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THE CHRISTIAN'S PENNY MAGAZINE.
THOUGHTS ON THE SACRED HISTORY OF
(Abridged from Dr. Sharon Turner's valuable work.) THE Sacred History of the World is built on the grand truth expressed in the first verse of the Pentateuch : "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." This is the foundation of all religion, whether popular or philosophical. The intellectual world possesses an invaluable treasure in this simple but emphatic information. It is invaluable, because it is a fact which could certainly only be known to us from revelation, as no human eye could have witnessed the event; and because the greatest men of antiquity were in doubt and darkness, and in opposition to each other on this subject, as we should still be if the book of Genesis had not descended to us.
Instead of deriving the world from God, it was more common among the classical nations to derive their gods from the world. Several pagan nations, even in our own times, thus account for their existence: few have thought the Deity to be the Creator of the earth or of the heavens; and the mind had become so confused on the point, that it was more generally supposed that they were either eternally what they were then seen to be, or that they had been created by a fortuitous concourse of self-moving atoms. Such ideas were highly patronized in ancient times; and until Christianity diffused the knowledge and authenticity of the Mosaic records as to the origin of things, nothing was positively known or rationally believed about it. The more we investi gate the conflicting and chimerical opinions of mankind on this great topic, the more we shall appreciate the first chapter of Genesis. On no subject of its thought has the human mind been more fantastic, than in its suppositions on the origin of the gods whom it chose to worship, and of the material world in which it was residing. Revelation has banished these, by giving us the desirable certainty.
The process of creation in the primitive construction of our earth, has not been detailed by the Hebrew legislator. He mentions no more of its massive composition than this short sentence: "The earth was without form and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters." The earth was "without form;" it had therefore to be put into form; its material substance had been created, but not arranged into any specific formation; it was also “ void," that is, empty, vacant of all that now adorns its surface, or that was afterwards made within it: it had to receive and be replenished with all those additional and organized things and beings, or more specific metals and minerals, which were intended to be within and upon it. As "darkness was upon the face of the deep," there was in its primeval state a deeper abyss, a vast obscure concavity; and as Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters," its surface must have been covered with the sea. Thus the first state of our earth which is noticed to us after the general creation, is that of a dark mass unformed and void, and an abyss within, and whose surface was moving waters, but on which the Divine Spirit was operating. The effects of this operation are not stated: but we may presume them to have been the production of those arrangements which constitute its present structure, its great masses of rock and strata, its geological system and construction.
At this point of time, when its specific composition was taking place, the Divine command was issued for the appearance of light. The introduction of this grand agent of the creative process is mentioned with that sublimity of diction which arises from the conciseness of dignity-" And God said, Light be: and light was.'
It came instantaneously, pouring on and pervading the terrestrial mass; and the operations of this beautiful element, whose penetrating, universal, and marvellous agencies are yet so little understood, fulfilled its Author's wishes: "God saw the light, that it was good."
From light we cannot separate the recollection and companionship of heat: they are now found to be so generally co-existing, that they are thought to be modifications of the same element. Fire is luminous heat, or heat in the state of light: the sun's light has the effect of both heat and light. All flame from all combustible bodies, our domestic fires, volcanic light, the electrical lightning, all these exhibit both light and heat. The Hebrew word used by Moses expresses both light and fire. The interior of the earth, as far as it is yet known, exhibits everywhere the agency of light and heat, either in their combined operations of fire, or in Submarine volcanoes are still other modifications. occasionally bursting up as indications of the fiery Thus the agencies yet acting beneath our surface. Mosaic record expresses the true principles of our geological formations. They have proceeded from the action of the water or the fiery element, or are the We learn from the book of alternate effects of each.
very Genesis, that these were active agents at the mencement of creation. Water began its operations as the Spirit of the Creator directed: light descended immediately afterwards, and with its attendants, heat and Thus the great fire, exerted its powerful agencies. scientific truth, after many contending systems have been overthrown, that both the watery and fiery elements were actively concerned in the geological construction of our earth, is indicated by the Mosaic narration, instead of being inconsistent with it.
