« PreviousContinue »
effecting this, he ever breaks the heart of stone, and causes the tears of penitence to flow. There is a penitence which must precede even prayer. Man prays only so far as he mourns with penitence over those sins and infirmities, in deed, word, and thought, into which the frailty of a nature but imperfectly renewed, and the urgency of temptation, may have betrayed him; and as he sincerely and fervently implores the Divine aid to emancipate him from their hated tyranny. Will, then, the habitual indulgence of those tempers produce and cherish that penitential sorrow for this very indulgence; that holy abhorrence of those very sins; that earnest desire of deliverance from a tyranny to which he willingly succumbs; that hunger and thirst after the opposite graces, all of which prayer indispensably requires, or rather, which are themselves the essential ingredients, and form the very life and substance of prayer?... Command the heaving volcano that it cease to vomit the foul vapour from its convulsed bowels upon the balmy fragrance of the summer-breeze; that it no longer hurl the weapons of its impotent defiance against a serene and smiling heaven; nor shed that lurid, sickly light which the meridian sun obscures by its lustre; -or adventure your frail bark upon winter's tempestuous ocean; and while the lightning's glare illumines the midnight desolation, and shews, in fearful array, the watery mountains, which the hurricane has uptorn from its agitated bosom; and while the sails flutter, and the timbers creak, and the masts crash, and the labouring vessel heaves, and settles, and goes down, stand upon her sinking prow, and speak to the bellowing winds and raging sea, "Peace, be still;" and when "even the winds and the sea obey" you; when the wild war of nature's physical elements conflicting, obeys your voice, then say to the wilder passions of the undisciplined and unregenerated heart, Pray!
CONVICTION OF SIN.-When God's Spirit brings the least ray of light to the benighted soul, and tells the sinner to prepare to meet his God, how is he alarmed and confounded! It requires but little examination of himself to convince him, that he is unfit to appear before a holy and righteous God. He is soon awfully sensible that "his house is not set in order," and he trembles at the thought of being called away from a world which he had made his resting-place, where he had long taken his ease, and looked for happiness, to a world where none of the things in which he delights can accompany him. Conscience is awakened, and it speaks to him in a voice as terrible as that which brought Adam from his hiding-place. Sinner, what is thy condition? where art thou going? what is thy hope? The time is short, and the fashion of this world passeth away. The things on which thy affections are placed must speedily be as if they were not, and a new world must open on thy bewildered eyes. What preparation hast thou made for that world? How wilt thou appear in the presence of a pure and holy God, who has commanded thee to devote thyself to his service, to set thy affections not on earthly things? If it is a wearisome and distasteful task to think upon God, to read and meditate upon his word, to pray to him, to visit his temple, and to join the congregation of worshippers in offering him thanks and praise, what hope, or even desire, canst thou entertain of being admitted into his kingdom? The pleasures, the employments of " the spirits of just men made perfect," are all of a spiritual nature, while thine are all "carnal, earthly, sensual." What hope or prospect, then, canst thou have beyond the grave? It is no wonder, when thoughts like these enter the hearts of men who have been living careless and unconcerned about the things of eternity, that "they are
horribly afraid;" that "they are utterly consumed with terrors." They may have found a short-lived peace in the paths of sin and darkness which they have chosen. The service of Satan may for a time afford them satisfaction, but the pleasures which he allows his servants to taste are as deceitful as they are short. Like the fruit of the tree of knowledge, they convey a subtle poison to the soul, more pernicious and destructive than the most deadly poison of a serpent. The taste may intoxicate and stupify, and bring on an insensibility as to their danger; but it is the torpor and lethargy which come before death. They are roused from such a state only by the voice of God speaking to them by his Spirit, by his word, by his ministers, or by some heavy and afflictive calamity; and then, however desirous they may be to close their eyes again in sleep, it is impossible. Troubled and dismayed, they may endeavour to drive away their tormenting reflections-their attempts are fruitless. Like Adam, they may try to flee from the Divine presence; but, like him also, they must stand before their God "when he appeareth.' If even paradise could afford no hiding-place, no consolation, no peace, to the first transgressors, how can those who sin " after the similitude of Adam's transgression," hope that a world which "lieth in wickedness" can yield them any refuge from the heat," any "covert from the storm" of God's righteous displeasure!
From "The First Adam: a course of Sermons," &c. By Rev. Samuel Hobson, LL.B., Curate of Kirstead, Norfolk.
INFIDELITY. When once infidelity can persuade men that they shall die like beasts, they will soon be brought to live like beasts also.-South.
BY CHARLES BAYLY.
