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ON Jesus may our affections fix. Him, the Healer, the Restorer of humanity, may our hearts learn to lean the secret burden of their being; and this not in words only, in which we are all ready enough to do so, but in very deed, and in truth.
If earthly trouble is upon us, let us fly to Him; let us beware of all those who would cheer us without Him; let us be always sure that the poison of the asp is hidden under their softest and most enticing words. Do they profess to put away from us our heavy thoughts? Let us beware, lest, instead of this, they rob us of the very reality of our lives. False friends, indeed, are all such; for they would keep us from the only source of true peace; they would mock our thirsty spirits, as we cross, parched and weary, the burning sands of this desert world, with the lying promise of unreal water. From all such comforters, then, let us turn away. Let us beware of everything which, under any promise, would take us out of ourselves, and separate us from God. At such seasons, let us even keep ourselves as free as may be from necessary business; let us strive to hush our spirits into silence, that there may be nothing to intercept that voice which will speak to us if we wait for it; let us fear lest we be led to seek for any other shelter of our spirits short of Him, their Lord, that so we may find ourselves to be alone with Him; that He may frame and fashion us-may mould our hearts as He will may purify and enlighten, and soften and strengthen, and deepen them, by His presence in the cloud and mystery of sorrow. Let us remember always the love which is smiting us, nor dare to look at our griefs, but in the light of His presence, lest looking at them alone, we be soured by their sharpness, or become fretful, or dull, or even desperate, and so reprobate. Let us cast ourselves npon the assurance of His love, even though it bear the semblance of the flame-breath of the furnace, and walk humbly with Him, lest we
mar or hinder the blessed purpose of His mercy towards us.-S. Wilberforce.
Consider this, Christians, that of all men in the world you have the least cause, yea, no cause to be murmuring and muttering under any dispensations you may meet with in this world. Is not God thy portion? (Lam. iii. 24; Eph. iii. 8; 1 Pet. i. 3, 4.) Chrysostom propounds this question,-" Was Job miserable when he had lost all that God had given him? and gives this answer. No, he had still that God who gave him all. Is not Christ thy treasure? is not Heaven thine inheritance ?-and wilt thou murmur? Hast thou not much in hand, and more in hope? hast thou not much in possession, but much more in reversion ?—and wilt thou murmur? Hath not God given thee a changed heart, a renewed nature, and a sanctified soul?-and wilt thou murmur? Hath not God given thee Himself to satisfy thee, His Son to save thee, His Spirit to lead thee, His grace to adorn thee, His covenant to assure thee, His mercy to pardon thee, His righteousness to clothe thee?-and wilt thou murmur? Hath He not made thee a friend, a brother, a son, a bride, an heir?—and wilt thou murmur? Hath not God often turned thy water into wine, thy brass into silver, thy silver into gold?-and wilt thou murmur? When thou wast dead, did not He quicken thee? and when thou was lost, did not He seek thee? and when thou wast wounded, did He not heal thee? and when thou wert falling, did not He support thee? and when thou wert down, did He not raise thee? and when thou wert staggering, did not He establish thee? and when thou wert erring, did not He reduce thee? and when thou wert tempted, did not He succour thee? and when thou wert in danger, did not He deliver thee?
and wilt thou murmur? What! thou that art so highly advanced, and exalted above many thousands in the world. Murmuring is a black garment, and it becomes none so ill as saints.-Brooks.
THE INFLUENCE OF THE ENGLISH TRANSLATION OF THE BIBLE ON THE LITERATURE OF BRITAIN.
II. Let me shew, in the second place, the influence of the English translation of the Scriptures on the extent and diffusion of literature in Britain.
