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VENICE was built in the fifth century; and from the smallest beginnings, it rose to such eminence as to become one of the most important states in Europe. For several centuries, until the discovery of a passage to India by the Cape of Good Hope, it became immensely opulent by engrossing most of the trade to the East.
Venice is one of the most remarkable cities on the continent; being built upon sixty, or as some reckon seventy-two lagunes, or sinall islands: so that a canal flows in every street, which are united by five hundred bridges, the most famous of which is the Rialto, ninety feet in the span. The number of inhabitants is supposed to be about 150,000. The Piazza, or square of St. Mark, has not its equal in any place, for the magnificence of the buildings, which are most of them stately palaces, faced with beautiful marble, and adorned with pillars of several orders. The palace of the Doge, the chief magistrate of Venice, is the most splendid. Besides these magnificent buildings, there are one hundred and fifteen towers of surprising height and costly structure, sixty-four marble statues, and twenty-five of bronze, which are all master-pieces VOL. II.
of workmanship. The arsenal is said to be the finest and best furnished in Europe, being three miles in circumference, and contains 100,000 stand of arms.
Venice has seventy churches, thirty-nine monasteries, twenty-eight nunneries, and seventeen hospitals: but the religion of the people is that of the Romish church. Scriptural knowledge therefore is exceedingly low, corresponding with the prevailing ignorance and superstition of that communion throughout the rest of Italy. St. Mark's patriarchal church is the cathedral of Venice: it is situated in the grand Piazza, and is accounted one of the richest and most magnificent in the world. The Venetians pretend that they possess the body of the Evangelist Mark; and in the treasury of relics, they believe they have the original copy of the Gospel written by that inspired Evangelist's own hand; and, above all precious treasures, some of our Saviour's blood: Learned connoisseurs have examined the sacred manuscript: but the writing is, by length of time, so greatly defaced, that it cannot be determined whether it is Greek or Latin!
The architecture of the church of St. Mark is of a mixed kind, mostly of the Gothic order, yet many of the pillars are Grecian. The outside is incrusted with
marble; the inside ceiling and floor are all of the most beautiful marble, as are the numerous pillars, and the whole is crowned with fire domes. But all this expense and labour has been directed by a very moderate share of taste. The steeple of the cathedral stands insulated from the church, built of brick, square, and twenty-five feet broad on each side, and three hundred and fifty feet high, including the figure of an angel, made of copper, eighteen feet in height, with expanded wings, pointing with his hand to the quarter whence the wind blows.
The front of the cathedral, which looks to the palace, has five brazen gates, with historical bassorelievos; over the principal gates are placed the four famous bronze horses, gilt with brass, and of incomparable workmanship, said to have been executed by the famous Lysippus. They were given to Nero the Roman emperor, by Tesides, king of Armenia, to be put to the chariot of the sun, for adorning his triumphal arch, after he had conquered the warlike Parthians. The fiery spirit indicated by their countenances, and their animated attitudes, are perfectly agreeable to their original and fanciful destination. Nero placed them on the triumphal arch consecrated to him. They were removed by Constantine the Great to the Hippodrome at Constantinople, and remained there till the capture of that city by the French and Venetians, in the beginning of the thirteenth century, when they were conveyed to Venice.
We have little to record of the progress of evangelical truth in this splendid old city, except the circulation of a few Bibles, by the British consul, Mr. Money. Still we trust, that the time is not far distant, in which the pure doctrines of salvation by Jesus Christ, shall be proclaimed to attentive and believing congregations in the churches of Venice, instead of the mere performance of senseless and superstitious ceremonies, which degrade and abuse the sacred name of divine Christianity.
LEGAL DOCUMENTS ON NEGRO SLAVERY. WE have been favoured by a correspondent, with a statement from a legal document relating to a plantation in the West Indies, which puts Slavery, in all its debasing horrors, before us, in a striking way.
After describing the plantation in technical language, the "legal" transfer thus conveys with the land
"The use and occupation of all and singular the slaves, horses, mules, horned cattle, and other live stock, with the issues and increase of the females!! and of all copper stills, vats, and other utensils and implements upon and belonging to the said plantation and premises, and particularized or mentioned in the schedule or inventory thereof thereunder written. And all ways, watercourses, privileges, commodities, and appurtenances whatsoever to the said plantation, lands, and premises belonging or appertaining."
