Page images


No. XII.

The Miraculous Draught of Fishes.

BY THE REV. WILLIAM MAYHEW, M.A. Curate of Gillingham, Kent. MULTITUDES followed our Lord in the days of his flesh, to obtain for themselves or for their friends the cure of bodily diseases, or to gratify curiosity by hearing one who taught with authority, and not as their accustomed teachers, and who spake as never man spake: but there was in few of them a sound or abiding desire to give glory to God, or embrace the great salvation offered them. They went to be amused and astonished, rather than to be instructed and profited; and accord

when they heard what they thought a hard saying, many of them were offended, and walked with him no more. Much people pressed on him on this occasion at the sea of Galilee, to hear the word of God; but of only four is it recorded, that in the end they forsook all and followed him.

question; and let us rouse our carnal hearts | THOUGHTS ON HISTORICAL PASSAGES OF and torpid consciences, by setting before us the terrors of the Lord, by realising the awful consequences of our worldliness and folly. Let us remember, that if any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him; and that whoever is the friend of the world is the enemy of God. What a fearful declaration! what searching words are these! Do they not call upon each of us to enter into the secret chambers of our hearts, and to explore them by the lamp of eternal truth? do they not call upon us to examine closely our lives and habits, our tastes and affections, our motives and maxims? If you have any de-ingly, sire for peace of conscience and comfort on a dying pillow, look well that your hearts be right and sincere towards God; look well that there be no crooked policy, no compromise, in your religion; that there be no attempt to serve God and mammon, no desire to unite light and darkness, heaven with earth, Christ with Belial. Remember, the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh at the outside, but the Lord looketh at the heart. And nothing but an unreserved surrender of our hearts and affections will satisfy him; there must be no double-dealing, no prevarication, towards him; there must be no resignation of one sin, and retention of another. Every thing must be given up that is contrary to his holy will: the highest connexions, the most splendid prospects, the most lucrative gains, the most brilliant reputation :-ay, and life itself, must be relinquished, unless they can be retained without violence to conscience, and infringement of the commands of God. And O, how happy is the man who is enabled by faith, and the assisting grace of God, to perform this! He enjoys solid comfort in life, and support and consolation in death. Passion fights no more against conviction in his bosom, discontent and restlessness are quelled; and a joyful confidence in God, and a peace which passeth understanding, take possession of his soul. And when he looks forward to the life to come, what visions of delight, what prospects of eternal happiness, salute his eyes! and how does he rejoice that he had faith and resolution to choose the good part-to suffer affliction with the people of God, rather than enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season, and to prefer the reproach of Christ to the riches and pleasures and honours of a perishing world!

May such be the choice, and such the experience, of each one here present. May God grant us all faith-faith like that of Moses— to see Him who is invisible; faith to renounce the world, and forego earth for heaven, and the things which are seen and temporal for those which are not seen and eternal.

We live in a day in which there are many hearers of the Gospel; but of how small a number can it be said, that they come to hear, that they may go away and be doers of the word! Content to know the things which belong to their peace, they fail of securing peace, because they neglect to practise as they pray, to make their lives as hallowed as their lips. Nay, are there not many to whom it is a weariness and burden even to hear the word of God? are there not many who abhor the wholesome force of custom, which compels their attendance at the house of God-the language of whose hearts is, "We will have no priestly counsel; we despise all their reproof?" But though man, and man's words and works, yea, heaven and earth, shall pass away, the words of Christ shall not pass away; and whether men will hear, or whether they will forbear, this Jesus whom we preach is Christ.

