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Good One, no Creator or Proprietor of man. For who can imagine a supreine intelligence, of alınighty power and of infinite benevolencewho made man and inspired him with such desires after the knowledge of himself—with such longings after happiness perfect and completeand who has himself the faculty of speech, the power of communicating the knowledge of himself to man; and yet has never spoken to him, never enlightened him on the only point vital to all his interests, his eternal destiny; and compared with which all other enjoyments possible to man as he now is, are not in the proportion of an atom to a universe, or a moment to a boundless eternity! Such an hypothesis is at war with every oracle of reason, with every decision of common sense, and with all the analogies of the universe. It cannot be : it is impossible. There is a God—there is a Book of God- there is truth in history, there is sincerity in martyrdom— there is value in talent and learning-there is an excellency in truth-truth is better than error, falsehood, and imposture—and there is reason in the universe, and a glorious destiny for man!

The Bible has been proved to be a divine revelation as many millions of times as there are individuals who have believed it to the salvation of their souls. But it never has been proved to be false to a single individual of the human race. Nor can it ever be so proved. No man who understands what he says, can in truth affirm that he believes it to be false. Who can believe any thing to be false without oral or written testimony? But no living man has either oral or written testimony contradicting the testimony of the Apostles and Prophets; therefore, in the absence of such testimony, he can no more believe it to be false than a blind man can see the sun. may doubt whether it be true; but to believe it to be false, or to be assured that it is not true, is altogether impossible.

Some persons object to the Bible--because, as they say, its divine inspiration is yet a subject of debate. Such thinkers and reasoners are grossly defective in reason and education. Did ever any one hear of any thing that has been proved by all the world ? Is there a single historic fact that is believed by every human being ? If there be not one,

then every historic fact is yet in debate. But shall we say that no proposition is proved, because it is not proved to the whole world ! The Gospel will never be out of debate while there is one infidel or sceptic in the world. This is, however, no more a disparagement of its truth, or its claims upon all mankind, than it is an argument against any proposition, fact, or testimony, that all the world has not yet acquiesced in its truth.

We cannot believe by proxy, as nations, as empires, or as worlds. We must each one believe for himself. Hence the evidence must be considered, understood, and appreciated by every individual for himself. But the fact that millions of all orders of mind, the greatest and most gifted of our race, have believed it to be true-multitudes of them even to martyrdom for its sake; and that not one individual can believe it to be false, is a consideration that ought to silence every modest inquirer, and, were it possible, cover with shame those reckless and senseless dogmatists, who declaim against a book of whose contents and whose history they truly comprehend nothing, because it is yet in

A man

debate. On their showing, there is nothing credible or worthy of universal acceptance, because there is nothing that is not a matter of doubt or disbelief with some person. But we argue not the question of the Bible's truth with such opponents. We have not given a tithe of the topics from which its truth is irrefragably argued. Enough, it is presumed, to convince the candid whose minds can discern the force of argument, is contained in the preceding hints and reflections.

Christianity has stood erect in the midst of all sorts of adversaries — Jews, Pagans, Turks, Infidels, &c.; and, like the pillars of Hercules, the rock of Gibraltar, or the everlasting mountains, bids defiance to all the billows of the ocean, and to all the tempests of Satan, lo shake it from its immoveable basis. To those who desire to understand it for their salvation, we intend, in another nunber, to make a few suggestions on the bestmethod of reading the Bible for edification and comfort.

A. C.

FAMILY CULTURE.

CONVERSATIONS AT THE CARLTON HOUSE.

No. IX.

ON COVENANTS.

After reading the covenant with Noah and all flesh, Olympas made the subject of covenants the burthen of the conversation for the day.

Olympgs. Can any of you give me a Scriptural name for this transaction between God and Noah after his devotion at the altar ?

William. It is called a covenant. Olympas. Has any of you met this word before ? William. It has not occurred before this time in the writings of Moses. It is, indeed, often used after this date.

Olympas. But when I ask for a name for this transaction with Noah, I ask for more then the title found in Genesis ix. Has it no other name than a covenant !