And after the usual forms conveying "these our brethren," as so much goods and chattels, amongst many other curious covenants by the tenant, is included the following:—
"That the lessee, his executors, administrators, and assigns, shall and will from time to time during the term granted keep up a gang of able and sufficient slaves in the said plantation, of not less than eighty in number; and when any of them shall die, run away, or otherwise be removed, shall and will place others in their stead as often as it shall so happen that the said slaves shall be reduced to less than eighty in number, under the penalty or forfeiture for every slave, which shall not be to replaced within twelve months after such death or
“And also shall and will at the expiration or other determination of the said term hereby demised, well and truly pay or cause to be paid unto the landlords, their heirs and assigns, for such and so many of the slaves mentioned in the schedule as shall happen to be then dead or missing, so much lawful money as such deceased slave or slaves respectively are VALUED AT in the said schedule, without any deduction or abutement whatsoever. And also that the tenant, his executors, administrators, and assigns, shall not, nor will send off the island, or sell and dispose of any of the demised slaves, or the issue of any of the females, under the penalty of forfeiting to the landlords, their heirs and assigns, double the value of such slave or slaves, so sold, disposed of, or sent off the island, according to their respective values mentioned in said schedule, without leave in writing from the landlords." An extract from the long and doleful inventory of the " gang of slaves, stock, &c." shall now be given. Englishmen, read it and blush!
One old cow
Then follows a list of plantation and other fixtures and utensils.
Can such as this need a comment? Does not the heart sicken at it? Poor Scipio! Consumptive Scipio! valued at five shillings! Poor invalids! How must your distempers have varied, when we see Cyrus worth five pounds, and Poor Dick and Pompey only five shillings each, whilst Exchange, with all the accuracy of the mart, is estimated with all his ills at sixteen pounds ten shillings!
Poor infant boys! Poor infant girls! Ye too come in for your inheritance of woe!
Little Ritta we perceive is of the exact value, six pounds twelve, which in the succeeding inventory is affixed to one old cow "-whilst the glandered horse, and equally ruined mare and filly, seem more in value than many of the infant girls put together! How long shall these things be? Will not the Almighty God visit for them? What solemn words are those contained in Exodus, xxi, 16:
"And he that stealeth a man, and selleth him, OR IF HE BE FOUND IN HIS HAND, he shall surely be put to death."
One would think that the sound of these words would echo like thunder to the heart of every manW. stealer and slave-holder?
REPLY TO "PASTOR'S" OBSERVATIONS ON INFANT SCHOOLS.
[The Observations on the Infant School System" (No. 31), were written by a very estimable Clergyman, to which we gave insertion in the hope of promoting those valuable institutions. We did not fully agree with those Observations; " but though we cannot allow an extended controversy on this subject, we deem it only just to insert the following intelligent reply.-ED.] To the Editor of the Christian's Penny Magazine. SIR,
Having been a constant reader of your valuable little work from its first appearance on the stage of periodicals, with the view to obtain rather than impart information, I ought probably to apologize for this intrusion.
In making a few remarks on Pastor's "Observations on the Infant School System"-it is my most earnest desire to avoid that feeling of acrimony which appears to have possessed him whilst penning his "Observa
1st. I certainly agree with Pastor, that the success attending these institutions must depend in a great measure on the teachers; and that the greatest care and circumspection should be used in selecting them; but not to reject them, as Pastor would suggest, merely because they have not received a superior education. In my humble opinion, the grand and chief points to ascertain are-whether they have the humble, mild, meek, and lowly spirit of Jesus. Will they draw
the children by the cords of love? Will they carefully. watch over the development of that carnal mind which is enmity against God," and apply the remedy held forth in the Gospel to every evil in its rise? Will they earnestly strive to remove ignorance by sound scriptural knowledge? (not merely classical or philosophical.) Will they endeavour to mortify every evil and corrupt imagination and inclination, and encourage a progress in all godliness and purity of living?
