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PUBLISHED EVERY SATURDAY.
MAY 11, 1833.
ST. MARTIN'S CHURCH AT ROME, AND THE TRIUMPHAL ARCH OF SEPTIMIUS SEVERUS. ROME is a theatre of the most inagnificent buildings and antiquities. Among the former are conspicuous St. Peter's Church; and among the latter, the Triumphal Arches are remarkable, We have already presented our readers with a view of St. Peter's Church at Rome (See No. 27), and with the Triumphal Arch of the Emperor Titus, erected in honour of that conqueror destroying Jerusalem, and representing the captives led in triumph, carrying the sacred furniture of the Temple. (See No. 19.)
ST. MARTIN'S CHURCH
Is a splendid building, but it is doubtful whether a faithful gospel sermon were ever preached within its walls. Probably our readers will be interested with a biographical notice of the Saint, to whose honour the edifice is dedicated, rather than a description of the building.
St. Martin is said to have been born A. D. 316, at Sabaria, now called Stain, in Lower Hungary. His father was a military tribune; and Martin himself was obliged to carry arms, though he was greatly inclined to seek retirement, and to cherish peace. While a military man he was eminent for his temperance and VOL. II.
the practice of virtue: but being converted to Christianity, he renounced the profession of arms, was baptized in the name of Christ, and embraced the monastic life. After passing some years in solitude, he returned to Sabaria, and converted his mother, and with great zeal opposed the Arians, who prevailed in Illyria, and by them he was publicly whipped. Martin afterwards retired to the neighbourhood of Poictiers, where he remained till he was chosen bishop of Tours, A. D. 374. He built the celebrated monastery of Marmontier, near Tours, between the Loire and a steep rock, where he displayed the most exemplary sanctity. He afterwards became a missionary through France, diffusing the doctrines of Christianity among the heathen of that country, and destroying their temples. Martin was treated with distinguished honours by Valentiniau, and the tyrant Maximus. He used his influence in support of the persecuted Priscilianists, while suffering from the bigotry of Ithace and Idace, bishops of Spain. He died at Candes, A. D. 397, or as others say, in 400. The Roman Catholics canonized Martin as a Saint; and it is remarkable that he was the first to whom the Latin church offered public prayers, in their criminal idolatry. We cannot but
believe that Martin was a inan of God, superior to many of his time, and zealous for the conversion of souls to Christ.
Was erected in honour of that emperor's conquest of Parthia. Severus was an African, distinguished for his ambition, activity, and avarice. He was born A. D. 155, and died A. D. 211, at York. Our design will not allow us to give a detailed account of this renowned emperor, of whom it was said, as of Augustus, "It would have been better for the world had he never been born, or had never died." While Severus was temperate, and a professed lover of justice, in his stoical virtue, it is said of him, "He never performed an act of humanity, nor forgave a fault."
SEVERUS'S WALL IN ENGLAND.
Our readers will, however, be gratified by an account of the celebrated Roman barrier, erected under the direction of this emperor in Britain, as a security against the Caledonians, and called "SEVERUS'S WALL." Spartianus, a Roman historian, speaks of this rampart in these terms: He fortified Britain with a wall drawn across the island from sea to sea; which is the greatest glory of his reign. After the wall was finished, he retired to the next station (York), not only a conqueror, but the founder of an eternal peace."
Rapin says, "The wall was of free stone, as is certain from what is yet visible. In some places, where the foundation was not good, they seem to have made use of oaken piles. The inner part of this wall is filled with pretty large, and mostly broad and thin stones, always set edge-ways, somewhat obliquely. Upon these the running mortar or cement was poured, and by this contrivance the whole wall was bound as firm as a rock. These stones are supposed to have been brought from Helbeck-Scar on the Gelt and Leuge-Crug, as appears from an inscription on the rock that hangs over the Gelt. The wall generally measures about eight feet thick, and twelve high. Upon the wall were placed castles, or Chesters, sixty feet square, about six and a half furlongs from each other, and turrets four yards square, about three hundred yards from each other. There seems to have been four turrets between every two castles. The centinels placed in the turrets being within call, the communication quite along the wall might be kept up, without having recourse to the fiction of pipes laid under-ground to convey the sound: though this seems to be credited by Echard and others. It is observable, that the legionary soldiers were employed in building this wall, as they generally were in works of this mature. This is evident from the Centurial inscriptions on the stones of the wall, showing what part was built by each Centuria."
