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THE CHRISTIAN'S PENNY MAGAZINE.
was found to contain a new composition, called "Corinthian metal."
Corinth lay in ruins nearly a century, until Julius Cæsar settled there a colony of Romans: these, in removing the rubbish, found many rich embossed vases, both earthen and metal. Industrious curiosity was excited, as great prices were obtained for these antiquities no burying place was left unexamined, and Rome is said to have been filled with the furniture of the Corinthian sepulchres.
Corinth was restored by the Romans; when the circuit of the city was estimated at forty stadia, or five miles; and the suburbs included, it exceeded eightyfive stadia, or nearly eleven miles. Acro-Corinthus was a lofty mountain, nearly half a mile in perpendicular height, on which the citadel was erected, overlooking the whole city. Besides this fortification, the works of art, which displayed the opulence and taste of the Corinthians, were the grottos, raised over the fountains of Pyrené, sacred to the Muses, and constructed of white marble; the theatre, and stadium, built of the same materials, and decorated in the most magnificent manner; the temple of Neptune, containing the chariots of that fabulous deity and of Amphitrite, drawn by horses covered over with gold, and adorned with ivory hoofs. The avenue which led to this splendid edifice was decorated with the statues of those who had been victorious in the Isthmian games.
Corinth was scarcely less celebrated for the learning and ingenuity of its inhabitants than for the extent of its commerce and the magnificence of its buildings. The arts and sciences were carried to such perfection, that Cicero terms it "Totius Grecia lumen," the light of all Greece; and Florus calls it "Grecia decus," the ornament of Greece. Seminaries abounded at Corinth, in which philosophy and rhetoric were taught publicly by learned professors, and foreigners resorted to them from all to Hence
the remark of Horace, a Roman poet, "Non cuivis homini contigit adire Corinth," It does not fall to every man to go to Corinth.
Celebrated as Corinth was for learning and elegance, it was equally notorious for debauchery. Strabo informs us, that, "in the temple of Venus, at Corinth, there were more than a thousand harlots, slaves of the temple, who, in honour of the goddess, hired themselves to prostitution; on which account the city was crowded and became wealthy." Lasciviousness was, therefore, carried to such an infamous height at Corinth, that a woman was regarded as a prostitute, when she was designated as a Corinthian!
CHRISTIANTY INTRODUCED TO THE
Christianity triumphed even at Corinth, notwithstanding the shocking idolatry, and the proverbial licentiousness of its inhabitants. Immorality and profligacy had arisen to its greatest height when the apostle Paul visited that celebrated city. Bigotry and enmity inflamed the Jews against his person and ministry, and he furned to the Gentiles. What discouragements he experienced, his relief by a vision of his Lord assuring him of his having "much people in that city," and his ultimate success, -are manifest by the Acts of the Apostles, chap. xviii, and his two Epistles to the Corinthian believers.
Paul laboured at Corinth nearly two years; and the fruits of his ministry were formed into a church, which was eminently distinguished for its spiritual endowments: yet, through the shocking impurities of the pagans, and the ambition of some erroneous teachers, the Corinthian professors were led into many disorders.
"THE FIRST Epistle to the Corinthians," was written A. D. 57, about two years after the apostle left them and the design of it was twofold. First, to correct their improprieties, by healing their divisions, by engaging them to personal holiness, for the honour of Christ, and by establishing them in the doctrine of the resurrection to eternal glory. Secondly, to satisfy their inquiries on several points concerning which they had written to the apostle, especially respecting marriage, meats offered to idols, and spiritual gifts.
"THE SECOND EPISTLE TO THE CORINTHIANS," is believed to have been written about a year after the former. That having been useful in promoting a reformation in the church, especially in relation to many whose conduct had been dishonourable and scandalous, some erroneus teachers were offended with the apostle, blamed him for interfering in the affairs of the congregation, and endeavoured to lessen his apostolic authority and invalidate his divine commission. Epistle, therefore, was intended to comfort the peniThis tents, and to justify the character of the apostle as an ambassador of Christ.
PRESENT STATE OF CORINTH.
