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LUTHER'S DISINTERESTEDNESS. DISINTERESTEDNESS was a leading feature in the character of Luther: superior to all selfish considerations, he left the honours and emoluments of this world to those who delighted in them. The following extract from a will he executed some years before his death, proves how little he regarded that wealth, to attain which millions sacrifice every enjoyment in this life, and every hope of happiness in the next!-The Reformer says, "Lord God! 1 give thee thanks, that thou hast willed me to be poor upon the earth, and a beggar. I have neither house, land, money, nor professions of any kind, which I can leave. Thou hast given me a wife and children; I commend them to thee: nourish them, teach them, preserve them, as thou hast hitherto preserved me, O Father of the fatherless, and Judge of the widow!" The poverty of this great man did not arise from wanting the means of acquiring riches; for few men have had it in their power more easily to obtain them. The Elector of Saxony offered him the produce of a mine at Sneberg; but he nobly refused it; 'Lest," said he, "I should tempt the devil, who is lord of these subterraneous treasures, to tempt me." The enemies of Luther were no strangers to his contempt for gold. When one of the popes asked a certain cardinal, why they did not stop that man's mouth with silver and gold?-his Eminence replied, "That German beast regards not money!"-It may easily be supposed, that the liberality of such a man would often exceed his means. A poor student once telling him of his poverty, he desired Mrs. Luther to give him a sum of money; and when she informed him they had none left, he immediately seized a metal cup of some value, which accidentally stood within his reach, and giving it to the poor man, bid him go and sell it, and keep the money to supply his wants. In one of his epistles, Luther says, "I have received one hundred guilders from Taubereim; and Schartts has given me fifty: so that 1 begin to fear, lest God should reward me in this life. But I declare I will not be satisfied with it. What have I to do with so much money! I gave half of it to P. Priorus, and made the man glad."
A CLOUD OF WITNESSES.
NEVER cause had so striking a concurrence of testimony in its favour as Christianity. Look at Moses, esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt. Look at Solomon, interceding not for secular distinction, but for wisdom and knowledge. Look at Paul, "counting all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Jesus." Look at Judge Hale, preferring a twig of the tree of life to a whole wood of bays. Were these a priest-ridden faction, who made a gain of godliness, and had an interest to serve by the recommendation of it? Some think so. But we will not stop to dispute the question with them just now: we will accommodate them from the men of their own school-a magnanimous school verily ! There is Hume; striving with might and main to discredit the New Testament, and then confessing that he had never attentively read it. There is Voltaire; vociferating against Jesus Christ, "Crush the wretch Crush the wretch !" and then muttering the death-bed lamentation, "I am abandoned by God and man." There is Chesterfield; holding on his way in the service of divers lusts and pleasures, and then writing at the end of it, "I do by no means desire to repeat the nauseous dose." So true is it, that "their rock is not as our Rock, our enemies themselves being judges.”
BOOKS OF STERLING MERIT. A TREATISE ON COMFORTING AFFLICTED COXSCIENCES. Written in the year 1620, by Robert Bolton, B. D. minister of Broughton in Northamptonshire. With an Introduction and Memoir of the author, by the Rev. J. F. Denham. 18mo. pp. 390. London: Wood and Son. Price 5s. "AFFLICTED CONSCIENCES require the skill of one who has had large acquaintance with "the things of the Spirit of God." No one possesses this great qualification, who cannot adopt the language of an eminent spiritual physician, and say, "Come and hear, all ye that fear God, and I will declare what he hath done for my soul."
Bolton was thus qualified; and his "Treatise" is sound, scriptural, and judicious, written by a wise divine of that class which includes Owen, Leighton, and Baxter. Bolton's "Treatise" we think equal to Baxter's Right Method for a Settled Peace of Conscience and Spiritual Comfort," and worthy of being comprised in the "Christian's Cabinet Library," selected by the Rev. Mr. Denham.
A BIRTH-DAY HYMN.
