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CHARACTER OF ADAM.
With him his noblest sons might not compare
A COMMENTARY UPON THE HOLY BIBLE, From Henry and Scott, with Observations and Notes from other Writers, Vol. I, GENESIS to DeuteroNOMY; Vol. II, JOSHUA to ESTHER; Vol. III, JOB to SOLOMON'S SONG. 8vo.
"All Scripture is given by inspiration of God;" it must, therefore, have been written in a style adapted to the capacities of the great bulk of mankind. Its glorious doctrines are so plainly and perspicuously stated, that by attending to them, wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein," from the saving truths of God. No unlearned man, possessing a truly humble mind, seeking the grace of the Holy Spirit upon his reading or hearing of the Scriptures, need fear mistaking the design of the Bible, or that he shall fail of an effectual acquaintance with its divine doc
Still every serious reader of the Holy Scriptures, however learned, feels his need of the friendly help of a wise Commentator. Works of this class have become numerous, and their number, we believe, will yet greatly increase. But among all the Commentaries of various merit extant, we cannot but regard this, published by the Religious Tract Society, as decidedly the best for those who are able to purchase but one. Each of the three volumes already published, contains an immense mass of the most valuable Biblical matter, both introductory to the several books, and expository of the sacred texts, selected from a great many standard authors, but chiefly from the excellent Commentaries of HENRY and SCOTT. We have read a considerable portion of these volumes, and with the highest satisfaction: we admire the skill with which the compilation has been made, and rejoice to see so precious a treasure thus placed within the reach of our peasantry, our mechanics, and the humbler classes of our country
MILTON'S LOSS OF HIS SIGHT.
THE following extract from Dr. Symmons's Life of Milton, is a charming evidence of the pious resignation of our sublime poet, under one of the greatest afflictions to which life is heir. It is a part of a letter on the subject of his blindness, addressed by Milton to one of his literary friends.
"I have made up my mind to my case, as one evidently beyond the reach of cure; and I often reflect, that as many days of darkness, according to the wise man, are allotted to us all, mine, which by the singular favour of the Deity are divided between leisure and study, are recreated by the conversation and intercourse of my friends, are far more agreeable than those deadly shades of which Solomon is speaking. But if, as it is written, man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God,' why should not each of us acquiesce in the reflection, that he receives the benefits of sight, not from his eyes alone, but from the guidance and providence of the same Supreme Being? Whilst he looks out and provides for me as he does, and leads me about, as it were, with his hand through the paths of life, I willingly surrender my own faculty of vision, in conformity to his good pleasure; and, with a heart as strong and as stedfast as if I were a Lynceus, I bid you, my Philarus, farewell."
THE MORN OF LIFE.
FROM THE GERMAN OF GELLERT.
His morn of life, how wondrous fair,
His livid eye, his wasted form,
"O Lord of Hosts, blessed is the man that trusteth in thee."-While, therefore, we are strangers and sojourners here below, far from that heavenly country where we would be, in whom should we trust to bring us to the holy city, new Jerusalem, of which the Lord God and the Lamb are the temple, but in thee, O Saviour and Redeemer,, who art the Head of every creature, the Captain of the armies of heaven and earth, the Lord of Hosts and the King of Glory? "Blessed, thrice blessed, is the man that trusteth in thee."
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PROFANATION OF THE LORD'S DAY. CHRISTIANITY is the acknowledged religion of Great Britain. And whatever may be the abuses practised under its hallowed name, through which, in a great measure, infidelity may be cherished, and boast of many disciples among all classes, no scholar, of sane mind, has been found of late years, possessed of sufficient boldness to question seriously its authenticity or its divinity. Its evidences are so numerous and convincing to the mind of every intelligent person, that however he may be unwilling to comply with its spiritual requirements, he cannot hesitate to pronounce it to have originated with God. Why then, it may be asked, are its sacred institutions so generally neglected? Why is the hallowed day of the Sabbath so awfully profaned?
Religion, morality, and public happiness are most lamentably injured by the prevailing, and we fear increasing, profanation of the Lord's day. This is the conviction of every Moral Philosopher, and of every sound Politician, as well as of every Christian. We love our country, and are deeply concerned for its peace and security, its liberty and prosperity: but its interests, in these respects, can bet promoted, only by the habitual regard to the holy and beneficial laws of God.
Most sincerely do we rejoice in the publication of a Report from the Select Committee of the House of Commons on the observance of the Lord's day; ordered
by the House of Commons to be printed, Aug. 6, 1832." It is published in a tract of sixteen 8vo. pages; and we earnestly wish it to be possessed by every reflecting person in the community.
