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1835, the Rev. Robert Stodhart, of London, published another edition, with very extensive preface, in which he not only finds great fault with Mr. Jones, but also most unceremoniously attacks believers' baptism. But the little book still deserves, and would well repay, a careful editing; and, as the old edition is very scarce, and neither Mr. Jones's nor Mr. Stodhart's edition is often met with, it is to be hoped that some gifted brother will soon let us have a much better edition of the book than has ever yet issued from the press. "Never was a publication of this kind," says Toplady, "more seasonable than at present."
A few extracts may be given to show the nature and importance of this little work; and, in giving these extracts, which, of course, must be very brief, I shall take the liberty of either giving translations of the Hebrew, Greek, or Latin quotations, or of omitting them altogether, as circumstances seem to require: "It hath ever been the lot of truth," commences our author, "to be crucified between right hand and left hand thieves. As moral virtue, so theological also, is found between two extremes-but truth is external, and will prevail." In reference to the extensiveness of the divine decrees, he says, chapter eighth, "There is a general decree that relates to all created beings, both animate and inanimate, celestial and terrestial; this, indeed, extends itself to every individual in the whole creation, for as it gave a being to all things, so it preserves them in that being while they continue in the world. But this special decree of predestination is not extensive (as the general is) to all individuals, but is discriminating and particular as before; and, yet though it be not extended ad singula generum, yet it is ad genera singulorum" [not to individual classes, yet to classes of individuals]; "though the exception lay not in the gospel (which is to be preached to every creature), but in the decrce; yet is the decree an extensive thing; " extending, as he argues, to "all sorts and ranks of men," to both sexes," to "all ages," to "all nations," and to "all generations; for, says he, "Predestinating love is like a river that runs underground, and breaks out into certain places above the earth; so fresh veins of election breaketh forth sometimes in one generation, and sometimes in another. It is not bound up as to time, neither before the law, nor under the law, nor after the law; but in every generation God hath his church visible on the earth, and the gates of hell cannot prevail against it. As God is no respecter of persons, so nor of places, nations, nor of generations; but hath his hidden one's to the world's end,"
Against this doctrine of predestination, he then advances the various objections of its opposers, to all of which he diligently and satisfactorily replies. The objections "however I live I shall be saved," and "let me do what I can I shall be damned," are especially attended to as of great importance to God's children. In the chapter on the Perseverance of the Saints," our author enquires, "What is it to fall totally and finally?" And he answers thus:"1. To fall totally is to have grace already dead in us, both in the act and in the habit; no life either in branches, bole, or root; no seed remaining in us, nor root of the matter. 2. Finally to fall is never to rise again, never to recover by repentance, but to die in sin unrepented of, unpardoned." But he adds, "The chosen of God cannot totally and finally fall away from grace," and that for many reasons, all of which are strongly urged and most convincingly argued under twelve separate heads. It is, however, objected that "Angels and Adam did fall from grace, therefore," etc.; but to this he replies, "That grace which was creation-love-was loseable: but that which flows from redemption-love is not so; neither Angels nor Adam were under the grace of the New Testament, nor were they righteous by faith in Christ, nor were they at all justified because they did not perform the condition required, that they might be justified before God." But then, " David and Peter fell totally and Solomon finally, and therefore," etc. To which objection Ness answers as follows:They all fell foully, yet none of them finally, because they all repented, and are called 'holy men of God' (2 Pet. i. 21), by the Holy Ghost; neither did
they fall totally, because that grace remained in them by which they repented ; thus where sin abounded grace did much more abound,"
We cannot, however, follow our author any further. His little work is divided into twelve chapters, in which are discussed the whole of the Five Points as held by Calvinists and opposed by Arminians. Ness is, however, a practical writer; and he does not spare words of exhortation or reproof whenever he thinks them necessary. One other extract shall close the present article. It is taken from one of Ness's earliest works, entitled, "The Christian's Walk and Work on Earth until he come to Heaven," 1677. He says, "Being agreed walk with God hand in hand, and heart in heart, which Enoch did, not only for an hour, day, week, month, year, but more than three hundred years. All the days of Enoch were three hundred and sixty-five years, and walked Enoch with God; and he was not, for God took him.' Walk before God,' as he said to Abraham, Walk before me, and be perfect;' solemnly set yourselves in the presence of God, having him always for your re-reward (Isa. lii. 12). Walk after God. Ye shall walk after the Lord your God, and fear him, and keephis commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him.' Keep your eye steadily fixed upon the Captain of your salvation, who is leading you forth to a complete victory, and an immortal crown of life, of righteousness and of glory. Let Christ be as the needle to the loadstone; Christ must be your all and in all. He must be within you, before you, and behind you also; that you may be as a ship under full sail, before a strong and favourable wind, fearing neither rocks nor sands in the river of the paradise of God."
