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to him as a sign of approaching dissolution, was a pleasure to him. Strange it did seem, to be affording him comfort by telling him of various little signs of the nearness of death; but so it was.
"The last two days and nights, he frequently seemed near going. My prayers were joined with his, that, if it were God's will, his happy soul might speedily be released.
grace of his Christian character, was his Faith, clear and simple, strong and fruitful. "Early in his illness,' writes his sister, upon repeating, from John iii. 36, "He that believeth in Him hath everlasting life," he said, with a solemnity of tone and look I shall never forget, "I have believed: I do believe." This was the secret of his strength and comfort throughout his illness; and it was striking that he should have said this, to shew it at the "I heard him faintly saying to himvery commencement. Speaking of Christ, self, "Jesus, Jesus must be first in the he said, "It would be ten thousand times heart." These were nearly the last words. better to be with Him! Perhaps I may I felt his firm grasp of my hand relaxing see Him to-morrow." The happy calm--his pulse was gone-he gently ceased ness of tone with which he expressed to breathe.' himself throughout his illness, was striking. It was the result of a firm conviction of the certainty and reality of the truths which he believed, and of the glory which he anticipated. It was as if he were speaking of soon joining a loved parent or brother upon earth; only his feelings were holier, higher, more blessed. I never witnessed anything like excitement in him. It was the sober sense of walking bliss which filled his heart, and there was a reality about it which almost made me feel as if faith were turned into sight. "With such graces as love to Christ and strong faith in vigorous exercise, it may be easily inferred, that many other fruits of the Spirit would abound in him. Meekness was always a conspicuous feature of his character. In his illness, this was manifested in his patient submission to the will of God. At times, it was severely tested.
"Frequently did we hear him, in low and earnest tone, calling upon Jesus. At the commencement of his illness he seemed to be peculiarly sensitive to the fear of sinning by impatience. Many times he said to us, "Pray that my patience fail not:" and most fully was the prayer answered. Never was there a word, or sigh, or look, which betrayed a failing of perfect patience. God's will was indeed sweeter to him than his own ease or comfort.'
"But the crowning grace of this instructive scene was Joy-a joy unspeakable, and full of glory.'
"His whole heart seemed fixed upon the joys to which he was going, The prospect looked to him inexpressibly bright. The day on which his danger was announced to him, seemed to him a day of peculiar joy; for, as yet, his body, though very weak, was not so painfully oppressed, as it afterward became. When I went into his room the next morning, he said to me, "I am very weak-can scarcely speak; but oh! happy! happy! happy!" Any little thing I could name
"So was Henry Fox parted from us, a few days after his thirty-first birthday." Concluding remarks by his biographer. "Who shall contemplate this brief sketch, without adoring the grace of God in him? Who can lament the brief career of this devoted Missionary? He lived, he laboured, to the best purpose. The glorious stamp of divine acceptance is manifest in his life, and in his death. But let us not separate between the character of the man, and of the Missionary. The lustre of each was combined. He reviewed, amidst the scenes which we have described, his call to the Mission work with gratitude and praise. After the first three verses of Isaiah had been read to him, with the remark that it was a privilege to have been called, even in a small measure, to prepare the way of the Lord, he replied, 'Yes, there seems a special blessing upon it. I often thank God that He called me to be a Missionary to go abroad.' On his mother's asking him, but a few days before his death, whether he had ever repented of having given his life to Missionary work, he said, 'No, never: if he had to live over again, he would do the same.'
"We cannot conclude, without calling upon young men, especially, to come forward, and supply the place which Henry Fox has left. And we would say to them, Seek to understand, and to obey the suggestions of the Holy Spirit of God. Shrink not from the call to Missionary work. If it be the call of God, He will remove all difficulties, open the way, and incline the hearts of others, as well as of our own, to the obedience of faith. Let the dying words of the youthful Missionary sink into your hearts-There seems a special blessing upon it.' The period of service may haply be as short as the ministry of our Master; but the results may be unspeakably precious to our own souls, and to the Church which He hath purchased with His blood."
We give the following extracts from a letter received from Geneva; but not intended for publication. We will be glad to hear from our kind correspondent, regarding the working of the New Evangelical Church:
"First, as to the Evangelical Society of Geneva, you know their three grand departments are,-colporteurs, missionaries in France; and the theological school, for training up ministers to labour in the French countries of the Continent, and elsewhere. The two former schemes have been greatly, and signally blessed, 30 as, indeed, to stamp mockery from the simplicity of the means employed, but employed in faith, on many of our petrified ministries. The funds of the society received a severe shock last summer, which obliged them to prepare all their agents for the possibility of being discharged; and nothing can exceed the beauty, simplicity, and Christian faith of the replies which they received to their circulars. As it is, although many Churches and individuals came to their aid, they have been obliged greatly to reduce their staff; but I trust the Lord only permits it for a season, to try their faith. Do the people of Scotland help them as they ought? They disclaim all identification with parties, and very properly; for the very fact of their being a Society, and not a Church, is, that they may form a vehicle, like the Bible Society, and others, for the efforts of all Christians, in this field of simple evangelization. Next, the theological school. It is admirably supplied; the course is very complete. They have lectures on introduction to the Old and New Testaments, exegetic, Church history, apologetic, polemic, systematic, symbolic, homilitic, and pastoral theology. The professors are five in number,-D'Aubigné, Gausen, Pelet, La Harpe, and Scherer; the last, comparatively a young man, of great parts and great promise, and a great admirer of Arnold.
