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because they are not so good as the modern ones ? Does the true thinker condemn the infant-school on account of the roughness of its pictures, and the simplicity of its teachings? Do you knock down the porch because it only leads to the temple? Do you break the mirror because it only reflects the sun ? Do you destroy all the relies of ancient art, because it was then comparatively infantile in its efforts ?
The sceptic may rail against the laws and ordinances of the Mosaic institute as he pleases, but he has not proved, and he can never prove that they were not the best under the circumstances, and that they were not greatly calculated to exert a healthful moral influence upon the people, and to prepare them for the more glorious dispensation of the future.
The fact that a mild form of domestic slavery was permitted among the Jews, in the case of a people that had filled up their cup of iniquity, and had made themselves in their associated capacity a moral curse to all around them, is no proof whatever that a slavery, which embraces all crimes in one, is sanctioned in the Bible. The slave-holders of Americå would need to show, not only that the institutions were the same, but that they have a special command from God to enslave the negroes. Nowhere in the Bible do you find any warrant for enslaving men; everywhere do you find those principles taught and those duties enjoined which must eventually subvert oppression for all time and in all lands.
The fact that the Jews were commanded to externinate certain nations is no proof that the Bible represents God as cruel and revengeful, any moro than the immense yearly destruction of life by the lightning, the earthquake, the tornado, the tempest, the fire, the avalanche, or the flood, or even by what are called natural means is evidence of cruelty or revenge. The Creator of all men is the supreme arbiter of life and death. He and he alone has a right to decide when it shall be given, and when and how it shall be taken. He alone can judge when an individual or a nation forfeits existence, and if he sees that the employment of human agency in its destruction will deeply impress men's minds with a sense of its evil, and form a break-water against its spread, who has a right to find fault with such an arrangement?
The anthropomorphisms of the Old Testament are repeated to weariness, as proof that the Bible cannot be depended upon as a moral guide. But I would like to know if the youngest child that reads that book in the Sabbath school is either led astray or morally endangered by them. That God is frequently spoken of after the manner of men, is evidence only that the Old Testament was adapted to the world in the infancy and nonage of its history; and that it is God's design that his book while it will not offend the true philosopher, shall be level to the capacity of the peasant. Isaiah's sublime vision of the Lord seated on a throne, high and lifted up, his glory filling the temple, with ten thousand times ten thousand holy intelligences prostrating themselves in lowly adoration before him, is incompatible neither with his appearance to Abraham, Jacob, nor Moses as the “angel of the covenant,” nor with John's representatiou of him as sitting, in the humanity which he had assumed, wearied and faint at Sychar's well telling Samaria's erring and hopeless child of a living water that could quench her thirst. Is it a crime to be a man? And shall the creature presume to
that it is unwise in the Creator for the highest ends in the universe-for the manifestation of his own glorious character, and the salvation, and moral culture of man—to take upon him our nature, to speak to us in human language and reveal himself through human sympathies. O proud and foolish heart of man, to turn away from a spectacle so sublime and thrilling! Has the highest, the most disinterested love no claim upon your attention and gratitude, because it wears no outward insignia of heavenly royalty? Will you scorn it because it speaks in accents of human tenderness, and vents itself in human tears ? Relentlessly will you attempt to snap
asunder that wonderful tie that binds man to God? If, O scoffer, you can for yourself, dispense with those delineations of God that take the most powerful hold of the heart of man; will you not pity the wants and sorrows of the rest of your brethren of mankind, who feel that those passages of the Bible to which you object are all the more precious to them that they speak of God as a real, a present friend, and pour into the breaking heart a balm which human philosophy and friendship can never give ?
THE CHRISTIAN AND THE INFIDEL IN THE HOUR
In order to travel to Wetherby as economically as possible, I concluded to go by the steam-boat from London to Hull, and previous to my departure, had made the necessary arrangements for so doing; but, as the day approached, I had a foreboding, (in consequence of a dream), that I should have a dangerous passage. This worked so strongly, on my mind, that I determined to go by land, but could not feel easy under the change of purpose, as the monitor seemed to say in my heart, that my fears were turning me from some approaching duty. After much exercise of mind, under a restless conscience, I, at length, found peace in returning to my original determination.
On the morning of the 7th, my wife and children, in ignorance of this impression upon my mind, accompanied me to the wharf; and when on board the
steamer, she made an earnest request, that I would go in the best cabin, instead of the forecastle, urging that she should be easier in her mind if I did só. This was but little to give up to one who so zealously holds up my hands in all my engagements, and, without whose free consent, I could not, in all probability, have undertaken the task. Therefore I agreed to her proposal; and having booked my place, we took leave of each other.
