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after the fall, Adam, for the first time, endeavoured to conceal himself from his pure and beneficent Creator, saying, "I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself." Man, however, has ever been sensible of his physical and intellectual weakness, and of his consequent dependence on higher powers. Unable, therefore, longer to endure the infinite justice and purity of the triune God revealed in the Bible, he endeavoured to discover some other being or beings on whom he might safely depend; i. e. excelling in power and dignity, and therefore able to protect him; yet inferior in moral perfections to that omnipotent Jehovah whom he had so deeply offended by his transgressions.
The term idolatry signifies the act of worship or adoration, which is due to God ouly, paid to some created being or beings, generally through the medium of statues, images, or paintings. The earliest aberration from the worship of the triune God, was adoration of the most glorious of his works visible to man, i. e. the sun, the moon, the primary planets, and the fixed stars. As this is the most ancient, so also it is the least corrupt of all the varieties of idolatry. Its high antiquity is proved by the very names given by the ancients to their deities of the highest order; Apollo, Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Venus, Mercury, Diana, &c.; which are also the names of the sun, planets, and moon. This species of idolatry is also alluded to in some passages of the book of Job; probably the most ancient of all writings. A secondary order of divinities next arose, or demons, supposed to be the departed spirits of great and good men. Afterwards animals, plants, and even things without life, were worshipped as protectors. Tacitus, in his account of the ancient Germans, informs us that they worshipped a deity called Hertha or Herthus, which word, says he, in their language has the same meaning as our Latin word terra; he thus also shews us incidentally the origin of the English word earth. It has been well observed by an eminent writer, that idolatry is in religion what treason and rebellion are in politics. The former affronts the omnipotent Jehovah (who declares that he is a jealous God), by substituting for him an insignificant rival; the latter affronts the earthly representative of God, by disobeying his laws, defying his authority, and often also by preferring a usurper and a rival. As treason committed against an earthly sovereign is never pardoned, so also in every part of the word of God idolatry is denounced as that abominable thing which is the object of the special hatred of Jehovah.
Having shewn that the origin of idolatry was a wish, on the part of fallen man, to forget the infinitely holy Creator whom he had offended, and, at the same time, to seek another defence against his own moral and physical weakness, I have next to consider the evil effects of idolatry. The moral conduct of man is powerfully influenced by the character and attributes which he ascribes to the being whom he worships; since the act of worship implies the belief, that the being we adore is able either to protect or to destroy. Let us apply this remark to the deities of the highest
exhibited in their lives, as being highly acceptable to that divinity. I willingly draw a veil over the attributes ascribed to Venus; suffice it to say, that the temples erected to the worship of this divinity were crowded with prostitutes, and consequently disgraced by the grossest impurities which could degrade and debase the nature of man.
Both Homer and Hesiod have presented to us a systematic description of the heathen divinities of the highest order. Jupiter is represented to us as being deficient in every attribute we are wont to ascribe to the Supreme Being; especially in justice and omnipotence. Juno is stated to be constantly under the influence of jealousy, occasioned by the impure conduct of her husband. Accordingly, the worshippers of these heathen divinities were necessarily unjust and impure in their moral conduct, from a conviction that injustice and impurity were highly acceptable to the objects of their worship. Mercury is represented to us as endued with the attributes of subtlety, falsehood, and duplicity; which vices his worshippers accordingly
We cannot wonder that, under such a system of moral (or rather immoral) discipline, the wickedness of man increased in a tremendous ratio; precisely as when a heavy body is precipitated to the earth from a high elevation, the velocity of its downward motion increases in proportion to the square of its diminished distance. Since, however, man has never been able utterly to extinguish the still small voice of conscience (which is none other than the voice of God addressed in a whisper to the human soul), the more the corruption of his moral character increased, in the same ratio the debased character of his idolatrous worship was augmented. The vilest and most despicable of animate and inanimate beings have been at different times and in different nations the objects of human adoration, as if the grand end to be obtained were the sanction and encouragement of every possible degree of moral turpitude. No animal was too base, no inanimate object too despicable for deification; as the baser the object of worship really is, the more contented is the soul with the pollutions of vice, and the smaller is the force of the admonitions of conscience. The supreme abhorrence in which idolatry is held by the great Creator is sufficiently apparent from the history of his ancient people, and of the Canaanites and other heathen nations, detailed in the Pentateuch. God not only prohibits, in the first commandment, the worship of any being except himself, but also in the second he forbids the use of any material symbol even of himself in worship. Though the golden calf was intended as a representation of the supreme God, yet we find that the worship of this idol was the cause of the death of three thousand persons. In like manner, we are informed that the Israelites were commanded to destroy utterly the idolatrous people of Canaan. They were evidently destroyed chiefly as the punishment due to their wickedness; and this wickedness was a necessary result of their idolatry. We thus find that the abhorrence with which God beholds idolatry was chiefly excited by the wickedness it produces; since he is so pure, that he cannot behold the smallest deviation from his most holy precepts, without supreme abhorrence.
