Imágenes de páginas

ceased was an honorary member, deeply the excellency of power,' belong to civic feels a bereavement which invades its deeds. own chosen walks, and affects the inte “America is proud of a mind whose rests of historical inquiry throughout the treasures, in the department he had world.

chosen to cultivate, are richer and more “The Society, at this early hour, valuable to mankind than the glittering would bear its public testimony to the wealth of that Mexico and Peru whose distinguished merit of the departed conquest he has rendered immortal by scholar, and lay the chaplet of mingled his writings. cypress and bays, moistened with the “This Society would commend to the tears of its regret, on his honoured aspiring and ambitious youth of our grave.

land, in the pursuits of literature and “In that circle of eminent men in philosophy, the example of the glorious the department of history who have dead, as illustrating under physical difdone honour to their country and en ficulties, which to most men would have riched the literature of the world, a chief been insurmountable, the capabilities has fallen in this event. The genius of of the human mind when assisted by pahistory has no more worthy son to lose tient toil, in the pursuit of a noble among the writers of the age, no brighter object. star to be stricken from her shining “ We place on our record to-day, with galaxy.

mingled pride and affliction, this testi“The graces of a generous nature, mony of our exalted appreciation of the the candour of a noble mind, the accu merits, moral, social, and literary, of the mulation of vast and discriminating re deceased historian; merits which confer search, and the fidelity of a sound judg on his memory a fame that can never ment, award to his memory a very high die.” place among the chroniclers of human Here “ the Providence of God” is events, past and present.

recognised, and that is all. The act was “So long as fine writing and graphic clearly done as a thing of grace rather statement shall be admired, and vera. than a thing of truth. To the great cious narrative sought after, the works historian, poor man! this life is everyof Prescott will be read. That name, thing. God in Christ, a future state, a already renowned in our political history glorious immortality, these are ideas for patriotic deeds of the sword, hence which are beyond the province of this forth will be still more renowned in our famous Society. This bodes ill for the national literature for the instruction sons of the Puritans. One of their poor and pacific labours of the more excel | Indian missionaries is a more important lent pen ;“the excellency of dignity and ) man than their renowned historian.

Lessons by the Way; or, Things to Think On.

WONDERFUL INSTINCT OF ANIMALS. VARIOUS interesting facts have been noted terribly, and the horses fastened in their stalls in relation to the demeanour of animals prior leaped up, endeavouring to break the halters to a great convulsion. It was towards noon, which attached them to the mangers. Rabbits beneath a clear and almost cloudless sky, and moles were seen to leave their burrows; with the sea breeze freshly blowing, that the birds rose, as if scared, from the places on cities of Conception and Talcahuano, on the which they had alighted; and reptiles left coast of South America, were desolated in in clear daylight their subterranean retreats. 1835. At ten o'clock, two hours before their Some faithful dogs, a few minutes before the ruin, the inhabitants remarked with surprise, first shock, awoke their sleeping masters by as altogether unusual, large flights of sea-fowl barking and pulling them, as if anxious to passing from the coast towards the interior; warn them of impending danger, and several and the dogs at Talcahuano abandoned the persons were thus enabled to save themselves. town before the shock which levelled its On the recent occasion all the dogs in the buildings was felt. Not an animal, it is be neighbourhood of Vallo howled before the lieved, was in the place when the destruction people were sensible of their danger. To accame. In 1805, previous to the earthquake count for these circumstances, it is conjectured at Naples, which took place in the night, but that, prior to actual disturbance, noxious was most severely felt in the provinces, the gases and other exhalations are emitted from oxen and cows began to bellow, the sheep and the interior of the earth through crannies and goats bleated strangely, the dogs howled pores of the surface, invisible to the eye, VOL. XVI.

2 x

each step has an inward awakening. The youth awakes as he thinks from childhood -the full-grown man despises the pursuits of youth as visionary—the old man looks on manhood as a feverish dream. Is death the last sleep? No-it is the last final awakening.--Sir Walter Scott.

which distress and alarm animals gifted with acute organs of smell.

