Images de page
PDF
ePub

members. Our Querist asks, "Shall he be heard?" Unhesitatingly I answer, He should.

We offer the following remarks as our reasons for such a conclusion:

1. The disciples are commanded to let their "light shine"-to be as a "city set on a hill"_to live so that the world can have no evil thing to say of them; and to "walk in wisdom toward those who are with out," &c.

How can this measure of the Christian character be filled up by those who are unwilling that their character, conduct, and principles should pass through any ordeal-or be brought before any tribunal where justice presides and truth is sought? Every disciple, filled with the spirit of his Master, in humble boldness like him should be ready to exclaim, “Who is he that convinceih me of sin?” Rather than 10 shun, he ought to be desirous of meeting his accusers or calumniators face to face, that his innocence and love of truth and equity may be more apparent. "He that loveth the truth cometh to the light that his deeds may be made manifest that they are wrought in God."Really, I cannot conceive of a character more unlike a follower of the Lord Jesus, than one unwilling to hear and examine any charge preferred by a man of the world.

The world generally study men more than books. Our enemies and opposers, in many instances, draw their conclusions relative to the truth or falsity of what we teach more from our conduct than our arguments! How shall we influence the world, then, if, in its opinion, we cloak the iniquities of those with whom we associate?! Had we in every church of this reformation men of the talents and intelligence of the Apostles, their labors would fail to bring sinners into the kingdom of God while they are of the opinion that we are unwilling to investigate the conduct of our members and bring the offenders to justice.

2. Having, therefore, decided to investigate the charges, how shall we receive them, and what is necessary in order to conviction? These questions, I should think, ought to be left to the decision of the eldership; for I presume that I am fully understood as advocating the necessity of a competent presbytery for the government of the church in every congregation! The bishops, therefore, should examine carcfully into every charge preferred against a disciple without being requested so to do by the aggrieved! But to the case before us: The overseers should cause the member against whom the charge is preferred and the accused to appear, with all their witnesses, in their pre. sence. The elders will then hear the charge and the defence; and doing nothing by partiality, they will decide the whole case according to the Christian's Statute Book-the Oracles of God. Whether any should be sworn or not, and the civil officer be called in for that purpose, is a question on which no person could so well decide as the elders of the particular church where the difficulty should occur. They should endeavor to elicit the truth by all the means in their power. If they could not believe the witnesses brought before them, unless on oath or affirmation, they ought certainly to place them under these sanctions.

3. "What is the meaning of our Saviour, Luke vi. 27–35?".

For if you

We will hear the text with a few passing remarks interspersed."But I say unto you that hear, love your enemies, do good to them who hate you; bless them that curse you, and pray for them who de. spitefully use you." And unto him who smiteth you on the one cheek (rather than strike him in return, after the manner of men acting under the dominion of their passions] offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloak (legally, you being in debt to him, although the law would not compel you to give more) forbid not to take thy coat also. Give to every man that asketh thee, [he being in want;] and of him that taketh away thy goods demand them not again: [if the world have demands on you, however unjust in your estimation, and take away your property, you will do better to let your properly go ihan to engage in perplesing lawsuits, and thus lose your influence as one of my disciples:imy heavenly Father will make up to you ten thousand fold all you lose by a conscientious adherence to this advice: neither take any advantage of such persons in future;] but as ye would that others should do to you, do ye also to them likewise. love them [only] who love you, what thanks are you entitled to? for sinners also love those who love them. And if you do good to them [only] who do good to you, what thanks are you entitled to? for sinners also do even the same And if you lend (only) to them of whom you hope and receive, what thanks are you entitled to? for sinners also lend to sinners to receive as much again. [The expectation of a like favor at another time should never be the governing motive when you lend. If solicited the use of any thing, the question with you

should not be, Would he lend to me under those circumstances?' The con. duct of others is not to be the rule of your conduct; but] love ye your enemies and do good, and lend nothing despairing-[nor fearing that others will not conduct in a similar manner toward you]-and your reward shall be great, and you shall be the children of ihe Highest; for he is kind [even) to the ungrateful and malignant.”—“Be ye, therefore, imitators of God, as dear children."

In connexion with the above read Deut. xv. on lending; and also the latter part of Matth. v.