The next act of the Deity was to make a boundary or division between the visible presence or action of light and that darkness which arises from its disappearance Their -calling the one day, and its absence night. succession was made to constitute that portion of time which we designate by a natural day: "the evening and Our earthly day is the morning were the first day." that space of time in which our globe turns once completely round. This section of time does not depend upon the sun, nor arise from it: being only a rotation of the earth, it could occur as well without a solar orb as with one. The annual circuit, or a year, which is the completed orbit of the earth round this luminary, could not take place without a sun; but a day requires the existence and revolving motion of the earth alone. This is mentioned by Moses as beginning before the sun was made the centre of our astronomical system and as this fact denotes the diurnal movement to be distinct from and independent of the sun, it is another instance of the correctness of the Mosaic account. The first rotation of the earth round its own axis made the interval of the first day; and each subsequent revolution constituted the several days that succeeded: nor can rational conjecture assign any reason for this daily movement, except the commanding will and exerted power of the Divine Creator. Nor is it a mere revolution alone which makes our day; but it is a revolution with that particular, specifically assigned, and limited yet marvellous velocity, with which it has ever been performed. To occupy that portion of time which composes our day, it must move precisely and with constant, undeviating exactness, at the rate of about one thousand miles an hour, or above sixteen miles every minute-a stupendous celerity for a massy globe nearly eight thousand miles in diameter! A greater velocity would make our day so much the shorter; a slower progress would as much prolong it: but this revolving progress has been continued for nearly six thousand years with a precision which has never varied
nd although it is desirable to refer all phenomena to natural causes whenever they can be discerned, yet for the performance and limitation of this amazing rotation no other origin can be alleged than the Divine choice and ordination. The two largest of the other planets roll round their axes in about half the time that our earth takes; and so might we have done; but for purposes unrevealed to us, but most probably in special adaptation to the nature, formation, and benefit of all the beings that have been created on it, and to the fittest action and succession of light and heat, it revolves as it does. And one of the most satisfactory evidences to our admiring reason, that our earthly system is not a medley combination of accidents, but the composition and arrangement of an intelligent Creator, arises from that universal adaptation of all its parts and movements to each other, and to the agencies and welfare of the whole, which become the more manifest to our enlightened judgment, the more they are studied and understood.
(To be continued.)
EXTRAORDINARY DEVELOPMENT OF MIND IN INSECTS.
Ir is in the habits of those insects which live in societies that we perceive the most remarkable demonstrations of ven intelligent intellect; for what other term can we justly apply to that faculty within them, which leads on enables them to form political communities, with established governments, sovereignties, social ranks, and appropriated occupations; and also produc ing regulations, or exacted habits of conduct, resembling those enforced by human laws and policies? What seemed poetry in Virgil, as to the bees, has been found to be only a part of the truth as to their associations. The diminutive ants are still more extraordinary. The wasps display kindred mind and habits. It is not possible to read of the wars of the ants or of the bees, to find them assemble in armies, make evolutions, and fight pitched battles, and to deny them a similarity of mind with those of their superiors, who have soldiers, tactics, and wars. That ants have slaves, and make expeditions to reduce them to servitude; that they should keep smaller insects, the aphides, in order that they may milk them, or extract from their bodies a saccharine fluid for their own nourishment, as we take the milk from cows; and that they should keep assemblages of them as their separate and private property §: such actions and habits are too like our own, not to be considered those of the reasoning mind, not very dissimilar to that which we possess. All species of the
On the wars of the bees and wasps, see Insect Miscellany, p. 322-531.
"They will sometimes travel one hundred and fifty paces to attack a Negro colony." lb. 83. The slaves are well used; being so entirely dependent as these masters are upon their slaves for every necessary comfort and enjoyment of life, can scarcely be supposed to treat them with rigour or unkindness. So far from this, it is evident, from the preceding account, that they rather look up to them, and are in some degree under their control.
