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kites; and, as the ark was sometimes called Libanah, it is probable, that mount Libanus received its name from the ark. The arkite memorials passed from E gypt and Syria to Phrygia and Pontus, and thence to Thrace, and the cities of Greece. They were received in Europe by the Hetruria, Celta, and Suevi. Tacitus says this people worshipped Isis, an ark or ship, being the chief object of their devotion. The arkite rites, it appears from Bryant, prevailed in Britain, in the island of Mona, and in the Hebrides. Perhaps the ark of the covenant, so sacred among the Israelites, might have a primary reference to the covenant of Noah. As the stone tables of the law were kept in this ark, so the Chinese kept their books of divination in a sacred ark. The Islanders of O. taheite have a sacred ark, precisely of the same dimensions with the ark of the covenant, in which is preserved a bundle of feathers, and a sacred Teraphim, without which their chief priest says he could do nothing.
Mention has been made of the eight original gods of Egypt, the number of persons, saved in the ark; they were described in a boat. A like remarkable reference to the number eight is exhibited in the history of Mount Ararat; it was called Thamanim, and a town near the foot of the mountain was called by the same name. Thaman signified eight. The Cuthites, the posterity ofChus and Ham, worshipped Noah under the name of Nusos and Dionu$os. The worship of the dove and other circumstances relating to the deluge, interwoven with all the ceremonies of the eastern world, were in Babylonia repre
sented in hieroglyphick symbols. In, the history of the Sparti are constant allusions to the deluge. In China we have the history of Noah in their Sin Num and Sin Noo. He was a husbandman, and taught mankind agriculture. His picture is highly csteemed by the Chinese. In Jap an are numerous memorials of the flood in their religious rites. The sacred cow or steer is venerated; the deity, as in the arkite worship of many other nations, is represented on a lotus, and upon a tortoise, and sometimes proceeding from a fish.
The whole of these facts, in a new and satisfactory manner, bring evidence from remotest ages and most distant countries, to which we have access, to support the Mosaick history of a universal deluge. This great event is universally known, and though the memorials have been abused, traditions have been preserved with great reverence in all the rites and ceremonies of the gentile world; and the further we go back, the more vivid and exact is the history, especially in the countries near the residence of Noah. Were the story a fable, the reverse of this would be the fact the more ancient our inquiries, and the nearer the scene we approached, the less light we should discover, till entire darkness would terminate the search. Nor could there have been such likeness and harmony in the traditions of different ages and countries, wide as the world apart, unless they had been founded in truth. Certain therefore it is, that God did bring a flood of waters, and all the high hills, that were under the whole heav en, were covered. PHILO.
(To be continued.)
For the Panoplist.
ON THE IMMUTABILITY OF RELIGION.
It would be a great omiffion, in one, who undertakes to prove the immutability of evangelical relig. in, not to confider the fameness of the human character. The natural character of mankind is indeed capable of an aftonishing variety of vifible forms. But it is not difficult to fhow that all thefe vifible forms belong to characters, which are in reality alike. I fhall exemplify this remark in one particular inftance. Avarice may be the ruling paffion of men, whofe vifible conduct is exceedingly various. One may pursue his object by open difhonefty. Another having more difcernment, may conceal his villany, and purfae his object by fecret difhonefty. Another, whofe heart is equally covetous, attending to the maxim, that honefty is the best policy, may feek to gratify his criminal paffion by fair and honourable means. This example is defigned to guard you against fuppofing, that the human character really varies according to its varied exterior form. To prevailing fashion, to popular opinion, and to outward culture, in connection with the power of the selfifh affections, may be afcribed all the diverfity, which marks the character of unrenewed men. In what was the polished Greek really better than the rudeft barbarians? Did all his wisdom, all his refinement bring him any nearer, than they were, to the confines of true goodness? Let facts decide. When the gospel, which is the fureft teft of character, was preached by the apoftles, did it not meet as ftubborn resistance from the boafted wifdom of the
Greek, as from the ignorance and cruelty of barbarians?
It is fondly imagined by fome, that thofe paffages of inspiration, which contain the most finished defcription of human depravity, are peculiar to the idolatrous, abandoned heathen, and, with few lamented exceptions, are inapplicable to the chriftianized world. But, my brother, I hope you will not adopt this conftruction of fcripture without much careful inquiry. What, then, is the language which the gospel utters to every child of Adam ? Repent, and believe. Thus all men are confidered, as on a level; as finners, needing repentance, and dependent for falvation on the Lord Jefus Chrift. With perfons of a different description the gofpel has no concern.
