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the Arabs of Mohammed advance so far as to threaten the very existence of Christendom, till they were stopped before the walls of Vienna: and so at last did most of these empires "rush by their own weight.", How strikingly do these wonderful changes confirm the words of Job, “Herincreaseth the nations and destroyeth them : he enlargeth the nations, and straiteneth them again.”
3. The history of the world shews that human nature is the same in all ages and all countries. It has been our object," says one writer, : ' to draw examples from a great variety of sources; from different countries in different ages and in different states of civilization, and to show that no particular virtues or vices have been inherent in any age or nation : believing that human nature and human passions are everywhere alike.” *
Conspiracies," observes, another writer, .“ bear in generall an exact resemblance in history; everywhere the same foundation; everywhere the same passions, the same springs, and the same artifices; there is a still more perfect resemblance to be found in particular acțions :rall appear framed upon the same model.! t. After long intervals, remarks a third, the same startling facts which had already caused our forefathers to lift up their eyes in astonishment, return, like comets, from the darkest depths of history. There is a continual recurrence of the same snares, the same falls, the same treasons, the same shipwrecks on the same rocks: the
change, the things continue." I
The tyranny of the strong, the sufferings of the weak, meet us on every hand. The inhabitants of the earth, instead of confining their united efforts to warding off the inclemency of the seasons and removing the many inconveniences attendant on human infirmity, are found ranged under the banners of those two great foes of our species, superstition and war, and engaged in almost continual contention. So similar in absurdity have been the religious rites of various
* Historical Parallels, i. 9.
Le Rhin, par Victor Hugo, Lettre xi.
heathen nations, that philosophers have often attempted to trace them to one source and perhaps we may safely admit that in all of them a few great truths may be found, distorted into hideousness by the perversity of
The worship of ridiculous idols, useless austerities and selfmaceration - sanctified immoralities
fiery zeal against those of a contrary faith -are they not reproduced in different shapes in every age and ehimed. And war, thatı aggregation of mischiefs, has been, both with the civilized and the savage, the popular idol :/ whiler those advantages of body and mind, bestowed, we may suppose, for pure and Jofty designs, are found prostituted to the basest rises, and effectuate a wider iniquity.i A new world isgy' at length, discovered. "Surely the philanthropist might have said, " in these regions sheltered from the vices of the rest of the nas tions, a purer race will be found.” No; we hear that the very same evils were dominant, the same prominent errors rampant. Even there, did the greedy raltars of superstition ask for their victims, or at voluntaryo submission to torture, agonize the frame; even there, was man found the deadly enemy of man. 1. 119 Sund
It is deserving sconsideration how the monuments of other times, the embodiments, as it were, of historical facts, still remain on the earth's surface to bear testimony to the folly of manHaving outlived generations and empires, the Egyptian Sphinx is still couchant in the desert, and before her, hid beneath the sand, has been discovered an altar bearing the marks of idolatrous worship ; qthe gigantic statues of the vast caverns of Elora though summoned in vain to tell/the names of their sculptors, declare aloud their abounding superstition ; at
in our own country, still stwick, in
the druidical stone with its artificial aperture, through which, probably, our ancestors passed their children or the victim to be sacrificed, that a kind of holiness might be imparted ;Şi and at Uxmal, in Yucatan, still are seen the ninety
$ See Dr. Oliver's Existing Remains of the Ancient Britons, p. 28.
