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JERUSALEM AT THE TIME OF THE CRUCI
BY FREDERICK S. MULLER, Esq.
Matt. xxvii, 45, 46, 50–53.
What darkness veils thy diadem!
He bends beneath th' accursed load;
It comes the hour of wrath is nigh,
When earth and heaven shall meet in power;
As on they went from grave and glen—
The day is done, the starry sky
Where midnight sheds her darkest gloom;
Redeemer! Lord! Anointed King!
When thou shalt come in wrath and power;
Christian Lady's Friend.
THE PLANETARY AND TERRESTRIAL WORLDS. MR. EDITOR, I sincerely rejoice in your new undertaking, and wish you the largest measure of success, in communicating improving instruction to our reading population. Perhaps you will deem the following admirable piece from the Spectator, worthy of a place in your "Christian's Penny Magazine."
"To us, who dwell on its surface, the earth is by far the most extensive orb that our eyes can anywhere behold: it is also clothed with verdure, distinguished by trees, and adorned with variety of beautiful decorations; whereas to a spectator placed on one of the planets, it wears an uniform aspect, looks all luminous, and no larger than a spot. To beings who still dwell at greater distances, it entirely disappears. That which we call alternately the morning and the evening star, as in one part of the orbit she rides foremost in the procession of night, in the other ushers in and anticipates the dawn, is a planetary world, which, with the four others, that so wonderfully vary the mystic dance, are in themselves dark bodies, and shine only by reflection; have fields, and seas, and skies of their own, are furnished with all accommodations for animal subsistence, and are supposed to be the abodes of intellectual life; all which, together with our earthly habitation, are dependent on that grand dispenser of Divine munificence, the sun; receive their light from the distribution of his rays, and derive their comfort from his benign agency.
The sun, which seems to perform its daily stages through the sky, is in this respect fixed and immovable it is the great axle of heaven, about which the globe we inhabit, and other more spacious orbs, wheel their stated courses. The sun, though seemingly smaller than the dial it illuminates, is abundantly larger than this whole earth, on which so many lofty mountains rise, and such vast oceans roll. A line extending from side to side through that resplendent orb, would measure more than eight hundred thousand miles a girdle formed to go round its circumference, would require a length of millions. Were its solid contents to be estimated, the account would overwhelm our understanding, and be almost beyond the power of language to express. Are we startled at these reports of philosophy? Are we ready to cry out in a transport of surprise, "How mighty is the Being who kindled such a prodigious fire, and keeps alive from age to age such an enormous mass of flame!" Let us attend our philosophic guides, and we shall be brought acquainted with speculations more enlarged and more inflaming.
"This sun with all its attendant planets is but a very little part of the grand machine of the universe; every star, though in appearance no bigger than the diamond that glitters upon a lady's ring, is really a vast globe, like the sun in size and glory; no less spacious, no less luminous than the radiant source of the day: so that every star is not barely a world, but the centre of a magnificent system; has a retinue of worlds, irradiated by its beams, and revolving round its attractive influence, all which are lost to our sight in immeasurable worlds of ether. That the stars appear like so many diminutive and scarcely distinguishable points, is owing to their immense and inconceivable distance. Immense and inconceivable indeed it is, since a ball, shot from the loaded cannon, and flying with unabated rapidity, must travel at this impetuous rate almost seven hundred thousand years before it could reach the nearest of these twinkling luminaries.
"While beholding this vast expanse I learn my own extreme meanness, I would also discover the abject
littleness of all terrestrial things. What is the earth with all her ostentatious scenes, compared with this astonishingly grand furniture of the skies? What but a dim speck, hardly perceptible in the map of the universe! It is observed by a very judicious writer, that if the sun himself, which enlightens this part of the creation, was extinguished, and all the hosts of planetary worlds which move about him were annihilated, they would not be missed by an eye that can take in the whole compass of nature, any more than a grain of sand upon the sea shore. The bulk of which they consist, and the space which they occupy is so exceed ingly little in comparison of the whole, that their loss would leave scarce a blank iu the immensity of God's works. If then, not our globe only, but this whole system, be so very diminutive, what is a kingdom or a country? What are a few lordships, or the so much admired patrimonies of those who are styled wealthy? When I measure them with my own little pittance, they swell into proud and bloated dimensions: but when I take the universe for my standard, how scanty is their size, how contemptible their figure! they shrink into pompous nothings."
