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THE GENIUS OF LIFE.
What is Life? 'Tis to exist
As man when first created breath'd; While he in Eden stood the test,
Ere Sin and Death were yet conceiv'd. When he was tried, to God he died: Then pride and poverty had birth, Then desolation fill'd the earth.
Spirit of the living God!
Thou alone canst change the heart;
Bestow, and we shall share a part
Mov'd, and chas'd the gloom away;
As Thou hast promis'd in Thy word, From west to east, from south to north, Proclaim that Jesus is the Lord. The Jew shall kneel, the Greek shall feel, The nations flock around His throne, And Sin and Death no more be known.
EASTERN ILLUSTRATION OF 1 KINGS XVIII, 44. "Behold, there ariseth a little cloud out of the sea; like a man's hand."
THE Turks are supplied with water by large reservoirs in the mountains in the neighbourhood of Constantinople, originally constructed by the Greek emperors. The embankinents of these reservoirs are planted with trees, to make them more firm and secure; and persons are prohibited under the severest penalties from taking water therefrom, or digging up any of the trees.
The summer of the year 1822 was remarkably dry, and the water in the reservoirs became low and muddy, and the Turks took the alarm. Judge of the consternation of a whole city, suddenly deprived of an element essential not only for domestic, but religious uses, and having no other possible mode of obtaining it. Prayers were offered up in the mosques, and the sky was anxiously watched. The immutability of things in the east, and the illustrations they give to the writings of former times, is not the least pleasure a person expe riences in these countries. The approach of rain is always indicated here, as it was in Syria, by the appearance of a small dark dense cloud hanging over the sea. A dervish stands on the top of the Giant's mountain, and when he sees a cloud he announces its approach, like Elijah from the top of Mount Carmel. I one day followed to the same place, and saw the dervish on the watch, and "I looked towards the sea, and beheld a little cloud rising out of the sea, like a man's hand, and gat me down that the rain stopped me not." In effect, it immediately followed, and the Turks were relieved from a very serious cause of anxiety.—Rev. R. Walsh.
"THE GREAT RIVER, THE RIVER EUPHRATES." GEN. XV, 18.
COMMERCIAL and political interests render it desirable to establish an overland route to India. On these accounts various surveys have recently been made of the Red Sea, the river Nile, and the "great river, the river Euphrates." Captain Chesney, of the royal artillery, has recently submitted to the Government" Reports of the Navigation of the Euphrates." The Eclectic Review for March says, "The feasibility of opening the Euphrates for steam navigation, which this gentleman (Captain C.) has satisfactorily established, is a circumstance replete with interest, independently of its importance in connection with an overland communication with India. This venerable river, so long lost to civilization, and scarcely better known to Europeans than the Niger itself, is found to be free from impediments to steam navigation throughout the year up to El Oos, a distance of nine hundred miles; and for nine months of the year is without any serious obstruction as high up as Bir (or Beer), only twenty hours N. E. of Aleppo."
"BECAUSE I LOVE THE CAUSE OF CHRIST." SITTING with the Committee, at a meeting of the Home Missionary Society a few weeks ago, an extract of a will was read, of a person who died in Gloucestershire, May 7, 1831. The wording of this passage was so beautiful, and the sentiments it contained so correspondent with the principles of a professor of the gospel of Christ, that I was induced to transcribe part of it for the Christian's Penny Magazine. It may induce others to "go and do likewise," of which they will have cause to rejoice through eternal ages.-THETA.
"Because I love the cause of Christ, I wish not to die without promoting it: I therefore give and bequeath Fifty Pounds to the Treasurer of the London Missionary Society, for the benefit of that Institution; and also the same sum to the Home Missionary Society, for the benefit of that Institution."
ON CHARACTER, AND GENTLENESS. "WE seek in vain for any basis of confidence, where there is no manly firmness, no strength of resolution, no decision of character, no steady uniformity of couduct. A quaint but ingenious author compares such men to osiers, which are unfit to become either pillars in the state or pillars in the church.
