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sect. Dr. Haweis, in speaking of ||of God upon him, as we die to the the Mystics, Church History, vol.influences of this world when the iii, p. 47, thus observes: "Among soul leaves the body; and all the those called Mystics, I am per influences and operations of the suaded some were found who lov- elements of this life were open in ed God out of a pure heart fer- | him, as they are in any animal, at vently; and though they were ri- his birth into this world: he bediculed and reviled for proposing came an earthly creature, subject a dişinterestedness of love with- 1 to the dominion of this outward out other motives, and as profes- world, and stood only in the highsing to feel in the enjoyment of the est rank of animals. But the goodtemper itself an abundant rewarı, ness of God would not leave man their holy and heavenly conversa- in this condition; redemption tion will carry a stamp of real re- from it was immediately granted, ligion upon it.”
and the bruiser of the serpent As the late Reverend William brought the life, light, and spirit Law, who was born in 1687, of heaven, once more into the humakes a distinguished figure man nature. All men, in conseamong the modern Mystics, a quence of the redemption of brief account of the outlines of his Christ, have in them the first system may, perhaps, be enter-spark, or seed, of the Divine life, taining to some readers.--Hell as a treasure hid in the centre of supposed that the material world our souls, to bring forth, by dewas the very region which origi- grees, a new birth of that life nally belonged to the fallen an- which was lost in paradiso. No gels. At length the light and spirit son of Adam can be lost, only by of God entered into the chaos, and turning away from the Saviour turned the angels' ruined kingdom within him. The only religion into a paradise on earth. God then which can save us, must be that created man, and placed him which can raise the light, life, and there. He was made in the image spirit of God in our souls. Noof the Triune God, a living mir-thing can enter into the vegetable ror of the Divine nature, formed kingdom till it have the vegetable to enjoy communion with Father, || life in it, or be a member of the Son, and Holy Ghost, and live on animal kingdom till it have the earth as the angels do in heaven. animal life. Thus all nature joins He was endowed with immortali- | with the Gospel in affirming that ty, so that the elements of this no man can enter into the kingoutward world could not have dom of heaven till the heavenly any power of acting on his body; | life is born in him. Nothing can but by his fall he changed the be our righteousness or recovery light, life, and spirit of God for but the divine nature of Jesus the light, life, and spirit of the Christ derived to our souls. Law's world. He died the very day of his Life; Laru's Spirit of Prayer and transgression with all the influ- | Appeal; Law's Spirit of Love, and ences and operations of the Spirit on Regeneration.
MYTHOLOGY, in its origi- to succeeding generations, either nal import, signifies any kind of by written records or by oral trafabulous doctrine. In its more dition. See articles HEATHEN, appropriated sense, it means PAGANISM, and Gale's Court of those fabulous details concerning the Gentiles, a work calculated to the objects of worship, which were shew that the pagan philosophers invented and propagated by men derived their most sublime sentiwho lived in the early ages of the ments from the scriptures. Bryworld, and by them transmitted | ant's System of Ancient Mythology.
NAME OF GOD. By this Bethlehem, Mic. v, 2. Matt. ii, 4, term we are to understand, 1. 6. where his parents were wonGod himself, Ps. xx, 1.-2. His derfully conducted in providence, titles peculiar to himself, Exod. Luke ii, 1, 7. The time of his iii, 13, 14.-3. His word, Ps. v, birth was foretold by the pro11. Acts ix, 15.-4. His works. phets to be before the sceptre or Ps. viii, 1.-5. His worship, Ex- | civil government departed from od. xx, 24.–6. His perfections Judah, Gen. xliv, 10. Mal. iii, 1. and excellencies, Exod. xxxiv, Hag. ii, 6, 7, 9. Dan. ix, 24; but 6. John xvii, 26. The properties the exact year of his birth is not or qualities of this name are these: agreed on by chronologers, but it 1. A glorious name, Ps. Ixxii, 17.was about the four thousandth
-2. Transcendent and incompa- year of the world; nor can the searable, Rev. xix, 16.-3. Powerful, son of the year, the month, and Phil. ii, 10.-4. Holy and reve- day in which he was born, be asrend, Ps. cxi, 9.-5. Awful to the certained. The Egyptians placed wicked.-6. Perpetual, Is. lv, 13. it in January; Wagenseil, in FeCruden's Concordance; Hannam's |bruary; Bochart, in March; some, Anal. Comp., p. 20.
