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The Jews tell us, that there were not less than 480 synagogues in Jerusalem, for prayer and the exposition of the law ; connected with which were schools or colleges, for the instruction of young persons.

Many of these schools were erected at the expense of Jews residing in foreign countries, after whom they were pamed, and who sent hither their youth to be educated in the knowledge of their law and religion. “Stephen, full of faith and power, having done "great wonders and miracles among the people," and having thereby awakened the malice and opposition o the Jews, five of these synagogues combined together to encounter him ;-the synagogue of the Liber. tines, that is, as Cave supposés, Jews emancipateď by the Romans ;--the synagogue of the Cyrenians, that is, Jews who inhabited Cyrene, a famous city of Lybia ;-the syn. agogue of the Alexandrians ;-—that of Çilicia, in the Lesser Asia ;-&nd that of Asia, that is, that part of Asia Minor which lay near to Ephesus. These all rose up to dispute with Stephen.

The Sacred History is silent concerning the particular subject of disputation ; but it informs us that his adversa."

i ries were not able to resist the wisdom and the spirit by which he spake :' a remarkable and direct fulfilment of Christ's promise to his disciples," I will give you a month and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist.”

Ŭnable to refute $t. Stephen, yet unwilling to yield to the truth, and enraged at the triumph it had obtained, these men no longer ventured to oppose him with open argument, but betook themselves to the basest methods of silencing him. They suborned false witnesses against him, hoping that he might thus fall a sacrifice to their malice, under the same pretexts which bad been alleged, against his master. "We bave heard him'speak," said they, “blasphemous words against Moses, and against God.” And they stirred up the people, and the elders, and the scribes, and came upon him, and caught him, and brought him to the council, and set up false witnesses, which said, “ This man ceaseth not to speak blasphemous words against this holy place and the law; for we have heard him say, that this Jesus of Nazareth shall destroy this place, and shall change the customs which Moses delivered us."

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Stephen was now standing as a criminal before the Sanhedrim, charged with having declared, that Jesus of Nazareth should effect the ruin of the Temple and the abolition of the Mosaic institutions.

It may be here observed, that these accusations were grounded upon the very errors which blind the Jewish nation to this day; and Stephen's mander of combating them, is that which seems the most likely of all others to be sue. cessful with that infatuated people. A late able writer, states these errors to have been, " That God had promised to thein in their father Abraham the possession of the land of Canaan, that is, the enjoyment of this present world; and that they were to serve him with this expec. tation. This was their first and greatest error ; the foundation of all the rest. For from hence it followed, that the kingdom of their Messiah was to be a kingdom of this world : and as Jesus of Nazareth did not affect such a kingdom, but declined it, they concluded he could not be the person; and that God had showed it, by leaving him to be despised, persecuted, and put to a shameful death. Concerning themselves they thought, that as God had chosen them for his people, they should never fall away, and be separated from him : that their Law and their Temple being intended for perpetuity, would never be abolished : and lastly, that the Church of God and its privileges should not be extended to the Gentiles, and that the Gentles never would be taken into it."

The speech of St. Stephen before the Sanhedrim is a refutation of all these errors; and his method of arguing, though at first view it may not seem pertinent to his subjeet, was certainly felt to be so by the Jews, whom it inflamed with implacable rage.

All who sat in the council, looking stedfastly on him before he entered upon his defence, saw his face as it had been the face of an angel ; but neither this, which was probably a divine attestation on his behalf, nor the cogency of his reasoning, nor his forcible appeal to their consciences, could save the holy man from their fury :—“They were cut to the heart, and gnashed on him with their teeth.” But he, regardless of what was passing around him,“ being full of the Holy Ghost," his heart wholly occupied with divine things, "looked up stead

, fastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God," some

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bright and sensible appearance of the Supreme Majesty, 6 and Jesus standing on the right hand of God," clothed in the robes of our glorified nature, and in a posture of readiness to protect and help, to crown and reward, his faithful servant. So easily can God satisfy, and even delight us in the want of all earthly comforts, and even in the extremity of suffering. Divine consolations are often thus nearest to us, when human aid is farthest removed.

