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conduct to motives: he must have learned the value of such observations, before he will heartily and therefore successfully engage in them. All moralizing to children respecting the intentions of princes and statesmen in their various acts of legislation, the influence of their private views and interests upon their public measures, the insignificance of the causes from which the migh tiest events have sprung, the utility for which Divine Providence overruled the malicious designs of heroes, and all similar deductions, inferences, and speculations, ought not to be required of children, and are lost upon them. This use of history can indeed be scarcely derived from any but the fullest, and most impartial documents; and these are accessible but to few. This philosophical use of history is serviceable but to very few persons, chiefly to senators, &c.; and as it is one of the highest occupations of the human mind, so it can only be undertaken successfully by a highly cultivated understanding, and under the advantage of the greatest leisure. It is the occupation of a retired statesman. The ordinary and obvious lessons of history, which force themselves upon our view, should indeed be pointed out to children: of this nature are, the unjustifiableness of injurious undertakings, their prosperity for a time perhaps, but the final misery of the perpetrators; the odiousness of cruelty or injustice; the excellence and moral loveliness of amiable, virtuous, and useful characters; the misery occasioned by war, and the blessings of peace and good governinent, &c.
It may be useful to require, as an exercise once every week, that your son should, while reading history, write out from recollection the account of any particular person or event, and describe the impression which it has made upon his own mind. You will look over these very carefully, and correct any errors of orthography and punctuation which they may contain: these should all be preserved. He will thus be insensibly accustomed to express his sentiments in writing, and will gain an English style much sooner and better than if he were required to write an exercise. The utmost simplicity, which is the basis of style, should be required in these compositions: this, together with perspicuity, seem to be the two chief objects of attention, needful to the young writer.
I am, dear Madam, yours, &c.
EVER charming, ever new,
When will the landscape tire the view?
Now, even now, my joys run high,
THOUGHTS ON THE SACRED HISTORY OF
THE creation of man is placed by the Mosaic narration immediately after the completion of the animal kingdom: "And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth." It was a superb destiny that man should be appointed to be the image and likeness of God; but it is here emphatically revealed to us that this was the object of his creation, and as such demands our most intellectual meditation. Let us consider the means by which this sublime result was intended to be produced.
Man consists, like the animal classes, of a material body, and of an immaterial principle of intellectual life. But he differs from them in this great and distinguishing peculiarity, that his mental principle is of a diviner nature, and is stated to have originated from the Deity himself. For after mentioning his formation from earthly elements, the dust of the ground, the sacred record expressly adds, that his Creator "breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul." No difference of origin could be more distinctly marked. The regal Solomon has very impressively signified his clear perception of it, by these words: "Then shall the dust return to the earth, as it was; and the spirit shall return unto God, who gave it." The origin of the soul therefore was the Divine breath: it is an emanation from the Divine Spirit; and in this sacred source of its existence, its similitude to its Creator began. Its intellectual and moral powers and qualities may be assumed to have a proportioned resemblance in essential nature, though but in remote miniature and infinitely inferior. He has made our intelligent spirit in such a likeness to his own, that there can be intercourse and communion and sympathy and affection between man and his God. We are essentially his image and likeness in our original nature and capacities, and the more we advance to all the attainable perfections of our being, the more complete the actual assimilation will become.
Thus capacitated to receive and comprehend the ideas and sentiments of the Divine mind, an ample store of these was prepared in the rich and multifarious creations of its provided habitation. The various departments of nature which have been briefly recapitulated, the pla netary, the terraqueous, the vegetable, the animal, constitute, with His subsequent communications, the knowledge which He has appointed to be the knowledge of mankind. We must furnish our minds from this large and diversified provision: we must obtain this knowledge, or none. Another world will open a new scene of his creations; but in the present we can only obtain what is before us and about us: most of us are contented with a moderate portion; some with a very slight and superficial survey; others with almost none: this is left to our personal taste and choice: it is ever inviting us to make it our possession, and the reward of its acquirement is mental happiness.
