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Death,” by Charles Smith, printer, which obtained the first prize, L.20, offered by the Alliance; and “ The Creed of Despair," by Matthew Spears, ironfounder, to which the second, L.15, was awarded. The two together present a graphic view of the principles and operations of infidelity among the working classes in Great Britain. Both compositions display abilities of a high order—the first, by a London printer, excelling in abundant detail and eloquent statement of facts, with appeals founded on them, and addressed both to the understanding and the heart ; the other, by a Glasgow moulder, and equally characteristic of the nationality of its author, is more marked by the philosophising spirit ; the facts, which are fewer in number, not passing into principles of action so rapidly as the strong attraction of the Englishman's full heart makes his facts to do; but being subjected to a ratiocinative faculty that loves to cling to them till it has drawn from each every important deduction it is fitted to yield, bearing on the subject. Concurring fully in the award which has assigned to the two essays their relative position in the volume, we earnestly recommend both to all who take an interest and what Christian in Great Britain does not ?—in the spiritual condition of the classes who have, under God, made Great Britian what it is the emporium of successful industry to the wide world.

NEW-YEAR'S DRINKING. *

BY REV. THOMAS GUTHRIE, D.D.

The Duke of Wellington, during the Pen- in thousands of cases these customs lead to insular war, heard that a large magazine ill, and issue in ruin. of wine, lay on his line of march. He feared What unlooked-for mischief comes of the more for his men from barrels of wine than drinking customs, we saw a melancholy batteries of cannon, and instantly de- instance of but last Martinmas. Late in spatched a body of troops to knock every the evening of the day after the term, a. wine barrel on the head.

young woman knocked at our door. Her Christmas and the new year we fear as good clothes were all draggled in the mire, much. Like him, we cannot remove the and the traces of the night's debauch weretemptation-shut the dram-shop, and break visible in an otherwise comely countenance. the whisky bottle—but we are sure that, It was sad to see her, but sadder still her unless you will be persuaded to avoid it, story. She rose on the morning before, a the approaching seasons will prove fatal to decent servant, with wages, and character, the life of some and the virtue of many. and virtue, and self-respect, the respected At no other season of the year does our child of respectable parents.

She was town present sights so distressing and so afraid to face them; and now she stood, a disgusting. Well may Christians pray, and lost, shameless creature, begging for pity parents weep, and our churches be hung and a shelter. She had left her place, and in black; there are more young men and on her way to another met with some comwomen ruined, more bad habits contracted, panions; they persuaded her to taste a litand more souls lost then, than at any other tle spirits, and then a little more, and still season of the year.

a little more, till, first maddened, and then We never see a man, or-ob, shame!- stupified with drink, she became insensible, a woman, with their whisky bottle and with and woke to find herself robbed and ruined. their “ happy new year,” pressing drink What a revolution drink and these fourupon others, without thinking of that old and-twenty hours had wrought in her bismurderer Joab, when, taking Amasa by tory! It reminds us of a stone which our the beard, and saying, “ Art thou in health, hand has loosened on the hill-top-first it my brother ?” he stabbed him under the

moves a little, then, caught by a tuft of: fifth rib. You intend no ill. No more does grass or bush of heather, it halts an instant,, the fool who casts firebrands, saying, “It then moves again, and now begins to roll is in sport, it is in sport.” You know that slowly, then quickly, then it flies, then it * This earnest, rousing, and seasonable paper,

leaps madlike on, till at length it thunders published in the form of a hand-bill by the down on some rock below, and is shivered & Scottish Society for the Suppression of Drunken. into a hundred fragments. ness," has been sent us for notice in the Magazine.