The length of this wall, from Cousin's House near the mouth of the Tyne on the east, to Boulness on the Solway Frith on the west, has been found from two actual mensurations to be little less than sixty-eight English miles, and a little less than seventy-four Roman miles. The usual complement allowed for the defence of this celebrated wall was as follows:
Twelve cohorts of foot, consisting of 600 men
For the convenience of marching these troops from one part of the wall to another with greater ease and expedition on any service, it was attended with two military ways, paved with stones in the most solid and beautiful manner. This prodigious wall proved an impenetrable barrier to the Roman territories for nearly two hundred years. But about the beginning of the fifth century, the Roman empire being assaulted on all sides, and their forces being withdrawn from Britain, this rampart fell before swarms of daring Scots and Picts. Its beauty and grandeur procured it no respect in the dark and tasteless ages which succeeded, and it became the common quarry for more than one thousand years, out of which all the towns and villages around were built; and at the present day it is so entirely ruined, that the penetrating eyes of the antiquary can scarcely trace its vanishing foundation!
THOUGHTS ON THE SACRED HISTORY OF THE CREATION.
(Continued from p. 141.)
A NEW system of exterior figure, and a new species of beauty, arose to visible existence in the feathered creation. The birds eminently surpass all the marine classes in their attractive appearance. Form, motion, and colour, are the elements of what is beauteous in both orders of being; but the lovely and the pleasing impress us with more interesting effect in the sprightly tenants of the trees and air, than in the inhabitants of the seas. Beauty is indeed everywhere about us, and every mind may be sensible of it that will observe where it exists. For our own sakes we ought to cherish a taste for it; for such are its soothing effects, that it cannot be anywhere seen and felt without sensible pleasure. The bird classes partake of it so generally in some respect or other, that the rudest minds become milder or happier from their presence, in all climes and in all ages. Wilson, in his American Ornithology, says, he has observed the rudest and most savage of the Indians softened into benevolence, while contemplating the interesting manners of these innocent little creatures.
The plumage of birds is peculiar to their order, and is remarkable for the skill and delicacy of its composition. In the equatorial regions it is more rich and splendid in its colours, yet always harmonizing in its most contrasted tints, and in its lights and shades; and though the effect is sometimes gorgeous, yet it is never tawdry. Birds also charm the ear as well as regale the sight, and thus satisfy our two most intellectual senses. The music and the beauty do not always unite in the same bird in equal excellence: our nightingale and peacock are instances of the separation. In the Indian hemisphere, both however are frequently combined; and in North America, the bird that is called the Virginian Nightingale, is also styled the Cardinal from his brilliant red plumage.
The birds of song abound in every known country, in the new continent as well as the old one; but as they are seldom found in the depth of dense forests, they are the more usual companions of civilized man: they frequent most the cleared and cultivated plains, as if to increase the number of human pleasures. Neither childhood nor manhood can hear them with indifference: their notes are everywhere a large addition to human gratification, and become connected with the sweetest remembrances of the most joyous season of our life. It is an error to say that Nature has denied melody to the birds of hot climates, and formed them only to please the eye with their gaudy plumage: Ceylon abounds with birds equal in song to those of Europe.
Birds are distinguished from all other creatures by their power of supporting themselves in a medium so light as air, when, by the laws of gravity, they would fall like a stone. This they effect by the amazing strength and moveability of their pectoral muscles, and the expansile form and peculiar texture of their wings. Here again the most special and scientific calculation are manifest to our consideration. No blind force or random power could here have availed: a deliberating and knowing mind must have been their creator, combining what we term mathematical and mechanical science. The bodies of every species of birds differ in weight and bulk; but in order that they may fly, and remain suspended in the air while they do so, their motive energies must be proportioned to their individual gravity, and to the tenuity of the air: no general fitness would do; each distinct kind must have allotted to it a different degree peculiar to itself. So patient a condescension of Almighty Power and Intelligence, deigning to apply so much thought for the purpose of giving a multifarious variety to its creation, is far beyond our conception or panegyric. Yet it is an impressive testimony of his provident wisdom, acting for the instruction of his intelligent creatures.
