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FOR an enlarged account of the wonderful vessel which Noah, by the Divine command, built for the preservation of himself and family from the destruction brought upon the old world, we refer our readers to the first volume of the Christian's Penny Magazine, page 26; and now proceed to consider that most tremendous of all the providential visitations of God-the Universal Deluge.
The ark being finished according to the dimensions which God had commanded, every necessary preparation having been inade, and all provisions completed, the door was opened for the admission of those whom God had appointed to salvation. "And the LORD said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation. Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee by sevens, the male and his female; and of beasts that are not clean by two, the male and his female. Of fowls also of the air by sevens, the male and the female; to keep seed alive upon the face of the earth." Gen. vii, 1-3.
Noah had fulfilled his ministry of righteousness, and delivered his faithful testimony to a world of transgressors; and now a new and strange set of witnesses arise, to condemn the disobedience of the impious unbelievers. The birds of the air are seen Aying in couples to the secure asylum. The beasts of the field appear marching towards the ark, not only the domestic and the timid, losing their fears; but the most ferocious species of them, becoming tame and obedient, led by a powerful instinct, as if sensible of the impending calamity, and "warned to flee from the wrath to come." They flocked in pairs and sevens around the wondrous building, seeking free ingress to it as the only place of refuge, ready to submit to the management of the patriarch, and in peaceful harmony with each other.
the self-same day entered Noah, and Shem, and Ham, and Japheth, the sons of Noah, and Noah's wife, and the three wives of his sons with them, into the ark. They and every beast after his kind, and all the cattle after their kind, and every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind, and every fowl after his kind, every bird of every sort. And they went in unto Noah into the ark, two and two of all flesh, wherein is the breath of life. And they that went in, went in male and female of all flesh, as God had commanded him." Gen. vii, 13—16.
Although the brute creatures had eagerly taken their allotted stations with Noah, the world of rational beings continued deaf to his solemnn warnings, and heedless of the threatening danger. The ark and its builder were still the subjects of their jocularity; and as our blessed Lord assures us, the very day on which the holy patriarch and family entered their consecrated habitation, the rest of mankind were immersed in sensual indulgences. "In the days that were before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark." Matt. xxiv, 39, 39. But the season of their unhallowed festivities is short: despised judgment is at the door, and ready to fall upon the profane wretches, in the midst of their career of madness. The longsuffering of God will not for ever wait upon the guilty; and sinners may cherish their impenitent infidelity till there is no means of redemption.
No sooner is the precious cargo safely on board, and the faithful prophet and his family seated in their new apartments, than Almighty God, with paternal care,
made them secure against any attack of daring infidel And the LORD shut him in." Gen. vii, 16. Still the Divine mercy admonishes, and waits seven days! O how pitiful to sinners is the forbearance of God! He said, "For yet seven days, and I will caust it to rain upon the earth." Ver. 4. The guilty might yet obtain forgiveness! Whether any impenitent heare became softened to contrition, we know not: perhaps some might come to themselves in the eleventh hour, believe the truth, and implore pardon and eternal salvation. Most, however, continued hardened in iniquity, "treasuring up unto themselves wrath against the day of wrath."
At length the skies become lowering. The clouds of heaven begin to gather blackness, and the darkened firmament threatens the tremendous storm. It commences with terror
"Hollow murmurs fill the air,
Like a tempest heaves the crowd,
With pallid lips and curdled blood,
Each trembling cries, "The Flood!" "The Flood!" What a frightful scene must have presented itself to the eyes of the benevolent patriarch, if he looked out of his sacred asylum! While the winds were howling with tempestuous fury, torrents were pouring down from the skies, and oceans were issuing from "the fountains of the great deep which were broken up" from beneath. Universal horror and desolation appeared. Scoffing infidels, who but yesterday had insulted the tender-hearted Preacher, and carelessly beheld the mysterious procession of the brute animals to the ark, now bewail their helpless misery, and fly to find a place of refuge. Many run to the building which they had ridiculed, and weeping beg for admission but their tears are unavailing, and their entreaties fruitless. The roofs of stately buildings and lofty to towers are covered with trembling multitudes; but they are quickly engulphed in the undermining waters. Crowds ascend the majestic hills, whence they behold with agonizing grief the wreck of universal nature, and perish in tormenting despair.
