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piety. These are Orations, these are Arguments, worthy of a very high and permanent place in our theological literature.

• But, though the text, I think, admits of the application that I bave now made of it, it is evident that the Psalmist spoke it with reference to himself, and that it is applicable therefore to a very different class of persons from those to whom we have been referring, The very supposition that " if he regarded iniquity in his heart, the Lord would not bear him," implies the possibility that such may be the state even of believers; and there is abundant reason to fear that it is in this way their prayers are so often hindered, and their supplications so frequently remain unanswered. Nor is it difficult to conceive how believers may be chargeable with regarding iniquity in their heart, even amidst all the solemnity of coming into the imme.' diate presence of God, and directly addressing him in the language of prayer and supplication. It is possible that they may put them. selves into such a situation in a state of mind but little fitted for engaging in that holy exercise ; the world. in one form or another, may for the time have the ascendancy in their hearts; and there may have been so much formality in their confessions, and so much indifference in their supplications, that when the exercise is over, they could not honestly declare that they really meant what they acknowledged, or seriously desired what they prayed for A Christian, it is true, could not be contented to remain in a state like this ; and when he is awakened from it, as he sooner or later will be, he cannot fail to look back upon it with humiliation and shame. But we fear, there are seasons in which believers themselves may make a very near approach to such a state; and what then is the true interpretation of prayers offered up at such a moment! It is in face just saying, that ihere is something which, for the time, they prefer to what they are formally asking of God : that though the blessings which they do ask may be for a time withheld, yet they would find a compensation in the enjoyment of the worldly things which do at the moment engross their affections; and that in reality they would not choose to have, at that instant, such an abundant communication of spiritual influence imparted to them, as would render these worldly objects less valuable in their estimation, and would turn the whole cide of their affections and desires towards spiritual things. The Christian will no doubt revolt at the idea of thus dealing falsely by the God of truth, in professedly asking what at the moment he would be afraid or unwilling to receive. Yet such is the true state of things, as often as formality and indifference in prayer do directly proceed from the reigning influence of worldly desires; and the very humiliation which the believer feels when he looks back upon such seasons, is just an acknowledgment, that then he was regarding iniquity in his heart."

• The same observations too will apply to another case, which, I am persuaded, the experience of many will tell them is no uncommon one. The Christian may sometimes betake himself to prayer, to ask counsel of God in some perplexity regarding divine truth, or to seek direction in some doubtful point of duty, but instead of being pre. Vol. XXV. N.S.


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pared fairly to exercise his judgement, in the hope that, while doing 80, the considerations that lie on the side of truth will be made to his mind clear and convincing; he may have allowed his inclinations so to influence and bias his judgement towards the side of error, or in favour of the line of conduct which he wishes to pursue, that when he asks counsel, it may only be in the hope that his previous opinion will be confirmed, and when he seeks direction, it is in reality on a point about which he was previously determined. And is it wonderful, therefore, if, in the former of these cases, the blessings which he professedly sought are withheld, or if, in the latter, he was permitted, notwithstanding his supplication for divine direction, to be entangled in error, or overtaken by sin ? " He was regarding iniquity in his

heart, and therefore the Lord would not hear him."

But the principle stated in our text may be still further illustrated by referring to another case, which I fear is also but too common;

and in which the believer may be still more directly chargeable with regarding iniquity in his heart. It is possible that there may be in his heart or life, something which he is conscious is not altogether as it should be—some earthly attachment which he cannot easily justify—or some point of confornity to the maxims and practices of the world, which he finds it difficult to reconcile with Chris. tian principle ; and yet all the struggle which these have from time to time cost him, may only have been an effort of ingenuity on his part to retain them without doing direct violence to his conscience a laborious getting up of arguments whereby to shew how they may be defended, or in what way they may be lawfully gone into, while the true and simple reason of his going into them, namely, the love of the world, is all the while kept out of view. And as an experimental proof how weak and inconclusive all these arguments are, and at the same time how unwilling he still is to relinquish his favourite objects, he may be conscious that in confessing his sins, he leaves them out of the enumeration, rather because he would willingly pass them over, than because he is convinced that they need not be there; he may feel that he cannot and dare not make them the immediate subject of solemn and deliberate communing with God; and after all his multiplied and ingenious defences, he may be reconciled to them at last, only by ceasing to agitate the question whether they are lawful or not. Now, in such a case, the sin with which he is chargeable is not to be measured by the amount of moral delinquency which attaches to the practices themselves. They may not be very flagrant in their nature, or very palpably at variance with any express requirement of the divine law. But if they be such as that he dares not ask permission of God to go on with them, or that he would not willingly abide by the decision of God's word concerning them, from a secret misgiving that this decision might be against them; then, upon this single ground alone, independently of every other consideration, he stands self-condemned. If, in this condition, then, he betakes himself to prayerif he feels anxiety and doubt concerning his spiritual state, and seeks to have his conscience pacified by the application of the blood of Christ--if he is conscious that his desires after spiritual


