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mation on the subject; and therefore on this point philosophy has neither guide nor restriction in its theories or researches.
The fourth rotation of our globe was accompanied by the formation and arrangement of our planetary system. At this period of our creation, Moses places the formation of the sun and moon, and expresses the Divine order that they should regulate the illumination of our world, and divide our day into the two natural distinctions of visible light and succeeding darkness, and become the cause of our seasons, and govern our computations of time.
Our system of animated and vegetable nature could not subsist without the suu: we could not have our seasons, our daylight, or our years without him: he has therefore been made expressly for us, as also for our sister stars, to whom he is apparently as indispensable. The stars with which we are connected are the six planets, known as Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, and Uranus, and those four smaller ones discovered within the present century, and called the telescopic planets, because they are not discernible without the aid of a very powerful astronomical instrument. Of the creation of the rest, with which at present we have no relations, no account is transmitted to us. They are indeed the most splendid mysteries of nature. They are known to us only as radiant points, for no telescope can enlarge them; and yet their number seems to exceed all our powers of fully exploring. It is remarkable that they are undergoing changes for which we cannot account, but which display mighty causes in active operation. Sometimes their alterations are gradual, and observable by human care, though not explainable by the acutest minds of science. Sometimes they indicate an actual destruction. It is one of the wonders of creation, that any bodies at such an immense distance from us should be perceptible by human sight; but it has clearly been part of our Maker's plan, that they should so far be objects of our consciousness as to expand our ideas of the vastness of the universe, and of the extent and operations of his omnipotence. The immeasurable expansion of the heavenly regions, illustrated by the splendid spheres which mark the amazing extent, is, in the strictest meaning of the term, manifest infinity; for there is nothing which denotes that what reaches our sight in them is at the last limits of existing nature. These lofty mansions of being also indicate to us that they have the same Creator as ourselves, and are but so many magnificent scenes of his sovereignty and care. Their very appearance exhibits such an analogy of nature with the radiant bodies of our system, that reason cannot but refer all the stellar orbs to one common Author. The identity of light, which emanates alike from all, precludes all rational doubt on this interesting question. That our light was His creation, we learn from His scriptures: this fact will therefore justify us in referring it in other orbs to the same origin; and nothing in the universe shows any marks of any other creative power. One of the grandest circumstances to which the contemplation of the heavenly bodies attaches the attention, is the surprising distances at which they are placed, and the stupendous amount of space which they occupy by their circuits. Our Earth is above 90,000,000 of miles from the Sun: Saturn is above 800,000,000 of miles further off. The fact is sublime, and vast beyond the power of our words to express, or of our ideas to conceive: thought lapses into nothingness whenever it attempts to do so. It is indeed a marvellous mystery: it compels us to call creation an infinite immensity: it aggrandizes the Creator into a sublimity that would render it the most presumptuous folly for us to imagine that He could think of or care
for us, if He had not expressly revealed to us his condescending regard, and his invitation and command that we should attach ourselves to Him. But this awful greatness makes that revelation the more inestimable to us; for without such a charter, and such personal authority for our affectionate adoration and grateful duty, what could our reason suggest to us, while it contemplated a Majesty so tremendous, but a tremulous dread and silent despair? The idea is overwhelming, that a human being has the power, and can exercise it, of looking through millions of millions of miles of extended space! and that so amazing an expanse is pervious to the eye!-but miraculousness is the true character of created nature.
(To be continued)
SONNET TO THE STARS.
Ye stars of midnight! orbs of unknown mould!