Reuben. I think you told us that the Lord alluded to this transaction by Jeremiah when he said, “ If you can break my covenant of the day and my covenant of the night, and that there should not be day and night in their season.”

Olympas. Yes; in Jeremiah xxxiii. 20, 25, the Lord speaks of day and night as covenanted matters, never to be changed; and we know of no other instance in which they are solemnly guarantied, except this one. We, therefore, regard this Noahic covenant as a “covenant of day and night," guaranteeing their continuance while the earth endureth. What is a covenant, Reuben ?

Reuben. A covenant, according to Walker, is “a contract, a stipulation, a compact." Olympas. Or it

may

be defined, an agreement between two parties on certain terms." The parties may be called covenanter and covenantee. The former stipulates, the latter - restipulates or agrees. Covenanter, since the civil wars of England and Scotland, has a sort of political and appropriated meaning, indicating one who takes a covenant; but in common siguification it indicates one who proposes and stipulates a covenant; while the covenantee denotes the party who accedes to it. Still you must note here that a divine covenant is not called sunthekee, but diathekee. In a sunthekee the parties meet as equals, but in a diathekee the covenanter may be a father or a king, and the covenantee may be a son or a subject. A full proof of this you have in our lesson. God is here the covenanter, and Noah and all the fowls of the air, and all the beasts of the field, are covenantees. Read the text, James. Jamos. “ And I, behold, I establish my covenant with

you,

and with your seed after you; and with every living creature that is with you, of the fowl, of the catile, and of every beast of the earth with you, from all that go out of the ark, to every beast of the earth. And I will establish my covenant with you; neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there any more be a food to destroy the earth. And God said, This is the token of the covenant which I make between me and you, and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations : I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth. And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud : and I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you, and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall no more become a food to destroy all flesh. And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth. And God said unto Noah, This is the token of the covenant which I have established between me and all flesh that is upon the earth.”

Olympas. Thus you see “all flesh, fowl, cattle, every living thing upon the earth,” are included as one party to this everlasting covenant of temporalities. It was to be commensurate with time, with the earth, and the present course of nature, and is a guarantee or pledge to animated nature that such a desolation as that just ended should never again occur. As a matter for future reference I would now state that it is not incompatible with the nature of a diathekee or scriptural covenant, that the covenantees be both passive and inconscious; nor is it incompatible that they be not only conscious, but active and leading in the transaction. God often propounds every item, and by his authority and supreme benevolence makes it the duty of man simply to acquiesce. What, Eliza, are the items of this covenant ?

Eliza. They are but two:— 1st. That all flesh shall never again be cut off by the waters of another flood; and, 2d. That the earth itself shall never again be destroyed by a universal deluge.

Olympas. And what about day and night, Eliza ?

Eliza. This is only implied here; for it was promised just at the altar.

Olympas. Read the passage, Susan.

Susan. And the Lord smelled a sweet savour; and the Lord said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake; for the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth : neither

will I smite any more every living thing as I have done. While the earth remaineth, seed-lime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.

Thomas. I never could understand why the Lord assigned the wickedness of wan as a reason why he would not again destroy the

race.

Olympas. This is a mistranslation. It ought not to read, “ For the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth.” It ought to read according to the original, “ Though the imagination of man's heart should be evil from his youth.” Ki, in Hebrew, signifies though, although, as well as for and on account of. If man should be ever so wicked, I will not again drown the earth. He has promised to burn it. The present earth is reserved for fire, not water.

Olympas. And whai, Thomas, concerning the token of this coveDant ?

Was there no rainbow before the food ? Thomas. It is a physical effect; and I think it probable that there were as many rainbows as there were the causes which now produce them. But did you not teach us that the consecrating of a stone into a monument, or the ordaining of any thing in nature for a sign, token, or pledge, was just the same as originating that thing altogether, because it has received a new meaning.

Olympas. Substantially you are right. It is not important to decide the question whether this was the first rainbow; it is certain that it then became a new sign and received a meaning which it had 1100 before. It is now a speaking token to all who believe the Bible-a solemn pledge that we shall bave the present course of things physical till the day of fire and everlasting destruction.