We need not ask why that particular kind of knowledge which the earthly creations display, was appointed to form the mind of man; for the right answer must always be, that it is what the wisdom of the Creator has decided to be most proper for His human race, most beneficial, and most improving. Indeed all other kinds of knowledge would probably only have a similar result; for every sphere of being is but a varied portraiture of Himself; so far as it extends, each conveys to those who will duly contemplate its works, so much
of the Divine thoughts, feelings, and will, as its substances and agencies exemplify. Hence all kinds of knowledge from nature are valuable to us, and our own world as effective for our improvement as any other in this view is likely to be.
Independent of all metaphysical discrimination, the literature, the history, the arts, the mechanisms, and the manufactures of mankind. all that ennobles, enriches, and delights a cultivated nation- show at once with an irresistible certainty the immense superiority of the human soul. When our moral principles begin, when we rise beyond our animal wants and desires, when our improvabilities develop, we distinguish our spirit from the animal mind for ever. To none of these can that attain their faculties, instincts, and powers, are admirable for their class of being, and enlarge our notions of the benevolence as well as omnipotence of our common Maker; but they bear no comparison with the transcending capacity and qualities of their human
The soul of man indeed exhibits a greatness, a strength, penetration, and creative power, which urge us to inquire if any order of being, except the Divine Source, is superior to what the human now is, and will become in its most perfect state. Seraphic beings may differ in qualities and knowledge: they must do so, if their form and sphere be dissimilar to our own. Our knowledge is derived from our senses and external world, as theirs must also be. All knowledge gives power to its possessor, according to its nature: this power it produces in those who attain it, beyond what others have who are deficient in it. We have no personal knowledge that there are any beings in existence beside ourselves; but this is no reason for our denying or disbelieving that there are any. No educated nind can doubt that the universe is replenished with as many spheres of animated beings as there are orbs fitted for their abodes; but it does not follow that they are in spirit and intellect of a superior order to ourselves. If their worlds of residence were exactly like our earth, they could have no other materials of knowledge than those which we are enjoying, and would thereby only be on an equality with us; for dissimilitude is not in itself essential to superiority. But knowledge is only the furniture, the materials, and the instruments of the mind, and not the mind or spirit itself. This may be alike in all classes of intelligent being, and their dissimilarities of power and qualities may result from their material frame and appropriated world. The angelic classes and the human race may have the greatest resemblance to each other. There could be a Satan among angels, as well as an Adam among men. Both orders of being are therefore fallible; both furnish instances of transgression; and thus the suggestion, that the human spirit may, in its essential nature and in its powers and improvable capacities, be inferior to no order of being which the General Creator has been pleased to form, seems not to be an irrational or unwarranted conclusion.
One marking principle of the human soul is, that it progressively furnishes itself with knowledge, and forms its moral character. It is placed in a world full of the materials of knowledge, which it is to acquire. We strive by artificial tuition to give its thoughts and habits, during its younger period, the tendencies we prefer. Instruction is a great assistant; our own conduct a greater. Youth comprehend and imitate what they see, much more than they understand or apply what they hear. But in every instance it is self-formation which forms the matured spirit. It acquires its own sensations, makes its own perception, feels alone its own feelings, makes for itself its own reasonings, has and uses its own will, and forms its own judgment
and habits. By this separate self-agency, every soul, as its earthly life continues, forms itself into a personality which is peculiar to itself; which cannot but have many similarities to that in others, from possessing a like frame and living in the same society; but which always exhibits some qualities, habits, and feelings, particular to itself: and though the superior power of other persons or things may fetter its actions, it will still always be a peculiar self, a distinct personality, an individual being, feeling and thinking and wishing as it may like and choose.
