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that illustration would be unnecessary. What is it, Christian, which cheers thee in thy rugged path, and urges thee to renewed exertions and unceasing diligence? Is it not the anticipation of that glorious day when corruption shall put on incorruption, and mortal be clothed in immortality? Yon fair world which woos thee persuasingly to its coasts, is peopled with a race of beings whose cheeks are never furrowed by anxiety and care, and who have no inward struggles with sin, and strivings with temptation. And dost thou not feel the greatest satisfaction in reflecting, that thy Saviour, who has so long borne with thy infirmities and supported thy fainting virtue, will there appear in his spotless character, and that thou shalt be enabled to do him willing service? Oh! where is the heaven of idolatry? What shall now he said of the licentious paradise of the great prophet of Ishmael's tribe, whose religion bears something like that contrast to the doctrines of the Saviour, which the son of the bondwoman did to the son of the free? All these are filled with licentiousness and folly; but the heaven to which we hasten is an abiding city, where God will reign over his people in righteousness.
VI. The society of hell, illustrates the holiness of God. That place of outer darkness bears a horrible contrast to the scenes above described. There sits, scowling with unsatisfied revenge and boundless cruelty, the prince of darkness, and around him are gathered the wretched spirits of those whom he has deluded and misled. There the murderer thirsts for blood, or groans for ever in remembering the crimes wherewith he stained the theatre of earth: thieves, robbers, adulterers, false witnesses, are mingled there in sad copartnership, and vent their quenchless fury in most awful execrations against the author of their mischief, and their insulted God. Deeply there does the negli gent man bewail those false and worthless joys which drew him from the contemplation of religion: and horrible is the experience of the formalist, that it is not the uttering or the speaking of certain words, which constitute the worship of the Almighty. But my heart sickens at the awful scene which imagination places before me, and I draw a veil over its horrible blackness: deducing from it, however, the strongest of all arguments in favour of the holiness of God.
Let a review of all that has been thus exhibited make a deep impression on the hearts of all. Let us be careful how we read with inattention; and let us resolve henceforth to aim at more extensive holiness and piety. Let us choose the Saviour for our guide through the scenes and temptations of life, and while around us we behold the unthinking and the gay, let us remember, that yet a few days, and the grave shall have closed on all the sons of revelry; yet a little while, and the banquetting room shall resound no more with the voice of mirth and laughter, while the solemn words of God himself attest the awful fact, Without holiness no man shall see the Lord."
Letters to a Mother, upon Education.
(Continued from p. 365.)
WITH regard to the works of the Creator, it appears to me to be important to teach, that creation, as far as it relates to the existing scene of it, was the organization of pre-existent matter into the various objects which constitute the furniture of the visible universe; that it was suggested in all its varieties by the intellect of the Supreme; that these suggestions were carried into effect through the agency of "the Word, who was in the beginning with God, and was with God, and was God," who gave being to organized forms; and that the Holy Spirit of God endued with life such of them as are gifted with vitality that the origin of the creation therefore is God; and the agents in it, the Word, who afterwards took our nature, and dwelt in the world, and the Holy Spirit.
Teach your child the true doctrine of the Scriptures respecting the heavens; namely, the first heaven, comprising the atmosphere, "above" which is spread "the firmament of waters;" then the starry heavens; and highest of all the residence of the Deity, the metropolis of the universe, whence angels are commissioned in their ministry, and where innumerable happy beings exult in the vision of God.
It will be important that you should clearly teach the doctrine of the Scriptures respecting the highest orders of intelligence, the gradations into which they are divided, the amazing extent of their attributes, and the grandeur of their employments. Avoid as much as possible all use of pictures, &c. for the illustration of this or of any other topic of Revelation. Thus you will avoid the pernicious mischief of lowering the angelic character from that of glorious beings, rising in the scale of existence from man up towards the Deity, and presiding over occupations which require attributes inconceivable by man in the vast empire of immensity.
Without proper ideas of the angelic orders, the system of Christianity is scarcely intelligible; and the extent of it as a mere system can only be imperfectly comprehended. Without these proper ideas, the system will appear simply as a transaction confined to the present globe; but under their influence it will be seen as having had in view every order of beings throughout the universe; and the church of God, instead of seeming intended merely to instruct and save mankind, will be thenceforth viewed as a supreme manifestation of the immensely variegated wisdom of God to principalities and powers.
With regard to the purposes proposed in creation, it will be proper to teach to your child that they were, the manifestation of the existence and attributes of God to innumerable orders of rational creatures, and to erect an arena upon which the amazing event of the redemption, and the moral constitution derived from it, might be exhibited to every order of being.