The mercy and clemency of God in these transactions were not less remarkable than his justice. He was long-suffering, and nothing short of the incorrigible wickedness of the Canaanites at length ensured their downfall. This property of long-suffering in the Supreme Being is stated in many passages of the word of God. We read in the 15th chapter of the book of Genesis, the "iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full." This attribute of long-suffering in the Supreme Being, followed by sure though tardy punishment, is not only often stated in the Bible, but is also alluded to by many heathen writers. Horace says, "Raro antecedentem scelestum deseruit pœna pede claudo." The evils of idolatry are in all ages and countries nearly the same. In modern India its leading features are cruelty and the grossest impurity. The former of these qualities is sufficiently conspicuous in the burning of widows, and the immolation of infants. St. Paul, in the epistle to the Romans (i. 22-32), gives a dreadful picture of the corrupt opinions and impure practices which were universal even amongst the most enlightened and polished nations of antiquity. Though the inspired character of his writings renders any confirmation of his account quite unnecessary, I may yet be permitted to notice a remarkable corroboration of it brought to light about a century ago. I allude to the accidental discovery of those ancient cities, Her
culaneum and Pompeii, destroyed by that eruption of Mount Vesuvius which was fatal to the elder Pliny. It is well known that the Neapolitans are by no means remarkable for moral purity; yet such were the abominations brought to light by each new excavation, that the king of Naples, by a royal edict, prohibited at length the entrance of any female into those dens of impurity, before a thorough expurgation had been accomplished.
Such are the causes and such the effects of idolatry. The first link in the melancholy chain was that mournful and mysterious event, the fall of our first parents, through the temptation of Satan. Hence followed the feelings of slavish fear and hatred towards that omnipotent Being, who, as he has been denominated the Divine Geometer, from the supreme accuracy of his physical government, so also in his moral government surveys the smallest moral obliquity with infinite abhorrence. Unwilling henceforth to retain God in his thoughts, fallen man took refuge in idolatry; like Cain, he wished to retire from the presence of his Maker, and to frame to himself idols, as like as possible to himself in vice and corruption. Thus, by a mutual action and reaction, sin generated idols, which in their turn encouraged sin; till at length the character of idolatrous worship arrived at such a degree of moral turpitude, as to quiet the human conscience under every enormity, and to sanction every possible aberration from the Divine will.
CHRISTIAN PRINCIPLE. The Christian, sanctified by the grace of God, has a principle engrafted in him, which is a ready and active principle; being converted himself, he is anxious to be the instrument of converting others. The grace given to him opens his heart, and out of the abundance of his heart his mouth speaketh,-now is the accepted time, now is the day of salvation. The present moment of his life is the time to do good; the place where he is, is the locality for his labour of love; the mode of doing good will arise from the circumstances with which he is associated. He waits not for a more convenient season; he delays not for better opportunities: but no moment is to be lost; no moment is considered as only a little while, and unimportant, when it can be used to the glory of God. Objections may rise up in terrific vision before him; obstacles may present themselves, which he may not know how to surmount; the tempter suggests to him to delay his work; his natural slothfulness, indolence, and inactivity, claim their hitherto unmolested sway; he is to be accounted a visionary, an enthusiast, an attempter of impossibilities, a busybody, and a meddler with a world that wishes to be let alone; he is scorned and derided as injudicious, and over-zealous, and righteous overmuch. But the Christian who has received the truth as it is in Jesus, who has received, not only light to instruct him, but "grace and power faithfully to fulfil" what he perceives and knows he ought to do; the true Christian, influenced by the Holy Spirit, will go "about doing good" straightway.-Rev. H. Butterfield.