Birds surpass all other creatures in the faculty of continuing their motion without resting as well as in rapidity. The fleetest horse cannot run more than a mile in a minute, nor support that speed more than five or six minutes: but the swallow does this for pleasure, for ten hours a day. Our carrier pigeons move with at least half that celerity from one country to another; and the golden eagle is supposed to dart through the fiercest storm at the rate of forty miles an hour.
One of the most special appointments of the Creator as to birds, and which nothing but his chosen design can explain, is, the law that so many kinds shall migrate from one country to another, and most commonly at vast distances from each other. They might have been all framed to breed, be born, live, and die, in the same region, as quadrupeds and insects do: but He has chosen to make them travel from one climate to another, with unerring precision, from an irresistible instinct, with wonderful courage, and in a right and never-failing direction. They cross oceans without fear, and with a persevering exertion that makes our exhausting labours comparative amusement. Philosophy in vain endeavours to account for the extraordinary phenomenon. Warmer temperatures are not always the object of emigration: the snow bunting, though a bird of song, goes into the frozen zone to breed and nurture its young. We can only resolve all these astonishing journeys into the appointment of the Creator, who has assigned to every bird its habits, as well as form, according to his good pleasure.
The quantity of individuals of the bird species at all times existing in our world, surpasses not only supposition, but even all power of human numeration. But this surprising quantity of birds renders it necessary that the insect world, on which all the smaller kinds feed, should be a thousand times more numerous. The 2,000,000 of starlings usually resident in the United States of America, have been computed to consume of the worms, caterpillars, &c. on which they subsist, during the four months of their breeding and nurturing their young, about 16,000,000,000. And if a single class of birds have this supply, all the other classes who use the same nutriment require as much. It is obviously impossible to enumerate the amount of the creatures which are always existing on our globe, and partaking of its produce in some way or other: yet so admirably are the whole placed and disposed, and so carefully regulated and adapted, as to us and to each other, that we are neither disturbed by, nor even con
scious of the number. There is no crowding, no con fusion, the enormous amount is nowhere visible to our seuse : we must search it out in order to know it. What but an almighty sagacity, infinitely beyond the highest expansions of human genius, could have arranged such inexpressible multitudes of living beings into positions, limitations, and habits, so wisely appropriated to each, so productive of comfort to every one, and yet so conservative of the harmony, the order, and the general welfare of the immense and multiform whole!
We may remark, that the bird mind displays all the common faculties of animal intellect. Its memory is tenacious: the bulfinch never forgets the songs it has learned most of the singing birds may be taught the notes of others. But it is in their nests that they display the most striking and varied indications of contriving and judging, and therefore of thinking intel lect; confined indeed in the extent of its operations, but resembling reasoning intellect within this compass. Their affection for their young, their anxious contrivances to protect them, and little stratagems to mislead the marauder, evince feelings and mental activities analogous to those of other reasonable beings.
(To be continued.)
THREE MONTHS IN JAMAICA, IN 1832, Comprising a Residence of Seven Weeks on a Sugar Plantation. By Henry Whiteley.
MR. WHITELEY arrived in Jamaica on the 3d of September 1832, being sent out by a respectable West India house in London, under the patronage of a relative of his, who is a partner in that house. He was recommended to a situation as clerk in a store, or a bookkeeper upon a plantation: but the horrors which he witnessed in the treatment of the slaves, and the shocking licentiousness of the whites, so disgusted him, that he determined on returning. The first day he arrived on the plantation, September 4, he saw six slaves brought up for punishinent on account of an alleged deficiency of work. "No question," says he, asked of the culprits themselves, nor was any explanation waited for. Sentence was instantly pronounced, and instantly carried into execution.
