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Population.— The number of the colonists a few months since was a little rising of 2,800; and although the manner in which this number is distributed among the different settlements is not accurately known, it probably does not vary materially from the following, viz. Monrovia 1000 ; Caldwell 600 ; Millsburg 400; New Georgia 400 ; Stockton 200 ; Finley 200.
Commerce. The colonists are actively engaged in trade, disposing of goods supplied by this country and England, for dye woods, ivory, hides, gold, palm oil, and rice, which they purchase by barter from the natives. The net profits on the two articles of wood and ivory, passing through the hands of the settlers, from January 1st, 1826, to June 15, 1826, was $30,786. In 1829 the exports of African products amounted to $60,000. In 1831, forty-six vessels, twenty-one of which were American, visited the colony in the course of the year, and the amount of exports was $88,911.
During the year 1832 commerce greatly advanced, and new avenues for communication and trade were opened with the interior. Caravans from a considerable distance visited the colony, and the people of the Dey country agreed to permit traders to pass without delay or molestation through their territories to the colonial settlements. They had been in the habit of obstructing the trade, by compelling the remote natives to employ them as their commercial agents, and thus monopolizing the productions of the country, and raising their price in the market. By a treaty with the Dey chiefs, the whole channel of trade with the remote tribes is now left clear, which must increase greatly both its measure and value. During the year, ending the first of May, 1832, fifty-nine vessels had visited the port of Monrovia, of which thirty-two were American, twenty-five English, and two French. The exports during the same period, (consisting chiefly of camwood, ivory, palm oil, tortoise shell, and gold,) amounted to $125,549 16 ; of imports, to $80,000—and the merchandize and produce on hand on the first of January, 1832, to $47,400. The colony is becoming known to tribes far distant from the coast, and Mandingo traders and others have visited it from the borders of Foota Jallo.
Education. The great interests of education have been earnestly considered by the board and the colonial agent. There are six day schools, for children, and one evening school for adults, comprising altogether two hundred and twenty-six pupils. The two female schools (one at Monrovia and the other at Caldwell,) are attended by ninety-nine girls, and the salaries of their respectable and well-qualified teachers are defrayed by a society of benevolent ladies in Philadephia. Inadequacy of funds alone has prevented the establishment of schools among the recaptured Africans, who are importunate for means of education ; but the board in their last report state that this deficiency has been supplied by the charity of the ladies just mentioned, and that under their patronage, a teacher for the recaptured Africans, of competent ability and excellent character, has sailed for Liberia.
Many of these people can now read, and a Sunday school (of which there are several in the colony) has been established among them ; some of their own number acting as teachers. Some regulations have been adopted, which it is thought will render the colonial revenue sufficient for the support of a general system of common school education.
A foundation for a high, school or seminary to prepare youth pot only to become able teachers of the most useful branches of know ledge, but to fulfil successfully their duties as public officers or minigters of religion, has been laid by a munificent donation of $2,000 from Henry Shelden, Esq., of New-York, and of four hundred dollars from another distinguished friend of the Society, to be invested as a permanent fund for the support of such an institution, and it is hoped that one may soon be established on a broad and lasting foundation, To this object the managers invite contributions, and express their anxious desire that the fund set apart for it may be sufficiently increased to secure the permanent prosperity of the seminary.
Moral state of the colony. --Open immoralities are rare ; the Sabbath is strictly observed, and public worship attended by nearly the whole community with regularity and decorum. Three churches were erected during the year 1832 ; one at Monrovia, and two others in the villages of the recaptured Africans. The state of these recaptured Africans is most interesting. They manifest an earnest desire for knowledge, and especially for religious knowledge. Some of them have already professed Christianity, and they are represented to be, as a people, contented, and independent, and rapidly improving in intelligence and respectability.
Various pamphlets and tracts lately introduced in regard to temperance, have wrought a striking change in the minds of the colonists, and many seem disposed to abandon entirely the use of ardent spirits. The colonial agent has given it as his opinion, that this article is . extremely pernicious in the African climate; and will discourage by all the means in his power, the consumption of it within the colony.'
CRITICAL EXAMINATION Of those texts in the New Testament rendered before,' • from,' and
since, the foundation of the world.'
For the Methodist Magazine and Quarterly Review. To come at a satisfactory answer as to the meaning of such passages, in the New Testament, where they evidently refer to the salvation of men, it may be necessary first to inquire whether they allude to the same period of time, either before or after this material world was actually created.