"Each professor lectures on various subjects, and thus the course is overtaken. Perhaps the same remark applies to theirs, as to most lectures, that what they say, would be better learned from books; but this is very much matter of opinion. Scherer's lectures are undoubtedly admirable, and not to be otherwise replaced. He has been lecturing on Catholicism,
and goes very profoundly into principles, which he treats with much originality, alluding, in his way, to the leading works of recent times on the subject - as Möhler's in Germany, and Newman's in England. He has that air of pensive thought, which you find in Pascal, saved from gloom by his vigorous realization of the person of Christ, as the true home for the lonely heart, a fact, alas! in our Christianity, which comes in often at the very circumference, if it finds a place in it at all. Nay, but it must be the very centre starting point of our faith; and if we miss it in our system, I can well understand a vigorous and thirsty spirit like Newman's, wandering on from one dogma to another, and still unsatisfied. But to return from this digression. The students, numbering about thirty, are drawn from all parts of the French-speaking world, including Canada; and, truly, I know not where else they could go at present for a sound theological training; so that this department of the society is amply justified by its necessity. The course of study in the hall is three years; and each session consists of nine months. There is one very useful branch of the training which I ought to mention. It is that of practical homilitic, conducted once a week by Pellet, the preacher to the oratoire. The student brings his plan of a sermon; the other students then criticise, and perhaps suggest a better; and, lastly, the professor points out the errors, and gives his own idea. He is a most remarkable preacher himself, and, therefore, well able to give advice. D'Aubigné's lectures, I may say, on the early Christian Church, are a good deal of the Mosheim cast; for he cannot be dramatic among so many dry bones as the Father's and Apologist's; but his piety and zeal for the extension of Christ's kingdom are so beautiful and ardent, that every day one is quickened, though it be but a few words.
"I must now tell you of the attempt which has been made, and which I think has succeeded, to unite the Evangelical Churches here upon a wide, but Scriptural basis. Their articles are published; suffice it to say, that in doctrine, there are seventeen, embracing the usual fundamental points, clearly and briefly stated. Then on the constitution, embracing government, worship, and discipline, there are twenty-one. It is here that they are most liberal. The government is, in the main, Presbyterian; but they
admit all varieties of form in worship, encourage the ministry of elders, and the laity, (a term not liked here,) for edification, and admit even Baptists into their communion. Indeed, the two points I should be most disposed to question, are their practice in regard to the two sacraments. They hold infant baptism; but admit baptists and churches; and in regard to the Lord's Table, their article is as follows:- L'Eglise, considerant la table de la Cène dressie parelle, non comme sa propu table mais comme celle du Seigneur, y accueille tous les membres de la famille de Dieu.' Acting on this principle, any one may present himself, and no token or examination is required. There are three things to be regarded in arriving at this union, which are well stated by D'Aubigné, in last year's report of the Evangelical Society. They are, 1st, That the spiritual must precede the external, otherwise we fall into the error of Romanism. 2d, An absolute uniformity in rules, and other non-essentials, is not to be looked for; it did not obtain even in apostolic times. 3d, The
union must be gradual, and not forced, otherwise heterogeneous elements will soon clash.
"The ecclesiastical world here is much distracted by Plymouthism. The sect, through the labours of Mr. Derby, has multiplied greatly in this and the neighbouring countries;-you know that they discard the ministry altogether. A very prominent place is given to all the facts of Christ's work, accomplished, present, and to come. The present economy of the Holy Spirit, is also powerfully realiz ed, and is, I think, exaggerated. Mr. Derby is accused here of doing much evil, by causing schism; but he has given an impulse to so many great doctrines, which all admit, and, which, perhaps, but for his schism, would not have excited so much attention, that I can fancy the good to have preponderated over the bad. In addition to the great doctrines I have noticed above, no doubt every Christian ought to consider, more than is usual among us, his obligation to preach Christ by his life, and otherwise."
Notices of Books.
LAYARD'S NINEVEH -SECOND NOTICE.
We return to those delightful volumes, to gratify our readers with a few more passages from their deeply-interesting contents. We are unwilling to occupy our very limited space with our own remarks; but some are required to make the extracts understood.