The storm abates not, but increases. Roaring cataracts newly formed, rush down the precipices, and sweep the breathless fugitives from their last retreats, into the vast abyss. The mightiest mountains yield, and are swallowed by the devouring element, and nothing appears but an immense and universal ocean, with the solitary consecrated vesssel, floating securely upon its awful bosom. Noah, in the mean time, adoring the righteous Judge of the universe, and saying, "Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God' Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints! Who shall not fear Thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name." Rev. xv, 3, 4.
"In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened. And the rain was upon the earth forty days and forty nights. And the waters prevailed exceedingly upon the earth; and all the high hills that were under the whole heaven were covered, fifteen cubits upward did the waters prevail; and the mountains were covered." Gen. vii, 11, 12, 19, 20.
As the flood continued increasing during forty days, the waters must have risen on the average, at the astonishing rate of thirty feet each hour!
(To be continued.)
Letters to a Mother, upon Education.
On the Choice of a Profession, continued.
The final establishment of your son in his art, trade, or profession, should equally be a matter of prospective contrivance.
It is not enough that you can support him through an apprenticeship; you should so apportion matters, as that you can not only do this, but set him up in business, and give him a fair start afterwards. It is not enough that you can support him through his clerkship to an attorney, you ought not to do this unless you can furnish him with a few hundreds for his support till he can get into practice. You must consider whether, when you apprentice him to an apothecary, and purpose that he shall attend the hospitals, you shall be able to furnish his shop, and to give him the means of subsistence for a year or two, till he makes a connection. If he must be a clergyman, you ought to have a reasonable prospect that you shall be able to support him through school and college, and to give him the ability to maintain himself for a year or two afterwards, till he gets a title to a curacy; and even then to furnish him with the books needful to his studies, and with all other expenses, till he can float upon the salary of the assistant minister. And he is not a skilful parent, who does not consider all these things; and who, if he has not the rational prospect of being able to do all this, in any given case, does not lower his plans to a case in which he has. He is also an unwise, an unkind parent, and will lose the respect of his child, who, having conducted him to the verge of his profession, then begins to complain that he neither can nor ought to go any further. Why did he not foresee this point of difficulty? and why did not his forethought lead him to prevent his child and himself ever being exposed to it? now shrink and complain, let him know that his child now being come to years of reflection, will never excuse his parent for a want of sagacity and prudence.
I must also add an additional caution, that you do not exactly destine your child, before you can have an opportunity of judging of his capability, to this or that profession, and before your child is also capable of forming and expressing his own inclination. Be assured, that should you adopt this proceeding, your own determination, however you may promise yourself it shall be kept secret, and shall not influence your child, will inevitably operate in all your conduct towards him.
I believe many a mother, and many a father have destined their child while in the cradle to be a clergyinan. The mother especially, perhaps with really good motives, has felt like the mother of Luther, what an honour it would be if her child should be a minister of Jesus Christ! An honour it is indeed, far greater than that of kings or emperors; but then it should be an honour really and manifestly conduced to by circumstances as they develop themselves in after-life. The mother, however-excuse me if faithful dealing seem harsh the mother has set her heart on her son's being a clergyman. While rocking his cradle, her mind has woven its reverie; and there, amid future circumstances, she delights to trace him to school, and from school to college, and from college to the pulpit, and her heart beats high with the anticipated gladness of hearing him declare and explain to mankind the love of God in the gospel. In some such reverie, she settles the school in which he shal be brought up, and the college he shall go to. She resolves, indeed, that she will never do any
thing to influence him to this determination; "yet, oh! if it should be the will of Providence, it would be the consummation of her earthly wishes, for herself and her offspring." Kind and amiable parent! your feelings are honourable: may they be gratified; but do not dream, I beseech you, but that entertaining so fond and fervent a wish in your own bosom, will influence your conduct towards your child, and will influence his determination. Oh yes, many an expression of maternal tenderness, many a suggestion little observed by yourself, will assuredly conduce to this result; and if you should awake to the momentary regret that you are saying and doing too much, yet be assured, when that emotion of regret is past away and forgotten, your child will retain the impression, and is already, under the repetition of such instances, being moulded insensibly into the future divine. Yet how unlikely is it that he will be all that he ought to beall that is required for this office! Cease, then, your wishes: forbear, for his sake and your own: recal the blissful emotion, and subunit the amiable ambition to the development of future years.