1. That they do refer to one and the same period of time is evident from the similarity in the language; in each passage the mind is carried back to THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD; and though in one place it is said before, and in others from, and since the foundation of the world, there can be no dispute but that they refer to one and the same time.
2. This will appear still more evident if we consider that in all these passages reference is made to one and the same thing; that is, the salvation of men, through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of God.
3. The words before, from, and since, as they are used in the passages referred to above, do not militate against this supposition. This, however, will appear, perhaps, more fully in the sequel. We
may now inquire whether these texts of Scripture do refer to a definable period in the duration of time, and if so, to what period they do refer, and what was the design of Jesus Christ and the sacred writers in the use of such language.
1. These texts do refer to a definite period in the duration of time. Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the king domn prepared for you from the foundation of the world; Matt. xxv, 34. In this text we are told what was done; a kingdom was prepared, made ready, and the text declares when it was done ; it was done at the very time when the world was first created. And again, According as he hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world; Eph. i, 14. Here also the apostle tells us what God has done, He has purposed, according to the good pleasure of his will, to give Jesus Christ a sacrifice for the sins of the world ; this God did before, as long ago as the world was founded. This is that purpose of wbich the same apostle speaks in Heb. vi, 17, where he calls it God's immutable counsel, and declares that God confirmed it by an oath, that we might have strong consolation who embrace the Savior, so long before promised for the salvation of the world. There was a time, then, when this purpose was first formed, because if it never was formed, it does not and never did exist. But it may be objected to the above, that the purpose or counsel of God, mentioned in Eph. i, 4, never was formed, but exists without beginning. To this I answer, 1. If this purpose to give Jesus Christ for the salvation of the world, never had a beginning, it does not exist now, as any one must see ; for nothing exists now which never had a beginning, but the infinite God. It is true, this purpose is called eternal, that is, immutable—is never to be changed or altered for another. But, secondly, the passages of Scripture now under consideration declare expressly that there was a time when this purpose was formed, a time when God's promise was made; and it is every where referred to the foundation of the world. Now to say that a thing actually without any beginning took place at such or such a time, before, from, or SINCE the foundation of the world, is to use language directly calculated to lead the mind astray from the real fact in the case.
• It is the object of all language,' says Professor TITTMANN, ' not only to excite the same thought in the mind of others, but also so to excite the same thought, that it may be conceived, and, as it were, felt in the same manner. But when we read of something kept secret from the foundation of the world—of blood shed from the foundation of the world—of works finished from the foundation of the world of sufferings since the foundation of the world—of a call to salvation, according to a purpose formed before the foundation of the world and of the Lam) slain from the foundation of the world—when we read such language, does it excite in the mind an idea of something which, in fact, really never had any beginning? Is such language calculated to excite such a thought ? Nay, is it not rather directly calculated to give us an idea of something directly the reverse, of something which had a beginning?
It does therefore appear most evident that the above text refers to a definite, definable period in the duration of time, or eternity if you please, when the purpose of God was formed to give his Son for the salvation of the world.
We next inquire, To what particular period of time do these texts refer? And to this question one of three answers must be given. They either refer, first, to a time before God created the heavens and the earth ; or, secondly, to the very time when the heavens and the earth were created; or, thirdly, to a time subsequent to the creation. To say they refer to time before the creation is to contradict the very first fact declared in the Bible. This says, • IN THE BEGINNING God created the heavens and the earth, Gen. i, 1; And thou, Lord, IN THE BEGINNING hast laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of thine hands, Heb. i, 10. And so throughout the whole Bible there is an unbroken silence as it respects any thing which the Deity ever did, before the time referred to in these texts, concerning the world of mankind. We read of His possessing wisdom from everlasting, but not a word of any purpose or work of God, in relation to a world of sinners, is there declared to be from everlasting; and we read, also, of the glory which Christ had with the Father before the world wasm before the world was, not merely before, nor from, nor since the foundation of the world, as in the text above quoted.
And for the very same reasons, assigned above, these passages cannot refer to the six days when God was actually engaged in the works of creation; they must therefore refer to a time subsequent to the creation, so that it is said, in most of the texts under notice, from that time, since that time, from or since, that is, very soon after the creation of the world.