IS FRIDAY AN UNLUCKY DAY? Americans, at any rate, have no reason to be afraid of Friday. Mr. Timbs gives us this catalogue of fortunate circumstances occurring on that day : “ On Friday, August 21, 1492, Christopher Columbus sailed on his great voyage of discovery. On Friday, October 12, 1492, he first discovered land. On Friday, January 4, 1493, he sailed on his return to Spain, which, if he had not reached in safety, the happy result would never have been known which led to the settlement on this vast continent. On Friday, March 15, 1493, he arrived at Palos in safety. On Friday, November 22, 1493, he arrived at Hispaniola, on his second voyage to America. On Friday, June 13, 1494, he, though unknown to himself, discovered the continent of America. On Friday, March 6, 1496, Henry VIII. of England gave to John Cabot his commission, which led to the discovery of North America. This is the first American state-paper in England. On Friday, September 7, 1565, Melendez founded St Augustine, the oldest town in the United States by more than forty years. On Friday, November 10, 1620, the * May Flower,” with the Pilgrims, made the harbour of Provincetown; and on the same day they signed the august compact, the foreranner of our present glorious Constitution. On Friday, December 22, 1620, the Pilgrims made their final landing at Plymouth Rock. On Friday, February 22, George Washington, the father of American freedom, was born. On Friday, October 7, 1777, the surrender of Saratoga was made, which had such power and influence in inducing France to declare for our cause. On Friday, September 22, 1780, the treason of Arnold was laid bare, which saved us from destruction. On Friday, October 10, 1781, the surrender of Yorktown, the crowning glory of the American arms, occurred. On Friday, July 7, 1776, the motion in Congress was made by John Adams, seconded by Richard Henry Lee, that the United States Colonies were, and of right ought to be, free and independent.” THE ROBIN RED-BREAST'S LOVE FOR

MANKIND. It is a curious fact that the love of our race is so innate in the robin as to render him unhappy in any other society-excepting only in the breeding season, when all birds are naturally shy and suspicious for the welfare of their offspring. Go into any wood, walk down any shady lane, enter any cemetery, seat yourself in any country churchyard, or perch yourself on any rural stile within a few moments you will assuredly have a robin beside you, and he will assuredly introduce himself with a song. It is in vain for you to say “ Nay.” He fairly fascinates you; he wooś your heart, and wins it. How many of my successes in winning human hearts are attributable to the hints afforded me by this ingenuous, bold, open-hearted, all-conquering bird !-Kidd on the Robin.

A dream within a dream-as we grow older

IMMORTALITY. The better men are, the more terrible it would make death if there were no future state. For the better they are, the more they love God. Good men have found the fountain of good. They have experience of a much better happiness in life than others; and therefore it must be more dreadful for them to have their being eternally extinct by death. Hence we may strongly argue a future state. --Edwards.

HUMILITY. The eminent author of “The Saint's Rest," being reminded of his labours on his deathbed, replied, “ I was but a pen in God's hand, and what praise is due to a pen ?”

THE BREATH OF PRAYER. If there be within us any sparks of Divine love, the best way not only to preserve them, but to excite them, to blow them up into a flame, is by the breath of prayer. O prayer, the converse of the soul with God; the breath of God in man returning to its original; the better half of our whole work, and that which makes the other half lively and effectual!Leighton.

GOD'S PRUNING. Our Lord bloweth the bloom off our foolish hopes in this life, and loppeth the branches off our worldly joys well nigh the root, on purpose that they should not thrive.--Ruther

BOOKS. Books are spectacles with which we read nature. They teach us to understand and feel what we see, to decipher and syllable the hieroglyphics of the senses.-Dryden. METHODS OF THE ENTERPRISING.

Great personal activity at times, and close sedentary and severely thoughtful habits at other times, are the forces by which able men accomplish notable enterprises. Sitting with thoughtful brows by their evening firesides, they originate and mature their plans; after which, with energies braced to their work, they move to the easy conquest of difficulties accounted formidable, because they have deliberated upon and mastered the best methods for overcoming them.

AN OBJECTION. A sceptical man being urged to turn Roman Catholic, objected that it was a religion enjoining so many fasts and requiring such implicit faith: “You give us,” he said, “ too little to eat, and too much to swallow."