Profanation of the Lord's day, by "Sunday Sports," as represented in our engraving, though not so general as it was fifty years ago, still prevails in many remote parishes of our favoured country. Of this we could give most affecting illustrations: but our object at present is to refer to the "Report from the Select Committee of the House of Commons."
"The Metropolis and its immediate neighbourhood" formed the principal scene of inquiry by this "Honourable Committee." They state, "Your Committee regret to be under the necessity of stating, that the evidence which has been submitted to them, exhibits a systematic and widely-spread violation of the Lord's day, which, in their judgment, cannot fail to be highly injurious to the best interests of the people, and which is calculated to bring down upon the country the Divine displeasure." This is language worthy of Christian legislators!
Referring to certain districts on a Sunday morning, they say, "the state of these places is described as more like a fair than a market;' so that the neighbourhood is quiet upon any other day of the week compared with the Sunday. The people who frequent these shops and markets are chiefly the improvident, who, generally speaking, might have made their marketing to greater advantage on Saturday evening.
Master tradesmen and manufacturers are, in many instances, censurable in relation to this state of things. The Report correctly states, "With or without the knowledge of master tradesmen, it frequently happens that their foremen or clerks pay the workmen at public-houses, where, as a matter of patronage, are established paytables. There the men are appointed to meet, and by the time they have drunk for the good of the house,' it being considered necessary to drink something, the money is produced by the clerk, or in some instances by the publican himself; and, the score for the week's tippling being deducted, the remnant is put into the pocket of the man. Continuing to drink, as is but too frequent, he is taken to the Police Stationhouse. His wife follows, and late in the morning discovers, by the entries in the Police books, that his week's earnings are reduced to a few shillings. Then her Sunday morning's marketing commences. Even the wives (with their children), when looking after their husbands at public-houses, are frequently found to yield to the temptations which these places present; and thus whole families become victims to this baneful system.”
Many continue at these public-houses the whole of Saturday night; and as the Report adds, "They may continue to drink until the hour of divine worship on Sunday, when they are turned into the street in the most disgusting state, to the great annoyance of the inhabitants passing to church; and in some districts, to such a height has this nuisance arrived, that fathers and busbands are deterred from taking their families to places of worship."
The case of the "journeymen bakers," consisting of many thousands in the Metropolis, is very grievous, 7,000 of whom have petitioned parliament for relief on the Lord's day. Their health and lives are sacrificed by almost incessant toil, besides their inability to attend the ordinances of divine worship. "In reference to the sacrifice of health of which this trade complains, it may be observed, that a witness, an acute and experienced medical gentleman, speaking generally of the effect, affirms, that, from the constitution of the human frame, the absence of it (of the periodical relaxation afforded by the weekly Sabbath) brings on necessarily premature decay and death." Report, page 5.
"In a few of the worst parts of the town," says the Report, shops of various descriptions are kept open throughout the whole of the Sabbath day; and at the west-end of the town, especially in the neighbourhood of the wealthier classes, some shops, such as fishmongers and poulterers, although with closed doors, do much business, and until a late hour in the evening, in supplying articles for Sunday dinners to the rich. This is a practice which tends much to the discomfort and to the demoralizing of such persons, their journeymen, apprentices, and servants.""As to penalties, some Sunday traders have been known openly to mock at them,' and have even offered to pay them six months in advance, to save the trouble of informations; boasting that their gains were so great on Sunday mornings, that they could well afford to pay 5s. out of them." We have heard of one of them taking 100l. on a Sunday.
Those most pernicious public nuisances, gin-shops, were not forgotten by the Committee. They say, "Most of the witnesses are of opinion, that no tippling of spirits or beer on the premises should be allowed throughout the Sabbath; but that shops should be open only for the sale of beer for the use of private families, and at proper hours."
Immorality and Sunday profanation curse the watering places in the vicinity of London. The Committee say, It will likewise appear from the evidence, that from the great concourse of passengers in steam packets, much
demoralization is produced by the crowds of strangers arriving at Gravesend and Richmond upon the Sundays, together with innumerable public and private carriages at the latter place. Several respectable tradesmen have described the state of Richmond; and the Curate declares, that the evil produced by the foreign influence' overpowers all attempts of the parochial ministers to bring about a better state of things. Your Committee are happy to observe, that, through the influence of conscientious and influential individuals, the steam communication with Margate on the Lord's day, has in a great measure been put a stop to."