To a Jew, whose religion had touched his heart, how impressive must have been the scene described in the passage under consideration! Before him was the sea, now lapped in calm repose, without a sound to disturb, or a sight to terrify-fit image of the peace which the doctrines then distilling from the mouth of the heavenly Teacher were able to shed upon the troubled heart of man,--fit image of the deep, the inexhaustible happiness with which a God of unbounded love and power is willing to satisfy the cravings of his creatures, when he bids them drink of the waters of life, and, drinking, thirst no more. Around him rose the mountains, pointing heavenward, and proclaiming, with intelligible voice, the stability of Him who made them, whose strength cannot be shaken, whose protection of those that trust in him is lasting as the hills. With him was a countless mass of reasonable, immortal beings, hushed in breathless silence, hanging on the

lips of one mysterious Man, mutually receiving and returning impressions of wonder and reverential fear. Doubtless our Lord would take occasion, as his manner was, from the natural scenery around, to bring home to men's business and bosoms the high truths

with which he was charged; doubtless he would so connect each material object with a spiritual truth, that no attentive hearer could thenceforth look upon that scene, but it would serve as a ladder to carry his thoughts from earth to heaven, from the amazing works to the still more gracious Builder and Maker of all things, even God.

With what ease and naturalness, we may next observe, does our Lord descend from the contemplation of heavenly things to the level of the necessary duties of common life! His was no dreamy piety, that evaporates in sentiment and feelings; but it was ever condensed to some determinate and useful end,-a practical piety, delighting to minister to the wants and

woes of others. "When he had left speaking," he commenced acting: he first gave the precept, and straightway came the example. He knew that the warm-hearted fisherman who had so readily granted him the use of his boat, had done so at a time when ill success in his vocation might have soured the temper of another man, and made him churlish and disobliging; for it appears that Peter and his companions had passed a night of fruitless toil, and had taken nothing. Our Lord, therefore, having first consulted for the interests of the kingdom of God and the establishment of his authority, shewed himself not unmindful of the inferior wants of the body, and proceeded to add to the disheartened fishermen their daily bread. "Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught," was his command. At his word, Simon let down the net, and a draught was taken, which clearly shewed that the success was out of common course, and due alone to the hidden powers of the stranger. Peter as yet knew not the Lord; but the reward which his obedience met with furnishes a useful lesson. Our faith may be imperfect; we may walk on still in darkness; but if we follow on, we shall know. Our path of duty lies more in action than in contemplation. God is in heaven, and we are on earth; soar as high as we may, he is higher-we cannot attain unto him: he condescends to come down to us, to dwell in us, and be with us in the humble duties of our every day calling. Thou art set over a few things; be faithful, and thou shalt be ruler over many things. Fill with propriety the lower place, and thou shalt go up higher.

But to return. "When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord." Dread of supernatural power is an instinct of human nature: the untutored savage, who sees for the first time nearing his shores the majestic vessel that walks the waters like a thing of life, hurries to the concealment of the mountain or the wood until the horrible vision be overpast. It is the same with civilised as with barbarous man. Though more skilled to determine the boundaries which separate what is according to nature and what is beyond it, once possess a man of the firmest nerve and the strongest understanding with the conviction that a spirit stands before him, and the hair of his flesh will stand up, and fear come upon him, and a trembling that will make all his bones to shake. There is indirect confession inwoven into man's very constitution and make, of original, indwelling sin. The dream is one, and the interpretation one, and St. Peter has given it. 'Depart from me, (is the language of universal man,) depart from me, all spiritual nature that is higher, or lower, or other than my own; for I am a sinful man." Yes, it is sin that accounts for the glaring inconsistency, that while man delights to expatiate through the fields of creation, and rejoices to find all things "beauty to his eye, or music to his ear," the very rustling of the veil which conceals the Creator causes man to shrink back in indescribable alarm, and close his eyes against the coming revelation. Sin is the barrier that separates man from his Maker. The variance, then, is on our part. Blessed be God, the overture of reconciliation comes from him. In tones

[ocr errors]

most soothing to our perturbed spirits, the first words of heaven fall upon our ear: "Fear not" is the introduction and the burden of all messages to man. "Fear not, Abraham; I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward." "Fear not," said the angel, "for behold I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to you and to all people." "Fear not," said Jesus unto Simon; "from henceforth thou shalt catch men." Be henceforth a minister of my Gospel, and be wise to win souls. Lift up the standard of my cross, that sinners may flock unto it; and I, the Captain of their salvation, will lead them to conquest over sin and death; I will lead them to a land of quietness and rest.