Twenty years ago, while a clergyman was As the best testimony of our approval of the tract nd its object, we have deemed it proper to quote sitting at his book on a beautiful summer

afternoon, he heard a foot on the gravel,

B

eptire.

and saw the shadow of a passenger cast on walks the High Street, another victim added the glossy leaves and beautiful flowers of a to the thousands whose first fall often dates China rose-bush, which served as his win- from these festive seasons—who begin with dow-screen. The servant came to say, that a glass, and end with a bottle. one calling himself an old college acquaint- Our larger towns are becoming a disance was in the kitchen; and there for he grace to Scotland; and our country, with declined to enter the room—in old rusty its old character for piety and sobriety black, out at the knees and elbows, with his hanging in threadbare rags upon its back, head hanging down, stood a beggar—in is becoming a disgrace to the empire. whose haggard face he traced the features We have small hopes from Justices of Peace of one whom he had known as an accom- or Members of Parliament. If this evil is plished student, the pride of his parents and to be stopped-these waters dammed up family, and once the envy of many. De- and driven back-it must be, through the graded in his own eyes, he would not lift blessing of God, by you the people themup his head, nor speak, nor stay, but, clutch- selves; and to you, therefore, we presume ing at the offered eharity, he hurried off- to make this appeal; the necessities of the a man who might have adorned a pulpit, case are our apology. now a vagabond on the earth, cast off by ali We wish you, indeed, a happy new year. bis friends, to die by a dyke-side, and be We are not the enemies, but, on the con. laid, with no regrets, in a drunkard's grave. trary, the friends of every recreation and

But three weeks ago, on going up the amusement which can exhilarate the spirits, High Street, a sudden start, and the rapid and give a tone of cheerfulness to the mind, turning away of a face, called my attention and health to the body. These would help to one who had reached the lowest infamy. our cause instead of hindering it. In innoIn her swollen and bloated features I recog- cent sports, expeditions to the country, nised one whom I had known in better visits to museums, gardens, picture galleries, days, and had last seen when, five years public buildings, let such amusements bé ago, I prayed beside her mother's dying sought and enjoyed; but against drinkingbed, in the garret-storey of a high tenement places and customs let every master warn of the Cowgate. From her childhood she his workmen-every mistress her servants had been the widow's best earthly comfort every man and mother their children. At -the little ewe-lamb of her bosom-and I this season let all be specially on their guard have heard her mother, who blessed God -their motto this:-“ Touch not, Taste for the fair opening of that flower, tell, not, Handle not." Let the readers of this with tears of joy in her eyes, how Mary paper resolve to do what they can, by their sang her hymns, and with what power she example, influence, and advice, to stop this prayed to God in their lonely home. Hap- annual debauchery. Offer no spirits--refuse pily now for her, the mother lies at rest in them when offered. the Grayfriars Churchyard; but her Mary, “ Be not partakers of other men's sins.' who, from a Sabbath-school scholar had 6 Let him that standeth take heed lest grown up into a Sabbath-school teacher,

he fall."

Correspondence.

TO THE EDITOR OF THE UNITED PRESBYTERIAN MAGAZINE.

9th DECEMBER 1851. or does she merely disown the clause in the SIR,-Will you have the kindness to an

Confession of Faith having reference to the swer, through the medium of your valuable question, as constituting a part of her creed Magazine, the following queries1-Yours, as a church, leaving individual members to &c.

adopt such views on the subject as they AMICUS.

may consider best? Is Ezra vii. 26, forming part of Ezra's [The commission of ¥èra, so far as it refercommission from Artaxerxes, to be consi- red to the enforcement of religious ordinandered as agreeable to the Divine will ? ces, permitted or authorished him to carry If so, -Are the powers with which the ma- into effect the Divine law which had previgistrate is there invested to be regarded as ously been given to the Jews, and which had peculiar to his office under the Jewish dis- been temporarily kept in abeyance during pensation ?

the Babylonish captivity. Thus far his Does the United Presbyterian Church commission was certainly agreeable to the require of her members an absolute denial Divine will, and that it went farther there of the civil magistrate's power circa sacra ; is no evidence.

The United Presbyterian Church, ac- trine it teaches, or seems to teach, respectcording to the Basis of Union, does not ing the magistrate's power in religion. require of its members an absolute denial Whether they admit or deny the doctrine of the civil magistrate's power circa sacra. of the Confession on this subject, the It only requires that they admit the West- church, according o its standards, does minster Confession to be the confession of inquire.]-ED. their faith, with the exception of the doc

The Gleaner.