Attend carefully to the treatment, which the gospel has received from mankind. Where has it found the most infurmountable obftacles? By whom has it been oppofed with the greatest violence, and trampled upon with the moft malignant fcorn? Has it not often been by men of science, and of decent and polished exteri or? Have not fuch evinced by, at laft flighting the gospel, that they poffefs the fame fpirit with the openly vicious; the fame character with unbelieveing Jews and gentile idolaters?
But, my dear brother, there is no need of amplifying. For it is to be prefumed, that mankind, in all ages and circumstances, have the fame character, unless there is evidence of the contrary; unles fome adequate caufe of difference can be affigned. What is that caufe? Does the blood of corrupt human nature become purified, by paffing through the veins of many generations? Does the
moral disease of man exhauft its own force and cure itself by the violence of its efforts? Or do men learn to be good from the increafing multitude of bad examples? This, furely, is not the leffon of experience. What, then is the precife caufe of the meliorated temper of the unrenewed heart ? What is the reafon, that mankind at this day are fuppofed to be less depraved, and to need a lefs extensive renovation, than in former and more uncultivated ages? You fpeak of improvements in philofophy in all the arts and fciences in the ftate of society, in the fenfibilities and manners of people. But what efficacy have fuch improvements to mend the heart? The caufe affigned muft be adequate to the fuppofed effect. The remedy must be adapted to the nature of the disease.
It is granted, that the improvements of thefe laft ages are very valuable. But let it be remembered they are not improvements in fpiritual things; they are not improvements in the religious temper and practice of men. How can it be conceived that the refinements of science and tafte have power to eradicate evil paflions, or purify the foul from the detefted leprofy of fin? Intellectual improvements have an influence on our intellectual character, but not on our moral ftate. To understand better than the unconverted Corinthians, did, the law of gravitation, and the principles of chymistry and electricity does not render our fpiritual condition lefs criminal and hazardous, than theirs was; unless it can be made to appear, that fome chymical procels or electrical experiment can reform the depraved heart, and render men obedient and pious.
Now who would fuppofe, that a moral disease can be cured by an intellectual application? Who would fuppofe that the diftemper of fin can find any remedy in the extenfive difcoveries made of the fecret virtues of plants and minerals, or the many fuccefsful refearches into the regions of antiquity?
Why, then, is it irhagined, that mankind, in thefe fcientifick and polifhed ages, need a lefs confiderable change, than they did in all the times of Christ and his apoftles? Then it was deemed neceffary for a man to be born again in order to enter into the kingdom of heaven. Then it might be faid of believers, that they were what they were, by the grace of God; that in them old things had paffed away, and all things become new.
The fame lan
guage was common among the faithful race, who firft peopled New England. But by many it is now efteemed unmeaning cant, the obfolete dialect of fuperftition, ignorance, and enthufiafm. It is confidently believed and afferted, that men may become virtuous and religious without fuch a great and remarkable change, and that there is not at this day fuch an immediate and entire dependence on the efficacious Spirit and grace of God, as was felt at the first eftablishment of christianity. Men are now lefs indebted to God for falvation, and more indebted to the power of reafon and correct tafte, in fhort, more indebted to themselves, than the faints were anciently. Accordingly, it is with lefs propriety and emphasis, that they can now adopt fcripture phrafeology, and literally afcribe converfion and falvation to God. God had a great harveft of glory in the falvation of thofe, who were
taken from the regions of idolatry and ignorance. But now the affairs of religion proceed more according to the principles of human nature, and the common laws, which regulate the moral world. This, my brother, is the fpirit of modern liberality. But if, upon impartial examination, it appear, that the natural character of men is at all times the fame, that finners are as depraved, as criminal, as helpless in these ages of literary improvement, as they were in times of former igno. rance; we must conclude they need a moral change of the fame greatnefs and extent. The foundation of faving religion must still be laid in regeneration by divine power. Sinners how fair foever their vifible character, muft be created in Christ Jefus unto good works; must be washed, must be juftified, must be fanctified in the name of the Lord Jefus and by the Spirit of their God. By the fame kind of repentance, as primitive converts exercised, they must turn from fin to God. With the fame humility, felf abhorrence and fubmiffion they must come to Chrift, and with the fame love and confidence receive him in all his offices. After converfion, they must maintain the fame holy canteft with the inveterate corruptions of the heart. They must be led by the fame fpirit; and through that Spirit they must mortify unholy affections, and gain a victory over fin. In fhort, they must be able to adopt the modeft, felfabafing, and yet triumphant language of apoftolick piety, "I am crucified with Chrift nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Chrift liveth in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh,
I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me." This, my dear brother, was the fpirit of primitive chriftianity. This is the fpirit of true chriftianity now, and at all times.