"All knowledge and intellectual development," observes a most excellent minister of the establishment in a letter to me a few days since, "that is not made subservient to this, only tends to pride and ungodliness."--Now, Sir, I would ask Pastor, where could a sufficient number of such persons be found among the learned and wise, who not only possess these important qualifications, but who could descend to that childlike simplicity, so necessary in a teacher of babes? If they cannot, literally speaking, become as little children themselves, and do not possess that tact of coming down to a level with the understanding of their little charge; neither the "highest scholastic attainments or profoundest philosophy," will ever assist them to acquire it; on this account I am led to conclude, such persons would make as inefficient writers for infants as they would teachers of them.
That there are persons not qualified in other respects, who come forward as candidates for this work, I allow; and that some have also been employed :but is it just, is it consistent with the character of a Christian Minister (for such I am led to believe Pastor to be from his signature) to condeinn a whole body generally, for that which may be reasonably termed the misfortune of a few? Again, his remark tends to reflect on such patrons or committees of schools who may have elected such individuals; as the teachers of other infant schools surely cannot be justly condemned for that over which they have no control.
2dly. Pastor then remarks, that "with all the native conceit of ignorance, the teachers of infant schools are generally Here again impatient of any suggestion from others." I must be allowed to differ. From a personal knowledge of, and frequent conversation with, the majority of such teachers in and around London, I dare affirm, that, generally, they are seeking for information, and would be most thankful for hints, or any kind of assistance that might be afforded them and I appeal to the committees and visitors of these schools whether such be not the case.
3dly. Pastor again affirms, that "the system does not provide for the learning to read of the children, &c."— This was an oversight, or perhaps I should more pro-. perly say, an error in the opinion of the first promoters of infant schools, who, I am informed, considered it quite time to commence learning to read at the age of six or seven years; but in the present day, I believe there to be but few infant schools where this necessary appendage is not prominently attended to, and moreover the old system" forgotten or unknown.
4thly. I am sorry, Sir, so frequently, and now so pointedly, to question the veracity of Pastor; but I, as well as himself, must state things as they are." I have visited almost every infant school in London, and am in the habit frequently of conversing with, and questioning the little children on the lessons which they have been taught, and do not remember, in one instance, discovering the lamentable defect specified in his remarks on the tables. I for one dare thus publicly challenge Pastor to a mutual questioning on the part of my little ones, on any or all of the tables commonly taught, Surely the many public examinations which have taken place, where individuals, strangers, have questioned the children, must prove to the contrary, not
only on this, but on every part of their little acquire
5thly. The circumstance of the teacher miscalling Naaman Naomi, appears to me to indicate that Pastor has not profited much by his visits to "several infant schools, for several years," or he must have perceived these seeming mistakes to be intentional, in order to keep up the attention of the children, who delight jog Teacher's memory-and, in all probability, had he awaited the result he might have been rather gratified than otherwise.
In conclusion, Sir, after having several times read Over these " Observations," and maturely considered them, my firm belief is,--that whatever the outward profession of Pastor may be, he is NOT in heart a FRIEND to infant schools.
Your insertion of these remarks will be esteemed a favour by, Sir, yours respectfully,
Hart Street, Jan. 16, 1833.
R. B. RIDGWAY.
"I CANNOT DIE!"
"IN August last," says a pious writer in the early part of 1811,"four men, named Marshall, Sawer, Wakelin, and Atkinson, were executed near Lincoln. They severally addressed the surrounding multitude, hoping that their unhappy situation would serve as an awful warning. Wakelin had been a great comfort to his fellow-prisoners; and in the hours when the clergyman was not with them, read to them continually. Atkinson had given one of the best proofs of repentance of his crime, by having given to the governor of the_gaol, bills to the amount of 351. to be sent to Messrs. G. and C. of Boston, whose property he declared it to be, lamenting that that was all the return he could then make to them. Just before the moment of the scaffold falling, Atkinson turned to shake hands with Wakelin, and in so doing shifted the knot of the halter from his ear to under his chin. Marshal, Sawer, and Wakelin, seemed to be dead in two minutes after suspension; but at that time, to the inconceivable horror of all around, Atkinson cried out, O God! O God! I cannot die, I cannot die! Lift me up!' The emotion excited by such a scene can be but faintly imagined. A soldier had the presence of mind to run to him, lifted him up a little, and then, by hanging at the body, mercifully put a speedy end to the misery of the poor creature by accelerating the death which the sufferer had sought, but had so feelingly expressed that he could not obtain."― Multitudes of lost souls will eternally cry, in guilt and torment, "I cannot die!"