With this principle of self-formation, the soul seems also to possess an indestructible property of self-will. No man thinks in all respects like another; and no man wills in all things like another. Each thinks and wills, as he sees, for himself. Self-will, or the willing according to his own nature, is therefore the inseparable property of every one. None can divest themselves of their will, more than of their thought: it has in this respect no master, and no overruling necessity: any compulsion comes not upon our will, but on our acting. We have a natural freedom of will, but not as free a power of acting upon our will. Even under the severest tortures, inflicted on purpose to compel him to will as his tormentors require, the human spirit has on numerous occasions proved that it not only will exert its freewill, but that it can even avow that it will continue to exercise its liberty. Even where it seems to yield to violence, it is rather an extorted submission than an actual surrender of its freedom: it wills to comply with the injunctions of the cruel power, but in its secret movements it wills also to hate the persecutor, and the conformity to which it assents. The will too never seems to change, but by its own choice. And for these reasons I infer, that this self-will, or free-will, is an essential property of the human soul, of which it cannot divest itself, or be divested.
(To be continued.)
OBSERVATIONS ON BEHAVIOUR IN THE
"Keep thy foot when thou goest to the house of God." Ec. v, 12. As men that walk in danger look to their steps, and take care where they set their feet; so he that enters the house of prayer, hath need to enter with great cautiousness and watchfulness. For he comes into the more immediate presence of God, who knows his thoughts, notices his designs, and looks into the secret recesses of his soul: observes his looks, and postures, and behaviour; and will at last call him to an account for his carelessness and irreverence. Were these things seriously thought of, how could the generality of us come into His house with no greater awe, and with as loose affections, as if we were going to a place of mere amusement? How durst we stare about in prayer? How could we let our thoughts rove and wander while we seem to be engaged in devotion? How could we hear with so much indifference? How could we apply ourselves to the duties required of us with that coldness which is so visible in most congregations? How could we turn our services into mere formalities, and stand before the great God unconcerned, and return from his house without a relish of the mysteries of godliness? To see what decency and gravity men observe in the presence of an earthly prince, and to think how little regard we have to the presence of a glorious and omnipotent God, in the house which he is pleased to call his tabernacle and dwelling-place, is enough to make the holy angels conclude, that in the midst of his temple we are infidels.
To see how supinely some sit at prayers, as if they were praying to a stock or stone;-to see how others compose themselves to sleep, as if the God they came to worship, with Baal, were asleep too, and they come to honour him with that posture; -to see how some come to show their finery, and to be seen and taken notice of, and to be admired by spectators;-to see how others strive for places, for superiority, and the chief seats in these synagogues, and there discover their pride, their anger, and their malice, where they ought to express their greatest humility and charity; -to see how others talk here of their worldly concerns; or, if they do not talk of them, yet act and behave themselves as if they thought of nothing else, where they should mind only the great concerns of their immortal souls ;-to see all this, what can we infer, but that men have no sense of the tremendous Majesty on high; no apprehension of the mysteries which the very angels desire to look into !
These things ought not so to be. When, therefore, thou goest to the temple of the Lord, remember, reader, the magnificence of that God at whose footstool thou goest to worship: when thou enterest the door of this sacred house, leave there thy worldly thoughts and carnal desires, and come filled with the Spirit into the tabernacle of the Lord; sit, and stand, and kneel there as before the Searcher of all hearts; resolve to come away thence edified, and with a greater store of spiritual blessings than thou hadst before. In praying, fix thy thoughts upon Him who heareth prayer; and if thou dost, thou canst not but appear in such a posture as doth best express thy inward sense of His greatness and holiness. In hearing, apply the general admonitions, and exhortations, and reproofs, to thine own soul. In reading, make some spiritual reflection on the examples, precepts, and promises that are brought before thee. In singing, mind the matter more than the tune. At thy going into the house of the Lord, beg of God to prepare thy heart: at thy coming out, beg that thou mayest not lose the things that have been wrought in thee;-this is to "Keep thy foot when thou goest into the house of God." May the Spirit of God and of his Christ be granted unto thee, that thou mayest be enabled to profit by these admonitions. W. E. H.
THOUGHTS ON NEGRO SLAVERY. MR. EDITOR,
THE very affecting pamphlet lately published by Mr. Whitely on the present state of our Negro brethren in Jamaica, has given rise to the following thoughts, which I offer for insertion in the Christian's Penny Magazine. They might have been much amplified, but I wish not to occupy too large a space in your valuable Miscellany.