Kirby, p. 97. It is on this process that Linnæus, who has also noted it, says, "The ant ascends the tree, that it may milk its cows, the aphides, not kill them," Syst. Nat. 292, 3, Inst. Linn.
Ants make a property of these cows, for which they contend with great earnestness. Kirby, p. 89. "The greatest cow keeper of all the ants is the yellow ant of gold, F. flava. This species, which is not fond of roaming from home, usually collects in its nest a large herd of a kind of aphis, that derives its nutriment from grass and other plants. These it transports from the neighbouring roots, and thus, without going out, it has always a copious supply of food: these creatures share its care, equally with its own offspring."-Kirby, 39.
ants, petty as they are in size and appearance, perform actions, possess and preserve institutions, and display faculties and capacities, which seem on the whole not to be inferior to those of any of the animal orders; indeed superior perhaps to what is known of any. One kind of these are peculiarly useful to mankind in consuming animal and dead matter, which in warmer climates would become a pest lential putridity *.-Sharon Turner's History of the World.
The termites, or white ants, are peculiarly active and serviceable in this respect. Nor is there any set of insects whose economy is more perfect; they exist together in kingdoms, and build cities, which are extremely populous. Mr. Smeathman has described the bellicosus species in the Philosophical Transactions, from his observation of them in Africa. They build a cone rounded at the top, four feet high, and of great extent. The walls are of clay, and so strong as to bear the weight of the heaviest animals. These contain vast departments. That in the centre, is for the queen and her attendants, who are scarcely fewer than a hundred thousand. They exist in the classes or forms of labourers and soldiers. When their cities are broken open, the soldiers march out with impetuosity, and attack every thing that comes in their way. Wherever they strike, they draw blood, and frequently beat off the bare-legged Negroes. As soon as an assailant is withdrawn, the labourers issue forth in prodigious numbers to bury them.-Phil. Trans. vol. lxxi, p. 139.
DR. BARROW ON THE PROPER USE OF
MANY persons glory in being rich, and their chief happiness appears to consist in contemplating the increase of their property above the wealth of their neighbours. Dr. Barrow's observations on this species of insanity are worthy of consideration.
"If we contemplate our wealth itself, we may therein descry great motives to hounty. Thus to employ our riches, is really the best use they are capable of; not only the most innocent, most worthy, most plausible; but the most safe, most pleasant, most advantageous, and consequently in all respects most prudent way of disposing of them. To keep them close, without using or enjoying them at all, is a most sottish extravagance or a strange kind of madness: a man thence affecting to be rich, quite impoverisheth himself, dispossesseth himself of all, and alienateth from himself his estate: his gold is no more his than when it was in the Indies, or lay hid in the mines; his corn is no more his than if it stood growing in Arabia or China; he is no more owner of his lands than he is master of Jerusalem or Grand Cairo: for what difference is there, whether distance of place or baseness of mind sever these things from him?-whether his own heart or another man's hand detain them from his use? - whether he hath them not at all, or hath them to no purpose?-whether one is a beggar out of necessity, or by choice?-is pressed to want, or a volunteer thereto? Such a one may fancy himself rich, and others, as wise as himself, may repute him so; but so distracted persons to themselves and to one another do seem great princes, and style themselves such: with as much reason almost he might pretend to be wise and good.
Riches are (chremata, in the Greek) things whose nature consists in usefulness; abstract that, they become nothing, things of no consideration or value; he that hath them is no more concerned in them than he that hath them not. It is the heart, and skill to use affluence of things wisely and nobly, which makes it wealth, and constitutes him rich that hath it; otherwise the chests may be crammed, and the barns stuffed full, while the man is miserably poor and beggarly: 'tis in this sense true which the wise man says, 'There is that maketh himself rich, yet hath nothing.'
NEGRO SLAVERY IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.