THE SINFULNESS OF COLONIAL SLAVERY. THE Rev. Robert Halley, one of the Tutors of Highbury college, has just published a "Lecture delivered at the Monthly Meeting of Congregational Ministers and Churches, in the Meeting-house of Dr. Pye Smith, Hackney, on Feb. 7, 1833." For this admirable pamphlet the public are much indebted to Mr. Halley and to the associated ministers, and we wish it were read by every individual in the kingdom, as the means of strengthening the determination to seek the annihilation of that accursed system. The reverend Lecturer says: "To confine ourselves to the West Indies, it has been shown in the Anti-Slavery Reporter, and never, as far as I know, contradicted, that on the ordinary law of increase, compared with the actual decrease, there has been, since the abolition of the Slave Trade, a waste of life to the amount of 740,000 human beings. I have sometimes endeavoured to obtain data from which to compute the number of Africans originally transported to these western islands. It must have been much more than 7,000,000. I wish I could find reason to believe that estimate approached near the truth. There are now some 700,000, the scanty and miserable relics. Neither war when raging in Europe, -nor the plague in Constantinople,—nor the mournful cholera in India, its birth-place, -nor any other crime of man, or curse of God, has effected so general a destruction as British avarice has wrought in the West Indies. Are the charities of Englishmen frozen? Are their hearts, if they have any, encased in steel and adamant? Delay a little longer amuse yourselves with preparatory measures and gradual emancipation and a less tardy liberator will have laid their bodies in the last rest of the weary, and transferred their souls to the avenging millions beneath the altar!"
BRITISH ECCLESIASTICAL HISTORY.
No. VI. Christianity from the arrival of the Saxons in England in A. D. 449, to the mission of St. Austin, A. D. 556.
DOUBTLESS Christianity was in a measure promoted in Britain, by means of the schools established under the influence of the French bishop Germanus. But whether religion were advanced by the alteration of the forms of public worship, in conformity with the rites and ceremonies of Gaul, we have no evidence. On the contrary, Bede testifies that corruption in life and manners increased among the Britons.
The Saxons, with martial fierceness, maintained themselves in Britain, where they had been invited only as auxiliaries. And not satisfied with seizing the lands, these merciless idolaters trampled upon the forms of Christianity, and persecuted its professors: Gildas and Bede also bear this testimony concerning them. The latter was a Saxon; yet he says, "By the hands of the Saxons a fire was kindled in Britain, that served to execute the vengeance of God upon the wicked Britons, as he had formerly burnt Jerusalem by the Chaldeans. The island was so ravaged by the conquerors, or rather by the hand of God making use of them as instruments, that there seemed to be a continued flame from sea to sea, which burnt up the cities, and covered the surface of the whole. Public buildings fell in one common ruin. The priests were murdered on the altars; the bishop with his flock perished by fire and sword without distinction; no one daring to give an honourable burial to their scattered bodies."
Exposed to the murderous sword of the Saxons, those who escaped, fled to the more remote parts of the country. We have not had even the names of the British pastors preserved, except those of Theon and Thadiock, dignified with the title of archbishops of London and York; and these were obliged to flee for refuge into Wales. Our records of British Christianity in this period, therefore, relate only to a few pastors in Wales, Scotland, and the sister isle.
Dubricius is mentioned as a devoted pastor at Llandaff, and afterwards of Caerleon, of which in following ages he was honoured with the title of archbishop, as that city was the metropolis of Wales. Two schools are said to have been established by this zealous minister, one at Hensland, and the other at Mockrost; in which himself laboured as the schoolmaster.
Bangor also, near to Chester, had a noted school, which at length became famous for its monastery, and for the great number of its monks.
Monachis is no part of Christianity: but this ecclesiastical system originated in Egypt, in the third century, from "Paul the Hermit.' This man was driven into the desert by the baseness of his covetous sister, who, with her husband, threatened to inform against him as a Christian, and thus obtained possession of his estates in the time of the Decian persecution. He remained in his solitude for ninety years, and died at the age of one hundred and thirteen, having acquired the greatest reputation for piety, and engaging many to follow his example.