WHEN Jerusalem wept o'er her Temple profan'd,
When the blood of her children their city had stain'd, And the war-horse her daughters had dash'd to the ground,
Midst the shout of the warrior, the scream of the child,
O Jewry! thou city once favour'd of old,
Thy Temple and palaces splendid and rare, Though once deck'd with jewels and blazon'd with gold,
Are view'd by thy children in silent despair : Yet how often thy judgments by Him were foretold, Whom thy sons in their pride and their ignorance slew,
Who yearn'd to have gather'd them all to his fold, Ere that day had arriv'd which his wisdom foreknew.
O England! my country, thy blessings are great, Thy glories more splendid than Jewry or Rome; The nations lie prostrate and bound at thy feet,
And Fame points her finger to ages to come : May thy trust be in Him who alone can sustain
The strong and the weak in the hour of their need; Then the storms which assail thee shall gather in vain, And the blast of destruction be stay'd in its speed.
Humbly before thee now I kneel,
Full many an hour-nay, many a day-
Pardon I ask for time misspent,
One of thy weak and wand'ring sheep,
In thine own blood wash out my sin,
With peace my conscience bless; Give me that robe so pure and clean
Thy spotless righteousness.
Help me to live to thee alone,
Though here I linger long; All other lords may I disown,
And Jesus be my song.
And when the hour of death shall come,
REV. J. HARVEY.
OPIUM. The use and potency of opium as a medicine are well known. It is in skilful hands one of the greatest alleviations of bodily suffering and anguish that a merciful Providence has vouchsafed us; yet every physician knows that it needs to be used with skill and caution. In some painful diseases, which might seem at first sight to demand its use, the effects would be highly injurious, or even fatal; and there are many constitutions to which a very moderate dose of opium, even under the circumstances which would commonly call for its exhibition, would be fearfully deleterious. Perhaps there are few persons who (looking round among the range of their acquaintance) cannot find one or two who know, by experience, that they must not venture upon the use of opium at all: the most moderate dose would cause them severe suffering. What, then, must be said to the use of this potent drug as a mere luxury, at the will and pleasure of the ignorant individual who takes
From "The Iniquities of the Opium-Trade with China." By the Rev. A. S. Thelwall, M.A. of Trinity College, Cambridge. London, W. H. Allen and Co. 1839.-The subject treated upon by Mr. Thelwall, in a very masterly style, deserves the serious consideration of every friend of humanity, although there is reason to believe that most persons are entirely ignorant concerning it. Mr. Thelwall sets forth some authentic and valuable documents to prove the incalculable misery resulting from the importation of opium into China, which in 1836 amounted to 27,111 chests, valued at 17,904,248 dollars: the import in 1837 amounted to 34,000 chests. Some of these documents will be inserted in future Numbers of this Magazine.
a fancy to indulge in it? I put the question plainly to one of the most eminent physicians in London, and his unhesitating answer was, that no one could thus use it without shortening his life. Yet, as a mere stimulant or luxury, it is used in various countries to a vast extent. Some swallow a certain dose of it raw, to produce the desired excitement; others smoke a preparation of it, to produce the same effect. In whichever way it is used, the first indulgence prepares the way for a second; the second for a third; and so on till it becomes habitual. There is something peculiarly ensnaring in the use of opium, not only on account of the high excitement of the imagination, which is the immediate result of the stimulus, but more especially because that high excitement is soon followed by a correspondent lassitude and intolerable depression, which scarcely any thing but a repetition of the dose can relieve. Thus the habit grows upon the wretched victim, till he becomes entirely enslaved to it; and so strong is the necessity of having recourse to the stimulus at the regular hour, that it has even been affirmed, that fatal consequences might result from sudden and total abstinence.
NATURAL THEOLOGY,* if properly studied, and not mixed up with the silly inventions of ignorant and designing men, would teach us that this noble universe, every part of which displays the hand of omnipotent power, the contrivance of infinite wisdom, and the provision of unbounded benevolence, is the work, and under the guardian care of a good and almighty Being, who created and governs it,that to Him our adoration is due. It would teach us likewise, that the only way by which we can effectually shew our gratitude to, and love of, Him, is by promoting the comfort and happiness of our fellowcreatures, and observing those rules and laws which are necessary for the well-being of society. It would shew us that our own happiness is intimately connected with that of others, and that our true interest consists in doing unto all men as we would they should do unto us; that the acts of dishonesty, chicane, and fraud; that lying, profaneness, intemperance,- in short, all the vices that disgrace human nature, are devoid of true pleasure and profit, and tend to the injury both of those who practise them, and all who are within the sphere of their influence.