After having done so, I shall anticipate a similar conclusion relative to these gracious words of our once humbled, but now glorified Redeemer. It must be confessed, however, that here we have principles that come in contact wish the natural inclinations of the human heart; but this is no reason why they ought not to be subjected to the same rules of interpretation as other portions of the Divine Word. In fact, these words are only a manifestation of that spirit possessed by the Redeemer without ineasure.

0! may we study more closely his character! It is worthy of all admiration. May the mind that dwelt in him be possessed by us! And may we never forget amid all the changes, perplexities, tempta. tions, and trials of this inconstant world, that important decision• If any man have not the spirit of Christ, he is none of his!"

W. W. EATON, Bethany COLLEGE, April 27th, 1842.

EARTHQUAKES AND THEIR TERRIBLE EFFECTS. In looking over Murray's Encyclopedia of Geography, we were very forcibly struck with the graphic description of these destructive phenomena. We shall therefore state a few of the facts as there given; but must refer the reader to the work itself for a full account of these dreadful scourges of the human race.

Earthquakes may be said to be universal; there is no country entirely exempted, and not a week passes without some part of the earth's surface being more or less agitated; while a few districts sometimes experience a continual series of concussions. Confined to no particular season of the year or state of the atmosphere, they occur at noon as well as at midnight, and without a moment's warning precipitate thousands into eternity in a few seconds. The shocks at first appear like perpendicular heavings-then as horizontal undulations or oscillations; the effects of these are terrible; but the most dreadful of all are the rotary motions; during which large masses of rocks and houses are whirled about sturdy palm trees are twisted around one another like willows-ihe must substantial buildings are instantly shattered to piecest and the inhabitants buried beneath their ruins.The duration of a single shock rarely exceeds half a minute; but in most cases more shocks follow at short intervals. After the first and second, the others are less destructive, though they frequently continue for months with shorter intermission. During one of these awful scenes, the violent agitations of the sea shows the extent, as well as the power of these tremendous agencies. The submarine land seems to be thrown out of its bed by the struggling and bursting of the pent gases; and the waters, as it affrighted, rush to the shores and overflow their bounds even on distant continents. In 1755, a waye sixty feet high overflowed a part of the city of Cadiz; and during the earthquake at Lima one of eighty-four feet rolled into the harbor of Callao. Ships at sea and at anchor are shaken so that they seem to be falling asunder-their masts spring-the guns break loose from their fastenings, and spring from the deck several inches. Sometimes the earth is torn asunder for miles, and cbasms hundreds of feet in width and depth are formed in an instant; at others, the ground heaves like a boiling sea, and several hundred of these renis may be seen at a time opening and closing in rapid succession. The largest mountains tremble as if they were about to be tórn from their foundation; their Bummits open the sides heave and rend—and huge masses are thrown from them into the subjacent valleys; rivers are dainmed op, lakes formed, and the general features so much changed that places can scarcely be recognized.

The earthquake in Calabria threw down nearly all the houses in two hundred towns and villages in the short space of two minutes.One hundred thousand of the inhabitants perished; and in some instances it was difficult to find even distant relations to succeed to the property of some families. During the reign of Justinian each year was marked by the repetition of earthquakes of such extent that the shocks were communicated to the whole surface of the globe, or at least the Roman Empire, and of such duration that Constanrinople was shaken above forty days. Two hundred and fifty thousand persons are said to have perished in the earthquake at Antioch, "The earthquake of 1822, in one horrible night, destroyed every city, vil. lage, and cottage in the pachalic of Aleppo within ten or twelve seconds, and buried a vast number under the ruins.

If the earthquakes of Syria have often prostrated Antioch, Balbec, and Acre, those of South America have overthrown Lima, Cumana, and Caraccas; and for magnitude, number, and duration, the latter are not inferior to the former. We shall give an extract from the descrip. tion of the one which destroyed Caraccas in 1812, and refer our readers to the work for the rest. On the 26th of March it was overthrown by one of the most dreadful earthquakes recorded in either hemisphere. After 4 o'clock in the evening two successive shocks were felt, during which the ground was in continual undulation, heaving like a fluid in a state of ebullition. The danger was then thought to be over, when a subterranean noise was heard, like the rolling of a loud thunder; it was followed by two shocks, one perpendicular and one undulatory, so tremendous that in a few seconds the whole city was in ruins. Several of the loftiest churches fell, burying 3000 or 4000 of the inhabitants, and they were so completely destroyed, that none of the fragments were more than five or six feet above the ground.

