Imágenes de páginas

injunction. "According to all that God commanded him, so did he." Gen. vi, 22.

In all this Noah stands proposed in the sacred records as an example to us, of determined, persevering, and cheerful obedience in the path of duty. O that we may be followers of him in the way of God's commands, and as he and others have done, find that in keeping them there is a sweet satisfaction, a "great reward."

Letters to a Mother, upon Education.

On the Choice of a Profession.

Dear Madam, YOUR son must, at a proper time, which at the latest should be sixteen years of age, choose the profession, or art, or trade, in the exercise of which he will procure his maintenance, augment his worldly possessions, support his family, and render that share of his services, which is due from him to society.

This is usually considered a serious question in a family; and well it may be, since upon the right settlement of it will depend much of your child's future happiness and your own.

It appears to me, that the selection of a profession, or art, or trade, for your son, should, under your own guidance, be his own act. It seems but fair that he should have a voice in a question in which he is to be so much interested to the end of his days. Besides, it will rarely be found that he will heartily engage and really prosper in any pursuit which he may not have selected for himself as the object of his own inclination.

If, then, by the time that he is fifteen or sixteen years old, you have properly educated him, if you have given sufficient scope to his powers of observation, by showing and explaining to him the different arts, trades, and professions, you will find that he has spontaneously, and in a way for which he himself can give no account, fixed upon some one of them as his future pursuit. Should he not have done this at the time that you think it right to put to him the question, which you will do without any needless solemnity, you need not be disconcerted. Entirely drop the subject for half a year longer, should he not in the interim himself voluntarily declare that he has become decided. At the same time do not, even if you approve of his determination, too hastily consider his choice as final. You will find your son, even under the best intentions on his part, and the best management on your own, frequently perhaps wavering and uncertain, as to his future profession. It is the settled wish which continues for several months together, and which you perceive to be permanent, and even becoming stronger, to which you are to attend. The parents must nevertheless exert all their natural and acquired ability to judge of the propriety of the choice. They know their child, both as to his mind and body, better than he himself does, or any other person in the world. Happy would it be if parents could view this subject through the clear, unsophisticated medium of good common sense!

Were such the case, they could easily discriminate whether their child is under the influence of momentary impulse derived from novelty, from the example of a schoolfellow or companion, or from the perusal of any book. I have known children influenced by each of these circumstances. A lad has been taken to hear an eminent clergyman preach, or counsellor plead, and for days and months he has been consumed by the mania of becoming a preacher or barrister. One of his school

fellows has become apprenticed to an apothecary; and then nothing would serve but that he, like his schoolfellow, must compound medicines, surrounded by jars and phials; or he has read an entertaining voyage or travel, and his determination was as strong to go to sea. The watchful parent will ascertain to what these sudden impulses are to be ascribed. He will not violently or with contemptuous language or manner oppose them: he will discover by the vehemence of the impulse, that it is likely to be of short duration. Should it last longer than is convenient, and should it be directed towards an object which is in itself ineligible, he will seek to abate, by dividing the impression: he will skilfully submit a variety of other different pursuits to the mind of his child, when the attraction of some new object will probably diminish the attach


The chief points, in which the parent's superintendence of his son's choice of a profession is concerned, are such as the following:

[ocr errors]

First, that the art, trade, or profession, should be such as will not require more time and money to ac quire it than will be consistent with the general happiness of the parents, and justice to the welfare of the remaining members of his family. There must have been an injurious error in management, when you find a parent distracted how to raise money to keep his son at college, or the hospitals, or in chambers at an inn of court, &c.; and when you hear him declare, or see it likely that the other sons or daughters must be deprived of some advantages, because the eldest son or daughter has been so highly educated. I have seen this, and have heard parents confessing the delusion, that they hoped and expected the son or daughter in question would, in consideration of what had been done for him or her, behave the better to the parents themselves, or take care of their brothers and sisters, or when they came home from school or college, become the instructors of the remaining members of the household.

I believe it is common to hear such persons declare, that they have educated the eldest son or daughter, that he or she may teach the others. I have also heard them urge this motive as an excuse for the extraordinary pains and expense bestowed for this purpose!

The human mind always seeks for some show of reason for its conduct; but it is amazing with what sophis ticated excuses it can palliate its own indolence and vanity, and soothe its own consciousness of misjudging.

