« PreviousContinue »
fortune disgracing his lineage by close intimate intercourse with the very dregs of the people? Did he ever stand by the death-bed of a cock-fighter, a bullbaiter, or of any one addicted to such horrid sports? if he ever did, he will fully coincide with the above remarks; and unless himself a victim to their brutalising influence, use every method in his power to prevent indulgence in practices which, while they injure the property, inflict tortures on animals, and inevitably ruin the soul for ever.
The above remarks are made, however, not so much with reference to the crime of cruelty to animals, as to the demoralising effects of a love of gambling love which deteriorates every good principle, too often overturns all sense of right and wrong, and renders its wretched votary an object of intense wonder and commiseration to others, and of unspeakable wretchedness to himself.
I would close this paper with an extract from the Christian Beacon, No. V. "Whatever may be the opinions of religious men on racing, and the attendant vices and iniquities of races, there is one practice which accompanies the Chester races, which we have good reason to know that many of the approvers of racing heartily disapprove, we speak of cock-fighting. We condemn it openly; for we detest it manfully. We would not be so silly, or so senseless, as to forget that Christianity is not a religion of acts, but of principles.' But there is no casuistry on which either the act or the principle of the cockfighter can be excused. It is a disgrace to our venerable city, an insult to our common manliness. And we call upon the good citizens of Chester to rise up and get rid of a practice which is now contrary to the law of the land, and is spoken of in the language of
that law, (see act on cruel treatment to animals, 5 and G Will. IV., 1835,) as a great nuisance and annoyance to the neighbourhood in which it takes place, and as leading to demoralise those who frequent such places. We make this appeal as from an established clergyman of the Church of England; and as a teacher of common morality, we enter our protest most solemnly against it."
SUNDAY REFLECTIONS.-No. XV.
this passage occurs, Moses warned his people to con-
So it was, by the hope of God's promises, the fear of his threatenings, the anticipation of his future benefits, and the remembrance of his past deliverances, that in various parts of the beautiful chapter where
This work is edited by the Rev. C. B. Tayler, M.A., Rector of St. Peter's, Chester; and its design is, " to meet, with God's help, the profane and daring impiety of the INFIDELS of the present times."
of the days that are past since the day that God created man upon the earth, and ask from the one side of heaven to the other, whether there hath been any such thing as this great thing is, or hath been heard like it. Did ever people hear the voice of God speaking to them out of the midst of the fire, as thou hast heard, and live?" "Unto thee it was shewed, that thou mightest know that the Lord he is God; there is none else beside him."
How materially have the records of "the days that are past" been multiplied since Moses appealed to them! The people whom he forewarned in vain are now "scattered amongst the nations," and "left few among the heathen." God's threatenings have been executed in punishment,-his promises are yet left to be fulfilled in mercy; and to Israel this encouragement remains, "When thou art in tribulation, and all these things are come upon thee, even in the latter days, if thou turn to the Lord thy God, and shalt be obedient to his voice, (for the Lord thy God is a merciful God,) he will not forsake thee, neither destroy thee, nor forget the covenant of thy fathers, which he sware unto them."
BY MRS. RILEY.
Besides the words of inspiration, there is in every breast a record to which we may appeal; and turning to those days of our existence which are now past, glean from our own experience both warning and encouragement.
Ask now of the days that are past.-Deut. iv. 32. HOPE and fear, anticipation and memory-emotions which so materially regulate the actions of our present state of being, have not a less powerful influence upon the ulterior purpose of our existence, and are appealed to for this end by Him who implanted these emotions in the mind. We are told to "rejoice in hope of the glory of God;" and yet to "fear," lest we should seem by negligence to come short of that promised rest which remaineth to the people of God. By anticipation, we are taught to conceive the reality of a happi-paratively unmarked by memory, and all its days are
In its earlier years, life generally glides on so smoothly, that one day testifies to another only of mercy and happiness. The birth-day, or new-year's day, those "eminences" from which, in after-life, we may have to look back upon the past with mournful recollection, or forward into the future with trembling anticipation are then only marks for greater joyfulness or hilarity; for in childhood "the year is com
ness which "eye hath not seen, nor ear heard;" and by memory to recall the proofs of God's faithfulness and truth in past ages, and to glean from thence consolation for the present, and encouragement for the future.
given to hope." But let one stage of the journey of life be accomplished, and when standing on the threshold of manhood, "let the young ask now of the days that are past," and what do they trace there? Mercy, which has upheld them amidst the dangers of infancy and childhood; and power, which has strengthened every feeble limb and opening faculty, till, increased in "wisdom and stature," they are ready to commence a career of useful exertion. But memory will also recall with gratitude the parental love which supplied every want, and ministered to every capacity for happiness will not its voice call upon the heart to repay, to its utmost ability, this debt of obligation?
