« PreviousContinue »
the blessed ocean of everlasting bliss-to find | that all the heart and all the life, imperfect and faulty as they are, are yet steadily, and continually, and consistently bent towards God and glory, is indeed comfortable, cheering, and refreshing; for this course of holiness springs from God, and runs to God. God, in infinite mercy and love, sends his Holy Spirit into the soul, and causes pious and good dispositions to spring up in it. These dispose a person to renounce all sinful and worldly ways, and to give himself to a virtuous and religious life; and he then becomes prepared to meet his God." He becomes "holy as he is holy," and therefore fit to be ushered into his glorious presence; that" presence in which there is fulness of joy," the perfection of happiness, happiness far beyond all the present powers of our heart
Do we now know so much of the gift of God, and of Him who speaketh to us in his holy word, as to desire that he may give us the living water? What shall we do? Can we hope that so great, so ineffable a gift, will be granted to such unworthy creatures at their request? Let the prophet encourage us, who speaks to us in remarkable unison with his and our divine Master and Saviour: "Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters; and he that hath no money, come ye, buy and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price." These words surely encourage us to fall down before our God, praying to him to grant to us that Holy Spirit, which will be a fountain of life in our soul, of a religious life in this world, and of a glorious life in the world to come. And such encouragement is one of the very last things which the volume of Scripture presents to us, as if it would leave its readers impressed with a lively confidence, that upon praying with earnest longing for the blessed Spirit, it would be granted to them. "And the Spirit and the bride say, Come; and let him that is athirst come; and whosoever will, let him come and take of the water of life freely." But the prophet points out to us one step which is most necessary in the way to the attainment of the desired life: "Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon." Repentance is here plainly laid down as a necessary step to divine favour. Seeking the Lord, calling upon him, and that while he may be found, while he is near, before he has absented himself for ever from us--think of this, young people,-is here
shewn to be a necessary step to salvation. And not only seeking the Lord in prayer, confessing sin, and calling upon him for mercy, but forsaking the wicked way and the unrighteous thoughts enters into the direction of the prophet. Yes, in vain shall we pray for the blessed gift of the Spirit, if we do not give up all bad practices, and bad language, and leave all wicked society, and take to religious and good ways—"break off our sins by righteousness;" cease to do evil, and learn to do well." But if we do earnestly and sincerely seek the mercy and favour of Almighty God, striving to change the manner of our life, and so to "frame our doings, that we may turn unto the Lord" in such a manner as to be accepted by him, great are the encouragements, blessed are the hopes, which the prophet sets before us. "He will have mercy upon you; he will abundantly pardon you;" his gracious compassion will be moved towards you; his pardon will be poured down in abundant streams upon you. Beautiful are the descriptions which the Scriptures give, in many passages, of the fulness and perfection of the pardon which the merciful God grants to the truly humbled and believing penitent: and from this state of lowly self-abasement and contrite sorrow, and eager desire for pardon and grace, the blessed Spirit will lead the penitent forth into the way of life; he will "convert his soul, and bring him forth into the paths of righteousness," even the ways which lead to glory, glory eternal in the heavens. "For ye shall go forth with joy, and be led forth with peace the mountains and hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands." So happy is the change in the penitent's condition, that it is enough to make all nature burst forth in joyful songs of gratulation around him: but not only this, it is of sutfcient importance to fill the very heavens with joy. "There is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth." And the joy and peace with which the penitent will be brought forth, will be of durable, of eternal nature. The "joy and peace in believing," with which he is favoured in this world, will be the earnest of joy and peace eternal, which will crown him for ever in heaven. The stream of righteousness, which proceeds from the sacred fountain in his soul, "springs up unto everlasting life."