Amid these observations, I must however crave room for a provision for the extraordinary case, in which a lad most evidently exhibits peculiar adaptation to the pursuit of some particular art, or science, or profession. Suppose, for instance, some able and honest tutor or schoolmaster, upon whose fidelity and judgment you can rely, should give it as his firm conviction, that the child in question would succeed admirably in the pursuits of either university, for instance; then to devote the lad, having eminent talents for classics or mathematics, to a trade, would seem an unlawful opposition to the apparent will of Providence respecting him.
In this, or in any other similar case, it might be proper for the family and friends of the youth to make those efforts and sacrifices, with a view to his education, which in ordinary instances would be very unjustifiable. This, however, would be a case requiring the greatest caution. The parents themselves should not be the judges. Their partiality for their offspring, and desires for his highest welfare, will infallibly prejudice their opinion. Even the recommendation of the tutor or the schoolmaster should, if possible, be attended with the concurrence of some other person capable of forming a judgment to this effect, and less likely to be influenced by partiality, &c. But the case, although possible, is comparatively rare. In offering you observations upon the topic, such a supposition ought to be barely provided for. Advice respecting it ought to proceed upon the expectation, which is immensely more likely to be fulfilled, that your offspring will exhibit no qualities, which could warrant his being devoted to an art, or trade, or profession, which, in point of the money and time it would require, the sphere of society in which it would require him to move, or the estimation in which it is generally held in the world, is at all above the reach of the parents, or superior to their own station. I am, dear Madam, yours, &c. CLERICUS.
AN OAK CHAPEL.-The Oak of Allenville, in Normandy, known as Chene Chapelle, was a century and a quarter since converted into a place of worship; its trunk was at that time hollow, and its head in part destroyed. This living cavern was then paved and roofed, and divided by a floor into two apartments. The lower was fitted up by the Abbé du Detroit as a chapel, and the upper as a dwelling for the officiating priest.-Professor Burnett's Lecture.
Whose kingdom is it, that we pray may come? God's.
What is the meaning of a kingdom?—A ruling over some country; England is a country over which a king rules, therefore it is a kingdom.
What is the meaning of God's kingdom coming?Suppose a king was driven from his country by rebellious wicked men, and after a long time was to return; his ruling over a loyal people would make the country a kingdom and when the king was seated on his throne, and his subjects around him, his kingdom would be come.
When we pray to God "thy kingdom come," what do we ask for?-We pray that God would quickly come and rule over this world; that He would make men to love him, and be willing to obey him; that he would overthrow Satan, and convert wicked
But does not God already rule over every place? — Yes.
How then, if God already rules everywhere, can we pray that his kingdom may soon come?—A king may rule over a country, but nevertheless he may have enemies amongst his people. For instance, suppose the French were come, and had burnt down London; King William nevertheless may reign, because they may not have slain him, nor have placed another king in his stead: so God does rule over the world, but he has enemies in it.
Who are God's enemies in the world?-Satan and wicked men.
But we are going to speak of a kingdom that is within us, over which God does not yet altogether rule. What is the kingdom that is within us?—The ruling of God in our hearts.
Does God rule over our hearts?-Yes, if we are godly.
Are there any enemies in our hearts against God?· Yes.
Who are they?-Satan, and our natural sinfulness. What do we ask God to do for our hearts and wickedness, when we say "Thy kingdom come? We pray that the Holy Spirit would himself come and dwell in our hearts, overthrow Satan, take away the sinfulness of our hearts, and give us holiness.
