Зображення сторінки
PDF
ePub

to the adaptations it makes known. So, likewise, as to “omnipresence.” Everywhere we see it proved that God has been working, and that he still works. And thus in his perpetual care for what he has made, his unceasing “providence" is displayed. Our Lord points to the lilies of the field, and to the grass, as instances of this. And the Psalmist collects, as it were, the whole living creation into one family, and describes them as waiting on God for sustenance, and him as supplying the need of every living thing. There is not a branch of physical science which is not full of illustrations of those very perfections, separately, and combined into character, which revelation attributes to the great Creator and Preserver. Nature, studied in the light of revelation, speaks the same language.

J. Why, then, do many who reject Scripture, praise nature?

S. I fear we must assign such reasons as these. 1. In reference to revelation, they are required to be humble and submissive students, learning all, inventing or discovering nothing: in nature, they seem to be original discoverers, reaching conclusions by their own powers of reasoning.

Their pride is wounded in the first case; gratified in the next. 2. Scripture reveals a Redeemer; a Redeemer by grace and mercy, no: by merit. It supposes their guilt and sinfulness. This, also, mortifies their pride, and offends “the carnal mind,” which “is enmity against God.” Its laws, also, are too strict and holy; and its language on the subjects of responsibility and judgment are offensive to the haughty love of independence which animates them. Revelation is against them: no wonder they are against revelation.

J. Revelation, then, explains nature; and nature, thus explained, confirms and illustrates revelation. Should it not, therefore, be studied by the believer?

S. Undoubtedly; so far as he has opportunity. If he has not, revelation will be fully sufficient for all the purposes for which he needs it.

J. But some Christians seem to object to nature altogether.

S. They certainly do; but I think their objections are

[ocr errors]

founded in misapprehension. In our next conversation we will consider them. Afterwards we may review some of the advantages which may flow from the study of nature, when properly conducted.

SENTENCES FOR REFLECTION. Be not like the hypocrite in thy character: he dares not trust God with a penny, except before a whole congregation of witnesses, lest perhaps God should deny the receipt.

Wish not the alteration of things to thy desires, but model thy desires. This is in thy power to effect, the other beyond thy ability to obtain.

If thou canst entertain thyself alone without being melancholy, whimsical, dull, or weary, thou art a fit companion to thyself, and wantest no company.

Use thyself to other people's follies, and take not offence at every impertinence that happens in company: this will go a great way towards the keeping of thyself sedate and easy.

If thou art a right honest man, thou wilt take more pleasure in knowing thyself honest, than in knowing all the world approves thee so. Virtue is built upon herself.

Think no cost* too much in the purchasing good books : this is next to the acquiring of good friends. But remember, they are better ornaments in thy head than in thy library.

If thou art not so happy as thou desirest, it is well that thou art not so miserable as thou deservest. Thou hast received more good than thou hast done, and done more evil than thou hast suffered.

Keep an account of thy income and expense. It is seldom observed that he who doth so, and thereby has constantly under view the course of his domestic affairs, ever lets them run to ruin.

If thou retirest out of the world, and thinkest thereby to be at peace, but yet desirest fame, or the glory of the world, or anything else that is in it, thou hast only thy arms and thy legs out of it, thy heart and thy mind are still in it.

* Cost and ability for purchasing being always compared together; otherwise books, as well as friends, may be bought too dear. At the same time, in making a scale for prudent expenditure, let not useful books be put at the very bottom.

There is often nothing more unprofitable than the great desire of reputation ; therefore be content with sweet privacy : if thou contemnest high esteem, thou wilt save thyself a world of trouble.

LITERARY ARTICLE.

1. The Christian Miracles. Conversations on the Miracles of Christ;

between George and his Minister. To which are added, Four on the Resurrection of Christ, the Miracles of the Apostles, those ascribed to the Church, and the Character of St. Paul. By the Rev. George Cubitt. 18mo., pp. 316. John Mason.