THE fixed determination of purpose on the part of the adherents of Jansenius not to sign the declaration already referred to, and which was directly at variance
with their principles, drew down upon them, as was to have been expected, the most rancorous malice of their enemies. Excommunications, fines, banishments, and imprisonments, were the consequence; the state-prisons were thronged; the threats of fire and poison were not withheld; the Bastile, within whose walls the objects of tyrannical jealousy and hatred had for years languished in despair of regaining freedom, was crowded with fresh victims-even recesses in its passages were converted into temporary cells. It was in vain for the Jansenists to attempt to escape the fury and trickery of the Jesuits. That crafty society could not bear their uncompromising condemnation of many of the means adopted by the Romish see to retain and to extend its influence over the consciences and properties of men, and which scrupled not to suffer the enormities of its adherents to pass uncensured, provided there was a ready zeal testified to bow with submission to its authority, and to seek to bring others in thraldom to its iniquitous sway. Had the Jansenists been less open in condemning the vices of their brethren of the Romish Church, or had they been in their own habits more conformed to the world, it is probable that they might with the utmost safety, as far as persecution was concerned, have adhered to the peculiar views of Augustine. The world is, generally speaking, more prone to condemn a man's uncompromising censure of its maxims, than any peculiar notions which he may entertain on theological subjects. A man's belief, in fact, is little inquired into, provided he sets not his face against the prevailing vices of the times.
The abbey of Port-Royal in the Fields, situated in a retired valley not far from Paris, occupied at this period a very prominent place among the religious institutions of France. "It excited," says Mosheim, "the indignation of the Jesuits, the admiration of the Jansenists, and the attention of Europe;" and this not only on account of the highly religious tone of thinking and acting of its inmates, but of their literary acquirements. Founded in 1204 by Eudes de Sully, bishop of Paris, its discipline had in process of time become gradually relaxed, and the inhabitants had sunk into that sloth and sensuality which was too prevalent among monastic bodies: this was, in fact, a natural result of an unnatural system of seclusion from the ordinary occupations of life, equally at variance with the Gospel and common sense, and one which was in no small measure the means of forwarding the progress of the blessed Reformation; at the same time testifying that a life of supposed separation from the world might yet be spent in walking according to its course, and that the walls of a monastery or nunnery are by no means to be regarded as containing within them the most exalted religious feeling or the purest morality. An important reformation, however, had taken place under the government of Jaqueline, daughter of Anthony Arnaud, who, after her conversion, assumed the name of Marie Angélique de la St. Madelaine. It had for a century exemplified a model of piety, mingled indeed with lamentable error, and accompanied with austerities at variance with the true character of the Gospel: still, a great change had been wrought; the views entertained by Jansenius had here taken root, and had been instrumental in weaning many a heart from the world, and in producing a tone of seriousness that strikingly contrasted with that existing in many of those institutions which it has been, and now is, the policy of the see of Rome to sustain-institutions that are silently working their way in our own country, the increase of which is viewed with a strange apathy, but which may be one day instrumental in causing much confusion in the kingdom, in the attempt to raise Popery on the ruins of Protestantism.
The Port-Royalists might, at the period referred to, be divided into three classes:-1. The nuns, who occupied the monastery, and followed the rule of Cisteaux; 2. the recluses, who led a retired life of abstraction
from the world, but who were not bound by any vow, and of whom one company consisted of men who lived at the farm-house belonging to Port-Royal and other small cottages, and the other of ladies who boarded in the monastery; 3. various friends, who had houses near, and kept up an intimate connexion with the institution.
The remarks of Mosheim with reference to the state of Port-Royal, however just many of them may be, are to be received with much caution: he does not appear to have entered into the spiritual feelings by which many of its adherents were unquestionably actuated, and from which their devotedness to religion took its rise. "Such," he says, was the fame of this devout nunnery, that multitudes of pious persons were ambitious to dwell in its neighbourhood, and that a great part of the Jansenist penitents, or selftormentors, of both sexes, built huts within its precincts, where they imitated the manners of those austere and gloomy fanatics, who, in the fourth and fifth centuries, retired into the wild and uncultivated places of Syria and Egypt, and were commonly called the Fathers of the Desert.' The end which these penitents had in view was, by silence, hunger, thirst, prayer, bodily labour, watchings, sorrow, and other voluntary acts of self-denial, to efface the guilt and remove the pollution the soul had derived from natural corruption or evil habits." It would seem that there is something not a little harsh and unjust in such a statement. If those who retired to Port-Royal hoped by voluntary acts of self-denial to efface the guilt and remove the pollution of the soul, then, indeed, they erred greatly, "not knowing the Scriptures;" they displayed an utter ignorance of the plan of salvation through the meritorious efficacy of the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ; they forsook the fountain of living waters; - but I can scarcely believe their views were so radically erroneous. This, however, is stated as a mere matter of opinion. Wherever there is an unreserved submission to the see of Rome, there must be a departure from the truth of the Gospel; but it would appear that by the refusal to sign the declaration that has been referred to, such blind submission was not maintained by the Jansenists.