steps down which was kicked, by the this is Plato's metaphor, and finely priest, the bleeding carcass of the does it indicate the struggling of the human victim.* From these widely- spirit, held like a captured bird by separated monuments arises a signi- the fetters of sin and ignorance, and ficant voice : distant ages and differ- yet longing to soar up to the blue, ent characters of our species meet pure sky, hanging glitteringly above together in them as their representa- it. tives; but the declaration they make And so, when the Son of God came is uniform, their testimony agrees among us, he “brought to light" well together, that man is a fallen, these glorious truths, after which sinful being, and very
gone from mankind had so long been seeking, original righteousness. But they tell if haply they might be found. Jesus us more; they shew, too, that man has came to give his life a ransom for always confessed the necessity of an many, to offer the atonement of which atonement of purification and re- the need was everywhere virtually generation. In acknowledgment of confessed; and his voice pronounced these truths, hecatombs have blazed, “Ye must be born again.” And in the purgations and discipline of the his lips it was not a barren doctrine : ancient Mysteries have been under- for the Speaker had power to infuse gone, the beloved child has been
a quickening energy into his words
; sacrificed, and the frame has writhed he pointed out the
of purificaunder inexpressible tortures. In tion, and declared it to consist in support of these truths, the phi- that new birth which the Holy Spirit losopher and the savage agree: the descends to bestow. Platonist lays down methods of clean- But, human nature has continued sing defilements, and retrenching su- the same, when unchanged or checked perfluities, by which the soul may be by Divine grace. The professors of enabled to recover its wings; and the a religion whose God is “love," North American Indian offers his whose proclamation is "peace,” have fingers, his favourite horse, or his rivalled pagan tyrants in cruelty: war most perfect arrow to the Great Spirit, has raged as before: superstition has or subjects himself to sickening cruel- loaded with tinsel ornaments the ties, that he may receive an entrance simple form of true religion, and into the beautifúl hunting-grounds of wresting from her hand the oliveheaven.t
branch or the cross, has replaced it Thus, the history of nations con- with the sword: and contending sects, curs in declaring that man has every- in whatever else they may have difwhere admitted, that as he is by fered, have almost universally agreed nature, he is unfit for heaven. Some- in a fondness for strife. On this subthing must be done by ourselves, or ject it is ungracious and painful to for us by another: “ corruption can- dwell : let every lover of the truth not inherit incorruption" is the voice hope and pray, that a growing spirit of mankind : these grovelling propen- of concord may shew that the pages sities, this fondness for self-indul- of history have not been so long acgence, this easy yielding to the stream cumulating in vain, but that at length of every-day life—these cannot be one great lesson has been learned, the characteristics of a future denizen which they have been written to of eternity. “Old things must pass teach, viz., “ peace on earth, goodaway, all things must become new," will towards men. before the soul can step forth into that 4. In tracing the history of the loftier region whither its sighs are so world, we cannot fail to observe, how frequently sent. Such have been the God has preserved the true religion conclusions of the thoughtful in every amid the convulsions of nations. age. Feeling its helplessness, the Philosophical systems have, in sucsoul looked upwards, like a bird ; cession, played awhile like meteors,
in the intellectual firmament: the eyes Stephens's Incidents of Travels in of the many have been fixed awhile Yucatan, Vol. i. p. 317.
upon each brilliant stranger as it ap† Catlin's N. A. Indians, Vol. i. p. 157. peared, mistaking it for a sun ; but it
has at length passed away from view, lost sight of through the indifference of the beholders, or merged in the rising brightness of a rival theory. Vast empires have fallen to pieces, the social state has been for a time disorganized, the little company of the faithful have been persecuted from city to city ; but the truth has remained. The precious seed has been silently scattered on the broken soil, and the harvest, though long
delayed, perhaps, by an adverse season, has eventually come. This point has been so fully discussed by divines of different denominations, that it is unnecessary to pursue it here; we will content ourselves with referring the reader to Bossuet's “ Discourse on Universal History," Edwards's
History of the Work of Redemption," and Milner's “History of the Church of Christ.”
M. N. (To be continued.)
“OH! IF I WERE RICH."
"Oh! if I were rich, how freely is there self-denial on the part of would I scatter my money in doing large numbers in what may
be good,” said a young girl, as she called the middle class of society ? finished reading in a newspaper an The money to be devoted to the cause appeal in behalf of a benevolent ob- of charity, lies at the very bottom of ject. But she was not rich, and so many a purse, where it cannot be laid the paper aside with a sigh. On reached until all the wants of the that very day she had spent five body, both real and imaginary, are dollars for a useless ornament. supplied.
