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Returning from his voyage, us. His previous situation had he entered anew on his beloved afforded little leisure and com. task of preaching the gospel to paratively few means, for the his people in Virginia. Here cultivation of general science. he continued till the year 1759. He came likewise to the college The unusual lustre of his piety at a time when its literary state and talents was now no longer and reputation had been much to be confined to so remote a re improved by the great and ac: gion. A vacancy being occa- knowledged abilities of President sioned in the college of New Burr. It was natural, therefore, Jersey by the decease of the em- that even his friends should have inent President Edwards (who some doubts of his complete prehad occupied the place but a few paration to fill and adorn so exdays) Mr. Davies was elected by alted a sphere. But it soon apthe Trustees to fill the important peared that the force and activity station. He received the news of of his mind had supplied every this event not merely with con defect, and surmounted every cern, but with a kind of conster- obstacle. His official duties were nation. Though earnestly invited discharged, from the first, with to accept the charge, it was with an ability which disappointed ev, great difficulty he was brought ery fear, and realized the brightto think it his duty. The pro est hopes. vince he occupied was impor The ample opportunities and tant; and it was unspeakably demands which he found for the distressing, both to him and his exercise of his talents, gave a people, united by the strongest new spring to his diligence. bonds of mutual aflection, to While his active labours were think of a separation. Repeated multiplied and arduous, his apapplications, however, at length plication to study was unusually prevailed to shake his resolution. intense. His exertions through But to preclude all mistake in a the day seemed rather to dispose case so important, he withheld bim for reading,than rest by night. his consent, until he had sub- Though he rose by break of day, mitted the matter to the Rev. he seldom retired till twelve synod of New York and Phila; o'clock, or a later hour. His suc; dciphia. They unanimously cess was proportionate. By the gave their opinion in favour of united efforts of his talents and his acceptance. Thus, to use industry, he left the college, at his own expressions, the evi: his death, in as high a state of dence of his duty was so plain, literary excellence, as it had ever that even his scepical mind was known since its institution. The satisfied; while his people saw few innovations which he introthe hand of Providence in it, 'duced into the academical exerand dured not oppose.

cises and plans of study, were The period of his presidency confessediy improvements. He was equally auspicious to the was particularly happy in inspircollege, and honourable to him. ing bis pupils with a taste for self.

It was here that he gave composition and oratory, in the crowning evidence of the which he himself so much excelvigor and versatility of iris geni- led.

His unremitted application to ple remarked that it was premonstudy, and to the duties of his of itory. Mr. Daries repried, that fice, probably precipitated his “although it ought not to be death. The habit of his body riewed in that liglit, set it was being plethoric, his health had, very remarkable.” When newfor some years, greatly depended year's day came he preached; on the 'exercise of riding, to and, to the surprise of the conwhich he was, from Decessity, gregation, from the same text. much habituated in Virginia. Being seized about three weeks This salutary employment had afterward, he soon adverted to been, from the time he took the the circumstance, and remarked, charge of the college, almost en- that he had been undesignedly tirely relinquished. Toward the led to preach, as it were, his own close of January, 1761, he was funeral sermon. seized with a bad cold, for which It is to be regretted that the vihe was bled. The same day, he olence of his disorder deprived transcribed for the press his ser- him of the exercise of reason, mon on the death of king George through most of his sickness. the Second. The day following, Had it been otherwise, his friends he preached twice in the college and the public would doubtless hall. The arm in which he bad have been gratified with an adbeen bled, became in conse- ditional evidence of the tranquence, much inflamed, and his scendent excellence of the Chrisformer indisposition increased. tian religion, and of its power to On the morning of the succeed- support the soul in the prospect ing Monday, he was seized, and approach of death. But he while at breakfast, with violent had preached still more emphatchills. An inflammatory fever ically by his life ; and even in followed, which, in ten days, put his delirium, he clearly manifesta period to his important life. ed what were the favourite ob

What are called premonitions jects of his concern. His beof death, are generally rather wildered mind was continually the fictions of a gloomy or mis- imagining, and his faltering guided imagination, than reali- tongue uttering some expedient ties. Yet the following anec to promote the prosperity of dote contains so singular a con