What is Chalk?
BY W. R. SELWAY, ESQ., SCIENTIFIC LECTURER TO THE PASTORS' COLLEGE. VERY one knows what chalk is, from the urchin at school, whose attention is attracted to his lesson by the teacher's use of it on the black board, to the traveller who is prompted by business or pleasure to leave London, and is carried to his destination upon an iron road, frequently passing between banks more or less lofty of glittering whiteness; or to the sailor who sees the white cliffs recede from his gaze, as, after leaving the port of London, the good ship makes its way over the waters of the Channel. The appearance of chalk is indeed familiar to a very large proportion of the people of England, occupying as it does a most extensive section of the country. From Dorsetshire in the south-west it is found extending across Wiltshire, Berkshire, Oxford, Hertford, Cambridge, Suffolk, Norfolk, and Lincolnshire, also part of Yorkshire, to where Flamborough Head raises its bold front to the waves of the German Ocean; and on the south-east by two grand stretches, the one to Dover, the other terminating at Beachey Head, covering in its course no inconsiderable portions of the counties of Hampshire, Surrey, Sussex, and Kent. The area covered by chalk in England amounts in the aggregate to about 6,500 square miles, yet this is but a fraction of the crust of the globe covered with this rock.
What can be more delightfully exhilarating and bracing than a brisk walk over the vast downs which are so characteristic of the chalk country? Whether it be upon Salisbury-plain, where indeed there is no plain, but the most cheery and beautiful succession of rolling hills and gentle valleys; or on those rudely fortified hills, the "castles" of our early Saxon forefathers, in which they met, and no doubt repelled many an attack of the fierce blackbearded Dane; which form most interesting features in Dorsetshire, Wiltshire, and Berkshire. Upon the Downs are many a barrow, marking the resting-place of warriors who perished in defending their homes against the incursions of a still more barbaric foe; and it must not be forgotten that on these hills of
Berkshire, overlooking the beautiful and fertile valley through which the Great Western railroad now runs, was fought that great battle in which the young Alfred, whose name is still dear to every Englishman, so greatly distinguished himself, and in all probability to commemorate which event was cut that singularly interesting figure of the white horse which still forms so conspicuous an object on the slope of White Horse hill.
Some may prefer the quiet sylvan scenery of the bosky dell, where the fern clothes with its graceful fronds the margin of the gurgling brooklet, or the wooded upland of more favoured soil; but the chalk hills, with their huge, rounded, dome-like surfaces, impress the mind with a sense of space, of vastness, and of freedom not to be found elsewhere. They are clothed with a close, short mantle of grass which affords delightful herbage for sheep, and in early spring are often gay with the blossom of the Orchis; yet but few forest trees grow upon the chalk hills, nor are there any but the smallest bushes, and these at rare intervals. The pedestrian may fearlessly traverse these hills or plains, as no bog or watery waste will impede his steps. They are singularly dry even in the valleys, which, in some cases, wind for miles, receiving complicated branches all descending in a regular slope, yet are frequently left entirely dry and often indeed have no channel. The chalk is so absorbent that rain water falling upon it is speedily drank in, leaving the surface comparatively dry, while at the base of the hills the water may emerge in streams, or if not is retained beneath the masses of chalk in vast reservoirs which yield most abundant supplies when tapped by the deep sinking known as Artesian boring. To pursue our investigation into the nature of the masses composing these great hills, let us enter some open chalk pit or walk at the base of the grand cliff's of the south-eastern shore, and we shall find the whole to be made up of white masses of more or less coherent nature containing as we shall discover, by its effervescence on the application of a simple acid test, large quantities of lime. Let us, further, take a small lump of the material and gently crushing it in a cup of water proceed carefully to wash away the finer particles, when we shall have left a little mass of apparently granulated bodies which will not present any very definite figure to the eye unless we are enabled to place a portion of it on the stage of a microscope, when it will be discovered to be composed of various singular but elegantly-shaped bodies, each having an individuality of its own, and each being worthy of close and minute inspection, so beautiful are they. It is impossible without pictorial representation to convey an adequate idea of the many curious forms thus to be discovered, being unlike anything with which we are familiar. We, however, cannot well err in arriving at the conclusion that they are the skeletons, or shells, or in some form the residences, defences, or appendages, of creatures long since passed away. Intermingled with this finer and hardened mud