By inciting to the study of the ancient languages, and by rendering the passion for it necessary and general, the translation of the Scriptures contributed to the cultivation of elegant literature, and the revival of good taste. The Classic works of antiquity-those great models of composition were made generally known, and their influence felt, in the reposing tone of sentiment and language of the classes of society who were instructed in them. But let these beautiful languages have been ever so eagerly studied by a certain class of devoted admirers, who explored their treasures, and knew their value, of what avail would it have been to the nation at large, if all the stores of knowledge, of history, eloquence, and poetry, had been locked up in the repositories of an unknown tongue? How could we expect to see a national literature springing up and flourishing in the midst of us, without a common language—without a literary public-without a people to understand and enjoy the beauties and advantages of literature? Of the production of taste and imagination, it belongs to every one to judge. The audience of an orator, the readers of a poet, cannot be confined to people who speak an unknown tongue. They require all classes, and ages, and sexes. They must speak a universal language-the language of courts and camps-of the town and the country-of the palace and the cottage. They have to deal with all minds, and with all hearts; and, therefore, to enable this country to have a literature of its own, it was necessary to write it in its own language, and that all classes of the people should be taught to read. Some great and powerful cause was necessary to produce this favourable state of society, under the influence of which, and which only, authors would be found who would
write for the people, and people who would read what authors wrote. And what cause, in the history of Britain, could have led to this happy effect, but the translation of the Bible? Had this Sacred Volume been locked up in the secrets of an unknown tongue, the number of readers would, of necessity, have been confined to a small, or inconsiderable class. And the reformers, unaware of this new power-for in every country they translated the Scriptures-made their appeal to the people, and found, through that medium, a way to their understandings and their hearts. And in no country in Europe have the beneficial results been so visibly and widely displayed as in our own; where, from the first moment of the Scriptures being given to them in their vernacular tongue, the people have been going forward in uninterrupted progress, acquiring and asserting their claims to the character of an intellectual people. At the first translation of the Bible by Tyndale, he durst venture on issuing no more than an edition of 500 copies, for distribution throughout the whole country. In the course of fifteen years, another translation was published, to the extent of 1500 copies. The translation of Cranmer, as well as the Bishop's Bible, was, by the influence of their authors, deposited-a copy of them
in every church. But immense multitudes had never learnt to read; and to afford them the benefit of the Sacred Volume, readers were licensed and hired to read publicly. When the present translation was published, a knowledge of letters was still more widely diffused, insomuch that a Scottish historian, who describes the state of the country towards the close of the 17th, and beginning of the 18th century, assures us, that a copy of the Scriptures was in the possesssion of every house; and even after every deduction is made from the poetical license, or the fond patriotism of this historian, there is reason to believe, that a copy of the
translated Bible was then very widely diffused. But that is nothing to the extraordinary circulation of this version at the present day; of which a living writer mentions the extraordinary fact, that the copies of it are now far more than double the population of the Empire! And while the primary and the most important effect of this must be a great accession to the number of God's people, and an increasing attention to the one thing needful, what effect can it produce otherwise, than most favourable to the cause of general literature? It is a matter of common observation, that an acquaintance with the truth, and a relish for the spirit of the Bible, is always accompanied with a disposition to read, and a thirst for knowledge. And what effect can result from the Bible, from being brought into contact with so many minds, but to elevate the standard, and extend the range of intelligence?
In short, it is from the Bible, and the institutions derived from the Bible, that a little reflection will lead us to trace everything in general literature which
modern times can boast,-the institution of schools for instructing the doctrines of Christianity. And when the Bible is the first and principal book taught, it is that venerable book that first wakes the germ of thought. And it is neither a random nor unfounded assertion, that it was the Bible that gave a Shakespeare and a Milton to England-a Scott and a Burns to Scotland. It is the Bible that is the true source of popular eloquence in Britain. The great preachers of our country have occupied amongst us the place of a Demosthenes and a Cicero among the Greeks and Romans; but with more power and commanding influence than those celebrated orators of antiquity; for the subjects that engage the eloquence of the preacher, are of far deeper and more wide-spread interest than the fate of a city, or the fate of a state. Nay, the sermons of a Hall, produce an immeasurably deeper impression than the pleadings of a Chatham; and the discourses of a Chalmers, than the splendid declamations of a Burke.
THE LOVE OF GOD.
What do I love when I love Thee?Not beauty of bodies, nor the fair harmony of time, nor the brightness of the light, so gladsome to our eyes, nor sweet melodies of varied songs, nor the fragrant smell of flowers, and ointments, and spices; not manna and honey, not embracements of flesh;-none of these I love when I love my God. And yet I love a kind of light, and melody, and fragrance, and meat, and embracement, when I love my God;-the light, melody, fragrance, meat, embracement of my inner man: where there shineth unto my soul what space cannot contain, and there soundeth what time beareth not away, and there smelleth what breathing disperseth not, and there eth what eating diminisheth not, and there clingeth what satiety divorceth not. This is it which I love when I love my God.Augustine.