“If I were rich"-how many re- Oh! if I were rich"-say not so grets and lamentations has that again, friend, but rather ask for a phrase given birth to!
self-denying spirit, for in this you power does it possess to blind the will have wealth. Then will you find eyes of thousands to their real ability yourself able to give much to every to do good. I sometimes think that good thing. I say much, but I many use it, simply because they mean not that you will have hundreds would feign an excuse for doing no- of pounds, but the little you have to thing. It is a miserable, puny plea. give will tell
, for it will be the offerDid not God see fit to employ and ing of a cheerful giver, whom the bless the humblest instrumentalities, Lord loveth. Husband the trifles of to push on his cause and promote his money now expended on unnecessary glory, then might those who have wants. Remember the fact, that five but little of this world's goods be shillings will place five copies of the despondent and indolent.
word of God in the hands of as many long as revelation, reason, and ex- destitute parents, or half a score of perience, prove that he does, even the religious books in the library of a poorest can have no excuse, for even Sunday-school in a Missionary settlethe poorest can do much.
ment. Remember, too, that when It is not the rich only who are giving in such a spirit, you will be selfish. I have heard a wealthy man far more likely to supplicate the charged with being mean by one in blessing of God to follow your offercomparatively humble circumstances, ing. Think on these things. It is whose daily life proved him to be the a pleasant thought, is it not, that meaner of the two. The rich, it is even the humblest can do much urged, deny themselves nothing; but
ON THE SPIRITUAL WANTS OF ENGLAND.*
It will require but little effort to called parishes. Now, according to prove that the spiritual wants of Eng- Hooker, the primary design contemland are very great-far" greater we plated in this division of the country, fear than many whom we might wish was that each parish (for the division to be better informed, have
ade- was in the first instance made for quate idea of. Else, why the back- ecclesiastical, and not for civil purwardness, frequently so painfully poses,) should be of such size, that manifest, to assist in their alleviation? one pastor should be able to take How is it that Societies whose object charge of the spiritual oversight of all it is to aid the overburdened and de- the inhabitants of the district allotted voted ministers of religion in this to him; and it is most probable, that land, with helpmeets well qualified this intention was fully carried out in for the work, are so poorly supported ? the earlier stage of our parochial sysHow is that it so much effort-is re- tem, and a more excellent plan could quired, to raise the small sums of not have been devised.' But in after money necessary to build a few addi
ages, places which at the period when tional churches in some overgrown the division took place were thinly parish, whose inhabitants are grow- peopled, gradually increased in size, ing up in the grossest ignorance of both from the natural increase of the everything connected with the salva- population, and from others from distion of their immortal souls ?
tant parts coming to reside in them, It is not that the nation is so poor drawn thither by the peculiar advanthat it cannot afford to give the means tages which they offered, either (as in necessary for carrying on the work ; the case of cities during the feudal whenever money, no matter how great times,) from affording them protection, soever the sum, is wanted to carry on or attracted by the pursuits of comsome mercantile scheme that pro- merce. And with this influx of popumises well, or some huge loan to go- lation, no corresponding increase was vernment is to be contracted for, it has made in the number of parishes and but to be announced, when wealthy ministers. Thus we find by a return capitalists are found not only ready, made in the time of Edward I., A.D. but even anxious to take part in it. 1288, that the country parishes were
We must, therefore, look for the then nearly as numerous as prereason of this backwardness to other sent, although in some of our larger causes, and among these, we con- towns the number has considerably ceive that one, though by no means decreased, e.g. in the City of London the chief, is the amount of ignorance there are now 108 parishes (though that prevails upon the subject. they have not all ministers
The subject naturally divides itself churches, though there were then into three parts:-1. The extent of 140. And so in the present day, we the destitution. II. The conse- find the population of some of our quences of it. And III. The best
large manufacturing towns more than mode of alleviating it. We shall chiefly doubling itself in a few years, while confine our remarks to the two former no proportionally extensive efforts are of these parts in the present paper.
