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the learning of his age; and his conversations with Henry, on the doctrines of their great master Aquinas, are represented as one of his means of pleasing a monarch so various in his capricious tastes. He was considered as learned; his manners had acquired the polish of the society to which he was raised; his elocution was fluent and agreeable; his air and gesture were not without dignity. He was careful, as well as magnificent, in apparel. As he was chiefly occupied in enriching and aggrandizing himself, or in displaying his wealth objects which are to be promoted either by foreign connections or by favour at court - it is impossible to determine what share of the merit or demerit of internal legislation ought to be allotted to him."
The cardinal's influence and income were prodigious. Mackintosh says, "In the league against the emperor (in 1527), under the auspices of the pope, and thence called Most Clement,' and Most Holy,' Henry VIII was declared Protector of the holy league;' with an estate in Naples of 30,000 crowns a-year for himself, and of 10,000 crowns a-year to the cardinal. The bribes were afterwards increased to much larger sumns." As his revenues were immense, Wolsey's pride and ostentation were carried to the greatest height: for he had five hundred servants: among whom were nine or ten lords, fifteen knights, and forty esquires.
Wolsey's administration continued, seemingly with unabated sway, till 1527; when that ambitious minister, who delighted as much in displaying as in exercising power, became at last unpopular from the haughtiness of his measures: though the principles of his government had given just alarm; as, from 1516 to 1523, no parliament had been assemble i, and money was raised by forced loans and pretended benevolences.
Wolsey, being employed by Henry to obtain a divorce from his queen Catherine, was found to have been carrying on a secret correspondence with the papal court, to prolong the discussion of the question, in the decision of which the emperor, Charles V, was so deeply interested. "The emperor did not fail to communicate to his aunt, the queen of England, the intrigues carried on at Rome; and her remaining friends at court conveyed the intelligence from her to the king."
The attorney-general, Oct. 9, 1529, commenced a prosecution against him for carrying on an illicit and clandestine correspondence with the court of the pope, and procuring bulls from Rome without licence from the king. On the 17th of the same month the great seal was taken from him; and Dec. 1, 1529, the lords, with Sir Thomas More, the new chancellor, at their head, presented an address to the king, enumerating various articles of accusation against the tottering cardinal; and praying he might no more have any power, jurisdiction, or authority, within the realm. Thomas Cromwell, his grateful servant, in the Commons, defended the cardinal from the charge of treason. But Wolsey confessed his offence against the statute of premunire; and the court pronounced their sentence, "that he was out of the protection of the law; that his lands, goods, and chattels, were forfeited; and that his person was at the inercy of the king." The cardinal, with his vast possessions, fell by this sentence into the king's hands. Henry sent some presents and kind messages to his discarded minister; and suffered him to remain at Esher, in Surrey, a country-house of his bishopric of Winchester. Here, however, the king left him without provisions for his table, or furniture for his apartments. In February, 1530, Wolsey was pardoned, and restored to his see of Winchester, and to the abbey of St. Alban's; with a grant of 6,000%., and of all other rents not parcel of the archbishopric of
York. Even that great diocese was afterwards restored. He arrived at Cawood Castle in September 1530, where he employed himself in magnificent preparations for his installation on the archiepiscopal throne: but at that moment his final ruin seems resolved on, and the earl of Northumberland was chosen to apprehend him for high treason. He was carried first to Lord Shrews. bury's castle at Sheffield, where he was compelled by his distempers to rest, and afterwards to the abbey of Leicester. He breathed his last at that place, Nov. 30, 1530, aged 59 years. The dying words of this wretched man were most memorable, and highly instructive to all classes of hypocritical professors of religion-"If I had served God as diligently as I have done the king, he would not have given me over in my grey hairs. This is the just reward that I must receive for the pains I have taken to do him service, not regarding my service to God!"
RELIGION IN FRANCE. (Continued from p. 395.)
PROTESTANTISM in France was baptized in rivers of blood: and its churches in the southern parts of the kingdom, where it principally flourished, declined after the dreadful persecution which arose on the revocation of the "Irrevocable Edict of Nantz." See an account of those atrocious papal cruelties in the Christian's Penny Magazine, vol. ii, p. 187, 203.