POPERY A PACIFIER OF CONSCIENCE.
There is no man so wicked, but at sometimes his conscience will wring him with thoughts of another world, and the peril of his soul; the trouble and melancholy which he conceives of true repentance and amendment he endures not, but inclines rather to some carnal superstition, which may pacify and lull his conscience with some more pleasing doctrine. None more ready and officious to offer herself than the Romish, and opens wide her office, with all her faculties, to receive him ;-easy confession, casy absolution, pardons, indulgences, masses for him both quick and dead, Agnus Deis, relics, and the like; and he, instead of tast-"working out his salvation with fear and trembling," straight thinks in his heart (like another kind of fool than he in the Psalms) to bribe God as a corrupt judge; and by his proctor, some priest or friar, to buy out his peace with money which he cannot with his repentance. -Milton.
Every man who does not trust, love, and obey God, is an Atheist, no matter what he may call himself.
Notices of Books.
Recollections of a Visit to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland. By the REV. MESSRS. GRANDPIERRE and BOUCHER, Delegates of the Central Protestant Society of France. 6d. (Profits appropriated to the Society.) Edinburgh: Paton and Ritchie.
THE above pamphlet is a translation of a paper which appeared in the columns of the Esperance. Appended to it are the speeches delivered by the reverend gentlemen in the General Assembly. Those who had the privilege of being present upon the day when those respected and beloved brethren appeared before that venerable body, will never, we are sure, forget the power and the pathos with which they pled the cause of Continental Protestantism, and the interests of the Central Society of the National Protestant Church of France. Could those brethren excite in our Church any additional interest in themselves, or in their mission, their kind and generous recollections of us would not fail to do so. If they themselves are the first delegates from any Foreign Church or Society who have "fraternized" with our Church at home, they are the first, also, who have done any justice to our Church abroad upon the Continent. They came to us openly and frankly as brethren; as such, and with a kindred spirit, they were received. They saw and judged for themselves. They have recorded their opinion of us. We are gratified by the results. But let us not be surprised if many respected brethren in the Lord abroad, should keep aloof from us; as if we cared little as a Church for advancing the cause of Christian truth upon the Continent. What have we done to manifest our love and zeal, if such existed? We may have lacked opportunity. There may not have been any organization abroad which, as a Church, we were fully justified in countenancing or aiding. This is possible. But if so, an opportunity is now afforded us. The General Assembly have ordered a general collection to be made in aid of the French Central Society. The Foreign Correspondence Committee have ar
ranged, that, in the country districts, at least, it shall take place early in August. We earnestly hope it may be liberal. Every other Church in Scotland,—the Free, United Presbyterian, and Reformed Presbyterian,-all give liberally to various Continental Societies, while they are obliged to support their own clergy at home; and other schemes of Christian usefulness besides. The churches in England and America do the same. Are we alone, of all the Protestant churches in the world, to refuse to assist our brethren in the great European battle against Infidelity, Socialism, and Popery; and in favour of pure and undefiled religion? Shall the Church of Scotland, like a wounded and disabled soldier, retire from the field; or rather, like a cowardly and heartless deserter, in health and strength, refuse to enter or abandon the field, to indulge in inglorious sloth at home? Or shall we occupy the station assigned to us in Providence, and discharge our high duties as a national witness for the truth, both at home and abroad, doing good unto all as we have an opportunity, and especially to the household of faith! Deeds alone will give satisfactory replies to those questions. We wait the issue in filial hope, yet not without filial fears. In the meantime, we cordially recommend this pamphlet, and the speeches which accompany it, to the careful perusal of our readers. We have room for one or two extracts only:-
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY. the meeting of the General Assembly at "Many of the details connected with Edinburgh, forcibly remind those who are acquainted with French-Switzerland, and especially with the Church of Geneva, that the reformer of Scotland, John Knox, was the disciple of Calvin, and that the Church of Scotland is the daughter of the Church founded by that great man at Geneva. The name 'Moderator,' which distinguishes the President of the Assembly the hymns which are sung in public robe of the minister in the pulpit, and worship, viz., the Psalms of David-the even the costume of the Moderator when not presiding in the Assembly-the three
cornered hat, the bands, the collar, and shape of his coat, the knee-breeches, the black silk stockings, and the large shoebuckles-all seem to have been imported by Knox from Geneva to Scotland. But, above all, the orthodox, Christian, Gospel doctrine of Knox's Master, has been transplanted, and immovably rooted in the Established Church of Scotland. To preserve the forms of the Church may, in many cases, be a good work; but to keep by the foundation, to maintain inviolate the precious deposit of the Gospel of Christ, is a far worthier and nobler thing. Thanks be to God, this the Church of
Scotland has done!
