the church in all ages and climes,” your well-informed, honest-hearted readers will not believe any such thing; and though you may still think “it requires no great knowledge of the ancient Scriptures to expose the glaring absurdity and positive wrong” of translations made by such men as Thomas Jefferson Conant, under the auspices of the American Bible Union, all your readers will look with distrust upon the learned criticisms from one who has "no great knowledge of ancient Scriptures."
And now for the sake of truth and justice, will you request those editors who have copied your article to publish this reply. The American Bible Union is composed of respectable people, belonging to various Christian sects. The object of that Union is to make the translations of God's Word as perfect as possible. The translators of the Union have the qualifications and the facilities requisite for a thorough investigation of the Sacred Writings, and mean, by the help of God, to produce a work which will stand the most fiery ordeal of criticism, which they not only welcome, but court, from all competent scholars.
0. B. JUDD.
Religions of the Earth.The latest, and apparently the fairest estimate of the religious condition of the earth, is as follows: Pagans, 676,000,000; Christians, 320,000,000; Mohammedans, 140,000,000; Jews, 14,000,000. Total, 1,150,000,000. Of Christians, there are 170,000,000 Catholic; 90,000,000 Protestants; 60,000,000 of the Greek church. Christian reader, what are you doing for the salvation of so many perishing millions? SERIES IV, VOL. VI.
QUERIES AND EXPLANATIONS.
DUBIQUE, Iowa, Dec. 17, 1835. Dear Brother Milligan—I have just risen from the perusal of your article in the Harbinger, on the “Permanent Christian Ministry." I most heartily thank you for this systematic and logical arrangement of what, to me, has hitherto been confusion and chaos. Your remarks especially on the organization of the order of evangelists, is to me most satisfactory, and fills a large vacuum in all other systems that I have seen.
Knowing your willingness to impart instruetion to those who desire to learn, I respectfully solicit an answer to the following queries :
1. Is there any reason why the same person may not fill two or more of these offices at the same time? If, for instance, a church thinks it important to put an elder on the financial and secular committee, is there any reason why it may not be done?
This is a question of expediency. The more complete the division of labor, the more perfect, in general, will be the performance of the work in every department. The general rule, therefore, as well as scriptural precedent, is against the union of two or more ecclesiastical ofices in any one uninspired man. But in the congregation at Jerusalem, the holy twelve were at once apostles, evangelists, elders, and deacons. And extraordinary circumstances may still render such a temporary arrangement justifiable.
2. If an evangelist sottles with, and preaches for any one congregation, does he lose bis office as an evangelist; and is he, to that congregation, any thing more than an elder?
The duties of an evangelist are not merely to convert sinners and plant churches. He must also water them, and set in order every thing that is wanting to perfect their organization. This was the charge committed to Timothy while he labored in and for the Ephesian congregation. But such a charge was never committed, by divine authority, to any one elder. In some cases, the labors of an elder and of an evangelist may be entirely identical in kind and extent; but the functions of their respective offices never are. The evangelist, therefore, retains his own proper official character and authority, even when employed in the services of one congregation. When Timothy was in this relation, Paul said to him, “Do the work of an evangelist;" and so he says to all his successors in office.
3. If a man who is in sentiment a Universalist, desires to unite with the church; to be baptized, and to observe all the commandments and ordinances of the gospel, what should be done?
The mere abstract opinion, that all men will be saved, is in itself neither virtuous nor vicious; it neither saves nor destroys any man. Hence it is not a sufficient reason for withholding church membership
from any one who believes with all his heart that Jesus Christ is the Messiah, the Son of God, and only Saviour of mankind; and who proves the sincerity of his faith by a holy, pious, and godly walk and conversation.
It must be admitted, however, that such vague notions always imply an imperfect comprehension of the scheme of redemption. Hence, in all such cases, there is danger that those who entertain and cherish them, may, through their influence, be turned from the plain truths of the gospel, to various speculative questions, which minister strife and debate rather than godly edifying. Such persons should, therefore, he treated as the lambs of the fold; and daily fed on the pure milk of the word, that they may grow thereby.
In the same article to which some of the preceding queries refer, the following remarks are made respecting the qualifications of an elder: “He must not be a person who gains money by base and disa honorable means. This would exclude from the eldership, for example, many who are now engaged in the traffic of ardent spirits."
From this, Bro. O'Conner, of Ohio, thinks that much evil is likely to accrue to the Reformation; because, forsooth, he infers that we teach, that persons who make gain by base and dishonorable means, may be retained as members of the Christian church, though they are not eligible to the office of a bishop. But is not this inference wholly illegitimate? Because Paul says a bishop must not be a striker, must not be greedy of filthy lucre, must not be given to wine, does Bro. O'Conner thence infer that the quarrelsome, the covetous, and the drunkard, should be retained as private members of any Christian congregation? Surely a little sover reflection will convince him that his conclusion is what logicians call a “non sequitur;" that he has, in fact, himself imagined premises from which he draws this very objectionable inference.
