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He then proceeds to shew, that the Jews very rarely calculated by weeks or sevens of days; that the word days is, in almost every case, expressed, not implied, when weeks are intended; and that the very word which we translate week in Daniel's prophecy, is used by the Misnic writers to signify the 'space between one sabbatical year and another.' Among other passages, he cites one, in which mention is made of a work
man of a week, of a month, of a year, of a seven.' And he concludes that a Jew, not prepossessed on the subject, would naturally have supposed the Prophet to speak, not of sevens of days, but of sevens of years. To the use which Mr. Maitland makes of these observations, we shall advert hereafter. Our present object is to point out the literal and explicit character of the prophecy, so far as regards the date given. Whatever obscurity or uncertainty may be supposed to attach to the sacred text,* there is nothing mystical in the terms of computation, in which respect it stands in direct contrast to the other predictions in this book, as they are usually interpreted.
Explicit, however, as this remarkable prophecy is with respect to the time of Messiah's appearance,-and equally explicit are some of the most obscure predictions as to another mark, his lineage,—the full meaning of the revelation was not understood, and we should say was not intended to be known, until the event predicted, the cutting off of Messiah, had furnished the interpretation. We may then safely conclude, that the whole testimony of Scripture does not contradict, as Mr. Irving affirms, the position we have endeavoured to establish; namely, that there are prophecies bearing internal evidence that they were not given to enable men to foreknow future things, but that, after they were fulfilled, they might be interpreted by the event.
The inquiry will naturally follow : Do the unfulfilled prophecies of Daniel and St. John appear to be of this description, or do they not? Do they bear any marks of having been given to the Church as explicit revelations of future events, or only as general intimations, the meaning of which the events should reveal ? But it may not be unprofitable to institute a preliminary inquiry, as to the specific object for which the prophetic revelation itself appears to have been vouchsafed.' The length to which this article has insensibly extended, compels us reluctantly to defer the consideration of these and some other points till our next Number.
• See Eclectic Review, Vol. xxvi. p. 246. Art. Stonard on the Seventy Weeks.
Art. II. Memoirs and Remains of Joseph Brown Jefferson, late
Student at Homerton College, and Minister at Attercliffe, near Sheffield. By John Whitridge. 12mo. pp. 274. Price 5s. Man
chester and London. 1826. THE *HE subject of the present publication was the fellow
student and bosom-friend of the Rev. Stephen Morell, of whom a Memoir was reviewed in our last volume. These two young ministers “ were lovely in their lives, and in their deaths they were not divided,” except by a small interval. Bound to each other by an ardour of piety and a purity of friendship of which this selfish world furnishes no redundancy of examples, they had cherished the wish to serve the best interests of mankind and the honour of their Blessed Redeemer, had it been his will, in some contiguous stations, where their studies and labours might have been reciprocally aided, where the frequent renewal of personal intercourse would have spread through the periods of absence a delightful excitement to literary pursuits and religious exercises, and where the usefulness of each would have been promoted by the varied talent of the other. Though congenial, they were not similar. While both of them were endowed with a remarkable singleness of heart and unity of aim in reference to the noblest of all objects, they possessed that diversity of mental character which was excellently suited to obviate dull resemblance, and to conduct to the same point by a beneficial difference of method. Both possessed simplicity, openness, and amiableness of temper, to a great degree; with that tenderness yet vigour of imagination which forms the music of mind. In readiness of invention, and in strong original powers of understanding, Morell stood distinguished; while the leading characteristics of Jefferson's mind were, susceptibility to the admiration of excellence, ardour of investigation, patience of studious labour, indefatigable diligence in amassing the materials of knowledge, and a happy faculty in disposing and applying those accumulations. In each, shone the best of all accomplishments, a conscientious devotedness of faculties, talents, and attainments, :o the greatest end of human existence. Elevated piety was the temperament of their souls, and it modelled their entire character,
• Fortunati ambo; ci quid mea carmina possunt,
Nulla dies unquam memori vos eximet ævo!' Joseph Brown Jefferson was the son of a dissenting minister at Basingstoke, distinguished for the worthiness of his charac
* Eclec. Rev. Vol. xxvi. (July 1826.) p. 56.
ter and the extent of his acquirements. This estimable man was a poet, an antiquary, an indefatigable labourer in all the fields of knowledge, a sound scholar, and a faithful Christian teacher. Many of his contributions appeared in the Classical Journal, the Evangelical Magazine, and other periodical works, besides several separate publications. It was to be expected that the son of such a father would be “ nourished up in the words of faith and sound doctrine,” and accurately trained in the elements of solid learning. The love of books, not a pedantic Bibliomania, but rational and practical, was indeed in him an hereditary passion; it marked his very infancy. Not only were his Latin and Greek studies well founded and conducted, but he was carried on, at a very early age, to a considerable familiarity with Hebrew, which, as the language of Revelation, was his father's favourite study. The Journals of his reading, found among his papers, actually begin before the completion of his tenth year; and it is delightful to observe that one of the first entries is a record of his commencing the methodical reading of the whole Bible. His religion was early formed and decided ; it was pure, humble, and practical ; and it was consistently maintained to the end of his life.