IGNORANCE AND IRRELIGION IN LONDON.
St. Barnabas District Visiting Society was formed, January 1830, for the purpose of carrying on a system of benevolent operations, relieving the miserable, and imparting evangelical instruction to the ignorant. The following is an extract from the first Report of this Society can we, therefore, wonder at crime in London?
"From the families already visited it is a lamentable fact, that two out of three thousand have been found destitute of the Sacred Scriptures, and unaccustomed to attend any place of divine worship. It appears therefore indispensably necessary that means, heretofore not resorted to, should be employed for moralizing, evangelizing, and saving the ignorant and neglected poor. The Committee respectfully and affectionately solicit you to survey the parish in which you reside, and to observe its spiritual condition. Amongst a population of above fifty thousand immortal souls, what proportion of these are in the habit of attending public worship? In the Churches of St. Luke and St. Barnabas, and the Chapels connected with our Dissenting Brethren of every de nomination, accommodations for one-fourth of the population are not provided. There must therefore be multitudes of the neglected poor, whose moral and spiritual welfare should be the object of earnest solicitude to their more enlightened and affluent neighbours."
NEW MAP OF THE HOLY LAND.
To promote the study of the Word of Life is one of the principal objects of the CHRISTIAN'S PENNY MAGAZINE. We therefore announce with pleasure the following publication of the Sunday School Union, as eminently calculated to assist in a right understanding of the sacred volume.
A MAP OF PALESTINE
In the time of our Saviour, illustrative of the books of the Evangelists; also containing the principal places mentioned in the Old Testament.
It is an admirable help to the intelligent reading of the Holy Scriptures; and what we can cordially recommend to all our readers, especially Sunday School Teachers, Young Persons, and Families. The map is on a whole sheet of large vellum imperial.
OTHER TIMES, AND TIMES TO COME.
What the world may have heretofore been,
What castles are ruin'd and gone,
What fights have ensanguin'd our plains;
How strangely our warriors have gleam'd
With the lance and the plume they contended, nor dream'd
That the chivalrous day should expire.
And how oddly our grandsires are drest
With the hood and the hoop, and the doublet and vest,
And the large chimney corner in hall,
In the stiff stately mansion with windows so small,
But enough-there's a mist on the view,
For my children their children shall show
But the next generation will wonder to know
For how few will be here when that period comes round,
Better times than the present or past,
BRITISH AND FOREIGN BIBLE SOCIETY. THIS wondrous Institution, the glory of our age and nation, originated in the endeavours of the Rev. Thomas Charles, of Bala, the principal leader of the Calvinistic Methodists in Wales, to supply his countrymen with the Holy Scriptures in their native language. On his visit to London for that purpose, the subject being mentioned at a committee-meeting of the Religious Tract Society, its secretary, the Rev. Mr. Hughes, suggested the idea of a general society for supplying the whole world with Bibles! The friends present approving the proposition, measures were taken to call a public meeting, which, on the 7th of March 1804, was held at the London Tavern, consisting of about three hundred persons of different denominations, including Some worthy Quakers. For the purpose of carrying their resolutions into effect, it was deemed advisable to seek the patronage of some person of rank. Dr. Porteus, then Bishop of London, yielded to the application; gave his cordial sanction; and recommended Lord Teignmouth as president; an office which that distinguished nobleman has ever since filled with honour. Several other prelates gave their names, which were enrolled on the list of vice presidents. The Rev. Joseph Hughes, M. A., a Baptist minister, and its original projector, the Rev. Josiah Pratt, M. A., of the Church of England, and the Rev. Charles F. A. Steinkopff, D. D., minister of the Lutheran Chapel in London, were appointed secretaries.