AMERICA has worthily engaged the contemplation of intelligent and pious persons, especially during the last ten years, on account of the progress of knowledge and scriptural religion among its population. Reports of the prosperity of the United States, have induced multitudes from most parts of Europe to hasten to their shores, that they might share in the promised blessings of that amazing country. Many have succeeded in their emigrating speculations: while others have been plunged into the deepest distress, probably, in most instances, from their own imprudence. No Christian in Britain can feel uninterested in a country, whose Bible Society establishment can print 800,000 copies of the Bible in a year, which is at the rate of about five Bibles per minute! And this we are informed is done at the American Bible Society's printing offices in New York! May this glorious work continue to advance and prosper, to the perfect regeneration of the whole population of the United States!
Notwithstanding our adıniration of much that exists in America, especially in the middle and in the northern states, we are shocked at the continuance of Negro slavery in the southern states; and we believe that it is, as a friend in Philadelphia says, in a letter a few months ago, "Negro Slavery is a curse in our country!"
James Stuart, Esq. in a book recently published, entitled, "Three Years in North America," says, following extract of a letter from a gentleman of Charleston, to a friend of his at New York, published in the New York newspapers while I was there, contains even a more shocking account of the public sales of slaves here :-'Curiosity sometimes leads me to the auction sales of Negroes. A few days since I attended one which exhibited the beauties of slavery in all their sickening deformity. The bodies of these wretched beings were placed upright on a table, their physical proportions examined, their defects and beauties noted. A prime lot, here they go!' There I saw the father looking with sullen contempt on the crowd, and expressing an indignation in his countenance that he dare not speak; and the mother, pressing her infant closer to her bosom with an involuntary grasp, and exclaiming, in wild and simple earnestness, while the tears chased down her cheeks in quick succession, I can't leff
my children! I won't leff my children!' But on the hammer went, reckless alike whether it united or sundered for ever. On another stand I saw a man apparently as white as myself exposed for sale,-I turned away from the humiliating spectacle.
At another time I saw the concluding scene of this infernal drama. It was on the wharf. A slave ship for New Orleans was lying in the stream, and the poor Negroes, handcuffed and pinioned, were hurried off in boats, eight at a time. Here I witnessed the last farewell,-the heart-rending separation of every earthly tie. The mute and agonizing embrace of the husband and wife, and the convulsive grasp of the mother and the child, who were alike torn asunder for ever! It was a living death, they never see or hear of each other more! Tears flowed fast, and mine with the rest.'"
Charleston has long been celebrated for the severity of its laws against the blacks, and the mildness of its punishments towards the whites for maltreating them. Until the late law, there were about seventy-one crimes for which slaves were capitally punished, and for which the highest punishment for whites was imprisonment in the penitentiary !
In Georgia, "In case any slave or free person of colour teach any other slave or free person of colour to read or write, either written or printed characters, the free person of colour or slave is punished by fine or whipping; and a white person so offending is punished with a fine not exceeding five hundred dollars, and imprisonment in the common gaol. Any slave or free person of colour, or any other person, circulating papers, or bringing into this State, or aiding in any manner in bringing into the State, papers exciting to insurrection, conspiracy, or resistance, any of the slaves or free persons of colour, against their owners or the citizens, is to be punished with death."
"Cutting off the ears, and the pillory, are punishments for slaves sanctioned by the legislature of Georgia; but the universal punishment is whipping. The infliction of this punishment, to the extent of twenty lashes on the bare back, is deemed, in a great variety of cases, of insufficient moment to claim the intervention even of a single magistrate. Any white person, a drunken patrol, an absconding felon, or a vagabond mendicant, is supposed to possess discretion enough to interpret the laws, and to weild the cow-skin or cart-whip for their infraction; and should death ensue by accident, while the slave is thus receiving moderate correction, the Constitution of Georgia kindly denominates the offence justifiable homicide!"