We yield to none in a sincere desire to elevate the standard of piety, morality, and propriety in the Christian church. And as one means of attaining this, we greatly desire to see our organizations perfected by the appointment of well qualified deacons, elders, and evangelists, to their respective offices.
What does Paul mean when he says to Christians, "Be not conformed to this world?
To conform oneself to any condition or state of life, implies that the individual acts in harmony with all the requirements belonging to that state, whatever it may be. It may be that of a parent, a husband,
a wife, a master, a servant, a citizen. Or the person may oecaps several of these states at the same time.
Now, whatever the state or relations of the person may be, the perfection and true dignity of character consist in a conformity of conduct therewith. But this requires intelligence as a pre-requisite to such conformity of life. Hence the apostle enjoins upon the Christian, first, in the order of cause and effect, The renewing of the mind, in order to a transformation of conduct, or charaeter; such as evinces to the world that the individual “approves what is that good, tha: acceptable, and perfect will of God.” To conform to this world-a world made up of lusts and the pride of life-requires no renewing of the mind by the knowledge of the divine will, but an ignorant disregard of it, as all-sufficient to work out the desires of the flesh and of the carnal mind. The true Christian life in this world that will be rewarded in the next with eternal life, is a life in conformity to the will of God.
The Christian as a new creature, as a child of God, as a citizen of a heavenly kingdom, as an heir of glory, must make good these relations and these titles, by a life comporting therewith. The new creature is something more than the old man with a Sunday suít, going through the forms of religion at church. The child of God is something else than a professed member of the family of God, taking its lessons and models of character from the gay, the witty, and the admired of this world, and who spends more days examining the outward person, by aid of toilet and mirror, in order to its improvement, than is spent of hours in viewing the hidden man of the heart in the mirror of divine truth, that it may be adorned with the heavenly graces of a meek, humble, and gentle spirit, which in the sight of God is of great value.
A citizen of the heavenly kingdom is something different from the man who swears allegiance to the King of kings in an ordinance of his Lord's appointment, and afterwards shows himself more the friend of Cesar than of him whom he has vowed to serve, adopting the policy of a worldly kingdom rather than the safer one-that of rendering to God the things that are God's.
Nor is an heir of glory one who has professedły and in due form joined the wealthiest family in the universe, and yet seeks far more the wealth and honors of earth, preferring the merchandize of silver to the merchandize of wisdom, and the gain thereof to the knowledge of the divine love, compared with which the latter has no charm.
Such are the ways of every one who attempts a new life, whoso mind and heart have never been renewed by divine truth to perceiva what is that good, that acceptable, and perfect will of God.
QUERIES AND EXPLANATIONS.
53 1. If a Christian church, or a majority of its members, are well convinced that a sister church holds in full fellowship an unworthy member, is it the duty. of said Christian church to inform said sister church of the fact?
Duty and prudence are not, with us, exactly convertible terms, though nearly allied. As there is a wrong way of doing what is right, we should avoid, if possible, acting in any case of difficulty hastily. The presence of wisdom and prudence will generally aid us in the manner of righting the wrong. They are twin-sisters of dignified mien, occupy the same mansion, and are ever ready to give counsel when respectfully waited on, but they hasten leisurely.
With reference, then, to the case submitted, in view of every possi. ble contingency connected therewith, we would say, it is the duty of said Christian church to notify, in a becoming manner, said sister church of the fact, that she holds in fellowship an unworthy personone who has openiy shown himself a wicked person.
2. What is the duty of said sister church towards said unworthy member, after they have been informed of the fact?
That he be treated according to the demerit of his conduct. If he have scandalized the cause of Truth by some act of gross immorality in behavior, and unrepented of, he is to be excommunicated. Or if he be guilty of teaching what would be sobversive of the Truth, he is to be silenced, and, if need be, excommunicated. This first step, in case of a factionist, is always necessary, and the second may be, that a church may stand firm in the faith.
3. If said sister church, after being apprized by a Christian church of the wicked course of one of her members, takes no notice of the matter, and still holds him in full fellowship, what course ought the neighboring churches to pursue towards said sister church?
If the unworthy person be a factionist, or heretic, and is permitted to teach and to seduce the brethren to commit sin, in rejecting the faith and teaching of the apostles of Jesus Christ, and the church allow itself to be turned away from the Truth, it becomes, ipso facto, an apostate church, and the bond of Christian union and communion that formerly united them to each other and to sister churches, is necessarily broken. As to the necessity or propriety of any special or formal act of excision being passed by a church or district of churches, declarative of their non-fellowship with said apostate church, it may be a question involving some difference of opinion; but not one, we presume, of very grave moment.
But if the unworthy person be one of a different class of offenders such as being a scandal upon a good cause by the commission of some great iniquity, affecting the character of others as well as his own, such an one, when the iniquity of his conduct has been brought to
SERIES IV, VOL. VI.