The days that are now past testify to us, yet more forcibly, of God's hatred to sin, and compassion to sinners: we can behold his first promise of mercy, unforgotten through intervening centuries, and fully accomplished upon Mount Calvary, when "God spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all." We are more highly favoured than were God's chosen people they heard "out of heaven" God's voice of terror, while he shewed them upon earth "his great fire" but we have heard out of heaven the proclamation of "peace and good-will;" and earth has beħeld the meek and lowly Saviour going about doing good."
And if fraternal love has added to the enjoyments of youth, will not the breast of manhood strive to strengthen the bonds of brotherly affection by every present kindness and future assistance ?
Let a few more years elapse, and pausing on the meridian of life, let us "ask now of the years that are past." Perhaps success has been permitted to attend exertion, and the sun of prosperity been unclouded. Have the good resolutions with which we entered upon active life stood firm in the hour of trial? or has the God, to whom we were dedicated in infancy, been forgotten amidst the bustle of the world? If so, let the warning voice of conscience be heard: as mercies increase, let not the heart absorb them too readily, lest, gorged by earthly comforts, it have no room left❘ for the promises of eternity. If new ties have been added to those domestic affections which bind up the felicity of earth, let the home of happiness be also a house of prayer, where daily offerings are laid upon the family altar; and high and low, rich and poor, meet together before Him who is "no respecter of persons." If we have freely received of God's bounty, let us freely give to those that be in need; let our professions be sanctified by gratitude and devotedness to Him from whom they come; for the surest way to prevent their injuring us is, to maintain a deep conviction of the unworthiness of the recipient, and of their transitory nature.
When next we gaze back upon " the days that are past," the bright scene may have faded; sickness or sorrow may have brooded over the home, and left its shadow on the heart. Still we may listen to the voice of the past, and gain instruction. If we have been dwelling in the chamber of sickness, have we brought from thence a truer estimate of existence; have we at length discovered that the things which are seen are temporal; and have our hopes found a resting-place on those things which are eternal? As earthly happiness seemed to melt away in our grasp, could we lay hold upon the assurance of heavenly joy? If we have been permitted to feel," it is good for me that I have been afflicted," let not the conviction pass away with convalescence, but bring forth the fruits of a holy and religious life. When sorrow has been our portion, and those we loved are taken from us, let us remember that a broken heart is God's accepted sacrifice; and he can replace the withered flowers that once twined around our tabernacle with that unfading peace which is their only substitute. He who "telleth the stars," does not refuse to "bind up the broken heart," and "comfort those that mourn;" and in his own good time will give "the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness."
And now let us ask of the aged Christian of "the days that are past." He will tell us that threescore years and ten appear at their close but as a dream when one awaketh. Hopes that once agitated his heart have faded; fears that oppressed him are now dissipated. The Lord, who has guided him from his youth up, will not now forsake him; and if his remaining days should be "few and evil," he knows that they will carry him to the borders of an inheritance that is undefiled and fadeth not by time. The days which are past may have been chequered by vicissitude; but the cares of a troubled life are now remem
bered, as throwing into stronger relief the unclouded brightness of that which is to come. The home of his youth may have passed into other hands, the happy dwelling of his manhood be in the possession of strangers; but in his Father's house are "many mansions ;" and he feels that he shall there rejoin those whom he has loved, those "who are not lost, but gone before." While he awaits with patience the termination of days wherein he feels "I have no pleasure in them," he looks forward to entering that presence where there is "fulness of joy" and "pleasures for evermore."
There will be a moment when fear is forgotten, hope fulfilled, and anticipation absorbed in complete enjoyment; but even then will not memory remain to us? Shall we not, from the gate of the celestial city, be able to review the various windings of our pilgrimage, while every event of our lives will excite fresh gratitude to God, by evincing his wisdom and his love? What once seemed dark and bewildering will then shine forth as the designs of mercy; chastisements which were believed by faith to be tokens of God's love will then be seen as such; and the trials which pressed heavily upon the burdened spirit will be found to have whispered, "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."
"The days that are past" will then have fulfilled their office; the fight is fought, the victory is won; all that remains is to hear that cheering sentence, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant; enter thou into the joy of thy Lord."