The penitents, however, according to Mosheim, did not all observe the same discipline, or follow the same kind of application and labour. The more learned consumed their strength in composing laborious productions filled with sacred and profane erudition; others were employed in teaching youth; but the greatest part exhausted both the health of their bodies and the vigour of their minds in servile industry and rural labour. What is singularly surprising, he adds, is, that many of these voluntary victims were illustrious both by their birth and station; amongst the most eminent of whom was Isaac le Maitre, a celebrated lawyer at Paris, who retired to Port-Royal in 1637, his example being followed by persons of the highest distinction.
Against the establishment of Port-Royal, its friends and supporters, the fury of the Jesuit party was steadily and relentlessly poured forth: the monastery was surrounded by an armed guard; sentries were placed at the doors; the nuns were prevented walking out in their own gardens; they were deprived of their ministers, interdicted the sacraments, and delared rebels and heretics. This persecution lasted some years, during which many died in consequence of the privations they suffered. They were denied a participation of the holy communion in their last hour; and their bodies were debarred from the rites of Christian burial. The recluses suffered little less cruelly: hand-bills were posted in the corners of every street, offering large rewards to those who would apprehend them; they were consequently obliged to wander from one hidingplace to another-the police officers often searching the rooms in which they were concealed. Some of them
died in the Bastile, others lived under the constant dread of being poisoned.
Meanwhile, those who have been described as composing the third class escaped unhurt. They were known to be adherents to the Jansenists partly, but were saved by their high rank. Among these the most remarkable was Anne Genevieve de Bourbon, duchesse de Longueville; "that haughty princess," as she has been termed, "whose beauty, whose wit, and whose talents, had hitherto been made subservient to the most boundless ambition; that same person who plunged her country into the horrors of a civil war to gratify her own disappointed pride-that heroine, who had so long withstood the great Condé, had become suddenly an altered character." Impressed with a deep sense of religion, and bewailing her former conduct, she now sought to devote the remainder of her days to God. Meetings were held at her house for deliberation as to the most effectual method of warding off persecution. Under her protection the Archbishop of Sens, the Bishop of Chalons, with Arnauld and Mole, drew up a plan of pacification; the duchess wrote herself to the pope upon the subject, Clement IX., a quiet and peaceable man, who had just entered on the pontificate. He had long deplored the wretched state of the Church in France, torn by factions, religious as well as civil, and gladly sought to restore order and tranquillity: he accordingly issued a brief of reconciliation in 1688.
In obedience to this brief, the imprisoned nuns were released, the confessors and deserted were restored, and Port-Royal for a season surpassed its former eminence. The greatest joy was manifested even by those who had taken no small share in the persecution. The joy of the common people was unbounded; they had always regarded the Jansenists as saints, and had admired the sanctity of their manners and the purity of their lives. The power of working miracles was claimed by them not only at the earlier but even later period
of their existence; and this circumstance added not a little to the veneration in which they were held. It is unnecessary here to point out the absurdity, if not the impiety, of arrogating to themselves such a power; and it is difficult to conceive how they could have been guilty of so doing: it cannot be denied, however, that the supposition that they possessed it, added to the veneration in which they were held. Unquestionably their piety caused them to be regarded with respect; and the many beneficent acts which they performed made their restoration to be hailed with delight.
We have much cause to be thankful to God that clearer light has been vouchsafed to us in this blessed Protestant land, with reference to religious subjects. However much the Christian may delight to commune with God in secret, and however much he may esteem it a privilege to be enabled, in imitation of his adorable Redeemer, to absent himself from the busy multitude for the purposes of private devotion, and serious reflection, and diligent self-examination, he will remember that each individual has his allotted sphere of action, in the diligent performance of the duties of which he is to bear a part. Non-conformity to the world does not imply an entire abstraction from the duties and occupations of the world; God may be as acceptably served amidst the bustle of daily life and the business of the crowded city, as in the remote valley far from the haunts of man. The great point to be attained is, the entire subjection of the heart to his authority-the aim that the life may be conformed to his blessed will. We are not to seek to be taken out of the world, but to pray to be kept from the evil that is in the world; and to endeavour in that situation in which we may be placed to testify that the leading object of our pursuit is, "the kingdom of God and his righteousness." We shall thus be qualified to act not only a consistent but a useful part. "I cannot praise,"
says Milton, "a fugitive and cloistered virtue, unexercised and unbreathed, that never sallies out and sees her adversary, but slinks out of the race where that immortal garland is to be run for, not without dust and heat." Happy that Christian who while using this world as not abusing it, intent above all things on promoting the glory of God, and furthering the salvation of the soul, testifies in the various scenes of active labour in which he is engaged, that his conversation is in heaven; and that the duties of life, to the performance of which he betakes himself with alacrity, are not suffered to impede him in his journey towards the city of the living God. Y.
