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THOUGHTS ON PREDESTINATION,
Mahomedans are said to be Fatalists, believing in fate, in the strictest sense of the word : they will not even take precaution against the plague ; neither, (as we are told,) will they use the least exertion to extinguish a fire, should it even destroy their city or town.
......ians of the present day are not agreed on the question of Predestination. Some, (as the Presbyterians,) hold to Predestination, Election, and Reprobation. Othérs there are amongst them that virtually will not allow to Godhead Prescience and Omnipotence, by their manner and method of denying, and attempts at disproving and gainsaying the arguments held out by the Predestinarians. On the other hand, the Predestinarians want no providence, no superintendence; and according to them there is no repentance of avail, no works of any use; indeed those predestined to damnation, or what is the same, not Elected, have not the grace of repentance or other good works, and those good works we see and admire are only filthy rags, self-righteousness, detestable high crimes, and misdemeanours, hypocrisy, rank and errant hypocrisies; and thus, neither party understanding the word, each array themselves with some of the attributes of Dein ty. The predestinarians, with the prescience, and the anti-predestinarians, with the justice, mercy, holiness, goodness, and truth; and thus they reason out of book. A just God has predetermined an inteligent object to eternal misery, even before he created him. A merciful Father has predetermined an intelligence into existence for the purpose of suffering eternal misery. The Holy from all eternity has decreed that a mortal intelligent being shall in time be born ; and that he shall live 70 years an unboly and wicked life on the earth, after which the mortal part of him shall be returned to the lap of Nature, and the intelligent existence shall eternally suffer misery irredeemable. The true God, the God of truth, nay, Truth itself has said to me, “Behold I put before you the good and evil, choose the good.” And in the mean time he has only mocked me, for in truth, truth had predetermined me, before either my soul or body existed, to reprobation; nay, has
also predetermined me into existence for that purpose, that I should be damned. All this the Anti-predestinarians say is rank blasphemy.
On the other hand, the Calvinists and other predestinarians retort in book. "The light shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehend 'th it not.” This is a position laid down by John, and must be believed. Now say they, “St. John calleth man darkness; therefore we reject all what is taught repugnant to this, concerning the free will of men, since man is but a slave to siu, and bath nothing of himself unless it be given him from heaven; for who may presume to boast that he of himself can do any good, since “ No man can come to me, except the father, which has sent me, draw him ?". Who will glory in his own will who understands that to be carpally minded, is enmity against God. Who can speak of his kpowledge, since " the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God." Again— God worketh in us both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” Again—“ Without me ye can do nothing."* And more such like reasons do they assign, powerful and all-sufficient, provided their opponents believe all this, and considerable more such like, taken altogether from the New Testament, to be the true word of God; and they will not disallow it; each party, in his turn, is sorely goaded by the opposite; they are both convinced of error; each does not know what to do with the other's arguments'; they never answer, they only attack each other's weak sides, for, in truth, both are in error. For this is the conclusion of the matter in difference between them, If God hath foreordained whatever cometh to pass, and hath predestinated some to salvation and others to damnation from all eternity, then God is not just, holy, merciful, good, or true. But God is just, holy, merciful, good, and true; therefore the doctrine of predestination, and reprobation from all eternity, is not true ; is a false doctrine ! Aye, but, say the Predestinarians, the New Testament teaches this doctrine; (and they are right, for so it does.) Take your choice, then, either believe the New Testament, or believe God is holy, just, merciful, good, and true. Both cannot be believed, except by faith, which, by the by, is NO belief-I mean, ......ian faith.
The Examination of Isaiah's message to the American nation, or the 18th char. #rs of Isaiah, is unavoidably postponed for the présent.
* Confession of Faith.
BEING A DEFENCE OF JUDAISM AGAINST ALL ADVERSARIES,
שמעו כי נגידים אדנר ומפתח שפתי מישרים : כי אמת יהנה חכי ותיעבת שפתי
אין בהם נפתל ועקש : כלם נכחים למבין וישרים רשע : בצדק כל-אמרי פי
inyo '8305 “ Hear; for I do speak of excellent things; and that which proceedeth from my lips are correct things. For my taste is to utter truth; and my lips detest wickedness. All the words of my mouth are in righteousness; there is nothing forward or perverse in them. They are all apparent to him who has understanding; and correct to them that find knowledge. Prov. viii. 6, 7, 8, 9.
3d month, SIVAN, JUNE, 5584.