CONSOLATIONS FROM THE RESURRECTION. Of all the situations of life to which this consolation is applicable, there is none in which it is more efficient and valuable than when it supports us under the shock of seeing those we love torn from us by the remorseless hand of death. "Dust thou art, and unto dust thou shalt return," is the universal doom. All must yield to it. Day by day death claims his victims; strikes them in the bosom of domestic happiness; snatches them from the arms of friendship. Many a widowed mother has followed the remains of an only son. Many an affectionate heart has felt the cruel pangs of separation from a darling child, from a fond and protecting parent, from a faithful partner, from a dear and valued friend. Many a one sees those he loves consigned to the earth, and bitterly exclaims, as David did, "Would God I had died for thee!" But wishes such as these avail nothing. Let the afflicted mourner rather turn to his Bible: he will find consolation in the advice of St. Paul-" that ye sorrow not even as others which have no hope; for if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him" (1 Thess. iv. 13, 14).
• It is a controverted point, whether memory will remain to the disembodied spirit; but since writing the above, I have met with this extract from the Rev. H. Blunt's work on Elisha, which is so similar in sentiment and expression to my own, that I venture to re-quote it here: "When we look down upon the road, as seen from the habitations of the heavenly city, and trace it from the far-distant country from which we came, and observe all its trackless windings, and its now unintelligible turnings, we shall clearly perceive that none other could have carried us to the many mansions of our Father's house,"
Of the value of such consolation, all of us can form some conception; but they only can truly estimate it who have been actually placed in a situation to experience all its efficacy. Are there any such here? Are there any who have hung in despair over the deathbed of him they loved; have gazed on his wasted and anxious countenance caught his last glance, fondly turned on them; seen his pale lips move, wishing, but unable, to utter the accents of love and consolation; watching his faint attempt to smile, to express resignation, and impart comfort; felt the chill and feeble pressure of his hand, striving to assure them, that the heart, in which the last pulse is beating, still feels the warmth of affection;-if there be any here who have known the agonising feelings of the human soul at this trying moment, to them I appeal; them I call upon to estimate the value of the "hope that is in Christ Jesus." What can console, what can support them through this heart-rending scene? What but that holy religion, whose "still small voice" is gradually heard amidst the fiercest conflict of the passions, which whispers "Weep not!" Jesus Christ is "the resurrection and the life;" he raised the widow's son ; he will raise him whom ye mourn; ye part not for ever. Ye may meet again in a world where "all tears shall be wiped away;" and where hearts, united in the bonds of affection, shall never again be torn asunder. These are some of the consolations which belong to those who have hope in Christ Jesus. These are, I say, some of the consolations; for in every situation of life, in which consolation or encouragement can be required, it may be derived from hope. Frequently, then, habitually, reflect upon that glorious resurrection, which is the assurance and the first-fruits of our resurrection. Call to mind the unspeakable love of that gracious Redeemer, by whose sufferings and sacrifice this blessed hope was purchased for us. Let the remembrance of these mercies accompany us in every scene, in every situation of this eventful life. Let it not be lost even amidst the anxious cares and the urgent duties of our respective stations in the world; let it be ever present, to excite us to shew forth the praises of our merciful Lord, "not only with our lips, but in our lives." And, above all, let it occupy our thoughts, when soever we join the congregation of our fellow-Christians, whether to lift up our voice in prayer and in praise, or to approach the altar in grateful commemoration of Christ's death, and of the inestimable benefits which he has conferred upon us. Those especially who have known griefs such as we have alluded to, and have experienced the consolation of this hope; those whose tears have been wiped away, and whose sorrows have been healed; let those ever preserve the recollection of these things when they kneel at the Lord's table. Then let the influence of this recollection have its fullest sway. The heart that was once bursting with grief, let it now swell with gratitude; the eyes that were dim with tears, let them now beam with faith and joy; the voice that was broken with sobs, be it now raised in the accents of praise; the hands that were clasped in despair, be they now uplifted in hope; the knees that once sunk beneath the pressure of a broken spirit, be they now bent in holy reverence, in heartfelt devotion. Behold, Jesus still bids us, "Weep not! weep not!" "for the Lord is risen indeed" (Luke xxiv. 34). "Christ is risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept" (1 Cor. xv. 20). "Weep not," then; but "praise the Lord, O my soul; and all that is within me, praise his holy name."-Rev. Dr. Molesworth.
believe are said to be given by the Father to the Son as the purchase of his sufferings. "All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and whosoever cometh to me, I will in no wise cast out;"" of those whom thou hast given me, have I lost none." God must be, he was, and ever will be,-the Author of every good and perfect gift; and, amongst these, gifts of faith. "Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. As then by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous." Lay the whole of Scripture together, as it speaks of the efficacy of the Redeemer's sacrifice for sin, and you will find that he offers you this greatest and best of gifts, salvation, without money and without price. In this manner "the love of Christ will constrain you to be obedient, because you will thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead;" you will rejoice in a new principle of life thus conferred upon you; you will remember that he died, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him that died for them and rose again.-Rev. R. P. Beachcroft.