WRITTEN ROCKS.-JOB XIX. 24.*

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LET us to-day return to the passage in rising to a clímax in the grandest and most which Job desires for his words some en- durable form of writing. during monument. He says, “Oh, that my Job first expresses a wish that his words words were now written! Oh, that they were simply written down or recorded in were printed in a book! That they were the ordinary mode, without specifying any graven with an iron pen and lead in the --neither shall we now, as there will rock for ever!”

future occasion to do so. But we cannot In an antiquarian point of view, this is a help pointing out the error of those who deeply interesting passage, being the ear- contend, from the text before us, that gravliest existing reference to the most ancient ing on metal or stone were the only modes modes of writing—not to one of them, but of writing known in the time of Job, and, to several, to all, in fact, that appear to consequently, that there were no such things have been known at the time this book was as books, or rather rolls (which was the anwritten.

cient form of books), in existence. But The strange blunder of the translators why not? The world was already 2,200 about printing in a book, is calculated to years old at the very earliest date ascribed provoke a smile, and is on that ground alone to the history of Job, and men inherited, censurable. We knew a man by no means through Noah's family, the knowledge and ill informed or unintelligent, who contend- accumulated improvements of the antedilued from this that printing was but the re- vians. And as this is urged by those who vival of an ancient invention known in the insist upon the most ancient date of the time of Job ; with the only alternative, that history and the Book of Job, it may well else Job predicted the invention, and de- be asked, How, in the alleged absence of clared his conviction that his words would the means of copious writing, in the shape hereafter be printed in a book-"and this of books of leaves or bark, or rolls of skins has really come to pass,” he triumphantly (not parchment, which was later), linen, or added, deeming that his acumen had added papyrus, the Book of Job itself came to be one more to the long list of fulfilled pro- written and preserved ? No one will surephecies. This carelessness is the less ex- ly contend that a volume so large was encusable, as the earlier versions are free from

graven on stone, or even on metal. Furthis fault. In them we have, “O that they ther, in the time of Moses, materials for were put in a boke;"+ or, “O that they large rolls of writing existed, or how else were written in a booke.”+

were the books of the Pentateuch written, Still there might be something to mis- for only the ten commandments were enlead in the words “written” and “book," graven upon stone ? Lastly, we have actual not that they are absolutely incorrect, but possession of Egyptian papyrus rolls of the that they have acquired more restricted most remote Pharaonic age; and through signification than they anciently possessed. the sculptures, we are enabled to ascertain Not, however, to enter into questions as to that this mode of writing was common in the meanings of words, we shall give the the age of Suphis, or Cheops, the builder translation which seems to us preferable of the great pyramid, more than 2000 years "O that my words were now recorded !

before Christ, and therefore anterior to the O that they were engraven on a tablet ! With an iron graver upon lead;

The patriarch then goes on to engraving That they were graven in a rock for ever."

or writing on tablets. These tablets may The careful reader will here find four ideas, have been of wood, earthenware, or bone.

Waxen tablets we take to be of a later age, * Extracted, by permission, from Dr Kitto's not well suited to a warm climate, and "Daily Bible Nlustrations," Vol.1, Evening Series. Roger's Bible, BISHOPS' Bible,

never used bulk or temporary memoranda, Geneva Bible

like our slaten. We mention bone, in the

age of Job.

recollection that the shoulder blades of purchased in 1699, at Rome, an ancient sheep were, in ancient times, and especially book entirely composed of lead. It was among pastoral tribes, the representatives of our ivory tablets.

Then Job comes to the process of writing on tablets of soft metal with a pen or

OOOOOO stylus of harder metal—with a pen of iron on tablets of lead. Metal tablets for the purpose of writing, were composed of plates of lead, copper, brass, and other metals. These, as also tablets of wood, mentioned before, were either single, or frequently from two to five leaves were done up into a sort of book, something like our slate books. Lead, from its comparative cheapness and softness, and from the facility of beating out or melting down writing no longer useful, was much used, and was probably first about four inches long and three inches employed for this purpose, though the pro- wide; and not only were the two pieces that minent mention of it by Job does not im- formed the cover and the leaves, six in num. ply that no other metals were used. It is ber, of lead, but also the pin inserted through stated by Pliny that sheets of lead were still the rings to hold the leaves together, as well in his time used for important public docu- as the hinges and the nails. Each of the men:3. A zealous antiquary of the seven- twelve pages was charged with a gnostic teenih century, Montfaucon, states that he symbolical figure, and underneath the four

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first are inscriptions, in Greek and Etruscan centuries old, illustrate this still more ancharacters, unintelligible to him, but which cient use of tablets of brass. The stylus or might probably now be deciphered. The pen for writing on metal tablets was somecharacters inscribed on every leaf are copied times tipped with a diamond ; a circumin Montfaucon's work. He also gives from stance to which there is an allusion in Jer. Father Bonanni's Museum Kircherianum, xvii. 1.