Anthony, at the close of the fourth century, is regarded as the father of Monachism: as he formed the solitaries into a regular society, and prescribed rules for the direction of their conduct. His disciples St. Pachomius and Hilarion promoted similar fraternities in Palestine and Syria; and Aones or Eugenius, aided by Gaddanas and Azyzas in the same age, established them in the east of Europe, through many parts of which they spread, generally superseding scriptural religion by various forms of superstition. Monachism being famous in all the east, was soon in
troduced into Britain, and accounts the most extravagant are told concerning the "Monastery of Bangor." Two thousand one hundred monks are said to have constituted this fraternity, divided into seven courses, each consisting of three hundred.
Much exaggeration doubtless marks these traditions; but still there is abundant reason to believe that there existed at Bangor a flourishing community of Christian professors. Sloth and luxury, to a proverb, distinguished the monks of the middle ages, ignorant and superstitious, when nobles and kings, by mistaken charity, loaded them with wealth. But this could not have been the case with the Welsh monks of the fifth century: they seem to have supported themselves in a frugal manner by the labour of their own hands, while a certain number of them, in a regular rotation, were performing the appointed offices of religion.
Dubricius, already mentioned, held a synod at Brevi, in Cardiganshire, and condemned the Pelagian errors. Several other Christian pastors of this period, are commended as devoted to their work.
David, the successor of Dubricius, was son of a British prince, and famed for his pious austerity. He held a synod at Vittoria; in which the orthodox decisions of Brevi were ratified. David is honoured with the title of Saint, and from him Menevia is now called St. David's. Various miracles are attributed to St. David, who died in 529, aged 146 years.
Cardoc died in 570, leaving a great fame as the abbot of Lancarvan, and as having expended his whole income in the support of 300 priests.
Kentigern, son of a Scottish princess, was abbot of Glasgow. His abstinence from animal food, and other austerities, are highly commended. He is said to have travelled into Wales on a mission to found a religious society; which having done, he returned to his monastery and died in 560.
Asaph was a favourite of Kentigern, by whom he was appointed to preside over the monastery in Wales. He wrote the life of his patron, and died in 590, leaving his name to the Welsh city of St. Asaph.
Gildas of Badon, or Bath, surnamed the Wise, was a inonk of Bangor. He wrote a work concerning Destruction of Britain;" and from him chiefly we learn the condition of the Britons in his time, as he is the only British author of the sixth century. He was born in Wales, in 511; it is thought he was educated in Ireland, and became a zealous preacher of Jesus Christ in Britain. He is believed to have died about the year 570.
Sumpson is the name of two ecclesiastics of note. Sampson the Elder is said to have come from Armorica in France, to be made archbishop of York. Sampson the Younger, of royal extraction, is said to have been made an archbishop, and sent from Armorica into England in search of an archiepiscopal see: but unable to establish himself among the Saxons, he returned home, and became archbishop of Dol. Several memoirs, carried by him from England, but now lost, are said to have contained some valuable records of the British churches.
Patern, the son of a nobleman in Armorica, after twenty years study in Ireland, came as a minister of peace among the Welsh princes. He settled at Cardigan, but died in his native country, venerated for his exemplary holiness of life.
Petroc of Cornwall was famed for his piety; and from him the town of Padstow, or Petroc-stow, is named. He is said to have died at Bodmin.
St. Patrick, the Apostle of Ireland, deserves to be mentioned here, as he was born in 373, at Kirk-Patrick in Scotland, and became the most famous of all the ecclesiastics of the British Isles in his day. His British
name, given at his baptism, was Suceath, meaning Valiant in war. By some pirates he was taken prisoner, and carried into Ireland, where he was purchased by a person named Milicho, in whose service he continued six years, and acquired the Irish language. At length he escaped, and after about two years, he formed a design of converting the Irish. Having spent thirtyfive years in preparatory studies on the continent, he was consecrated bishop of Ireland by Pope Celestine, who gave him the name of Patricius, expressive of his illustrious descent. He arrived in Ireland in 441, and his first convert was Sinell, the eighth in descent from Cormac, the renowned king of Leinster. He proceeded to Dublin, and into Ulster, where a remarkable barn was fitted up for a church, which afterwards became the famous Abbey of Saul. After seven years he returned to Britain, which he is said to have delivered from the heresy of Pelagius; and, with several persons engaged as his assistants, in thirteen years he completed the work of converting all the people of Ireland. Having visited Rome, to give an account of his success, he returned and spent the remainder of his days be tween the monasteries of Armagh and Saul, enforcing the doctrines he had preached. After having established several schools, Patrick died, March 17, 493, aged one hundred and twenty years.