CONSTRAINING INFLUENCE OF THE LOVE OF CHRIST. - Salvation is every where promised to faith in that Saviour who has purchased this blessing for a lost world; and faith, if it be the saving faith of the Gospel, will be fruitful in every good word and work. Faith is said to be the gift of God; and they who
"Though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing."-1 Cor. xiii. 4.
BY THE REV. E. B. WERE. (For the Church of England Magazing
O FAIREST of the sisterhood
Of graces heavenly, fair, and good!
And fain would burn with thy seraphic flame.
Thou dwell'st not with the haughty crowd,
Shall find no favour in thine eyes;
On wings of tend'rest sympathy;
I see thee by the bed of death
I see thee on the ocean stand,
Oh! may thy banner be unfurl'd,
INFLUENCE OF MENTAL EMOTION ON HEALTH.-It is well known that the depressing emotions of fear, despair, &c. produce a liability to disease in circumstances otherwise harmless. For example: persons who entertain great apprehension of the cholera are very likely to be seized by it; and it is the same with other diseases. Sir George Ballingall, in his valuable work on Military Surgery, states about five per cent as the usual portion of sick_in_garrison healthily and favourably situated; while during a campaign it is ten per cent. But such are the beneficial effects of success and cheerfulness, that in the French army, after the battle of Austerlitz, there were only 100 invalids in a division of 8000, or only one in eighty.-Curtis on Health.
THE HOLY LAND. No carriages of any description or horses being in this country, we travelled on mules, which were of so much service here in the early ages (2 Sam. xiii. 29; 1 Kings, i. 33; Judges, x. 4; 2 Sam. xvi. 2); they had no saddles or stirrups, but cloths, or the Arab jackets thrown on their backs (Ex. xxii. 27; Matt. ii. 1). We had in large sacks our bedclothes, provisions (Joshua, ix. 11), culinary articles, with water in vessels like bladders, which have the property of distending, and resembling a bottle (Gen. xxi. 14; Judg. xliv. 1-3); these are made of skin, chiefly of a red colour (Ex. xxv. 5; Joshua, ix. 4), but often black with smoke from being hung up in houses (Ps. cxix. 83); and the children of Israel used them in their journey through the wilderness (Lev. xi. 32); when rent, they are patched and sewed up (Joshua, ix. 4, 5): indeed, of such materials we find the raiment of our first parents was formed (Gen. iii. 21); and those saints who wandered about were clothed in like manner (Heb. xi. 37). On many occasions these vessels burst, when wine poured into them is in a state of fermentation, confirming the truth of Scripture.-Travels of Rae Wilson, Esq.
NATIONAL CHURCH.-Dr. Jarvis, of Boston, United States, alluding to the provision of the federal constitution for the toleration, but not the support, of Christianity, has the following beautiful observations, illustrative of the effects of such a system :-"The sound of the axe may ring through the forest; the plough may pierce the sod which had been before undisturbed for centuries, excepting by the hunter's tread; the streams may be pent up in their narrow bed, and powers, not their own, given them to turn the millwheel, and afford nourishment and protection to man; villages, and towns, and cities, may spring up and flourish. But while the smoke is seen to curl from many a domestic hearth, where, alas! are the altars? Where is the village-spire, pointing to heaven, and telling to the distant traveller, that he is approaching the abode of Christians, as well as of civilised men ?"
EGYPTIAN SCHOOLS.-Schools are very numerous, not only in the metropolis, but in every large town; and there is one at least in every considerable village.
