Page images


Mr. Wolff has ceased to have any connection with the London Society for promoting Christianity amongst the Jews, and set out from Malta, where he has left his wife (Lady Georgiana) and his child, trusting to such casual resources as shall be raised up for him. He has kind and powerful protectors in Malta, and has experienced similar support as far as his journey has hitherto extended. Several gentlemen, who frequently receive communications from him, have offered to submit his correspondence to us; and we shall from time to time, as it arrives--which, however, is very uncertain-lay portions of it before our readers.

Many expressions will be found in this correspondence which we should not ourselves have made use of; but, since they are very characteristic of the simplicity of the writer, we shall feel it scarcely right to alter them. His opinions of men are stated plainly, and in homely phrase, but without a particle of unkindness or asperity of feeling, whatever there may appear in word, towards them.

Mr. Wolff's first destination is the countries which lie between Constantinople and the north of China, comprising the whole of Central Asia. There is a strong impression on the minds of some persons, and apparently on that of Mr. Wolff also, that a large body of Jews is contained in that part of the world, as in a prison-house. Of the correctness of this impression, however, we ourselves entertain considerable doubts. The Russian Government is in the constant habit of sending embassies into Bokhara, Khorassan, Sarmacund, Circassia, Turkistan, Bulcharia, and Mongolia, and every ten years into China itself, where it supports a college, in Pekin, accounts of which have been printed at Petersburgh, and translations of them at Paris. From all those which we have examined it appears that not above five thousand Jews have been met with in any one of the above-named countries. The honest computation of the number of Jews in Europe is three millions, and it is very doubtful whether the nation, in its most prosperous times, ever greatly exceeded that number.

Mr. Wolff subsequently proposes to proceed to the Cape of Good Hope; thence, through the heart of Africa, to Timbuctoo; and thence, by Algiers, to Malta. This gigantic project is scarcely within the compass of the life of one man, even supposing that he should not fall a victim to murderers or disease; but we mention the outline of his project here, however unlikely it is that it should be realized, in order that expressions relating to it in his correspondence may be better understood.





THERE is but one God, and He alone unchangeable; the

Source, the Fulness, and the Stability of every thing that hath a being. He the negation of change, and its contrast : every thing else, in its own nature the assertion of change, the negation only by a stability not its owna stability derived from the alone unchangeable ONE, the Triune Jehovah whom we adore.“ I Am that I am,” is the Name of our God (Exod. iii, 14); “ I am the Lord, I change not,” his Nature (Mal. iii. 6).

" When the Lord shall build up Zion he shall appear in his glory....and the people which shall be created shall praise the Lord....shall declare the name of the Lord in Zion, and his praise in Jerusalem....saying, O my God, thy years are throughout all generations : of old thou hast laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of thy hands: they shall perish, but thou shalt endure; yea, all of them shall wax old like a garment; and as a vesture shalt thou change them, and they shall be changed; but thou art the same, and thy years shall have no end” (Ps. cii. 16, 18, 24, 27). “Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? There is no searching of his understanding. He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall; but they that wait on the Lord shall renew (change) their strength: they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint(Isa. xl. 28-31).

The doctrine which these and innumerable other such texts inculcate, is the necessity of abiding in union with God, for stability, for very existence. We point to this as the end of all prophecy, preaching, and practice. And we now call upon our

, VOL. IV.-NO. 11,


2 I

[ocr errors]

readers to contemplate the progressive development of this great truth, How every change in the creature, being departure from union with the unchangeable God, became of necessity creature-misery, which nothing but Creator-mercy could arrest; and to trace on, by the guidance of God's prophetic word, the future development of his grace and mercy in the sons of God (who take their true place as creatures, acknowledging that they receive every thing from their God and Father), to their supreme and endless joy. And to advert, on the other hand, to the direful reverse, which we have not nerve enough to contemplate sternly, or draw out fully, though it is as certainly revealed in God's holy word-the direful reverse in those who, having refused to take their place as creatures under the Creator, shall feel the inconceivable misery of extremest contrast, in every pulse of their existence, with that God whom they hate, but in whom they, even they, live and move and have their being. And thus, in the consummation of bliss and the consummation of woe, God shall be all in all.

When God gave forth his word for the creation of man, saying, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness,” the terms of the fiat necessarily imply that man alone, of all created beings, represented God; and, consequently, that it is in those peculiarities of man which distinguish him from the rest of the visible creation that we are to seek for the image of God. We say visible creation, because this is implied in the terms “image and “likeness," and that we may exclude from our present inquiry the invisible world of angels and archangels and all the heavenly hosts, concerning whom we know so little, and keep to our own sphere of the visible world, concerning which we know so much. “ Secret things belong to the Lord our God; but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children.”