"True gentleness is founded on solid principle. It does not resemble the ivy, creeping round a rotten trunk, or a heap of mouldering ruins; but the vine, spreading its beautiful tendrils and ripening clusters along the wall of a stately and substantial mansion. So far is the candid and decided Christian from confounding truth and error, that he carefully sifts and separates them; and after receiving cordially the grand doctrines of the Gospel, he maintains them to the last, whatever abuse and persecution he may incur. This steadfastness, joined with a mild and pleasing condescension, constitutes the strength and beauty of the believer's character. The Christian has a great Master in heaven to serve, and he dares not offend Him by truckling to the wayward humours and low passions of men.' 39
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GREENWICH ROYAL HOSPITAL.
GREENWICH HOSPITAL, the celebrated asylum of British seamen, the ornament and glory of the empire, is believed to be the most magnificent and splendid fabric in Great Britain. Napoleon Buonaparte is said to have proposed making it his palace, in the event of his succeeding in his projected invasion of England. Happily for the aged mariner, Divine Providence defeated his project of ambition, and this noble pile is still dedicated to benevolence.
Originally, this building was a royal palace, erected by Humphry, Duke of Gloucester; enlarged by Henry VII, and completed by Henry VIII. Greenwich Palace was generally occupied by the latter monarch, as his town residence; and this was the birth-place of our famous Queens, Mary and Elizabeth. After this period, Greenwich Palace became greatly neglected; but Charles II pulled it down, and began another, the first wing of which, that nearest to London, was magnificently finished during his life, at an expense of about 35,000. under the direction of Sir Christopher Wren.
William III and his pious queen Mary took a most lively interest in the British sailors, and they granted Greenwich Palace, with nine acres of land, for a hospital, as an asylum for those aged and infirm seamen, who might be disabled and unfit for service. King William, on the death of his excellent queen, Dec. 28, 1694, determined on extending this new establishVOL. II.
ment; and having appointed, Oct. 25, 1695, a number of commissiouers, for directing the building and endowing the intended hospital, granted a large sum out of his civil list for that purpose. His royal successors were considerable benefactors to this noble work Parliament at length granted annual sums towards finishing this glory of Great Britain, and it was completed in the reign of George II.
Greenwich Hospital consists of four grand divisions corresponding with each other, and though separated, they form one entire plan, leaving a spacious square in the centre. The front to the Thames consists of two ranges of stone buildings, having a terrace along the river of about one thousand feet in length. Those ranges which face the area are built in a more elegant style, having beautiful domes at their ends, which are one hundred and twenty feet high, supported on coupled columns.
GREENWICH HOSPITAL CHAPEL.
Under one of these domes is the Hospital Chapel for the seamen, and which will accommodate about 1,200 with sittings, besides the officers and servants of the establishment in a commodious gallery: but the tasteful and sumptuous ornaments and decorations, render it perhaps the most elegant place of worship in the kingdom. The religious regard paid to the seamen
may be estimated by our observing, that Divine service is performed in the Hospital Chapel every day, except Saturday, so far as relates to reading the Common Prayer and on Sunday, Prayers are read twice, with a sermon in the morning. Besides which, Prayers are read every Sunday, at the Infirmary Chapel, between the hours of service at the Hospital Chapel. The officiating clergymen are
The Rev. Samuel Cole, D. D. First Chaplain. The Rev. D. Lloyd, Second Chaplain. Religious liberty is happily enjoyed by these honoured men and those who choose may claim their privileges as Dissenters. By an esteemed officer in the establishment we are informed, that all, who do not declare themselves bona fide Dissenters, are considered members of the Church of England; and that about two hundred and fifty profess the Roman Catholic faith, and are led out by a boatswain of their own persuasion, to their Romish Chapel in Greenwich, while about fifty Dissenters are allowed tickets to repair to their respective places of worship. We remember having met with, a short time ago, a cheerful, active old veteran of the latter class, above ninety years of age, whose conversation indicated all the evidence of intelligent and scriptural piety. He was a member of the church under the pastoral care of the Rev. H. B. Jeula.
