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efficacious as when offered at the tomb of some saint or holy person: the number of such tombs was then multiplied; at all of them miracles, and prophecies, and prodigies, and visions, were exhibited or recorded; and the spirit of the gospel was forgotten in the practice of forbidden ceremonies and the belief of impious fables." (Waddington, "History of the Church," p. 115.) "An enormous train of different superstitions was gradually substituted in the place of true religion; frequent pilgrimages were undertaken to Palestine and to the tombs of the martyrs, as if there alone the sacred principles of virtue and the certain hope of salvation were to be acquired. Quantities of dust and earth, brought from Palestine and other places remarkable for their supposed sanctity, were handed about as the most powerful remedies against the violence of wicked spirits, and were sold and bought everywhere at enormous prices .... and the worship of the martyrs was modelled by degrees, according to the religious services that were paid to the gods before the coming of Christ." (Mosheim by Maclaine, vol. i. p. 365.) These authors here speak of a later period, that of Eusebius and Jerome; but long before, the same spirit was beginning to prevail, and under these circumstances a tomb might easily be raised to Peter one hundred years after hi3 death, without affording much evidence that he lived or died at Borne. By degrees, the narrative respecting Peter became more

circumstantial; the further authors wero removed from authentic sources of information, the more they seemed to know. "Thus we are told that St. Peter went to Bome chiefly to oppose Simon, the celebrated magician; that at their first interview, at which Nero was present, he flew up into the air in sight of the emperor and of the whole city; but that the devil, who had thus raised him, struck with terror at the name of Jesus, whom the apostle invoked, let him fall to the ground, by which fall he broke his legs. Should you question the truth of this tradition at Rome, they would show you the prints of St. Peter's knees in the stone on which he kneeled on that occasion, and another stone still dyed with the blood of the magician." (Bowyer, "History of the Popes," vol. i. p. 2.) Were these knee-prints and this magician's blood the "trophies" of which Cuius wrote?

Not one of these authors affords us any positive evidence on the subject, because, without any testimony from earlier witnesses, and without any argument to render their opinions probable, they merely adopted, without inquiry, a tradition, in a rude and ignorant age, of events supposed to happen from one hundred to two hundred years before they wrote.—From the Hon. and Rev. B. W. Noels first Letter to Dr. Ferant, Chaplain to the King of Sardinia, on the Claims of the Church of Rome, pp. 123—30.

BRIEF THOUGHTS ON PROFITABLE SUBJECTS. (Continued from p. 708, Vol. xxix.)


At what price should we value humility! How should a virtue, born of the Saviour's humiliations, and conceived in his ignominies, be dear to

them who know its origin! What honour can be preferred to it, with the example of Chri6t before us, who pi'eferred it to his own glory? What other ambition can be permitted, except to

surpass our brethren in humility? But this virtue consists not in words, much less in an affected eagerness to abase ourselves before others. It is only before God th at we can truly abase ourselves, because there is no fear that, in the presence of his eternal light and purity, our words will be wanting in sincerity, or a secret hope creep in of being indemnified for our humble confessions by an answer which will raise our self-love.

20. The person you condemn to-day may hereafter be much raised above you in heaven.

21. An excellent method of rectifying our judgments, would be always to put ourselves in the place of our neighbour, and our neighbour in our own. Have you received, an injury? Imagine that it is you who have done it. How will you abate your complaints! Have you grieved your brother? Enter into his feelings whom you have offended, and you will understand what reparation is due to him.

22. It is not in this world that believers have their consolation. Here they are living stones, destined to build the Heavenly Jerusalem; the mallet of tribulation must form them on the model of the corner-stone, which is Jesus Christ.

2.3. Shall we not be able to bear our sufferings patiently, when we consider from whence they come, and whither they are conducting us? They come from God. "What can come from our Father in heaven which may not be advantageous? Their design is to conduct us to heaven. Can we regard that as an evil which tends to obtain for us so great a good?

24. If we bear not our trials with patience, they will be the more heavy; instead of being salutary, as they ought to be, they will become fatal to us; they

will render us at once wretched and criminal. To suffer in spite of one's self, is to suffer as the damned; it is to begin our hell in this life; it is to follow the lot of the impenitent thief, who fell from the cross into the depth of perdition, while the penitent thief rose by the cross to heaven. 25.

In what manner did the first disciples of Jesus endure the cruel pains inflicted upon them? How did they receive martyrdom? Did anything escape from them, in the midst of their torments, that was unbecoming their faith? Ought we to manifest less constancy because we have less to suffer? 20.