Let us now examine the meaning in which the words before, * from,' and since,' are used in many places, and especially in the above passages of Scripture. It is well known to those who are conversant with the language in which the New Testament was written, that every preposition in Greek has but one radical, proper meaning, which has generally been taken from sensible objects, and from this meaning all
their secondary applications may be either immediately or circuitously traced. Hence the word mpo, rendered before, refers either to place or time; and in ten or eleven out of about forty instances where it occurs in the New Testament, it refers to place, and not to time at all, and has the meaning of at, in the view, or in the presence of a person or thing. So it is used in the following passages :—Matt. xi, 10, apo mpoGWTOU 50', before thy face; Acts v, 23, mpo sov Jupwv, before the doors; Acts xii, 14, IIetpov TPO TOU Tulwvos, Peter stood before the gate; Acts xiv, 13, IIpo ans Tonews, here our version has unto the gods; Jam. v, 9, xgions TSO TWV JugWD EGTnxev, the judge standeth before, or is at the door; and see also Mark i, 2; Luke i, 76; vii, 27; ix, 52; Acts xii, 6; and Rev. iii, 9.
Hence the text in Εph. 1, 4, καθως εξελεξασο ημας εν αυτω προ καταβοans xoolou, that is, according as God hath called us to a state of saldation, agreeably to that promise which He made of a Savior as long ago as this world was first created, at or about the time the foundations of the world were first laid. This promise was made as soon as man
sinned, and at the time when God said, THE SEED OF THE WOMAN SUALL BRUISE THE SERPENT'S HEAD, as we read, Gen. iii, 15.
Again, 1 Pet. i, 19, 20 : Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things—but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot; who verily was foreordained for this purpose, apo xataßoans xoouov, at or about the very time the world was created. That this is the meaning of the above text is most conclusively evident from other passages which speak of the same thing. So in Rev. xiii, 8, Christ is called the Lamb slain, not apo, before, but arO, FROM the foundation of the world. That is, the design of God to give Christ as a sacrifice for sin may be traced back to the very time when sin was first committed, even to the foundation of the world. Ato, from, like apo, before, is applied both to time and place; but, unlike the latter, it always implies a separation, either in time, place, or some other way. Hence aveonato tou udatos, he went up from the water; opuato aro Zapdewv, he marched from Sardis; amo domov, away from affection, hatred; ato spilns wpas, from the third hour. And thus of God's decree to give Christ for the salvation of men; it is from the foundation of the world, and may be traced back to the time when He first finished the works of creation. But in Heb. ix, 26, this same word is rendered since,-For then must he oft have suffered since the foundation of the world, since the time God promised, Gen. iii, 15, that Christ should suffer, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God.
But to the above, possibly, the reader may object, from the sense which he puts upon Titus i, 2, In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world begun, and the like texts. However, this objection is obviated at once when we know that the word in this text rendered world is not xoduos, as in the text I have examined, but χρονών,
times or ages ; and so it is rendered in Col. i, 26, and thus it might be rendered in each of the following texts :- Luke i, 70 ; 1 Cor. ii, 7. See Matt. ïi, 7; Mark ii, 9; Luke i, 57; John v, 6; Acts i, 6 ; 1 Thess. v, 1. Hence, says Dr. Macknight, who was a Calvinist, the true literal meaning of #po Xpovwv awwwwv, is, before the secular times, referring us to the Jewish jubilees, by which times were computed among the Hebrews.
We may now, it is believed, easily perceive the design of the sacred writers in the use of the language we have been considering. The Jews were ever ready to cavil at the plan of salvation through Jesus Christ. See Eph. i, 9; iii, 11; Acts xi, 2–18; Rom. ix, 19–33, and xvi, 25. They objected, especially, to the salvation of the Gentiles, as, being from the beginning excluded from the covenant and design of God, they could not be saved. And against this objection some of the most cogent reasonings in the epistles of the New Testament are directed, and nearly the whole of the Epistles to the Romans and the Ephesians. But the apostle goes on to show, which he does most forcibly, that the death of Jesus Christ, Acts ii, 22, 23, the calling and salvation of the Gentiles, Rom. viii, 29 ; Eph. i, 4, are no fortuitous events in the economy of God, Gen. jii, 15 ; xxii, 16, 17; Heb. vi, 16, 17; but were designed and planned, by the infinite Being, from the foundation of the world.
La Roy SUNDERLAND.