Almost every mosque, sebee'l (or public fountain), and hho'd (or drinking-place for cattle) in the metropolis has a kootta'b (or school) attached to it, in which children are instructed for a very trifling expense; the sheykh or fick'ee (the master of the school) receiving from the parent of each pupil half a piaster (about five farthings of our money), or something more or less, every Thursday. The master of a school attached to a mosque or other public buildings in Cairo also generally receives yearly a turboo'sh, a piece of white muslin for a turban, a piece of linen, and a pair of shoes; and each boy receives, at the same time, a linen skull-cap four or five cubits of cotton cloth, and perhaps half a picce (ten or twelve cubits) of linen, and a pair of shoes, and, in some cases, half a piaster or a piaster. These presents are supplied by funds bequeathed to the school, and are given in the month of Ramʼada'n. The boys attend only during the hours of instruction, and then return to their homes. The lessons are generally written upon tablets of wood, painted white; and when one lesson is learnt, the tablet is washed, and another is written. They also practise writing upon the same tablet. The schoolmaster and his pupils sit upon the ground, and each boy has his tablet in his hands, or a copy of the Koran, or of one of its thirty sections, on a little kind of desk of palm-sticks. All who are learning to read recite their lessons aloud, at the same time rocking their heads and bodies incessantly backwards and forwards; which practice is observed by almost all persons in reading the Koran, being thought to assist the memory. The noise may be imagined. The boys first learn the letters of the alphabet; next, the vowel-points and other orthographical marks; and then the numerical value of each letter of the alphabet. Previously to this third stage of the pupil's progress, it is customary for the master to ornament the tablet with black and red ink, and green paint, and to write upon it the letters of the alphabet in the order of their respective numerical values, and convey it to the father, who returns it with a piaster or two placed upon it. The like is also done at several subsequent stages of the boy's progress, as when he begins to learn the Koran, and six or seven times as he proceeds in learning the sacred book, each time the next lesson being written on the tablet. When he has become acquainted with the numerical values of the letters, the master writes for him some simple words, as the names of men, then the ninety-nine names or epithets of God; next the fa''hhal (or opening chapter of the Koran) is written upon his tablet, and he reads it repeatedly, until he has perfectly committed it to memory. He then proceeds to learn the other chapters of the Koran: after the first chapter, he learns the last; then the last but one; next the last but two; and so on, in inverted order, ending with the second, as the chapters in general successively decrease in length from the second to the last inclusively. It is seldom that the master of a school teaches writing, and few boys learn to write unless destined for some employment which absolutely requires that they should do so, in which latter case they are generally taught the art of writing, and likewise arithmetic, by a ckabba'nee, who is a person employed to weigh goods in a market or bazar with the steelyard. Those who are to devote themselves to religion, or to any of the learned profes sions, mostly pursue a regular course of study in the great mosque El-Azhar.-Lane's Modern Egyptians.
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.
PRINTED BY ROBSON, LEVEY, AND FRANKLYN, 46 ST. MARTIN'S LANE.
THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE GLORY OF GOD.
MAN naturally pants after knowledge: there is a pleasure even in the pursuit of it; and the discovering of any thing new, or wonderful, or great, creates a delightful emotion in the mind. The objects of science, therefore, are worthy of a considerate man's pursuit. According to his success, his labour will be repaid, both by the satisfaction he will reap from the knowledge itself, and by the useful purposes to which it can be applied.
This is known and felt; and therefore many are they who labour in the varied field of knowledge; much diligence is used, much research made, and many valuable results follow. But useful as are the contrivances of art, and sublime as are the discoveries of science, they all shrink into insignificance when compared with the knowledge of the glory of God. The most ingenious works of art are but the contrivances of man, and not to be compared with one work of God. And though science is employed about the works of God, and makes her discoveries on the field of his operations,-still, what are the works of God to God himself? If we do not see him in his works, we lose the highest instruction which it is in their power to give. And, alas, this highest instruction very frequently is lost; for, while men would be wise, and seek variety of knowledge, this best knowledge is overlooked; and they see the works of God, but see not his glory in them.
This ignorance of God, as far as relates to
VOL. VII.-NO. CLXXXVII.
his natural perfections, is the effect of inattention; men are ignorant, because they do not seek to know. As far as relates to his moral perfections, it is owing to the blindness. of their minds; they are ignorant, because their understandings are darkened.
That in thus speaking of man's ignorance of God, I may protect myself from the imputation of vague and ungrounded invective, I shall make my appeal to every man's heart and conscience, while I state in this essay the fact of human ignorance, and the means by which it is to be remedied.
I have already made a distinction between the natural and the moral attributes of God: the natural attributes being his power and wisdom; his moral attributes, his justice, truth, goodness, and mercy.
Now the natural attributes of God, every man, who possesses the ordinary understanding of a man, may know. Indeed, no man who will exercise his understanding can fail of knowing them; they are so palpably visible in the things that are made, that we cannot view a single object which does not testify of its Maker. If we would but look into it with open eyes and attentive minds, the whole creation is a mirror which reflects to us the glory of its Creator; and the reason why we do not see and admire that glory is, not that we cannot perceive it, but that we do not attend to it. The world is full of wonders; but is it not true that men see them without one feeling of admiration, or one thought of their Author? All nature teems with instruction; and men have capacities to comprehend that instruction, but they disregard it. It meets them at every turn, but they pass it without notice;
[London: Robson, Levey, and Franklyn, 46 St. Martin's Lane.]