1. The first and most obvious reflection is, that Slavery presents the same hideous features now that it did forty years ago. Time has not at all changed that deformity which is natural to this monstrous product of human depravity. All the highly-varnished stories we have heard from the parties interested in the continuance of the system, about the improvement in the condition of the Slaves, and the amelioration of their sufferings, disappear like dew in the morning sun before this plain statement of facts, which shows West Indian Slavery to be the same compound of cruelty and impurity that it ever has been; and shuts us up to the conclusion, that it is as unalterable in its nature as it is accursed in its effects.
2. We see in the next place the total falsehood of the pretended desire on the part of the planters to dò any
thing for improving the moral condition of their victims. They are well aware that Slavery and Knowledge cannot exist together, and they therefore systematically and strenuously oppose every effort for enlightening the Negro mind, and thus rendering him capable at any time, however distant, of enjoying the blessings of freedom.
3. From this it seems to follow of course, that one of two things must be chosen: either to leave the unhappy African to the miseries of interminable slavery; or to dissolve at once the tie between him and his master. Let us not deceive ourselves: there is no middle way the planter must cease to have a property in his black brother, or the cruelties of the one and the suf ferings of the other can never terminate.
4. One cannot but be deeply affected at the influence of the Slave system upon those by whom it is carried The bodily sufferings of the Negro are indeed sufficient to make us shudder at their contemplation; but to what condition is the oppressor brought by the exercise of these cruelties? Who can contemplate without horror the adamantine state of that man's heart, who can order and witness the infliction of such tortures on his fellow-creatures, and then sit down to enjoy himself "with as much unconcern as if he had been only paying them their wages?" Who can read this record of the impurities of their life, without feeling that they are morally sunk far, very far, below the victims of their cruelty and lust? Who can witness their unceasing efforts to shut out the light of truth, and not see that they are themselves in the most awful subjection to the prince of darkness?
5. It seems clear that emancipation and evangelization ought to go hand in hand in this great work. Nothing but the light of the glorious Gospel can effect that change in the Negro, which will render him fit to enjoy liberty; and nothing but the influence of the same Gospel can change his flinty-hearted master from his present worse than brutalized condition, to become a fit ruler over his brethren in this world, or to escape that tremendous judgment which awaits him in the world to come.
6. Let all, then, who feel as they ought their duty in this great matter, use their utmost efforts for breaking at once and for ever the chains of the Negro. This is the grand object to be accomplished: minor considerations may be left open to discussion; but the great work must not in any degree be compromised-the total and final extinction of Slavery. The glorious day has dawned; and we may at length rejoice in the prospect of the elevation of our coloured brethren to their proper rank in the human family. And let us be equally zealous in the support of our persecuted Missionaries, those angels of mercy, who at the peril of their lives are devoting themselves to this labour of love: never omitting to do all with fervent prayer and entire dependence on HIM who hath "made us all of one blood," and who for our encouragement has himself pronounced, "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy."
"THE WAY OF SALVATION."
ACTS XVI, 17.
THE redemption of man, and the restoration of our fallen race to the favour of Almighty God, arising from the infinite grace of that God, and secured by his thoughts of love and promises of mercy towards us, were the themes of prophecy, the expectation of patriarchs and prophets, and the constant subject of glorious anticipation.
Thus the Almighty by his prophet declares to us, that "His righteousness was near-His salvation was gone forth," Isa. li, 5; "That his salvation should be for ever, and his righteousness should not be abolished," ver. 6; and in another place, "That all the ends of the earth should see the salvation of our God." Iзa. lii, 10. The Hebrew monarch gloried in the character of God when he exclaimed, "Our God is the God of salvation," Ps. lxviii, 20; and so earnestly did he, amongst the worthies of old, desire to know more of this great and unutterable blessing, that he tells us, that "his eyes failed (Ps. cxix, 123), and his "heart fainted (ver. 81) for the salvation of God."