Thomas. May not covenants be regarded simply as promises and pledges from the Lord, and as the ground-work and reasou of all human expectation ?

Olympas. They are indeed the role and measure of all human hope and expectation. God has promised and covenanted all that he ever will do for us, and these covenants make requisition of our duty and obligations to him based upon his gifts and covenants. We must be in the covenant, however, before any of its provisions are ours, or before we can justly claim any thing from it. 'In what covenants are we in

consequence of our birth, Eliza ?

Eliza. We are born within the covenant with Adam, and within the covenant with Noah, and the covenant with Abraham,

Olympas. Then we must have been represented by three great men. In what respects did Adam, Noah, and Abrahain represent us, Reuben ?

Reuben. Adam and Noah were the fathers of all mankind, and whatever they had guarantied to them as such belongs to their children, their heirs, and successors for ever. But I do not understand how Abraham is our father according to covenant as Adam and Noah

They were the heads and fathers of all mankind. Abraham is only the father of nations.

Olympas. Abraham is indeed the natural and covenanted father of only a part of mankind; but Adam and Noah of all. They are all, however, covenantees. There was a covenant with Adam, else we

were.

that we

could not die for his sin. There was a covenant with Noah, as you have now read, under which we enjoy all temporal blessings; and in virtue of the covenant with Abraham his descendants by Isaac and Jacob became the inheritors of a certain country, a rich and beautiful land. They also inherited the right to the flesh of the Messiah, and various other worldly blessings, in none of which we are interested as partakers with them. Eliza, then, is mistaken when she

says are born in covenant with Abraham. How did you, Eliza, imbibe that idea ?

Eliza. On the last fast-day at Mr. Paido Raino's chapel I heard him say that all his congregation were in covenant with Abraham as much as with Adam; for that Abraham was a natural and a spiritual father, the natural father of all the Jews, Edomites, Ishmaelites, and other nations, and the spiritual father of believers of all nations.

Olympas. Well, my daughter, when you hear any one speak on the Bible, you must learn to try what they say by what is written in the book, and not to try the Book of God by what they say. This Mr. Paido Raino is the pleader for a practice which falls to the ground, unless he could sustain that point. And yet the

very

ideas which you have quoted from him prove him to be in error. He said that the Ishmaelites, Idumeans, and Jews were the natural seed of Abraham, This is true--and once his circumcised seed 100; but he added that Abraham was the father in covenant of all his congregation, because he is the father of all them that believe of all nations; and yet he dare not say that all his congregation are believers in the Messiah, the promised seed and heir of all Abraham's covenanted spiritual blessings. It is indeed true that Abraham is the natural father of the Jews, Edomites, Ishmaelites, &c., and he is the covenanted father of all the Jews, as well as their literal and true progenitor; and it is true that he is the spiritual and covenanted father of all believers of all nations, but not of the fleshly seed of true believers. This last point is the corner stone of Mr. Paino Raino's chapel, church, and congregation, The fleshly seed of true believers are not the natural nor spiritual seed of Abraham, and therefore are neither in the temporal nor spiritual covenant with Abraham. Paul teaches that if the Gentiles are in Christ, then, and only then, are they Abraham's seed and heirs according to the promise--" They who are of faith are blessed with believing Abraham.” But it no where says in the whole Bible, Old Testament or New, that the natural posterity of believers are the children of Abraham in any sense whatever ; and therefore they are not in covenant with Abraham. But of this we may speak more fully when we come to the Abrahamic covenants. What, Thomas, think you of the entails upon our race in virtue of the Adamic and Noabic covenants ?

l'homas. By the former mortality is ours, and by the latter a freedom from another destruction of the species, the earth and its inhabitants, by water, is secured to us.

Olympas. True, we inherit death and the curse, as well as life and all that is desirable in it, from Adam. We are the sons of a degenerate and degraded father, and participate with him in all the consequences of his violation of covenant, whether it be in constitution, person, or

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