"And they forsook all, and followed him." It was not much that they left-a couple of small boats and their nets; but it was all they had, even all their living. It shewed their love and self-denial as strongly as if they had forsaken palaces and gold. The poor man's circle of pleasures and desires is small; but his circle is not the less perfect because it is small. A man can resign no more than his all; he must resign, if need be, no less. There can be here no mistake. We know precisely what God requires ; we know whether we are willing to comply. We can neither deceive him nor ourselves. "My son," is the address of God to each of us, alike in mercics, in warnings, and in troubles, "give me thy heart." Reply not, in a spirit of uninstructed terror, "Who art thou, Lord? depart from me, for I am a sinful man." To you he has been revealed as a God of love, to whom belong mercies and forgivenesses; and there is no fear in love. Say not-(which is a more common case)— say not, with desperate and malicious wickedness, Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, and I love my sin too well to crucify it at thy bidding: what have I to do with thee? art thou come to torment me before the time?" For to all who so say, the day will too surely come, when their wild wish shall be fulfilled, and they shall hear a voice, "Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire."


Nay, rather draw nigh unto God, and he will draw nigh unto thee. Say, and say from the heart, "Come, Lord, for I am a sinful man, unable and unwilling of myself to help myself; take me as I am, and make me what I ought to be: come, and cleanse this nest of unclean things, and let thy Spirit brood lovingly upon it: expel from my heart, thy proper temple, the disorderly passions which have robbed thee of thy honour, and me of my peace: remove those obstacles which keep me from thee, and thee from me. Thou didst think it all too little to leave the glories of thy Father's kingdom, and to seek me when I was wretched, and miserable, and lost: let me not think it too much to renounce the devil and all his works, the pomps and vanities of this wicked world, and all the sinful lusts of the flesh. Come, and thus make me holy; come, and thus make me happy-happy in life, with thee for my assured portion; happy in death, with thee for my comforting guide; happy after death, where there is fulness of joy, and pleasures for evermore, in the presence of thee, my Saviour and my God."


ABOUT four years since, the Rev. W. J. Deerr, missionary at Kishanegore, or Kishnaghur (" the town of Krishna" no longer, I trust; but rather Anunda Bas, "the village of joy," according to the name of the first spot where the blessed baptisms took place), having heard that there was a body of persons, partly of Hindoo and partly of Mussulman origin, who professed to worship the one true God, and who were exposed to persecution on that account, went to their principal village and spoke to them of the Gospel, but apparently with little impression. He left copies, however, of the New Testament behind, as silent missionaries, and promised to see them again.

In 1836 he was more cordially listened to: he had repeated interviews; they consented to unite in prayer to Jesus Christ; they begged for Christian instructors.

Five heads of families were baptised by Mr. Deerr at his visit the following winter, 1837. A fierce persecution had broken out: their wives and children were forcibly torn from them, and only restored by the interference of the magistrate. From this date, however, numbers began to flock around the new Christians; the tidings spread; the young converts

From a Letter of the Bishop of Calcutta to the Earl of Chichester, as president of the Church Missionary Society. Dated Feb. 27, 1839,

became each of them missionaries: one told his brother, another his mother and sister, like the primitive disciples, "We have found the Saviour." Thus the information reached to the extremities of the connexion; for the whole body or sect are connected by intermarriages.

In 1838, the leading men in ten villages, including with their families probably 400 or 500 souls, embraced openly the doctrine of Christ; and, after some months' further instruction, were baptised: these began from that time to celebrate Christian worship among themselves, and keep holy the Lord's day. A keener curiosity was thus excited among the connected family or tribe, and more rigid persecution followed. But the flame was so far from being extinguished, that it burned only the brighter, and spread with more rapidity whole neighbourhoods came over to the Christian fold, and prayed for instruction in the new religion. Mr. Deerr did what he could, but said little to any one.