While sitting in the portico at Halifax (N. Carolina) where they stopped to change horses, Mr. Stuart was accosted by a gentleman, who inquired of him what was the number of slaves for sale at the court-house that day; as in England a person would ask the price of corn, or of the stocks. Mr. Stuart says:-"I explained his mistake to him, and I then asked him some questions with respect to the slave market here. He said, the price generally given for a young man, was 375 dollars, though for the best hands, 400 dollars were sometimes given; that 250 dollars was the price given for a fine young woman, until after she had her first child; after which she became more valuable, as she was then more to be depended on for increasing the stock. He never, he said, separated husband and wife, but some people did separate them, as well as children, and then they had a crying scene; that was all!"
Anecdotes, with which we cannot defile our pages, are given by Mr. Stuart, in illustration of the state of morals induced by slavery in both the whites and blacks. In one conversation at which he was present, "it turned out, that the planter was frequently waited upon at table by his own children, and had actually sent some of them to the public market to be sold as slaves!"
MENTAL CONFLICTS NECESSARY TO
I have heard him mention with much feeling many deep and secret conflicts of mind while at College: added to which, he had to meet many insults which profligate men offer to piety. Under these impressions he was one day walking in the physic gardens, where he observed a very fine pomegranate tree cut almost through the stem. On asking the gardener the reason of this, "Sir," said he, "this tree used to shoot so strong, that it bore nothing but leaves. I was obliged therefore to cut it in this manner; and when it is alinost cut through, it will bear plenty of fruit."-The gardener's explanation conveyed a striking illustration to Mr. Cecil's mind, and he went back to his rooms comforted and instructed by this image.- Cecil's Remains.
CATHOLIC CHRISTIAN COMMUNION IN
DR. SYMMONS, of Jesus college, Oxford, in his eloquent "Life of Milton," written nearly thirty years ago, rising superior to his peculiar prejudices, speaks of religion in America in the following remarkable words : From Hudson's Bay, with the small interruption of Canada, to the Mississipi, this immense continent beholds the religion of Jesus, unconnected with the patronage of government, subsisting in independent yet friendly communities, breathing that universal charity which constitutes its vital spirit, and offering, with its distinct yet blending tones, one grand combination of harmony to the ear of its Heavenly Father." P. 415.
This testimony is remarkably illustrated by a passage in a new and interesting work, published this year at Edinburgh, entitled, "Three Years in North America," in two volumes, by James Stuart, Esq., from which we give the following extract: "During my residence in the United States subsequent to this period, I was frequently witness to the good understanding which generally, though doubtless not universally, prevails among clergymen professing different opinions on church forms and doctrinal points in this country; and I occasionally observed notices in the newspapers to the same purpose. The two following I have preserved. The cornerstone of a new Baptist church was laid at Savannah in Georgia, and the ceremonial services were performed by the clergymen of the Methodist, German, Lutheran, Presbyterian, Episcopal, and Baptist churches. - The sacrament of the Lord's supper was administered in the Rev. Mr. Post's church (Presbyterian church at Washington), and, as usual, all members of other churches in regular standing were invited to unite with the members of that church, in testifying their faith in, and love to, their Lord and Saviour. The invited guests assembled around the table; and it so happened, that Mr. Grundy, a senator from Tenessee, and two Cherokee Indians, were seated side by side.' "
"Recent information makes the number considerably more, of almost every denomination. The New York Baptist Repository states, there are not less than 308 associations, 6,129 churches, 4,080 ministers, and 408,846 actual members, of the Baptists in the United States!
"From these tables we learn the astonishing increase of the professors of religion in America; a subject worthy of our most serious consideration in Great Britain. It is ascertained, that during the last thirteen years, in the state of New York alone, the congregations have been more than doubled: in 1819 they being 716, but in 1832 they were 1,470!