The fundamental law of the Bible Society declares its title as above; and also, that its object is exclusively to promote the circulation of the Holy Scriptures, without note or comment, both at home and abroad; and further, that the copies circulated in the United Kingdom, in the English language, shall be those only of the authorized version. The constitution of this great Society admits of the co-operation of all persons who are disposed to concur in its support; and it is ordained that its proceedings shall be conducted by a committee, consisting of thirty-six laymen, six of whom shall be foreigners residing in London and its vicinity; half of the remainder members of the Church of England, and the other half members of other denominations of Christians. The presidents, and all clergymen and dissenting ministers, subscribing to the Society, may vote at the meetings of the committee.
The British and Foreign Bible Society has had many enemies; but to detail its history would require volumes. It has been the means of originating similar institutions in most parts of the world in which the Bible is believed, conveying its immortal blessings to all nations. Either in England or in foreign countries, directly at the expense of the Society, or indirectly by grants to societies abroad, or to individuals, this astonishing Institution has reprinted the Holy Scriptures in 44 languages; re-translations of the Scriptures in 5 languages; in 72 languages and dialects in which they never had previously been printed; and in 32, new translations commenced or completed; making a total
of 153 different languages and dialects! It had issued, up to March 1831, more than seven millions of copies of the Holy Scriptures; and had expended the sum of 1,779,9931. 58. 3d. Besides which, nearly five millions of copies of Bibles and Testaments had been issued by the kindred societies in other parts of Europe, in Asia, and in America.
Worthily have the British and Foreign Bible Society directed their generous efforts to supply the poor of our own country with the Word of God; and the benefits which they have derived from these attentions are incalculable. This noble Institution claims, as it deserves, the liberal support of every Christian patriot; as it is evidently ordained to be eminently instrumental in regenerating our own nation, and of recovering all the nations of the earth to the knowledge and enjoyment of God, in the ordinances of true religion.
FIRST PUBLICATION OF THE ENGLISH
WILLIAM TINDAL, called "The Apostle of England," and "the good martyr of God" for the Holy Scriptures, deserves to be had in everlasting remembrance, by every Christian using the English language. For to that devoted man, under the gracious providence of God, we owe the English translation of the Holy Bible.
Tindal was born at the close of the fifteenth century, in or near to Wales, and received his education partly at Oxford, and afterwards at Cambridge. Being called by grace at an early period of his life, his diligence and success as a scholar were extraordinary; and his thirst after divine knowledge was insatiable. He heard of Luther's Reformation in Germany, and procured some of that great man's writings, by which his mind was confirmed in his abhorrence of the abominations of Popery. As Luther had translated the Bible into German, and thus conferred an inestimable benefit on his countrymen, Tindal determined on translating the word of God into English He attempted to accomplish that noble work in England; but the opposition and persecution of the popish priests in this country, necessitated him to withdraw to the continent; and after conferences with Luther and his colleagues, he settled at Antwerp, where in 1526, he printed an octavo edition of the New Testa
Many of the copies of this volume were imported and sold in England; when" Archbishop Warham sent a pastoral letter to all the prelates of his province, A. D. 1526, acquainting them that certain children of iniquity, blinded by malice, had translated the New Testament into English, to spread heresy, and ruin men's souls; and that some of these pernicious books had been brought into England. He directed them, therefore, to command all persons in their diocese, who had any of these dangerous books, to deliver them up to their bishop, or his commissary, within thirty days, under the pain of excommunication, and of being punished as heretics.”
Sir Thomas More, then Lord Chancellor, condemned the work; and those who sold or purchased it were sentenced to ride on horseback with their faces to the tail, the condemned volumes tied about them; —and, at the Standar.l in Cheapside, London, they were compelled to throw them into the fire, after which they were to pay a heavy fine to the king. Great numbers of the New Testament were sold; and, supported by the price of them, Tindal, assisted by John Frith, William Roye, and Miles Coverdale, proceeded to translate the Old Testament, which was published in 1535.
Incensed against the authors of this translation,
which was extensively sold in England, the Bishops contrived the destruction of Tindal; and as he lodged in the house of Thomas Pointz, an Englishman at Antwerp, Henry Philips was employed to seek his friendship and betray him. This guilty work he accomplished: Tindal was betrayed; condemned by the officers of Charles V, and strangled at Tilford Castle near Antwerp, in 1536. This holy man, however, instead of indulging enmity against his enemies, cherished for them divine benevolence; and aware that Henry VIII had in some measure sanctioned the prelates in his ruin, he died, praying, "Lord! open the eyes of the king of England."