Teacher. From the whole we learn, that we must pray that God would cast Satan out of our hearts, and take away our sinfulness, and give us holiness; and we must also never indulge any bad thoughts, but always endeavour to drive them out of our mind; we should also try to think more of God, of his kindness and love to us, and of his sending Jesus Christ to die for us, that we may be able to go to heaven. May God enable us so to do, to think more of Christ, and to strive against all evil thoughts and tempers: if we do we shall certainly have that prayer answered, "Thy kingdom come," and then we shall go to heaven, and be for ever with our God in happiness. If we do not, we shall certainly always be ruled by Satan, who will make us miserable now, and hereafter make us miserable in hell, where he dwells with all his wicked angels, and with wicked men. May God enable us all, never to indulge in wicked thoughts or actions, but to think more of Jesus Christ and heaven. May we all with all our hearts, and with all our understanding, cry "Thy kingdom come;" and inay the God of heaven grant us our requests, for Jesus Christ's sake. Amen.
A SPECIMEN OF WELSH ELOQUENCE. "If I were to represent in a figure, the condition of man as a sinner, and his recovery by the cross of Christ, I would attempt it somewhat in this way: Suppose a large grave-yard surrounded by high walls, with only one entrance by a large iron gate fast bolted: within these walls are thousands and tens of thousands of human beings, of all ages and of all classes, by one epidemic disease bending to the grave; the grave yearns to swallow them up, and they must all perish. This is the condition of man as a sinner, 'The soul that sinneth it shall die.' Whilst man was in this deplorable condition, Mercy, the darling attribute of Deity, came down and stood at the gate, looked at the scene, and weeping over it, exclaimed, Oh! that I might enter: I would bind up their wounds-I would relieve their sorrows-I would save their souls. While Mercy stood at the gate weeping, an embassy of angels, commissioned from the courts of heaven to some other world, passing over, paused at the sight (Heaven forgave the pause); and seeing Mercy standing there, they said, Mercy! Mercy! can you not enter? Can you look on the scene, and not pity? Can you pity, and not relieve? Mercy replied, I can see (and in tears added), I can pity, but I cannot relieve. Why cannot you enter? Oh! said Mercy, Justice has barred the gate against me, and I cannot, I must not unbar it. At this moment Justice himself appeared, as if it were to watch the gate. The angels inquired of him, why he would not let Mercy enter? Justice replied, My law is broken, and it must be honoured. Die they or Justice must. At this time there appeared among the angels, a form like unto the Son of God, who, addressing himself to Justice, said, What are thy demands? Justice replied, My terms are stern and rigid: I must have sickness for their health-I must have ignominy for their honour-I must have death for their life-'Without shedding of blood, there is no remission.' Justice, said the Son of God, I accept thy terms: on me be this wrong: let Mercy enter. When, said Justice, will you perform this promise? Jesus replied, Four thousand years hence, upon the hill of Calvary, without the gates of Jerusalein, 1 will perform it in my own person. The deed was prepared and signed in the presence of the angels of God! Justice was satisfied, and Mercy entered, preaching salvation in the name of Jesus; and as time rolled on, the deed was committed to the patriarchs-by them to the kings of Israel and to the prophets-by them it was preserved till Daniel's seventy weeks were accomplished;-then, at the appointed time, Justice appeared on the Hill of Calvary, and Mercy presented to him the important deed. Where, said Justice, is the Son of God? Behold him, replied Mercy, at the bottom of the hill, bearing his own cross! She then departed and stood aloof. At the hour of trial Jesus ascended the hill, whilst in his train followed his weeping church. Justice immediately presented to him the deed, saying, This is the day when the bond is to be executed. When Jesus received it, did he tear it to pieces, and give it to the winds of heaven? No! no! He nailed it to the cross, exclaiming, 'It is finished.' Justice called down holy fire, to consume the sacrifice. Holy fire descended; it swallowed his humanity; but when it touched his Deity, it expired; and there was darkness over the whole heavens;—but, glory to God in the highest; there was peace for earth, and everlasting good-will ta
Divisions are Satan's powder plots, to blow up religion.- Watson.
(Continued from p. 222.)