But choose at once the better part. Now, while the gospel says " Return," I would forsake my sinful ways: Now, while the lamp of life doth burn, I would show forth thy lofty praise. Accept my song, dry up my tears,
And call a rebel child thine own; Midst joys and sorrows, hopes and fears, Unfold the radiance of thy throne. Then, though I dare not boast of time Prolong'd to yet one narrow span, With God I can my all resign,
Nor care to know the fate of man.
A Communication for B. Z. lies at the Publishers'.
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46 SUFFER LITTLE CHILDREN TO COME UNTO ME-FOR OF SUCH IS THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN."
KNOWLEDGE is one of the grand essentials of Christianity. Ignorance is most unfriendly to scriptural religion; and such are its divine peculiarities, demonstrating its ever-blessed AUTHOR, that while some of VOL. I.
its sublime doctrines surpass the grasp of the most exalted human or angelic intellect, many of its saving truths may be happily inculcated upon the youngest opening mind.
Dr. Watts, Dr. Doddridge, Matthew Henry, and Sir William Jones, were taught the lessons of eternal
wisdom from the word of God, even in their cradle; by which means the seed of divine truth was sown in their infant minds; and, being watered by the showers of heavenly grace, fruits of righteousness arose in their lives, which will continue to bless our world to the latest generations. Surely the excellent principles on which they were instructed, may be practically adopted to a large extent with our infant population.
We have heard of the "March of Intellect;" we have observed it in the present age; and we sincerely rejoice in its progress: but among all the various and numerous proofs of that advancement, INFANT SCHOOLS we regard as one of the most remarkable and promising. They afford, in our view, the most striking and beautiful comment upon the language and conduct of our blessed Saviour, when he reproved his disciples for rebuking those who brought infants to receive his blessing. "He took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them:" and He still says to us in his holy word, "Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not; for of such is the kingdom of God." Matt. xix, 13-15; Mark x, 13—16; Luke xvii, 15-17.
"While, therefore, all classes are alive to the various improvements that art is constantly projecting,-while science is marching on in its beneficial career,-when not only statesmen and philosophers, but mechanics and peasants, are entering the lists to penetrate the arcana of nature, and blending the theory of the student with the practice of the artisan, conscious of their mutual dependence and reciprocal advantages ;while the review of these circumstances affords no small degree of pleasure to the reflecting mind, it is to be hoped that the heavenly science of infant cultivation will excite a strong interest in the affections and exertions of our enlightened nation."
THE OBJECT OF INFANT SCHOOLS.
Thomson has declared it a
Delightful task! to rear the tender thought, To teach the young idea how to shoot:such is the design of Infant Schools; and their efficiency in this respect is incredible to those who have not made themselves acquainted with their operations and successes. An intelligent female advocate, in the Christian Lady's Friend for last June, justly observes, "A single visit to one of our infunt schools, cannot fail to strike one unacquainted with the system, with the extent and variety of knowledge capable of being grasped by these little creatures. Instances might easily be multiplied of their knowledge of Arithmetic, Geography, History, Natural History, and, in short, any subject which has been presented to their attention. The truth is, that they are no longer treated as mere ma. chines, but as reasonable beings; they are taught to think for themselves; and the habit thus early induced, of mental and intellectual discipline, is brought into action on every occasion, and cannot fail to produce on the whole character, results of the most beneficial nature. It is the mind which is exercised and improved; and whether all the knowledge acquired is afterwards brought into active use or not, the mind has received an impetus and a power, the advantage of which can perhaps with difficulty be appreciated. As an example of the activity and energy with which they exercise their own faculties, on any subject placed within their reach, we can find room only for the following-given in the words of a friend, to whom the circumstance occurred.
"During the play hours, five or six children had got together, and were discussing the distance of the sun, the earth, its size, &c. The subject had never been
'But you are moving yourself.'
'Well, but supposing I turn round in this room, and then stop; I stand still, and the room stands still, and yet it seems to me going round; because, I suppose, I have moved the air between me and the room; and something must move the air between us and the sun, and so it seems to move.'
"This boy was six years old. He had been at school between two and three years, and had had no previous advantages." May we not ask in the language of our friend, whether many of those individuals, who will smile at his ignorance, had ever thought so much in their lives?"