Numerous miracles are attributed to St. Patrick, and different accounts are given of his life and ministry. It is to be noted, that besides St. Patrick called the Great," the "Apostle of Ireland," there were two others of this name mentioned, Patrick the elder, who died in 449, and Patrick the younger, nephew of the Saint, and who survived his uncle several years.
What was the degree of scriptural knowledge possessed by these distinguished ecclesiastics-how far they preached the pure doctrines of the gospel-and in what degree the people who enjoyed their ministry were truly evangelized-we have but scanty means of ascertaining. While truth requires us to remark, that all the accounts which we possess, relating to these times, abound with the most ridiculous fables,-notices of the most superstitious and puerile rites and ceremonies, and extravagant stories of miracles, with but very little reference to the blessed word of God.
Archbishop Usher states, that about the time of St. Patrick, Ireland had three hundred and sixty five churches, with as many bishops, some of whose revenues were so small, that they had no more than the pasture of two milk beasts. With bishops to the several churches, we may hope that there was much pastoral piety, and many of the people blessed with much of the simplicity and purity of the gospel of Christ. Besides, the influence of Christianity, imperfectly as it was then generally understood and professed, and mingled with many silly rites, was infinitely more benevolent and the means of happiness among the people than the barbarism of pagan idolatry: yet the historic records of those times evince the aspiring ambition of the ecclesiastics, indicative of the advancing progress of Antichristian Popery.
THIS mode of violating the holy law of Almighty God, prevails to a lamentable extent in the vicinities of London and of the large towns in the country. Possibly some may prosecute their labours in the garden, on the Lord's day morning, unconscious of any particular criminality: but such persons cannot have considered the terms of the Divine law, in relation to the sacred day. "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: but the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy
God in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy man servant, nor thy maid servant, nor thy cattle, nor the stranger that is within thy gates for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day; wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it."
Should any object, as some have done, that this is a command to the Hebrews, and not obligatory on us: they should be reminded, that that error arises from a forgetfulness of the sanctification of the Sabbath at the creation, and its ordination for the benefit of all mankind.
We are persuaded that Sunday gardening is as innocent as any other mode of violating the commands of God: but if we only admit the certainty of our being judged at the righteous tribunal of God, and rewarded or punished according to our works, dangerous and dreadful will this custom appear! We are unwilling to throw obstacles in the way of our industrious mechanics enjoying themselves, or breathing the fresh air: but we are confident, that the health, the happiness, and the advantages of our poorer neighbours, would be promoted in a far greater degree by early rising, cleanliness, and attendance at the house of God.
Observation for many years has convinced us, that those who are accustomed to spend their time on a Sunday morning in gardening, are among those who are most disposed to injure their health, and their families, by pernicious habits in the afternoon and evening. We have known many, who, after labouring all the Sunday morning in gardening, have passed the remainder of the sacred day at home in their ordinary week day attire, drinking, and indulging in conversation unworthy of a rational being; and having thus spent the day of God, in a manner that will not bear reflection, they have retired to bed in a state of worse than beastly intoxication, their health impaired, their children encouraged in ungodliness by the example of their parents, and the most effectual preparation made for a numerous train of miseries in this life, and for the inconceivable torments of eternity!