Christ's church, and the good currence of circumstances, as

of mankind. gives it a claim to be recorded. His premature exit (he was

A few days before the begin- but little more than thirty-six) ning of the year in which Mr. was generally and justly lamentDavies died, an intimate friend ed, as a loss almost irreparable, told him, that a sermon wouid not only to a distressed family, be expected from him on new. and a bereaved college, but to year's day; adding, among other the ministry, the church, the things, that President Burr, on community, the republic of let. the first day of the year in which ters, and in short, to all the most he died, preached a sermon on valuable interests of mankind. Jer. xxviii. 16. Thus saith the An affectionate tribute was paid Lord, This year thou shalt die: to his character and virtues, by and that after his death, the peo- Dr. Finley, his successor, in a

sermon preached on the occasion Lord ; or whether we die, we die of his death, from Rom. xiv. 7, 8. unto the Lord: whether we live, For none of us liveth to himself, therefore, or die, we are the Lord's. and no man dieth to himself. For whether we live, we live unto the

(To be continued.)

Religious Communications.

CRITICAL OBSERVATIONS ON

CERTAIN PASSAGES IN THE
NEW TESTAMENT.

New Testament could be writ. ten.

The inspired writers had oc

casion to treat of many things, Though the apostles in wri- of which the Greeks had no preting, as well as in preaching, used vious knowledge, and for which great plainness of speech; yet they had no appropriate terms. particular passages, taken by But those writers chose such themselves, may to us seem ob- terms and phrases, as were best scure. These however may adapted to express their meangenerally be elucidated by other ing. Where perspicuity repassages, or by the analogy of quired, they used description. faith. If they remain of doubt. To ascertain the sense of particful interpretation, yet the essen- ular terms, it is not necessary to tial doctrines and duties of reli recur to heathen writers ; it is gion are not endangered by better to consult the sacred writhem ; for these depend not on ters themselves. As they have a few doubtful or obscure pas- used words, so we must undersages, but are plainly taught in stand them. They are their innumerable places. Still it may own best interpreters. be useful to investigate the The New Testament is writmeaning of texts, which seem ten, not in pure, classical Greek, obscure.

but in a peculiar dialect, which The writers of the New Tes- may be called Hebraistical Greek. tament, it is well known, used The writers were Jews, and spake the Greek language, except Mat- the Hebrew, or rather the Ara., thew and the author of the mean, or Syro-Chaldee language. epistle to the Hebrews, who When they wrote Greek, they wrote in Aramean. This was introduced into it the idioms of the learned language of the their own language. - Thus also day; most men of education did the seventy Jews, who transwere acquainted with it ; and it lated the Old Testament into was the native language of ma Greek by the command of Ptoleny subjects of the Roman empire ; of those particularly, to lation was in use in the apos

my, king of Egypt. Their transwhom St. Paul wrote most of tles' times, and from it are made his epistles. It was, on many most of the quotations from the accounts, the best language in Old Testament, which we find which the inspired books of the in the New Without some ac

quaintance with that translation As the Hebrew verbs have no and with the Hebrew, a man present time, the past is often cannot be a very accurate critic used for the present. The wriin the original language of the ters of the New Testament New Testament. The study of have, in some instances, written both may therefore be justly re- their Greek in the same mancommended to young gentle- ner. John tells us that, when men, who contemplate the min. Christ discovered himself to isterial profession.

Mary Magdalene after his resThe Hebrews often express urrection, he said to her, “ Touch the superlative degree by adding me not.” Mary, transported with the word God. Exceeding high joyat seeing her Lord alive mountains and trees are called again, fell down and would have mountains of God and trees of embraced his feet, according to God. This Hebrew idiom is in the custom of the east, when troduced into the Greek of the women saluted men of superior New Testament. Stephen says character, especially when they of Moses that, when he was wished to detain them. Thus born, he was fair according to the woman of Shunem saluted God, or divinely fair. Our trans- Elisha ; and thus the two Marys lators have judiciously rendered saluted Jesus. The Lord says it erceeding fair.

to her, “ Touch me not,” for I This observation gives an ea am not yet, or have not yet assy sense to an obscure passage, cended, (anabebeka) i.