things are feeble, and asks divine influence to strengthen and sustain them and generally, if he is sensible that his soul, with regard to its eternal concerns, is not in a healthful state, and prays

that he may be quickened and revived, is it at all unaccountable that such prayers should go unanswered that he should fail to be delivered from the depressing sense of sin on the conscience, while he is deliberately surrendering himself to the power of sin in the heart- -or that there should be withheld that divine consolation which, in his case, would go to sanction the violation of the divine law? He may feel, indeed, and he may deeply lansent the depression of his hopes, and the decay of his spiritual comfort; and in order to recover it, he may laboriously give himself to the observance of religious ordinances. But should they all successively fail to bring him relief, as in such circumstances they must do, it is not difficult to assign the reason. There is in his own heart a root of bitterness whereby he is defiled; he is himself the Achan that troubleth the host of Israel, and has given his spiritual adversaries the advantage over him; he carries about with him the accursed thing that blights and withers his spiritual strength; he “ regards iniquity in his heart, and therefore the Lord will not hear him.”,

pp. 425-430.

Art. VII. Hebrew Tales ; selected and translated from the Writings

of the ancient Hebrew Sages : to which is prefixed, an Essay on the uninspired Literature of the Hebrews. By Hyman Hurwitz, Author of Vindiciæ Hebraicæ, &c. &c. 1200. pp. xxiii. 212.

Price 7s. 60. London, 1826. THAT NHAT the Israelites of Germany and Holland are beginning,

as Mr. Hurwitz states, to distinguish themselves by a rapid advancement in literature, science, and the arts, must be a subject of very high satisfaction to every friend of that despised race. He ascribes it in a great measure to the labours of the celebrated Mendelsohn, and his learned friend Hartog Wesely. To effect their great object, and “to wean their brethren from the corrupt jargon they had adopted in the days of tribulation,' the former published his excellent German translation of the Pentateuch and the Psalms; and the latter wrote several tracts on the proper methods of instruction. This was adopting the most direct and efficient means,-recalling the Jews to the study of their own Scriptures. Mr. Hurwitz is anxious to revive the study of the Talmud also, to which we see no objection, since, with all its errors and absurdities, which have perhaps been magnified by misconception, it is a curious and authentic record of ancient opinions; and though, as an authority, it is entitled to no more deference than the Traditions of Rome, its illustrations of ancient manners are valuable, and the uninspired literature of the Hebrews furnishes

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no unimportant proof of the inspiration of the writings to which it forms a foil. There is some justice in the following remarks, making due allowance for the national partiality of the Writer.

* To conclude: I lament with Schelling in the words of my 'esteemed Friend,) “ that the learned should have turned their backs on the Hebrew sources ; and that, whilst they hope to find the key of ancient doctrine in the obscure, insolvable riddles of Egyptian lieroglyphics ; whilst nothing is heard but of the language and wisdom of India: the writings and traditions of the Rabbins are consigned to neglect, without examination.” Still more do I lament to observe this general apathy amongst my own brethren. True it is, that the short period generally allotted for the education of Jewish youth-a period hardly sufficient to furnish them with an ample knowledge of the Hebrew Scriptures-must exclude the Talmud' from forming a branch of early instruction, were it even advisable. But admitting this, I really do not see why persons of riper years, blessed with competence and talents, should entirely neglect it; unless they choose blindly to follow the dictates of men, and imagine that the essence of religion consists in the mere observance of a few rites and cere. monies.