Legislation may be so employed, we are confident, as to accomplish much in promoting the better observance of the Lord's day; but much more, we believe, depends on the exemplary piety and judicious zeal of Christians, of both public and private character. We cannot but rejoice to hear, therefore, the Report express such sentiments as the following: "Your Committee, however, whilst thus recommending an emendation of the law, as necessary to put down gross desecrations of the Lord's day, and to enable all classes to avail themselves of its privileges, avow that, in anticipating an improved observance of it, as the result of more efficient laws, they rely chiefly on the moral support which they would receive, as well from the highest authorities of the church, its clergy, and ministers of all denominations, as from the example of the upper classes, the magistracy, and all respectable heads of families; and, it may be added, from the increasing conviction of all classes, derived from experience, of the value of the day of rest to themselves."
Scotland was not altogether forgotten by the "Committee:" We were aware of the increasing "Profanation of the Lord's day," even in Scotland: but we were not fully acquainted with all particulars relating to that superior country. Education and religion generally prevail more in the " North," than in England: still there are many circumstances relating to that land of martyrs and confessors, which are seriously affecting and pernicious. This Report states-" It appears also to be a source of much inconvenience, that in Scotland a person cannot follow the business of a grocer, without having a spirit licence, many of the most irregular tipplinghouses being also grocers' shops. Among the evils most complained of, is the insufficient accommodation in churches provided for the inhabitants in many places, and the accompanying impracticability of exercising a beneficial superintendence over the morals of the overgrown population. In large cities and towns, like Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Dundee, Paisley, and Greenock, parishes contain often from 7,000 to 70,000 or 80,000 inhabitants, with seldom more than one incumbent. Hence, even when accommodation is, to a considerable extent, provided in chapels and meeting-houses of various denominations, a great many of the people, belonging to no congregation, are not practically subject to any efficient control or inspection; and thus many sources of disorder are suffered, without interruption, to extend their influence. An evil of not inferior magnitude has been alleged to spring from the inadequate provision made in such populous places for the education of the lower orders."
"As I walked here this morning," said a Metropolitan minister one Lord's day, "I saw some shops broad open, others half open, and some close shut. In those broad open I saw the daring sinner trampling on God's day. In those half open, I saw the legal principle-'I would open it quite if I dared.' And in those close shut I saw what the grace of God can do for a man-it can even make him give up his worldly interests."
THE BIRMINGHAM APPRENTICE.
His Juvenile Companions.
FROM his connection with the public grammar-school, in addition to the children of his immediate neighbours, the class-mates and other juvenile acquaintances of William
were very numerous. Some of these were youths of remarkable promise: yet none of them were known as the sons of parents who were noted for their profession of religion, except one, who was a Baptist. But the manners of this good man were esteemed so grave, precise, and singular, that though none could make a reflection upon his mode of life, as deserving condemnation or censure, his rigid rules of morality, and his frequent attendance at meetings, even on week evenings, seemed to be worthy of notice only as distinguishing him from the whole population of the neighbourhood. His wife appeared to take no pleasure in the religious principles of her husband: she was accustomed, therefore, to apologise for the unrestrained levity of their children; and they, entertaining little respect for the selfdenying notions of their father, which their mother did not regard with reverence, were equally far from the kingdom of God with their acquaintances, neglecting the things pertaining to their everlasting salvation.
Indeed, for a man to have been seriously religious at that period in Birmingham, was to have rendered himself, in the estimation of many, a very suspicious character; and he might expect to be branded as a Jacobin, an enemy to "church and king;" and the intolerant spirit of furious bigotry, which had produced the notorious and disgraceful "Birmingham Riots," was still in a high degree cherished by many of the population. Only one place of worship in the whole town, connected with the church of England, was, at that period, distinguished by the active zeal of its congregation for the pure gospel of Christ; and as that chapel had been built at the expense of a lady who was a Dissenter, or at least who was recommended to that noble act of liberality by Dissenters, one of whose ministers had been honoured as the instrument of her conversion to God, and as the assistant minister of the chapel had been educated among Dissenters, the principles of that congregation were regarded with peculiar suspicion by many, on the ignorant supposition of their cherishing the chief enemies of the church!