made to increase the amount of spiritFirst, then, its extent. The popu- *ual superintendance over such a lation of England and Wales amount- vastly increasing population; and thus ed, according to the census of 1841, it is that we find parishes, which forto 15,906,829..
merly contained but few inhabitants, This country, as is well known, is now numbering populations of 10,000, divided into certain assigned districts 20,000, 40,000, 100,000, and even as
* The substance of the following paper was read before a meeting of the members of the Church of England Young Men's Society, for aiding Missions at home and abroad
many as 150,000 inhabitants; and the as £50 or £60 to provide assistants result is what we might naturally look or curates for their pastoral labours, for under such circumstances, that, however numerous or needy the poleft uncared for and untaught, the pulation may be? Or how is it posmajority of the inhabitants have sunk sible for a clergyman without private into a state of practical heathenism property to give himself up wholly and deep degradation. To prove this, vto his parochial duties, when he only we have only to read the Reports fur- | receives such a scanty pittance from nished by the chaplains of our jails the Church? expected, as all clergyby such societies as the Pastoral men are, to maintain ia proper rank Aid, the Scripture Readers, and the and dignity. It would be manifestly London City Mission. This
impossible (without private property) Only a short time since, the writer for them to do so. was informed by the chaplain to a -- Education. If weturn to the rising prison within the walls of the city of generation, and look to the provision London, that he had just been visit- which is made for their instruction, ing the prisoners confined there, and we find the case, if possible, still that out of forty who o were then con- sworse. It was stated by Lord Ashley, fined in it, twenty-five were ignorant in au speech made by him in the of even the name of Christ!, The House of Commons some few years population of some of our so-called since, " Thaty taking one fifth of the parishes actually exceeds that of population as the number capable many of the smaller English counties, of some education, it would give as, for instance, the parish of St. 3,181,3651--deducting one-third as Pancras, in London, which contains a educated at private nexpense, there population of above 140,000, being would still remain 2, 120,910—making o more than six times the population of a further deduction for children supRutland, more than double that of posed to be in Union Houses, of the counties of Westmoreland and 50,000, and also deducting ten per Huntingdon, and greatly exceeding mcenta for casualties or absences which the population of Bedfordshire and would be 212,091, there would still Herefordshire! and there is every remains 1,858,8191 to be provided for b probability that this number will con- - at sthe public expenses - Now.itiaptinue to increase until the whole 2,600 pears from Mr. Burgess, of Chelsea's, acres which it contains are coveredwith tables, that the total number of schobuildings, and teeming with human lars in connection with the Established life. já And yet in this vast parish, I Church is 749,626, and with Dissentbelieve I am correct in saying, there ing bodies 95,000--the total number are only twenty-five clergymen of of daily scholars is then 844,626, the Church of England, and church leaving or without daily instruction accommodation for 17,000 souls.. 1,014,139 persons capable of some
I might adduce many other such education." - 13 fullt instances. The evil is also greatly Since the time when Lord Ashley's aggravated in parishes of smaller speech was delivered, considerable dimensions, through the inadequacy exertions have been made to increase of the means devoted to the mainten- the number of schools both in conance of the clergy. There are above nexion with the Established Church, 93,000 parishes where the incumbent's and supported by Dissenters 3 but I annual income, derivable from the believe I am fairly within bounds, Church, is below £150 many of when I say that these efforts will a them where it does not exceed £50. searcely meet the wants of the increase Of those where the income is below which has taken place in the popula£150, there are 1440 with a popula- tion since that period. És tion exceeding 500, and 315, with a - In the Return presented to Parliapopulation exceeding 2,000, and some ment in 1833, and commonly known even 10,000. Let any one ask them- as Lord Kerry's Report, it is stated selves, how it is possible for incum- that there were then 2664 parishes or bents of parishes with a maximum hamlets wholly destitute of schools; income of £150, and some as low the number returned as possessing