FALSE PHILOSOPHY.-It is curious to observe how much the various departures from religious truth have been influenced by some intellectual peculiarity of the period in which they have had their origin. Of the countless heresies which sprung up during the first six centuries, few comparatively grew out of different interpretations of a common record; the majority may be ascribed to that intellectual vice of the period, the desire to make all truth dovetail with some favourite philosophy. So, after the revival of learning in the sixteenth century, we are told, such was the passion for heathen mythology, that the abstruse mysteries of the Christian faith were clothed in the fabulous the
ology of Greece and Rome. Jupiter and Apollo were made to represent the sacred persons of the Trinity, and the patriotism of the Decii and Quintus Curtius served as illustrations of the atonement; until at last a decree of the Lateran council was passed, to bring back divines to a more sober theology, unde infectus philosophia et poesis radices purgare et sanare valeant. A little later, we meet with a mass of metaphysical divinity, disgusting alike for its puerility and its profaneness; but this also seems no more than a natural sequence of that fashion for public challenges, the intellectual gladiatorship of the middle ages. For an example of the working of a similar spirit in our own times, we need only look at the awful darkness which overspreads the land of Luther, the rapid strides which Socinianism is making in a distant continent, or its continued existence in our own land. It is in no uncharitable spirit that we ascribe to one and all of these errors a common parentage, the pride of intellect, diminished reverence for Scripture, and the wish to bind up its sacred truths in unrighteous fellowship with the crude inventions of man.-Moore's Norrisian Prize-Essay.
Overwhelm all error, where'er 'tis found,
Wicliffe thy word hath wak'd a strain
On her lovely form shone ;
The arts in varied shape unite,
The pencil portray'd many a scene
Again is shewn the lowly shed
Now they present a lovely form,
The same pale face again is seenHow changed is its expression now! Traces of what she once had been
Are left upon her brow;
But a tear of joy is in her eye,
Hark to the organ's pealing sound→→→
It fills the lofty dome around;
And passes away, like the sound of the bell
That tells of the young and the fair, who are gone
The tones of the song are lov'd far more
Thus they deck'd out religion's fane,
As persons strive to light a hall
Made dark by some enchanter's spell,
POPERY.-Whenever popery is able to reach the members of a purer Church, it crushes them indiscriminately, and knows not how to pity or spare. At a period in which the genius of liberalism (strange to say) has taken under its special protection this leviathan, which it would persuade us has grown tameso lost its former habits, and contracted such a distaste for blood, that we may now play with it as with a bird," and " bind it for our maidens," at such a period, it is highly important to bring authentic documents before the public eye of what Romanism has always been, and must needs continue. A more dangerous opinion cannot be well entertained-(and mortal foes to religion and their country are those who propagate it) than the opinion that intolerance is a mere accident of popery, and not its very essence. peatedly has it been shewn from the authentic articles of the Romish Church, from its legal constitutions, and out of writers of the highest authority within its pale, as well as by an overbalancing induction of historical facts, that the spirit of the popedom never relents towards those who refuse it implicit obedience. It is a stern, uncompromising, truculent despotism, and cannot become otherwise than by ceasing to be. Since its growth was complete, and its form and character fixed, it has never altered its attitude, nor can do so, without abandoning its fundamental pretensions. Seated, as a god, upon a solitary throne, it plants its foot upon the necks of mankind, and points its sword at the breasts of any who attempt to rise from their abject position. It may yield to circumstances, and put on the mask of conciliation and forbearance; but its imperious nature is unchangeable. For political purposes, it may assume the mild aspect "of a lamb;" but when the season comes for discovering its real sentiments, it will abundantly speak out "as a dragon." From the narrative before us, we obtain conclusive evidence in support of these allegations... Let the reader attentively consider this record of the protracted martyrdom of M. Le Febvre-(for well may he be called a martyr whose life was abridged by a long incarceration and most inhuman treatment),-let the reader look into this record as a mirror, in which the features of popery are far from being displayed in all their enormity; and then say whether a judicial blindness must not fall upon a Protestant people before it can lend itself to the restoration of so malignant a power, to replenishing its cup of sorceries, and to "girding" it" with a new sword."
THE JEWS IN PALESTINE. According to a traveller who has recently visited that interesting quarter, within the last forty years scarcely 2000 Jews were to be found in Palestine. They amount now to above 40,000, and are increasing in multitude by large annual additions. In the first days of this month a
• From Preface, by Rev. J. N. Pearson, M.A., to the "Narrative of the Sufferings and Death of M. Isaac Le Febvre, a Protestant of Chatel-Chignon, in France." London, Baisler. 1839. -A very interesting volume.
large number of Israelites from the States of Morocco arrived at Marseilles, in order to embark there for the coast of Syria, and proceed thence on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem.