It deserves also to be stated, that the most respectful permission to Dissenting ministers, to visit any of their flock in seasons of sickness in the Hospital, is granted by the governors and officers of this noble Institution.
Greenwich Hospital contains 2,710 seamen, besides the officers, consisting of a Governor, Lieutenant Governor, four Captains, and eight Lieutenants.
Sir R. G. Keates is Governor.
Sir Jahleel Brenton is Lieutenant Governor.
The Medical department consists of
A Physician, Sir William Beatty, with one assistant. A Surgeon, Sir Rich. Dobson, with three assistants. A Dispenser, and three assistants.
The average deaths amongst the seamen is about five per week, and they bury on Tuesdays and Fridays.
"Each of the mariners has a weekly allowance of 7 loaves, weighing each 16oz.; 3lbs. of beef, 2lbs. of mutton; a pint of pease; 14lb. of cheese; 2oz. of butter; 14 quarts of beer; and ls. a week tobacco money the tobacco money of the boatswains is 28. 6d. and that of the other officers in proportion to their rank; besides which, each common pensioner receives, once in two years, a suit of blue clothes, a hat, 3 pairs of stockings, 2 pairs of shoes, 5 neck-cloths, 3 shirts, and 2 night caps."
The revenues of this establishment are very considerable. Besides private benefactions, to the amount of nearly 60,000. the British parliament, in 1732, settled upon it the rents and profits of the vast estates, which were forfeited by the attainder of James late Earl of Derwentwater, and Charles Ratcliff. The value of the Earl's estates were then estimated at 6000l. per annum, but the property of the Hospital is now immensely great. In addition to which, every seaman, both in the royal navy and in the merchant service, pays sixpence per month towards the support of Greenwich Hospital.
By an act of George II, it was provided, that all seamen in the merchants' service, who shall happen to be maimed in fighting in defence of any ships belonging to British subjects, or in taking any ship from the enemy, shall be deemed eligible for admission into Green.
wich Hospital, and shall receive the same benefit from it as if he had been in the immediate service of his Majesty.
It will be manifest to any observer of these favoured men, that many of them are as happy as it is possible to make them, under the excellent regulations which are established in the Institution: at the same time, having no employment, many of them are seen rambling about in Greenwich Park, Blackheath, and their vicinities, as if they were truly wretched. Some few of them are indeed studious and intellectual men; and for their amusement and edification, a valuable Library has recently been established, furnished with a useful collection of books and newspapers. There is also a valuable Medical Library.
GREENWICH PAINTED HALL.
Under the other dome is the famous Painted Hall. This magnificent apartment "was originally employed as the refectory for the pensioners and their officers; but when the increase of the Hospital's revenues led to a proportionate augmentation of the number of its inmates, the space was found inadequate to their accommodation. More convenient dining-halls were provided elsewhere; and this beautiful building, not surpassed by any in this kingdom, was left unoccupied during almost a century. At length it was proposed, in the year 1823, to appropriate this noble suite of apartments to the formation of a Gallery of Paintings, and other objects of art illustrative of the patriotic services of the Royal Navy of England. Its justly-celebrated ceiling, and other ornamental paintings on its walls, executed by Sir James Thornhill, in 1708 and subsequent years, gave to the whole a character peculiarly appropriate for such a destination. The plan, having received the sanction of the Commissioners and Governors of the Hospital, was at once honoured with the cordial patronage of his late Majesty King George the Fourth, who, with that promptitude of liberality which ever distinguished him, gave immediate directions that the extensive and valuable series of portraits of the celebrated "Flag-Men" of the reigns of King Charles the Second and King William the Third, in the galleries of Windsor Castle and Hampton Court, should be transferred to Greenwich Hospital as the first contribution to the intended collection of Naval Pictures. His late Majesty was graciously pleased to add soon after to this munificent donation, several other paintings from his private collection at Carlton House.