In the present winter, 1839, a devastating inundation plunged the whole agricultural population in a moment into the most profound distress. Christianity, feeble as it was, produced its immediate fruit. Help was afforded. Mr. Deerr stripped himself even of the little fund indispensable for his own necessities and those of his own children, to administer to the sufferers. The Christian villagers went about in boats over the deluged fields, to see how their brethren did. The neighbours said, "There, see how these Christians love one another! For us, poor fellows, no one cares. a truth, there is the true religion among these people." Your lordship will here again recognise the scenes of primitive Christianity.


This was the occasion of Mr. Deerr sending down the catechist to me at Christmas. The distress was so great, he was unable to relieve it; and the number of inquirers after Christianity, and of candidates for baptism, was still more overwhelming and exciting.

The archdeacon Dealtry cheerfully went and supplied my lack of service. He took with him the Rev. Krishna Mohana Banerjea, whom I ordained in June, 1837; and he found there the Rev. J. J. Weitbrecht and the Rev. T. Sandys, of Burdwan and Mirzapore, who had been attracted by the tidings, and came, without concert, to give what aid they could to such a work at such a moment.

The archdeacon informed himself, before he proceeded to the villages, of the origin and history of the sect from which the chief body of inquirers and Christians sprung. It appears that they have been about sixty years settled on the banks of the Jelingha. They called themselves "Kurta Bhoja," "worshippers of the Creator." They had some connexion with the sect of the Durbeshas, or Dervishes, supposed to abound in Persia. They had a firm notion of one Supreme Being; they rejected, with abhorrence, all idolatry; they held very slightly, if at all, by caste; they considered the test of proselytism, not eating, but uniting in prayer to the one true God. They thought also that the Deity was to appear, or had appeared, in human form. The persecution which they endured seemed to argue the importance which they attached to their creed, and their sincerity in following it. Mr. Deerr thinks it will be found that some early Christian missionary had visited them, the tradition of whose instructions had come down to the present generation. More light will be cast on their history, doubtless, by further inquiry. To the grace of God only must we ascribe the faith which receives Christianity aright, as is evident from the bitterness of Islamism, with all its fine theory of the unity of the Divine Being.

On reaching the first field of labour, the archdeacon, assisted by his brethren, proceeded to examine the candidates for baptism-about 160 were placed in rows at the village of Anunda Bas. Their replies

were most affecting. They evidently shewed an acquaintance generally with the lost estate and sinful nature of man; with the incarnation and holy life of our Lord Jesus Christ; with his atonement; with the doctrines of justification and sanctification, in their substantial import; and with the necessity and duty of following his example. Jesus Christ was the beginning and end of their religion. Prayer to him was the test of discipleship. The moment any one fell down and called on the name of the Lord Jesus (the society will recognise again the apostolic faith), he was gathered into their number. They appeared, in short, so far as could be judged, under the influence of the grace of God. They had learned the ten commandments, the Lord's prayer, and the creed, together with Dr. Watts's first catechism. They knew that the Son of God appeared in human form, and died to save them; that there is salvation in him, and in no other; that to believe in him is the way to obtain this salvation; that nothing can be done without the Holy Spirit's influence; that there will be a resurrection of the dead, a final judgment-day, a reward for the righteous, and punishments for the wicked. It appeared further, so far as could be ascertained, that they were willing to forsake all for Christ, and endure whatever persecutions might come upon them; nor could the archdeacon and our friends discover that they were influenced by temporal motives, except so far as godliness, having the promise of this life, inseparably brings them with it. The inundation may have given an impulse to some, and time will shew further to what extent this has gone; but the greater part had professed to be inquirers after Christianity, and numbers of them had been baptised, in 1837 and 1838, a year or two before the inundation occurred.

The result was, that the archdeacon said to the rev. missionaries, "Can any forbid water, that these should not be baptised, who have received the Holy Ghost, in his sanctifying influences, as well as we?" And, upon their unanimous opinion, holy baptism was administered according to the forms of our Church; first to the 160 then assembled, and then, at three other villages, after like examinations, to about 380 or 400 more. These, together with the little companies which had been received into the Church in 1837 and 1838 may amount, including children, to nearly 1000. About 1500 or 2000 more lay so far distant, that it was impossible to visit them at that time. Messrs. Sandys, Weitbrecht, and Mohana Banerjea, however, went to several villages, and found the same eagerness for instruction, but far less attainments in Christian knowledge: they were inquirers only. Those baptised were catechumens-most of them for more than a year-under the instructions of Mr. Deerr and his native catechists and assistants. The rest are in earlier stages.