"In a letter from a valued friend, a member of
Dr. Cox's church in New York, dated from that city, April 12, 1832, the writer says: You wish to know the population of New York city, &c. The last census (1830) made it 220,000: the whole number of churches is 120; viz. Presbyterian, 24; Episcopalian, 23; Methodist, 17; Baptist, 14; Dutch Reformed, 14; Roman Catholic, 5; Friends, 4; Jews, 3; Lutheran, 2; Independent, 2; Universalist, 2; Unitarian, 2; Moravian, 1; Mariners, 1; Miscellaneous, 3: there are also several others of different denominations building and contemplated. The number of clergymen of different denominations are as follows (in the whole state): Presbyteriana and Congregationalists, 460; Episcopalians, 143; Baptists, 310; Reformed Dutch, 98; Methodists, 357; Lutherans, 13; other denominations, 89: in all, 1,470.' The foregoing is from a statement published within a few days. It is stated also from another publication, that there are twenty Catholic priests in the state of New York; and that the number of persons over whom they exercise spiritual care averages from 130,000 to 150,000, mostly Irish emigrants.”
American Religion and Church Order, a small pamphlet, which we recommend to all our Readers, as containing much information on the subject of its title,
"SILENCE IN HEAVEN."
There was silence in heaven for the space of half an hour." When the seventh seal was broken, angels were overpowered in presence of their God, and perhaps absorbed with the glories of the scene, having a presentiment of the terrific tempest which followed. Have we ever meditated on the solemnity, the dignity, the awfulness of silence? Have we ever, during the solemn stillness of night robed in her raven mantle, and as it were shrouding beneath its ample fold all the things of this world, have we then reverted to that awful antedate to time, when all was silent, all destitution, save the deep Spirit of Infinity, "the Great First Cause," which hovers everywhere, yet is nowhere to be found! If we have indulged in the awful and interesting retrospect, why not look prospectively, to the dread day of judgment, when the silence spoken of in Revelation may be realized,-when all the nations and people of the earth shall stand in silent awe before the tribunal of God, when in the midst of this solemn stillness the recording angel will unfold the awful book in which are recorded the registries, the gloomy catalogue of human guilt. At that dread period, when congregated millions await their final destinies, suspense and breathless anxiety will prevail! Hallelujahs will cease! There will be "silence in heaven for the space of half an hour!" S. M. H.
THE JESUIT'S DOUBLE-FAC'D CREED, This may be read across or downwards.
Pro fide teneo sanâ-
I hold for faith-
Qua docet Anglicana;
What England's church allows;
COLLECTED BY THE LATE REV. WILLIAM BUTTON.
THE REV. GEORGE WHITFIELD,
Died suddenly of a fit of the asthma, at Newbury Port in America, at six o'clock of the Lord's day morning, Sep. 30th, 1770.
Funeral Sermon preached the same day in the afternoon by Mr. Jonathan Parsons, minister of the Presbyterian church there, from Phil. i, 21, "For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain."
Funeral Sermon preached in England, at the Tabernacle near Moorfields, Nov. 19th, 1770, by Mr. John Wesley, from Num. xxxiii, 10, "Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like his."
MR. PARSONS. I shall turn my discourse to the very melancholy and affecting occasion, the sudden and surprising death of the Rev. George Whitfield, who died by a fit of the asthma at six o'clock this morning in my chamber. In him I believe we have the whole of the text exemplified; he could say with the apostle, "For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain." Christ became a principle of spiritual life in his soul whilst he was an under-graduate at the University in Oxford; and if 1 mistake not, when he was about sixteen years old. Before his conversion, he was a Pharisee of the Pharisees, as strict as ever Paul was before God met him on his way to Damascus, according to his own declaration in his last sermon, which I heard him preach at Exeter, yesterday.
