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proviso,—If God please: but in petitions for spiritual things thou mayest be peremptory.
“And there shall be none to deliver.” For the truth only delivers from an eternal adversity, those whom, in their temporal prosperity, by his chastenings he had afflicted. He, therefore, who now refuses affliction, shall also then be refused deliverance. For the wicked, who will not have God for their Father in his chastening, in the time of their affliction shall not find help from him as their Deliverer.-Greg. Magn.
Whosoever has now offered himself as a sacrifice to God, if he desires to be perfect, it is necessary that he be careful not only to extend himself to the whole breadth of operation, but also to the very heights of contemplation.--Ibid.
The Bible never warns us against imaginary evil, nor courts us to imaginary good.—Hannah More.
Daily converse with God would cost us nothing. When a man goes about his ordinary affairs, will it do any hurt to have God with him? Let your state be what it will, there can be no business in this world but what you may do with God, as well as without God, and much better.
REVIEW. The Wesleyan Missionary Notices, relating principally to the
Foreign Missions, first established by the Rev. John Wesley, the Rev. Dr. Coke, and others; and now carried on under the Direction of the Methodist Conference. New Series. Vol. IV. For the year 1846. Vol. XII. from the commencement. Wesleyan Mission-House, Bishopsgate-street Within, London,
It is only too true that in very many cases “the full soul loatheth the honeycomb." That which is almost always before us, and which is always within our reach, though highly desired at the commencement, and while yet it bore the character and possessed the influence of novelty, however valuable it might be considered, and whatever of interest it might awaken, becomes as a matter of no moment: it is not new. It does not excite with that excitement which takes us as by storm, and resistlessly carries us away captive. What shall we say of the instance before us? Does it furnish an exception to the rule? We hope it does. Or does it follow the rule ? We fear that to some extent this may be the case. Some may say, “O, it is only the • Missionary Notices,'
bound up for the year. We see the Numbers every month.” Let us pause a little before we go on. You see them every month ? Yes; but do you read them, do you consider them every month? There lies the Number on your table with its brown cover. Do you take it up eagerly, and with deep feeling go on with it, till you have read the very last line? Or do you pass it by with, “ It is only the Missionary Notices :' I will look at it when I have a little more time?” They who act in this manner monthly, will, when the end of the year comes, and the monthly Numbers are furnished in the shape of an annual volume, still say, “ It is only the Missionary Notices.'” They who have welcomed the several Numbers, will hail the entire volume. In the first form they excited a pleasing, though, in some sense, a temporary, interest; but in the second form they have a book, a valuable book for the library.
We mean what we say. We make this volume the subject of our review for the present month, for the express purpose of directing especial attention to it. If the Numbers are to be read with pleasure as they come out, the volume is not only to be re-read for the same purpose, but studied; yes, studied, for the most important facts which it communicates, and the momentous lessons which it teaches.
Here are the “Missionary Notices” for 1846. Within our own recollection, the Annual Report contained less information than any one of the twelve Numbers. And because God makes our blessings plentiful, shall we esteem them less ? Shall we be the less thankful for the blessed sun-light, because, some six thousand years ago, it heightened, as well as rendered visible, the beauties of paradise ?
The volume is a record of the proceedings of the year. And how great is the cause of thankfulness which it furnishes! Over how large a space does the record extend ! How much new ground does it open! How many fresh illustrations does it bestow ! As to the general character of the work which it describes, all is old : as to its particular developements and manifestations, all is new. Here are the old and the new most instructively combined. It is the new old, and the old new. The old is not mere tiresome repetition : the new is not vain novelty. We see the work of God, -that is the point where it holds on antiquity; we see it making progress,-here is its connexion with novelty. And we really do not know when ever we saw these two aspects, in strict agreement, more evidently, than in the monthly record, and in the annual volume, for 1846. We have often, during the year, felt our attention fixed, now on the work itself, and we have said, This is indeed the finger of God !—and then on its progress; and we have thus seen new illustrations, new confirmations, both of the divine faithfulness, and the power of evangelical doctrine. The germs of a mighty defence of the Gospel against its opponents might be found, and developed with an effectual energy, from this one volume.
"If we could meet with such an account as this, of one year's proceedings of some zealous Missionaries in the first, the second, the third century, of whose names and labours no record, no fragment of a record, remains : how would curiosity be awakened, interest excited! Here we have a record, and relating to individual heirs of eternity, who have been blessed by Missionary labour. The Gospel is not only was, but still is—the power of God unto salvation. How greatly this confirms our faith! If the times of the Gospel's first promulgation annually recede from us, annually we perceive that it makes now the impression, does now the work, which were ascribed to it in the first ages. It is an official renewal of the evidence, annually given. Yes; and still more. Not only is the Gospel true, but the God of truth is still with his Gospel,--still works by means of it. The work is in one sense old. But let us remember, here is the record of what God has been doing this year. The work is the same as to character. But it is new as to the putting forth of its energy, and as to its objects. Let us come to a most homely figure. See that labourer by the road-side, breaking stones. He does, you say, the same work he has been doing all the year. True,-as to its general character. But the blows that break the stones to-day are not the blows of yesterday. They are like them, but not identical with them. Nor are the stones broken the same. God's old work is always a fresh work; and therefore the records of it will combine the instructiveness of the old, and the interest of the new.