With regard to the world in which we live, I could wish you to avoid the common erroneous representations of its minuteness and insignificance, by which means a sceptical sentiment may be induced in his mind, and which may incapacitate him for the perception of those glorious purposes which the Scriptures represent as yet to be accomplished in its regions.
With regard to man, it will be ever proper to speak of him as the Scriptures do, in his threefold composition of body, soul, and spirit; which doctrine corre. sponds to the latest and best views of the physiologists; and with which all the statements of the Scriptures har
monize. Teach him then to restrict the term body to the material vehicle, the spirit to the animal life, and the soul to the intellectual nature. This threefold composition is taught and recognized in all the varied details of the Holy Scriptures.
You will above all things furnish him from the Scriptures with the various proofs that the soul exists after the body is dead, in a state of consciousness, and capability of pleasure and of pain.
It is highly important that you should thoroughly acquaint him with the great purposes for which man was created; namely, to become prepared by discipline and experience in this life, for the occupations and pleasures designed for him in the life to come.
The doctrine of the Divine providence should, I think, be stated to him as general; as consisting of the administration of those laws by which the universe is regulated, while he should be also taught, that in the instance of every person who pleases God, that person is, through the ministration of angels, placed under a system of minute and constant superintendance.
In reference to fallen spirits, he should be taught, that, under circumstances which are at present unknown, some individuals of perhaps every order of the angelic world, have become sinful, miserable, and malignant; and that as there is an archangel, so there is also a prince of the unhappy portion of angelic intelligences. Teach him, however, that these spirits are demons, who are never represented as tempting to sin, but which occupation is ascribed to Satan only, and who, by the greatness of his faculties, is, as far as the globe is concerned, literally omniscient.
It is of the greatest importance that he should be instructed, that Satan cannot compel, though he may persuade; that by prayer to God for help against his crafts and assaults, in the name of Jesus Christ, it will be bestowed through the influences of the Holy Spirit ; and that, next to the guidance of the Holy Spirit, our safety depends upon avoiding all circumstances tending to suggest the thought of sin, and upon repressing the first rise of evil thoughts.
You will have occasion to read with him the account of the introduction of evil through means of the moral probation and apostacy of man. Be careful to read all this and to represent it to your child in its true light. Do not strain the statements of the Scripture upon this or any other topic. The great point to be considered is as often what the Scriptures do not say as what they do. Follow the plain statements of The Book, wherever they may lead you, utterly disregarding all systems of human origin, by whatever good or learned men invented.
You will probably have reason to perceive that our first parents were the victims of the craft and malignity of a superior spirit; that their misery was of such a character, therefore, as admitted of the exercise of mercy towards them; and that the whole event was permitted with a view to the development of new attri butes, and the extent of the Divine compassion, which would otherwise bave remained for ever unknown.
You will have reason to teach your child, that the curse consisted in the doom to an intenser degree of labour, and bodily death; that every descendant of Adam was fairly tried in his first representatives, and according to the result was equitably constituted a sinner. You will also have occasion to see, that the moral weakness of man results from the varied consequences of his hard labour and mortality, transmitted to the enfeebled constitution of all; that evil circumstances develope the capacity of depravity; and that depravity consists in evil habits.
You will perhaps perceive, that though all men arc by nature thus weakened, fand could not of themselves
obey the will of God, yet that there is a vast diversity of natural disposition among us, one man being naturally disposed, through a vast variety of circumstances, to one sin, and another to another. You will have abundant reason to teach that all men are depraved, though you will not fall into the error of teaching that all are equally depraved; and your whole object in the education of your child will be, that he may avoid becoming so as much as possible.
(To be continued.)
THE promise of a numerous posterity was repeatedly made to the "father of the faithful," and "Abraham believed on the LORD." But before he was honoured to become a father, he had attained the age of eightyfive, and his beloved wife was only ten years younger than himself.
The first-born son of Abraham was by Hagar, the Egyptian maid-servant of Sarah. Hagar conceived: but being thus favoured, she despised and insulted her indulgent mistress, who, in return, treated her with harshness, and she fled from her presence into the wilderness. The God of Abraham beheld her in mercy. He gave her reproof, directed her to return, and charged her to submit to the will of her mistress, promising her that she should bear a son; and added, "Thou shalt call his name Ishmael; because the LORD hath heard thy affliction." It was also foretold respecting her son Ishmael, "He will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man's hand against him and he shall dwell in the presence of his brethren." Gen. xvi, 10, 12.
