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the time that the corn and the wine of more?" But the Christian knows that the wicked increase. If we have the tes- he possesses all things. The Christian is timony that we please God, 0—we shall a very mighty man—a man of unbounded be able to say,

“Let them curse, but resources—a man of unknown resources, bless thou.”

He can dispense with society, and can We conclude with one reflection. Our sing, “My soul shall be satisfied as with subject is the commendation of Christi- marrow and fatness: and my mouth anity.

shall praise thee with joyful lips : When Christianity makes no concealment. I remember thee upon my bed, and meIts preachers and its professors are all ditate on thee in the night watches." above board. They are all men of the He can dispense with plenty, and can light and of the day; and are not of the sing, “Although the fig-tree shall not night, nor of darkness. The evidences blossom, neither shall fruit be in the of their religion are not arguments, but vines, the labour of the olive shall fail, facts. Their prophecies are not ambig- and the field shall yield no meat, the flock uous, like those of the heathen; nor are shall be cut off from the fold, and there they the contrivances of clever men; for shall be no herd in the stalls : yet I will they were recorded ages before their rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God accomplishment. Their miracles are not of my salvation.” He can dispense with lying wonders : they were performed in liberty, and can sing, “He despiseth not public, and before adversaries of every his prisoners.". He can dispense with kind. Their privileges are all real-all health, and can sing, “ The Lord will valuable. Their worship is a reasonable strengthen me upon the bed of languishservice, and they are able to give a rea- ing, thou wilt make all my bed in my son for the hope that is in them. And sickness.” He can dispense with life, so of all other things. The world is like and can sing, “Yea, though I walk Jael standing at the door, inviting in the through the valley of the shadow of traveller; spreading her sofa, and bring- death I will fear no evil : for thou art with ing a lordly dish, but holding the hammer me, thy rod and thy staff, they comfort and the nails in her hand, till the weary He can dispense with the whole traveller falls asleep, and then fastening universe, and when his head to the ground. Thus it is with SHALL PASS AWAY WITH A GREAT NOISE, the world, but it is not so with Christi- AND THE ELEMENTS SHALL MELT WITH anity. As to the sacrifices it may re- FERVENT HEAT, THE EARTH ALSO, AND quire, instead of concealing these from the beginning, it tells us, that “in the BE BURNT UP,” standing upon the ashes world we shall have tribulation.” It he can exclaim, I am a GAINER, for there tells

you, that “If any man will live are, NEW HEAVENS AND A NEW EARTH, godly in Christ Jesus, he must suffer persecution. Upon this principle, the AMEN. Saviour calls upon you not to make a hasty profession of religion, but to sit down and first count the cost thereof-to survey the building, and then see whether our REDEMPTION.—The wondrous plan of resources are enough to bear the expence our redemption possessed the Eternal of the one, and the danger of the other. mind from everlasting; it was laid before Christianity does not encourage its con- the foundation of the world; it occupied verts by flattery; it allows there are trials the counsels of heaven before the morn-It allows them to feel those trials, and ing stars sung together, or the sons of to feel them deeply, but it can open up God shouted for joy; it has employed, resources enough to animate and encou- illustrated, and honoured all the attributes

In the loss of the creature, of the Deity in its accomplishment. Disit can bring forth God as the fountain of played upon the theatre of the world; life. It can enable the Christian to dis- drawn out through all the ages of time, pense with the world. While the world and still unfolding in its happy issues is every thing to others, the Christian and sublime results, it has seen angels, can dispense with it. Carnal men, when patriarchs, prophets, apostles, martyrs, they are deprived of their outward pos- nay, even the Eternal Spirit and the Son sessions, say with Micah, “They have of God, engaged in advancing its great taken away my gods, and what have I and benevolent design.





rage them.


Epistles to the Galatians, Second to Timothy, to the Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, Philemon, and the Hebrews; Epistle of James; Peter's two Epistles ; that of Jude; and the three of John ; the book of the Revelation.


THE SCRIPTURES. CONCLUDED. “ Let all things be done decently, and according

to order."