Popery being favoured by Louis XVIII, at his restoration and the fall of Napoleon, persecution was partially renewed against the remaining Protestants, especially at Nismes, where dreadful outrages were committed, with some bloodshed. Still there appeared scarcely any efforts made to extend the saving know-ledge of the gospel of Christ in that great country, till after the London Missionary Society sent deputations to visit and excite the Protestant churches in France. Dr. Bogue was requested by that Society to write an "Essay on the New Testament," proving the divinity of Christianity. This excellent work was translated into French, and circulated with some good effects; and at length, in 1818, a Protestant Bible Society was formed at Paris, which has now many auxiliaries and many thousand Bibles have been circulated. A Religious Tract Society has also been formed in France, which has succeeded in forming depôts in many parts. "The Asiatic Society" in Paris have materially co-operated with the British and Foreign Bible Society in Loudon, by their learned labours in editing versions of the New Testament in the Oriental languages, for circulation in Turkey and the East.
Prison Discipline and Reform Societies have also been adopted from England with some success. 'Society for Elementary Instruction," was formed at Paris in 1815, on the system of the British and Foreign School Society, which has several years ago numbered almost 2,000 schools; and the society are endeavouring to extend the benefits of education, by means of Sunday schools, especially in the south of France. In 1821, a society was formed at Paris for the promotion of Christian Morals, Peace, and Knowledge," of which the Duke of Rochefoucauld Liancourt was President, and in 1822, an Evangelical Missionary Society" was instituted, the Count Verhueil, Peer of France, President.
France, since the revolution of 1830, and the separation of the Roman Catholic religion from the state, has presented a new scene for the contemplation of Protestants. But by this policy it is not to be supposed, that the new king and government becaine
religious. "Christianity," says an intelligent observer near the centre of authority, "had not more enemies in France under the old government, than it has under the new. With us, Christianity is always blended with catholicism, and catholicism with the priests by whom it is taught. But as the priests are generally opposed to the new order of things, and as they boldly avow their opposition, it follows, the liberals, who form the more enlightened part of the nation, conceive a hatred for every kind of religion, and become infidels, as a consequence of their political system. They consider the gospel of God our Saviour as responsible for all the faults committed by some intriguing and ambitious priests."
Several missionaries have been sent forth by the friends of the gospel from the "Society of Missions" in France, to labour in South Africa; and many new religious publications have been issued by the few leading Christian patriots, for the spiritual benefit of their country. An English Protestant minister at Paris, wrote a short time ago, "Since the revolution, we have opened several chapels, several schools, and have also commenced several meetings in different quarters of Paris. After having filled a place of worship, near the Boulevard des Italiens, the most fashionable part of Paris, we have rented a large hall on the Boulevards. Every sabbath morning, we have here a most respectable, steady, and serious auditory. Many Protestants of the first rank in society, who very seldom attend on public worship, are constant in their attendance here; and many Catholics are delighted with the means afforded them of informing and edifying themselves. Of each class, not a few have felt and evinced the power of the truth of the gospel of Christ applied to the conscience and the heart by the Holy Ghost. A Sunday school is formed here, and the children are taught by ladies and gentlemen, who are resolved for the diffusion of the gospel. The friends who attend at this chapel subscribe towards the general expense of the chapel and schools, about 300/. per annum. This is the beginning of the voluntary support of the gospel ministry by the French, who are accustomed to look to the government to do every thing.
"Our great anxiety at this moment is, for the Fauxbourg du Temple; a quarter peopled by poor workmen and their needy families, living in the grossest ignorance. After the revolution, we began worship in a small room. The hearers soon overflowed their children accompanied them, and were presented for instruction; their numbers and their interest rapidly and regularly increased. We were obliged to change and enlarge our plans and accommodations, to establish Sunday schools, day schools, evening schools; and at this hour more than 600 scholars of both sexes, and of all ages, are inscribed on our registers, and receive instruction, or are promised admission. God has provided us with Christian masters and mistresses: they open and close the exercise of each school with prayer, and teach the scholars both to read and understand the Scriptures. The interest, intelligence, and progress of the scholars and hearers, are very cheering. The municipal authorities already appreciate our efforts, and offer us every facility and protection, from the usefulness of our religion. Other efforts are in progress; among which are the translation of valuable works of doctrinal and practical divinity; aiding pious young men in their academical studies; promoting the circulation of Bibles and tracts: the establishment of Scripture readers: and the opening of chapels for Protestant worship, and the faithful preaching of the Word of God. These efforts are independent of those of the Bible Society, the Continental Society, Tract and School Societies, and other public institutions.
Besides, a plan is in progress for placing a public library in every one of the 40,000 communes, or parishes, into which the kingdom of France is divided."
THE FRENCH PROTESTANTS.