BASHAN (in the tooth, or ivory-or in the sleep), one of the most fertile cantons of Canaan, which was bounded on the east by the river Jordan, on the west by the mountains of Gilead, on the south by the brook Jabbok, on the north by the land of Geshur. The whole kingdom took its name from the hill of Bashan, which is situated in the middle of it, and has since been called Batanea. It had no less than sixty walled towns in it, besides villages. It afforded an excellent breed of cattle, and stately oaks, and was a plentiful and populous country.
BATH-ZACHARIAS, a place situated in the neighbour. hood of Bethsura, celebrated for the battle fought between Antiochus Eupator and Judas Maccabeus. 1 Mac. vi, 32, 33.
BEER-SHEBA (the well of an oath, or the well of seven), so called because Abraham made here an alliance with Abimelech, king of Gerar, and gave him seven ewe lambs to serve as a monument of that covenant which they had sworn to. It was situated twenty miles from Hebron towards the south. The limits of the Holy Land are often expressed from Dan even to Beer-sheba, 2 Sam. xvii, 11. Dan was the northern, and Beer-sheba the southern extremity of the land.
BEREA (weighty), a great and populous city of Macedonia, lying to the south, in the neighbourhood of Athens. Here was a synagogue of the Jews, into which St. Paul went, and preached with great success; insomuch that the apostle has bestowed a peculiar eulogium on the Bereans, telling us that they were more noble and ingenuous than those of Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of nind, and diligently searched the scriptures, whether the things they had heard of Paul concerning the Messias were so or not. See Acts. xvii, 11.
BESOR (glad news), a brook that falls into the Mediteranean between Gaza and Rhinocorura. This is the brook of the wilderness (mentioned Amos vi, 14), which many have unadvisedly taken for the brook or river of Egypt, which is spoken of in some places of Scripture, as Josh. xv, 4, 47, &c., and is no other than the Nile, or the most eastern branch of it.
BETHANY (the house of the grace of the Lord), a considerable place, situated at the foot of the Mount of Olives, about fifteen furlongs eastward of Jerusalem. Here it was that Martha and Mary lived with their brother Lazarus, whom Jesus raised from the dead; and it was here that Mary poured the perfume on our Saviour's head. Bethany at present is a very small village. One of our modern travellers acquaints us, that at the entrance into it there is an old ruin, called Lazarus's Castle, supposed to have been the mansion house where he and his sisters lived. At the bottom of a descent, not far from the castle, you see his sepulchre, which the Turks hold in great veneration, and use it for an oratory, or place of prayer. Here going down by twenty steps, you come at first into a small square room, and from thence creep into another that is less, about a yard and a half deep, in which the body is said to have lain. About a bow-shot from hence, you pass by the place, which they say was Mary Magdalen's house; and thence descending a steep hill, you come to the fountain of the apostles, which is so called, because, as the tradition goes, these holy persons were wont to refresh themselves here between Jerusalem and Jericho, as it is very probable they might, because the fountain is open to the road side, and is very inviting to the thirsty traveller.-See Maundrel's Journey, p. 79.
BETHESDA (the house of effusion, or mercy), in the Vulgate Latin Piscina Probatica, because, according to some, the sheep were washed in it which were appointed for sacrifices, was the Hebrew name for a pool or public bath, which had five porticos, piazzas, or covered walks around it. This bath for its singular usefulness was called Bethesda, the house of mercy, because, as Pool observes in his Annotations, the erecting of baths was an act of great kindness to the common people, whose indispositions in hot countries required frequent bathing; though the generality of expositors think that it had this name rather from God's great goodness shown to his people in giving such healing virtues to waters as this pool had; for at a certain season, probably at the Passover, an angel went down into the pool, and moved it in so sensible a manner, that whosoever stept first into the pool, after the troubling of the water, was made whole of whatever discase he possessed. See John v, 2, 3.