"The first was a man of about thirty-five years of age. He was what is called a pen-keeper, or cattle-herd; and his offence was having suffered a mule to go astray. At the command of the overscer he proceeded to strip off part of his clothes, and laid himself flat on his belly, his back and buttocks being uncovered. One of the drivers then commenced flogging him with the cartwhip. This whip is about ten feet long, with a short stout handle, and is an instrument of terrible power. It is whirled by the operator round his head, and then brought down with a rapid motion of the arm upon the recumbent victim, causing the blood to spring at every stroke. When I saw this spectacle, now for the first time exhibited before my eyes, with all its revolting accompaniments, and saw the degraded and mangled victim writhing and groaning under the infliction, I felt horror-struck. I trembled, and turned sick: but being determined to see the whole to an end, I kept my station at the window. The sufferer, writhing like a wounded worm, every time the lash cut across his body, cried out, Lord! Lord! Lord!' When he had received about twenty lashes, the driver stopped to pull up the poor man's shirt (or rather smock-frock), which had worked down upon his galled posteriors. The suf. ferer then cried, "Think me no man? Think mne no
man?' By that exclamation I understood him to say, Think you have not the feelings of a man?' The flogging was instantly recommenced and continued, the negro continuing to cry Lord Lord! Lord!' till thirty-nine lashes had been inflicted. When the man rose up from the ground, I perceived the blood oozing out from the lacerated and tumefied parts where he had been flogged; and he appeared greatly exhausted. But he was instantly ordered off to his usual occupation.
"The next was a young man apparently of eighteen or nineteen years of age. He was forced to uncover himself and lie down in the same mode as the former, and was held down by the hands and feet by four slaves, one of whom was a young man who was himself to be flogged next. This latter was a mulatto-the offspring, as I understood, of some European formerly on the estate by a negro woman, and consequently born to slavery. These two youths were flogged exactly in the Inode already described, and writhed and groaned under the lash, as if enduring great agony. The mulatto bled most, and appeared to suffer most acutely. They received each thirty-nine lashes. Their offence was some deficiency in the performance of the task prescribed to them. They were both ordered to join their gang as usual in the afternoon at cane-cutting.
"Two young women of about the same age were, one after the other, then laid down and held by four men, their back parts most indecently uncovered, and thirtynine lashes of the blood-stained whip inflicted upon each poor creature's posteriors. Their exclamation likewise was Lord! Lord! Lord!' They seemed also to suffer acutely, and were apparently a good deal lacerated. Another woman (the sixth offender) was also laid down and uncovered for the lash; but at the intercession of one of the drivers she was reprieved. The offence of these three women was similar to that of the two young men - some defalcation in the amount
"The overseer stood by and witnessed the whole of this cruel operation, with as much seeming indifference as if he had been paying them their wages. I was meanwhile perfectly unmanned by mingled horror and pity. Yet I have no reason to believe that the natural feelings of this young man (whose age did not exceed twenty-four years) were less humane or sensitive than iny own. But such is the callousness which constant familiarity with scenes of cruelty engenders. He had been a book-keeper, for four years previously, on another estate belonging to the same proprietors, and had been appointed overseer on this estate only a few months before. His reception of me when I arrived was so kind, frank, and cordial, that I could not have believed him, had I not seen it with my own eyes, to be capable of inflicting such cruelty on a fellow-creature.
"As soon as this scene was over, the overseer came into the hall, and asked me to drink some rum and water with him. I told him I was sick, and could taste nothing that I was in fact overwhelmed with horror at the scene I had just witnessed. He said it was not a pleasant duty certainly, but it was an indispensable one; and that I would soon get used, as others did, to such spectacles. I asked if he found it necessary to inflict such punishments frequently. He replied it was uncertain: I may not,' he said, 'have to do it again this month, or I may have to do it to-morrow.'
"This, my first full view of West India Slavery, occurred on the 4th of September, 1832, between twelve and two o'clock, being the day after my landing in the island, and within an hour after my arrival on the plantation."
We recommend all our readers to procure a copy of this Tract for preservation, as an illustration of West India Slavery.
PROLONGATION OF INFANT SLAVERY IN ENGLAND.
That they who have been accustomed to do evil should learn to do well, has been pronounced by the highest authority to be as impossible as for the Ethiopian to change his skin, or the leopard his spots. It is on this principle alone to be accounted for, that the Factory Slaveholders should cling to the grasp they have fastened on the unfortunate children of their countrymen, notwithstanding the universal cry that has been rai ed against their nefarious and destructive system.