mentioned by Clement of AlexNATIVITY OF CHRIST. andria, in April; others, in May; The birth of our Saviour was ex- Epiphanius speaks of some who actly as predicted by the prophe-placed it in June, and of others cies of the Old Testament, Isa. who supposed it to have been in vii, 14. Jer. Xxxi, 22. He was born July; Wagenseil, who was not of a virgin of the house of David, sure of February, fixed it probaand of the tribe of Judah, Mat- bly in August; Lightfoot, on the thew i. Lukei, 27. His coming in- fifteenth of September; Scaliger, to the world was after the manner Casaubon, and Calvisius, in Ocof other men, though his genera- tober; others in November; and tion and conception were extraor- the Latin church in December. It dinary. The place of his birth was I does not, however, appear proba
ble that the vulgar account is right; || over the East; and it became the circumstance of the shepherds the common belief that a prince watching their flocks by night, would arise at that time in Judea agrees not with the winter season. who should change the face of Dr. Gill thinks it was more likely the world, and extend his empire in Autumn, in the month of Sep- from one end of the earth to the tember, at the feast of taberna- other. Now, had Christ been macles, to which there seems some nifested at a more early period, reference in John i, 14. The scrip- || the world would not have been ture, however, assures us that it prepared to meet him with the was in the "fulness of time,” Gal. same fondness and zeal: had his iv, 4; and, indeed, the wisdom of appearance been put off for any God is evidently displayed as to considerable time, men's expectathe time when, as well as the end tions would have begun to lanfor, which Christ came.
guish, and the warmth of desire, It was in a time when the world from a delay of gratification, might stood in need of such a Saviour, have cooled and died away. and was best prepared for receiv “The birth of Christ was also ing him. “About the time of in the fulness of time, if we conChrist's appearance," says Dr. sider the then political state of Robertson, “there prevailed a ge- the world. The world, in the most neral opinion that the Almighty early ages, was divided into small would send forth some eminent independent states, differing from messenger to communicate a each other in language, manners, more perfect discovery of his laws, and religion. The shock of will to mankind. The dignity of so many opposite interests, the Christ, the virtues of his charac-interfering of so many contrary ter, the glory of his kingdom, and views, occasioned the most violent the signs of his coming, were de convulsions and disorders; per, scribed by the ancient prophets | petual discord subsisted between with the utmost perspicuity. these rival states, and hostility and Guided by the sure word of pro- | bloodshed never ceased. Comphecy, the Jews of that age con merce had not hitherto united cluded the period predetermined mankind, and opened the commuby God to be then completed, and nication of one nation with anothat the promised Messiah would ther: voyages into remote counsuddenly appear, Luke ii, 25 to tries were very rare; men moved 38. Nor were these expectations in a narrow circle, little acquaintpeculiar to the Jews. By their dised with any thing beyond the lipersions among so many nations, mits of their own small territory. by their conversation with the At last the Roman ambition unlearned men among the heathens, dertook the arduous enterprise of and the translation of their in- conquering the world; They trode spired writings into a language down the kingdoms, according to almost universal, the principles Daniel's prophetic description, by of their religion were spread all their exceeding strength; they de
voured the whole earth, Dan. vii, || priate time. “The Romans,"con7, 23. However, by enslaving the tinues our author, “by subduing world, they civilized it, and while the world, lost their own liberty. they oppressed mankind, they Many vices engendered or nouunited them together: the same rished by prosperity, delivered laws were every where establish- | them over to the vilest race of ed, and the same languages un tyrants that ever afflicted or disderstcod; men approached nearer graced human nature. The coto one another in sentiments and lours are not too strong which the manners, and the intercourse be- apostle employs in drawing the tween the most distant corners of character of that age. See Eph. the earth was rendered secure and iv, 17, 19. In this time of univeragreeable. Satiated with victory, sal corruption did the wisdom of the first emperors abandoned all God manifest the Christian revethoughts of new conquests; peace, lation to the world. What the an unknown blessing, was enjoyed wisdom of men could do through all that vast empire; or encouragement