BETHLEHEM (the house of bread), a city of the tribe of Judah, different from another of the same name, in the tribe of Zebulon. (Josh xix, 15.) It is likewise called Ephrath (Gen. xlvii, 15), or Ephratah (Micah v, 2), and its inhabitants Ephratites (Ruth i, 2); and 1 Sam. xvii, 12. This city was not at all considerable for its extent or riches, but was infinitely so on account of the Messiah's birth. Bethlehem was situated upon the declivity of a hill, about two leagues from Jerusalem. It is generally visited by pilgrims, and at present is not only furnished with a convent of Latins, but also with one of the Greeks, and another of the Armenians. Here are shown you the very place where our Saviour was born, the manger in which he was laid, and the cave or grot in which the blessed Virgin hid herself and her divine babe, from the malice of Herod, for some time before their departure from Egypt. The grot is hollowed in a chalky rock, but this whiteness is said not to be natural, but occasioned by some miraculous drops of the blessed Virgin's milk, which fell from her breast when she was suckling the holy infant; and so much are the inhabitants of Bethlehem possessed with that opinion, that they believe the chalk of this grotto to have a miraculous virtue for increasing women's milk and it is taken very frequently for that purpose. Here are shown likewise the chapel of St. Joseph, the supposed father of our Lord; the chapel of the Innocents, and also those of St. Jerome, St. Paula, and Eustochium. About half a mile eastward from the town you see the field where the shepherds were watching their flocks when they received the glad tidings of the birth of Christ.
BETH-PHAGE (the house of the mouth, or of early figs), a small city of the priests, situated on Mount Olivet, about fifteen furlongs from Jerusalem.
BETHSAIDA (the house of fruits), a city, whereof there is no mention in the Old Testament, though it frequently occurs in the New; the reason whereof is, that it was but a village, as Josephus tells us, till Philip, the Tetrarch, built it up to a magnificent city, and gave it the name of Julius, out of respect to Julia, the daughter of Augustus Cæsar. Its original name in Hebrew imports a place of fishing and hunting, and for both those exercises it was commodiously situated. In and near this city our Saviour performed many wonderful miracles. Luke x, 19.
BITHYNIA (violent precipitation), a country in Asia, adjoining to Mysia and Phrygia on the north and northeast; and stretching along the sea which lies between the European and Asiatic continents, quite up to Pontus Euxinus. This country has been made famous since the times of the New Testament for the first general council held at Nice, a city thereof, against the Arian
heresy, by command of Constantine the Great. St. Paul proposed to visit this city, but did not fulfil his intention, the Spirit not suffering him. Acts xvi, 7.
BоCHIM (the place of weeping), the place of weepers. "And an angel of the Lord came from Gilgal to Bochim" (Judg. ii, 1.) There is mention of the same place in 2 Sam. v, 24. "When thou hearest the sound on the top of Bochim, thou shalt bestir thyself." Lastly, the Psalmist (lxxxiv, 6) seems to speak of the same place when he says, "Who going through the. vale of Baca, or misery."-Others translate the Hebrew Bochim, mulberry trees, or tear trees; and, instead of the vale or place of tears, read the vale or place of mulberry trees. The difficulty consists in fixing the situation of Bochim, whether we understand by it mulberry trees or weepers. Some fix it at Shiloh, because they sacrificed to the Lord when the angel found them. Now it was not lawful to sacrifice anywhere but at the tabernacle, which was then at Shiloh. Others place Bochim near Jerusalem. It is certain that the battle between David and the Philistines in the valley of Bochim (2 Sam. v, 24) was fought near Jerusalem; wherefore, unless two places are distinguished by the name of Bochim, it must be allowed that this was near Jerusalem.
ROWLAND HILL PREACHING TO SAILORS.