Scriptural instruction, by lessons from the Bible, and evangelical hymns, forms a distinguishing part of the exercise in our Infant Schools; and the impressions produced, by the Divine blessing, have in many instances been deep, permanent, and saving. The effects produced on the minds of the parents, by the intelligence and piety of the children, have often been of the most beneficial nature; and the artless, but eloquent and forcible appeals of these little creatures, have not unfrequently induced the careless and profane father to attend the house of God, from which his wayward steps had long been turned. By the ministry of these simple preachers, the blaspheming swearer has been led to fear and forget his oath, and to form his vulgar lips to prayer and praise.
Superiority, even in the youngest children, has been felt and confessed by irreligious parents, while they have learnt lessons of eternal wisdom from "the mouths of babes and sucklings." Anecdotes of the most interesting character, in illustration of these statements, we could give in abundance, and well authenticated: but the following will suffice: "A little boy who attended an infant school, and whose father was an habitual swearer, repeatedly intreated him not to use such wicked words; till at length, bursting into tears, the father exclaimed, "Ah, my boy! you must not be too hard upon me: there were no infant schools in my days!"
THE NECESSITY FOR INFANT SCHOOLS.
Facts the most appalling from the moral condition of the populous districts of our country, prove the necesity of Infant Schools, and of similar institutions for the improvement of the succeeding generations. London will be considered as furnishing data sufficient, on which to argue the necessity or otherwise of such elementary means of moral and religious training. The whole British metropolis, as we have seen (See Statistics of London, in No. 14 of the Christian's Penny Magazine), contains but 400 places of worship, including all denominatious, and most of them but very thinly attended; so that many thousands of children have parents, who pay no regard to the ordinances of religion, and consequently none to the Divine injunction," bring up your children in the nurture and
admonition of the Lord," Eph. vi. Can we wonder therefore that there should exist such an increase of juvenile delinquency? "Do_men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?" The authority and beauty of moral and religious truth are not presented to their minds, either by precept or example, and their natural corruption "grows with their growth, and strengthens with their strength," until they become a public nuisance, a curse to society. The "British Magazine," conducted by clergymen of the established church, says, "there are at the present moment about 15,000 boys in the metropolis, children of the poor, who have no visible means of subsistence, and who in fact are many of them trained to every variety of vice." How many girls may be added to that appalling number? The following will strikingly illustrate the above statement, and show the indispensable necessity of juvenile moral training.
A lad, about ten years of age, was convicted of stealing a piece of printed cotton, of small value, from a linen-draper's shop. The parents of the boy were in attendance, and were asked by the judge (Mr. Sergeant Arabin), what they would wish to be done with their child?
The mother said, "that she had done all she could for him; but he had formed such a connection with bad characters that she could do no more!"
Mr. Serg. Arabin. If the court permit you to take your boy home, will you take care and prevent him from committing any further crime?
"I can't be answerable: I'll do all I can!"
The father said, he could not be answerable for the good conduct of his son whilst at his work.
Mr. Serg. Arabin. It is of no use; the parents will not shield the poor boy from the sentence of the court, therefore let him be called up for judgment.
Mr. Ald. Farebrother. Stop, Mr. Sergeant. Then, addressing the parents, he asked how many children they had they answered, Only the prisoner.
Mr. Ald. Farebrother. Well, really, I must say it is something very strange, that parents who have only one child can refuse to throw that protection around him it is their duty to afford.
Mr. Serg. Arabin. Call the poor boy up for judgment; he is deserted by his parents.
The prisoner was then called up to receive the sentence of the court, and looking at his parents, who stood near the dock, he wept bitterly. The court then ordered him to be transported for seven years.
RELATION OF INFANT SCHOOLS TO NATIONAL AND SUNDAY SCHOOLS.
Sunday schools have properly been denominated the sure nurseries of our churches;" and such they are in reality. But what can be so admirably adapted to prepare the infant mind to profit by the instructions afforded by the National, the British, and Sunday schools, as the training which we are recommending? The writer of this paper, a few days ago, visited an Infant School near Blackheath, founded and supported by the estimable Lady Dowager Dartmouth, where the order and progress of the children appeared excellent, and some of the children being six years old, they were referred to, as retained to be soon transferred to a National School. The plan seems worthy of being adopted in every parish.