The Cabinet.

CONTEMPLATION OF GOD.-The contemplation of a Being who is everlasting, of infinite power, wisdom, and goodness, ought likewise to produce in our minds thoughts the most solemn and awful; particularly when we consider how immeasurably he is exalted above us, that he fashioned us in the womb, and that in him we live, and move, and have our being; that nothing we do, or say, or think, is hid from his searching knowledge; that not only is every action of our lives open unto him, but every motive from whence that action originated. What humility, what lowliness of mind, what submission to all his decrees and the dispensations of his providence, what resignation, and what contentment, should possess us, who are in his almighty hands as the brittle vessel of clay in the hands of the potter who fashioned it! How cautious ought we to be in asking any thing of the Lord, lest we ask amiss!

how circumspect ought we to be in our conduct, even in our most secret retirement and in the utmost darkness of night, which though the eye of man cannot penetrate, yet in the sight of God we stand revealed as plainly and visibly as in the full blaze of the noon-day sun, and surrounded by numerous witnesses! Did we thus contemplate the Deity, we should always be desirous of pleasing, and fearful of offending him; we should strive to serve him with all our hearts, and souls, and minds, and worship him with the utmost fervency of spirit, and the most ardent devotion. These holy affections must continually fill our souls; for if they do not, it is impossible that we can assume them on the Lord's day-can put them on as we would a garment to wear at church, and then put them off for a season: they must constantly dwell within us; they must be the spirit which inhabits our bodies, which St. Paul calls the temples of God. If this be the case with us if we are thus spiritually minded, the Lord's day will be unto us a joyous festival: we shall delight to meet with our brethren in the house of God; we shall feel our bosoms glow with fervour when we hear them joining with us in prayer, lauding and magnifying the Holy One of Israel.-Rev. D. Aitchison, Glasgow.

RETIREMENT. But the most important work, after all, is, in retirement, and with all earnestness, to pray for the blessing of God. He, he only, giveth the increase. O, let us honour his Spirit, by looking for that aid, as the only efficient improver of all we hear, the only guide, sanctifier, and comforter of our souls. No regulations, however excellent, without the blessed Spirit's holy and heavenly grace, will do us any good. Satan does not fly from human words and resolutions. He is eager to take away the precious seed. Let us go to our closets then, let us kneel before God, let us earnestly, and with uplifted hands, and all ardour of desire, spread the sermon which we have heard, and our insufficiency to obey, before Him whose grace is sufficient. He will give grace to help in time of need. As the minister should go from his knees to the house of God, and return thither, so the people will find rich spiritual blessings from a similar course. It is the office of the Holy Spirit to bring to our remembrance the things which we have heard (John xiv. 23). Let the substance of the sermon be turned into prayer and intercession, and we shall receive the life-giving of the Holy Spirit, making it the power of God to our salvation.-Rev. E. Bickersteth.

CHRIST'S INTERCESSION.-Christ intercedes with justice. But the intercession is the throwing down his cross on the crystal floor of heaven, and thus proffering his atonement to satisfy demand. Oh, it is not the intercession of burning tears, nor of half-choked utterance, nor of thrilling speech. It is the intercession of a broken body and of gushing blood; of death, of passion, of obedience. It is the intercession of a giant leaping into the gap, and filling it with his colossal stature, and covering, as with a rampart of flesh, the defenceless camp of the outcasts! So that not by the touching words and gestures of supplication, but by the resistless deeds and victories of Calvary, the Captain of our salvation intercedes; pleading, not as a petitioner who would move compassion, but rather as a conqueror who would claim his trophies. --Rev. H. Melvill.


