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midst of the sea, or upon the top of a mast. As long as the nominal church forebore to excommunicate and persecute those who were confessors of the truth, so long did God bear with it, for the sake of its faithful founders, and for the sake of the people of God imprisoned therein. But, now that it is risen as an enemy against God, he is risen as an enemy against it, and is calling upon all his people to flee from every form of Babylon ; saying, “Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues; for her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.”

To the nominal church, still in slavery, and to the people of God who are fleeing from thence, we would gladly say a few words of warning, but fear that they have forgotten the language of Zion by residence in Ashdod, Ammon, and Moab,and we cannot speak half in the speech of Ashdod. They have been taught to trust in forms, and creeds, and doctrines, without real conformity of mind and heart to God: to believe in the imputation of Christ's blood and righteousness for justification, but not for sanctification, or holiness of life: that he hath reconciled us by his death, and that this is all we need to know; not how he hath saved us by his life. To such we address a few lines from the pen of one who knows their speech, Dr. Chalmers,“ On the sure Warrant of a Believer's Hope," p. 116.

“There is something more than a shade of difference between being reconciled and being saved. Reconciliation is spoken of as an event that has already happened-salvation as an event that is to come. The one event may lead to the other; but there is a real distinction between them. It is true that the salvation instanced Romans v. 9, is salvation from wrath; but it is the wrath which is incurred by those who have sinned wilfully, after they had come to the knowledge of the truth, when there remaineth no more sacrifice for sin, but a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.' Jesus Christ will save us from this by saving us from sin. He who hath reconciled us by his death, will by his life accomplish for us this salvation. Reconciliation is not salvation : it is only the portal to it. Justification is not the end of Christ's coming : it is only the means to an ultimate attainment. By his death he pacified the Lawgiver: by his life he purifies the sinner. The one work is finished: the other is not so, but is only going on unto perfection. And this is the secret of the unwillingness. There is a willingness that God should lift off from their persons the hand of an avenger; but there is not a willingness that Christ should lay upon their persons the hand of a sanctifier. The motive for him to apprehend them is to make them holy: but they care not to apprehend

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that for which they are apprehended. They see not that the use of the new dispensation is for them to be restored to the image they have lost, and, for this purpose, to be purged of their old sins. This is the point on which they are in darkness,' and

. they love the darkness rather than the light, because their deeds are evil.' They are at all times willing for the reward without the service : but they are not willing for the reward and the service together. The willingness for the one they always have : but the willingness for both they never have. They have it not

. to-day; and it is not the operation of time that will put it in them to-morrow. Nor will disease put it in. Nor will age put it in. Nor will the tokens of death put it in. Nor will the near and terrific view of eternity put it in. It may call out into a livelier sensation than before, a willingness for the reward; but it will neither inspire a taste nor a willingness for the service. A distaste for God and godliness, as it was the reigning and paramount principle of his life, so may it be the reigning and paramount principle of his death-bed. As it envenomed every breath which he drew, so may it envenom the last : and the spirit going forth to the God who gave it, with all the enmity that it ever had, God will deal with it as an enemy.”

Deliverance of the people of God from a state thus powerfully set forth, is the great sign now apparent in the true church. God has poured out his Spirit upon his waiting children; has set them free from the doubts and fears and hindrances which the systems of man had woven round the church ; has taught them their liberty of access to Him through their merciful and faithful High Priest, to ask whatsoever they will, in full assurance of being heard ; knowing that they ask only such things as are according to the will of God in pleading for a fulfilment of his own promises, in coming boldly to the Throne of Grace and asking that Holy Spirit which he hath promised to bestow much more willingly than the father giveth bread to his children. Led by the Spirit of truth, they are from day to day advancing in the knowledge of all truth. By the presence of the Comforter they have eternal life, in the knowledge of the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom He hath sent. Their Father doth sanctify them through his truth, and they find his word to be indeed the truth (John xvii. 3, 17).

Nor will the true church shrink back from any of the trials and tribulations to which she is called ; knowing that Infinite

l Love hath appointed them all, as the way which Infinite Wisdom hath ordained to attain the end of our being,- to become the image of God, full of holiness and joy; the fulness of him that filleth all in all. God doth not willingly afflict the children of men; and could any other way have been devised, a less grievous way than the way of affliction would have been chosen

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by our heavenly Father. But God spared not his own Son: He laid upon him the full load of agony and sorrow, to procure pardon for us : and we, if we be true followers of Jesus, shall be men of sorrow and acquainted with grief; shall take up our cross daily; knowing that “ whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth :” nay, we shall even glory in tribulation, knowing that it worketh patience, and experience, and hope which maketh not ashamed. (Rom. v.)

Christ hath suffered, “ the Just for the unjust, to bring us unto God.” Let us fix this firmly in the mind first, that Christ's sufferings were not imaginary, but real; and then we may take the assurance of his many promises to be with his people in all their trials.