QUALIFICATION OF THE TEACHERS OF INFANT
Mr. Brown, the intelligent master of the Spitalfields Infant School, in his "Essays on the Cultivation of the Infant Mind," judiciously observes, "The gospel of God
our Saviour abounds with the deepest truths that can possibly interest the mind of man; and to neglect these important facts in the course of infant instruction is to pour contempt on the authority of Jehovah, and lead the children from the Redeemer, who came to seek and to save the lost. But some object, The children will not be able to comprehend these sacred subjects.' The same objections may be urged against teaching them to study the beauties of creation. God has given a full relation of his will in the Scriptures; these shed a glorious lustre on all the works of his hands, and lead to the solid conclusion-' He that built all things is God.' But redemption is that in which man is most deeply interested, and should, therefore, excite a corresponding concern in all who patronize or have the charge of Infant Schools.
"It is of the utmost consequence to the well-being of the system, and the highest interests of the children, that suitable teachers should be procured. They should be genuine Christians; Israelites indeed, in whom is no guile; men of unblemished reputation, and strict integrity; not double-tongued, conceited novices, but prudent, discreet, temperate in all things; the sons of God without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation.' They should be fully enligh tened, deeply awakened, and soundly converted to God. They must possess a strong and lively understanding; a sound discriminating judgment; a sanctified and retentive memory; a ready, affectionate, and persuasive utterance; and a quenchless zeal for the salvation of souls!"
Dr. Adam Clarke took a lively interest in Infant Schools, and that distinguished man observes, "The more I see and know of the system of infant education, the more fully am I convinced, that, in order to its stability and prosperity, the teachers must be well informed persons, mighty in the scriptures, able to impart knowledge in a simple, interesting, and pleasant manner. They must read attentively, think deeply, and pray fervently: they have to assist in moulding the human character. How correct their views ought to be of divine truth! How chaste, not stiff or pompous, the language by which they communicate instruction! They should study man in his nature, character, and destiny; a creature made by and for God; but through the sin that dwells in him, as fearfully and wonderfully vile as he is 'fearfully and wonderfully made.""
In our next number we purpose giving a paper on DOMESTIC INFANT SCHOOLS; with a notice of Brown's Essay on Cultivation of the Infant Mind."
THERE is a silent chronicle of past hours in the inani. mate things amidst which they have been spent, that gives us back the affections, the regrets, the sentiments of our former days: that gives back their joys without tumult, their griefs without poignancy, and produces equally from both a pensive pleasure, which men who have retired from the world are peculiarly fond of indulging. Above all others, those objects which recal the years of our childhood will have this tender effect on the heart; they present to us afresh the blissful illusions of life, when gaiety was undamped by care, and hope smiled upon us unchecked by disappointment. The distance of the scene adds to our idea of its felicity, and increases the tenderness of its recollection, It is like a view by moonlight: the distinctness of objects is lost; but a kind of mellow dimness softene and unites the whole.
The State of the World in the age of Enoch. THAT the family of Cain should bear a strong resemblance to their wicked father, might reasonably be expected. The public worship of God was unknown among them. Converse on the bounteous goodness, and on the holy and merciful character of their Creator, would never be heard in their habitations. They could know but little of the Divine promises of a Saviour; and being separated from the worshippers of God, that little would become less influential on their minds. Their father being an infidel, disbelieving the promises of God to the penitent, and disregarding the ordinances of religion, as observed by the "sons of God" in the family of Seth, the unbelief of Cain would be cherished by his children, it being congenial to their depraved hearts. The Cainites were busily employed in the affairs of the present world; skilful in their inventions in the mechanical arts, which served the purposes of refinement; and increasing in the possession of those things which gratified the sensual mind.
"The sons of God," the Sethites, were more distinguished for the purity of their manners; and were contented with their simple, pastoral mcde of living. For a considerable period, it appears, that the two branches of Adam's family held no intercourse, living at a distance from each other. The picus were afraid of being corrupted by the infidelity of the children of Cain, and they avoided their society as pernicious in its influence, carefully keeping in their fruitful valleys. Here, in retirement from profane mankind,
They worshipp'd God with purity of mind,
WORLD BEFORE THE FLOOD.
