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natives, and are really the finest works of architecture to be met with on the African coast. In height, these edifices vary from four to fifteen or twenty feet, and are sometimes ten or twelve feet in diameter at the base. They contain apartments for magazines, for nurseries, and for all other domestic, social, and public purposes, communicating with one another, and with the exterior, by innumerable galleries and passages. The clay, which forms the material of the building, is rendered very compact by a glutinous matter, mixed with earth; and all the passages, many of which extend great distances under-ground, are plastered with the same kind of stucco. Captain Tuckey, in his Expedition to the River Zaire, discovered ant-hills, composed of similar materials to the above, but which, in shape, precisely represented gigantic toad-stools, as high as a one-story house. In this part of Africa, they have the form of a mound.- Journal of an African Cruiser.
SAYINGS OF GREAT MEN. THE RATIONAL USE OF OUTWARD COURTESIES.—Not every country only, but every city, and so much as every profession, has its particular forms of civility. I have lived in good company enough to know the formalities of our own nation, and am able to give lessons in it. I love also to follow them, but not to be so servilely tied to their observation, that my whole life should be enslaved to ceremonies; of which there are some that, provided a man omits them out of discretion, and not for want of good manners, it will be every whit as handsome in him. I have seen some people rude by being over-civil, and troublesome by their courtesy : though, these excesses excepted, the knowledge of courtesy and good manners is a very necessary study. It is, like gracefulness and beauty, that which occasions liking and inclination to love one another at first sight, and in the very beginning of acquaintance and familiarity; and, consequently, that which first opens the door for us to better ourselves by the example of others, if there be anything in their society worth notice. Montaigne. VIRTUE AND HAPPINESS CONJOINED. — Of all the (true) pleasures we know, the very pursuit is pleasant. The attempt always relishes of the quality of the thing to which it is directed; for it is a good part of, and consubstantial with, the effort. The felioity and beatitude that glitters in virtue, shines throughout all her avenues and ways, even to the first entry, and to the utmost pale and limits. Ibid.
THE POWER OF Custom. — Plato reprehending a boy for playing at some childish game, “ Thou reprovest me,” said the boy, "for a very little thing." Plato replied, “ Custom is no little thing.” In times past, when those of Crete would curse any one, they prayed the gods to engage them in some ill custom. But the principal effect of the power of custom is so to seize and ensnare us, that it is hardly in our power to disengage ourselves from its gripe; or so to come to ourselves as to consider of, and weigh, the things it enjoins.—Ibid. [To the remark of the Frenchman it may be added, yet more seriously, that to guard against this power of custom and habit is no trivial part of Christian morality. The Christian is to walk at liberty, that he may be in all things the servant of God; and, supposing the strength of grace, the instrument of his freedom is to be truth. He is to know what is right; and because he knows it, to do it. He is to know what is wrong; and because he knows it, to avoid it. In that wonderful compendium of true moral philosophy, the hundred and nineteenth Psalm, we read, “I will walk at liberty; for I seek thy precepts."-Ed. Y. I.]
EDUCATION.—We too often only toil and labour to stuff the memory, and in the meantime leave the understanding and conscience unfurnished and void. Then we take other men's knowledge and opinions upon trust, and that is all; whereas we should make them our own, that we may always have the benefit of them. We are in this way like him who having need of fire, went to a neighbour's house to fetch it; and finding a very good one there, sat down to warm himself, without remembering to carry any home with him. What good does it do us to have the stomach full of meat, if it does not digest and be incorporated with us; if it does not nourish and support us? The pupil should examine and thoroughly sift what he reads. If he embrace the opinions of Xenophon and
Plato by the exercise of his reason, they will no more be theirs, but become his own. Who only follows another, follows nothing, finds nothing, nay, seeks nothing. Truth and reason are common to every one, and are no more his who spoke them first, than his who speaks them after. It is no more according to Plato than to me, when both he and I equally see and understand in the same manner. Bees cull their several sweets from this flower, and that blossom, here and there, where they find them; but themselves after make the honey, which is all and purely their own, and no longer thyme and marjoram. So the several fragments the pupil borrows from others he will transpose and bind together to make that which shall be absolutely his own; that is to say, his own judgment, which his own instruction, labour, and study should alone tend to form.-Ibid. [True knowledge may almost be said to bear the same relation to the mind, that the blood does to the body, of the very life of which it partakes. It is not the food, as merely received into the stomach, that nourishes, but that which is digested and passes forward into the system, so as to become possessed of the mysterious power of animal life. We read, we observe ; but we must digest, and pass forward that which is digested, that so it may be mixed with the living thoughts of the living soul. Of course, we cannot make blood without proper food; the stomach, though it secretes the fluid necessary to digest food and prepare it for blood, cannot secrete blood itself: nor can the mind, alone and independently, create knowledge. The supply must come from without. But, to do us good, the received supply must be digested. Unless it be, it may occasion disease, and disease of the most serious and painful nature.-Ed. Y. I.]