We recommend this volume earnestly to our readers. Every year the volumes seem to increase in interest and value, and the volume for 1846 furnishes no exception. And we believe,-let but the churches do their duty,—the volume for 1847 shall be found in pleasing, animating advance of its predecessor.
NOTICES OF ANIMATED AND VEGETABLE
FOR FEBRUARY, 1847. BY MR. WILLIAM ROGERSON, of the Royal Observatory, Greenwich.
" FROM dearth to plenty, and from death to life,
Is nature's progress, when she lectures man
Russet and rude, folds up the tender germ,
“SCARCELY one of the plants,” says Mr. Whewell, “ which occupy our fields and gardens is indigenous to our country. The walnut and the peach came to us from Persia; the apricot from Armenia. From Asia and Syria, we have the cherry-tree, the fig, the pear, the pomegranate, the olive, the plum, and the mulberry. The vine which is now cultivated is not a native of Europe : it is found wild on the shores of the Caspian, in Armenia and Caramania. The most useful species of plants, the cereal vegetables, are certainly strangers, though their birth-place seems to be an impenetrable secret. Some have fancied that barley is found wild on the banks of the Semara, in Tartary; rye in Crete; wheat at Baschkiras, in Asia; but this is held by the botanists to be very doubtful. The potato, which has been so widely diffused over the world in modern times, and has added so much to the resources of life in many countries, has been found equally difficult to trace back to its wild condition.”
The above writer further remarks, “In our own country a higher state of the arts of life is marked by a more ready and extensive adoption of foreign productions. Our fields are covered with herbs from Holland, and roots from Germany; with Flemish farming, and Swedish turnips : our hills with firs of the forests of Norway. The chestnut and the poplar of the south of Europe adorn our lawns; and below them flourish shrubs and flowers, from every clime, in profusion. In the meantime Arabia improves our horses, China our pigs, North America our poultry, Spain our sheep, and almost every country sends its dog. The products which are ingredients in our luxuries, and which we cannot naturalize at home, we raise in our colonies : the cotton, coffee, and sugar of the east, are thus transplanted to the farthest west; and man lives in the midst of a rich and varied abundance, which depends on the facility with which plants, and animals, and modes of culture can be transferred into lands far removed from those in which nature had planted them. And this plenty and variety of material comforts is the companion and mark of advantages and improvements in social life, of progress in art and science, of activity of thought, of energy of purpose, and of ascendancy of character."
The first half of the month.—The woodlark, one of our earliest and sweetest songsters, renews his note. The thrush commences his song; and tomtits are seen hanging on the eaves of barns and thatched out-houses, particularly if the weather be snowy and severe.
The knot, goosander, wild-goose, golden plover, curlew, &c., begin to retire from the sea-coast, or other winter haunts, to their several breeding-places, in more inland situations.
There is very little to be seen in the entomological department of nature, at this dull period, that is interesting; yet what is observable leads us to acknowledge the superintending hand of Providence: for instance, the chrysalis of the cabbage-butterfly, which the horticulturist meets with in old sheds, out-buildings, on garden-walls, &c., exposed to great severity of frost, yet lives and triumphs over the cold ; and when the bright beams of the vernal sun shall warm the air, and renovate the face of nature, then out will spring the perfect insect on delicate white plumes, adding a charın to the lovely mornings of May. The laurustinus is still in blossom, and so is the china-rose. The buds of the lilac-tree are very forward. The bloom-buds of the fruit-trees are swelling every day.
“See that soft green willow springing,
Where the waters gently pass,
O'er the moist and seedy grass:
“ Though the rudest hand assail her,
Patiently she droops awhile;
Wears again her willing smile:
The snowdrop and various species of crocuses give an air of cheerfulness to our garden-borders.
The last half of the month.—The yellow-hammer and chaffinch, at this time, occasionally sing; and the mellow notes of the blackbird arrest our attention ; but much depends on the state of the weather.
The little robin, that during the last two months had rendered himself very familiar, by approaching our dwellings to solicit a little food and warmth, stills feels the cold to pinch him, and craves our protection.
“Cold blew the breezy northern blast,
And winter sternly frown'd ;
And clad the fields around.
“Forced by the storm's relentless power,
Embolden'd by despair,
CHARLOTTE C. RICHARDSON.
The hedge-sparrow, susceptible of the least indication of spring,