How will the Negro slaves in Jamaica rise up in the day of judgment against British profaners of the Sabbath! They are obliged to cultivate their provision-grounds on that holy day, as the principal ineans of their subsistence; or, having gathered the fruits of their garden, to carry them many miles to market on the Sabbath, to procure by this means some of the necessaries of life! Should any of those who are accustomed to the unhallowed work of Sunday gardening read this paper, we beseech them to consider how they will justify themselves at the judgment seat of Christ; and henceforth seek the cultivation of their minds in the fear of God, reading his holy word, and seeking his salvation by the only Redeemer of sinners. are confident that our industrious mechanics will find the advantage of the counsel we are giving, not only in their peace of conscience, but in their present health and comfort. Instead of being accessory to the damnation of their children, recommending ungodliness by their pernicious example, they will be the means of training them for honour, happiness, and heaven. "For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable to all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come." 1 Tim. iv, 8.
King George the First is said to have observed respecting a sermon which was excellent in doctrine but overcharged with figurative language, that "the tropes and metaphors of the speaker were like the brilliant wild flowers in a field of corn, very pretty, but which did very much hurt the corn."
HEAVEN AND EARTH.
Behold yon bright array
Before the sapphire throne; There young nor old, nor rich nor poor, There bond nor free, are known.
At once they strike their lyres ; At once break off; - and all, With trembling joy and silent love, In adoration fall.
Whate'er their lot below,
As fellow-heirs of bliss,
In heav'n their services are one:
As brethren, so may we
Worship with one accord:
In stillness wait, in prayer bow down,
As pilgrims on our way,
God's earthly courts we fill;
And travel on from strength to strength, Abreast to Zion's hill.
There may our spirits meet,
When faith is chang'd to sight,
Where the Lord God himself shall be
Where on the sea of glass
The ransom'd nations sing,
And to the Lamb upon the throne
Death of the Rev. Rowland Hill, M. A. WITH mingled feelings of grief and joy, we announce the decease of the venerable Rowland Hill. This event took place at his house, Surrey Chapel, London, on Thursday evening, April 11, 1833. As we purpose taking further notice of the character and labours of this eminent servant of Christ, we can only remark here, that a few days before he entered into immediate "communion with the church of God" in heaven, he stated to the writer of this his intention to publish a new edition of "Dr. Mason's Catholic Communion of the Church of God" on earth. That work contains a fine illustration of his amiable spirit. This eminent example of Christian faith and benevolence, would have completed his eighty-ninth year had he lived till next August.
IS NOT RELIGION THE PARENT OF
"It is common," says Dr. Cox, in his Female Scripture Biography, "to represent religion as incompatible with true enjoyment, and to describe those who are under its influence as gloomy fanatics, dragging out a miserable existence, the dupes of prejudice and the slaves of melancholy. If a perpetual sense of the Divine presence, a well-founded confidence of pardoned sin, free access to the throne of mercy, abundant communications of spiritual good, and lively anticipations of a felicity beyond the grave, commensurate with the capacities of an immortal spirit and with the everlasting ages of eternity; if these produce wretchedness, then, and in no other case, is religion a source of misery."
THE SAILORS' AND SOLDIERS' CHRISTIAN FRIEND, AND POCKET COMPANION. Dedicated, with permission, to Admiral Lord Gambier and to General Lord Viscount Lorton. By Thomas Timpson, author of "A Companion to the Bible," &c. &c. 32mo. cloth, pp. 288. London, Book Society, 19, Paternoster Row.
WE are glad to see this admirable little work brought out under such distinguished patronage; and cordially recommend it to those for whose use it is especially designed, as eminently calculated for the promotion of their everlasting welfare. Many of our brave defenders by sea and land have become seriously alive to the importance of religion, and their number, there is good reason to hope, is constantly and rapidly increasing. Such will here find a directory well suited to their wants and circumstances, from its brevity, its clearness, and the affectionate tone which pervades the whole treatise. The following analysis will exhibit the author's plan.