"The generous example of our deceased Sovereign was promptly followed by many noble and other liberal benefactors to the Naval Gallery, whose names are recorded in this Catalogue of Donations; and thus in a few years the walls were adorned with the portraits of our celebrated naval commanders, and representations of their actions.
"The Upper Hall, originally allotted to the table of the officers, being on all sides decorated with allegorical paintings, has been recently made the repository of some articles of interest presented by his present Majesty, viz.
"Several Models of Ships: the Coat worn by Sir Horatio Nelson at the battle of the Nile: and the Astrolabe of Sir Francis Drake, a curious instrument of antique fashion, used for nautical observations."
Should any of our readers be induced to visit this noble place, we entreat them not to choose Monday or Tuesday in Easter or Whitsun week, as then a class of persons crowd that vicinity in such multitudes, as make the moral part of the inhabitants dread the name of Greenwich.
Greenwich Hospital deserves further notice, on account of its excellent Schools for the support and eduIn that for cation of the children of British seamen. training boys for intelligent and scientific mariners, there are 800; and in that for the educating of girls there are at present 200. All things considered, there is not an establishment in the whole world to be compared with Greenwich Hospital; and this "glory of Great Britain," we rejoice to know, originated in the personal piety, the scriptural, Protestant Christianity, of KING WILLIAM AND QUEEN MARY!
FUNERAL OF THE LATE REV. JOHN THEODORE BARKER.
THIS beloved minister of the gospel terminated his pilgrimage, April 3, 1833, aged seventy-three years. He had been the upright and faithful pastor of the church assembling at High Street Meeting, Deptford, during the extended period of forty-nine years; and, by the grace of God, uniformly adorned the doctrine which he had preached with considerable success.
His funeral excited a considerable sensation in the town, and the greatest respect was paid to his memory by a large concourse attending. To meet the wishes of members of his flock, six of whom, many of the poorer at their particular request, carried the corpse to the Fourgrave, a walking procession was determined on. teen ministers attended, to testify their respect for their late friend, one of them remarking concerning him, "He was a living epistle of brotherly love, known and read of all men." The Rev. Messrs. Chapman and Jeula, of Greenwich, in their robes, preceded the corpse; and the Rev. Messrs Freeman, Belcher, Boddington, James, Timpson, and Rose, were the pall-bearers.
The chapel was crowded, and multitudes were unable to gain admittance. The Rev. Mr. Chapman (instead of Dr. Collyer, who was prevented being present by indisposition) offered prayer; after which the congregaWhy do we mourn tion sung Dr. Watts's hymn, departing friends?" and Mr. Chapman then read 1 Thess. iv, 13 to 18; and 1 Cor. xv, 12 to 58; and delivered an address to the mourning assembly, bearing testimony to the excellence of the principles and character of his departed friend, and urging every one present to seek an increasing acquaintance with those glorious doctrines of Christ, by which believers triumph on earth, and enter the kingdom of heaven. Another hymn, "Guide me, O thou great Jehovah," having been sung, the Rev. Mr. Freeman offered up a most solemn and instructive prayer. The corpse being conveyed to the vault under the chapel, the Rev. Mr. Jeula delivered a short and suitable address at the grave, and concluded with prayer. Many, it is believed, will long remember these edifying services, and every one say in truth, Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like his!"
On the following Lord's day afternoon, the Rev. Dr. Collyer preached the funeral sermon for his late beloved friend and fellow-labourer, to the mourning church and congregation. The Rev. H. B. Jeula commenced the service with reading and prayer, and the Rev. W. Chapman concluded. The hymns were given out by the Rev. Mr. Pullen, who we understand will succeed Mr. Barker in the pastoral office. We earnestly pray that he may be furnished with a double portion of the Holy Spirit!
Letters to a Mother, upon Education.
On learning to write.