Long and lamentable experience has shown, that when the love of gain once takes firm possession of the heart, honour and conscience, the rights of man and the laws of God, are alike sacrificed to the indulgence of the darling passion. The praiseworthy efforts made on behalf of the unhappy victims of the Factory System, have for the present been rendered abortive by the exertions of those interested in the continuance of this foul blot upon our Christian name and character:and upon what plea? Upon the flimsy pretext of not legislating without further evidence! Evidence indeed! Can volumes of new evidence set aside the value of that which is already recorded to the disgrace of our country? Will proof, if it be obtained, that A or B's factory is properly conducted, have any tendency to disprove the enormities already shown to exist? Would proof of my safe arrival at home last night avail in any degree to rebut the fact of another man having been waylaid and murdered? The pretence is too contemptible to deceive the weakest mind, and only shows in a clearer light the necessity of the law sought for, by the absence of any thing like a reasona ble ground for its refusal. What need of all this ado to show that factories are orderly and well-conducted establishments? If they be really so, the proposed law will not injure or interfere with them; if they are not, it is high time their abominations were put an end to.
Of this we may rest assured, that no exposure will rescue the unfortunate children from the grasp of avarice. The strong arm of the law alone can afford them any effectual protection. Mammon never quits his hold of his victims but by force. To the honourable merchants of Liverpool and Bristol, the clanking of the chains on board our slave ships made delightful music. The callous West Indian Slaveholder sees nothing in the condition of the wretched Negro, but an enviable state of easy servitude, and a comfortable provision in old age. Other honourable merchants find nothing amiss in the horrid orgies of Juggernaut. And the Cotton Factory Slaveholder takes credit to himself for the employment he furnishes to his poor neighbours, and reads the inflated accounts that are published from time to time of the wonders of steam, and the import ance of the cotton trade, with feelings of pride in the vast consequence he supposes it imparts to himself. All act from one principle: that love of money which is the root of all evil, has blinded their eyes to the miseries they inflict upon their fellow-creatures, and rendered them deaf to the voice of humanity.
I hope, Mr. Editor, the Christian public will not suffer this pretence for delay to be any bar to their exertions against so monstrous an evil. Let us not cease for a moment to petition, and urge, and remonstrate, and leave no lawful means unresorted to for the overthrow of an abomination lamented by every humane mind at home, pointed at with scorn abroad, and which must be abundantly provoking in the eyes of Him to whom the cry of the oppressed is never raised in vain.
Anniversaries of Religious and Benevolent Societies.
WESLEYAN MISSIONARY SOCIETY. THIS valuable Society held its anniversary at Exeter Hall, on Monday, April 29, the Right Hon. Lord Morpeth in the chair. After singing the 100th Psalm, and prayer by the Rev. J. Entwistle, a very interesting Report of the Society's labours and successes during the past year was read by the Rev. J. Beecham and the Rev. R. Alder; from which it appeared, that there are in the schools in the Wesleyan Mission 27,676 children and adults, of whom 4,571 are slaves. The contributions for the past year amounted to 47,715l. 12s. 7d. being the largest amount yet realized from the ordinary sources of the Society.
It will be truly gratifying to every real Christian to find the increasing catholic spirit which prevails in this, as it advances we trust in every other Missionary society. This is evident from the speakers being of different denominations. The resolutions were moved and seconded by the Rev. J. Hannah, of Huddersfield, Methodist; the Rev. G. Clayton, of Walworth, Independent; Captain Pakenham, R. N. Churchman; John Hardy, Esq. M. P. Recorder of Leeds, Churchman; Rev. P. Duncan, Wesleyan Missionary from Jamaica; H. Pownal, Esq. Churchman; T. F. Buxton, Esq. M. P. Churchman; Captain Fenton, M. P. for Huddersfield; the Rev. R. Newton, President of the Methodist Conference; Thomas Guest, M. P.; the Rev. E. Ryerson, Missionary from Upper Canada; Lancelot Haslope, Esq. Treasurer of the Society; and J. Heald, Esq. of Stockport. The inost delightful spirit of Christian piety and zeal seemed to pervade the meeting, and a determination to pursue the glorious work, depending on the gracious influences of the Holy Spirit.