"IT IS FINISHED."
Jesus said, It is finished."- John xix, 30. 'Tis finished" our Redeemer cried; And bow'd his blessed head;
Tis finished"-heaven and hell replied;
Bless him all earth, and shout, ye skies,
Which heaven and earth shall pay.
S. F. W.
Mr. Editor,-I rejoice to find you raising your voice against the great abomination of modern times-the accursed system of Negro Slavery; and shall be glad to see in your excellent publication a complete exposure of its enormities. It is a duty imposed upon every one who has a share in leading the public mind at the present important period, to take arms against the monster that has so long devoured the unhappy sons of Africa.
But as an Englishman, Mr. Editor, I feel impelled to call your immediate attention to our own country. Turn your eyes to the North of England, and say in what other part of the world the cruelties there perpetrated are to be paralleled. Read the Evidence taken before the Parliamentary Committee. Children too young to work at all, driven to labour day and night, by the terror of straps and sticks, which are unsparingly used upon their tender bodies to force their attention when over-wearied nature demands the refreshment of sleep! Fathers exercising these cruelties upon their own children! The most debasing and disgusting exhibitions of vice and iminorality; joined with a degree of poverty and wretchedness that barely enables the victims of this atrocious factory system to drag on a miserable existence that hardly deserves the name of life! And as the necessary consequence of all this, a total absence of any thing like religion or morality!
Can it be that all this is occurring in Christian Britain? Is this the reason we can buy cheap cottons!” Oh! the moustrous evils that are generated by the cursed love of money! And in the face of all this horrid cruelty and depravity, the men at the head of these earthly hells have the disgusting hypocrisy to call themselves Christians! Reasoning with them, Mr. Editor, would be in vain; but I hope you will not fail to arouse the feelings of your Readers on this harrowing subject; and let them know, that buyers of “cheap cottons" are in a measure partakers in this enormous guilt, if they forbear to use their utmost efforts for the overthrow of such an abomination as the present factory system.
I hope you will treat the subject fully and fearlessly at the very earliest opportunity; and in the mean time allow me to apprise your Readers, that for their "cheap cottons" they not only pay the little money that is charged for them; but, by consulting the "Evidence" alluded to, they will find that they ought to reckon the following items as forming part of the price :-to wit,
I. The most hard-hearted cruelty. II. The most disgusting indecency. III. A total depravity of manners.
IV. A consequent absence of even the semblance of religion.
V. The premature destruction of the body. VI. The everlasting perdition of the immortal soul! These, Readers of the Christian's Penny Magazine! these are part of the price you pay for "cheap cottons; and now wrap yourselves round, and rejoice in their cheapness-if you can!
I am a father, Mr. Editor, and this I hope will be my sufficient excuse for the warmth of this Letter. I trust you will take up the subject with energy. Suffer not yourself to be blinded by the interested cant of the danger of interfering with the freedom of trade; which in this case means just the freedom to oppress those who are unable to resist :-trade had better perish altogether than be carried on as it is at present in the manufacture of cotton. Do your duty fearlessly; and may the Lord add his effectual blessing to your la
Letters to a Mother, upon Education.
Dear Madam, THE word amusements signifies those pursuits to which we turn from laborious avocations. Such pursuits seem required by the very nature of man, whose universal and therefore native tendency is, to seek relief froin severe exertion, whether, of body or of mind, by applying to other employments which he can perform with ease, and which relieve the fatigue of steadfast attention.
This appears to be the proper idea of amusements, and this their proper use. When, on the other hand, the pursuits coming under this denomination occupy more of a person's attention than they ought, or the whole of the attention, then we may justly say of him, that he spends his time in dissipation. It is however evident, that the amusements of different individuals may be widely different. I have read of a celebrated natural philosopher, whose amusement consisted simply in varying the object of his pursuit. Thus, if he had been reading pure mathematics all the morning, he found it a sufficient amusement to enter his laboratory, and make experiments in natural philosophy. This however is the case of one man in many millions. The generality of inankind feel an irresistible need of amuseiments of a different kind. The question then is, of what sort they ought to be for persons in general. Nor will the question seem of secondary importance, when you consider that our amusements, like all our other pursuits, have a reflex action upon our mental and moral character. In order to improve the taste, or to maintain and confirm it when good, it is often needful to regulate the amusements. At the same time, the taste when good requires to be directed in its choice. In the preceding Letters I have several times expressed my sentiments relating to this topic. They are unfavourable to toys, properly so called, of all kinds; but they advocate those recreations which are connected with health and mental improvement. Bodily exercise, associated with the contemplation of scenes of nature, or even of public buildings, &c. &c., gardening, robust games, drawing from nature, the care of birds and animals, and similar pursuits, tend to afford the recreation which is required, while they assist the cultivation of health, of the understanding, and the affections. To these incidental remarks I shall now attempt to add a more systematic consideration of the subject.