"The Reformed Church of France,” is that to which it is most natural to look for vigorous efforts to evangelize the nation. This, according to a statistical account made up in 1828, consisted of 85 consistorial churches which, at the rate assigned by law, of 6,000 souls for each church, gives us an aggregate of 510,000. It has besides 11 oratories, which appear to be smaller communities than those which would warrant the formation of a consistorial church. Probably the whole body of Protestants in France, under this denomination, may amount to 1,000,000 of persons! Among these there were at the above period 438 edifices for publie worship, 305 pastors, 451 Bible Societies and Associations, 124 Misionary Societies, 59 Tract Societies and Depositories. Such a great variety of scriptural means and ministers, must, under the Divine blessing, be effectual in producing an amount of benefit incalculable both for time and eternity!
ROMAN CATHOLIC CLERGY IN FRANCE. It is calculated that there are at present in France, 36,185 priests, who regularly officiate, including those who do not receive pay from the treasury. Of these 2,849 are curates, 22,244 are temporary curates, 5,301 are vicars, 1,462 regular priests, 873 almoners of colleges and hospitals. Of the religious, there are 106 female congregations, possessing 1,721 establishments, which contain 11,752 sisters, who relieve about 69,000 sick persons, and instruct 63,000 poor children gratuitously! Surely the time is not far distant, when instead of Romish superstition and idolatry, all the operations of these thousands of agents shall be guided by the Holy Scriptures.
ALEXANDER THE GREAT AND THE AFRICAN PRINCE.
ALEXANDER, during his march into Africa, came to a people dwelling in peaceful huts, who knew neither war nor conquest. Gold being offered to him, he refused it, saying, that his sole object was to learn the manners and customs of the inhabitants. “Stay with us," says the chief," as long as it pleaseth thee." During his stay with the African chief, two of his subjects brought before him a case for judgment. The dispute was, the one had bought of the other a piece of ground, which, after the purchase, was found to contain a treasure, for which he felt himself bound to pay. The other refused to receive any thing; stating, that, when he sold the ground, he sold it with all the advantages apparent or concealed which it might be found to afford. Said the chief, looking at the one, "You have a son;" and to the other, "You have a daughter. Let them be married, and the treasure be given them as dowry." Alexander was astonished. "And what," said the chief, "would have been the decision in your country? "We should have dismissed the parties," said Alexander, "and seized the treasure for the king's use." "And does the sun shine on your country?" said the chief; Does the rain fall there? Are there any cattle there which feed upon herbs and green grass? Certainly," said Alexander. “Ah !” said the chief, "it is for the sake of those innocent cattle that the Great Being permits the sun to shine, the rain to fall, and the grass to grow, in your country."
Letters to a Mother, upon Education.
Upon those points in which the Education of Females ought to be different from that of Males.
Dear Madam, In my last I drew the consequences of an improper system: allow me now to delineate what I consider to be the correct, and to describe its results.
I will suppose then the question asked, How is the intellectual education of a female to be properly conducted? I answer, Let all the various powers and faculties of her mind be educed and strengthened, and her understanding be informed on all those practical and useful branches of knowledge which she will need as the wife and mistress of a family. All this will not interfere with the acquisition of the proper degree of those accomplishments already recommended in previous Letters. But the mischief consists in substituting accomplishments for education. Except to the truly pitiable woman of fashion, of how little real use will these accomplishments be in after-life?
Is it not highly probable that she will forget her music, her drawing, her French, &c. quite as quick at least as she learnt them? But in such an instance, when these are gone there is nothing left. It would be right indeed that the tastes induced by these acquisitions should remain; nor is it needful that when a girl enters into the cares and business of life, that she should entirely discontinue the practice of her accomplishments. But wo be to the man whose wife has nothing besides thesc, except the false and pernicious notions respecting wedlock acquired from novels and romances, or the romantic incidents of human life.
On the contrary it appears to me, that the intellectual education of a female ought to be peculiarly conducted with a view to the formation of a sound judgment, or what I would rather call common sense; a knowledge of what is proper under every circumstance, the acquiring the modes whereby the common transactions of human life are conducted. Hence she should engage equally with her brother in those studies which give acuteness to the powers of judgment, and exercise the mind in taking correct apprehensions of the real nature of all things. Her education should also be peculiarly calculated to impart true views of human life, and of its great end. She should ever be taught to consider, that it is the end of existence to be happy, and to make others happy. She should be taught to know in what happiness consists, and from what it is derived; and that the grand duty of woman is to conduce to the happiness of her husband and children, as it is his to protect and to secure hers.