Notwithstanding the beautiful appearance of the morning, I could not divest myself of the feeling that there was danger of some sort before me; we however floated along the Thames favoured by the wind and tide, and refreshed by all the smiling beauties of nature, as the sun, with varied rays, played upon the banks and the neighbouring hills.
At dinner, a stranger who sat beside me, observed that I did not eat meat ; and a person opposite to me, finding it was not in consequence of any indisposition, inquired, if I had any conscientious scruple against eating flesh ?-) explained that I acted only on a principle of self-denial. This produced a religious conversation, in which my neighbour made some remarks of a sceptical character; and occasionally spoke of Mr. Owen's system of philosophy, as if he believed in it. In my replies, I took care to illustrate the essential doctrines of Christianity ; but, in opposition, he justified his doubtings by reflecting on the conduct of the preachers, and the general habits of their flocks, declaring that he believed they did nothing without some interested motive.' I answered his argument by shewing him one of my bills, on which he observed the words, “ not the agent of any society",—"No collection, and he confessed there appeared to be no sinister motive there. I then asked him :
"How could you have known my motive if I had not shown you my bills ? “ That would have been impossible.” “Nevertheless, you included me in your general condemnation of Christians.” "I did not mean to say that there may not be a few exceptions."
“How can you tell how many ?–May not every individual at the table be as disinterestedly engaged as I am, for aught you know ?” “Certainly." "Then you see the wisdom of Christ, who tells us, "Judge not.""
About eight o'clock, p.m., being in the English Channel, the wind began to blow very hard from the southward, and, shortly afterwards, I lay down for the night on the upper end of the settee which extended round the side and the end of the saloon. My head was in the corner under the stern windows, and my body in the fore and aft direction, so that my feet were at the head of the unbeliever, who occupied the next length of the running couch. I soon fell asleep; but about midnight, was awoke by a tremendous crash on deck. On raising my head, I observed that all the cabin passengers had already made their way to the door, through which the crowd was impetuously rushing, whilst, in the rear, the sceptic strove manfully to escape also : but whither?—To dumb Philosophy ? "God speaketh once, yea twice, yet man perceiveth it not."
I, under the shadow of the Almighty wing, was favoured to experience the power of his promise :—“Thou shalt not be afraid of the terror by night; " and conceiving that I could be of no use on deck, (whither I supposed the whole party had fled,) I contentedly laid my head upon my pillow, whilst this ungodly man now felt the effect of the woe which is unto him that striveth against his Maker.
I could not sleep; but, as a lighted lamp was suspended from the deck, I ob. served the movement of the passengers, and, amongst the rest, that of my new acquaintance, who seemed to be so terrified that, in useless and restless anxiety, he now ran to the cabiu door, then to the sleeping berths, holding as well as he could, by the table and other fixtures. In the meantime, having been twice pitched off my couch, I therefore changed my berth to the end settee, so that, being athwart-ship, I could not be thrown, as, at each roll of the vessel, I should be on my head or my heels.-Having attracted his attention, by thus changing my position, he immediately worked his way to my couch; and, reclining on that which I had just vacated, so that his head and mine were in the same corner, he, in an agony of fear, of which I had hitherto formed po adequate idea, exclaimed
“Oh! what a dreadful night-the waves are higher than the deck." Whilst he yet spoke, one
of them broke over the vessel, with a heavy crash fell upon the deck, and like the rush of many waters swept its way into its native element. Loud and fearful as was the noise, it did not drown the voice of the despairing sinner, for, in the midst of all, he cried with a terrified gutteral tone, as if death personified had already grasped him for his prey.
“Ah! I am afraid to die !"
“Ah, my friend !- this is the time when the Christian feels the value of his religion."
I never felt the terror of death before." " He that believeth 'on me, though he were dead, yet shall he live,' is the promise of our Lord, and such as, through faith, possess resignation to his will, are prepared to go hence or to remain; so that, when the storm comes, they are helped to feel the power of the words, “Thy will, Father, not mine bé done.'"
"Oh !” exclaimed he, “what it is to be a Christian !I now see its value : nothing but that divine principle could produce such calmness in this dangerous situation.—But (as if excusing himself for being so alarmed) I have a wife and three children."
" And I have a wife and five children ; but my Father says . Leave your fatherless children, I will keep them alive, and let your widows trust in me.”
" Ah! but what can I do?-I am not fit to die.”
“ Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved !-His doctrine is, Repent ye, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.' . If you truly repent there will be sorrow for the past—à determination, with the Lord's help, never to do those things whereof you are now ashamed—and a resolve to undo the evil as far as in you
lieth.” “I am indeed sorry for my past offences, and no longer desire to continue therein; but I cannot undo the evil I have done.-Surely, I should do some works worthy of a follower of Christ, before I can be received."
"You are justified by faith and not by works, lest you, or any man should boast. What if the vessel were to sink with us, and in half an hour you were food for sharks! Where then would be the time for works?-Now is the accepted time—even now may you be justified if you believe that through Christ so much mercy is to be obtained in such a simple way, as repentance towards God, and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ."
“I would gladly do so, but I fear that my repentance is not sincere; for I have heard of many who, in the hour of the terror of death, repented, and again turned to their unbelief."
“I know that such lamentable occurrences have happened, but it does not follow that their repentance was, at the moment, insincere. They might in many,
if not all instances, have been backsliders, which, I trust will not be your case !" -He was silent for some time, as if he had forgotten the danger he so much dreaded; and at length said :
“You have laboured much in the cause of religion, but be assured that you have now turned one poor soul to Christ.” Then bursting into tears, he threw his head upon my pillow and wept.
I could say no more,—the tears were flowing down my cheeks-my soul was turned to Him who was with me, offering praise and thanksgiving, that that peace of heaven should have been observed in me by one who so much required å sign ; and my heart inwardly prayed, saying
Father, I have been accustomed to storms, battlefields, and bold enterprises ;
is it then hardihood engendered by habit, or is it faith in thy promises that makes me appear thus calm in the midst of the jarring elements. Teach me, Father, to know my own heart."
He again referred to my calmness and fortitude, and no wonder, for I was indeed absent in prayer; but, hearing this call of poverty, I turned to him and said:
“Yes, my friend !I may, indeed, be calm, since I am assured that every hair of my head is numbered; and although I have a wife and five children, yet I feel satisfied that, if I were now taken, it would be for the benefit of their souls; and that he who called me hence to some higher sphere of action, would provide for the widow and the orphans.”
'The recollection of the monitions of the Spirit which, contrary to my own understanding, led me to take a passage in the steamer to Hull, instead of going by the coach, induced me now to believe, that the purpose of my mission to this vessel was accomplished. My mind was therefore led to believe, that all danger was at an end; and this expectation was strengthened when my
attention was turned to the storm, which appeared to have abated. I then said to him, "I have faith to believe that we shall arrive safely in Hull, and that this has been the means adopted to bring you to Christ; but I warn you, if you turn a deaf ear to the requisitions of your God, your trials will be twofold more
“ Henceforth,” said he, "I desire to devote myself to God, but you must not leave me, until you have introduced me to the Lord's people. You must know where they are to be found ; I never saw a Christian before."
“Our heavenly Father says : 'Cease ye from man, whose breath is in his nostrils.' He will be your teacher-He will be your shepherd, and you shall not want."
Geo. PILKINGTON, late Captain, Corps of Royal Engineers.
DECISION OF CHARACTER.
AN INDIAN BOY.
At a meeting of a missionary society in Philadelphia, at which two Indian chiefs were present, and addressed a very large audience, the Rev. Mr. Finley, in the concluding part of his speech, related one or two very interesting anecdotes, to show the progress of the revival, and the depth of solid piety among the Wyandots. In one of his tours he took with him an Indian youth of zeal and piety. On setting out, he told him it was possible, when he got among sinful and wicked company, that he might forget his God, and again betake himself to the paths of folly and sin. “But,” said he, calling him by his name, “I would rather preach your funeral sermon than see you depart from the paths of piety." They proceeded, and in their tour came to the house of a very wealthy merchant, where they remained for some time. The merchant had two or three clerks who were given to frolic, and were destitute of piety, and even serious.. ness. Into the room with these clerks the Indian boy was put to sleep. Before retiring to bed, he knelt down to pray. The others began their frolic with a design to disturb, if not torment him; but he heeded them not. This continued for some time : at length, one night when they were become so bad as to disturb him very much, the youth remonstrated, pointed out the wickedness of their conduct, and concluded by saying, that they were really worse than any Indian in all the Wyandot tribe of Upper Sandusky, observing, that Indians would be ashamed of such conduct, as they had more common sense, virtue, and piety. This appeal came home with keen conviction to the hearts of the young men. The effect was deep and lasting, and they became, through that reproof, the subjects of awakening and justifying grace through faith in Jesus Christ.