PROMISES was the ready money that was first coined, and made current by the law of nature, to support that society and commerce that was necessary for the comfort and security of mankind; and they who have adulterated this pure and legitimate metal with an alloy of distinctions and subtle evasions, have introduced a counterfeit and pernicious coin, that destroys all the simplicity and integrity of human conversation. For what obligations can ever be the earnest of faith and truth, if promises may be violated? The superinduction of others for the corroboration and maintenance of government had been much less necessary, if promises had still preserved their primitive vigour and reputation; nor can any thing be said for the non-performance of a promise, which may not as reasonably be applied to the non-observance of an oath; and in truth, men have not been observed to be much restrained by their oaths who have not been punctual in their promises; the same sincerity of nature being requisite to both.-Lord Clarendon.
From "Nature Displayed," &c. By W. Pinnock. London, 8. Cornish and Co. 1839.-A very pleasing and useful little volume; the illustrations are interesting.
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.
1 PRINTED BY:
ROBSON, LEVET, AND FRANKLYN, 46 ST. MARTIN'S LANE.
BY THE REV. EDWARD YOUNG, M.A.
WHATEVER be the mysteriousness of the subject of spiritual influences, and the utter hopelessness of all attempts of the mere philosopher to comprehend it, there is a practical sense in which it is intelligible to the humble believer. The God whom we adore is "a God of order, and not of confusion;" and the religion he has been pleased so graciously to reveal is stamped with his image. The religion of the Bible is not, as some have misconceived it, a system of blind and unintelligible impulses a sort of frenzy, unconnected with any rational cause, and unproductive of any rational end. Mysterious indeed it is, and unsearchable by man's wisdom; yet in this respect it differs not from a vast variety of things, about which, though they may seem at first sight less remote from our grasp, the most indefatigable scrutiny has left us utterly ignorant. Of the real essence and proper nature, for instance, of our natural no less than of our spiritual life, it may be truly said, that man, in all his wisdom, is absolutely ignorant; and all we can affirm of the one, as well as all we know of the other, is wrapped up in what the apostle told the Athenians long ago, " in Him we live, and move, and have our being."
OF THE UNITED
I will send the scoffer, who makes miserable mockery of the things of the Spirit, and charges us with believing what we cannot understand, and depending upon a something which we cannot explain to the inquirer-I will send him to the school of anatomy for correction, and bid him define the nature of that mysterious principle,
VOL. VII.-NO. CLXXVI.
CHURCH OF ENGLAND
which makes him to differ from unconscious clay on which he gazes, once endued with sensation and impulse, now motionless and senseless as the dust beneath his feet; and unless he tell me (he cannot) what the principle is, I will leave him the alternative of absurdly denying his own existence, or of believing what he cannot understand, and depending upon and exercising what he cannot explain.
But the analogy is instructive, as well as convincing. Of spiritual life, no less than of natural, it may be affirmed that, though it is a mystery, it manifests itself by its effects. Our blessed Lord affirmed to Nicodemus, "The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, or whither it goeth; so is every one that is born of the Spirit." "Thou hearest the sound thereof." There are sensible effects, though the cause be mysterious; and even so it is with regard to the work of the Spirit. It is a mystery that will bear examination. It will stand the test of proper investigation. It is set before us as a subject of reverent observation and of blessed experience.
Again what says St. John? "That which was from the beginning, which we have heard," (and what is more,)" which we have seen with our eyes," (further yet,) "and our hands have handled of the Word of life, declare we unto you" (1 John, i. 1). It was a practical acquaintance with the incarnate Word, from which the apostle spoke and wrote; and he did this, be it observed, for a practical end, " that ye also may have fellowship with us, and truly our fellowship is with the Father and his Son Jesus Christ;"
[London: Robson, Levey, and Franklyn, 46 St. Martin's Lane.]
and (which is also of further moment to observe,)" he that saith he abideth in him ought himself to walk even as he walked." Here, then, is the answer to foolish men, who know nothing of true religion, and who deride it in consequence. We are not, as such unhappy persons may suppose, mad in our profession of this great doctrine, or deceived as to the great mystery of godliness which we rejoice in. We neither utter the dream of a distempered fancy, nor follow a cunningly devised fable; but speak forth in our profession the words of truth and soberness. We declare truths which may be felt as well as heard, and which lead to consequences distinctly cognisable. Spiritual life has its proper instincts and its proper actings. Its experience has an established standard by which it will be identified, and its workings are in accordance with established rules. Its model, as well as source, has been inscribed, under God's bidding and God's guidance, by those who declare what they had "heard and seen" and "handled of the Word of life;" and the objects with which it is conversant, and after which it aspires, are matters which cannot be thrown aside as visionary; for "whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, or if there be any praise," spiritual life exercises itself in thinking on, and in following after these things.