Abraham inculcated upon Ishmael the truths and ordinances of God: but it seems little regard was paid by him to the "things of the Spirit of God." At the weaning of Isaac, “Abraham made a great feast :" but while the family were rejoicing in Isaac, as the heir of promise, Ishmael turned it into ridicule, scoffing at their pious joy, and sneered at the covenant of mercy. He held Isaac in derision, and his mother appears to have encouraged his persecuting spirit. On this account, they were expelled the house of Abraham, at the suggestion of Sarah. The measure was grievous to the benevolent soul of the patriarch, and he hesitated to comply; but the thing was of the LORD, and he having determined the matter, it was executed under the Divine command.
His mother took him a wife from Egypt; and the promise of God to Abraham was fulfilled in Ishmael. He was honoured with a large family: his sons were "twelve princes according to their nations." The singular prediction delivered to his mother has been remarkably accomplished in his descendants. were heads of Arab tribes. The people called Ishmaelites, Hagarenes, Nabatheans, Itureans, Saracens, and Wahabees, are the posterity of Ishmael, the son of Abraham. They have been in all ages a fierce and warlike people: the most powerful nations have vainly attempted to bring them into subjection; and they still subsist in Arabia, living monuments of the truth and inspiration of the Christian Scriptures.
Isaac was, in an exalted sense, a child of promise, born when his father was a hundred years old, and his mother ninety. The soul of the patriarch was bound up in the life of his son Isaac, and by the grace of God, he proved worthy of such a father as Abraham. His
holy life and excellent character require a distinct consideration.
But besides Ishmael and Isaac, Abraham had several other children. After the death of Sarah, as it is observed by the inspired historian, "Then again Abraham took a wife, and her name was Keturah." By her the patriarch had six sons, of whom, however, the sacred historian gives only very brief notices, nothing being recorded of their characters or habits of life. During his life-time Abraham gave them handsome portions for their comfortable settlement in life, and dismissed them to choose convenient habitations in the world; but the chief part of his property he reserved for his son Isaac, the heir of the Divine promise.
SACRED SEALS, AND MOTTOS OF THE
SIGNETS, seals, and mottos, have been common from a very high antiquity. Tribal distinctions, it appears, were used in the form of signets and seals, even in the time of the patriarch Jacob: for Judah's signet is mentioned in Gen. xxxviii, 19. The Hebrew word here rendered signet, denotes a ring-seal, with which im. pressions were made to ascertain property; and from Jeremiah xxii, 24, it seems they were worn on the hand, though it might also be suspended from the neck by a riband, as it is still worn by the Arabs. The bracelets of Judah, appear to have been ornamental bandages worn round the wrists, to which the signet was suspended.
Signets were engraven with names and devices: and hence Moses says, the onyx stones of memorial placed on the shoulders of the ephod worn by the priests, were graven, as signets are graven, with the names of the children of Israel," Exod. xxxix, 6. The twelve precious gems in the sacred breast-plate for the highpriest, were engraven with the names of the children of Israel, "twelve, according to their names, like the engravings of a signet, every one with his name, according to the twelve tribes." Ver. 14; see ver. 30.
Judah's signet is the earliest mentioned instance of a seal, as being the property of the wearer, known by an appropriate inscription. This was about the year 1730 before the advent of Christ, so that writing and engraving signets have been in existence 3563 years, about 250 years before Moses wrote the book of Genesis : but we cannot penetrate the height of its antiquity, and these arts probably might exist before the deluge.
What inscriptions the siguets contained we find intimated in the passages of Scripture referred to. Among the representations of seals collected by Mr. Taylor, is one from the traveller Tavernier, and which is that of the prime minister of some Oriental prince. The seal, in the original, is set on the back of the patent, no man daring to affix his seal on the same side as that on which the king's is placed; and this, in the judgment of Mr. Taylor, gives a correct illustration of the apostle's expression, 2 Tim. ii, 19, " The foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal (or motto), The Lord knoweth them that are his; and, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity." The motto around the seal on the side of the patent enclosed and not visible to us is this inscription, "The Lord knoweth them that are his : " but on the open and exposed side of the patent divine is the counter inscription, to every one conspicuous, “Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity."
Oriental seal inscriptions consisted not only of the initials of the owners' names; they contained, especially when they belonged to a person of consequence, a description of his office, residence, &c. And, as a long
line of ancestry is reckoned to increase the honour of an individual, this, in the East, is displayed on some of their seals with a parade, which we should call ostentation or affectation. Some of them have additions, which seldom occupy our cypher seals; such as inscriptions, mottos, sentences, apophthegins of moral wisdom, and both political and pious sentiments, which correspond in some measure with the mottos of our coats of arms, but extended to such lengths as custom among us forbids. The mottos of the king of Great Britain, the nobility, and the gentry, are generally short: but some of them contain sentiments of the noblest character, worthy not only of the true patriot, but of the devoted Christian. For the edification of our readers we shall give a selection of the mottos of our nobles, with the dates of their creation.