Corinth flourished for some time after it received Christianity, but most calamitous has been its modern history. Adrian, the Roman emperor, about A. D. 125, made some improvements in this city; and early in the third century, when Pausanias visited it, many temples and statues indicated its prosperity. But the Heruli, about A. D. 268, burned Corinth to ashes. In the year 525 it was again almost ruined by an earthquake. About 1180, it was taken and plundered by Roger, king of Sicily. Since 1458 it was till lately under the habitants amount to no more than about 1,500 or power of the Turks; and it is so decayed, that its in2,000, partly Mohammedans, and partly professors of Christianity.
Corinth still occupies a considerable extent, its situation being elevated, beneath the lofty Acro-Corinthus, with an easy descent towards the Gulf of Lepanto. The houses are scattered, or in parcels, except in the bazaar. Cypresses, among which tower the domes of mosques, with gardens of lemon and orange trees, are beautifully interspersed. The air is reckoned bad in the summer, and exceedingly unhealthy in autumn. Wheeler relates, that from the top of the Acro-Corinthus, he enjoyed one of the most agreeable prospects which the world can afford; and he guessed that the walls of the city are about two miles in compass, inclosing mosques, with houses and churches, mostly in ruins.
Alluding to the labours of the apostle Paul at Corinth, a late French writer, who visited this vicinity, remarks: "When the Caesars rebuilt the walls of Corinth, and the temples of the gods rose from the was rearing in silence an edifice which still remains ruins more magnificent than ever, an obscure architect standing amidst the ruins of Greece. This man, unknown to the great, despised by the multitude, rejected as the offscouring of the world, at first associated with himself only two companions, Crispus and Gaius, and with the family of Stephanas. These were the humble architects of an indestructible temple, and the first believers in Corinth. The traveller surveys the site of the celebrated city; he discovers not a vestige of the altars of Paganism, but perceives some Christian chapels rising from among the cottages of the Greeks. apostle might still, from his celestial abode, give the The salutation of peace to his children, and address them in the words, Paul, to the church of God which is at Corinth.' tar Balbit abdi dhe sa91Í
The Call of Abraham.
ABRAHAM, "the father of the faithful," and " the friend of God," in the early part of his life was an idolater! But we have little certain information concerning his character and habits, except what is contained in the address of Joshua to the people of Israel. "And Joshua said unto all the people, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Your fathers dwelt on the other side of the flood, in old time, even Terah the father of Abraham and the father of Nachor: and they served other gods." Josh. xxiv, 2.
Human biographers would have been likely to conceal this reference to Abraham's character in early years, while they traced his growing fitness for his future elevation. But the riches of divine mercy shine more eminently conspicuous, in recording the original and the infirmities of the Scripture saints, while detailing their progressive preparation to be exhibited as illustrious worthies, holding communion with God. The same sovereign grace, by which Paul was transformed from a mad persecutor to be an apostle of Christ, wrought effectually in calling Abram from his idolatry to be a prophet of the Lord, the founder of his church, and the pattern of believers.
At what precise period of his life Abram was "called by grace," we are not clearly informed: but probably many years before his removal from the city of his nativity. The Jews have a tradition that he was an eminent preacher against the Chaldean idolatry, and that he inveighed with so much zeal against the increas ing abominations of his countrymen, in worshipping fire and the heavenly bodies, that they threw him into a burning fiery furnace, but from which, by the Divine power, he escaped unhurt. His ministry failed of its desired effect, in relation to his countrymen; though it appears to have been the means of the conversion of his father and of all his family.
Perhaps few can conceive the delightful satisfaction which Abram experienced, in seeing such blessed fruits of his labours: yet our pious young readers may derive the greatest encouragement from it, to persevere in their benevolent efforts, notwithstanding opposition, to bring their irreligious friends to a saving knowledge of that Redeemer, on whom they have believed for life everlasting.
While his countrymen continued in their idolatry, Abram enjoyed sacred communion with the “Father of spirits; and as Stephen observes, "the God of glory appeared unto our father Abraham, when he was in Mesopotamia, before he dwelt in Charran, and said unto him, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred; and come into the land which I shall show thee." Acts vii, 2, 3. The principles of Abram were to be tried; and it was to be proved whether he loved God more than all his friends, and whether he could cheerfully forsake all to go along with God.