THE BRIGHT SIDE.-In trouble, people try to persuade themselves that it will soon be over, and that it will not return again; and this they call looking at the bright side. Now the Bible tells us that "man is born to trouble," that it is his daily portion; so we must learn to get used to affliction, and not to be surprised at it. We need not be afraid to see things as bad as they really are, if, at the same time, we can find real and strong consolation under them. The times are bad. Yes; but if you are a Christian, my poor friend, you are looking forward to a happy eternity. You suffer pain and sickness; but there is perfect health in heaven. You have difficulty in procuring bread to eat; but the Saviour of sinners speaks of himself as the bread of life. You want clothes to wear; but he offers you the garments of salvation. You may be a wanderer without an earthly home; but in his Father's house are many mansions, and he will prepare a place for you, if you believe in him. Now is not this looking at the bright side of things? It does not want what the world calls learning, to look at
things (I would say it with reverence) even as God
looks at them. Do not think others to have no troubles, and so wrong them; perhaps the richest man you know has trials greater than any you have ever felt. Only try to be content in the state in which God has placed you, and look forward to a better world, and then you will be happy.-Job Nott.
THE WAY OF SALVATION.-Then, seeing that the heart of man is not right exactly, unless it be found in all parts such, that God examining and calling it unto account with all severity of rigour, be not able once to charge it with declining or swerving aside, (which absolute perfection when did God ever find in the sons of mere mortal men ?)-doth it not follow, that all flesh must of necessity fall down and confess, We are not dust and ashes, but worse; our minds, from the highest to the lowest, are not right; if not right, then undoubtedly not capable of that blessedness which we naturally seek, but subject unto that which we most abhor-anguish, tribulation, death, woe, endless misery. For whatsoever misseth the way of life, the issue thereof cannot but be perdition. By which reason, all being wrapped up in sin, and made thereby the children of death, the minds of all men, being plainly convicted not to be right,-shall we think that God hath endued them with so many excellencies more, not only than any, but than all the creatures in the world besides, to leave them in such estate, that they had been happier if they had never been? Here cometh in necessarily a new way unto salvation; so that they which were in the other perverse, may in this be found straight and righteous. That the way of nature; this the way of grace. The end of that way, salvation merited, presupposing the righteousness of men's works; their righteousness, a natural ability to do them; that ability, the goodness of God which created them in such perfection. But the end of this way, salvation bestowed upon men as a gift; presupposing not their righteousness, but the forgiveness of their unrighteous
ness, justification; their justification, not their natural ability to do good, but their hearty sorrow for their not doing, and unfeigned belief in Him for whose sake not-doers are accepted, which is their vocation; their vocation, the election of God, taking them out from the number of lost children; their election, a Mediator in whom to be elect; this mediation, inexplicable mercy; his mercy, their misery, for whom he vouchsafed to make himself a Mediator. The want of exact distinguishing between these two ways, and observing what they have common, what peculiar, hath been the cause of the greatest part of that confusion whereof Christianity at this day laboureth.-Hooker, Sermon on the Nature of Pride.