MINIATURE CHRISTIAN LIBRARY. No. VI.
A PRAYER FOR HIMSELF : BY LORD BACON. Most gracious Lord God, my merciful Father, from my youth up, my Creator, my Redeemer, my Comforter. Thou, O Lord, soundest and searchest the depths and secrets of all hearts : thou acknowledgest the upright of heart: thou judgest the hypocrite: thou ponderest men's thoughts and doings as in a
balance : thou measurest their intentions as with a line : vanity and crooked ways cannot be hid from thee.
Remember, O Lord, how thy servant hath walked before thee: remember what I have first sought, and what hath been principal in my intentions. I have loved thy assemblies: I have mourned for the divisions of thy church: I have delighted in the brightness of thy sanctuary. This vine which thy right hand hath planted in this nation, I have ever prayed unto thee, that it might have the first and the latter rain ; and that it might stretch her branches to the seas and to the floods. The state and bread of the poor and oppressed have been precious in mine eyes : I have hated all cruelty and hardness of heart. I have, though in a despised weed, procured the good of all men. If any have been my enemies, I thought not of them; neither hath the sun almost set on my displeasure ; but I have been as a dove, free from superfluity of maliciousness. Thy creatures have been my books, but thy Scriptures much more. I have sought thee in courts, fields, and gardens; but I have found thee in thy temples.
Thousands have been my sins, and ten thousands my transgressions : but my sanctifications have remained with me, and my heart, through thy grace, hath been an unquenched coal upon thine altar. O Lord, my strength, I have since my youth met with thee in all my ways; by thy fatherly compassions, by thy comfortable chastisements, and by thy most visible providence. As thy favours have increased upon me, so have thy corrections ; so as thou hast been always near me, O Lord; and ever as my worldly blessings were exalted, so secret darts from thee have pierced me; and when I have ascended before men, I have descended in humiliation before thee. And now, when I thought most of peace and honour, thy hand is heavy upon me, and hath humbled me according to thy former loving-kindness: keeping me still in thy fatherly school, not as a bastard, but as a child. Just are thy judgments upon me for my sins, which are more in number than the sands of the sea, but have no proportion to thy mercies. For what are the sands of the sea, to the sea, earth, heavens? And all these are nothing to thy mercies. Besides my innumerable sins, I confess before the that I am
debtor to thee for the gracious talent of thy gifts and graces, which I have neither put into a napkin, nor put it, as I ought, to exchangers, where it might have made best profit, but misspent it in things for which I was least fit: so I may truly say, my soul hath been a stranger in the course of my pilgrimage. Be merciful unto me, O Lord, for my Saviour's sake, and receive me into thy bosom, or guide me in thy ways.
THE STUDENT'S PRAYER : BY LORD BACON. To God the Father, God the Word, God the Spirit, we pour forth most humble and hearty supplications; that he, remembering the calamities of mankind, and the pilgrimage of this our life, in which we wear out days few and evil, would please to open to us new refreshments out of the fountains of his goodness, for alleviating of our miseries. This also we humbly and earnestly beg, that human things may not prejudice such as are divine ; neither that from the unlocking of the gates of sense, and the kindling of a greater natural light, anything of incredulity, or intellectual night, may arise in our minds towards divine mysteries. But rather, that by our mind thoroughly cleansed and purged from fancy and vanities, and yet subject and perfectly given up to the divine oracles, there may be given unto faith the things that are faith's. Amen.
THE WRITER'S PRAYER: BY LORD BACON. Thou, O Father, who gavest the visible light as the firstborn of thy creatures, and didst pour into man the intellectual light as the top and consummation of thy workmanship, be pleased to protect and govern this work, which coming from thy goodness, returneth to thy glory. Thou, after thou hadst reviewed the works which thy hands had made, beheldest that everything was very good, and thou didst rest with complacency in them. But man, reflecting on the works which he had made, saw that all was vanity and vexation of spirit, and could by no means acquiesce in them. Wherefore, if we labour in thy works with the sweat of our brows, thou wilt make us partakers of thy vision and thy Sabbath.