* Nor is this attainment so difficult as is generally supposed. A knowledge of the Hebrew language will enable any person, with the assistance of a commentator, to understand the Talmud. But who. ever peruses that ancient work, must bear in mind that it contains the religious and philosophical opinions of thousands of learned and highly-gifted men, who lived during the long extent of nearly a thousand years, in different countries, various situations, and under the most variegated circumstances; and that above a thousand years bave

а elapsed since those opinions were collected. The piety of its authors is unquestionable. Its morality, with the exception of a few isolated opinions, is excellent. To believe that its multifarious con. tents are all dictates of unerring wisdom, is as extravagant as to sup. pose that all it contains is founded in error. Like all other productions of unaided humanity, it is not free from mistakes and prejudices, to remind us that the writers were fallible men, and that unqualified admiration must be reserved for the works of divine inspiration, which we ought to study, the better to adore and obey the all-perfect Author. But while I should be among the first to protest against any confusion of the Talmudic Rills with the ever-flowing Stream of Holy Writ, I do not hesitate to avow my doubts, whether there exists any uninspired work of equal antiquity, that contains more interesting, more various, and valuable information, than that of the still existing remains of the ancient Hebrew Sages. pp. 82—84

Mr. Coleridge, in his Friend, had made us acquainted with some curious and interesting specimens of these Hebrew apologues, which are by permission inserted in this collection. Aủ the rest have been drawn from the original sources, being

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selected from the writings of Hebrews who flourished in the first five centuries after the destruction of Jerusalem. The following specimen is very striking and characteristic.

The Value of a Good Wife. • He that hath found a virtuous wife, hath a greater treasure than

costly pearls. • Such a treasure had the celebrated teacher Rabbi Meir found. He sat dạring the whole of one Sabbath day in the public school, and instructed the people. During his absence from his house his two sons, both of them of uncommon beauty and enlightened in the law, died. His wife bore them to her bed-chamber, laid them upon the marriage-bed, and spread a white covering over their bodies. Towards evening Rabbi Meir came home. “ Where are my beloved sons,” he asked, “ that I may give them my blessing?” They are gone to the school,” was the answer. “I repeatedly looked round the school,” he replied, “and I did not see them there.” She reached him a goblet; he praised the Lord at the going out of the Sabbath, drank, and again asked, “Where are my sons, that they may drink of the cup of blessing ?” “ They will not be far off," she said, and placed food before him, that he might eat. He was in a gladsome and genial mood, and when he had said grace after the meal, she thus addressed him :" Rabbi, with thy permission I would fain propose to thee one question." • Ask it, then, my love!” he replied. *. A few days ago, a person entrusted some jewels to my custody, and now he demands them again : should I give them back again ?" “ This is a question,” said Rabbi Meir, “which my wife should not have thought it necessary to ask. What! wouldest thou hesitate or be reluctant to restore to every one his own?” “No," she replied, “ but yet I thought it best not to restore them without acquainting

1 thee therewith.” She then led him to their chamber, and, stepping to the bed, took the white covering from their bodies. sons! my sons !” thus loudly lamented the father : “ My sons! the light of mine eyes, and the light of my understanding; I was your father, but ye were my teachers in the Law !" The mother turned away, and wept bitterly. At length she took her husband by the hand, and said, “ Rabbi, didst thou not teach me that we must not be reluctant to restore that which was entrusted to our keeping ? See, the Lord gave, the Lord has taken away, and blessed be the Dame of the Lord !" « Blessed be the name of the Lord !” echoed Rabbi Meir, “ and blessed be his name for thy sake too! for well is it written, He that has found a virtuous woman has a greater trea. sure than costly pearls. She openeth her mouth with wisdom, and on her tongue is the instruction of kindness." "). The next is equally good.

The Lord helpeth Man and Beast. During his march to conquer the world, Alexander, the Macedo. nian, came to a people in Africa who dwelt in a remote and secluded corner in peaceful huts, and knew neither war nor conqueror. They

Ah, my

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pp. 5–7.


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