1. Duke of Norfolk, 1483. Sola virtus invicta—“Virtue alone is invincible."
2. Duke of Somerset, 1546. for duty."
Foy pour devoir-"Faith
3. Duke of Cleveland, 1670. Secundis dubisque rectus-"Upright in prosperous and in doubtful affairs." 4. Duke of Grafton, 1675. Et decus et pretium recti "The ornament and the reward of integrity."
5. Duke of Beaufort, 1683. Mutare vel timere sperno "I disdain to change or to fear."
6. Duke of St. Alban's, 1683. Auspicium melioris avi-"The appearance of a better age.'
(To be continued.)
MRS. H. MORE'S APPEAL TO THE BORDERERS. "THE BORDERERS," as ingeniously described by Mrs. Hannah More, consist of a large class of undecided professors of religion, who labour to keep on good terms with both the pious and the gay. I was lately very much struck with her judicious appeal to them, in her valuable work, and therefore forward it for the readers of the Christian's Penny Magazine.
"Be assured, that whatever serves to keep the heart from God, is one and the same spirit of irreligion, whether it appear in the shape of coarse vice, or whether it is softened by the smoothness of decorum, and the blandishinents of polished life. We are far from comparing them together, as if they were equally injurious to society, or equally offensive to decency; but we must compare them together as equally drawing away the heart from the worship and the love of God. Courteousness, which is unaccompanied by principle, will stand the most courteous in no stead, with Him who is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
"Some of these well-bred persons, who exercise this large and liberal candour towards practical offences, and treat with tenderness certain vices, not thought disreputable by the world, and who even put a favourable construction on things very unjustifiable in the sight of God, lose all their kindness, put no favourable interpretation when sound religion is in question. They are, indeed, too discreet to reprobate it under its own proper name, but the ready appellation of enthusiasm presents itself is always at hand, to vindicate the hastiest judgment, and the most contemptuous con
"But though we think far better things of you whom we are addressing, yet may you not, in this society, be tempted to disavow, or at least to conceal, even the measure of piety you actually have, for fear of exciting that dreaded suspicion of being righteous overmuch?" May not this fear, strengthened by this society, keep
you back till your pious tendencies, by being suppressed, may gradually come to be extinguished?
"We are ready to acknowledge, and to love, all that is amiable in you; but we must not forget, that the fairest and most brilliant creature, the most engaging manners, and the most accomplished mind, stands in the same need of repentance, forsaking of sin, redemption by the Son of God, and renovation by His Spirit, as the least attractive. The more engaging the manners, and the more interesting the acquirements, the more is it to be lamented, that those very attractions, by your complacency in them, may have stood between you and heaven; may, by your resting in them, have been the cause of your not pressing towards the mark for the prize of your high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
"Bear then in mind, that you may be pleasing to others, while you have an unsanctified heart; that politeness, though it may put on the appearance of humility, is but a poor imitation of that prime grace; that good-breeding, though the beautiful decoration of a pious mind, is but a wretched substitute for the want of it.
"Be assured, however, at the same time, that true religion will in no wise diminish your natural or acquired graces; so far from it, those graces will be more estimable; they will be even more adinired, when they are known not to be the best things you have. When you set less value on them yourself, they will be more pleasing to others; who, though they will not estimate them above their worth, will not depreciate them below it.
"We are persuaded that you are too reasonable to expect that Christianity will change its character, or lower its requirements, or make the strait gate wider, or the narrow way broader, or hold out false colours, in order to induce you to embrace it. It is not that easy and superficial thing which some suppose, as requiring little more than a ceremonious attendance on its forms, and a freedom from the gross violation of its commands. This may be nominal, but it is not saving Christianity. It is not that spiritual, yet practical religion, for which the Son of God endured the cross, that he might establish it in the hearts of his followers,— which he is pleading with his Heavenly Father to establish in your heart. He did not suffer that his children might be excused from self-denial; nor that, because he was holy, they might be negligent. He suffered, that the women that are at ease might rise up; that the careless daughters might hear his voice, and give ear unto his word.'"
