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leaving behind them their flocks and herds. When we perceive the spiritual sense of these words, we see how utterly valueless is the concession made, how little he is ready to give, and how essential is that which is sought to be withheld.
In the literal narrative, the request of Pharaoh that the flocks and herds should be left, does not at first sight appear so unreasonable, seeing that with this stipulation the people were at liberty to depart ; and it might appear to some that Moses was exacting, and did not sufficiently appreciate the boon, which had from the first been the object of his leadership—the deliverance of the Israelites from Egypt. But when we see the spiritual signification, the subject bears a very different complexion, and that, instead of substantially yielding all that is required, it is seen to amount to a virtual refusal of the request made. Flocks and herds are typical of the affections of goodness and truth, both in the internal and external degrees of the mind. They are capable of further illustration according to the subject treated of, and the context of the passages in which any allusion to them occurs. They signify living affections within us, and are essential to our spiritual life. Being, then, thus essential to us as living souls, their freedom or bondage becomes virtually the freedom or bondage of the whole man.
If these are enslaved, there can be no true freedom ; if these are free, there is no bondage. These are the principles which determine the quality of the will, and according to the quality of the will is the character of the man. To leave these in captivity is to love our bonds. If the natural mind rules these, we can never be regenerated, because the first essential of that process is left unaccomplished.
We shall see this further illustrated when we consider what the people were permitted to take with them. It is said their little ones were to go. These denote truths, or the capability of receiving truths, which are predicated of the understanding. It is a greater sacrifice to yield up our will, with all its powers, than it is to set free the faculties of the intellect; hence the reluctance to yield in this respect. The mental powers are in fact neither so easily enslaved nor so easily kept in bonds. The mind asserts its freedom, and, even though our loves may be given to the world, its pursuits and its pleasures, the understanding often roams at liberty over new fields of thought. Thus it may accumulate knowledge even of Divine things, and strive to understand spiritual mysteries, and yet our affections remain uninfluenced thereby. Our love may be of the earth, earthy, notwithstanding the possession of the knowledge of truth in the mind. The separation of these two qualities, giving freedom to the one while holding the other in bondage, constitutes one of the greatest dangers to which we are exposed, and against which we need constantly to be on our guard. The natural mind thus seeks to satisfy the requirements of a Divine Law, to silence the upbraidings of conscience, while still retaining possession of the heart and its affections; willing to let the mind acquire truths, so long as it is permitted to influence our love, and to hold in subjection the faculties of the will. How many seek to make terms like these! Let us retain our interest in our worldly 'affairs and pleasures, and we are willing to comply with all other demands religion may call upon us to make. Thus pleads the natural mind. If religion does not call upon us to make any sacrifices of our hearts' idols, we are willing to give to it the weight of our influence, to be zealous even in the furtherance of its dogmas, and to pay all due respect to its external requirements and formularies.
To be left in undisturbed possession of its delights, the natural mind will consent to have imposed upon it such restraints as are necessary to preserve consistency and propriety. Such are the allurements which twine themselves about the heart ; such the fascinations which, especially in youth, hold us in willing bondage, that the work of freeing ourselves from the yoke is one of laborious toil and painful self-denial. What wonder, then, if men shrink from the task before them; that so long as religion only requires outward consistency, attendance at public worship, intellectual perception of its doctrines, and moral propriety, they are ready to yield to it; but when it calls upon them to transplant their affections, to obey the commandments in the spirit as well as in the letter, to love the Lord their God with all their hearts, and their neighbours as themselves; when it penetrates the thoughts and intents of the heart, and demands perfect purity, meekness, contrition, and consequent elevation of the whole character, its requirements are felt to be hard and its terms exacting. So blind and perverse is the human mind in its unregenerate condition, that it does not perceive its own good in these requirements, but thinks the Lord a hard Master, and for a time—happily when only for a time—maintains its own stubbornness and opposition to the Divine influence. But the spiritual man, when once quickened into life by contact with the spirit of the Lord, when under the guidance and instruction of the Divine Moses and Aaron, as the spirit and letter of the Law, will not be satisfied with such a compromise as this. “My son, give me thy heart,” is an injunction which he feels in its fullest
importance. The hollowness of the concession which the natural mind and its dominant evils is willing to make, is too patent to deceive or allure. The hope of freedom, the possibility of regeneration and salvation, have quickened the energies and faculties of the spiritual mind, and nothing less than complete deliverance from the indwelling evils of a carnal nature will satisfy it. There must be no truce with sin, no parley with temptation, but a prayerful determination to complete the work which is begun, and attain the heavenly Canaan at last.