As to the mode of the Divine communication with Abram, we are not particularly informed; but it was of such a kind, and with such efficacy, as to determine and satisfy his mind. Abram communicated to his father the subject of the commandment of the Lord, and Terah believed in his divine commission. Having confidence in the pious integrity of his son, Terah resolved immediately to forsake his native country, and yielded obedience to the admonition of Heaven. On this account, the inspired historian observes, And Terah took Abram his son, and Lot the son of Haran his son's son, and Sarai his daughter-in-law, his son Abram's wife; and they went forth with them from Ur of the
Chaldees, to go into the land of Canaan; and they came unto Haran, and dwelt there." Gen. xi, 31.
Haran was about three hundred miles, or half way from Ur to Canaan, and in the north-west of Mesopotamia. Thus removed from the idolatries of Chaldea, and the infirmities of their aged father increasing through fatigue, his dutiful children built a city in a convenient situation, in which they settled for a season. To this they gave the name of Haran, or Charran, in commemoration of their elder brother, lately deceased at Ur, before they commenced their journey. Their venerable parent, having attained a greater age than most of his contemporaries, did not long survive this event. "And the days of Terah were two hundred and five years and Terah died in Harau." Ver. 32.
Having committed to the earth the mortal remains of his revered father, Abram reflected upon the gracious promise which God had given when he commanded him to leave his native land. Probably the Lord renewed his assurance, in which he had formerly said, "I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing. And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse them that curse thee; aud in thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed." Gen. xii, 2, 3.
The promise accompanying the Divine command might seem obscure, and relating to things far too remote : obedience therefore required no ordinary measure of spiritual grace. Natural reason would
suggest, that a settled habitation among friends or near to them, was the most likely way to enjoy the Divine blessing in a numerous posterity, so as to be the channel of heavenly mercies to all nations: nor would the enemy of souls fail to insinuate a doubt, whether the vision of God were not a delusion of the fancy, as it prescribed conditions so painful, and embraced conse quences so distant and uncertain. A lively imagination would pourtray the dangerous migration, with a nume. rous household, through countries unknown. Abram was ready to tear himself from the nearest connections, although uncertain what reception he should meet with from a strange people, sunk perhaps in idolatry, and more debased than his own countrymen from whom he had been called: they might also be hostile to each other, and ready to sacrifice him as an intruder upon their territories. But Abram believed the promises of God; and by this living faith, the mind of the patriarch was elevated, far superior to every fleshly principle and every painful apprehension, and secured against the influence of the malicious tempter. He regarded simply the gracious and imperative word of God: as it is observed by an apostle-" By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed, and went, not knowing" (and, having God for his guide, not caring) "whither he went." Heb. xi, 8.
Not for Abram's sake was this recorded; but as an admirable example to us of lively faith and cheerful obedience. In affairs relating only to the present world, prudential considerations may dictate to our young friends the propriety of seeking counsel from sagacious friends; but in matters of religious obligation, in which the call and direction are evidently from God, hesitancy and indecision are disobedience. True faith is prompt to obey, rising as on the wings of an eagle to perform the revealed will of the Lord.
Leaving his brother Nahor, and those who chose to remain with him at Haran, " Abram departed, as the LORD had spoken unto him and Lot went with him: and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran. And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother's son, and all their substance that they had gathered, and the souls that they had gotten
in Haran; and they went forth to go into the land of Canaan; and into the land of Canaan they came." Gen. xii, 4, 5.
"Thus Abram, by Divine command,
Left his own house to walk with God.
Sunday School Lectures.
FOR THINE 18 THE KINGDOM, THE POWER, AND THE GLORY, FOR EVER AND EVER.
Teacher. This ascription of praise, glory, honour, and power to God, seems peculiarly appropriate at the close of this prayer, after having asked God to forgive us our sins, to deliver us from so many dangers, and to crown us daily with loving-kindness and tender mercies. It begins with the word "for," which seems to join this sentence to the preceding clause, " deliver us from evil;" and by that word much seems to be implied: it seems to give the reason why we ask God to protect us and to bless us, and to acknowledge that we are not able to deliver our own souls from the snare of the fowler, and that no man is able to redeem his brother: it seems to confess, that no strength less powerful than Jehovah's is able to deliver: that no arm is able to save us, but that which is omnipotent, which governs all nations and all powers, which sways a universal sceptre, whose is the glory of every good action, because by God's power every good and perfect deed is accomplished; whose existence, power, kingdom, and glory, last through all eternity.