Dear brother, I use this unreferved freedom, because I with to fhield you from danger, and to promote your endless felicity. Your everlafting intereft lies near my heart. No earthly pleasure can be compared with the tender, grateful, exulting joy I fhould feel in your falvation. For this, my hope is in God. This fubject is of the first importance to you and to me. Let me then request you to take a careful furvey of primitive chrif. tianity. Behold its diftinguish. ing, its celeftial features. Then furvey the prevailing, fashionable religion of nominal chriftians at this day of boatted improvement. Befide the empty name, what refemblance do you find? Have not the bulk of thofe, who profefs to believe the Bible, loft fight of their pattern and guide, and turned to follow the God of this world. If apoftolick religion is the ftandard; did not our beloved parents, did not our forefathers, though not to be accounted perfect, far excel the latitudinarians of the age? And is not our wide departure from the puritan religion of New England a lamentable and hazardous experi ment?
Hoping, my dear brother, foon to hear from you, I bid you adieu. Receive in kindness what was prompted by the tender and faithful affection of your brother.
To the Editors of the Panoplist. DR. AUGUSTUS HERMANNUS FRANK, FORMERLY PROFESSOR OF DIVINITY IN THE UNIVERSITY OF HALLE, IN SAXONY.
WHEN this celebrated Professor was first settled as a minister at Glaucha, in conformity to the custom of persons of wealth and benevolence in that part of Germany, he appointed a day in every week to dispense alms to the poor, at his own house. Their miseries, but especially their gross ignorance and wickedness, very sensibly touched his heart. He was above all, affected to see such numbers of children, growing up in that dissolute way of life. resolved to make an attempt for their spiritual, as well as bodily relief. Accordingly every Thurs day, which was his day for distributing alms, he invited the poor, old and young, who came into his house; and there, beside giving them money, instructed the children, in the presence of the elder persons, in the principles of religion, and concluded with prayer. This exercise commenced in the beginning of the year 1694. The number of the poor, who attended on these occasions, (many of them, probably for the sake of the alms) soon increased, and the charges also increasing, obliged the Professor to seek assistance in carrying on this good work. For this purpose he placed an alms box in his parlour, with these words written over it: "Whoso hath this world's goods, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him; how dwelleth the love of God in him?" And under it," Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give, not grudgingly, nor of necessity; for
God loveth a cheerful giver." About a quarter of a year, after this box was set up, a person put in 18s. 6d. When the Professor took this trifle from the box, he said, in full assurance of faith, "This is now a considerable fund, worthy to be laid out in some important undertaking; I will therefore take this for the foundation of a charity school." He immediately with eight shillings of it purchased some suitable books, and hired a poor student to teach the children two hours in a day. When his stock was nearly expended, some friends contributed more. He resolved to choose twelve of the most hopeful of the children, and to venture upon their maintenance and education. When this little beginning was known abroad, contributions were sent, to aid in prosecuting so good a design. One person gave a thousand crowns; two others contributed four hundred. Upon this a house was purchased, and converted into a hospital for poor orphans. This was in the year 1696. His funds increasing, he built a commodious hospital. He now formed the design of making indigent scholars a part of his care. This enlargement of his design, rendered necessary a building that would accommodate at least 200 persons: yet his stock of money was not sufficient to enable him to build even a small cottage. His faith, however, raised him above all discouragements. The foundation of a spacious hospital was laid July 13, 1698, IN THE NAME OF GOD, without any settled fund, or so much as a promise of assistance in completing it, from any individual. Such was the support he received, that in 1702, the hospital was fia