He had no'saoner made known his vision, “Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing on the right hand of God," than the patience of his enemies was exhausted. Blinded by their fury, regardless of the illegality of the procedure, and taking it for a faet demonstrated by his own declarations that he was a blasphemer, "they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord, and cast him out of the city, and stoned him." But how honourable to Christianity is the scene now drawn by the sacred writer! The charity of the dying martyr is as fervent as his faith. is firm. He had with severity reproached his adversaries for their malignant resistanee of the truth; but when they touch even his own life, he falls before them without an opposing word. In defence of the truth he was valiant; but he yields up himself without a murmur to their cruel rage. The closing words of the historian are pregnant with weighty instruction :" And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus receive my spirit. And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep;” which is the usual phrase, whereby the New Testament beautifully describes the death of true Christians; and, in the present instance, it strikingly contrasts the tranquillity of the dying martyr, with the fury of his murderers.

“ The eloquence of a Cicero," says an admirable Historian of the Church of Christ, “ would be mere feebleness on this occasion. All praise is below the excellency of that spirit which shone in this first of martyrs. Let it stand as an exainple of the genuine temper of mar. tyrdom, of real faith in Christ, and of real ebarity lo men; and let the heroes of the world hide their heads in confusion."

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METEORIC STONES.

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This phenomenon in nature is calculated to awaken anxiety, excite wonder, and perhaps occasionally to produce apprehension. No satisfactory solution of the socondary cause of their existence has yet been given. We shall not attempt one. Their existence, and the circumstances of their fall, in the succeeding accounts, selected from many others which might have been given, prove that only a present and all-powerful Deity can protect as from the danger of sadden death, in the bright sun., shine or in the loweriog thunder tempest.

That meteorites do really fall from the upper region's of the air to the earth, can no longer be doubted, unless we are determined to rejeet the evidence of human testimony. These bodies have a peculiar aspect, and peeul. iar characters, which belong to no native rocks or stones with which we are acquainted. Their fall is usually accompanied by a laminous meteor, which is seldom visible for more than a few minutes, and generally disappears with explosions. These bodies appear to liave fallen from various points of the beavens, at all periods, in all seasons of the year, at all hours, both of the day and the night, also' in all countries of the world, on mountains, and in plains, and without any particular relation to vole

The luminous meteor which precedes their fall, affects no constant or invariable direction. They are for the most part, hot when they fall, and emit' sulphureous vapours." As their descent usually takes place in calm, and often cloudless weather, their origin seems to be ow.. ing to some very different cause from that which proda. ces rain or storms.

At the sitting of the National Institute of France, on the 9th of May, 1803, Foureroy read a letter addressed to Vanquelin, from the town of L'Aigle, containing, among other details, the following:

On the 26th of April, about one o'élock, P. M. the sky being almost serene, a rolling noise like that of thunder was heard.

It seemed to proceed from a single cloud which was on the boriżont and which the inhabitarts bes. hield with uneasiness, when, to their great surprize and corror, explosions like the reports of caupon, sometimes

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single and sometimes double, were heard, along with a violent hissing-phenomena which struck terror even into do mestic animals; for the cows bellowed, and the poultry fled to a place of shelter. This noise was succeeded by the fall of a great number of stones of different sizes, weighing ten, elever, and even seventeen pounds. The largest entered the earth to the depth of a foot. Several of these fell into the court-yard of M. Bois-de-la-Ville, and one of them very bear him. Many enrious persons collected some of thefn ; and Foureroy Jaid before the Institute one of the fragments, wbich, when compared with that of the Villefranche specimen, presented at the meeting by Pictet, greatly resembled it in every point, exhibiting the same colour, texture, and black crust; in a word, the fragments could not be distinguished from each other but by the size.

Lamark then reported that he had received several letters, apprizing him of a fire-ball which had been seen to pass from east to west with great velocity on the same day, and at the same hoor, at which the event alluded to took place. It was added, that this meteor had been seen at sea before it reached the continent.

About half past six o'clock in the morning of December 14, 1807, the people to the north of Weston, in the state of Connecticut, observed a fire-ball issuing from a

Its apparent diameter was equal to the half, or of two-thirds, of the moon; its light was vivid and sparkling, like that of incandescent iron, and it left behind it a pale and waving luminous train, of a conical form, and ten or twelve times as long as the diameter of its body, but which was soon extinguished. This meteor, of which the apparent motion was less rapid than that of most others, continued visible for half a minute, during which it exhibited three saceessive bounds, with a diminution of its lustre. About thirty or forty seconds after its extinction, there were heard, during three sec. onds, three very loud reports, like the firing of a four pounder at a little distance, and these were sueceeded by a more prolonged and rolling noise. With the suc. cessive explosions, stones were darted in the environs of Weston, and even into the town itself, These stones were found in six different places, nearly in the line of the meteor's pathg and from six to ten miles distant from

very dark cloud,

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