What does this word, "for," at the beginning of this clause, seem to imply?-That no power less mighty than God's is able to deliver us from evil.
Teacher. This subject is naturally divided into three parts: God's kingdom, his power, and his glory.
First, What is God's kingdom?
Teacher. We spoke of God's kingdom when we considered that portion of the Lord's prayer, "Thy kingdom come. "I then, you may remember, tried to show you, that there were two kingdoms; one was the world, the nations of the earth; and the other was within us, viz. our own hearts. We there pray, that God's kingdom would come quickly. You may remember how I explained this to you, by showing you, that a king may rule while there are enemies in his land; and I told you, that when we said "thy kingdom come, "" we prayed, that God's enemies may either be converted or be destroyed: both the enemies of God in this world, Satan and wicked men; and the enemies of God in our own hearts, bad thoughts and the corruption of our nature. And I showed you moreover that we prayed, that God's kingdom of grace, God's Holy Spirit, may take up his abode in all hearts.
What are the two kingdoms here referred to?-The whole world, and our own hearts.
How do we reconcile these two passages, kingdom come," and "Thine is the kingdom?". pray, when we say "Thy kingdom come," that Satan may be destroyed, and that wicked men may be converted; that sin may be taken away from our hearts, and that God may dwell within us.
Teacher. Then in answer to the question, "What is God's kingdom," we say, the whole world, and the heart of man; because God governs the whole world, and all things are his, because all things were created by him; and the kingdom refers to our own hearts, God's casting out Satan, and ruling there himself.
Secondly, What are we to understand by God's power?
All power is of God: the ploughman tills the ground, not with his own strength, but with the strength that God gives to him. It is with God's strength that we walk, that we move it is in God "we live, and move, and have our being." But power here is employed as referring to the power by which men are "turned from darkness to light, to serve the living God;" by which "the kingdoms of this world shall become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ." It is by God's strength that our heart is changed, that sin is taken away, and that we are made fit for heaven: it is by God's strength that the evil spirit is turned out of our hearts, and that it is made a habitation fit for God himself: it is by God's strength that hereafter all wicked men shall be cast into hell with Satan and his angels, and that the righteous hereafter shall be exalted into everlasting habitations.
Whence comes all power? - From God.
By whose power do we walk? - By God's.
By whose power are we turned from Satan to God? -By God's power.
By whose power will all wicked men be hereafter turned into hell, and the righteous exalted to heaven? - By God's.
Thirdly, What are we to understand by God's glory? All things manifest God's glory : the world, the sun, the moon, the stars, the sheep, the oxen, all things animate and inanimate, were made for God's glory: the angels and archangels, and all the company of heaven, were made to glorify God: the righteous are exalted to heaven for God's glory; and Satan, his angels, and the wicked, when condemned to fiery torments, all show forth God's glory, because all things were made by God, and "for his glory they are and were created."
For whose glory were all things made? - For God's. For whose glory were we made? — For God's.
Teacher. This ascription of honour, glory, and power to God, ends with the declaration that it shall last for ever and it seems to be spoken of by the Christian with a feeling of delight, it being his wish that God for ever should be glorified. Now why do true believers wish God to be glorified? Because they themselves are so connected with their Heavenly Father, that God himself cannot be glorified without his children being glorified also. Christ is the head, believers are the members if the head be exalted, the members must also be exalted. Another reason is, because they love God, and consequently it is a delight to them that he should be glorified. A third reason is, because they love their fellow-mortals, and desire to see them happy; and man never can be happy until it is his desire that God should be glorified.
In what spirit does the Christian ascribe everlasting glory to his Maker? - In a spirit of joy.
Why does every true believer desire that God should be glorified? Because the glorifying of God is the glorifying of himself; because he loves his God; because he loves his fellow-mortals, and desires that they also should be happy.
Teacher. "Ye are not your own," says the apostle, 'ye are bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your bodies, and in your spirits, which are his."
ON OUR REDEMPTION.
We were created at a word, a breath;
To wash a sinner than to make a man. - Quarles.