of virtue in a corif a slight war was waged on an rupt world had been tried during outlying and barbarous frontier, several ages, and all human defar from disturbing the tranquil vices were found by experience lity, it scarcely drew the attention to be of very small avail; so that of mankind. The disciples of no juncture could be more proper Christ, thus favoured by the uni- for publishing a religion, which, on and peace of the Roman em- independent of human laws and pire, executed their commission institutions, explains the princiwith great advantage. The suc-ples of morals with admirable percess and rapidity with which they spicuity, and enforces the practice diffused the knowledge of his of them by most persuasive arguname over the world are astonish- ments." ing. Nations were now accessi The wisdom of God will still ble which formerly had been un- | farther appear in the time of known. Under this situation, in Christ's coming, if we consider to which the providence of God the world with regard to its relihad brought the world, the joyful gious state. “The Jews seem to sound in a few years reached those have been deeply tinctured with remote corners of the earth into superstition. Delighted with the which it could not otherwise have ceremonial prescriptions of the penetrated for many ages. Thuslaw, they utterly neglected the the Roman ambition and bravery moral. While the Pharisees unpaved the way and prepared the dermined religion, on the one world for the reception of the hand, by their vain traditions and Christian doctrine."
wretched interpretations of the If we consider the state of the law, the Sadducees denied the world with regard to morals, it immortality of the soul, and overevidently appears that the coming turned the doctrine of future reof Christ was at the most appro- | wards and punishments; so that
between them the knowledge and service is performed in the church, power of true religion were en- and in many places of worship tirely destroyed. But the deplo- | among dissenters; but, alas! the rable situation of the heathen day, we fear, is more generally world called still more loudly for profaned than improved. Instead an immediate interposal of the of being a season of real devotion, Divine hand. The characters of || it is a season of great diversion. their heathen deities were infa- The luxury, extravagance, intemmous, and their religious worshipperance, obscene pleasures, and consisted frequently in the vilest drunkenness that abound, are and most shameful rites. Accord striking proofs of the immoralities ing to the apostle's observation, of the age. “It is matter of just they were in all things too supersti- complaint,” says a divine, “that tipus. Stately temples, expensive such irregular and extravagant sacrifices, pompous ceremonies, things are at this time commonmagnificent festivals, with all thely done by many who call themother circumstances of show and selves Christians; as if, because splendour, were the objects which the Son of God was at this time false religion presented to its vota- made mun, it were fit for men to Ties; but just notions of God, obe- make themselves beasts.” Manne's dience to his moral laws, purity of Dissertation on the Birth of Christ; heart, and sanctity of life, were Lardner's Cred., p. i, vol. ii, p. not once mentioned as ingredients 796, 963; Gill's Body of Divinity, in religious service. Rome adopt-on Incarnation; Bishop Law's Theed the gods of almost every na-ory of Religion; Dr. Robertson's tion whom she had conquered, admirable Sermon on the Situation and opened her temples to the of the World at Christ's Appeargrossest superstitions of the most ance; Edwards's Redemption, 313, barbarous people. Her foolish ||316; Robinson's Claude, vol. i, p. heart being darkened, shc chang- 276, 317; Fohn Edwards’s Sured the glory of the uncorruptible vey of all the Dispensations and God into an image made like to Diethods of Religion, chap. 13, corruptible man, and to birds, and vol. i. four-footed beasts, and creeping
NATURE, the essential prothings, Rom. i, 21, 23. No period, || perties of a thing, or that by which therefore, can be mentioned when it is distinguished from all others. instructions would have been It is used, also, for the system of more seasonable and necessary;" || the world, and the Creator of it; and no wonder that those who the aggregate powers of the huwere looking for salvation should man body, and common sense, joyfully exclaim, "Blessed be the Rom. i, 26, 27, 1st Cor. xi, 14. The Lord God of Israel, for he hath word is also used in reference to visited and redeemed his people.” a variety of other objects, which
The nativity of Christ is cele- we shall here enumerate. 1. The brated among us on the twenty- Divine nature is not any external fifth day of December, and divine form or shape, but his glory, es