“We have nothing but the facts of Revelation to guide or to inform us; and yet from these we most assuredly gather, that the Saviour, in stepping down from the elevation of his past eternity, incurred a substantial degradation; that when he wrapped himself in the humanity of our nature, he put on the whole of its infirmities and its sorrows; that, for the joy which he renounced, he became acquainted with grief, and a grief too commensurate to the whole burden of our world's atonement; that the hidings of the Father's countenance were terrifying to his soul: and when the offended justice of the Godhead was laid upon his person, it required the whole strength of the Godhead to sustain it .... What mean the agonies of the garden? What mean the bitter cries and complainings of abandonment, upon the cross ? What meaneth the prayer that the cup might pass away from him, and the struggle of a lofty resolution with the agonies of a mighty and unknown distress, and the evident symptoms of a great and toilsome achievement, throughout the whole process of this undertaking: and angels looking down from their eminencies as on a field of contest, where a great Captain had to put forth the travailing of his strength, and to spoil principalities and powers, and to make a shew of them openly? Was there nothing in all this, do you think, but the mockery of an humiliation that was never felt--the mockery of a pain that was never suffered—the mockery of a battle that was never fought? No, my brethren, be assured that there was on that day a real vindication of God's insulted majesty. On that day there was the real tranference of an avenging Hand, from the heads of the guilty to the head of the Innocent. On that day one Man died for the people, and there was an actual laying on of the iniquities of us all. It was a war of strength and of suffering in the highest possible aggravation, because the war of elements which were infinite." Chalmers, p. 106.

Forasmuch, then, as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind”...." but the end of all things is at hand; be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.”

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REVIEWS AND MISCELLANIES.

OP THE CHINESE SEXAGENARY CYCLE AND ASTRONOMICAL

SYSTEM OF TIME, AND OF THE AUTHENTICITY OF THE EARLY HISTORY OF CHINA.

By Isaac CULLIMORE, Esq. No writer questions the authenticity of the history and chronology of the last nineteen Chinese dynasties, extending from the year B. C. 250 to the present time ; while learned men are divided in their opinions as to that of the three most ancient dynasties, reaching upwards to B. c. 2207 (140 years after the Deluge, according to the sacred Hebrew account of time), and of the preceding Patriarchial reigns, because Xi Hoamti, the second emperor of the fourth dynasty, who built the great Chinese Wall, caused the records of the three previous dynasties to be destroyed, that the æra of the empire might commence from his own time. This happened in the thirty-fourth year of his reign, and B. c. 214. These records were restored and republished seventy-eight years afterwards, in the fifth year of the reign of Vuti, the fifth emperor of the fifth dynasty, B. c. 136; and their history and chronology are authenticated by a number of recorded astronomical observations, several of which have been calculated and verified by the Jesuit missionaries. “And what

“ more can be required to verify an epocha?” says P. Gaubil: “nay, what have those done more who have examined the eclipses mentioned by Herodotus, Thucydides, Plutarch, Dion ? &c.” Others of the learned are of a different opinion, there being some uncertainty as to the beginning of the Chinese year in those early times, and consequently of the time of the year in which those recorded observations were made, which, by calculating from the present origin of the year in China, appear for the most part to be false, and the high antiquity of the Chinese empire thus devoid of astronomical support. All agree that its antiquity is great; and the epoch of its origin ages before the date of the destruction of the annals ; but, on the assumption that the present chronology of the first three dynasties is unsupported and extravagant, there are nearly as many opinions on their epochs as authors who have treated of the subject.

Some writers (as the compilers of the Universal History, and Arthur Bedford) bring down the time of Yao, who is said to have lived in the second generation before the first dynasty, and with whom the Chinese historians reckon their true history to commence, from the twenty-fourth century before the Christian æra,

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to the fifteenth, on the supposition that the relation of the sun not having set for ten days, during his reign, has reference to the miracle in the 41st year of the Exode; to effect which they are compelled to make the ancient dynasties contemporary, and not successive, contrary to their history. By the same arrangement they bring Fohi, the ninth generation before the first dynasty, to the time of Noah, supposing Fohi and that patriarch to be the same personage, although the history of Yao, above mentioned, is plainly that of the second parent of mankind. Sir W. Jones reduces the origin of the empire to the eighth century. (see Asiat. Research. vol. ii. on the Chinese); while others bring it as low as the fifth century before the Christian æra.

The learned Missionaries implicitly adhere to the chronology of the annals as they now stand, confirmed by an unbroken series of sexagenary cycles setting out from the year B. c. 2697, and continued without interruption to the present time; the year of the cycle in which every event mentioned in the history of China occurred, being noted, from its origin to its conclusion, a period of above 4000 years; on which Couplet remarks, "that the antiquity of the reckoning by the sexagenary cycle, at least from the generation of Yao to the present time, is no more to be questioned than the computation of the Greeks by the olympiads, to which such faith and authority is given.”

Duhalde destroys the series of sexagenary cycles by cutting off the first five, and reckoning the first cycle from the reign of Yao. The cycle of sixty years cannot,” says he,“ be used before the reign of Yao ; for although it was invented by the famous Hoamti (the sixth generation before Yao), the duration of these first reigns is very uncertain: on the contrary, from the Emperor Yao to Christ the chronology is perfectly well kept, and'the Chinese writers have very particularly distinguished the events of each year.....

This induced me to begin the cycle with the Emperor Yao.” By which arrangement ħe treats the sex

he agenary cycle entirely as a civil period, destroying every evidence to be derived from the cycle itself, the era of the first, which is the radix of the whole system, being altogether astronomical, as will appear.

Another learned man attempts to prove the use of the cycle of sixty years in the Chinese annals no older than the author of the Kangmu, or Great Annals, who died A. D. 1200, and who, he supposes, converted the cycle of 60 days into one of 60 years : while no less an authority than Professor Playfair has this remark respecting the Chinese observations and cycle : “No mention is made of any radix whence they computed. The cycle of sixty years was entirely civil, of the same nature with the Roman Indiction, and had no reference to the motions of the heavenly bodies."

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