Dr. Johnson, when in the fulness of years


and knowledge, said, “I never take up a news- “ We lived a good while in the family of Dr. paper without finding something I would have | Livingston, of New Brunswick. Oh, that deemed it a loss not to have seen; never was a good time for old Joe and I! That was without deriving from it instruction and amuse a heavenly house-worship every morning and ment."

evening, and always called in." Such was Aunt A HEAVENLY HOUSE.

Betty's idea of "a heavenly house," and she

was not very wide of the mark; where God is I once met with an aged coloured woman worshipped every morning and evening,” and who, in giving me the history of her humble the humblest members of the family are always life, mentioned the following circumstance: I called in.

The Lay Preachers' Corner.

PREACHING TO THE POINT. It is a happy and successful trait in the injunction of Scripture, “ What thy minister of the Gospel, to possess a hand findeth to do, do it with thy faculty for making a close, discreet, and might,” has the weight and impressivetimely personal application to his ness of eternity, it is with him who hearers of the truths he proclaims. stands between the porch and the altar, Next to the possession of ardent and and handles the truth which can alone soul-enkindling piety, this faculty of make wise unto salvation. bringing the solemnities of his theme to bear directly and personally upon the moral state of his hearers, is per

THE MODERN PULPIT. haps the minister's best assurance of “ The oracular power and virtue success. The word of God is quick and which once dwelt in the pulpit,” says powerful. It has a marvellous adapted George Gilfillan, “have departed to the ness to move the soul. It makes its printing-press on the other side of the appeal to the inost susceptible and most street. The parish church which once impulsive elements of our moral nature. lorded it over the landscape, and pointed If it can be brought home to the inner its steeple, like a still finger of hushing man, and can be made to grasp the awe over the landscape, and even the sources of emotion with its full energy, Minster, which lifted up a broader it will seldom fail of some effect-how hand of more imperative power, have often of the happiest effect! Such an found formidable rivals not only in the application of the truth is not indeed Dissenting chapel but in the private always easy to be made; it pre-supposes school, nay, in the public-house of the the exercise of a delicate taste, and village, where men talk, and think, and thorough knowledge of human nature, form passionate purposes over newsand that peculiar spiritual skill which papers. Sermons are now criticised, is only learned in prayer and by the not obeyed; and when our modern teaching of the Spirit. Yet so invalu Pauls preach, our Felixes yawn instead able is it-such a rich and beautiful of trembling. Ministers have become attainment—that every pastor should a timid and apologetic class; the fearseek for it as for hid treasures. Day by lessness of Knox is seldom met with, day, while moving among the souls save among the fanatics of their whom he is seeking to save, should the number, in whom it looks simply careful study go on, for the acquisition ludicrous. The thunders of the pulpit of that special knowledge of the circum have died away, or, when they are stances, character, idiosyncrasies, and awakened, it is through the preacher's tastes of his hearers, needful to shape determination to be popular, or through the ministrations of the truth for effect. the agitation of despair; he in general Effect, deep, lasting, and as immediate consults, not commands, the taste of as possible, on the deathless spirits in his audience; and his word, unlike his his charge, should be the minister's professed Master's, is without authority, great and earnest study. How short and therefore as that of the scribes, the time in which truth can be urged ! nay, less powerful than theirs. John How brief the period of hope! How Howe could preach six hours to unterrible the power of habitual impeni wearied throngs; twenty years ago tence! Surely, if with any mortal the Edward Irving could protract his

speech to midnight; but now a sermon , reflecting the manner of Apollo with of three-quarters of an hour, even from his lute, and of Jupiter Tonans. The eloquent lips, is thought sufficiently character of the one is nature, and of exhaustive both of the subject and of the other force; sustaining the critical the audience.”

dictum of the most perfect speaker of We insert this paragraph mainly for the last century, who said, “ When the purpose of disputing it. It contains Johnson wrote tragedy, declamation a mass of unfounded, we may add, roared; when Shakespeare wrote, he calumnious, allegation.

dipped his pen in his own heart's blood.” Sound is not necessarily forcc.