THE POWER OF LOCALITY IN ANIMALS.* LOCALITY, or the faculty of finding and recognising places, is a power inherent in animals, without the assistance afforded them by which they could not even exist. They could neither find their dwellings, their offspring, nor their food, having once quitted them, unless they were able to distinguish the places in which they were left. This would not fail to be the case, were the objects quitted within even a short distance; and therefore the possession by animals of some such faculty is sufficiently proved by the well-authenticated accounts, which are so frequent in works on natural history, of the return of many animals from distant countries to the place whence they had been taken, surmounting difficulties which would seem to be insuperable. The readiness with which dogs distinguish their masters' houses from neighbouring ones, is merely an inferior manifestation of this power, and may be explained without supposing any exertion of intelligence. This faculty is very active in some animals; and, like other powers, it varies in individuals of the same species. Some possess it to an extraordinary degree, while others appear completely destitute of it. By it, appropriate organisation being superadded,
From "The Power, Wisdom, and Goodness of God, as displayed in the Animal Creation." By C. M. Burnet, Esq.
animals are enabled to live in particular spots. As I have shewn, in my letter on the adaptation of animals to their various stations, there can be little doubt that
particular regions have been set apart for their habitations, to which they are attached, not only by the circumstances of climate, food, &c., but also by the
propensity we are at present considering, which in many cases operates so as to impel them, at certain periods, to quit one country and resort to another far distant land, in alternate succession. In proof of the influence of this propensity, I may mention, that turtlers affirm, that if a turtle be transported many hundred miles from its usual abode, and again liberated in the ocean, it will return to its former place of habitation. Pigeons conveyed to great distances in close cages, so as to be unable to observe the distinguishing features of the country through which they pass, are capable of finding their way back to the spot from which they were taken. By this power animals in the earliest stages of their existence are impelled to seek their natural element. Thus, turtles and ducks, for example, need no monitor to direct them to the water as soon as they are hatched. And it is this power
also which causes the various tribes of birds to choose different elevations and localities for building their nests; some in rocks, some in the tops of trees, some in their trunks, some in their roots. It is not generally known that there are several species of rats, each of which lives in a different locality; one species lives always in cellars and ditches, another in the higher parts of houses and upon high ground.
The operation of this power is further exemplified in the choice of situation made by the chamois, the ptarmigan, and many other animals. When this faculty predominates very much, it gives rise to conduct almost surpassing belief. A dog was transported in a carriage from Vienna to Petersburg; six months afterwards it returned to Vienna. Another dog was transported from Vienna to London, and found its way back by attaching itself to a traveller in the packet-boat. Jesse mentions the circumstance of a dog finding its way from London to Scotland, and another from America to England; also of an ass that found its way from the Point de Gat to Gibraltar, though it had been conveyed thither by ship. This faculty also explains the wonderful phenomenon of migration, which has puzzled so many learned naturalists. At different periods of the year, directly after the summer solstice has passed, we observe a variety of birds beginning to prepare for their departure from this to other countries, many thousand miles distant. It has been well ascertained, that in many instances they leave our country for a more temperate and uniform climate. It is by no
"The habits of this bird are well known; but they cannot fail to strike every one who observes them as an instance of the adaptation of animal life to peculiar and unpromising localities. Closely resembling as they do the grouse, they seem to abhor the heather, in which the latter delights; and in no instance did I find a single bird of the species within the verge of that vegetation. It is only where the bare rock juts out of the earth that they are to be found; and no painter could imitate more accurately the general hue of the rock than does the summer plumage of its resident, which, as we all know, in winter, like the mountain-hare, becomes as white as the snow it then inhabits." JESSE's Angler's Rambles, p. 261,
+ Spurzheim's Phrenology.
means certain, however, that all birds have this object in migrating from one country to another. The cuckoo visits us first in April, when our climate is cold and unequal, and leaves us the first week in July. Judging from the various periods at which migratory birds arrive and depart, it would seem certain of them are appointed to change their habitations at fixed seasons, in order to keep up the due equilibrium of life in the different countries which they frequent. For this purpose they are endowed with the power of transporting themselves from one region to another widely distant.
When the purpose for the attainment of which they were conveyed to one country has been fulfilled, they instinctively seek another, regardless of all opposing difficulties. The chief object accomplished by the migration of birds appears to be the destruction of innumerable myriads of insects and worms of all sorts, which, but for this check to their multiplication, would increase to so awful an extent as to threaten the earth with famine and desolation. He who cannot perceive the hand of God in this wise and merciful arrangement must be blind indeed. We need no longer marvel, then, to see the little swallow or the house-martin return to our land with such faithful exactness; and not only to the same country, but to the same place the same window or the same hole; for we know that the power by which they are guided is given to them by their Creator, and that it is his hand which directs their movements.