we shall frequently find at very various depths in the pit or cliff much larger bodies, unmistakably shells of softbodied animals, or their outer skeletons, as in the case of the "sea urchins" or sea eggs," so common in the cliffs of Kent and Sussex. These discoveries will help us somewhat in our enquiry; as we are fain at once to admit that the relics of these latter creatures indicate that they were denizens of water, and that their home must have been in the deep sea, as it is there only that similar animals are now found to flourish. It is not reasonable to suppose that such shells could have been removed from their usual dwelling, and by any conceivable mode placed in such considerable numbers as we find them in the chalk pits or cliffs, and we are driven, therefore, to the conclusion that the animals lived and died where their hard parts are found, that is, in the midst of a chalk hill which may be several hundred feet in height! Do you find it hard to believe that any animal could exist with, say a hundred feet of chalk pressing upon it? Well, you are not required to believe such an impossibility, but to regard the small creatures which compose the vast mass of the chalk as having dwelt at the bottom of an ocean, and as they lived, multiplied, and died in immense numbers, the remains of the larger animals which found a home and died in
their midst became entombed by the greater abundance of their smaller compeers; and thus, generation succeeding generation, a sea bottom became ultimately built, having a thickness on the average as exemplified in this country of about a thousand feet! What a picture is presented to the imagination by a piece of chalk from the humblest chalk pit; the myriads of creatures that have lived, enjoying their existence, fulfilling the object for which they were created, exemplifying the Divine care, doubtless, and testifying, albeit to no human mind, yet to higher orders of intelligence, of the skill, the wisdom, and loving regard for beauty with which even they were fashioned; and then not only the numbers but the years, as man counts years, during which this work must have been carried on in the depths of some unknown sea.
Analogy would have led, and we think correctly, to this history of the piece of chalk, but the investigations made within a few recent years into the nature of the sea bottom at great depths have singularly confirmed this view. When the soundings were taken in the North Atlantic preparatory to laying down the Electric Telegraph Cable, it was found, at a depth of more than two miles, that the mud forming the floor of that Ocean consisted, according to Professor Huxley, almost entirely (more than nineteen parts out of twenty) of minute shells termed Foraminifera from the large number of holes through which the soft body of the inhabitant, which is very low in the scale of being, is being constantly thrust; and that the greater portion of these shells, particularly a species, termed Globigerina (from having the appearance of a number of small globes united together) are exactly of the same form as those which constitute so large a portion of our chalk-hills. Sir Leopold M'Clintock and Dr. Wallich, during the cruise of the "Bulldog," in 1860, found these same shells to compose ninety-five parts out of one hundred of the mud spread over the bed of the ocean in the vast area extending from Iceland to the Faroe Islands and to Greenland. On the surface of the mud the living animals were found, while below, the mud, having the consistence of putty, was made up of countless relics of bygone generations. In the deep sea dredging, recently carried out under the direction of Professor Carpenter and Professor Thompson, we are told that a large area of the sea bottom, over which the warmer currents of water flow, "is composed entirely of Globigerina mud-mud made up chiefly of Globigerinæ, either living, or their dead remains, their shells decayed and falling as it were into a powder, making a very fine mass that you would not know from a piece of chalk." Dr. Carpenter adds, "I have dried some specimens of these after the salt was washed out, and no one could know them from a piece of chalk; for chalk, upon microscopic examination, is found to consist of exactly the same material." Some of this mud, with the living animals included in it, was brought up from the extraordinary depth of fourteen thousand six hundred feet, or nearly three miles. These discoveries have led Dr. Carpenter to the conclusion that this Atlantic mud is, so to speak, a continuation of the old chalk, and that so far we are now living in the chalk period; a conclusion in which we concur with Canon Kingsley, in believing to be one of the grandest generalisations of modern times. It must not be supposed that the immense masses of existing chalk, whether ancient, as displayed in our downs and cliffs, or modern as found in the bed of the ocean, have been produced by any large animal-we have already referred to their microscopic size, and may add their sizes are such as to require from 2,000 to 8,000 placed side by side to fill the space of one inch, while they are so light as well as small that Dr. Carpenter says, "thousands of the shells would scarcely weigh a grain.”