It is permitted us, in our afflictions, to seek some relief and consolation from men; but woe to us if we make this our chief resource! Besides that this would be to seek rest in creatures in the contempt of the Creator, wo should there find only deceitful consolations, which, far from rendering our suffering soul more firm, would weaken it, and would serve to open our wounds afresh instead of closing them; whereas, by placing our confidence in God, if he does not judge it proper to deliver us from our afflictions, lie will not fail to augment the strength needful for us to sustain them.


Think not that the sacrifice of Isaac has been demanded but once; it may with truth be said to bo required every day of each ono of us. If you are at a loss to know what this Isaac is which you ought to immolate, ask your heart what it is that you dare to love more than God, and that causes you most frequently to depart from his holy will; is it the carnal pleasure which voluptuousness promises you, or the cruel satisfaction which revenge gives, or the malignant joy which slander awakens in your soul, or the stunning insensibility which worldly dissipations produce, or the secret complacency by which prido is nourished? Behold, behold tho child of your corruption which you ought to sacrifice to the Lord!

28. Whence comes it that real conversion is so rare? It is that we would obtain it without its costing us anything. We wish to bo gently led, and are really afraid to advance in tho ways of God, because we are not disengaged from a crowd of attachments which we know to be opposed to the Divine will con cerning us. How can we turn to God, since we are unwilling to renounce anything, pass a soft languishing life, and are ready to die of the fear of becoming an object of observation or ridicule? These fatal hesitations of a worldly spirit estrange from us the grace of God, which demands a heart that opens to it without reserve, in order to obtain the inestimable blessing of a new creation.

29. How many persons are there, even amongst those who believe that they belong to Christ, who confine both their piety, and also the exercises which serve to nourish it, within the narrowest limits! They feel relieved onjlaying them aside, and find themselves at liberty by adopting this species of truce. Their heart reverts to its natural state when left to itself and to its own desires, and Jesus no longer holds it under a restraint which pains them. Is this, then, all that we owe to a God who for our sakes became man? who has intimately and essentially connected our interests with all that he has done, said, thought, suffered during his whole life? who burned with impatience to plunge himself into a baptism of blood for us? and who, as the only return for his love demands ours, but a love habitual and without reservo?


The love of God for us, infinite love which no human language can express; behold the sole cause of our conversion. A love for God, superior to every other

affection, behold its effect. For the soul being alienated from God by loving something more than him, it only truly returns to him, which is what we mean by conversion, by now loving him more than any created object. To ask if we can be converted without thus loving God, is to ask if wecan recover the life of the soul and yet remain in a state of spiritual death.


He who changes the object of his love, necessarily changes his conduct also. This makes their delusion manifest who pretend to be converted to God, while there is no visible change in them. They love themselves as passion; ately, and seek the things of this world with the same ardour as before, nor are they less resentful of injuries. What evidences can such persons have of belonging to Christ, since their own will is not less active in them, although it may bo under different forms? They may abstain, it is true, from certain criminal acts, but that does not hinder them from always doing diligently and joyfully whatever is conformable to their own inclinations, and, with negligence and languor, whatever pertains to God. No: so long as our carnal lusts are not conquered, we have no part in that spiritual regeneration which grace effects in us only on the ruin of the old man and of our corrupt nature.


What mean those strong figures which the Lord employs, to give us a just idea of the earnestness we should bring to the great work of our salvation? Sometimes it is a feast to which the whole world is invited; but we must be willing to leave all in order to partake of it. Is it a pearl of great price? We must be willing to sell all to procure it Is it an inheritance reserved for the elect? We can only enter it by the cross. Is it represented by virgins oxpecting the bridegroom? What watchfulness is necessary that we may not bo rejected! Behold the law. Behold the only way that leads to heaven. Is it the way we are pursuing, or at least that which by the grace of God we are determined to pursue?

33. The thoughts which spontaneously arise in us, show what those things are to which our feelings are most alive; for the mind eagerly occupies itself with that which the heart loves: this is an acknowledged principle. Well, let us judge ourselves by this principle. Amidst the affairs of this life, does the thought of God frequently arise in our soul? Or, in the exercise of the most holy duties of religion, do worldly thoughts come in crowds to assail us?

34. We are all advancing towards eternity; but there is one of happiness and of ravishing joys; the other of torment and despair; to which of these are we going? I do not inquire to which we desire to go; but to which are we in reality tending? Let us consider the way that we take, and judge of the end to which it will lead. If Divine grace inspires us with solemn reflections on this subject, can we dare to stifle them? What ruinous regret on this account shall we one day feol!