In the early period of his ministry, Mr Griffin states, “that_when_visiting one of our seaport towns, where he attempted to preach in the open air, he was so interrupted by noise and missiles, that it was impossible, for a time, to proceed. He was on horseback, and his footman with him. Instead of attempting to preach, he had recourse to an innocent stratagem. Addressing himself to the people, he said, ‘My lads, I have no right over you; if you do not choose to hear me, I have no authority to force your attention; but I have travelled some miles for the sake of doing or receiving good; I have, therefore, a proposal to make to you. always did admire British sailors. I see here some able-bodied seamen: some of you no doubt have seen a great deal of service, and been in many a storm, and some in dangerous shipwrecks. Now, as I am very fond of hearing the adventures of seamen, my proposal is, that some of you, and as many as you please in turn, shall stand up and tell us what you have seen and suffered, and what dangers you have escaped; and I will sit and hear you out, upon this condition, that you agree to hear me afterwards.' This proposal made many of them laugh heartily, and they said one to another, 'Do you stand up and give us a lecture. One called upon a talkative sailor by name, 'I say, Harry, do you give him a lecture,' which produced a loud burst of laughter through the whole crowd; and Mr. Hill, to keep them in good humour, laughed with them. After waiting some time, Mr. Hill said, Will none of you take my proposal?' None being disposed to do so, he said, I am a clergyman-I came, not long since, from the University of Cambridge. If you had heard me, I should have told you nothing but what is in the Bible or Prayer Book. I will tell you what I intended to say to you, if you had heard me quietly.' And then beginning with a declaration of the grace and compassion of Christ in dying to save all penitent sinners, he led them to the consideration of the thief on the cross; and then to the character and circumstances of the prodigal son, and the compassion of his father. His description of what he meant to have said was so interesting and affecting, that he rivetted their attention, and produced an evident change in their disposition towards him. While he was speaking they drew gra
dually nearer, hanging, as is the practice of sailors when standing in a crowd, upon each other's shoulders. In this position they listened, with almost death-like silence, till he had finished telling them what he should have said, if they had been willing to hear him. He then took off his hat, made them a bow, and thanked them for their civilities. Most of them took off their hats, and gave him three cheers: several vociferated, 'When will you come again, Sir?' And one man, who seemed like the champion of the whole, approached Mr. Hill, and said, 'If you will come again, Sir, I say no one shall hurt a hair of your head, if I am on shore.' Mr. Hill promised that he would visit them again, as soon as other engagements would permit. There are now, in that town and neighbourhood, several places of worship; and it is as quiet and orderly a seaport as any in the kingdom."
VANITY OF HUMAN REASONING INDEPENDENT OF DIVINITY.
IT is the great error of many eminent philosophers, that they systematically exclude the Deity from all their reasonings on the formation and principles of things; and strive in vain to account for them rationally without Him. No failure seems to lead them to suppose that they are wandering in a bewildering darkness, from which they will never extricate either themselves or their subject. By this voluntary omission they impede the progress of human science, by depriving it of the benefit which would accrue from their active minds, if these were wisely directed into the actual path of truth and light. Turning out of this, they give us in their most elaborate efforts to supersede it, nothing but a succession of butterfly fancies, which amuse for a moment, and then expire and are forgotten. We have plenty of vague assertions and chimeras, but nothing to advance our knowledge or satisfy our judgment, or that lasts beyond the meteors of a day. This defect is continually spoiling many of the most lofty minds in other countries, and deprives them of that valuable reputation which is their dearest hope, and which their researches and talents would otherwise more certainly obtain. Nothing tends more to consign an author to oblivion, or to that depreciation which is far worse, than to depart from the grand truths of nature, and set up idols and fallacies instead. No one patronizes another's fantasies, however fondly he may cherish his own. And if the British empire keeps its reasoning mind firmly attached to the great Newtonian principle of the Divine causation of all things, its men of science will always be in the foremost ranks of intellect, honour, and celebrity.
A PHILOSOPHER'S ESTIMATE OF SACRED
As nature will never be properly understood, if its creation by the Deity be excluded from the thought; neither will human history appear a rational or con nected system, nor be found in harmony with the science which characterizes the laws of the material universe, if the sacred history which has accompanied our earthly subsistence be omitted in our contemplation. It is this which gives purpose, order, process, intelligence, and benevolence to the other. At least, I never understood or duly appreciated the ancient history of mankind, until I viewed it with this association, and had traced such of their mutual relations as I was enabled to discern. New light and intelligibility then spread over the whole, and made that a pleasing and useful study, which had been before a dissatisfying and barren one.