England being threatened at that period with an invasion by the French, under Buonaparte, almost every youth was urged to become a volunteer, or to enlist for a regular soldier; and almost every one of the early companions of William at school and at play, was by this means induced to enter the army. Frequently, in after years, did he look back with admiration and gratitude to that sovereign and gracious Providence, by which he was delivered from the circle of his young acquaintances at that remarkably critical period; and that he was bound an in-door apprentice, thereby being prevented from enlisting for a soldier, and so falling into their common excesses and enormities of conduct, into a premature grave, and perhaps into perdition! Several times did one or other of his young friends, by finding an opportunity to display before him the tempting guineas and large bank notes, as the price of the ample bounties which were paid to the recruits, endeavour to prevail with William to leave his business, run away from his situation, and join their honourable and merry ranks, in the service of King George: but the good hand of a covenantkeeping God preserved him from the snare, and kept him in the paths of duty and of peace, while the companions of his boyish years, in troops, perished in foreign lands.
Despatched in different directions, to join one or other of the detachments which were constantly embarking for a foreign campaign, many of his young acquaintances, before they had attained the twenty-first year of their age, were cut off in the field of battle, or dragged to an untimely
grave by the various diseases which destroyed the flower of our country's youth. The fatal expedition to the Scheldt especially, in 1809, took away many of the associates of his early days. On the isle of Walcheren, of which the army took possession, they perished miserably by disease, occasioned by the wetness of the country, and aggravated by the excessive use of ardent spirits, which were eagerly taken to counteract the influence of the contagion with which they were afflicted. "The Gin Fever," as the old soldiers called it, killed more than the sword!
"At the end of July, 1809, a military force of 40,000, including 2000 cavalry, and 16 companies of artillery, commanded by Lieut.-General the Earl of Chatham; and a naval force of 39 sail of the line, and 36 frigates, besides mortar-vessels and gun-boats, under the orders of Rear-Admiral Sir Richard Strachan, sailed from the Downs, for the purpose of securing an object exclusively British, the capture or destruction of the enemy's ships at Antwerp or Flushing, or afloat on the Scheldt - the destruction of the arsenals and dockyards at Antwerp, Terneuse, or Flushing-the reduction of the island of Wale cheren, and the rendering of the Scheldt, if possible, no longer navigable for ships of war.' On the 1st of August, Flushing was invested. On the 13th, the batteries were completed, and the frigates and mortar-vessels having taken their stations, the bombardment commenced. On the 14th, the cannonade from the fleet was so powerful, and a battery in breach besides being ready to open, that the commander-in-chief, trusting to the threatening aspect of affairs, suspended his operations for a few hours in the afternoon, and sent a summons to the garrison; but this being rejected, the firing recommenced, and the bombardment was most furiously renewed. At one o'clock, on the morning of the 15th, the French made offers of capitulation, which were accepted; and the garrison, amounting to more than 4,000 troops, were made prisoners of war. The commander-in-chief returned to England in the month of September, with the greater part of the land forces, and the remainder only retained possession of the island of Walcheren, till the disease, incident to the climate, more terrible than the sword to the soldier, forced them, after blowing up the fortifications of Flushing, which they had uselessly repaired, to return about the middle of November to hospitals in their own country. It was calculated, that one-half of the soldiers employed had fallen victims to the pestilential marshes of Walcheren during this expedition, which cost about twenty millions sterling."
THE NEGRO'S CRY.
Oh, ye that dwell on Britain's Isle,
In cruel chains behold us bound,
No hope beneath, no hope above,
Oh, ye that dwell on Britain's Isle,
Oh, let your sympathy awhile
Go! Christian Herald! preach the grace
Yes, we will lend our willing feet,
On wings of love we'll fly,
ADDRESS OF JOSEPH JOHN GURNEY, ESQ.
TO THE MECHANICS OF MANCHESTER.
HISTORICAL KNOWLEDGE may be considered as comprehending all the information which we receive respecting past events or still existing circumstances, on the testimony of others. It comprehends what we learn from the traveller as well as from the historian, and indeed almost all that we know of every description, about absent persons and things. If faith may be said to lie at the foundation of natural philosophy and mathematics, this is still more obviously true of history in its several branches. It is received by testimony alone: and if testimony is of a sound description; if it is that of an honest man; or if it is confirmed by collateral evidence; or more especially, if it comes from many independent, yet agreeing witnesses, no one hesitates to believe it, and to accept such information as knowledge.
Take the reform bill for an example. You are all of you assured beyond a doubt that it has passed both Houses of Parliament. You are certain that this is true. You know it for a fact. But on what is your knowledge founded? On the declarations of your neighbours, or on the authority of your newspapers. Among the mighty multitudes of men and women who were poured forth, the other day, in your streets, to celebrate the passing of the bill, we may presume that there was not one who did not know the fact. Probably, also, there was not one whose knowledge of it had any other foundation than that of simple faith in testimony.