The thunder only appals; it is the PULPIT ELOQUENCE.

lightning that kills ! In speaking, To every young speaker, we would nature is power; artifice is impotence. say, be natural; composition necessarily governs elocution ; artificial language necessarily brings along with it artificial

FAULTS OF PREACHERS. intonation. That the one may be “ Defects of a preacher are soon perfectly natural, so must the other. spied,” says Martin Luther, in his While it would be impossible to read a Table Talk. “Let a preacher be endued paper from Johnson's “ Rambler” in with ten virtues, and have but one the easy, colloquial, and sprightly tone fault, that one fault will eclipse and of good conversation, it would be as im darken all his virtues and gifts, so evil possible to read a paper from Addison's is the world in these times. Dr. Justice “ Spectator" otherwise. The one neces Jones hath all the good qualities that a sitates a lofty, sonorous elocution-a man may have; yet by reason that he thing altogether unlike the discourse of often hummeth and spitteth, therefore actual life; the other, the “ tripping on the people cannot bear with that good the tongue,” and the vivacity of idio- and honest man.” matic speech-the two respectively

Ecclesiastical Dffairs.


To the Editor of the Christian Witness.SIR,-In the Magazine for October two com- | spiritual, and the other secular; and to the munications are inserted, desiderating informa right discharge of these two, separate orders tion on the “Nature and duties of the deacon's of office-bearers are requisite - one to adoffice," and an invitation is given, in your minister the spiritual affairs of the church, notices to correspondents, to any one who and the other to manage its temporal conshall furnish a satisfactory article on the sub cerns. For the performance of the former, ject. As the permanency and importance of pastors or bishops were appointed by the great this office are recognised in all churches of the Head of the body; and for the discharge of Congregational order—which are not con the latter the office of deacon was instituted. sidered as fully organised without a competent The word deacon, in its original meaning, is number of office-bearers, among whom dea of very extensive application. It signifies cons hold a prominent place—it is certainly simply servant, and is used in a secular sense, desirable that the churches should have clear as well as in relation to ecclesiastical matters. and definite views as to the proper qualifica It is applied to a household servant or attendtions of persons to be elected to this office, and ant at table, as in John ii. 5, 6, where, describthe specific duties and obligations devolving ing the turning of the water into wine, “ The upon them. This is necessary to the due mother of Jesus says to the servants (literally order and discipline of the society, and to the to the deacons), whatsoever He saith to you, comfort and usefulness of the individuals so do.” It is also applied to civil magistrates, chosen.

Rom. xiii. 4. “ He is the minister (diaconos) In the institution of a Christian church, of God to thee for good.” Paul applies it to two objects are contemplated. First, the pre himself and to Apollos, 1 Cor. iii. 5, “Who servation and manifestation of Divine truth, then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but miwith a view to the edification of believers and | nisters (diaconoi) by whom ye believed ?" Yea, the conversion of sinners. And, secondly, the the Saviour himself is thus designated, Rom. securing a proper provision for the decent and xv. 8, “ But I say that Jesus Christ was made orderly performance of Divine worship, and a minister (diaconon) of the circumcision;" but the relief of the poor and needy. This gives in its official and restricted sense it was grarise to two distinct classes of duties--the one 1 dually appropriated to those whose duty it was to manage the secular affairs of the of the Holy Ghost, either in His miraculous church, and implies that they are specially set | gifts, or in His sanctifying influence; possessed apart for the service of the house of God. The of a spiritual and devotional frame of mind. original institution of the office is recorded in And we find that two of them at least were Acts vi. 146, which also explains the reason possessed of miraculous gifts, Stephen and of the appointment; and we shall best come to

Philip (Acts vi. 8: viii, 7): they were also to understand its nature, and the qualifications be “full of wisdom,” or prudence, able to guide which it requires, by adhering to the law and their own affairs and those of the church with to the testimony as laid down by the sacred discretion. In 1 Tim. iii. 8–10, we have a writer in this simple and authentic narrative, further account of the qualifications required and in other parallel passages.