That the death of the Son of Qod was necessary to expiate sin, what justice 1 That this death cleanses us from all our defilements, what mercy! That hearts are found which this justice does not alarm, which such mercy does not touch, which neglects such a salvation, what ingratitude! and what excess of blindness! 86.

All piety which is not founded on Jesus Christ, which has not Christ for its objeot, its rule and model, is false and deceitful. Let no one pretend to approach the throne of God but by him, as forming part of his mystical body, as clothed with his righteousness. Let his name be in our mouth, thoughts of him occupy our mind, and his love reign in our heart. Let him be the milk of the weak, the solid food of the strong, and the nourishment of all. Let all live in dependence on him, and for him, as all live by him. Let there be no division in this body; and, being united to the Head, let us not be alienated from any one of his members. Behold how wo can belong to Christ, and how we may assuredly hope to have a place in that holy city of which he is the chief, and which shall eternally endure.


Mr Deab 8m,—If the following remarks be thought worthy of notice, I shall feel obliged by their insertion in next month's Evanoelical Magazine. They refer to an article in a recent number of the Magazine, on Eli and his Sons. It struck me, on reading that article, that the writer had either mistaken, or overlooked, the character of Eli's crime. Your correspondent dwells much upon Eli's neglect in the exercise of due parental authority; and the practical lessons, deduced from the piece of

scriptural history, have respect also to parental obligation, and the exercise of parental authority; as if Eli's sin was principally parental.

But my impression, however, is that the neglect was not so much parental as magisterial and official. We are not sure that he did come far short in the government of his household, simply as a father; for he reproved his wicked sons for their wickedness; he reasoned with them on the impropriety of their conduct, and warned them of their danger. See 1 Sam. ii.28—25. Now what (simply us a father) could he do more? What father would feel himself justified in the exercise of discipline more rigid and strict, when his sons were grown up to manhood, as was the case with the sons of Eli?

But view Eli in his official capacity, and then you perceive the nature of his sin, and the criminality of his lenity. Eli was the supreme magistrate, under God, over the tribes of Israel. He was also the high priest, chosen and appointed by God. Now it was his duty, as the magistrate and the high priest, to put the laws of God in force, both in civil and ecclesiastical matters. He was bound to punish the disobedient, not in his parental, but in his official capacity. As the chief minister of God, and ruler or judge under him, it was his duty to inflict the very punishment which God had commanded to be inflicted upon the transgressor, and to do this without any respect of persons. But Eli neglected to exercise that authority which belonged to his office, and which he was bound to exercise, as the minister of God and judge under him. Justice required that ho should punish the guilty, whoever they might be. As his own sons were the criminals, justice required that he, in his official capacity, should have stretched out the arm of the law against them. But he allowed

his feelings and tenderness, as a father, to overcome all sense of justice. Justice, indeed, was laid prostrate or set aside. These vile sons of his were allowed to corrupt society, to profane the worship of God, and to set aside all law and authority; while he, through an unlawful and excessive tenderness, neglected to inflict those penalties upon them which became him as judge and high priest. Thus justice was frustrated, the law of God was dishonoured, and the majesty of the Jehovah was trifled with, and all this for the sake of sparing those vilo sons who were bringing, by their sins, the whole country to ruin.

Thus Eli proved himself unfit for the discharge of those important duties which devolved upon him, as the civil and ecclesiastical ruler of God's own people. He honoured his sons more thau he honoured God. It was, therefore, principally as the civil and ecclesiastical officer that he failed in the discharge of duty, and not so much as a parent. And bis punishment corresponded with his crime. This was not that he should be childless, but that bis posterity should be excluded from the priesthood, and from all posts of honour and authority. The sin consisted in a dereliction of official duty, and the punishment had respect also to official exclusion. See 1 Sam. ii. 3G.

Dec. 0, 1851. M. S.


{Concludedfrom page 22.)

We must notice another strange argument employed by the learned author In support of his negative proposition. After affirming, that "the times are rather adjuncts of symbolical prophecies than essential parts of them," "appendages more than necessary features," "serving for explanation of the symbols, rather than for filling out the picture;" and that " they might have been absent without detriment to the congruity or completeness of the predictions;" (a somewhat bold remark in application to an inspired book), Dr. Davidson refers for confirmation of this

"truth" to the circumstance, " that designations of time are variously expressed, even when denoting the same period. Thus, we find 1260 days; a time, times and half; a time, times, and the dividing of a time; all embracing the same space. Had chronological periods formed an essential element in the symbolical predictions," he proceeds to say, "wo should have expected them to be always designated in the same manner; but the variety of forms they assume is an indication that they do not constitute a necessarv characteristic of the hieroglyphio represent.-!

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