Next to the preceding considerations, I believe it is important that the parent should consider whether his son has chosen an art, or trade, or profession, to which the natural properties of his constitution, both of body or of mind, are adapted. This estimate, however, is to be formed with a due consideration of the extent to which the nature of man has ever been found, when accustomed to an employment, to put forth unexpected capabilities. Still, if the choice made by your son is really and widely different from his natural qualifications, or from what his acquired qualifications may, under all circumstances, be expected to become, it should seem to be your imperative duty to divert, by skilful management, the propensities of your child into another channel, lest haply you fulfil the counterpart of the fable, wherein the cock was sent to be a sailor, and the swan to be a soldier.

It should also be another regulation of prudence observed by the parent, that the choice made by his son is of an art or profession that is likely to furnish an adequate and permanent supply for the necessities of human life.

Supposing him to be destined to be a tradesman, I should advise, that in preference to all others he should

[blocks in formation]

Some of the most unhappy people I have ever known, have been those whose trade was liable to the caprice of fancy and fashion. I have often been reminded by such instances of the story of the tailor and the conjurer in a besieged town. The conjurer was the first to feel the famine. In vain he pretended to swallow pins and expectorate fire. While the tailor, though poorly paid, had work to the last, for the people always needed raiment.

Whenever a movement takes place in the popular caprice, it reduces the families of persons devoted to the fancy trades to the ebb of distress. For instance, the queen appears at a levee in Brussels lace: the nobility and gentry follow the example, and hundreds of Buckinghamshire lacemakers have nothing to do. She appears in a bonnet of Leghorn straw at the next drawing-room, and the staple manufacture of Bedfordshire undergoes a similar depression. Avoid, by all means, that your child should be devoted to a pursuit which is liable to such fluctuations. Equally oppose his choice of a pursuit in which success must depend almost entirely upon his own peculiar ingenuity. (To be continued.)

DESIGNS OF THE SACRED HISTORY. THE following observations by Sharon Turner, are as impressive as they are beautiful. "We are on this earth solely from our Creator's special appointment; neither we nor our ancestors have constructed it for our habitation. It has been provided for our present existence before our race began, and continues for the reception and residence of others when we disappear. We find every thing in it most artificial and specifically made, and all independently of us. The whole of it has been framed in every part by some other and superior power, who has formed it on his own plan, and for his own purposes. Our term of existence in it is that which he has been pleased to fix, and to which he has limited our enjoyment of it. This special fabrication of all things which now surrounds us, leads the mind to infer and believe, that our next state and mode of existence will be as elaborately and attentively provided. In all periods of our being, our Creator must be our disposing governor, so far as he shall choose to be: and it therefore becomes an object at all times of the deepest interest to us, to ascertain, if possible, his intentions and wishes as to our present and future destinies. What he has imparted to us of his will and expectations-what commands he has imposed-what information he has condescended to convey-and what intercourse he has been pleased to hold with our progenitors in the anterior ages of our history; the more we know of these important subjects, and the more just our notions of them, the more clearly shall we discern how we ought to direct and regulate both our conduct and our reasoning speculations, for the improvement of our intellectual nature, and the preservation and increase of our personal happiness. These topics are comprised in the sacred history of the world. We can know nothing of the thoughts and purposes of the Divine mind, but from its own revelations, of which we possess a record, and the only authoritative memorial, in the Jewish and Christian Scriptures."

[blocks in formation]

What day is the Sabbath day? - Sunday.


Do we dishonour God when we play on the Sunday, and do not go to church or to school? Yes.

Why do we dishonour God by so doing? Because we break his commandments.

T. Then let us always take care to keep the Sunday as we ought.

How else may we dishonour God? - By talking at church, and behaving ill at church; by saying our prayers with our lips, and not with our hearts; by quarrelling and fighting, and telling stories.

How may we honour God?-By keeping his commandments, and by reproving those who do not keep them.

Will God take to heaven those that honour him? Yes.


Why will he? Because he has said, "Those that honour me, I will honour." Will God punish those that dishonour him?—Yes. Why will he? Because God has said, that "those who dishonour him, he will lightly esteem, or punish."

T. Let us then pray to God to give us strength, that we may keep his commandments; let us strive always to obey them; let us always keep holy the Sabbath, never talk at the house of God, nor say wicked words, nor say our prayers with our lips only, without our hearts; and let us never be ashamed to confess that we are the servants of Christ. Let us strive to love God daily more and more. C. R. A.