SIN THE STING OF DEATH.-The sting of death is sin, says the apostle. And what says the history of man, throughout all the realms and all the ages of heathenism? How was it in those days which the long-suffering of God winked at and overlooked? And how is it at this day in those countries which still continue to weary his patience by the multitude of their abominations? What was it that in ancient times demanded the fruit of the parent's body, but the sin of the parent's soul? What was it that caused the children of the idolaters to pass through the fire to Moloch? And what is it which at this day prostrates the eastern pilgrim beneath the chariot-wheels of a monstrous and mis-shapen idol? What are all these atrocities, but visible commentaries on the text of the apostle? What is there but the inward sense of wickedness, and a persuasion of the necessity of atonement, which can account for those prodigies of voluntary sacrifice and martyrdom? If death had no sting but that which it inflicts upon the body; if the sufferings of life, or the agonies of dissolution, were all that mortals had to apprehend,-why is it that fathers should ever consign their children to the fire, or their own bodies to extremity of torment? Throughout the world there is, and ever has been, a deep and indelible sense of guilt, which poisons every source of human enjoyment; which makes life restless, and the end of life terrible. It knocks at the door of the peasant, and thunders at the portals of monarchs. It tells the cottager at his meals, and the sovereign at his banquet, that he is weighed in the balance and found wanting. It whispers terror even to the sage in the retirement of his chamber, and turns his boasted wisdom into foolishness. And what is all the willworship, and all the voluntary humiliation, and all the superstitious vanity and corruption, which the world has ever seen,-what are they all, but expedients to blunt the sting which can never be taken out, and to deaden the anguish which its point is constantly inflicting? Why is it that man hath ever sought to hide himself in falsehood, but that he may escape that fearful looking-for of judgment, which shakes his spirit to its inmost recesses; which makes cowards of all alike; which reduces to one wretched level him that tills the earth in the sweat of his brow, and him that is canopied in grandeur and in power; aye, and him too that is endowed with might, which surpasses the glory of the kingdoms of the earth-the might of a capacious and commanding intellect?-Rev. C. W. Le
GOD'S JUDGMENTS.-Though God's judgments may be secret, yet they cannot be unjust; like the great deep, indeed, an abyss unfathomable: but though we have no plumb-line of reason that can reach it, our faith assures us there is justice at the bottom. Clouds and darkness are round about him, saith the Psalmist; but, as it follows, righteousness and judgment are the habitation of his throne: so much we may easily discern through all the veils and curtains that envelope him, that justice stands always fast by his judgmentseat.-Archbishop Sancroft.
ELIJAH IN THE DESERT.
"And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the Lord. And, behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake: and after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice. . . And behold there came a voice and said unto him, What doest thou here, Elijah?" -1 Kings, xix. 11-13.
(For the Church of England Magazine.) UPON the mountain stood
Elijah once, the holy man of God,
That bow'd the lofty fir-trees as it past;
That bathed the landscape in a fiery stream,
Thither, to meet the Lord,
The Tishbite came, led by his holy word:
Were spread, and all to him was dangerous ground;
Confiding in the Lord to aid the good,
And anxious watch'd the wind and light to see Whether the Lord of hosts, perchance, in them might
The blast swept o'er the plain,
And bent the trees, and cleft the rock in twain;
He sought the Lord within the roaring blast;
It urg'd along, he heard its murmurs hoarse, That fill'd his heart with awe and holy fear"If that thou seek'st the Lord, prophet, he is not here."
The earthquake roll'd around,
And shook the hills, and rent the solid ground;
Burst the volcano, with its blazing light:
Who in that earthquake shook the verdant sward;
Then came the "still small voice"
Elijah sunk abash'd upon the sod;
Who was not in the blast, or the volcano's flame: Then struck the awful words upon his ear,
"I am the Lord thy God; prophet, what dost thou here?"
My heart I, Lord, devote to thee entire ;
Do thou my senses guide, control, restrain :
VENTILATION.-In the construction of houses and public buildings, there is, for the most part, but little care taken to provide for due ventilation; which is capable of being regulated on the strictest scientific principles. Who has not experienced the ill effects of this neglect, in headaches, flushings, languor, and debility, incurred by attending meetings of large numbers of persons? These evils are caused by the inhalation of air from which much of its oxygen has been abstracted, and which is thus unfit for the purposes of respiration. Persons of delicate health, especially those whose lungs are weak, ought to beware of frequenting numerous and crowded assemblies: the theatre, the ball-room, and other fashionable places of resort, have destroyed many a victim.-Curtis on Health.