The Captivity in Babylon. Occurrences at Jerusalem. Jer. xxxvi. 9

32 ; 2 Kings, xxiv. 1, 25; 2 Chron. xxxvi.
ö, 8; 2 Kings, xxiv. 6-17; Jer. xxii.
24-xxiii. 40; 2 Chron. xxxvi. 9, 10;
Jer. lii. 1-4, xxiv. xxvii-xxxi. xlviii.-
li; 2 Chron. xxxvi. 11-22; 2 Kings, xxv.
1, 2; Jer. xxxix. 1 ; xxxvii. 1-5 ; xxxiv.
1-11; xxxii. xxxiv. xxxvii. xlvii. xxi.
xxxviii. xxxix. lii. 5-12, 24-28; xxxix.
3, 11-24; xxxix. 10; Ps. lxxix. lxxiv.
lxxxiii. xciv.; 2 Chron. xxxvi. 11; 2
Kings, xxiv. 17 ; xxv. 3-22 ; Jer. xxxix.

2, 4-10; Lamentations. Events at Babylon. Dan. i: 8-21; Ezek.

i.-xxiv. xxix. 1-16; xxx. 20-26; xxxi. Jews in Judea. 2 Kings, xxv. 22-26; Jer.

xl.-xliii. xlvi. 13-28; xliv. lii. 28-31. Proceedings at Babylon. Ezek. xxxiii.

21-33; XXV.—xxviii. xxxii. xxxiv. xxxix. xl. xlviii. xxix. 17; xxx. 19 ; Dan. ii.iv.; Jer. lii. 31-34 ; 2 Kings xxv. 27-30; Dan. vii. viii. v. ix. ; Ps. cii. ; Dan. vi.; Ps. cxxxvii. cxxx. lxxx. lxxvii. xxxvii. Ixvii. xlix. liii. lx. xiii.-XV. XXV.--xxvii.

xxxvi. Ixxxix. xcii. xciii. cxxiii. Cyrus' decree for restoring the Jews. Ezek. i. 1-5; Ps. cxxvi. lxxxv. ; 2 Chron xxxvi.

22, 23. Return of the Jews, and re-establishment in

their own land. Ezra. i-iii.7 ; Ps. cvii. Ixxxvii. cxi. cxiv. cxvi. cxvii. cxxv. cxxvii. cxxviii. cxxxiv. ; Ezra, iii. 8-13; Ps. Ixxxiv. Ixvi.; Ezra, iv. 1-5, 24; Ps. cxxix; Dan. X.-xii. ; Ezra, v. 1-vi. 13; Ps.cxxxviii. ; Hag. i. ii. ; Zech. i.viii. ; Ezra, vi. 14-22 ; Ps. cxlvi. cl. xlvii. lxxxi.; Ezra, iv. 6-24; Esther, i. ii. 1-15; Ezra, vii. viii.; Esther, ii. 15-20; Ezra,

ix. x.; Zech.ix. xiv.; Esther, ii. 21-X. The farther and final reformation by Nehe

miah. Neh. i-vi. xii. 27-44; vii.--xiii. 3; Ps. i. cxix; Mal. i.-iii. 15; Neh. xiii. 4-31 ; Mal. iii. 16-iv.; 1 Chron. i.-ix.; Neh. xii. 10-27.

for an

At the dispersion of mankind, to which the tower of Babel gave rise, Nimrod, the grandson of Ham, remained at Babel, where he soon began to distinguish himself. He taught the people to hunt the wild beasts, which annoyed their cattle ; and having gradually established his authority, became the first king of Babylon. As idolatry commenced in this empire, we shall here notice its rise.

With all idolatrous nations, the first step in departing from the true worship was the adoration of the heavenly bodies. Men gazed on the celestial orbs, and admired their beauty, their number, and the regularity of their motions. They were sensible that this grand display of magnificence and order must be under the direction of a supreme Power ; atheist was an anomaly, even in the days of heathenism. They felt assured of the existence of a Deity, but in their attempts to reach him, they erred. “ Canst thou, by searching, find out God? Canst thou find out the Almighty to perfection ?” They mistook his nature. Not discriminating between mind and matter, they expected their God must be visible, and, accordingly, looked around for his appearance. They beheld the sun, shining in splendour, enlivening all nature with his beams, and rendering the ground fruitful by the influence of his rays. His presence brought the day; his departure made the night. The seasons obeyed his controul. When his rays were scattered with mild effulgence, it was Spring ; when they were poured on the earth with oppressive intensity, it was Summer ; their moderated warmth brought on the Autumn; and their beclouded radiance gave the signal to the chilling blasts of Winter. Where could so expressive a resemblance of Deity be found ? They pronounced him a god, and reared an altar to his praise !

The Babylonians, or Chaldeans, were the first astronomers. Their settlement

Times of Christ and his Apostles. The life and ministry of Christ. Matthew,

Mark, Luke, John, Acts, i. 1-11. The labours and writings of the Apostles.

Acts i. 12–xviii. 28; Epistles to the Thessalonians; Acts, xix. ; First Epistle to the Corinthians ; Acts, xx ; First Epistle to Timothy ; Epistle to Titus ; Second Epistle to the Corinthians; and that to the Romans; Acts xxi.--xxviii.;



was prior to that of the other nations; The name of the sun was Bel; that of and their fine climate and lofty tower the

moon, Belta;

and Azar was the name were peculiarly favourable to astronomi- of Mars. In order to confer very great cal observations. It is familiarly known, honour, the Babylonians were accustomed that the Chaldean shepherds guided their to give their kings, and those whom they flocks across extensive tracts of country, highly respected, titles compounded of by observing the situation of the heavenly these names.

Thus Belshazzar, or Bel'sbodies. Belus, the second king of Ba- Azar, means a person protected by the bylon, is styled by Pliny, a prince of sun and Mars. The prophet Daniel was study, and the inventor of the Chaldean styled Belteshazzar, or Belta's-Azar; one astronomy.'

." When Alexander the Great highly favoured by the moon and Mars. conquered Babylon, Calisthenes, the phi- The Chaldeans likewise worshipped the losopher, discovered a series of astrono- host of heaven under the name of God. mical observations, for one thousand nine They were accustomed to carry about hundred and three years prior to that with them siderial representations of the period. Alexander entered Babylon, luminaries of heaven. To these the marA.M. 3674 ; from which, tracing back tyr Stephen alludes, when he speaks of 1903 years, we shall arrive at A.M. 1771; " the star of your god Remphan. the fourteenth year of Nimrod's reign. They also carried in procession little Belus, then, began his observations in shrines, or model-temples, which they the early part of the reign of Nimrod, called Succoth-benoth. The literal meanwhom he afterward succeeded. Abram ing of Succoth-benoth is, “ the taberna. was born at Ur, a city of Chaldea, A.M. cles of the daughters.” They were tem2008 ; so that, at his birth, they had ples sacred to Melitta, the goddess of the been students of astronomy for 237 years. feminine productive powers; and her Idolatry had made such progress among emblem, according to the rabbins, was a them, that when Abram was about se- hen and chickens. Her worship makes venty years old, his family were expelled a great part of the religious system of the from the country, for endeavouring to Babylonians ; and every woman effect a reformation. The name of the obliged, once in her life, to visit her city Ur (798), means fire, and was de- temple. Herodotus gives a detailed acscriptive of the idolatry practised there; count of the rites celebrated in her honour; the inhabitants being ignicolists, or wor- and some allusion to them will be found shippers of fire. This species of idolatry in Baruch, vi. 43. Her worship was of is stated by the Chron. Alexand. to have the same impure character as that of been introduced by Ninus, the successor Venus among the Greeks, and Juggernaut of Belus. They, no doubt, conceived, that among the Hindoos; and it was in conthe heavenly bodies consisted of fire, and sequence of joining in this worship, in therefore made it an object of adoration. accordance with the counsel of the proCorroborative of this is the expression of phet Balaam, that twenty-four thousand Empedocles upiva ta aspa; vide lib. 2. of the Israelites were slain in Moab.

If there be any science more especially With the Babylonians, image-worship calculated to lead the mind to exalted no- took its rise. The first approach to this tions of the Deity, that science is astro- practice, was the erection of a pillar to nomy. Dr. Young has embodied this the planet Mars. This was nothing more sentiment in language equally forcible than a rough-hewn stone, without art or and expressive :

skill. We are told that Jacob set up a

pillar of this kind, on two occasions, as " Devotion, daughter of Astronomy ! An undevout astronomer is mad."

memorials of special revelations from

God. Pausanias refers to such pillars, Yet we see, that the first astronomers

under the appellation αργοι λιθοι. The were the first idolaters. How lamentable

heathen nations were much in the habit is it, that the primary step in knowledge

of adopting the religious observances of should have led to error; and that the

the patriarchs. Thus the Egyptians, and first dawn of science should have drawn

others, made use of circumcision ; and away the mind from Him, to whom all hearing of Abraham's intended offering of the discoveries of science directly lead!

his son, they continued, for years afterThe first objects of Chaldean worship

wards, to sacrifice their children. It is were the sun, moon, and planet Mars.

(0) Acts vii. 43. (a) Judith, v. 8; Jos. xxiv. 2.

(c) Gen. xxviii. 18; and xxxv. 14.


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very probable, therefore, that the Baby- Nebuchadnezzard erected, on the plain of lonians copied the practice of the erecting Dura, a golden image, one hundred and pillars from the patriarchs also, and pros- ten feet high.e tituted it to the purposes of idolatry.

N. R. When Jacob left Laban, Rachel is repre

(d) Nebuchadnezzar, or Nebo-gad-azar. Nebo sented as carrying away her father's was a name for the moon; and, from the explanateraphim; or, as we translate it, gods. tion already given, the king's name will be readily

understood. Nebo, the moon; gad, the host of These, however, were most probably no


and azar, Mars. thing more than little stones, having the

(e) Sixty cubits. The cubit is reckoned at names of Laban's ancestors inscribed twenty-two inches. upon them; serving the purpose which, in our times is fulfilled by family pic

ERRATA.- Page 383, col. 2, fifth line from tures. When the art of sculpture gained

bottom, for ovy read ov). Page 334, col. 1,

fourth line from bottom, for “ tanto fuit ground, these were converted into little

sevior,” read “tanto fuit serior." images, and became the objects of idolatrous adoration. This appears to have been the origin of the Grecian πατρώοι, and the Roman Penates.

THE TRANSFORMING INFLUENCE The next step in idolatry, was from

OF RELIGION. the uncarved stone, to the rough-hewn block of wood. “Stocks” took the place

Oft may our hearts be thus made glad,

Thy sov'reign grace to view; of “stones.” The statue of Juno, at And every heart and every tongue Samos, according to Clemens Alexandri

Give thee the glory due.--ANON. nus, was merely the trunk of a tree; and THERE is no argument in favour of the two upright posts, connected by a cross truth of Christianity which comes home beam at top, (as we learn from Plutarch) to men in general so forcibly as that of anciently formed the representation of the change it makes in the character and Castor and Pollux. It is from this cir- conduct of those who receive it. When cumstance that astronomers chose that the drunkard becomes sober, the liar is figure to denote the constellation Gemini, brought to love the truth, and the blasthe principal stars in which are those phemer to love prayer, every one feels just mentioned. Among the Hindoos, convinced that some mighty influence to this day, ill-carved images of wood has been at work on the heart. And in are very common objects of devotional

proportion as the religion of the Bible is regard.

investigated, its adaptation to effect this As the art of sculpture became known, change becomes apparent. Happily to idolatry advanced another step ; and this standard we can make our appeal, images of stone or metal were introduced. and our present paper shall be devoted to During the infancy of the arts, in this as sketching two or three cases, where the well as other departments, magnificence power and sovereignty of divine grace was preferred to beauty; and magnitude have been very conspicuously displayed. of dimension was made to compensate The first instance to which we shall for want of skill. In the immense works refer, is that of a youth, the son of pious of the Egyptians (the pyramids, for in- parents, who had a large family, all stance) we see a vast expenditure of of whom, with the exception of this, labour, and mechanical force ; while, in their youngest son, were walking in the a single polished statue of the Greeks, ways of God, and experiencing the happiwe see a performance, which all the mil- ness arising from true piety. He, alas! lions of the Egyptian tyrants could not was awfully addicted to vice. He treated effect.

the ordinances of religion with contempt; In their passion for idols of stupendous and, notwithstanding the entreaties of size, the Babylonians rivalled the Egyp- his nearest connections, turned his back tians. Herodotus describes a statue, which on the public worship of God. There he saw in the temple of Belus, sitting on was scarcely a sin which he had oppora throne of pure gold; the estimated tunity to practise, but what he indulged value was eight hundred talents, or about in, and to all this he was encouraged by four millions of pounds sterling. He a set of strolling players, with whom he also mentions, that the same temple had had unfortunately become connected. formerly contained an idol of gold, twelve Many were the tears that were shed cubits, or twenty-two feet in height. before God, and manifold the prayers

addressed to the throne of grace on his , awfully neglected. He obtained admisbehalf; but all seemed in vain. The sion with two or three other adults into affectionate admonition was often ad- the school, and gradually learnt to read dressed to his conscience, but without his Bible; he forsook the alehouse and effect; and the fears of his pious relatives the fair, and was found constant in his and friends were awfully excited.

attendance on the worship of God; he Happily, however, these fears were began to pray, and found that he who disappointed. He who works, and who hears prayer, taught him how to pray, cannot be hindered in his operations, and what to pray for. In a word, by inclined this gay and dissipated youth on himself, by his family, and by the whole one Lord's day evening, to enter the neighbourhood, it was seen that he was house of prayer. He went, as usual, to an altered man. His full share of perobtain matter for ridicule and jest, but secution he has suffered, and remains God who commanded the light to shine the meek and simple disciple of the Son vut of darkness, shone into his heart, of God. His neighbours see that in him shewed him his danger, and made him the power of God, by means of the word the subject of evangelical repentance and of truth, has produced a great change, faith. Thus,

and admit that there must be somewhat

in the religion of the Bible which they “ He who came to scoff retired to pray."

did not know of, and which they never The change in his conduct was delight- felt; while Christians who knew what he fully striking. He foisook at once all was, and see what he is, glorify God in his wicked companions; he entered with

him. all his powerful energies into the vast We shall introduce but one other case and important concerns of his soul, and to the attention of our readers, but one became an efficient instrument in pro- more striking than either of the others. moting the cause of holiness in the world. The person on whom our eye is now He was now an eminent blessing to the

fixed is a female who, for many years, family, through which he had once resided in a town where the means of spread the utmost anxiety; was highly grace are eminently enjoyed ; but she not esteemed among his connections; and in merely neglected the house of God, and a word, became an active and useful treated her Bible with contempt, but minister of Jesus Christ. Those who was an open and avowed persecutor of looked on and saw the change excluimed, those who chose to attend to the claims Truly, this is the finger of God!"

of God and of conscience. She was noThe second case to which we shall toriously profane, a common swearer, and briefly refer, is that of a poor ignorant indulged in vices, a reference to which and depraved man who, by the grace of shall not blot our pages. If there were the Lord Jesus, became a new creature, any one in the town of whose conversion and is now enabled to adorn the gospel in to God a feeling of despair might be his whole deportment.

entertained, she was the woman. Her The individual to whom a reference feet seemed already to have taken hold has now been made, is a resident in a on hell, and with all her might she was country village. A very few years ago devoted to the ways of sin. The very he was destitute of even the knowledge idea of her becoming pious, had it been of his alphabet, was a constant visitant suggested to her, would have filled her at the alehouse, and in a state of intoxi- heart with inexpressible rage. cation would often return home to abuse But the mercy of God is infinitely behis wife, and to see his children suffer yond the comprehension of man, and the misery through his improprieties. Such means he adopts to convert hardened was his character when some friends of sinners, call for our loudest admiration. religion from a distance established a In the course of Divine Providence, she Sabbath school, and commenced the was removed from the town where she public worship of God in his immediate had long resided, to a distant village, neighbourhood. His children

where the word of truth was never drawn to the school; and by-and-bye, he preached. Here she long continued to appeared at the worship. What he saw indulge in the same sins which had disand heard excited his attention, and con- tinguished her through life, and was the vinced him there must be something real terror of the whole neighbourhood. In in that religion which he had hitherto so the midst of her course of iniquity, she


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