SUCH a commander is Contentment, that wheresoever she setteth foot, an hundred blessings wait upon het: in every disease she is physician, in every strife she is a lawyer, in every doubt she is a preacher, in every grief she is a comforter; like a sweet perfume which taketh away the evil scent, and leaveth a pleasant smell for it. As the unicorn's horn, dipped in the fountain, makes the waters which were corrupt and noisome, clear and wholesome on a sudden, so whatsoever estate godliness comes unto, it saith like the apostles, Peace be to this house, Peace be to this heart, Peace be to this man.— Smith.

THE DEATH OF ANANIAS. Suggested by viewing one of the Cartoons.

WHEN we turn over History's page,

When we survey the works of old,
Those sumptuous piles from age to age
Which bent beneath their loads of gold,
The proud abodes of mighty kings,
What interest such description brings!
But here we trace no stately throne
Inlaid with ivory and gold,
With purple drapery round it drawn,-
A mean abode we here behold;
But more renown'd, more truly great,
Than e'er was monarch's dome of state.
Some short time since a sound was heard,
"Like rushing of a Mighty Wind ;"
And such a Guest as then appear'd,

In no rich palace can we find ;
That Holy, that Immortal Dove,
Proceeding from the God of Love.
He came in cloven tongues of flame,
And sat upon the head of each,
To glorify a Saviour's name,

And send his servants forth to preach,
That He should come, the Lord declar'd!
And in his might He soon appear'd.
To those within such gifts He brought,
As never princes yet receiv'd:
A few poor Fishermen, who wrought
For daily bread, but who believ'd
In Him who had been crucified,—
They had the boon to kings denied-
His power to speak in foreign tongues,
So that each stranger hears his own,
From whatsoever clime he comes,

From Egypt, Lybia, mighty Rome! And with an eloquence and grace, Denied to every former race;

To heal the sick, to raise the dead,
To cast out devils in His name;
All that He promis'd ere He bled,

They had when this His Spirit came;
They could approve, absolve, condemn,
All they could need was granted them.
They with an energy divine

Had just been praying for His aid; He deign'd on many hearts to shine,

Who listen'd to the words they said; And richest offerings hence were brought, By those the Holy Ghost had taught. Who had receiv'd, they freely give, United still in heart and mind; Rich with the poor in common live,

What some may need, the rest will find; Nor house, nor lands, nor gold they claim, To form a church their only aim.

But not on earth a perfect one
Was it permitted them to raise

A hypocrite was found among


Those who compos'd it in those days. Behold him! See his fearful end! Death comes! but comes not as his friend. Behold that stern, that piercing eye, And that uprais'd, extended hand! "How couldst thou to the Spirit lie?

He wanted not thy house nor land!

Man doth not claim thy forfeit blood,
But thou must full before thy God!
"That Saviour in whose name we preach!
That Spirit by whose power we act!
He can alone the guilty reach,

He hath surpris'd thee in that fact!"
Behold the agony of death!
Behold him yield his latest breath!


THE OFFICIAL GLORY OF THE SON OF GOD; Or, a Treatise on the Universal Headship of Christ. By John Jefferson. 12mo. cloth, pp. 278. Westley and Davis, London.

CORRECT views of the Person and Offices of Jesus Christ are essential to the peace and edification of the Christian. Dr. Owen was worthily impressed with this conviction, when he wrote his "Declaration of the Glorious Mystery of the Person of Christ," and his "Discourses on the Glory of Christ." Those excellent volumes have been read by thousands with spiritual profit and delight, and they will continue to be prized by the church of God. Mr. Jefferson's volume, though not precisely on the same plan as either of those celebrated works, contains much of the substance of the two, and we are persuaded that it will be highly prized in proportion as it is known.

The judicious author remarks, "The following outline of this great subject may be presented:

"The Lord Jesus Christ is here to be viewed as, "The ordained medium for making known the Divine glory.John i, 18; Rev. xix, 13.

"The Head and Lord of the Elect Angels.- Eph. i, 9, 10; 1 Pet. iii, 22.

"The Conqueror and Ruler of the Fallen Angels. — Eph. iv, 8; Col. ii, 15.

"The Mediator and Governor of Men.— 1 Tim. ii, 5; John xvii, 2.