The Scriptures were loudly called for by many in the nation; but Henry published a proclamation against them in 1530. Dr. Cranmer being, on the death of Warham in 1533, made Archbishop of Canterbury, moved in a convocation that an application be made to the king for a translation of the Bible. Cranmer obtained the king's permission, and delivered it in parts to several learned men; but in the mean time Tindal and Coverdale were perfecting their work; and the next year, 1537, after Tindal's martyrdom, Coverdale, assisted by John Rogers, published a new edition of the Bible revised, and compared with the Hebrew, Greek, Latin, and Luther's German translation, dedicated to Henry VIII, under the feigned name of Matthews.
Cranmer presented the Bible to king Henry, who ordered it to be printed as newly translated; and it was committed to the care of Richard Grafton and Edward Whitchurch, who, by means of Bonner, the English ambassador in France, obtained leave to have it printed in Paris. This being made known to the priests, the French printers, their English employers, and Coverdale, who superintended the work, were summoned by the inquisitors; and the impression, consisting of 2,500 copies, was seized and condemned to the flames. Covetousness induced the officers to sell some of them for waste paper, and by this means many reached England. When Cranmer received some copies of this Bible, he said it gave him more joy than if he had received ten thousand pounds.
The proprietors of the work escaped, and succeeded in bringing the types, presses, and printers to London, where the undertaking was finished. In 1538, by the king's proclamation, dated 1537, one of these Bibles was ordered to be placed in every parish church; and in 1539, Lord Cromwell procured permission for private persons to purchase copies of the English Scriptures.
Bishop Burnet observes, that in 1541, "Bonner, seeing the king's mind was set on this, ordered six of these great Bibles to be set up in several places of St. Paul's; that all persons who could read, might at all times. And upon the pillars to which these Bibles were chained, an exhortation was set up, admonishing all that came thither to read, that they should lay aside vain-glory, hypocrisy, and all other corrupt affections, and bring with them discretion, good intentions, charity, reverence, and a quiet behaviour, for the edification of their souls.-But people came generally to hear the Scriptures read; and such as could read, and had clear voices, came often thither with great crowds about them. And many sent their children to school, that they might carry them to St. Paul's, and hear them read the Scriptures."
THE CAUSE OF INFIDELITY. Mr. Editor,
THE apathy of man with respect to his future destiny, so vividly displayed in the conduct and writings of the Atheists of our own times, is to me a subject of wonder and astonishment. I mix with the men of the world. I see them in their business, and hear their conversation. I talk with them in private, and yet cannot find that they are at all careful of what shall be their fate hereafter: any subject seems more interesting than religion-any topic more cheerfully argued. Why then, I am compelled to ask, is this the case? How comes it that this indifference pervades every mind, and this thoughtlessness fills every heart? Are men ignorant of their nature? Do they not know that they are destined to be the possessors of a boundless eternity-that their continuance on earth will be of short duration, and yet, that when myriads of years shall have rolled by, their spirits will be found either enjoying happiness in the bosom of their God, or writhing beneath the fell tyranny of the Evil One in the regions of the lost? That they are in ignorance of these facts, I cannot, I will not believe. Who is he that shall stand beside the death-bed of a friend, and yet profess ignorance of the nature of the spirit's departure from its earthly tabernacle? Who is he that shall see his acquaintance drop one by one into the grave, and still believe that the life of man is not transitory, and of short duration? That all men die, is a fact so evident that none can deny it. That the writer and the reader of this article will ere long be laid in the silent tomb is certain and that the multitudes which now crowd our streets and market places will soon become food for the worms, is incontestibly proved by the years that are past. True it is, that no traveller has returned to tell the tale of what he has had to undergo; but does that form a sufficient excuse for indifference on the part of beings, who ere long will have to experience all the realities of eternity? I should have thought that such a consideration as this would have increased rather than diminished our anxiety respecting the part we shall act, and the course we shall tread in the boundless ages of futurity. A novel or romance possesses the power of working our feelings to the highest, and we can watch with anxiety every step which the hero of fiction takes, every word that he utters, every trial he endures, and in a painful and breathless suspense, attend to the denouement of all his plans, and the conclusion of his sufferings. The business of life has charms to engross the whole soul, and call forth every energy of the mind, and with painful watchings we observe every opening prospect which seems to increase or lessen our chances of success. What shall I be told then that this same being is inattentive to the most awful of all plans, and indifferent about the termination of his own existence; that he treats with contempt the Revelation which God has given of his Son, and, drunk with the cup administered by the syren, Pleasure, refuses to drink of those waters of life which are pure, and the drinker of which is assured that he shall thirst no more. Clear it must be to every man, that some strange infatuation overwhelms the soul, for otherwise it would not be careless on these important topics. And what is this infatuation? What is it that has the power of blinding man to his best and only real interest? None other than THE DEVIL!! Yes, Infidel, ridicule you may, and scoff you may, and jeer you may; but the awful truth is inscribed in letters which the ocean of eternity can never wash out-that you are under Satanic influence; that when you rise up it is to spend the day under the guidance of the father of lies, and when you lie down to take your rest his wings overshadow you. What an awful thought!