Having thus endeavoured to classify the knowledge which you are here pursuing, and having briefly glanced at the foundation on which it all rests, I shall now turn to the main subject of my address-its right use and application. It is a common saying that " knowledge is power." He who gives up his mind to a state of darkness and ignorance, and brings scarcely any powers into use but those of his body, is no better than the brute on which he rides. Indeed he is in a far worse condition than the brute, because more responsible. These reflections must be obvious to all.
In looking, however, somewhat more particularly to this subject, I presume you will all agree with me in the sentiment, that as the subject of knowledge is truth, so the true purpose of it is happiness; and that knowledge is rightly applied, only when it promotes the comfort and substantial welfare of mankind.
Speculations which have no practical bearing, are by no means in fashion in the present day. Never was there a time when men were more ready to apply all things to some useful purpose: and this is especially true as it relates to science. We are accustomed to trace the right use and application of chemistry, in the workshop of the dyer, in the stores of the apothecary, in the prescription of the physician; of anatomy, in the skill of the surgeon; of hydraulics, in the powers of the water-wheel; of optics, in every kind of aid to our limited or fading vision. Above all, who that has witnessed the astonishing proofs of human ingenuity, by which this place and its vicinity are distinguishedwho that has contemplated the gentle yet resistless movements of the steam engine, and the immense variety of machinery which it keeps in action-who that calls to mind the almost infinite quantity of useful material which is thus daily produced for the benefit of the world -can for a moment doubt the use of the science of mechanics?
Here, by the way, I may venture to express my conviction, that, practised as you are in the effective application of a well-arranged machinery, and aware of the multitude of persons which it is the means of employing, you can be little disposed to join in the
idle cry which is sometimes heard against the use of it. Machinery is one means of inmensely increasing the powers of man for useful purposes; and that it is our duty, in the sight of God and our fellow creatures, to make the most of our capacities for such purposes, no sound moralist can deny. The fact is, that this, like every other application of our natural faculties, requires the regulation of moral and religious principleof that fear of the Lord which restrains from evil, and of that love which "worketh no ill to his neighbour." Without this regulation, it may often be fraught with mischief; with it, it cannot fail to be both safe and desirable.
But let no one suppose that information and science can have no right application, except when they are directed to the supply of our external wants. It is not every species of knowledge, which is capable of being. thus immediately applied to our comfort and convenience. But knowledge-in a yet wider range-has uses of its own, of a more refined description indeed, but nevertheless of substantial importance to the welfare and happiness of mankind. These uses may be severally contrasted with certain corresponding temptations which infest the path of learning; and in order to partake of the benefit, we must, in each case, exercise watchfulness and diligence to escape from the peril which lies on the opposite side.
1. Opposed to the danger of pride and self-conceitthe frequent consequence of superficial knowledge-is a benefit already alluded to as arising from a thorough cultivation of mind-the humiliation of man in the view of his own ignorance. The uncultivated mind is left without any conception of the vast extent and variety of things which are the objects even of human inquiry. But let a man fairly give himself to the study of some one branch of knowledge; let him go into the depth and breadth of the pursuit; and he will soon be convinced, that in this single department, he has abundant occupation for his utmost powers. He will be humbled under a feeling of the utter impossibility of his attaining to more than a small portion of the knowledge which is within the reach But let him go farther; let him extend his inquiries on every side, with the zeal and ability of a Boyle or a Bacon, and he will soon perceive that all human knowledge is confined within narrow boundaries-that beyond these boundaries there lies a hidden infinite, into which it is vain for him to attempt to search-for it is known only to the Omniscient. He learns also what is the inevitable condition of human knowledge-that it must ever be founded on belief. Now these are lessons which have a strong tendency to deprive a man of his self-conceit, and to break down the haughtiness of his spirit; and just in proportion as they produce this effect, do they promote his real welfare. Pride is the curse of our species-the root of ambition, covetousness, wrath, malice, and cruelty. But humility works well for the happiness of individuals, and for the peace of society. Not all the pages of all the uninspired moralists who ever lived, can furnish a sentiment of so much weight and efficacy as that which was uttered by our holy Redeemer : "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."
(To be continued.)
THE KAMSCHATDALES TAUGHT MEDICINE
BY BEARS. WHEN a bear is wounded by a ball, he gathers leaves and fills up the wound with them. The Kamschatdales state, that they derive their medical knowledge from observing what herbs the bears apply to their wounds, and what method they pursue for recovery when languid and disordered.