BRITISH AND FOREIGN BIBLE SOCIETY. THE Twenty-ninth Anniversary of this great Institution was held at Exeter Hall on Wednesday the 1st of May. The chair was taken by the Right Hon. Lord Bexley. An abstract of the Report of the Society being read, it appeared that the cause of the Bible is gloriously progressing in almost every part of the world. A measure of gloom seemed to be thrown over the meeting by the announcement, that the receipts of the Society were less by about 6000/. this year than the last; but the friends of the Bible seemed alive to the interests of the Society; acknowledgments of too little zeal were made on the part of some of the speakers, and professions of more determined devotedness to promote its prosperity. Several donations were sent up to the chairman during the meeting, one of 1001. another of 50%. and several of 107. as evidence of a resolution to make up the deficiency. The meeting was addressed by the Bishop of Winchester; Joseph John Gurney; a member of the Society of Friends; Dr. Cox, a Presbyterian minister from America; Shepherd, Esq. of Frome, we believe a Baptist; Rev. J. Entwistle, Methodist; Dr. Pinkerton, Agent to the Society at Frankfort; Hon. and Rev. Baptist Noel, Minister of the Episcopal chapel, Bedford Row; Dr. Morison, of Chelsea, Independent;
Plumptree, Esq. M. P. for East Kent; Rev. D. Wilson, Vicar of Islington; Lord Mountsandford; and the Bishop of Chester.
Scriptural, elevated piety appeared eminently to pervade the minds of the speakers: the communications of Dr. Cox of New York were peculiarly gratifying; especially relating to the progress of religion in America, and the printing at the American Bible Society's establishment at New York of a thousand Bibles per day!
Dr. Pinkerton assured the meeting that the government of France, having thrown off Popery as the established church, was favourable to the admission of the New Testament as a school-book. May this glorious cause prosper throughout the world, till "all flesh shall see the salvation of God!"
CHURCH MISSIONARY SOCIETY.
ON Tuesday, April 30, the Thirty-third Anniversary Meeting of this excellent Society was held at Exeter Hall. Prayer having been offered up by the Secretary, Sir R. H. Inglis, Bart. was unanimously called to the chair. The Secretary read an abstract of the Report, full of interesting details of the progress of the institution. The receipts of the Society during the past year, ending March 31, were 48,600.; to which benefactions for special purposes being added, the whole amount would be 49,300. being an increase of about 7,850. on the receipts of the preceding year. The Bishop of Chester, the Hon. and Rev. Baptist Noel, the Bishop of Lichfield and Coventry, the Rev. Hugh Stowell, the Bishop of Winchester, the Rev. E. Bickersteth, the Marquis of Cholmondeley, the Rev. G. Hazlewood, the Rev. H. Venu, and the Rev. E. Ward, advocated the claims of the Society with much zeal and eloquence; after which this interesting meeting was closed by singing, "From all that dwell below the skies," &c.
We were particularly impressed with the speech of the Rev. B. Noel. "Let the meeting," said that eloquent clergyman, "consider what was the present extent of missionary labours, or rather of missionary means, in the whole Christian world. He meant, of course, Protestant missions. The entire number of clergymen employed in those labours throughout the world, did not exceed 600; and if to these were added 400 laymen, they would have an aggregate of 1,000; and these were the whole to preach the Gospel to the heathen world, comprising 600,000,000 of souls. That was, there was one missionary to every 600,000 heathens. What would the Meeting think of one clergyman for the entire principality of Wales? - or two for the whole metropolis? or four for Scotland?—or only twenty for the whole island? - for that was about the proportion. What, he would ask, could be expected from the exertions of that number of clergymen spread over so large a sphere of action? Where the means were small, how was it possible to expect great results? We should rather be thankful that so much was done with such small means at our disposal. Let them suppose the missionary at Benares, where there were 300,000 idolaters. After the missionary had mastered a language so very difficult and so widely different from his own, what was he alone to do in a city crowded with Bramins, whose belief in their own faith, if it was not one of conviction, was upheld by their interests?—But there was another difficulty which the missionary had to encounter. It was, that even where he might produce conviction on the mind of the Hindoo, the convert was deterred from an open profession of Christianity, as it would take him from his family and his friends, and cast him out on the world. Under such circumstances, the missionary at Benares would despair if he were not upheld by confidence in Him in whose cause he had embarked. It was that alone that could sustain him in his task, rather than any appeals from the Society at home, however strong or affectionate. Were they not then too sanguine in their expectations of what could be done by individual exertion?-They had an encouragement in the great increase of their funds in this year. But their funds came from probably 3,000 churches in the country. Why should not each church exert itself to give an increased stimulus to missionary exertions?