This is the only cause which I can discover for the reign of infidelity. It does not rest in man's own heart, for it is clear that his mind does look forward to futurity. It consists in him who has the power of blinding this heart to its own interest, and stilling all its secret admonitions And, therefore, I hesitate not to say, that every one who in thought, word, or deed, is indifferent to his future destiny, is the servant and slave of Satan now-and I leave him to judge whose servant he will be hereafter.
To you, Mr. Editor, I cannot but be thankful (as one most anxious for the eternal welfare of my fellow men) for establishing a work which bids fair to shake the strong-holds of infidelity; and that it may do so, will ever be the earnest prayer of, yours most sincerely,
MARTYRDOM OF ST. VINCENT, A SPANISH MARTYR.
THIS Christian hero was a native of Saragossa, and the son of a distinguished magistrate. His learning and eloquence carly introduced him to the notice of his diocesan Valerius, whose deacon he became; and as that prelate was afflicted with an impediment in speaking, on him devolved the duty of addressing the congregation from the episcopal seat. His popularity reached the ear of Dacian, who summoned both bishop and deacon before him, and who committed both, heavily fettered, to the dark dungeons of Valencia. Having passed some time in this horrible abode, with food scarcely sufficient to sustain life, both were again brought before the tyrant, who, on observing their cheerful countenances, which exhibited no marks of suffering, angrily demanded of the guards whether they had not disobeyed his commands. On hearing that his orders. had been punctually performed, he artfully endeavoured to seduce by an affected moderation those on whom severity had produced no visible effect. He exhorted them to comply with the decrees of the world's great masters, who insisted that the dignity of the ancient worship should be restored, and the gods everywhere honoured by sacrifices.
Valerius attempted to reply, but seeing his embarrassed utterance, his young friend said: "Father, dost thou permit me to answer this judge?" The other replied," My son, I have long trusted thee with the office of speaking, and I leave thee now to justify the faith for which we are standing here." In a discourse of surprising energy and eloquence, the deacon then vindicated the unity of God, and the divinity of Christ, and contrasted the sublimity of the doctrines he professed with the puerile absurdities of paganism. He concluded by asserting that entreaties no less than nenaces would be unable to make them guilty of idolatry.
The intrepidity of the advocate filled Dacian with fury. "Let this bishop," he exclaimed, “be removed hence; as he has disobeyed the imperial edict, he is justly exiled but for this fellow, who to disobedience adds insult, a heavier punishment is reserved. Apply the torture; dislocate his limbs, and let him feel a rebel's punishment." The order was promptly obeyed, and Dacian had both the gratification to witness, and the barbarity to deride, the agonies of the sufferer. The latter, whose cheek blanched not, and whose lips uttered not one word of complaint, regarding his persecutor with that calm composure which proved that his heaven was already begun, merely replied,-"I have always wished for an opportunity of proving my attachment to the religion of Christ; thou hast given it me, and I am content;" Mad with rage, the governo