We fancy some good reader may be heard saying in reference to all this— Well, it may be true that chalk is being now formed at the bottom of the sea, but as for the Downs they have been dry land all my time and for that of my grandfather, too, how can that have been a sea bottom"? Gently, my friend; or your questions will need the whole space of the magazine to answer, we must not be led into a general discussion of the teachings of Geology, but suffice it to say, that evidence having proved that the chalk must have been
slowly formed as the bed of a deep sea, it follows that time was when Inkpen Beacon in Wiltshire, and Beachey Head in Sussex, together with the Chilternhills, which now rear their heads so high above the level, were many hundreds of feet lower than they now are. Abundant evidence shows that, in modern times, new lands are upheaved and others depressed ; and as the waters recede from old sea beds they flow over and gradually cover other lands; so doubtless as that old sea bottom, in which the chalk was formed, gradually rose, other portions of the earth's crust sank down, and the waters found new channels; while inequalities in the depth of the seas would admit of some portions of the old bottoms being first raised to such a height as would expose them to sweeping currents and the violent action of turbulent waves; by which great masses would be swept away to form beds of gravel and shingle, which would also be formed by the destruction of the surrounding shores, exactly as we see shingle beaches being formed to-day by the wearing away, through the constant action of the waves of the sea upon the chalk and other cliffs; at the same time, and by the same forces, channels would be scooped and the monotony of a vast plain relieved by hills and vales, which would be further continued by the abrading influences of wind, frost, snow, and rain, extending over long periods of time. To all this must, doubtless, be added the more violent effects of fire as displayed in the force of volcano or earthquake, which have, in many instances, appeared to be the first disturbing powers; but to the action of water must, we think, be attributed the agency which has removed great areas of chalk from spots where it was once continuous, as between the Surrey hills and Brighton downs, and has laid bare the still older sea bottom, which was deposited ere the chalk had a beginning. Truly, the earth upon which we tread has undergone great and long preparation, its history is full of interest, the pages are of stone, but scored within and without with characters all of which reveal to the candid enquirer that He, who in these later days watches over the interests of his creatures of the higher order of intelligence, was not unmindful of the earth in the younger periods of its existence; when as yet there were none to hymn his praise save those sons of the morning whose songs of joy ushered in the dawn of all created things.
Scarlet and Candles.
R USKIN, in his "Stones of Venice," has some fine sentences upon the folly of those who go towards Rome attracted by the charms of her gorgeous imagery, or as he puts it, "by mere scarlet and candles."
"Fatuity! to seek for the unity of a living body of truth and trust in God, with a dead body of lies and trust in wood, and thence to expect anything else than plague, and consumption by worms undying for both. Blasphemy as well as fatuity! to ask for any better interpreter of God's Word than God, or to expect knowledge of it in any other way than the plainly ordered way: if any man will no he shall KNOW. But of all these fatuities the basest is the being lured into the Romanist Church by the glitter of it, like larks into a trap by broken glass; to be blown into a change of religion by the whine of an organ-pipe; stitched into a new creed by gold threads on priests' petticoats; jangled into a change of conscience by the chimes of a belfry. I know nothing in the form of error so dark as this, no imbecility so absolute, no treachery so contemptible. The longer I live, the more I incline to severe judgment in this matter, and the less I can trust the sentiments excitedby painted glass and coloured tiles."