MARY AT THE SEPULCHRE. "Jesus saith unto her, Mary !"-John, xx. 16. BY MISS M. A. S. BARBER. (For the Church of England Magazine.) "MARY!" her heart leapt up, to hear The voice whose tones bespoke Him near→→

Him at whose feet, with rev'rence deep,
Her chosen place 'twas her's to keep.
From the rent grave she turns away,
From the bright seraph's glorious ray-
As God, she knows him not; still bend
Her eyes on earth, to seek her Friend!
"Rabboni! Master!"-ever thus,
Whilst yet we watch, O speak to us.
Though from our eyes the veil is riven,
We hail thee King, on earth, in heaven;
Yet call thy sheep by name-make known
The love Thou bear'st to each alone;
Till, fill'd with joy and hope divine,
We learn to love with love like thine.

Not ours, along the crowded street,
Thy welcome step on earth to greet;
Nor hope we at the social board
With mortal eyes to see our Lord;
Nor hear with mortal ears the word
In Bethany's favour'd dwelling heard:
Yet may our hearts thy presence fill-
'Tis ours, tis ours, to love thee still!

And as thou once didst deign to say
To thy belov'd on earth, that they
Who did thy Father's will, to thee
Should father, mother, brethren be,-
O turn our hearts to keep thy word,
And round them draw this kindred cord,
That one with thee, all pain shall cease
In that deep hush of changeless peace!


DARK-GREEN, and gemm'd with flowers of snow,
With close uncrowded branches spread,
Not proudly high nor meanly low,

A graceful myrtle rear'd its head.

Its mantle of unwithering leaf

Seem'd, in my contemplative mood, Like silent joy or patient grief,

The symbol of pure quietude.

Still, life, methought, is thine, fair tree! Then plucked a sprig; and, while I mused, With idle hands, unconsciously,

The delicate small foliage bruised.

Odours, by my rude touch set free,

Escaped from all their secret cells; Quick life, I cried, is thine, fair tree;

In thee a soul of fragrance dwells,

Which outrage, wrongs, nor death destroy;

These wake its sweetness from repose: Ah! could I thus heaven's gifts employ,

Worth seen, worth, hidden, thus disclose!

In health with unpretending grace,

In wealth with meekness and with fear, Through every season wear one face, And be in truth what I appear!

Then should affliction's chastening rod Bruise my frail frame, or break my heart, Life, a sweet sacrifice to God,

Outbreathed like incense would depart.

The Captain of salvation thus,
When as a lamb to slaughter led,
Was, by the Father's will, for us,
Himself through suffering perfected!

RECOGNITION IN HEAVEN. THUS saints on earth, when sweetly they converse, And the dear favours of kind heaven rehearse, Each feels the other's joys, both doubly share The blessings which devoutly they compare. If saints such mutual joys feel here below, When they each other's heavenly foretastes know, What joys transport them at each other's sight, When they shall meet in empyreal height! Friends e'en in heaven one happiness would miss, Should they not know each other when in bliss. BISHOP KEN.


CIRCUMSTANTIALITY OF THE BIBLE. - Circumstantiality of narrative is a striking proof of honesty in a writer; because it shews that he not only possesses a perfect knowledge of his subject, but that he fears neither investigation nor scrutiny; and surely, if ever there was a book circumstantial in its narrative, that book is the Bible. Whether true or false as to the asserted foundation of the facts recorded, every one must admit the detailed minuteness with which the facts themselves are related. Whole chapters are filled with genealogies-a subject at all times dry and uninteresting to the general reader, and which, therefore, would have been omitted, unless truth and necessity had dictated the propriety of their insertion. Again, the 12th chapter of the book of Exodus, the 2d of the first book of Kings, and the nine last chapters of Ezekiel, contain, I had almost said a tedious particularity, certainly a desultory account, of the furniture of the tabernacle in the wilderness, and of the literal and prophetic temple at Jerusalem, the insertion of which can only be accounted for on the supposition that the writers honestly recorded what they saw, and did, and heard. So, likewise, when a miracle is announced, there is no ambiguity of language-no concealment of truth, not even where the asserted exercise of supernatural power failed to produce conviction upon the minds of those who are said to have witnessed it. When a miracle is recorded, the town and person are named, and also the effect produced; as an illustration of which, I refer you to John, ix., which furnishes a most remarkable proof of honesty in the writer. Moreover, upon no other principle than that of historical honesty can we account for the detailed circumstantiality of the Jews' location in Canaan; of the trial, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ; and especially of St. Paul's voyage to Rome (Acts, xxvii.), which must have been written by one who took part in the proceedings. The same remark as to circumstantial detail refers to the epistles. They purport to be either answers to letters received by the writers, or letters written upon the direct or indirect business of the mission. Now the very obscurity of many passages in these letters, arising as it does from our ignorance of some of the causes which led to them, affords the best possible proof of their genuineness and authenticity-I mean that they were neither forgeries nor fictions; for it is scarcely possible to forge such documents as these. Let any one make the trial. Let him sit down and try to forge a letter of this kind; a letter, containing many indirect allusions to matters of fact well known to the partics addressed, but to no