But in process of time, the boundaries of this separation were broken down. The young men among 'the sons of God," having in many instances only "the form of godliness, but denying its power," were impatient under the wise restraints imposed upon them by their pious parents, and excited with curiosity to know the manners of the sons of Cain. Enamoured of the elegance, beauty, and accomplishments of the daughters of the Cainites, by whom it is probable they were enticed, they formed connections with them in the bonds of marriage, disregarding their infidel principles.
This deplorable state of things is expressed with instructive conciseness by the inspired historian in the book of Genesis. He says, And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, that the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair, and they took them wives of all which they chose." Chap. vi, 1, 2.
The enchanting influence of these beautiful but rreligious women, soon subverted the pious principles of their husbands, who threw off the yoke of religious precepts, which they had never loved, and yielded to the power of infidelity in their wives. Such has been the case in numerous instances since that period. Even Solomon, the wisest of men, was deluded and led away by listening to his wives, and fell from his religious consistency and reverence for the LORD God, to the stupidity of bowing down in worship to senseless idols!
The very form of goodness, in these apostates from the worship of God, was quickly swallowed up by the prevalence of iniquity. Those who had been formerly distinguished as "the sons of God," became equally
corrupt with their licentious partners and companions; and the evil was increasing, so as to threaten the extinction of every principle of religion upon the earth. These unholy marriages produced a race of men, who appear to have been the most determined enemies of godliness. "There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children unto them, the same became nighty men, which were of old, men of renown." Gen. vi, 4.
These giants are believed to have been, not so much men of extraordinary stature, as tyrants; "men of renown," and "mighty men" for acts of oppression, cruelty, and abominable wickedness. "Of these renowned heroes of antiquity," as many suppose, heathen made their gods."
Many lessons of the soundest wisdom are contained in this part of the sacred history, especially in relation to improper marriages. The sources of most of the calamities, with which the world has been afflicted, both in public and in private life, are justly attributed, by many wise and plous men, to indiscretion in this most momentous of all earthly connections. Females possessing high accomplishments, but destitute of personal religion, are found to be the most dangerous companions for serious young men. Many a young man, who has been seriously devoted to God, has found to his bitter regret the pernicious influence of an elegant and beautiful, but irreligious wife. His purposes of serving God with all his house, have been fatally hindered by her authority, persuasion, and habits. The children of such have been taught every thing except the "one thing needful,"-except the things that belong to their everlasting peace; and the domestics have despised the forms of that religion, which were inconsistently observed by the master.
Let our young readers learn wisdom by this part of Holy Scripture. Young females, though "fair" as the early daughters of men," should remember, that "favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain; but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised." Prov. xxxi, 30. Their most valuable treasure, their most lovely ornament, is genuine piety, producing "a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price." 1 Pet. iii, 4. And let our young men, especially those who have been "brought up in the nurture and admonition of the LORD" by pious parents, be warned against forming connections with the vain, the vicious, the ungodly, however lovely in features, beautiful in form, or superior in elegant accomplishments; lest they contribute an awful share to bring upon the earth that infidelity and ungodliness which prevailed in the world in the days of the prophet Enoch.
(To be continued.)
THE SCOFFER REPROVED BY A PRINCE. LADY HUNTINGDON's heart was truly devoted to God; and she resolved, to the best of her ability, to lay herself out to do good. The poor around her were the natural objects of her attention. These she bountifully relieved in their necessities; conversed with, and led them to their knees, praying with them and for them. The late Prince of Wales, one day at court, asked a lady of fashion, Lady Charlotte E-, where my Lady Huntingdon was, that she so seldom visited the circle? Lady Charlotte replied, with a sneer, "I suppose, praying with her beggars." The Prince shook his head and said, "Lady Charlotte, when I am dying, I think I shall be happy to seize the skirt of Lady Huntingdon's mantle, to lift me up with her to heaven."