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to have been entertained, are mentioned by name. * All they which are in Asia are turned away from me, of whom are Phygellus and Hermogenes“.' Ecclesiastical history abounds

ypája pesta, Gal. vi. 11, which, it is observable, occurs in the same epistle with the passage which has given occasion to this note. MoKnight on the passage, remarks, that Beza, Le Clerc, Beausobre, Wolf, and Lardner, agree with our translators in rendering the words. how large a letter, and he follows their version. At the same time he allows that Whitby, Doddridge, and others, following Jerome, Chrysostom, and Theophylact, translate the words, with what kind of letter, supposing it to be an apology for the inelegance of the writing. This is beneath the seriousness of the occasion, and the character of the writer, as well as inconsistent with the spirit of the passage. May not the words be interpreted with more propriety by referring them to the size of the letters, which, if St. Paul laboured under the infirmity I have supposed, would be of a larger character than is customary, and the unusual trouble which he took on this occasion, by writing with his own hand, notwithstanding the defect in his vision, with which the Galatians were well acquainted, would show his anxiety for their faith, and the importance he attached to the subject of his letter.

Some apology is perhaps due for so long a note on a subject of no practical utility. But nothing which may tend to throw light, in however humble a degree, on a passage of Scripture which has given rise to some discussion, can be deemed wholly useless.

4 2 Tim. i. 15.

with instances of similar apostacy. May they serve as warnings !

3. We may trace in Christ's ministry some of the sources of that influence which is granted to the faithful labours of the clergy.

There is, indeed, abundant reason for thankfulness that the days are over, when the clergy held dominion over the temporalities of the world, as well as over God's spiritual heritage. That doininion was not so much the legitimate ascendancy of character, as the despotic supremacy of exclusive knowledge over ignorance, and its associate, error. It was rather the offspring of a monopoly of learning in an age of darkness, than the fair superiority acquired by talent and virtue in a field of open and honourable competition. Voltaire has remarked that the ninth century was the age of the Bishops, as the eleventh and twelfth were of the Popes. And the superstitious reverence for the priesthood, and a credulity that seemed to invite imposture 5,' which, according to the historian of those ages, were the characteristics of the unenlightened devotion of that time, seem to have been carried to such a pitch as to justify the observation. That spell is now broken, and, as it frequently happens, we are threatened with a reaction of feeling which may be still more dangerous to the interests of the community, than the former error.

Yet if this alienation of sentiment from a particular religious body were the natural consequence of ecclesiastical usurpation, the church of Christ must not forget, that it has a right to challenge respect and influence, of a more legitimate and beneficial nature, on scriptural grounds. All the ministers of our own branch of that church have been solemnly charged so to sanctify the lives of themselves and of their families, and to fashion them after the rule and doctrine of Christ, that they may be wholesome and godly examples and patterns for the

s Hallam's Hist. of the Middle Ages, ii. 200, 222.

people to follow. They cannot overlook the highly interesting fact, that on the influential character of that body to which they belong, the moral constitution of society, as well as the more direct interests of religion, vitally depend.

Nor is this general principle affected by particular exceptions. There will always be many individuals in the ministry wholly unequal to the responsibility of giving a tone to public opinion, and regulating the standard of morals, -but in a large and comprehensive view, there will be a sure, though not always immediate, or even obvious result, corresponding with the nature of the impression given to the community by their spiritual directors. As an acute observer of human nature has observed It ever was and ever will be true, in all nations, under all manners and customs—no priesthood --no letters, no humanity-and reciprocally again, society, laws, government, learning, -a priesthood'

6

Bentley - Remarks on a late discourse on Freethinking, Part II.

A principal source of this influence arises from the honour which God sees fit to confer on the dispensers of his word and sacraments. He permits the distribution of his mercies to pass through their hands, as in feeding the five thousand, Christ gave to his disciples that they might communicate to the multitude. He could supply his people himself with spiritual şustenance, but, in his ordinary operations at least, he chooses rather to divide the bread of life among them by means of the constituted stewards of his mysteries. Undoubtedly he also conveys the knowledge of himself by the direct ministration of his Holy Spirit-but he generally prefers to employ the agency of his ministers. Thus he could have conveyed immediately to the mind of the Æthiopian eunuch the true meaning of Isaiah's prophecy, but he rather chose to send Philip to enlighten him by oral instruction. The same observation also applies to the case of the Centurion and St. Peter. And, now that immediate revelations of God's will have ceased, it is by his written word that

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