Now, dear reader, what is this salvation to which our Creator has so earnestly invited our attention; which prophets and patriarchs so anxiously desired; which apostles and evangelists preached, and dying saints and martyrs have gloried in? Yes, the fulness of time spoken of in the Scriptures has come, Gal. iv, 4; "Life and immortality have been brought to light through the gospel," 2 Tim. i, 10. Let the word of inspiration proclaim its message to you.
But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; to declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus." Rom. iii, 21-26.
You have surely heard of this most blessed Saviour, God in our nature, 1 Tim. iii, 16, "The one mediator between God and man," 1 Tim. ii, 5. You must have heard of him, of his pure and spotless life, of his death on the cross, where he died "the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God," I Pet. iii, 18. You must have heard of his glorious resurrection and ascension, Ps. Ixviii, 18; Eph. iv, 8; and of his prevalent intercession before the throne of God for us, Heb. vii, 25. "It is finished," were the last words of our divine Saviour, John xix, 30; and blessed be God that it is a finished salvation for us; yes, "Christ died for us," 1 Thess. v, 10; and all are invited "to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and be saved,” Acts xvi, 31. His servants are commissioned to "preach the gospel to every creature," Mark xvi, 15; and "let him that heareth say, come" (Rev. xxii, 17), to his neighbour, and so on from one to another, until these glad tidings of great joy are conveyed over our world. Yes, God is the author of salvation (Heb. v, 9); man is its object; Christ Jesus is "the way, the truth, and the life," John xiv, 16; "He is for salvation to the ends of the earth," Isa. xlv, 22. "In him are all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge," Col. ii, 3; "In him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily," Col. ii, 9; and "He came into the world to save sinners," 1 Tim. i, 15. And God, the eternal Spirit, whose aid will be given to us, and who taketh of the things of Jesus, will reveal
them to those, who feeling their sin and misery, cry out with the publican of old, "God be merciful to me a sinner," Luke xviii, 13. This blessed Spirit will purify and renew the soul, and by his all-powerful influence lead you up, to see in God, through Christ Jesus, a reconciled Father and an Almighty Friend.
Reader, surely you must have heard of these things: but have you duly regarded them? Have you sought "this great salvation?" Have you found this mighty Saviour? "For as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name," John i, 12. If Christ has been formed in you "the hope of glory" (Gal. iv, 19), then "the pearl of great price "(Matt. xiii, 46), is yours; and connected with this great salvation, all blessings both for time and eternity are yours. 1 Cor. iii, 22.
But, reader, and fellow-pilgrim towards eternity, if you do not know God as your God" (Ps. xlviii, 14), Christ as 66 your Saviour" (John xx, 28), and the Holy Spirit as your sanctifier and guide" (John xvi, 13); If you are yet in your sins," unconverted, unreconciled to God by Christ Jesus, "far off from God,” and "an enemy in your mind by wicked works," Col. i, 21; if you have never yet solemnly asked the question, "What must I do to be saved" (Acts xvi, 30), and had it satisfactorily answered; if you have never yet cried out from your inmost soul, "Lord, save me or I perish," Matt. viii, 25;-oh! be warned: "Fly from the wrath to come." Matt. iii, 7. Delay not a moment: fly, it is for more than life. The happiness of your soul for eternity is at stake (Matt. xvi, 26). There is no promise to delay. The invitations of God are immediate. "To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your heart." Ps. xcv, 7, 8. "Now is the accepted time, now is the day of salvation." 2 Cor. vi, 2. "There is no other name given among men whereby they may be saved, but that of Jesus Christ."
But where will you fly? Where can you fly from the wrath of a holy God? God himself points you now to the city of refuge. "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sins of the world!" Jolin i, 29. The gates of this city are "open continually night and day." Rev. xxi, 25. And the Saviour is as willing as he is powerful, and as able as he is willing. Hear his own most gracious words. (And can you reject such love? Can you treat it with unconcern or delay?) "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have everlasting life." Johu iii, 16. "In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace," Eph. i, 7. "And him hath God exalted with his right hand, to be a prince and a Saviour, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins." Acts v, 31. And that Saviour is calling to you, Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." Matt. xi, 28. "Ho! every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters" (Isa. li, 1), "and take of the waters of life freely," Rev. xxii, 17. And "him that cometh I will in no wise cast out" (John vi, 37). "He is able to save to the uttermost all that come unto God by him." Heb. vii, 25.