THE FLIES OF EGYPT.-Swarms of flies came "into all the land of Egypt, and the land was corrupted by reason of the flies." The Hebrew word arob denotes a mixture; and hence St. Jerome, in the Vulgate, translates it omne genus muscarum, “ all sorts of flies;" from which, in our version, is the phrase grievous swarm (Ex. viii. 24); for the critical reader will observe that the words of flies are printed in italics in our version, and are not in the original. We are thus left to conjecture what kind of fly is meant, or whether the plague really consisted of flies. Bishop Patrick, after observing that flesh-flies, or dog-flies, are very troublesome and venomous, says, that some think the Hebrew word means a mixture of different insects, as Jerome has translated it; and those who adopt that father's view are supported by Josephus, who observes, that God "filled the country full of various sorts of pestilential creatures, with their various properties." "Perhaps," says Bruce, "this is the insect called zimb in those countries. As soon as this plague appears, and its buzzing is heard, all the cattle forsake their food, and run wildly about the place, till they die, worn out with fatigue, fright, and hunger." The fly of Egypt became proverbial; and Isaiah, in one of his predictions against Ahaz, says, "It shall come to pass in that day that the Lord shall hiss for the fly that is in the uttermost part of the rivers of Egypt;" but if we attend to the reading of the passage in Exodus (viii. 24), "the land was corrupted by reason of the swarm," recollecting that the word flies is always inserted in italics, and is nowhere in the original, we must admit that it can hardly refer to a fly, properly so called. We have indeed various historical facts proving that flies are an intolerable plague; many places near lakes and pools having on their account been deserted and rendered desolate. Such, according to Herodotus, was the fate of Myus in Ionia, and of Atarnæ; the inhabitants being compelled to abandon those cities, unable to withstand the swarms of flies and gnats with which they were infested: the emperor Trajan was obliged to raise the siege of a place in the Arabian peninsula on account of the swarms of those insects; and Moses, in a much more early period, informs us that the hornet drove out the Canaanite; which means that before the conquest by the Israelites several cities had been deserted from terror of this insect. But in the 78th Psalm the arob is described as devouring the Egyptians, which is not applicable to a fly: "He sent divers sorts of flies among them,
which devoured then, and frogs, which destroyed them." Some recent commentators accordingly are of opinion that the Egyptian beetle (blatta Egyptiaca) is denoted in this plague. The beetle, it is well known, is every where a nuisance, and is particularly so in Egypt. All the allusions in different parts of the sacred Scriptures concerning the arob apply to this species. It devours every thing in its way, even clothes, books, and plants, and does not hesitate to inflict severe bites upon man. And as it appears to have been one of the great objects of the plagues to chastise the Egyptians through their own objects of reverence or abhorrence, the beetle might have been fitly employed for this purpose. Although it cannot be determined what place it held in their religious system, it is evident, from its figure occurring so frequently in Egyptian sculpture and painting, that it occupied a conspicuous place among the sacred creatures. In the British Museum there is a remarkable colossal figure of a beetle in greenish-coloured granite, and it is also delineated in various specimens of Egyptian antiquities preserved in that national institution. At the same time, if the popular reading of flies be retained, the preceding observations are equally applicable. The Egyptians, we learn, were worshippers of Zebub, or the god-fly. The land of Egypt," says Bryant, "being annually overflowed, was pestered with swarms of flies. They were so troublesome, that the people were in many places forced to lie on the roofs of the houses, which were flat, where they were obliged to cover themselves with a net-work. As the country thus abounded with these insects, it might be thought that judgment was effected in a natural way, if it were not that it was brought about, as was also that of the frogs, in the coldest and most ungenial season of the year in Egypt. These noxious animals could not have been produced at such a season by natural means; it was contrary to all experience. They used to be produced at a different, and for the most part an opposite time of the year; and before this season they were either diminished or extinct."Edinburgh Scripture Gazetteer.
JAPAN. The Japanese are quite intolerant to Christianity. The Catholic priests, who formerly lived in Japan, enjoyed every possible freedom, and converted a great number of the natives; but, at last, the progress of the new religion gave rise to a dreadful civil war. For this reason, after the extirpation of the Christians, the following inscription was placed at the head of the stone tablets of laws, which are fixed up in all public places. "Whoever knows any individual who has taught Christianity, and can convict him thereof, shall receive a reward of five hundred silver pieces." There is likewise a law which prohibits masters from hiring servants, until they receive from them a written assurance of their not being Christians. In Nangasaky, where Christianity had made the greatest progress, there is a staircase, on the steps of which are laid various ornaments and utensils of the Catholic Church, and on the first step a crucifix. On new-year's day, all the inhabitants of Nangasaky are obliged to ascend these steps; and, as a proof that they are not Christians, to trample on the articles. It is said, that many Christians who live at Nangasaky comply with this regulation from interested motives.-These facts, we presume, are true; but it is mournful that the intrigues or bad conduct of these papal missionaries should be identified with Christianity.-Christian Observer.
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,