In the first place then, let music, by all means, be carly cultivated, with a view to its becoming a source of amusement afterwards. Let music be cultivated very early; and then, like most things learnt at the beginning of life, the fatigue which disheartens the late learner will be unfelt, and a proficiency secured which he can seldom attain.
The instrument selected must depend much upon the taste of the learner. The more portable and the least expensive are the best, because then the recreation to be derived from it is more independent of circumstances. And next to these qualities, those instruments should be preferred which do not require the breath, in order that singing, which is of equal importance, may be associated with the performance by the performer himself. You will not need that any argument should be used to recommend the cultivation of music and singing. It formed, with good reason, a principal branch of education among the ancients. They justly deemed that it was intimately connected with the sensibility of heart which is so valuable to the usefulness and even happiness of its possessor. The choice, however, of
the music to be studied is of great importance. Happily there is no scarcity of that species of it which is required. In the works of Handel, Mozart, Haydn, and the writers of church music in our own country and on the continent generally, the best materials may be found for the cultivation of this science. Nor do many later productions offer any thing objectionable. The Sacred Melodies," so well known, both in words and music, are unobjectionable. The songs by the same author, or indeed any other songs which merely exhibit the emotions of war, or the complaints of love, or the moanings of the sorrow of this world, are not to be chosen. We have all of us a sufficient tendency to become earthly-minded, even when the attractions of the world are presented in their own unassisted fascinations. Most of the songs of the present day tend to cultivate a sickly sentimentality, equally inimical to a vigorous state of the understanding, or rectitude and genuine sensibility of heart. Agreeably with these sentiments, there seems to be no objection to attending those public musical entertainments which have none of the objectionable qualities now named. A valuable impression may be derived from the full tide of music to be heard in public performances, which can be heard nowhere else. How happy is that family, however, which includes within itself the requisites for a concert! I have heard a mother and her children sing in a manner which reminded me of that line in Burns' "Cotter's Saturday Night,"
Compar'd with this, Italian trills are tame." With regard to the theatre, as conducted in its present state, no Christian parent will hesitate for a moment as to the propriety of permitting his children to attend even for a single occasion. The fascination of theatrical amusements cannot be denied, nor that they frequently afford the highest exhibition of the powers of the human mind: at the same time, these attractions are attended by the most dangerous circumstances. The audience of most large theatres contains an admixture of evidently abandoned characters: what parent could feel happy at the idea that his son or his daughter should be taken to a place where these are beheld surrounded with every glittering and fallacious quality? The plays themselves are generally replete with the most worldly, and not unfrequently with immoral sentiments. What play is there, as it came from the pen of the author, and as it is frequently acted on the stage, that a Christian brother could read to his sisters, or a Christian parent to her child? How often would the reader be required to pass over whole scenes, and to leave out many profane and blasphemous expressions, even in those scenes which he could venture to read? But I feel that to you as a Christian parent these remarks are unnecessary. The theatre is one of those amusements which the feelings and sympathies of the Christian's mind lead him sincerely and voluntarily to renounce; and if a person's mind be destitute of such feelings, then the theatre is one of those subjects upon which, with him, all argumentation is commonly thrown away. In the words of a celebrated writer, "If any person were to ask the question as to the lawfulness of the theatre as an amusement, I would waive any reply, being convinced, that if he in his own mind felt inclined to go thither, nothing that I could say would prevent him. I would rather strive to fill his mind with better feelings and principles, and then he would relinquish the theatre of his own accord." I remain, dear Madam, &c.
"It is not a new head that God has promised, but a new heart."