Dear Madam, YOUR son having, as I will presume, learned to read, he must also now learn to write. Both these attainments, if deferred till the proper period, and pursued by proper means, might be accomplished in six months. They might at least be attained as far as it respects the elementary knowledge of these arts, further improvement being left to experience. With regard to learning to write, the system which obtains at present seems capable of improvement. Upon the principle that every difficulty should be obviated in the acquisition of learning as far as possible, and that the infant should be conducted by gentle and successive transitions to perfection in any of the arts or sciences which be taught him, I think that pen and paper and ink ought not to be the instruments adopted at the very commencement of the undertaking of learning to write. Writing is nothing more than drawing. Learning to write is learning to draw. The letters adopted in writing are the copy, and the expeditious and perfect imitation of these is the attainment proposed. What are the proximate means for this purpose? I own that I think, with the Lancasterian system of education, that the fore-finger is the natural pen of the infant, and that the best method of learning to draw the letter at first, is with the finger upon sund.
The first advance upon this should be, by repeating the same process with a slate pencil upon a slate, then with a lead pencil upon paper. By these successive advancements to the art of writing with a pen, a tolerable facility in imitating the letters will be acquired, unimpeded by the difficult task of learning to hold the pen, the danger of blotting the paper, and the miserable imitations of the copy, which render learning to write upon the common method a task of tears and anxiety to many a child. I believe that the task is of this mournful nature generally. Boys in a school, who have little dread of their daily tasks, look forward to the days of the week, or those hours of the day, when the writingmaster comes, with peculiar perturbation, owing to the formidable and difficult nature of the employment. Boys too will bear witness, that in schools generally there is a more awful gloom over them on those occasions; there is generally more corporeal punishment, more chiding, The chief causes of and reproaches from the master.
these unhappy circumstances are, that the boys have made mistakes, blotted their books, or written their copies badly. But surely a little reflection will show, that these are excusable faults, since they may be referred to the mode of instruction adopted, rather than to any negligence on the part of the children. A boy learning to write upon the usual method has to attend to the following things all at one time: that his copybook be laid straight, that the complex position required from his body be correct, that he holds his pen properly, that he should keep a perpetual regard to the copy, strive to imitate it as well as he can, and yet keep his copy-book free from blots. On the other hand, an infant who learns to write on the method before adverted to, has but one thing at a time to attend to. His own finger is an instrument that is a part of himself, flexible in any direction at his own command. The sand he cannot blot: should it be unsmooth, one stroke of the stick, or one pressure of the board, renders it correct in an instant. He has only to look at the letter to be copied, and to do his best to imitate it. The same may be said when he writes next with a slate pencil. There is no fear of blotting: the position in
which he must hold the pencil, is an introduction to the true position of holding the pen. When he comes to write upon paper, he will have acquired such a degree of self-command, as may render the additional acquisitiou not burthensome. When he comes to write on paper too, he need not go through the preliminary progressions of straight strokes, pot-hooks, round o, &c. but he will be prepared to write letters and words at once. The system of writing upon lines should be adopted only when he comes to write upon paper. With regard to excellence in penmanship, as it is called, it has long appeared to me, that it is often pursued when the attainment is hopeless; and that when gained, except to those who are to be draughtsmen, teachers of writing, &c. the attainment is not worth the pains usually bestowed upon it. If your son has a natural
it, and makes evidently great progress, then it might not be improper to indulge him in his having lessons from good masters, with a view to superior excellence. On the other hand, if he evidently does not care about it, does not give proofs of natural ability for it after a certain time, I hold that all attempts to communicate the attainment in high perfection will be in vain. Yet how often have I seen father and mother grieving that their son was not a good writer, that there was no prospect of his ever becoming so, and that others of his schoolfellows wrote much better. The poor lad, in the mean time, who may perhaps possess an intellect too expanded or exalted to admit the patience needful for the acquirement of such a mechanical perfection, feels degraded, discouraged, undervalues himself, becomes cowardized, unfriendly, callous, and deceitful! Why will not the parent be satisfied, after proper trials, that writing is not his forte? Why not endeavour to discover the latent talent which he assuredly possesses for something else? Why browbeat the poor child for something for which he is not responsible? A sensible parent would not be grieved at such a circumstance. Yet how many a parent of the old school deemed fine writing indispensable to his complacency in his son and how many a boy has been tormented and spoiled, in intellect and temper, because the downstrokes, the up-strokes, and the turns of his letters, and above all the grace, elegance, and size of his capitals, were all outdone by some envied schoolfellow! The one lad had what the painters call an eye, the other had not, and that is the whole secret. Except in the case before supposed, of an inclination and of the ability of success being early developed, the parent should be satisfied if his son attains a good legible hand-writing. All beyond is useful to those who are to earn their living by fine writing, and to them alone.