The Caverne el Quartel vanished almost entirely; and a regiment of soldiers stationed there disappeared along with it; only a few individuals escaped. The sky was clear; there was no forewarning, and the duration of the shocks which produced this awful ruin was thought to be less than a moment. In 1835 Chili received three hundred shocke in twelve days, averaging a shock an hour, which completely prostra ted many of her towns.-Boston Daily Advertiser & Patriot.

A MIRACLE. When the Reformation was spreading in Lithuania, Prince Kadzivii was so affected that he went in person io visit the Pope, and pay him all possible honors. His Holiness, on this occasion, presented him with a box of precious relics. Having returned home, the report of this invaluable possession was spread; and, at length, some Monks entreated permission to try the effects of these relics on a demoniac who had hitherto resisted every lind of exorcism. They were brought into the church with solemn pomp, deposited on the altar, and an innumerable crowd attended. After ihe usual conjurations, which were unsuccessful, they applied the relics. The demoniac instantly became well. The people called out, A miracle! and the Prince, lifting up his hands and eyes to heaven, felt his faith confirmed. In this trans. port of pious joy, he observed a young gentleman, who was keeper of this rich treasure of relies, to smile, and appear by his motions to ridicule the miracle. The Prince, with violent indignation, took our young keeper of the relics to task; who, on promise of pardon, gave the following secret intelligence concerning them:He assured him that in travelling from Rome he had lost the box of relics; and that, not daring to mention it, he had procured a similar one which he had filled with the small bones of dogs and cats, and other trifles, similar to what was lost. He hoped he might be forgiven for smiling, when he found that such a collection of rubbish was idolized with such pomp, and had even the virtue of expelling demons. It was by the assistance of this box that the Prince discovered the gross imposition of the Monks and demoniacs, and he afterwards became a zealous Lutheren,

English paper.

CHRISTIAN PSALMODY-No. I. AMONGST the numerous and varied endowments bestowed on man, the faculty of communicating and receiving pleasure from musie holds a very high and distinguished rank. The harmonies and melodies of Nature are amongst its most subtle, all pervading, and soul-subduing enchantments. Vain, however, were their existence had man no powers of discerning, and no capacity for enjoying them. But the great Father of all perfections and benevolent adaptations has created nothing in vain. Hence the effects of music are felt in all the departments of animated nature.

Its influence in civilizing and humanizing man, in softening and subduing the fiercer passions of his nature, have been celebrated by poets, recorded by historians, descanted on by philosophers, and acknowledged by all. Orpheus, the disciple of Musæus, in the poetic Alights of a vivid imagination, is described as having mainly contributed to the success of the heroes of the golden fleece, and as having constrained rocks and forests with their inhabitants to do homage to the chords of the lyre, touched by his enchanting hand.

Its influence, indeed, is not confined to the human family alone. The fowls of heaven, the beasts of the field, both wild and domesticated, and even the fish of the sea have done obeisance to its charms. In heaven, too, there are concerts of praise, songs of adoration, golden harps, and hallowed hands that touch their melodious strings with celestial sweetness and angelic sensibility.

Demons, too, have had to testify to its sovereignty in assuaging the swellings of those passions, those tempests of the soul which they have, in the bitterness of their malevolence, stirred up in the human breast, The unfortunate and wicked Saul, in his most dark and dismal moments, in the fiercest paroxysms of moping melancholy, superinduced by malign agencies, was reconciled to himself and to the world, restored to reason and quietude, by the soothing melodies of the harp of David. The javelins of wrath and vengeance fell from his irascible hands soon as the enchanting strings of the lyre acknowledged the divine skill of the sweet psalmist of Israel.

But the flame of war has been kindled, and mighty legions have been spirited up to the most daring courage on the gory field of rival nations, by the awful grandeur of the war-song, the elangor of martial trumpets, and all the thundering powers of military bands. It is, indeed, affirmed that the most astounding revolution of modern times was occasioned by a song well adapted to popular feeling and to a. memorable crisis in French history. It is also reported that the first

20

VOL. VI.N. 8.

« PrécédentContinuer »