Hence it is of the first importance that she should be trained to habits of economy in all things, to have as few wants as possible, to help herself always when it is practicable, to become acquainted with the various departments in which the management of a family consists, to know how to save by mending and making for herself and for her children, to know how at least to superintend all, even the most common procedures of the household.
All this is perfectly compatible with intelligence, information, loveliness, and health. At the same time, unnecessary expenditure is prevented, and those orderly arrangements proceed, upon which the comfort of a family is dependent. Every wise and good man learns to esteem the value of such a wife; and the love, induced perhaps by other considerations, is not (to say nothing more) lessened by perceiving the universal value of his choice. Nor is all this domestic excellence inconsistent with respect it does indeed conduce to it.
On the contrary, the woman who feels that she is inferior in the knowledge of the procedures of a household to her own servants, and also knows that her husband daily discovers it, can never, if she has any good sense left, respect herself, or expect to gain the respect of her husband.
After all, in the vast majority of instances, the happiness of a household is dependent upon the mistress; and her ability to render it happy is in strict proportion to her knowledge of domestic arrangements. This may not be needed in the professed lady of fashion, whose whole existence is occupied by fatigue and excitement, excitement and fatigue, display, indolence, dissipation, and extravagance. No one with any common sense would say, that she or her husband, even if resembling her in habits, are happy. But throughout the families of the empire, the happiness of individuals and the welfare of the next generation, must be dependent from the sources and circumstances which I have previously specified.
To reduce general rules to particulars, I should advise, that girls should be taught to aim at a noble simplicity of dress and manners, should be taught to estimate accomplishments as secondary, and the acquisition of useful knowledge and good habits and good sense and knowledge of the world, as first.
This can only be done by either conducting their education at home, by the aid of visiting governesses, and in which case all the benefits attributed in a former Letter to a public education are lost, or by placing them in the care of some conductress of a seminary possessing the requisite views and habits.
That such are to be found, I will not take upon myself to deny; yet I cannot help expressing my opinion, that even under the most favourable circumstances, there is not that attention to the education in the principles of morals and in the practices of domestic life which are requisite. I could wish some one would supply the first defect by a book, and the second by setting up a seminary in which the latter should be taught. It was part of the education of our great-grandmothers to go to a pastry school, or to learn cookery by some other means.
I cannot pretend to say how such a thing might be managed now, yet I doubt not but that if the ability to superintend and inspect such matters could be now communicated to the minds of girls as part of their education, their future husbands would never regret that in this respect their education had approximated in some degree at least to that of their ancestors.
I am the more confident in these sentiments, when I find them agreeing with those of King Lemuel, "which his mother taught him," who, in describing a good wife, says,
"She will do him good and not evil, all the days of her life.
She seeketh wool and flax, and worketh diligently with her bands.
"She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms.
"She layeth her hand to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff.
"She maketh herself coverings of tapestry, her clothing is of silk and purple.
"She openeth her mouth with wisdom, and in her tongue is the law of kindness.
"She looketh well to the ways of her household, and cateth not the bread of idleness."
Well may the writer say of such a female, "her price is far above rubies." Many daughters have done excellently, but she has excelled them all!
I am, dear Madam, yours, &c.
The Death of Abraham.
ABRAHAM lived after the marriage of Isaac about thirty-seven years. Of this period, however, we have but few particulars recorded, the whole being contained in a few verses. Having seen his beloved Isaac blessed with a pious wife, agreeably to his wishes, Abraham entered again into the honourable state of marriage. In this union, God gave him an addition to his family of six sons. Of their characters nothing is recorded; yet we may be certain that he taught them "the way of the LORD;" and during his life-time, as he found the infirmities of age increasing, Abraham made suitable provision for them, and sent them away to settle in a distant part of the country; that the peaceful temper of Isaac might not be disturbed, by the ambition or avarice of his brothers.
Abraham, at length, draws near the close of his mortal days. Even "the friend of God" must die! "Then Abraham gave up the ghost, and died in a good old age, an old man, and full of years;-and these are the days of the years of Abraham's life which he lived, a hundred threescore and fifteen years." Gen. xxv, 7, 8.
The pious patriarch doubtless terminated his pilgrimage in a temper and manner corresponding to his "father of believers." Passing character as through the valley of the shadow of death, he feared no evil; the LORD was with him, his rod and staff comforted him." Psal. xxiii, 4.
"His God sustain'd him in the final hour,
His final hour brought glory to his God."