"The Saviour and Head of the Church. —Eph. v, 23; and,

"The Supreme Lord of Wicked Men. - Psal. cx, 2; 1 Cor. xv, 25.

"Besides these several relationships, his official glory is also to be traced in the universality of his spiritual reign on earth for a thousand years; Psal. Ixxii, 8, 17; Rev. xx, 1—6;-in the union of all holy creatures which is effected in him; Eph. i, 9, 10; Col. i, 16—20; -in the glorious exaltation which he now enjoys, and the dominion which he exercises over the invisible state; Rom. xiv, 9; Eph. i, 20, 21; Rev. i, 17, 18; — and in the last acts of time, when he shall raise the dead, judge the world, settle all things in their final condition, and deliver up the kingdom, that God may be all in all; John v, 28, 29; 2 Cor. v, 10; Matt. xxv, 31; 2 Thess. i, 7-10; 1 Cor. xv, 24-28."

These several divisions of the author's plan are filled up in a manner which will not only secure respect for him as a sound divine, but contribute to promote the improvement of his readers, in growing in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Knowledge must carry the torch before faith.—Watson.

London: Printed and Published by C. WOOD AND SON, Poppin's Court, Fleet Street; to whom all Communications for the Editor (post_paid) should be addressed; and sold by all Booksellers and Newsmen in the United Kingdom.

Hawkers and Dealers Supplied on Wholesale Terms, in London, by STEILL, Paternoster Row; BERGER, Holywell Street, Strand; F. BAISLER, 124, Oxford Street; and W. Ñ. BAKER, 16, City Road, Finsbury.


No 60.


JULY 27, 1833.


[graphic][merged small]


"VENERABLE SAMUEL" is presented to our contemplation by the inspired pages, as one of the most excellent and worthy characters of the Hebrew nation. Samuel was in a special manner the child of prayer, and Hannah, his pious mother, gave him his expressive name, which signifies Asked of God, as a living memorial of the Divine condescension to her requests.

Every stage of Samuel's eventful life, affords much valuable instruction to the readers of the Holy Scriptures. His early dedication to God-his infantile VOL. II.

education, by his devoted mother-his presentation to the LORD under the care of Eli the priest, while yet a child-his call of the LORD his establishment as a prophet-the defeat of the Philistines at his prayershis labours as a judge of the nation-his anointing of Saul to be king of Israel-his anointing of David on Saul's rejection by God-his conduct towards Sauland his death and general character, would each furnish an important subject of ineditation. On a future occasion we intend to notice each of these particulars, in our "Scripture Biography:" but our present remarks will refer chiefly to the institution of Schools by the patriotic prophet.

2 H

Benefits and blessings innumerable were conveyed to the Hebrew nation, and by them to the whole world, by means of the institutions and labours of Samuel. For he was the first or chief of that series of prophets, whom God mercifully raised up and employed to preserve the inspired books of Moses, and to commit to writing the subsequent divine revelations. To this consecrated series of the servants of God, the apostle Peter referred, when he said to the Jewish rulers, in defence of his divine commission, "Yea, and all the prophets, from Samuel and those that follow after, as many as have spoken, have likewise foretold of these days." Acts iii, 24.

Particulars relating to the establishment of the prophetic colleges, we are not able perfectly to ascertain : but we find an eminent society at Naioth, in Ramah, with Samuel as their president. "And when they saw the company of the prophets prophesying, and Samuel standing as appointed over them," &c.-See 1 Sam. xix, 20-24.

Obadiah, of the court of Ahab, was a truly pious man, and at the hazard of his life he afforded protection and support to two of these colleges, 1 Kings xviii, 4. Bethel, Jericho, and Gilgal, are mentioned as being favoured with the residence of these holy men of God. 2 Kings ii, 3-5; iv, 38. But to what extent in afterages these institutions were carried, we are not informed. During the reigns of terror in Israel, the servants of God were persecuted; but at every reformation, and in every revival of religion in the nation, they were protected and encouraged. Hezekiah appears to have given them countenance, and to have employed them in transcribing the Sacred Books. So it is intimated, Prov. xxv, “These are also the proverbs of Solomon, which the men of Judah copied out." "And Hezekiah spake comfortably unto all the Levites that taught the good knowledge of the LORD." 2 Chron. xxx, 22.