others. He will soon admit the extreme difficulty, not to say impossibility of succeeding in the attempt; and I am persuaded he will arise with a firm conviction, that the epistles of the New Testament are really what they profess to be, letters written by the first propagators of Christianity, as circumstances required, on business connected either directly or indirectly with the mission itself.-Rev. W. J. Kidd.

SPANISH SLAVERY.-In a letter which I received from Captain Wauchope, of date 13th August, 1838, he says, "In February, 1836, I was informed by Commander Puget, that the Spanish slaver Argus, three months before this date, was chased by the Charybdis, Lieutenant Mercer; that during the chase ninety-seven slaves had been thrown overboard, and that a Spanish captain he had captured declared he would never hesitate to throw the slaves overboard, to prevent being taken." Captain Wauchope in the same letter informs me, that on the 18th September, 1836, the Thalia captured the Portuguese brig Felix, 590 slaves on board. "After capture," he says, "I went on board, and such a scene of horror it is not easy to describe; the long-boat on the booms, and the deck aft, were crowded with little children, sickly, poor, little unhappy things, some of them rather pretty, and some much marked and tattooed-much pains must have been taken by their miserable parents to ornament and beautify them. The women lay between decks aft, much crowded, and perfectly naked; they were not barred down, the hatchway, a small one, being off; but the place for the men was too horrible; the wretches chained two and two, gasping and striving to get at the bars of the hatchway, and such a steam and stench as to make it intolerable even to look down. It requires much caution at first, in allowing them to go on deck, as it is a common practice for them to jump overboard to get quit of their misery. The slavedeck was not more than three feet six in height, and the human beings stowed, or rather crushed as close as possible; many appeared very sickly. There was no way of getting into the slave-room but by the hatchway. I was told, when they were all on deck to be counted, that it was impossible for any of our people to go into the slave-room for a single minute, so intolerable was the stench. The colour of these poor creatures was of a dark squalid liberated Africans and Kroomen. I was shewn a man yellow, so different from the fine glossy black of our much bit and bruised; it was done in a struggle at the gratings of their hatchways for a mouthful of fresh air." Captain Wilson, R.N., in a letter dated 9th January, 1839, says: "I have overhauled many slave-ships, and freely confess that it is impossible to exaggerate the horrors they exhibit; they are all very much alike, the greater or less misery depending, usually, upon the size of the vessel, and the time they might have been embarked, as every day brings with it a fearful increase of disease, desperation, imbecility, and death."-T. F. Buxton, Esq.

BELLARMINE. Cardinal Bellarmine, one of the most learned and upright of his order, whom Pope Sextus V. condemned for not going far enough in the assertion of papal power, attempts to prove, from a comparison of Acts x. 13, "Rise, Peter, kill and eat," with John xxi. 16, that the duty of the pope, as the successor of Peter, is to put heretics to death.-Nichols, Help to the Reading of the Bible.

London: Published by JAMES BURNS, 17 Portman Street, Portman Square; W. EDWARDS, 12 Ave-Maria Lane, St. Paul's; and to be procured, by order, of all Booksellers in Town and Country.



« PreviousContinue »