“ I do in 2 Cor. viii. 1. Paul exhort not yet ascend to my Father.” ing the Corinthians to send re

You need not detain me ; you lief to the persecuted saints in may have opportunity to see me Jerusalem, refers them to the again. “ Go, tell my brethren, example of the Macedonians. that I ascend to my Father and " Brethren, we do you to wit,” their Father.” 07 we make known to you“ the The Hebrew verbs, by a small grace of God, bestowed on the alteration in the radical letters, churches of Macedonia.” The

or in the points only, where grace of God, i. e. (according to points are used, give to actions the Hebrew idiom) the divine, different relations and qualities. the godlike, the abundant liberali. These various forms and powers ty, bestowed, (not on the church are by grammarians called cones, but) by, in, among the jugations. The seventy, and the churches of Macedonia, for the New Testament writers have relief of the brethren in Judea. sometimes used the Greek verbs, To this, and only to this sense, as if they had these Hebrew conthe following

words agree; jugations. In Psalm cxix. the " How that in a great trial of af- Seventy use the neutral verb, fliction, the abundance of their zay, to live, in an active or tranjoy, and their deep poverty a sitive sense, to quicken, or cause bounded to the riches of their to live. The same Hebrew liberality. For to their power, idiom we find in the New Tes. and beyond their power, they tament. Paul gives the Greek Were willing of themselves, &c.” word, vida, to know, the power Vol. II. No. 4.

X

e.

of the Hebrew conjugation Hi- they are prepared of my Fa. phil to make known. He says to ther." They will be dispensed the Corinthians, “ I determined agreeably to the usual methods not to know,” i. e. not to make of Providence. known, or to preuch

any thing

This observation will explain among you, save Jesus Christ a passage in the 9th chap. to the and him crucified.” Thus the Romans. *“ He hath mercy on same word is probably to be un- whom he will have mercy, and derstood in Mark xiii. 32, where whom he will he hardeneth.” some erroneously suppose, that An antithesis, which is a freChrist disclaims a knowledge of quent figure in Paul's writings, future events. Speaking of the is naturally expected, and was destruction of Jerusalem, Jesus doubtless intended here. " He says, “ Of that day and hour bath mercy on whom he will knoweth none, neither the angels have mercy.” The antithesis in heaven, neither the Son, but to this is, “ He withholdeth merthe Father.” Christ had already cy, from whom he will with hold foretold the event, and given the it.” But as there was no single previous signs of it. Some word, in the Greek language, might wish for a knowledge of which expressed this antithesis, the exact time of it. But this the writer took the word skleeru. knowledge, for various reasons, no, to harden, and used it accorwas improper to be then commu- ding to the intransitive conjuganicated. Jesus therefore says, tion, in which it would signify, " That day and hour none mak- not hardening another, but hareth known ; no, not the angels, dening one's self against another, neither the Son." To reveal or shutting up the bowels of this belongs not to my commis- mercy. Thus the word is used sion ; 6 but it will be made in the book of Job. The Osknown by the Father," in the trich is said to be hardened course of his providence. We against her young ones. The find a similar mode of expres- word, she is hardened, is the sion in Christ's answer to the same, which Paul uses in the two brethren, who solicited the passage under consideration; chief posts of power in the tem- and rendered there, as it is here, poral kingdom, which, they im- it would be, “ She hardeneth her agined, he would soon erect. young ones.” But the meaning They ask, “ Grant that we may is, “She leaveth her young sit, the one on thy right hand, without care.” So the passage and the other on thy left, in thy in Romans signifies, not that God kingdom.” He answers, “ To infuses hardness into sinners ; sit on my right hand and on my but that he exercises, or forbears left," j. e. promotion to tempo- to exercise his mercy toward ral honours, “is not mine to sinners, according to his own give; it is not committed to me, sovereign will and unerring wisas the Teacher, Reformer, and dom. To whom he will, he Saviour of men. But worldly shows mercy, and from whom honours “ will be given" under he will he withholds mercy, my gospel, as they have been leaving them to meet their own heretofore, to them, for whom deserts.

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