CHURCH OF THE LATERAN.One of the most ancient churches in Rome, in respect of origin, if not of structure, is that of the Lateran, famed as the seat of so many general councils of the Church, and one of the four chief basilicas; it having been founded by Constantine in the early part of the third century. The present structure, however, in front of which stands a lofty Egyptian obelisk, covered with hieroglyphics, was erected in the seventeenth century, and exhibits the bad taste of that period. The principal front is later, having been built about 1735, by Alexander Galilei, an architect who has shewn far greater taste in the splendid Corsini chapel, that forms one of the chief attractions of the interior. This last is of extraordinary richness; marbles, gilding, painting, sculpture, all are profusely employed, yet so discreetly, and with such elegance of taste, that the eye finds no excess. The cloisters belonging to this church form quite an architectural studio, being surrounded by an arcade of small arches resting upon columns placed in pairs - that is, one before the other-which exhibit extraordinary variety both in their shafts and capitals. Some of the shafts are twisted singly; others compounded of two twisted together; some, again, with plain surfaces; others enriched by flutings, cablings, carvings, and different modes of embellishment; many of which might furnish ideas, even were they objected to as models. There are also other curiosities shewn here, of a more startling kind; among the rest, a marble fragment, which passes for the identical stone on which the cock crowed at the time of St. Peter's denial of his Master!! Surely this must be intended by the very Catholics themselves as a burlesque upon those relics to which their Church attaches so much importance; if not, it is an instance of fatuity that almost exceeds belief. — IV. Rae Wilson, Esq.
WALLACHIA is at present a nominally independent principality, much under Russian influence; its inhabitants are Christians of the Greek Church. Except for groups of seven clumsy wooden crosses, which we every now and then passed on the way, I saw no difference between Wallachia and Turkey; in truth, the preference might, without injustice, be given to the latter country, the landscape of which is so much its superior exerting herself to rank with European powers would make the traveller expect more; and yet not even a road, the primary evidence of civil position, facilitates his progress . . . These people speak a very corrupt Latin, called Romanisti, which, I think, in many respects approaches the Italian. Wallachians affirm, (and I believe with some truth,) that their race has been blended with the Roman legions who were encamped amongst the ancient Dacians to subdue them: the language is, however, now mixed up with a number of Turkish and Greek words. I consider Wallachia more objectionable than Turkey, since it affects to rank itself with European policy and professes Christianity; yet how lamentably is the traveller disappointed at finding the same backwardness, the same indolence, and the same filth, in most cases even worse than Turkey: they seem a selfish and boorish race; in short, things had only changed their names, but not their nature.-Burton's Narrative.
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VOL. VII. No. 181.
OF THE UNITED
AUGUST 31, 1839.
BY THE REV. JAMES RAWLINGS, M.A. Rector of St. Pinnock, near Liskeard, Cornwall. THERE are many persons who are in a great degree sensible of their obligation to establish family-worship, while at the same time they do not perceive the various and great advantages accruing from the practice of it. It is one thing to be influenced by a sense of duty, and another to be animated and warmed by a feeling of privilege. In order to the right performance of duties, there must, among other requisites, be a distinct apprehension not only of what we owe, but also of what we hope for. A bare abstract sense of duty is seldom, if ever, the chief moving and regulating spring of human conduct. The hope and expectation of some remunerating good will perhaps invariably be found to be the primary actuating principle of life. The duty of family or household worship appears, after a little consideration, as undeniable and as urgent as that of devotion in the closet. He who doubts his obligation to maintain the first, will certainly think but lightly of the last. Such are the relations in which a household exists, that the worship of individuals would scarcely be applicable to its state; and, however comprehensive, would fail to embrace the peculiar subjects of its prayer or praise. As social bodies, we have joys and sorrows, wants and blessings, of our own; so that if" one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it." Family-worship seems, then, to be absolutely required of us, if we would, in accordance with the apostle's exhortation, " in
VOL. VII.-NO. CLXXXI.
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every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving make our requests known unto God;" and so again, if we would attend to what the same apostle says in another place, "praying always with all prayer," which means praying at all proper seasons, with all kinds of prayer, as circumstances or situation shall direct. But, not to dwell on the duty of family-worship, which I conceive to be involved in that of private or individual worship,-which last no one who believes that there is a God, and that he himself is a responsible creature, will for a moment dispute,
I will proceed to point out one or two advantages resulting from the regular practice of well-ordered family-worship. The constant and devout performance of this great duty begets in our households a spirit of seriousness and reflection. It is hard to believe that the members of a praying family will go on in sin and rebellion, without some remonstrances of conscience. Recalled at stated seasons, and at no long intervals, morning and evening, to at least the recognition of a supreme Being; "Thou, God, seest me," we may suppose will be a feeling accompanying them in some degree throughout the day. Who does not know the tendency of religious exercises to avert the course of licentious thought into purer and more confined channels, and to soberise and calm down the unruly passions and inordinate affections of the mind? The practice of this duty is also advantageous, inasmuch as it promotes the peace and good order of a family. What is so likely to allay the little irritations, and settle the little disputes, which will occasionally arise in almost every family, as the periodical approach, in prayer and praise, to the
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