PHIEHAS.BY THOMAS AROLD, D.D.umbers xxv. 12, 13.Behold, I give unto Phinehas my covenant of peace: and he shall haveit and hit seed after him, even the covenant of an everlasting priest-hood ; because he was zealous for his God, and made an atonementfor the children of Israel,Thebe was a time, not many ages ago, when this passage,and the act of Phinehas to which it refers, were read withdelight, and held up as models for imitation ; when to bezealous even to slaying was accomited one of the virtueswhich should mark a servant of the Lord. After thistemper had had its course, and had been displayed invarious acts of cruelty, and of treachery and cruelty com-bined, there came, as usual, a reaction. Men saw whatcrimes had been committed under the name of religious zeal,and from an abuse of the Old Testament ; and they beganto think religious zeal a very dangerous thing, and thestudy of the Old Testament was suffered to go into neglect ; — ^nothing was so much spoken of as the mildness, andforbearance, and tolerance of Christ's gospel. Then, aswas natural, devotion became less fervent, and godlyfear grew less. If men did not commit crimes from usingthe word of God amiss, so neither was there that growthin holiness which is the consequence of using it aright.Men felt that little had been forgiven them, and thereforethey loved little. Again, therefore, there has come theVOL. TI. E50 PHIEHAS.