in deacons. They must be “grave,” that is, It appears, then, from the first institution of serious in their deportment, seemly in their a Christian church in Jerusalem, there had carriage, as opposed, not to cheerfulness, but been a common fund set apart for the support to all unseasonable levity; "not doubleof the poor, especially widows and orphans, a tongued," or addicted to flattery, or deceit, or “ daily ministration," to which the more af backbiting, giving different accounts of the fluent members contributed, and from which same thing to different persons, so as to excite distribution was made, as every one had need. misunderstanding between pastor and people, This fund, in the infancy of the church, the or jealousies between one member and another; apostles undertook to manage, and they con “not given to much wine," sober and temtinued to do so for some time, with the entire perate in their habits, as essential to their reconcurrence and approbation of the body; but spectability and usefulness; "not greedy of when the number of the disciples was in filthy lucre,” or desirous of base or unlawful creased," the business became more compli gain, so as to tempt them to appropriate the cated, and unreasonable jealousies and com funds of the church to their own private use, plaints of partiality arose. There were two or to grudge assisting the poor as occasion reparties in the church, one consisting of native quired, but disposed to devise and recommend Jews, who spoke the Hebrew language, and liberal things, both by precept and example; the other of foreign, or Hellenistic Jews, who "holding the mystery of the faith in (or used the Greek tongue. The latter, conceiving with a pure conscience," (like good wine in a that the apostles were too partial to the clean vessel,) well instructed in Christian docformer, as being more nearly connected with trine, and conscientious and consistent in them by birth and language, a secret mur maintaining it; they must also be not mere muring arose on the part of the Grecian novices, but men of some standing in the brethren, not “because their widows were neg church, so as to afford time and opportunity lected” (or overlooked), as in our translation, for testing their Christian character and trywhich would seem to imply that there was ing their fitness ; let these also first be proved, some ground for this complaint, but merely and then, having a faultless reputation, free " thatthey were so overlooked. The his from reproach, and such as to do honour to torian simply states the fact, without giving their religious profession, "let them use (or any opinion as to whether it was well founded serve) the office of a deacon, being found or not. This state of things determined the blameless.” If married men, they must be apostles to give up the management of the “the husband of one wife,” free from all susfund, as they could no longer give satisfaction picion of polygamy or groundless divorce, so to both parties, and to confine their attention common at that period, both among Jews and thenceforth to their spiritual duties. Accord heathens. If fathers, they must maintain ingly, having called a meeting of the church, good order and due subordination in their fathey represented to the people that it was not milies, ruling their children and their own reasonable (or agreeable) that they should houses well. The same thing is required of “ leave the word of God to serve tables.” They bishops (see verses 4, 5), which would seem to therefore proposed that they should " look out imply that deacons as well as pastors are enfrom among them seven men of good report, trusted with a certain rule or care of the full of the Holy Ghost and of wisdom, whom church of God, and that any deficiency in they might appoint over this business.” This maintaining domestic authority, supposes a would free the apostles from all secular entan want of firmness, and consequently an unfitglements, and enable them to devote their ness for the efficient discharge of public duty. whole time “to prayer and to the ministry of The eleventh verse is supposed to allude, not the Word.The proposal was unanimously so much to the deacon's wives, as to the female agreed to, and having elected the number re deacons or deaconesses — “the women also quired, they placed them before the apostles, must be grave.” Such was Phebe, who is who set them apart to their office by prayer described as a servant or deaconess of the and the imposition of hands.

church in Cenchrea; and such an office may 1. Here we may observe the qualifications still be necessary in those countries where the of the persons to be chosen to the deacon's two sexes are kept strictly apart; and it is viroffice. The doctrines and institutions of the tually discharged by the devoted wives of church are all according to godliness. “Ho missionaries in India and other eastern reliness becometh the house of the Lord," and gions. Yet, as a great part of a man's usefulthose especially must be "clean who bear the ness depends on the prudence and fidelity of vessels of the Lord.” Accordingly, it was re his wife, it is of vast importance that the quired of the primitive deacons, that they wives, both of ministers and of deacons, should should be “men of honest report,” (literally) bear the character here described-that they, witnessed to, by those that were without, as too, should be “grave, not slanderers (or false well as by the church; as faithful and just, accu ers), sober and faithful in all things." and of blameless reputation in the world; full When the apostle says of deacons, “let these

« AnteriorContinuar »