Faint aspirations after a better life having now been kindled; a feeling of degradation and shame at the slavery which has too long been endured having penetrated the mind, there is promise of a new life; a life of truth and goodness, which will ultimately bring into subjection, and reduce to order, all the faculties of the natural mind. In truth, these, being of a lower degree, were made to serve, and there can be no heavenly order introduced into us until the usurper has been cast from his throne, and the rightful ruler restored to his place. Not only does our higher nature thus refuse to be satisfied with anything short of unconditional surrender, but the same may be said of the Divine Law, which knows of no compromise, which visits with unerring justice, and yet with infinite mercy, every infraction of its provisions. It is a law which registers its own decrees; on the one hand communicating the needful strength to obey its requirements; on the other inevitably punishing the refractory and disobedient. It presents every inducement likely to influence the judgment; it appeals to us in accents of tender pity and sympathy, and it brings to us an influx from heaven itself. It is ever inciting us to progress, to attain perfection, to yield up every faculty, and to seek that complete restoration of the soul for which our Redeemer became incarnate.
How, then, can we satisfy this law unless we first seek the deliverance of the whole man from Egyptian bondage, and then enter upon the conquest of Canaan? The flocks and herds must go with us, for, to use the language of Moses, we must take thereof to serve the Lord our God, and to offer sacrifices and burnt offerings. By this is signified, that our worship should be a worship of pure love; that the affections should be elevated to the performance of spiritual uses. What other sacrifice does the Lord require than this—the sacrifice of a broken heart and a contrite spirit ? How can this be offered if those affections, which are typified by the flocks and herds, are enslaved by sin and the world. They are essential to true worship, and must therefore be offered
for a service to the Lord.
And finally, the Lord himself cannot be satisfied with anything short of these demands. We must yield up all to Him, that we may be completely devoted to His service, and be faithful in our servitude. We say the Lord cannot be satisfied with such ternis as the natural man is willing to make, because our deliverance could not be effected. In this the Lord is not exacting, for it is not for His sake alone, but for ours, that He requires these things at our hands; it is because our obedience is essential to our salvation ; because regeneration depends upon our yielding unconditionally and implicitly to the requirements of a law which is all-sufficient for our needs and wants. His love for us is boundless, His providence universal, His wisdom infinite, and all these attributes find expression in His Divine Law, which is thus made the medium of our salvation.
Written after a Night of Pain.
Ah! ugly is thy look, O cruel Pain,
And heavy is thy hand; and when the hour
Of suffering is come, and thy stern power
In the still darkness of the night, thy reign
Seems hardest, fiercest, and I trembling cower
'Neath thy resistless might, and think the flower Of joyous health will ne'er be mine again.
But in the midst a mild, soft light descends,
“Look up !" she says; “look up the Lord of love,
His tender ear: look up and pray: His dove
0. P. H.
NEW TESTAMENT VERSIONS.
(Continued from page 232.)
" of the
The reader will understand that the following list contains only the more remarkable, interesting, or important“ various readings Gospels, as collated from the Sinaitic, Vatican, and Alexandrian codices, by Dr. Tischendorf, whom Mr. Scrivener, himself no mean authority, styles, “The first Biblical critic in Europe.” As in the last named codex the Gospel through Matthew is wanting up to ch. xxv. 6, to the word céexeods, and in the Gospel through John, from iva, ch. vi. 50, to aéryans, ch. viii. 52, two leaves are lost, the non-quotation of Cod. Alexandrinus in those places will be understood.
To save space, I only indicate the “ various reading,” leaving the reader to refer to, and compare with, the Authorized Version.
The letters S., V., or A., following a phrase or passage means that the reading is thus given in the Sinaitic, Vatican, or Alexandrian codex. S*., V*., A*., means that the passage to which these signs refer was at first thus written in the codex indicated; but that it has been altered by a later hand. Sp., V., AP., means the reading as altered by the second or later hand. Om. means omit. The other signs, add, and for-read-explain themselves. In a few places a passage may occur followed by Tisch., which means that Dr. Tischendorf, justified by all MSS., thus translates the original.
Finally, I must warn the reader from rushing at once to the conclusion, that even though a certain reading or omission is warranted by any two, or by all three of these codices, the reading or the omission is therefore to be set down as being necessarily correct. The critical value of these codices is undoubtedly great, that of S. and V. exceeding the value of A., but their authority is by no means final. They are no more than very important witnesses amongst a host. Other authorities exist, all of which require to be considered before any conclusion can be regarded as settled. The conjoint testimony of the three great Codices in favour of or against any reading would certainly justify a decided leaning of opinion in the same direction. The united testimony of S. and V. would warrant a presumption in favour of any reading they supported. But in so important a matter as deciding what is the true text of the Word of God, nothing is so much to be deprecated as a rash and hasty judgment, unless, indeed, it be an