The subject offered in this number, is the examination of the XVIIIth Chapter of Isaiah, or rather the examination of a Panaphlet called “ Isaiah's Message to the American Nation," a small work, by John M‘Donald, A. M. of Albany. I think reprinted at the request of the Philadelphia ......ianish* Society, auxiliary to the New-York American Society, for meliorating the condition of the Jews. Our author's plan is as follows:
GENERAL VIEW OF THE CHAPTER. 1. God calls aloud on the American nation-her situation and national characteristics described-sheltered under the outspread wings of her own eagle-placed beyond the rivers of Cush, at that time the western boundary of Jewish geographical knowledge-sending ambassadors by sea and in vessels of reeds on the face of her own waters. 2. A commission given to her gospel messengers, represented as qualified and prepared to carry her message to the dispersion of Jacob-bis description of this people-scattered-plundered-subjected to terror in the extreme-of marvellous expectation-in deep oppression, whose country is in complete desola
* ...ianish. Reader do not laugh too loud at my use of this strange word. ......ianish is a much more legitimate word, as an appellative for these societies, than Jewish; for they are not Jewy, neither are they Jewish. They are ......ian, and so is their object : they are ......ian Societies for deteriorating the condition of the Jews, and to oppose the will of Heaven, by impiously endeavouring to counteract his work in their strange, unhallowed way.
tion. 3. A summons to all the inhabitants of the world on seeing the standard unfurled and hearing the sound of the trumpet to prepare and hasten to the battle of God. 4. Jehovah's private message to the prophet, stating the nature of his provis dential dispensation till the time of the battle. 5. A prophetic vision of the battle under the similitude of the destruction of a vineyard on the very eve of vintage. 6. A view of the field of battle, with the armies and their principal leader, abandoned, unburied, to birds and beasts of prey. 7. The American nation, uniting with the friends of ...... of all nations, in presenting the Jews wonderfully changed, as an oblation to God of the first fruits of men, in Mount Zion.
His translation, (for the Bible translation will not suit his parpose altogether, although he acknowledges “alterations and corrections—not always improvements,”*) is as follows :
NEW TRANSLATION. 1. Ho! the land of the overshadowing wings, that lies beyond the rivers of Cush.
2. That sendeth ambassadors by sea, and in vessels of reeds on the face of the waters. Swift messengers, go ye to a nation, dispersed and pillaged, to a people under terror in the very extreme, a nation of expectation, of expectation and trodden down, whose country rivers have spoiled!
3. All ye inhabitants of the world, and all ye that dwell on earth, when the standard is lifted upon the mountains, look ye! and when the trumpet is sounded, listen ye!
4. Then thus did JEHOVAH say to me: I will sit still now, and I will look intently from my habitation, like serene heat after bright sunshine, and like a dewy cloud in the heat of harvest.
5. But while the harvest was passing away, when the bud had become perfect, and the blossom had changed into the juicy grape: he cut down the luxuriant branches with pruning hooks; he removed the standard vine: he cut is pieces!
6. They abandon them promiscuously to the eagle of the mountains, and to the beasts of the field. On him the eagle of the mountains is glutted; even on HIM all the beasts of the field insultingly riot!
7. At that time shall a present be brought to JEHOVAH of hosts of a people dispersed and pillaged, even of a people under terror in the very extreme, a nation of expectation, of expectation and trodden down, whose country rivers have spoiledto the place of the name of JEHOVAH of hosts—morat Zion. He next proceeds with his notes and illustrations.
Notes and illustrations. Ho! the land.] This is an earnest claim on her attention, and not as, in our transJation, an imprecation. The scope and spirit of the address breathes nothing but friendship and confidence. In this sease it is employed by the prophet himself, chap. lv. 1. Ho every one that this thoone seir thin walers” The word in the original is erro ed in supire, to ve tesauce to nv volent doitation of mind, excite gay, *1.00"noidarger orji.ically trim? Version or dem
The first difference of our author from the Bible translation is the rendering the word. * Oey. We will first settle the general meaning of this word, before we consider its particular intention in our text. On a cursory view of the preceding chapters of Isaiah, the word occurs thirteen times, in all which places it is correctly rendered Wo, the sense of the subject requiring it to be so translated. In the succeeding chapters we find the same word used nine times, and, as in the former, it always is required to be understood Wo. Why then shall we render it otherwise in the text under consideration ? Forsooth, because the twenty-third time the prophet uses the word, in chap. Iv. 1. the English Bible has it Ho. But let me ask, is it not even here ejaculated by the prophet as a cry of pain, and not a call for attention ? The prophet is in pain because, as he in another place beautifully expresses himself, he is calling continually on the world, giving them “Line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little, and there a little ;' continually writing, continually teaching, without any apparent attention of the world towards him or his interesting subject; is it any wonder that the prophet, in bitterness of heart, involuntarily ejaculates “ Wo! Go to the water all who thirst, Wo! all who thirst go to the water.” And the prophet does not here, any more than in the text under consideration, pronounce a wo, an execration, on those who thirst, or on the country shadowed with wings; but in both places ejaculates an involuntary cry of a painful sensation within him : in our text it arises from his knowledge of the troubles the world will experience in the great and wonderful day of the Lord, which he had in full view before him, and is in this prophecy treating of.
I can see no sufficient reason thus arbitrarily to change the signification of a word from its general, usual, and common acceptation. Let the Hebraist notice “ to the” in the Bible translation is in Italics supplied; the original is yox "98 and which is Wo! Land shadowed, &c.; (30 that the speaker may not meau Wo to the Land, bat may be calling to the distant friendly country which may be in happier circumstances. Wo! as a cry of misery for the pain and trouble the world, even the Jews also, are experiencing from the war of Gog, and the religious persecution of the old world. But let us suppose that the word Wo means an