If your son forms his letters perfectly and distinctly, this is enough. Unless, in consequence of inclination and ability early displayed, you intend him for a designer of ornamental writing, it appears to me that the plain English hand is all that he need learn. Accordingly, under such circumstances, all learning of German text, engrossing, flourishing, &c. &c. is a useless waste of time. Should he ever need such things, he will at any time learn any of them in two months. Besides, they will terd to spoil his hand-writing. The great rule of utility is the rule of learning to write. Let then your son obtain a facility of writing the most usual forms of the letters, legibly and swiftly, and all the rest may be safely left to his natural inclination, or to the requirement of circumstances. He has learned to communicate his ideas by writing, and to read the ideas of others when communicated to him in this form, and this is enough. I am, dear Madain, yours, &c. CLERICUS.
THOUGHTS ON THE SACRED HISTORY OF THE CREATION.
(Continued from p. 115.)
THE next product of the creative energy, which the Divine wisdom was exerting, was the formation of that aërial expanse which we call the atmosphere, and the elevation of a large portion of the watery element into the state of clouds and vapours to float in the upper regions. This operation divided the waters into two portions, as well as two states: the state of water in the seas is as dissimilar to its state in clouds, as if they were unrelated substances. Vapour and water would not be imagined to be the same thing, if we did not know their relationship to each other: but the quantity of each may not greatly differ, for it is hardly possible
always suspended or moving in the airy regions above The quantity of water which falls in rain and dew in England and Wales only, has been calculated in one year at 115,000,000,000 of tons. From the seas, rivers, lakes, and rivulets, it is ever ascending by evaporation into the atmosphere, to change again, and fall down in dews, fogs, and rain. Here again another proof occurs that our creation has heen the product of an intelligent Mind, carefully adapting his agencies to the phenomena they were to cause; for unless the ascending vapours had been duly balanced with the descending rain, and unless the fitted means were constantly in action to occasion a constant evaporation of sufficient amount to rise into the skies, and other effective causes as unceasingly operating to make the elevated vapour descend in the needed showers, the vegetable and animal world would want that essential element, without which they could not subsist. Let us suppose for a moment that this evaporation was to cease, and let us contemplate the consequences. No more rain or dew could fall: the springs would cease to flow: the rivers would be dried up the whole water in the globe would be accumulated in the ocean: the earth would become dry and parched vegetables, being deprived of moisture, could no longer grow: the cattle and beasts of every kind would fack their usual food: man himself would perish: the earth would become a dull, sterile mass, without one living creature to wander through its frightful deserts! We may add, that as the whole water of the globe accumulated in the ocean, it would soon flow over the land, and cover it with a universal inundation. It is evaporation which now prevents the catastrophe of another deluge.
The next process of the forming globe was the removal of the waters that were flowing over its general surface into those united masses which we denominate "Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear," was the command, and the consequence was that the watery element assembled on one portion of the earth into seas, while the rest of the earth became habitable ground. No detail is given of the movements by which this mighty result was effected. Vast ranges of mountains and rocks are now seen standing in various regions as high above the common ground as the depths of the ocean seem to be below it. The surface of the earth arises in some parts into high table land, but the general level of both land and sea is now nearly the same. The ocean is therefore obviously occupying cavities equal to its bulk of fluid; and the supposition seems to be not unreasonable, that in order to form these hollow spaces, the mountain masses were raised up. The mean depth of the Atlantic ocean is computed at three miles, and that of the Pacific four miles. The state and phenomena therefore of our stupendous mountains favour the idea, but the Mosaic record has given us no infor