Letters to a Mother, upon Education.
On the Time at which Religious Instruction should begin, and of what it ought to consist during Childhood and Youth.
I HAVE now entered upon a range of topics, which, you are well aware, is of far higher importance than any to which my preceding Letters have related. Without religion, and without proper views of it, your child can neither pass his time happily on earth, as the faithful subject and dutiful offspring of his Heavenly Father, nor be prepared to be an instrument of His glory and an object of His favour, in scenes of being, and under dispensations of power, wisdom, and goodness, yet to be unfolded.
I have the happiness to know that you truly believe, that the Heavenly Father of all is the source of all good of every kind to his offspring, and that he will especially bestow a greater measure of his assistance to the moral necessities of mankind, if they request it in the name of his beloved Son Jesus Christ our Lord.
I offer to him my petition in that prevailing name, that he would strengthen the powers of my understanding and influence the affections of my heart, so that I may be able to proffer useful counsel upon a topic, in which the honour of the Creator and the welfare of his creatures are so intimately concerned.
With regard to the time at which religious instruction (that is, a communication of the knowledge of the principal doctrines of natural and revealed religion) should begin, you are aware that a considerable difference of opinion obtains among the writers upon Education. Of course it cannot be till your child is able to speak, and for myself I must avow iny persuasion, that a considerable period of time ought to elapse even after that period. Could we possess the perfect command of circumstances, that is, could we prevent all preoccupation of the mind by what the child must, as it is, unavoidably hear and see connected with the subject, I could much rather prefer that the powers of the understanding should have attained a considerable degree of maturity, and those of the affections a considerable measure of development, previous to the statement to him of those amazing truths which relate to the Author of our being, our relations towards him, and his designs towards ourselves; and for this plain reason, that it is impossible to convey distinct conceptions to him even upon the first principles before that period, and that to attempt it will only end in discouraging him in the pursuit of knowledge, and blunting the powers of his understanding. The cardinal rule of education is, never to submit any thing to a child's mind which he cannot perfectly comprehend; and acting upon this rule would, I believe, cause a postponement of the attempt to teach religion to a much later period than is generally suspected.
The period of the day, and the extent of time during which the subject should be taught, appear to me of considerable importance.
The best time for it appears to me to be about one quarter of an hour before he begins his morning studies. The subject, if attended to in a proper manner, will tend to tranquillize and even strengthen his mind for his remaining duties.
It is however most important, that no instruction, as such, should ever be attempted to be communicated to him at any other part of the day. Viewed in the light of a lesson in religion (and what else can it be at his supposed period of life?) to be recurring to the subject
again and again at different intervals, will only serve to tire and disgust him, and hence to retard his improvement. Such a practice will also have another bad effect upon his own mind and upon yours, namely, the habit of familiarity with such topics, and hence a diminution of that respect to the subject, without which perfect ignorance of it were to be much preferred.
With regard to the nature of the religious knowledge to be communicated, this must of course depend throughout the whole progress upon the degree to which the powers of his understanding are developed.
The first principles, as they are justly called, must come first. The being of a God is the basis of all religion. Teach him however the mere simple idea, that there is a Being who dwells in the heavens above him, who made all things which he perceives. Let all your descriptions tend to communicate the idea that He is an intelligent Person, and that although he dwells in the heavens, and we cannot see Him, he can and always does by night and by day see us. Avoid however, most studiously, any views of this subject which are calculated to terrify him. Let him be taught that God sup plies him, yourself, and all mankind with our food, clothing, and dwellings, &c. Do all you can to make him conceive of God as a purely benevolent being. Seize the proper occasion, which will frequently occur, such as, when it is fine weather, when a fruitful shower descends, when he has lately gathered beautiful flowers and delicious fruit, whenever he is benefited and gratified, especially through the more obvious bounties of Providence, such as the productions of the ground, or when he gazes upon a landscape rich in beauty and fruitfulness, upon such occasions remind him that all he admires and enjoys is the gift of his God. I should approve, that, as an illustration of this subject to his mind, you should embrace many an opportunity of telling him, especially after he has been most signally benefited and beloved by you, that it is his God that causes you to love him, and to attend to him and supply him as you do.