The distinction between man and the lower creation lies in the godlike endowments of reason and affection ;--reason, by which his scale of judgment is enlarged beyond his own limited observation, and he can regulate his conduct by reflecting on the past and the future in comparison with the present; affection, the counterpoise of selfishness, which emulates the generous, the disinterested love of God. The animal endowments, which man has in common with the lower creatures, are not properly a part of the image of God; but, as the body is the organ through which the endowments of reason and affection are communicated and expressed, it may in a certain sense, and with this limitation, form part of the image of God: but whatever in the animal frame centres in itself alone, ministering only to its own wants and necessities, is a dereliction of our high calling, if a short-coming-is no part of the image of God, if

[ocr errors]

” saith

[ocr errors]

unavoidable : and therefore the Apostle diligently exhorts us, “Whether ye eat or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.

The Architype and Pattern after whose likeness man was created, was the Son of God, “the brightness of the Father's glory, and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of his power.” But this does also include the likeness of the Father and of the Holy Ghost: for it is not only said, “ Let us make man,” but “in our image;" shewing that the Son doeth no work of himself, and glorifieth not himself alone; but that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit co-operate, and are seen together in the last and highest work of creation.

And not only in creation, but in redemption, are the three Persons of the Godhead manifested in co-operation; as well at the incarnation as at the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. The Son, “ when he cometh into the world, to the Father, “ A body hast thou prepared me” (Heb. x.5; Ps. xl. 6): and it was prepared by the Holy Ghost, according to the word of the angel to Mary ; " The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest (the Father) shall overshadow thee; therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God” (Luke i. 35). So also it was through the Eternal Spirit” that Christ“ offered himself without spot to God” (Heb. ix. 14); and by the Spirit he was quickened (1 Pet. iii. 18); and the God of peace brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep (Heb. xiii. 20). And between the risen Head, Christ on the Father's throne, and the members of his body the church, whether on earth or in the place of separate spirits, the Holy Spirit is the medium of communication ; He fulfilling the parting promise of Christ, “ Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.” “ But if the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by the Spirit that dwelleth in you." “ Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities...maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered:"" and he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints.” “It is Christ that died; yea, rather, that is risen again ; who is even at the right hand of God; who also maketh intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ ?....Neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. vii. 11, 26, 34, 38, 39).

In Christ“ dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily".

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

over the

(Col. ii. 9); “ For it pleased the Father that in him should all
fulness dwell” (i. 19). Man, therefore, the image of God, was
created to body forth the Godhead ; to represent visibly those
powers and affections by which He governs the universe, and in
the exercise of which his delegate, man, was set to govern the
world ; that, all the intelligent creation reading in man conti-
nually some attribute of God, and in the manifestation of bene-
ficence and love referred evermore by the man to that God
whose image he bare, every sentient being might be led, by the
visible display of goodness, to worship the invisible God, the
Source of being and of joy. To manifest a personal God, his
image stood in a person : to exhibit holiness, and similar per-
fections of God, Adam was created “very good:” to represent the
Ruler of the universe, man was vested with dominion
fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle,
and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creep-
eth upon the earth.” These parts of the character of the Infinite
God could be shewn perfectly, though lower in degree, by the finite
creature man, while he remained in obedience to God, and there-
fore in sinless innocence. But there are other parts of the character
of God, which can only be disclosed by contrast;-Omniscience,
contrasted with ignorance and error; Mercy, abounding over
transgression; Incorruption, rising out of corruption. Man's dis-
tinction from the Creator, man's responsibility, and man's ulti-
mate glory, required this, and from it redounds the greater glory
to God.

For God, being a Spirit, could only be made known by the spiritual part of man, his image ; expressing itself in the corporeal part. Man's person consists of body, soul, and spirit ; and the whole man is necessary to exhibit the image of God. Matter cannot represent God in his true character : it may lead us to infer a Creator of great power and wisdom, in adapting parts to parts in so wonderful a manner; but these teach us not the true character of God, and, while we limit our inquiries to natural theology alone, will even give a false character of him, as if the instability and corruption and death we observe in all around us were inherent-were defects chargeable on the Creator, and not on the fall of man. The Gospel alone teaches us to see these things aright; and shews us the unchangeable love of God, in still upholding and blessing his fallen creatures, and, from the depths of misery and corruption, and the very shadow of death, making life and incorruption and glory to arise, and in its very change to exhibit in the most striking manner the immutability of God.

Nor could man, if he had not fallen, have represented the whole character of God. Which we state, not as necessitating the Fall, but only as shewing the superabounding grace of God,

[ocr errors][ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »