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CAIN AND ABEL.
The Religion of Cain and Abel.
CAIN and Abel, in many respects, were very different men: but in nothing were they less agreed than on the subject of religion. The two brothers differed in temper. Abel was meek and amiable,-Cain was boisterous and overbearing. Abel was candid and unsuspicious, Cain was jealous and designing. Abel was tender and compassionate,--Cain was unrelenting and cruel. Abel was sincere and upright,-Cain regarded iniquity in his heart; and when opportunity occurred he disclosed the shocking malignity that lurked within his bosom.
The difference in these two brothers arose principally from their contrary dispositions, and their opposite sentiments concerning spiritual things. Cain was an infidel,-disregarding the ministry of his father, who preached reconciliation with God by faith in the proinised Messiah. Abel was a believer in the word of God, which promised, in the seed of the woman, an all-sufficient Saviour. Cain was a deist, denying any special revelation from God, beyond that which is contained in his visible works. Abel, on the contrary, received the gracious intimations of Divine mercy with sincere faith, and with lively gratitude of heart.
Let our young reader consider the difference, which is here marked between Cain and Abel, as he may expect to find the same difference, in a greater or less degree, between avowed deists and sincere Christians, between declared infidels and devout believers. blessed Lord has given us an admirable rule of judgment, Our in saying, By their fruits ye shall know them." Cain, however, was not so entirely lost to all sense of propriety as totally to neglect the worship of God. He had not altogether cast off the restraint, which had been imposed upon him by the pious instructions of his father. We have reason confidently to conclude, that Adain had carefully inculcated upon both Cain and Abel, those sacred lessons of Divine truth, which he had learnt from the ministry of angels, from God himself, and by deep heartfelt experience. Bishop Hall observes, Doubtless, their education was holy; for Adam, though in Paradise he could not be innocent, yet was a good man out of Paradise: his sin and fall now made him circumspect; and since he saw that his act had bereaved them of that image of God, which he once had for them, he could not but labour by all holy endeavours to repair it in them, so that his care might make amends for his trespasses."
Both the brothers were taught the knowledge of the true God, and the reasonableness of acknowledging his being and providence, by acts of religious worship. We learn from the Book of Genesis, that both of them were accustomed, at stated seasons, probably every sabbath, or at the end of harvest, to bring a devoted sacrifice to the LORD. "And it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground, an offering to the LORD." Gen. iv, 3.
Cain's consecrated gift was some of the fruits of the ground, a thank offering," presented as an acknowledgment to God, for favours received through the seasons of the year: but it was not accompanied with contrition of heart on account of sin, nor intended as a propitiation, deprecating deserved punishment, nor even with sincerity of mind.
It is thought that the offering of Cain was not of the most valuable part of his fruits: but something imperfect and worthless. But God requires, as he deserves, the best which his servants can possibly present to him. "And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock, and of the fat thereof." Abel came before the LORD in faith, as a sinner, according to the appointment of God. His offering was presented in sincerity,
and was expressive of humility and believing obedience; and as he sought the blessings of the new covenant, through the promised Messiah, he was graciously accepted. "And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering."
The vigour of our youthful days, and all our best
"When we devote our youth to God,
"Tis pleasing in his eyes:
A flower, when offer'd in the bud,
"But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect." It seems that no token of the Divine approbation accompanied the offering made by the elder brother; while God signified, in the most evident manner, his acceptance of that which the younger brother had laid upon his altar.
The reason why one was accepted, and the other rejected, is strikingly intimated by the apostle: it is to be attributed to the peculiar state of mind in the worshippers to that of faith on the part of Abel, in which he offered his sacrifice. "By faith," says the inspired writer, "Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain." Heb. xi, 4. The faith thus commended, refers not only to his belief in the being of God, but also to the Divine promise of a sacrifice, which, in the fulness of time, was to be slain by the appointment of God, for the salvation of a guilty world. Abel's religion evidently comprised the five following great points of doctrine:
1. The existence of an Almighty Creator and Governor of the world.
2. Obedience necessary to his revealed and righteous will.
3. Belief in the promised Messiah, as the Saviour of
4. Public confession of the sinful condition of mankind by means of vicarious sacrifice.
5. Dependence for acceptance with God on that atonement of Messiah which his own sacrifice prefigured.
Cain's religion was of a seriously different character. By bringing the fruits of the ground" without a sacrifice for sin, he certainly acknowledged two great doctrines of religion:
1. The existence of the Creator of the world.
2. The providence of God, by which the earth is rendered fruitful.
But he neither acknowledged his belief in a Saviour, nor his need of spiritual blessings; though we do not doubt that he had the same information on those subjects as that with which his brother Abel had been favoured, except so far as his irreligious mind had refused to regard the pious instructions of his penitent and believing father.
The offering of Cain was, therefore, not accepted. God could not, consistently with his justice and holiness, receive any thing, in the way of religious adoration, at the hands of a sinner, but through the merits of that sacrifice of Christ, which himself had appointed, and which was revealed in types as "slain from the foundation of the world." Rev. xiii, 8.
The religion of Cain differed from that of Abel, as much as the Deism of our times does from Scriptural Christianity; and its unholy fruits corresponded with natural character. Let our young readers ever beware of those who neglect the ordinances of Divine worship, or disallow the blessed word of God in the Scriptures as our only and infallible guide in the most important affairs of time and eternity.
(To be continued.)
VISIT TO POMPEII. POMPEII and Herculaneum, towns of Italy, were destroyed by the great eruption of Vesuvius in the time of Titus, the Roman emperor, A. D. 79. Pompeii is about fifteen miles from Naples. Mrs. Elwood's description of her visit to those ruins cannot fail to be interesting.
"Our road passed through the palace of Portici, Resina, and Torre del Greco, till we came upon sheets of lava and beds of ashes, which, though interspersed with gardens, showed our vicinity to the volcano. But of Pompeii not a vestige was to be seen, till the coachman, after driving for some time between high banks of cinders, suddenly drew up at a rustic farm-yard sort of gate, and exclaimed, ere we were aware of its neighbourhood, 'Ecco Pompeii.'
"A few minutes brought us into the comic and tragic theatres, both paved with marble and in perfect repair. Near these in a large court stands the temple of Isis; behind the high altar still remains a covered closet or secret recess whence the priests were wont to deliver oracles to the people. The Via Appia is a tolerably wide street, with its ancient pavement in a far better condition than the modern one of Rome. There are elevated paths on the sides for foot passengers, and the marks of wheels even now visible.
"The remains of shops are on both sides, the walls of them painted, and the colours and designs perfectly fresh, as if but just finished. In the public baking house, in which bread was found when it was first discovered, is an oven, which, though some thousand years old, might even yet be used; and on a marble slab, in a coffee house, are the marks of cups as if but recently set down. Indeed, every thing looked so completely as if the town had but just been deserted, that we could almost have expected to have met with some ancient Roman lingering in his native city; but in these places, which some centuries ago resounded with the cheerful hum of men, solitude and desolation now reign; and the only living object to be met with was a shepherd conducting his sheep over pillars of marble, and through stately edifices half buried in ashes. The amphitheatre is in such wonderful preservation that it might still serve for spectacles and shows, and from the top there is a fine view of Vesuvius.
"The villa of M. A. Diomedes is in an affectingly perfect state: it really seemed so indelicate penetrating into the haunts and apartments of a private family, that we half expected to have encountered some of them coming to ask the motives for our intrusion, and to chide our impertinent curiosity. The illusion at the moment was so strong, that we forgot the many centuries that had elapsed since the poor master attempted to flee from destruction, with the keys of his house and a purse of gold in his hand, and when the unfortunate females sought for refuge in the subterranean apartments, where seventeen skeletons were subsequently discovered.
"We left Pompeii by the Herculaneum gate, beyond which are the tombs. Some of these are handsome, and some of them much mutilated, as if in mockery of the efforts of frail mortality to rescue itself from oblivion. The rain began now to descend in such torrents that we were obliged to abandon all idea of seeing Herculaneum. We, however, stopped at the palace of Portici, which is built over it; in this particular resembling what is so frequently seen in the world, where the splendour and fortune of one individual is founded on the depression and destruction of another, whose wrongs cannot be redressed because justice to him would injure his rival's prosperity. Thus Herculaneum remains entombed, lest its excavation might injure Portici. The curiosities and treasures of the former are many of
them deposited in the museum of the latter, among which are several very interesting pictures, also the skull of the unfortunate female who was found in the villa at Pompeii, and who, from being better dressed than her companions, was supposed to have been the mistress of the house. There is likewise the impression of her arm and figure upon the ashes, which preserved this melancholy cast of her form whilst they cut short the thread of her existence."
THE FRUITLESS FIG TREE.
MATTHEW XXi, 19, 20: " And when he saw a fig tree in the way he came to it, and found nothing thereon but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And presently the fig tree withered away. And when the disciples saw it they marvelled, saying, How soon is the fig tree withered away!" This barren fig tree having leaves was expected to produce at least fruit of an inferior kind. The fruit which our Saviour sought at a time which St. Mark declares "was not the time of figs," is concluded to have been that precocious kind, which ripens in some eastern countries as early as the month of April.
Ah, where is that green leafy show,
That promised such fruit to bestow?
It was not the tempest when wide
And so will fresh piety shoot,
But I've seen the leaves fall, and the branches decay,
I have seen the ambitious house fall,
And the pageants of this world all passing away,
I have seen too the humble man fill
His station unnoticed, and still,
While fix'd was his lot in this turmoil of dust,
And a sweet emanation around,
To the root an unseen passage found;
Scripture Garden Walk.
BACON THE SCULPTOR.
It is reported of him that he always endeavoured to convey some moral sentiment in his performances; something that should excite reflection; and he certainly often fulfilled his purpose admirably.
A short time before his death he was applied to, to design and execute an Idol for a Temple in the East Indies; when, beginning to think on the subject, the recollection struck his mind, that it would be contrary to the letter of the second commandment-and he instantly gave it up.
IN the Abbey of Bury St. Edmund's, which was dissolved by Henry VIII, was the following list of re
The sacred remains of King Edmund the martyr, enshrined. The same king's shirt entire. Certain drops of St. Stephen's blood, which were shed when he was stoned. Some of the coals on which St. Lawrence was burnt. Certain parings of the flesh of divers holy virgins. A sinew of St. Edmund in a box. Several skulls of ancient saints and martyrs; especially that of St. Patronill, which the people believed would cure all diseases in the head by applying it thereto. The sword which St. Edmund used. St. Thomas of Canterbury's boots. St. Bardolph's bones in a coffin, which the monks made the people believe procured rain when carried in procession in time of drought. Certain wax candles, which being lighted and carried round the corn fields in seed time, no tares or noisome weeds would grow therein for that year; with many others, which by the relation of the monks would work wonderful effects.
To a mind capable of discriminating aright between the baneful effects of superstition and the equally demoralizing consequences of infidelity, how awful is the moral appearance of a country, which can furnish such instances as the preceding of darkness and delusion. But if we investigate the matter as closely as a regard to truth and the great cause of religion requires of us, and if we trace the existence of the numerous and devastating evils which have arisen from such unprincipled corruptions to their true cause, how great a weight of crime will attach itself to that Papal policy, which by converting the sacredness of Christianity and the immense importance of its duties to answer the fraudful designs and covetous inclinations of unrighteous men, has turned the warm and genuine emotions of hearts kindling with religious fervour into the channels of bigotry, has immersed whole nations in a blindness more deadly than Paganism, has changed that which was designed for the soul's nutrition into its most noxious poison, and has afforded the strongest argument for its enemies that Christianity has ever been compelled to encounter!
ON THE RELIGIOUS CHARACTER OF
Ir is to be regretted that the pursuits of intellect, as well as the various species of manual operations, carry their concomitant evil with them. To the irritability of an author, there was added in Johnson's frame that of a martyr to an incurable disease, an irritability which was still further increased by the sternness of his spirit, which made all his sufferings the imprisoned companions of his own bosom. We must nevertheless admire and revere that honest disposition to abide the worst, and embrace the doctrines of Christianity with all their probing qualities, rather than to take refuge in obduracy or scepticism; and happy is it for us who remain, that he has not lent his name to any fallacious opinions or convenient tenets. Whatever might be the vacillation or inconsistency of his opinions on other points, we are certain that one of the very first men that this country has to boast, and a man whose moral writings have obtained for him a rank which would have gratified the pride of an ancient philosopher, helieved, without compulsion, without the inducement of interest, without exception or reservation, that the Almighty made and governs the world; that mankind have fallen from grace by sin; that there is no means
of recovering the Divine favour but through the merits of our Redeemer; that our own best endeavours, though not to be neglected for a moment, must ever be found imperfect, and that the deepest contrition and sincerest repentance are as strictly required of the first of the human species as of the lowest of the people. The religious awe which overspread his mind was genuine, it was excessive, it was painful even to witness, and it deprived him of all the consolation of our Faith. To imitate him in this point might lead to error; our peace of mind is to be established between God and ourselves, and not under the influence of any example in our own nature. Happy would it be for many were they equally oppressed by it; and thrice happy are those, who by a inore fortunate and regular course of early life, have been led into the paths of peace before the mind has become corroded by evil, and made restive by perverse habits.- Memoirs, &c., by L. M. Hawkins.
NOTHING, says Humboldt, strikes Europeans more in the Aztec, Nahuatl, or Mexican language, than the excessive length of the words. This length does not always depend on their being compounded, as in the Greek, the German, and the Sanscrit, but on the manner of forming the substantive, the plural, or the superlative. A kiss is called tetennamiquiliztli; a word formed from the verb tennamiqui, to embrace, and the additive particles, te and liztli. In the same manner we have tlatolana, to ask, and tetlatolaniliztli, a demand; tlayhiouiltia, to torment, and tetlayhiouiltiliztli, torment. To form the plural, the Aztecs in several words double the first syllable; as miztli, a cat; mimiztin, cats: tochtli, a rabbit; totochtin, rabbits. Tin is the termination which indicates the plural. Sometimes the duplication is made in the midst of a word; for instance, ichpochtli, a girl; ichpopochtin, girls: tel pochtli, a boy; telpopochtin, boys. The most remarkable example I have met with of a real composition of words, is found in the word amatlacuilolitquitcatlaxtlahuilki, which signifies, the reward - given - to - the- messenger-who-carries - a paper on which is paintedtidings. This word, which forms by itself an Alex. andrine line, contains amatl, paper (of the agave), cuiloa, to paint, or trace hieroglyphics; and taxtla huilli, the wages or salary of a workman. The word, notlazomahuiztespiacatatzin, which signifies, venerablepriest - whom -I- cherish - as - my- father, is used by the Mexicans in addressing the priests. — Humboldt's Researches.
We are greatly obliged to our numerous and increasing correspondents for all their generous assurances of support; but our limits will not allow us to reply to each separately. Observator's" suggestion shall be regarded for we can assure him that Truth, Charity, and Pure Christianity, are sought by us beyond every other object or consideration.
THE BISHOP'S COLLEGE, NEAR CALCUTTA. DR. BUCHANAN, in his " Memoir of the Expediency of an Ecclesiastical Establishment for British India," written in 1805, shows the incalculable importance of that country as a colony to Great Britain, and its claims upon British Christians. He writes as a sound politicían, as a noble philanthropist, and as a genuine Christian, in pleading the cause of the teeming population of Hindostan. Providence," says the pious Doctor, "hath been pleased to grant to us this great empire, on a continent where, a few years ago, we had not a foot of land. From it we export annually an immense wealth to enrich our own country. What do we give in return? Is it said that we give protection to the inhabitants, and administer equal laws? This is necessary for obtaining our wealth. But what do we give in return? What acknowledgment to Providence for its goodness has our nation ever made? What benefit has the Englishman ever conferred on the Hindoo, as on a brother? Every argument brought in support of the policy of not instructing the natives our subjects, when traced to its source, will be found to flow from principles of Deism, or of Atheism, or of Polytheism, and not from the principles of the Christian Religion." Dr. Buchanan did not plead altogether in vain. An "Ecclesiastical Establishment" has been formed for VOL. I.
India: but among the various arrangements which have been made for promoting the permanent improvement of the East, and for the diffusion of Christian knowledge throughout Asia,-if we except the translations of the Holy Scriptures by the missionaries, Drs. Carey, Marshman, Morrison, and Milne,-none appears to us of so great promise as the BISHOP'S COLLEGE, NEAR CAL
Dr. Middleton, Bishop of Calcutta, was the honoured instrument in accomplishing this good work, a noble monument of Christian zeal.
A grant of land, amounting to about twenty acres, was made by the government in India, for the purposes of the College, to which a farther grant has since been made. It stands about three miles below Calcutta, in a fine situation, on the opposite bank of the river Hoogly, which is there much wider than the Thames at London. The spot is peculiarly favourable for privacy and retirement; and "the scenery is such," as Bishop Middleton observes, "as to gratify and soothe the mind."
The foundation stone of the college was laid, on the 15th of December 1820, by Bishop Middleton, when prayer for the Divine blessing on the undertaking was offered, and thanksgiving presented to Him for the progress already made to carry forward the establish
"The Incorporated Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts," transmitted to Dr. Middleton the sum of 5000l. to enable him to commence the work; 5000l. were contributed by the "Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge;" 5000/. more were voted by the Church Missionary Society;" and the "British and Foreign Bible Society" has added 50007. This sum of 20,000l. was augmented by collections in all the churches in England and Wales, in consequence of a "King's Letter," which amounted to 45,000/., with which the building has been completed.
The College, as will be seen by reference to our Engraving, consists of three piles of buildings, in the plain Gothic style. These buildings form three sides of a quadrangle; the fourth, or south side, being open to the river, which in that part flows nearly from east to west. The pile which fronts the river consists of the college chapel to the east, divided by a tower from the hall and library on the west. The buildings on the east and west sides of the quadrangle contain the apartments for a principal and two professors, with lecture rooms, and rooms for the students. The whole is formed on the plan of combining comfort and convenience with an elegant simplicity.
Bishop's College is under the immediate direction of the "Society for the Propagation of the Gospel;" but the statutes are so framed as to afford opportunity both to the government in India and to the religious societies connected with the Church of England, of obtaining, under certain regulations, the benefits of the college for such students as they may place there.
For the regular supply of students, the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel has adopted the measure stated in the following extract from a late report:"Ten theological scholarships and ten lay scholarships have been formed by the society, for native or European youths educated in the principles of Christianity; and the sum of 1000l. per annum has been appropriated to this special purpose. The ordinary age of admission is fourteen."
The Christian Knowledge Society assists in this plan of scholarship; having placed the sum of 6000l. at the disposal of the Gospel Propagation Society, for the purpose of endowing five scholarships, to be called, in memory of the founder of the College, "Bishop Middleton's Scholarships." This grant is also intended to provide a salary for a Tamul teacher in the College, that being the language chiefly used in the society's missions.
The Church Missionary Society voted a grant of 10001. per annum for several years, on account of the importance of the institution, and of the cooperation it afforded in their department of labour in India.
From the Report of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts of 1830, it appears, that the Directors of Bishop's College have upwards of 50,0001. in the 3 per cents., as a fund towards the support of that institution. From the same report we learn, that there are upon that foundation, a principal, two professors, eight missionaries, two catechists, and a printer. The report also announces "the progressive improvement of Bishop's College, both in the enlargement of the buildings and in the accession of a numerous body of students, as well as the location of the three senior students, Godfrey, Bowyer, and Simpson, in the character of catechists, with the several missionaries, Rottler, Trion, Morton, and Tweddle, the former being within the Archdeaconry of Madras, the two latter at no great distance from Calcutta."
DR. WILSON, BISHOP OF CALCUTTA.
DR. WILSON, followed by the prayers of thousands of Christians of all denominations, is now on his voyage
to India, to occupy his important station, as BISHOP OF CALCUTTA. We are confident that our readers will be gratified with the following brief sketch of his character.
"It is pleasing to find that good men, and truly excellent Christians, who are devoted to the service of the ministry in the Church of England, have increased, and are still increasing. Amongst them the Rev. Daniel Wilson occupies a conspicuous station. Educated at Oxford, and introduced to the ministry by the venerable Cecil, it would readily have been supposed that he possessed genuine piety and the requisite ministerial quali fications. Still it was a peculiar, and, in many respects, a hazardous task, for a young divine to follow in the steps of so excellent and useful a man as Mr. Cecil; yet, we believe, no deficiency was ever remarked in Mr. Wilson. He possessed greater talents than his predecessor, while his piety was maturing, and his knowledge of divine and human things extending; so that the inhabitants of Chobham, and the attendants at St. John's Chapel, were not only fully satisfied, but even rejoiced at the choice of the successor which Mr. Cecil had made.
"Dr. Wilson well becomes the pulpit;-his figure is good-his face beams with the intelligence of genius and the mildness of a Christian. His voice is finestrong yet melodious; in its tone it is calculated to win the attention, while the excellence of his matter rewards it.
"The sermons of Dr. Wilson are plain and perspicuous, clear in their statements of duty and doctrine, animated in their appeals, and abounding in touches of true eloquence. His language is at once terse and elegant-familiar, yet not vulgar. His imagery is in general chaste, and his figures extremely felicitous.
"There is a rich vein of evangelical piety running through all his discourses; and, although he deals not in profound and subtile argumentation, he yet reasons extremely well, and that in a manner so popular, as to keep alive the attention and inform the judgment. The most ignorant can understand him, while the enlightened mind or polished taste cannot be offended. Dr. Wilson possesses, in a high degree, the happy art of adapting his sermons to the varied capacities of his hearers: there is something for all, in every discourse which he delivers; so that he is highly esteemed both by the poor and the rich. The spiritual wants of either are not forgotten, while at the same time both are reminded of their duties and their responsibilities.
"Nor has the devotion to his duty been confined to the labours of the pulpit. As far as his large and widely extended parish of Islington would permit, he administered religious instruction to all; if not by oral communication and personal visits, by friendly letters and pastoral addresses from the press. He has seized on every important occasion which was likely to interest the minds of his parishioners, to impart spiritual knowledge.
The habits of society and the great extent of many of the parishes, rendering it impossible that those pas toral visits, which formerly were so beneficial both to the minister and the people, should be universally adhered to; it is highly praiseworthy in ministers to endeavour to supply the deficiency of personal visits, through the medium of addresses from the press. And this the late Vicar of Islington has always done.
“Dr. Wilson adheres to the old method of reading his sermons; but the propriety and energy with which he reads, and the persuasive tones of his voice, almost compensate for extemporaneous preaching. Yet it must be evident, that the man who preaches extempore, has a great superiority over the one who reads. He can lay hold on any occurrence which may be likely to interest his hearers: his mind is more open to impression