Through a variety of labours and trials, our worthy friend and extensively useful servant of Christ, Mr. Whitfield, passed, both in England and America: but the Lord was his sun to guide and animate him, and his shield to defend and help him unto the end. Neither did he count his life dear, so that he might finish his course with joy, and the ministry that he had received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God. The last sermon that he preached, though under the disadvantage of a stage in the open air, was delivered with such clearness, pathos, and eloquence, as to please and surprise the surrounding thousands; and as he had been confirmed by the grace of God many years before, and had been waiting and hoping for his last change, he then declared, that he hoped it was the last time he should ever preach. Doubtless he had such clear views of the blessedness of open vision, and the complete fruition of God in Christ, that he felt the pleasures of heaven in his raptured soul, which made his countenance shine like the unclouded
MR. WESLEY. A particular account of the last scene of Mr. Whitfield's life is thus given by a gentleman of Boston. After being about a month with us in Boston, and its vicinity, and preaching every day, he went to Old York, preached on Thursday, Sept. 27, there; proceeded to Portsmouth, and preached there on Friday. On Saturday morning he set out for Boston; but before he canie to Newbury, where he had engaged to preach the next morning, he was importuned to preach by the way. The house not being large enough to contain the people, he preached in an open field. But having been infirm for several weeks, this so exhausted his strength, that when he came to Newbury, he could not get out of the ferry-boat without the help of two men. In the evening, however, he recovered his spirits, and appeared with his usual cheerfulness. He went to his chamber at nine, his fixed time, which no company
could divert him from, and slept better than he had done for some weeks before. He rose at four in the inorning, Sept. 30th, and went into his closet; and his companion observed he was unusually long in private. He left his closet, returned to his companion, threw himself on the bed, and lay about ten minutes. Then he fell upon his knees, and prayed most fervently to God, That if it was consistent with His will, he night that day finish his Master's work." He then desired his man to call Mr. Parsons, the clergyman at whose house he was: but in a minute, before Mr. Parsons could reach him, he died without a sigh or groan.
REFLECTIONS ON DIVERSIFIED SPIRITUAL OPERATIONS.
THE different manner in which the various animals must have come to Noah for admission to his ark, may also afford us an instructive lesson. While the antelope and the eagle, instigated by their newly-acquired instinct, hastened rapidly to their new habitation, the snail and the sloth may be supposed to have made their removal thither a very tedious journey. Yet all who were drawn at length came and were saved. So, some among those whom the Spirit of God awakens to a concern about salvation, impelled by fear, or won by love, concur at once in the Gospel proposal, and fly without delay to the cross and are saved. While others, from a variety of natural character, or obstacles interposed, by circumstances of education, station in life, or relative connection, are more tardy in their spiritual motions, and are long before they arrive where only peace and safety can be found. "The sloth," says Goldsmith, "never leaves the tree in which it lives, and on which it feeds, while any thing remains that can serve it for food. When destitute of provisions above, it crawls slowly from branch to branch, in hopes of finding something still left, till it is obliged to encounter all the dangers that attend it below. Though it is formed by nature for climbing a tree with great pain and difficulty, yet it is utterly unable to descend. It is therefore obliged to drop from the branches to the ground; and as it is incapable of exerting itself to break the violence of its descent, it drops like a shapeless heavy mass, and feels no sinall shock in the fall. Then after remaining some time torpid, it prepares for a journey to some neighbouring tree: but this, of all migrations, is the most tedious, dangerous, and painful: it often takes a week in crawling to a tree not fifty yards distant: it moves with imperceptible slowness, and often baits by the way. All motions seem to torture it; and in every step it takes, it sets forth a most plaintive and melancholy cry." How lively a description of the manner in which some converts move from the Tree of Death, the world, when it fails to afford them comfort any longer, to the Tree of Life, Jesus Christ; of the shock which they receive by the conviction of their lost condition; and of the tardiness, pain, and difficulty with which, through the impediments of nature, they approach Him! Let us observe, that, as God suspended the flood till all were safely housed in the ark who were travelling towards it, however slow their progress-so all who are drawn to Christ will be brought to Him before the last trumpet sounds, and "the door is shut." The feeblest and the weakest believer is as much the object of Divine care, as the strongest of them that fly to Him for succour.-Biddulph's Theology of the early Patriarchs.
Experience gained.-Nothing instructs a man better than his own misfortunes; if he surmounts one, it will arm him against a thousand dangers,