And now farewell: "search the Scriptures." John v, 30; whether these things are so or not. And "may the grace of God that bringeth salvation" (Titus ii, 11), and the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost be with you, for Christ's sake. Amen.
A single intention to please God, and to approve ourselves to Him, should animate and govern all that we do in His service.
THE NEGRO'S LIBERTY.
LOUD let the trumpet sound,
Thou birthright of mankind,
By God most high design'd
The boon of all to be.
Hail, heaven-born child, sweet Liberty!
For thee our fathers bled,
The good, the great, the wise;
To gain the glorious prize!
Bright gem, that sparkles through our coast,
Here pause, my Muse, to sigh,
The cause I blush to own;
For those who freedom prize:
Rouse, Christian Britons, rouse !
King, Lords, and Commons, rise!
Attend their groans and cries.
The patriot answers "No!"
It shall not be of Britain said,
Do not the angels wait,
The joyful news to bear
To the celestial gate,
That all heaven's hosts may hear, And hearing tune their golden lyres,
And freedom chaunt through all their choirs? Thou Lord of earth and skies,
We turn from all to thee;
Do thou in mercy rise,
And set th' oppressed free.
In answer to the prayers
Shall chase our fears away.
The trump shall sound the jubilee, —
THE BISHOP AND THE POOR MAN. How frequently does the tried Christian mistake his troubles for proofs of his heavenly Father's displeasure!
It is related, that a poor but worthy inhabitant of Paris once went to the bishop of the place, with a countenance beclouded, and a heart almost overwhelmed."Father," said he, with the most profound humility, "I am a sinner-I feel that I am a sinner; but it is against my will. Every hour I ask for light, and humbly pray for faith; but still I am overwhelmed with doubts. Surely if I were not despised of God, he would not leave me to struggle thus with the adversary of souls."
The bishop thus consoled, with the language of kindness, his sorrowing son. The king of France has two castles in different situations, and sends a commander to each of them. The castle of Montelberry stands in a place remote from danger, far inland: but the castle of La Rochelle is on the coast, where it is liable to continual sieges. Now which of the two commanders, think you, stands the highest in the estimation of the king, the commander of La Rochelle, or he of Montelberry?" 'Doubtless," said the poor man, "the king values him the most who has the hardest task, and braves the greatest dangers." "Thou art right," replied the bishop: "and now apply this matter to thy case and mine; for my heart is like the castle of Montelberry, and thine like that of La Rochelle."
STATE OF THE ESTABLISHED CHURCH IN IRELAND.
THE REV. Robert Adam, M. A. an English clergyman, gives the following account of the "Irish church." "In Ireland there are about 2,246 parishes, of which 293 are in the gift of the Crown, 367 in that of laymen, 21 in that of Trinity college, 1,470 in that of the bishops, &c. &c. The archbishop of Dublin presents to 144 livings, the bishop of Ferns to 171, the bishop of Cloyne to 106, and the bishop of Kildare to 131."
"By the fifth article of the Union in 1800, the United Church is the only church recognized in Ireland; yet her members are comparatively few, not being supposed to exceed 400,000, whereas her revenues are immense."-Religious World displayed, abridgment, p. 204.
By an account recently presented to the House of Commons, and printed by its authority, it appears that the number of benefices in Ireland of above 2000. a year in value is eleven, one of them being of the annual value of 2,800/.; of those above 1,000l. and under 2,000. value, the number is 91; of 750l. to 1,000. there are 96; of 500l. to 750l. there are 425 livings; and all the remaining livings in Ireland, to the number of 583, are below the annual value of 250/. many of them being very considerably below that amount.
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