In January, 1821, he entered on studies preparatory to the Christian ministry, in the Dissenting College at Homerton. How conscientious and assiduous he was in the course of duty now before him, may be understood by the · Distribution of • Time' which his Biographer has copied from his papers. • I. Study; 104 hours. In my Study
•6į to 7* ........ 1 hour Ditto...do ...
94 to 10
do. In Lecture
9 to 94.
10 to 124
24 do. 104 In my Study
3 to 5...
2 do. Ditto....do..
.6 to 9
3 do. Ditto...do
10 to 11
6 to 61
7 to 81
81 to 9
do. Walk, &c.
12 to 2
14 do. Dinner
2 to 3
1 do. Tea
5 to 6
do. Vespers and Supper .........9 to 10........1 do. III. Sleep; 7 hours.'
In an academical course, the two methods of improvement which the French designate by the words upprendre and s'in
struire, are both called into action : the one passive, from the lectures of tutors and the prescribed exercises; the other active, and consisting in reading, extracting, analysing, condensing, original composition, and strenuous meditation. Without the latter, the former will be of little avail; its immediate benefit will be inconsiderable ; and, when the remiss student has entered upon the cares and toils of the pastoral office, either his mental poverty will be disgracefully thrown open, or he must supply his deficiencies by painful exertions, to the precluding of higher enjoyments. In both these lines of duty, Mr. I. was exemplary. The Biographer has described the numerous manuscripts which this indefatigable young man left behind him, and of which a large proportion were composed during his academical residence. Several volumes, however, are incautiously placed in the list, which ought not to have appeared there, as they are either transcripts of College Lectures or notes taken during the delivery.
While we are gratified by the ample proofs of this exemplary young man's diligence in study, fervour in spirit, devout singleness of aim, and freedom from the affectation which would exchange the natural hilarity of youth for the constrained assumption of an old man's gravity, we find one feature of his character which the Biographer draws con amore, and is evidently solicitous, we think unduly so, to set forth in a strong light. Our readers will learn with astonishment, that this was a semblunce of predilection for the Church of Rome! We call it a semblance; for, after a minute investigation to which we have been impelled by both feeling and duty, we are satisfied that it was nothing more. Mr. Jefferson had drunk in with his mother's milk the love of rational liberty and regard for the right of private judgement in religious things. Before he entered on his academical studies, his ready and eloquent pen was required by a body of Protestant Dissenters in Cumberland, where he at that time resided with a relative, to draw up a petition to Parliament in favour of equal liberty to all the subjects of the realm, Popish as well as Protestant. At the first step of his Theological Course, he was enjoined not to take the sentiments of any party from the mere shewing of their adversaries, but to consult their own most approved writers.
While the College Lectures in Polemical Divinity and Ecclesiastical History frequently urged the unscriptural and usurping character of the papal religion, they also contained earnest warnings against resorting to vulgar and ignorant abuse. In some of those Lectures, some Popish writers, especially the Jansenists, were occasionally cited in terms of high respect; in the same way, the ancient hymns and prayers of the Latin services, (from which flowed that chastised and ardent piety so eloquently panegyrized in Mr. Hall's celebrated encomium on the English Common Prayer Book,) had been introduced to the notice of our young friend, who found their holy breathings so congenial with the wants and feelings of his own heart, that he became deeply attached to them, and, there is reason to believe, made much use of them in his secret devotions. The result of these united causes, acting on the ingenuousness of an unfettered judgement and a tender heart, probably, led him to consider too exclusively the nucleus of evangelical truth held by the Roman Catholic Church, and to overlook somewhat too generously that horrid mass of abuses and perversions which has encrusted the primitive purity of doctrine and pious experience. Mr. Jefferson thought and spoke, as some might have said, too leniently on the subject of Dissent from the Church of England. In his Ordination-professions, he declared that there were reasons which compelled him to continue a Nonconformist, which positively prevented him from conforming, and which might have been of sufficient weight to require an actual secession, had he been originally a member of the Established Communion. (p. 76.) But on the same interesting occasion, he also said :
• My object in desiring to be a minister among Independent Dissenters is, not that I may make other men dissenters, nor that I may act as an enemy to the Ecclesiastical Establishments of my country ; but that I may be honoured to make men Christians.'
The reigning principle of his mind, of which these sentences were the utterance, he, at the same time, thus finely avowed :
• « So far as concerns the Christian people over whom it has pleased the Lord of the Church to give me an appointment, my great object will be to instruct them in all Divine Truth: that they may not be ignorant of any part of God's Revelation, nor attach to any one part an importance unduly above another ; but that the whole sum of Truth in its harmony and consistency may be known and acknowledged. The object of such knowledge will be the production of the fruits of faith, holiness in the sight of God, and charity towards men. To the latter, in the present state of religious communities, I shall feel it a duty unceasingly to address myself. The suppression of the discords and alienations which have long afflicted the Church, and the excitement of complete charity and brotherly love among Christians, I take to be both my great duty and my exceeding honour. And with humility, I would pledge myself thus publicly before this congregation and before God, to make my constant effort for the har. monizing of all Christian sects, and the promotion of union among all disciples of the one great Lord. Not by the vailing or compromising of conscientious principles in which we may differ; but by the promi