It was certainly a grand idea for man to other leaden book, which had been taken think of committing to the living rock, and from an ancient tomb, containing seven of thus giving a magnificent permanency leaves inscribed with Greek, Hebrew, Etrus- to the record of his history and his thoughts. can, and Latin characters; all of which are There are rocks presenting cliffs so smooth, declared (perhaps too summarily) to have with stone of texture so soft, as absolutely been unintelligible. Both these books are to tempt the idle saunterer to write or to probably not older than the early ages of the scrawl unmeaning figures on them. In time Christian era ; but they adequately repre this would suggest the desirableness of insent a custom of more ancient date.

scribing harder rocks with memorials deBrass, as a more durable metal, was used signed to last; and where a smooth surface for inscriptions designed to last the longest; was not naturally presented, the face of the such as laws, treaties, and alliances. These rock would be levelled for the purpose. were, however, usually written in large Many such monuments of the most antablets of the metal. The ornamental cient date have been found in various counbrasses on our own churches, many of wbich tries, but none more extensive or remarkare still in good preservation, though many able than those in the Written Mountains

of Sinai, which also derive especial interest localities, similar inscriptions are met with, from the locality in which they are found, and these in great numbers, on Mount so memorable in Jewish history, and not so Serbal, lying to the south of the aboveremote from the place of Job's abode- mentioned routes ; as also, but more rarely, some, indeed, making it much nearer than in some valleys to the south of Mount we do—but that he might have known of Serbal itself. But the valley, which, bethem had they then been thus sculptured. yond all the rest, claims especial notice, is It is not, however, likely that they were, that which stretches from the neighbourthough this passage shows that his view hood of the eastern shore of the Gulf of was directed to such monuments,

Suez for the space of three hours' journey These inscriptions are found in the neigh- in a southern direction. Here, to the left bourhood of Mount Sinai; or, to speak of the road, the traveller finds a chain of more accurately, in the hills and valleys steep sandstone rocks, perpendicular as which, branching out from its roots, run walls, which afford shelter at mid-day, and towards the north-west to the vicinity of in the afternoon, from the burning rays of the eastern shore of the Gulf of Suez: in- the sun. These, beyond all besides, consomuch that travellers now-a-days, from tain a vast multitude of tolerably well prethe monastery of Mount Sinai to the town served inscriptions, whence this valley has of Suez, wbatever route they take (for there obtained the name of Wady Mokatteb, or are many) will see these inscriptions upon the the Written Valley... Adjoining to it is a rocks of most of the valleys through which hill, where stones in like manner are coverthey pass, to within half a day's journey, ed with writing, and which bears the name or a little more, of the coast. Besides these of Djebel Mokatteb, or the Written Moun

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tain. İntermingled with the inscriptions, of letters

. The letters are in an alphabetic images and figures of men and animals are character, not otherwise known to palæoof frequent occurrence, all executed in so graphists, and many attempts have been rude a style, as may be well supposed to made to decipher them, but not until lately have belonged to the time, when men first with any degree of success. The inscripbegan to inscribe upon the rocks their tions were first noticed by the traveller abiding memorials, and evidently with the Cosmas in the year 535, and the character same instruments and by the same hands was even then unknown. He supposed they as those which formed the inscriptions. were the work of the ancient Hebrews; Indeed, those who have taken the pains to and says, that certain Jews who had read copy portions of these, declare that it was them, explained them to him as the jouroften difficult to distinguish these figures ney of such one, of such a tribe, in such a from the letters. This suggests that the year and month. This explanation might writers sometimes employed images as parts be understood to intimate that the inscripof letters, and, vice versa, images for groups tions were made by members of the succes

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