Ezra and Nehemiah, after the return of the Jews from captivity in Babylon, were zealous promoters of the schools of the prophets; and to them, under God, the revival of learning and religion is to be attributed. The completion of the canon of the Old Testament Scriptures was effected by the "Great Synagogue," which was a college of the sons of the prophets, established by Ezra. Under what obligations we are laid to them will be estimated precisely by the manner in which we prize the former volume of the word of God. Dr. Prideaux's account of the Great Synagogue and its various labours, will be interesting to our readers, and tend to confirm those of but limited research, in their belief that the Old Testament contains the pure and unadulterated oracles of God.

Simon the Just, high priest of the Jews, dying after he had been nine years in that office, left behind him a son called Onias; but he being an infant, and therefore incapable of succeeding in the high-priesthood, Eleazar, the brother of Simon, was substituted high-priest in his stead. This Simon, as he had by the uprightness of his actions, and the righteousness of his conversation, both towards God and man, merited the surname of the Just; so also was he in all respects a very extraordinary person; which the character given of him in the fiftieth chapter of Ecclesiasticus sufficiently shows. There, many of his good works, for the benefit both of the church and state of the Jews, are mentioned with their due praise. But his chiefest work was the finishing of the canon of the Scriptures of the Old Testament. What was done herein by Ezra hath been before related. The books afterwards added, were the two books of Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, and Malachi. That these could not be put into the canon by Ezra is plain; for four of those books are, upon just grounds, supposed to have been written

by himself (that is, the two books of Chronicles, and the books of Ezra and Esther), and the Book of Nehemiah was written after his time, and so most likely was the Book of Malachi also: and therefore a later time must be assigned for their insertion into the canon, and none is more likely than that of Simon the Just, who is said to have been the last of the men of the great For what the Jews called the great synasynagogue.

gogue were a number of elders, amounting to one hundred and twenty, who, succeeding some after others, in a continued series, from the return of the Jews again into Judea, after the Babylonish captivity, to the time of Simon the Just, laboured in the restoring of the Jewish church and state in that country; in order whereto, the Holy Scriptures being the rule they were to go by, their chief care and study was to make a true collection of those Scriptures, and publish them accurately to the people. Ezra, and the men of the great synagogue that lived in his time, completed this work as far as I have said. And as to what remained farther to be done in it, where can we better place the performing of it, and the ending and finishing of the whole thereby, than in that time where those men of the great synagogue ended that were employed therein, that is, in the time of Simon the Just, who was the last of them? And that especially, since there are some particulars in those books which seem necessarily to refer down to times as late as those of Alexander the Great, if not later. For in the third chapter of the First Book of Chronicles, we have the genealogy of the sons of Zerubbabel, carried down for so many descents after him, as may well be thought to reach the time of Alexander: and, in the Book of Nehemiah, chap. xii, 22, we have the days of Jaddua spoken of, as of days past; but Jaddua outlived Alexander two years. I acknowledge these passages to have been interpolated passages, both put in after the time of Ezra, and after the time of Nehemiah (who were the writers of these books), by those who completed the canon. To say they were inserted by those holy men themselves who wrote the books, the chronology of their history will not bear: for then they must have lived down beyond those times which those passages refer us to; but this is inconsistent with what is written of them. And to say that they were put in by any other than those, who, by the direction of the Holy Spirit of God, completed the canon of the Scriptures, will be to derogate from their excellency; and therefore we must conclude, that, since Simon the Just was the last of those that were employed in this work, it was by him that the last finishing hand was put thereto, and that it was in his time, and under his presidency, and chiefly by his direction, that the canon of the Holy Scriptures of the Old Testament, by which we now receive them, was perfected, and finally settled in the Jewish church. And thus far having brought down this history through the Scripture-times, till the canon. of the Scriptures of the Old Testament was fully perfected, I shall here end the first part of it. After this followed the Mishnical times, that is, the times of traditions. Hitherto the Scriptures were the only rule of faith and manners which God's people studied: but thenceforth traditions began to be regarded, till at length they overbore the word of God itself, as we find in our Saviour's time. The collection of those traditions they call the Mishnah, that is, the second law, and those who delivered and taught them, were styled the Mishnical doctors. From the death of Simon the Just their time began, and they continued to be known by that name, till Rabbi Judah Hakkadosh collected all those traditions together, and wrote them into the book which they call the Mishnah; which was done about one hundred and fifty years after Christ."

« AnteriorContinuar »