The former portion of this volume was composed, in the first instance, as the Conversations on the Parables of Christ (the second edition of which has been just published) had previously been, for the “Youth's Instructer." A volume on the Miracles seemed to be an appropriate companion for one on the Parables: both, therefore, are now given to the public in the present form. We hope they will be found useful, not only for the family and juvenile library, and for Sunday-school libraries, but for catechumen and Bible classes. But, to the “Conversations on the Miracles” wrought by our Lord himself, Conversations on four other subjects have been added. The“Resurrection of Christ” was a real and most important miracle, though not wrought by himself in the same way that the others had been, and called for a share of attention. Then, there were the Apostolic miracles, in connexion with the character of the Apostles, and the testimony to Christ which it was their duty to bear. This is an integral branch of the general question, and therefore required investigation. Miracles, also, have been ascribed not only to the early Church, but to the Church in all times, as one of its marks. The entire subject would have been incomplete unless this portion of it had been carefully examined. Besides, providential interpositions of an extraordinary nature have sometimes been called miracles; and it was necessary to ascertain the real character and design of these, lest the evidence of miracles should be weakened ; and, also, that neither presumption nor infidelity might be encouraged, but that God might be honoured in his works, according to his own intention. The Conversation on the “Character of St. Paul” is added as a specinien of the application of the reasoning to an individual case. By these additions, the whole question of the Christian Miracles, considered as one of the divine proofs of Christianity, is brought before the reader ; and the principles, nature, and force, of the entire argument constructed on these wonderful works, are as fully considered as was possible in a volume of such a size, and formed upon such a plan. The author hopes that Bible-reading and theological inquiry among the young, are, happily, much more frequent and extensive now, than in the days of his own youth; and he is thankful for the opportunity of contributing to the assistance of the youthful student of such allimportant subjects. He will venture to say that he found no such books, even as these little works on the Parables and Miracles, within his reach, when he was first called to write themes on religious and moral subjects, as school-exercises. He has endeavoured to convey as much information, both on fact and argument, as the limit he had to observe would allow. He hopes they will do good to all who may read them ; but as for the young they were first written, so to the young, in this particular form, they are most affectionately commended. If they aid in establishing the youthful reader in the experimental and practical knowledge of Christianity, the author will be most thankful, and think himself highly honoured in being permitted to furnish these “hand-books” for the young, on such momentous, as well as interesting, subjects. 2. The Young Botanists. 24mo., pp. 112, stiff covers. Religious

Tract Society.

Nor long ago, a correspondent kindly sent us a paper on Botany, to which, it will be recollected, we gave a place in one of our Numbers. In the note which accompanied his communication, he expressed his regret that so little attention, as he thought, was paid to this delightful and instructive science ; healthful, he intimated, to the body, as well as improving to the inind. Many are deterred from the study of some particular branch of science, by the difficulties they find, even in some of the first books upon it. They look so very scientific as to be almost repulsive. At all events, they seem to be too dry to begin with. This may be the case with some introductory works on botany; and, therefore, we are glad to see, and glad to mention, this pretty little book, not long ago published by the Religious Tract Society.

We have another work on the table, which, although somewhat larger than those we are usually in the habit of mentioning, is one which, to the older and reading class of youth, is calculated to be very improving, and very interesting. It will do admirably for the Sunday-school library, or, where there is one, Circuit library. We should like to know that it had found a place on all such shelves ; ay, and that its place was mostly a vacant one. Let the work once be known, and wherever there are readers who value information on subjects connected with the history of the church and the world in ancient times, the answer to applicants for the perusal of it will very frequently be, “ Not in, at present.Some time ago the author published a valuable volume, (8vo.,) which, we think, we mentioned and recommended ; and we are glad to renew our mention and recommendation :—" Smith's Religion of Ancient Britain.” The second edition is now before us, and it has already become a standard work for those who take an interest in such subjects. Had Mr. Smith only given us that volume, he would have laid the Christian patriot under a large amount of obligation. Information only to be found in many and scarce works, he has me, and forgive me my sin! Hell appeared open, and great was my distress ; but God answered my prayer, and light, light brighter than day, spread over my heart : the joy of my spirit continues with me always.' (Here he wept profusely, and looked the things he could not utter.)

“William King. This is my thought : in this way I began to serve the Lord. I went to worship, but did not think God was the true God. Mine was a name, a fashion; but I was ignorant until I came from Taranaki to the Institution, where I began to feel that I was a sinner. My sins were not set on one side of me, but they were set before my eyes, and they looked me straight in the face! I then prayed all Saturday, Sunday, and all the next day: great was my sorrow, heavy my burden. But early the next morning I found peace, and was very happy in God's love. I felt that I was a child of God.' (This lad has travelled five to six hundred miles, to tell his friends that God has saved him from sin, and to exhort them to believe in Christ.)

“ Thomas Chapman.-Sickness came upon us, and I was afraid to die : I thought upon God, and saw that the wages of sin was death. I could not rest, but sought unto Jesus. I did seek him in right earnest, and found him; yea, I tied myself fast unto him, and unto his people.””

THE NEW PLANET, NEPTUNE. In the able and interesting papers which contribute so much to the value of “ The Youth's Instructer,” and with which our kind correspondent at Greenwich furnishes us monthly, the discovery of this new member of our system has already been noticed. But we have just seen the thirteenth Number of “ The North British Review,” in which there is an article giving a particular account of the discovery, and, as we may say, the discoverers. We are persuaded that our readers will be both gratified and edified (for we may rightly use the theological term) by a somewhat extended notice of the important subject. We shall, therefore, by extracting and condensing, compile a paper for our own Numbers.

« НазадПродовжити »