Chap I. Affectionate Address to Sailors and Soldiers. II. The Evidences of Christianity. III. Heads of Christian Doctrine. IV. A Directory to Prayer. V. A Directory to the Lord's Supper. VI. A Directory to the Bible. VII. Anecdotes of Sailors. VIII. Anecdotes of Soldiers. IX. Select Personal Hymns. X. Select Social Hymns.
From the Preface we learn that the work "was undertaken, after much inquiry and deliberation, partly at the request of several devoted friends of sailors and soldiers, by whom the author was assured that no such volume existed; partly from a conviction that such a Manual was much needed; and partly from his having witnessed the habits of sailors and soldiers in the ports of London, Deptford, Greenwich, Woolwich, Gravesend, Chatham, Sheerness, Portsmouth, and Liverpool, and several military barracks and stations."
Those who have friends in the Army or Navy will find this volume a present as suitable as it is cheap. It is written in a concise yet perspicuous style, and the anecdotes are well adapted to gain the attention and gratify the taste of the naval and military reader. But though written more expressly for these classes, the work may be perused with advantage by all who need elementary Christian instruction. We trust the worthy author will see the blessing of God resting upon his labours, by a very large circulation of this useful and much-needed little volume.
"The nearer a man comes to the mirror of God's holiness, the more he sees of his own deformity."
The first volume of the Christian's Penny Magazine, from June to December 1832, may be had, neatly bound in canvass, price 3s. 6d. through any Bookseller or Newsman; and also any of the preceding Parts or Numbers. A specimen of the Embellishments in the First Volume is printed on a large Sheet, price 2d., which will be found to contain some beautiful articles for Books of Prints.
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BABYLON, the metropolis of Chaldea, is considered the most ancient of all the great cities of antiquity. Every reader of the Bible may learn from its inspired pages its origin and glory, and its idolatries and wickedness, on which account it was doomed of God to utter ruin. But its present circumstances of desolation are testified by modern travellers, whose writings form the most marvellous commentary upon the threatened and recorded judgments of God.
Babylon was founded by the first descendants of Noah (Gen. x, 10; xi), soon after the Deluge, and enlarged by Nimrod, his great grandson, about 2,000 years before the advent of Christ. Many additions were made to it by the famous queen Semiramis, and it was greatly strengthened and beautified by several succeeding sovereigns; but it was the celebrated Nebuchadnezzar, and his daughter Nitocris, who perfected this wonderful city, by raising it to the highest possible pitch of magnificence, splendour, and glory. Not a little of its riches was derived from the wealth of the temple of Solomon at Jerusalem. 2 Kings xxiv, 10-16; Dan. ii, iii, iv.
Babylon was situated in the midst of a vast plain, which was watered by the "great river Euphrates.' The river flowing from north to south, divided the city into two parts, which were surrounded by a wall; and VOL. II.
the whole, forming a complete square, was 480 furlongs, or 60 miles in circuit. This magnificent city had 50 grand streets 15 miles long, 25 streets from side to side, traversing the whole area from gate to gate, and intersecting each other; the whole was divided into 625 squares. Each side of the river had the convenience of a strong quay, and a high wall of the same dimensions with the wall around the city. The entrances to the city were by one hundred gates of prodigious size, made of solid brass; and the two parts of the city were connected by a prodigious stone bridge. To pre vent inconvenience from the swelling of the river, two canals were cut above the city, by which the superabundant waters were carried off into the Tigris. Besides which, prodigious embankments were formed, effectually to confine the stream within its channel, and as a security against inundation. The materials for these stupendous works were taken principally from the western side of the city, and the excavations formed an immense lake, the depth of which was 35 feet, and its circumference 45 miles.
At the ends of the bridge were two magnificent palaces, which had a subteraneous communication with each other, by means of a vault or tunnel under the bed of the river. The old palace, on the east side, was about 30 furlongs in compass, surrounded by three separate walls, one within another. The new palace, on the opposite side, was about four times as large as the