We have seen that Abraham's son Ishmael, in early years, was a mocker of religion and a persecutor of Isaac: but he appears to have become reconciled to his brother, during the life of their father, and that both were present at the patriarch's decease. They received the last benediction of their dying parent, while he breathed out his willing spirit into the hands of his covenant God. "And his sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the cave of Machpelah, in the field of Ephron the son of Zohar the Hittite, which is before Mamre; the field which Abraham purchased of the sons of Heth: there was Abraham buried, and Sarah his wife." Gen xxv, 9, 10.
Thus died Abraham, "the father of believers," leaving behind him a character singularly honoured by God, and worthily celebrated by men. His life was much shorter than that of his ancestors, but far more connected with important events: chequered with unusual trials, but divinely blessed with extraordinary favours: distinguished by the most brilliant virtues that ever adorned the sons of men; but not altogether free from the infirmities of a fallen nature. Abraham received the blessing of free justification by faith, while an uncircumcised heathen; and though his obedience to the will of God was more eminently exemplary than that of any of his descendants, it is clearly evident, that his salvation was not merited by his good works, but was enjoyed only by sovereign grace, through faith in the all-sufficient righteousness of a Divine Redeemer.
Both by our Lord and his apostles, Abraham is repeatedly commended to us as a worthy pattern of vigorous faith and patient resignation, in running the Christian race; and the contemplation of none of the pious fathers, or prophets of God, is better calculated to instruct and encourage us, in "pressing towards the mark for the prize of our high calling of God in Christ Jesus."
Abraham's name has been highly honoured among all the nations of the East. Their mythological traditions abound with allusions to the events of his life; and not only the Jews, but the Magians, Sabians, Indians, and Mohammedans, have claimed him as the great patriarch and founder of their systems of religion. Alexander Severus the Roman emperor, who knew nothing of Abraham but what was related of him by the Christians and Jews, conceived so high an opinion of him as to enrol him with Jesus Christ among the number of his gods!
THE FIRST FEMALE MARTYR IN ENGLAND. POPERY in its genuine character is illustrated in the bitter sufferings of thousands of the martyrs for Christ. Pretended infallibility in its decisions, and cruel intolerance in its policy, towards those differing from it, mark the Roman Catholic church in every age. Dr. Southey, in his "Book of the Church," though that beautifully written volume is exceedingly defective as a record of religious history in Britain, contains some remarkable exhibitions of the spirit and practice of the Romish hierarchy, of which we select the following paragraph, containing a notice of the sufferings of Joan Boughton, whom he calls "The first female martyr in England.”
Bishop Pecock had offended his haughty colleague, by professing some opinions similar to those published by Wycliffe and his followers, and therefore “as he was required, at Paul's Cross, in the presence of twenty thousand people, at the archbishop's feet, he committed himself as a penitent sinner to the correction of the church and his lord of Canterbury." "It remains now to state, what were the tender mercies of the Romish church to this eminent man (the most learned of his age and country), who had thus humbly and thoroughly submitted to its authority. That his enemies in that church insulted him with a malice which was at once venomous and grovelling, is only what may always be expected from mean and malignant minds; but the treatment which he received can only be imputed to the inimitable spirit of the papal tyranny and its agents. He was sent to Thorney Abbey, there to be confined in a secret closed chamber, out of which he was not allowed to go. The person, who made his bed and his fire, was the only one who might enter and speak to him, without the abbot's leave, and in his presence. He was to have neither pen, ink, nor paper, and to be allowed no books, except a mass book, a psalter, a legendary, and a Bible. For the first quarter, he was to have no better fare than the common rations of the convent; afterwards, the pittance of the sick or aged brother, with such further indulgence as his health might require, for which, the prior was allowed eleven pounds. In this dismal imprisonment Pecock died. But carefully as his writings were sought for and destroyed, some of them remained to preserve his memory, and bear witness to his learning, his moderation, and his worth.