Let this grand and glorious truth, the exclusive benevolence of God, be most early and entirely established in his mind, and you will thus prevent much superstition, false terror, ignorance, and even crime in after-life.
I could wish that some time should elapse before the recondite truths respecting our blessed Redeemer were submitted to his view. He may however be taught simply to think of Jesus Christ as the Son of God, who loves little children. I doubt the advantage of his being very early taught the existence of even good angels. I suppose there can be no question as to the propriety of teaching a child the existence and agency of the fallen intelligences. I could wish that the account of the introduction of evil should be unknown to him at the same period, and for some time afterwards. He cannot understand it: he will be sure to misunderstand it, and to derive from it injurious associations with the whole subject. The preceding topics are enough to teach them in proper gradations, and to teach them thoroughly, will occupy a year or two.
As to the mode by which these things are to be taught, if you will begin the religious instruction of your child early, it must be entirely prescriptive; that is, you must simply assert these things, and never attempt to prove or give reasons for them: all reasoning is lost, and the attempt to communicate it does harm upon the mind of a child at this early period. Let your manner during the lesson be serious, but tranquil, and beware of aiming at an impressive manner on the occasion. Teach, and do not awe your child: you will make him hate both religion and yourself, if you do. The solemn dismal looks and sighs of parents when instructing their children on these topics, have done incalcula
ble injury in numerous instances. There is no reason whatever why (but all the contrary) you should depart on such occasions from your usual natural demeanor, only of course somewhat more serious; this also being totally unaffected, for the child's sake and your own. After all, the exhibition of religious truths to the mind, though important, is secondary to the importance of habits. If I were required to sum up the whole science of education in one sentence, it should be, the science of establishing desirable habits. And how is this to be done? Not by propounding principles, but by the repetition of the acts of conduct which tend to the establishment of the habits in question. Men act from habit, not from principles. Principle may strengthen habits, and explain their utility, but the habits must be first, and the principle comes afterwards. A virtuous man means a man of virtuous habits, a religious man a man of religious habits. Thousands have the principles, who have not the habits, and who, alas! do not know their essential importance, and never seek them. They are consequently no better, as moral beings, for their religious knowledge. Hence they are astonished and dismayed and discouraged, and say many things about the uncontrollable depravity of their natures. They might justly be told, that the only fault is, they have not habits of morality and religion: that if they wish to improve, they must acquire them: that these are not acquired by the knowledge of principles, but by the repetition of separate acts: that it is not possible that mere principle, however wisely propounded or deeply believed, should counteract habits. In a word, inculcate from the earliest period all the physical, intellectual, and moral habits, which go to form a virtuous and good man at the proper time and in a proper manner superadd the knowledge of the principles, of their desirableness and propriety. If you adopt a contrary course, the result will infallibly mock your expectation.
CHRISTIAN PROSPECTS IN INDIA. FROM the " Report of the Select Committee on the Affairs of the East India Company," we learn many interesting particulars relating to the immense territory in Asia subject to the crown of Great Britain. Christian knowledge has begun to be diffused in a remarkable degree over those idolatrous regions, where the nations have long been sitting in darkness and the shadow of death. The failure of Roman catholic missionaries is acknowledged by themselves, and attested by other witnesses; while the progress of the Protestants, of different denominations, appears to be daily becoming more successful. Their judicious plan is to establish schools, as well as preach the gospel, and translate and circulate the Scriptures. Schools they have established both in the north and south of India. The number of scholars in Bengal alone amounts to about 50,000.
This general diffusion of instruction is producing the best and most salutary effect, not only on the children educated, but on the minds of their parents and neighbours, preparing them to receive the doctrines of salvation by Jesus Christ. Female schools have also been successfully established at the different missionary stations there were, in 1823, nearly 1,200 female children under instruction, and that number has progressively increased to 3,000.
MISSIONARY LABOURERS FOR BRITISH
SURELY the claims of British America on the various Missionary Societies in England are very great. Several devoted men have been sent out to that important field of labour, but we doubt whether its necessities have been duly considered. Emigration renders it increasingly interesting as a theatre of evangelical operations. The following is the number of emigrants, as reported at the office of his Majesty's chief agent for emigrants at Quebec, for the last four years.