Or, an Illustration of the Advantages which would result from a more general Dissemination of Rational and Scientific Information among all Kanks. Illus trated with Engravings. By Thomas Dick, LL.D. author of the Christian Philosopher, &c. &c. Small 8vo. boards, pp. 544. Edinburgh, Waugh & Innes. DR. DICK is extensively known by his admirable and popular works. His Christian Philosopher," especially, has contributed in no small degree to the provement of society by the diffusion of knowledge." Science and religion have found in him an able advo cate; and his various treatises are happily adapted to excite in the youthful mind a thirst after that knowledge, which, while it enlarges and ennobles the soul, prepares it for fellowship with God even on earth, and qualifies it for a glorious immortality. Without extending our observations, we shall give a few extracts from this truly interesting volume.
"Every species of rational information has a tendency to produce pleasing emotions. There is a certain gratification in becoming acquainted with objects and operations of which we were formerly ignorant; and that too, altogether independent of the practical tendency of such knowledge, of the advantages we may expect to reap from it, or the sensitive enjoyments with which it may be accompanied. A taste for knowledge, a capacity to acquire it, and a pleasure accompanying its acquisition, form a part of the constitution of every mind. The Creator has implanted in the human mind a principle of curiosity, and annexed a pleasure to its gratification, to excite us to the investigation of the wonders of creation he has presented before us, to lead us to just conceptions of his infinite perfections, and of the relation in which we stand to him as subjects of his government. We all know with what a lively interest most persons peruse novels and romances, where hairbreadth escapes, mysterious incidents, and tales of wonder, are depicted with all the force and beauty of language. But the scenes detailed in such writings produce only a momentary enjoyment. Being retraced as only the fictions of a lively imagination, they pass away like a dream or a vision of the night, leaving the understanding bewildered, and destitute of any solid improvement. In order to improve the intellectual faculties while we gratify the principle of curiosity, it is only requisite that we direct the attention to facts instead of fictions; and when the real scenes of the universe are presented in an interesting aspect, they are calculated to produce emotions of wonder and delight even superior to those excited by the most highlywrought tales of fiction and romance." P 122, 123.
In the universe we find all things constructed and arranged on the plan of boundless and universal variety. In the animal kingdom there have been actually ascer tained about sixty thousand different species of living creatures. There are about 600 species of mammalia, or animals that suckle their young, most of which are quadrupeds; 4,000 species of birds; 3,000 species of fishes; 700 species of reptiles; and 41,000 species of insects. Besides these, there are about 3,000 species of shell-fish, and perhaps not less than 80,000 or 100,000 species of animalcules, invisible to the naked eye; and new species are daily discovering, in consequence of the zeal and industry of the lovers of natural history. As the system of animated nature has never been thoroughly explored, we night safely reckon the number of species of animals of all kinds, as amounting to at least three hundred thousand!
Now it is a fact, that, from the elephant to the mite, from the whale to the oyster, and from the eagle to the gnat or the microscopic animalcula, no animal can subsist without nourishment. Every species, too, requires a different kind of food. Some live on grass, some on shrubs, some on flowers, and some on trees. Some feed only on the roots of vegetables, some on the stalk, some on the leaves, some on the fruit, some on the seed, some on the whole plant; some prefer one species of grass, some another. Linnæus bas remarked, the cow eats 276 species of plants and rejects 218; the goat eats 449 and rejects 126; the sheep eats 387 and rejects 141; the horse eats 262 and rejects 212; and the hog, more nice in its taste than any of these, eats but 72 plants and rejects all the rest. Yet, such is the unbounded munificence of the Creator, that all these countless myriads of sentient beings are amply provided for and nourished by his bounty." P. 254-257.
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built originally in the form of a cross; and is said to have been founded by King Childeric III.
THE CATHEDRAL OF NOTRE DAME, PARIS. RELIGION IN FRANCE. POPERY, though a gross corruption of Christianity, has left noble monuments of its worldly grandeur in every country in which it prevailed. England contains many most splendid evidences of the powerful influence which it possessed over the public mind, and of the architectural skill which it encouraged and rewarded, in the stately cathedrals which adorn our cities.
France, in common with the other countries of Europe, possesses many sumptuous edifices, which proclaim the long-continued power and wealth of the Romish priesthood. Among its most celebrated temples must be ranked the cathedral of Notre Dame, or Our Lady, at Paris, dedicated to the Virgin Mary. It was VOL. II.
Dr. Mosheim, the ecclesiastical historian, remarks concerning this devoted servant of the papacy, "We see, in the annals of the French nation, the following shocking instance of the enormous power that was, at this time, vested in the Roman poutiff. Pepin, who was mayor of the palace to Childeric III, and who, in the exercise of that high office, was possessed, in reality, of the royal authority, not contented with this, aspired to the titles and honours of majesty, and formed the design of dethroning his sovereign For this pur pose, the states of the realm were assembled by Pepin, A. D. 751, and though they were devoted to the in3 C