"We shall not here enter on the examination of the various questions and cases which occupied the attention of the General Assembly during a session of ten days. We shall only remark, that the reports of the various Committees, appointed for the management of the different Educational and Missionary Schemes, in which the activity and life of the Church are at once produced and manifested, as they passed successively in review, were discussed with that solemnity and earnestness which their importance demanded. In general, we were much struck with the dignity which never ceased to prevail in all the deliberations, which appeared to be always in harmony with the solemn prayer and praise, and reading of God's Word, with which the proceedings of every day commenced. This venerable body, upwards of 300 in number, representing more than a thousand churches, (exclusive of chapels connected with them,) continually reminded us, by their grave deportment, their sustained attention, and the dignified tone of their language, that they were deeply sensible that they were charged with the interests of the Church of the Lord. The public are permitted to be present at their deliberations; and the galleries, and other parts of the house not occupied by the deputies of the Church, are filled with spectators; but it was quite obvious, that this circumstance had not the smallest influence on the Assembly in creating any undue excitement. Had the debates been carried on with closed doors, they could not have been more calm, dignified, and peaceable.
"We entered the Assembly Hall in broad day on the 4th, and as in Scotland the nights in the month of June are short, we departed in daylight on the 5th. Then was poured forth that living tide into the silent streets of the beautiful and slumbering city, wondering to behold, at such an hour, visitors so unlike to those whom the awakening of a large town usually
surprises in the public thoroughfares,— venerable pastors, grave and thoughtful elders, and even ladies, who had been enchained to the last moment by their own Christian interest in the imposing solemnities of the high court of their beloved Church."
A SCENE IN THE ASSEMBLY.
ciety-to whom, in consequence of being "The second delegate of the Central Sosomewhat more familiar with the English tongue, had been entrusted the task of mission-next addressed the Assembly. more fully developing the object of their For the space of an hour and a-half, in the midst of the most encouraging silence and sympathizing attention, he explained the position of French Protestantism in general, and of the Central Society in particular. He spoke a language which was not his own, but he spoke of a common faith; and, besides this, the feelings of the Assembly had become so identified with those of the speaker, that every idea expressed, every fact recounted, seemed to find instant admission to every heart; but the general emotion became profound, irrepressible, indescribable, when the speaker, having alluded to the Confession of Sin,' associated that beautiful portion of the worship of the Reformed French Church with his own personal feelings, and the circumstances of the moment,- Venerable fathers, and beloved brethren in Christ,' he cried, permit me, for the joy of my own heart, for the good of my own soul, permit me to make the walls of this Scottish Assembly re-echo the words which, in all the Protestant Churches of France, express the feelings of the believing worshippers.' First, slowly in French, then immediately after in English, he repeated that magnificent prayer which begins our services. At that moment, as if by one consent, the whole audience rose simultaneously-the Lord Commissioner and his suite, the Assembly, and the public,-all that vast concourse yielded to one common impulse, the irresistible initiative of which sprung up spontaneously in each individual heart. It was no longer a deliberative Assembly,
it was a worship, an adoration. Thus that prayer of Theodore Beza, which, at the Conference of Poissy, expressed the fervent feelings of the noblest and best in the State and Church of France, now, after the lapse of three hundred years, stirred the deep emotions of the Church of Scotland, by breathing upon the same feelings of Gospel piety which, on that solemn occasion, had originally given it birth, from the lips of the friend, the colleague of the great Calvin.