It is well known that birds kept in a cage, though fed with an abundance of food, become restless at the period in which they would, if at liberty, migrate-an indication that the propensity to transport their bodies to some other clime is not attributable to external causes alone-such as food, temperature, and the like; but is an innate feeling, given to them by their Maker.
GAMBLING AND ITS CONCOMITANT VICES.
BY A CLERGYMAN OF THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND,
THE vice of gambling, in the train of which a multitude of others invariably follow, prevails amongst all classes to a most pernicious extent; from the man who squanders his thousands, forfeits his estates, and reduces himself to a condition little removed from pauperism, to the pauper himself, who is willing to risk his few pence in hopes that he may add to them by some lucky hit. Whether carried on in the splendid saloon, amidst all that can pamper the appetite and madden the brain, or amidst the obscenity which too often disgraces the proceedings of the beershop, the effect is little different, as far as hardening the heart is concerned. It is needless to say, that any legislative enactment, with the view effectually to prevent gambling, would be a most important addition to the code of our country's laws; and that he would be indeed a true benefactor to his fellow-men, who could devise some such expedient as would prevent or at least modify this crying evil. When it is considered how much time is wasted, how much money is squandered, how many evil tempers are cherished, how much poverty is caused, and not unfrequently reason lost or life sacrificed, by gambling, it is assuredly the imperative duty of the Christian philanthropist to endeavour to check, if he cannot wholly remove
it. And Christian parents cannot be too particular in expressing their strong disapprobation at the appearance of the first symptoms of a desire to gamble in their children, though such a desire is too frequently countenanced and encouraged. Little, indeed, is the parent aware of the evils which may result from his permitting his children to play at cards, or to bet on a horse-race, or even on the issue of a game at cricket or marbles. It may be for a very small stake; but the principle is bad, the spirit called forth is pernicious. A bias is given to the mind detrimental to its proper culture; and many a wretched spendthrift may trace his headlong career of folly to indulgence of a spirit of gambling in boyish days.
It is the writer's purpose to point out, in a few gambling; and in the present, to confine his remarks papers, some of the evils connected with the vice of
Horse racing is regarded by many, who take no great interest in it in a gambling point of view, as a very innocent and rational amusement. The time of the races is looked forward to as a joyous season; and many preparations are made in the way of dress and family arrangements for their due celebration. A large influx of company is expected into the town, which as a consequence circulates money, and renders the race-week profitable to many tradesmen as well as publicans; and consequently the removal of the nuisance would meet with strong opposition on the part of many who never attend the race. The races are not unfrequently patronised by persons of distinction in the neighbourhood, whom it would be dangerous to offend. The very representatives in parliament are expected, as a matter of course, to keep up the members' plate; while corporate bodies have by the insignia of their city or borough, to sanction been known, in their official capacity, and attended the race-course with their presence. It is maintained that races have a tendency to keep up a fine breed of horses in the country; that they are a source of emolument, and give employment to many persons; and the respectable company which usually is to be found on the course, with the large list of patrons, some of whom move in the highest ranks, is esteemed a sufficient guarantee that they cannot be of that immoral and licentious tendency which some affirm. The writer would regard the subject, however, in a Christian spirit, and in a Christian point of view; and he has no hesitation in affirming, that no real Christian will countenance, in the remotest degree, the vices of a race-course-nay, further, that every true Christian will use his influence, be it small or great, to discourage them. Happy that neighbourhood which is free from this moral pest; unfortunate the neighbourhood where races are periodically held. Every friend to humanity and morality will use his exertions against their institution near the place of his residence.
First, as concerns humanity confined to the brute creation. It is impossible to prove that horseracing is unattended with cruelty. The horses are, indeed, well fed and well attended to it is the owner's interest that they should be so: but is there no cruelty in urging the horse beyond its natural strength-in goading and pushing it to the goal-no cruelty in the lashes inflicted upon it? Let any one observe the race-horse just arrived at the winningpost; and he surely, if not blinded by love of his favourite amusement, will declare that the whole transaction, which he has witnessed with interest and delight, is replete with barbarity. A statement lately appeared in the newspapers, of the fate of some of the noblest race-horses in England in their declining years It would appear that many of them had passed through every species of drudgery, until the knacker's yard relieved them from their woes; and the series of prints, "The High-mettled Racer," known to many