If such was the severity which the Romish church exercised towards the ablest of its defenders, what were those persons to expect who detested its doctrines, when they fell into the hands of its inhuman ministers? The civil wars, which in all other respects were so frightful to humanity, had the good effect of affording then a respite in Fuller's beautiful words, "the very storm was their shelter." But when the struggle ceased, the business of persecution was resumed, and Henry VII, while he asserted his authority over the clergy, found it consistent with his policy to employ them rather than his nobles in state affairs, and suffered them to proceed against the Lollards with
the utmost rigour. Among the victims whom they brought to the stake, was a woman of some quality, Joan Boughton by name, the first female martyr in England. She was more than eighty years of age, and held in such reverence for her virtues, that during the night after her martyrdom, her ashes were collected, to be preserved as relics for pious and affectionate remembrance. Her daughter, the Lady Young, suffered afterwards the same cruel death, with equal constaucy. At Amershamn, when William Tylsworth was burnt, his only daughter, as being suspected of heresy, was compelled not only to witness his death, but with her own hands to set fire to him! By such barbarities did the Romish church provoke the indignation of God and man. That it should have made one real convert by such means is impossible; though it compelled many to abjuration. In that case, the miserable wretches whom it admitted to its mercy, were made to bear a faggot in public, while they witnessed the martyrdom of those who had more constancy than themselves. They were fastened to the stake by the neck with towels, and their hands held fast, while they were marked on the cheek with a hot iron; after which, they were for life to wear a faggot, worked or painted on the left sleeve; and if they ventured to lay aside this badge, which if they were in humble life consigned them to want as well as infamy, they were sent to the flames without remission; so that it became a saying, Put it off and be burnt; keep it on and be starved. Bishop Nix, of Norwich, one of the most infamous for his activity in this persecution, used to call the persons whom he suspected of heretical opinions, savouring of the frying pan;" with such levity did these monsters regard the sufferings which they inflicted! A correspondent of Erasmus wrote to him, that the price of wood was considerably advanced about London, in consequence of the quantity required for the frequent executions in Smithfield. The statement is one of those hyperboles, which in the familiarity of letter writing, are understood as they are meant, and convey no more than the truth.
MY SCRAP BOOK.
"The Bee that wanders, and sips from every flower, disposes what she has gathered into her cells."-SENECA.
Anecdote of the Duke of Saxony. HENRY Duke of Saxony, a cruel and debauched prince, dreamed that the tutelar angel of the country appeared to him with an angry countenance, and reproached him in these words, Ill-fated wretch! The Almighty, unwilling to cut thee off in the fulness of thine iniquity, hath sent me to give thee warning." Upon this, he showed him a scroll, in which was written "AFTER SIX." The duke awoke trembling, and much alarmed. He was convinced the vision was from God, and thought it certainly predicted his end. Six days, six weeks, six months, were spent in penitence and serious preparation for death: but these having elapsed, he concluded that six years must have been the period intended, and under this impression he effected a thorough reformation in his life and government. At the end of six years, he was elected emperor of Germany.
Worth of the Bible.
Afflictions teach us the worth of our Bibles. The Bible is too often but an insipid book before afflictions bring us to feel the want of it, and then how many comforting passages do we find, which lay neglected and
unknown before. I recollect an instance in the history of some who fled from this country to that then wild desert, America. Among many other hardships, they were in such straits for bread, that the very crusts of their former tables in England, would have been a dainty to them. Necessity drove the women and children to the sea-side to look for a ship, expected to bring them provisions: but no ship for many weeks appeared however, they saw in the sand vast quantities of shell-fish, since called clams, a kind of mussel. Hunger compelled them to taste, and at length they fed almost wholly on them, and, to their own astonishment, were as cheerful, fat, and lusty, as they had been in England, with their fill of the best provisions. A worthy man, one day, after they had all dined on clams, without bread, returned thanks to God for causing them to "such of the abundance of the seas, and of treasures hid in the sand," a passage in Deuteronomy, till then unobserved by the company, but which ever after endeared the writings of Moses to them.-Robt. Robinson. Death-bed Repentance.
All the precepts of the gospel direct to holy living; but I do not know any directions in all the Scriptures that peculiarly concern holy dying. This is a matter which I doubt has not been considered as it ought to be, for otherwise people could never lay so much stress upon what is never once mentioned in all the Scripture. I do not mean by this to deny that God will pardon those who at any time of their lives do truly repent and turn to him but there is great reason to fear that most of that which goes under the name of death-bed repentance, does not proceed from a true change in the soul, but is only a sorrow in a manner forced upon people, from the necessity of their present circumstances.-Dr. Willis, dean of Lincoln, 1709.
Estimate of Human Life.
"So teach us to number our days."- What is the total amount of human life? What is the sum of this account of days of nothingness, and days of reality; of days of prosperity, and days of affliction; of days of languor, and days of delight; of days devoted to the world, and days devoted to religion? My brethren, it is God, it is God alone, who holds " our times in his hand:" he alone can make an accurate calculation of them. It is not impossible, however, to ascertain what shall be, in respect of time, the temporal destination of those that hear me this day. Let me suppose that the present solemnity has drawn together an assembly of 1,800 persons. I divide them into six classes.