Those who have read the "Visits to the Mounds," noticed in our last number, must be struck with the account given of the immense accumulation of rubbish which marks the site of those ancient palaces upon the flat alluvial plain. Mr. Layard satisfactorily accounts for those mounds, and the peculiar character of the old Assyrian architecture. The immense plain of Mesopotamia, is level as an inland sea. No rocky eminence towers above its surface, where an early chieftain could have "set his nest among the stars." It affords no stone for building; though masses of alabaster are found imbedded in its clay, which are admirably suited for those purposes of sculpture to which they were afterwards applied. The
mountains which bound the plain to the north and east, are too distant to serve as quarries, from whence such durable materials might have been obtained, as have enabled the temples of Egypt to resist the hand of time. The early settlers on the banks of the Tigris and Euphrates, were compelled, by the physical charac ter of the country, to adopt a peculiar architecture. Bricks were easily and rapidly formed from the tenaceous clay. With these, a solid platform, thirty or forty feet high, was first built. Upon this great elevated terrace, the king's palace was erected. When the palace crumbled into ruins, and when, to those ruins, were added the drifting summer's dust of the parched plain, accumulating for nearly 25 centuries, we need not wonder that huge mounds, like the graves of a giant race, should mark the spot where the wondrous structures once reared their proud heads, above the far-spread and more lowly dwellings of the great Nineveh. Our readers have already seen Mr.
Layard's description of the palace in ruins. We shall now give them a glimpse of
THE PALACE RESTORED. "The interior of the Assyrian palace, must have been as magnificent as imposing. I have led the reader through its ruins, and he may judge of the impression its halls were calculated to make upon the stranger who, in the days of old, entered, for the first time, the abode of the Assyrian kings. He was ushered in through the portal, guarded by the colossal lions, or bulls, of white alabaster. In the first hall, he found himself surrounded by the sculptured records of the empire. Battles, sieges, triumphs, the exploits of the chase, the
ceremonies of religion, were pourtrayed on the walls, sculptured in alabaster, and painted in gorgeous colours. Under each picture were engraved, in characters filled up with bright copper, inscriptions describing the scenes represented. Above the sculptures, were painted other events, the king, attended by his eunuchs and warriors, receiving his prisoners, entering into alliances with other monarchs, or performing some sacred duty. These representations were enclosed in coloured borders, of elaborate and elegant design. The emblematic two-winged bulls, and monstrous animals, were conspicuous among the ornaments. At the upper end of the
hail, was the colossal figure of the king, in ado. ration before the Supreme Deity, or receiving from his eunuch the holy cup. He was attended by warriors bearing his arms, and by the priests, or presiding divinities. His robes, and those of his followers, were adorned with groups of figures, animals, and flowers, all painted with
"The stranger trode upon alabaster slabs, each bearing an inscription, recording the titles, genealogy, and achievements of the great king. Several door-ways, formed by gigantic winged lions, or bulls, or by the figures of guardian dei. ties, led into other apartments, which again opened into more distant halls. In each were new sculptures. On the walls of some, were processions of colossal figures, armed men, and eunuchs following the king, warriors laden with spoil, leading prisoners, or bearing presents and offerings to the gods. On the walls of others, were pourtrayed the winged guests of presiding divinities, standing before the sacred trees. The ceilings above him were divided into square compartments, painted with flowers, or with the figures of animals. Some were inlaid with ivory; each compartment being surrounded by elegant borders and mouldings. The beams, as well as the sides of the chambers, may have been gilded, or been plated with gold and silver; and the rarest woods, in which the cedar was conspicuous, were used for the wood-work. Square openings in the ceilings of the chambers, admitted the light of day. A pleasing shadow was thrown over the sculptured walls, and gave a majestic expression to the human features of the colossal forms which guarded the entrances. Through these apertures, was seen the bright blue of an eastern sky, enclosed in a frame, on which were painted, in vivid colours, the winged circle in the midst of elegant ornaments, and the graceful
forms of ideal animals. These edifices, as it has been shewn, were great national monuments, upon the walls of which were represented in sculpture, or inscribed in alphabetic characters, the chronicles of the empire. He who entered them, might thus read the history, and learn the glory and triumphs of the nation. They served, at the same time, to bring continually to the remembrance of those who assembled within them, on festive occasions, or for the celebration of religious ceremonies, the deeds of their ancestors, and the power and majesty of their gods."-Vol. II., p. 262.
Several Nestorian labourers were em
ployed by Mr. Layard; they strictly kept the Sabbath. A priest repeated prayers, and led their worship with a hymn. "I often," says Mr. Layard, "watched these poor creatures as they reverently knelt-their heads uncovered
under the great bulls, celebrating the praises of Him whose temples the worshippers of those favouring idols had destroyed, and whose power they had provoked. It was the triumph of truth over Paganism. Never had that triumph been more forcibly illustrated, than by those who now bowed down in the crumbling halls of the Assyrian kings."
There were four great palaces in Nineveh, built by different sovereigns; the vast ruins of which remain yet to be explored. These formed the angles of a quadrangle, which embraced the city of Nineveh. Mr. Layard corroborates the measurement of the city as given in the Book of Jonah. He says, that its circumference was sixty miles; and as twenty miles is reckoned a day's journey in the east, this makes exactly Jonah's Nineveh of "three day's journey." We must, however, remember, that this enormous space was not occupied by the narrow streets and crowded buildings of a great modern city; but (as now in Damascus and Ispahan) included gardens and arable land, sufficient, perhaps, to raise produce for the support of the whole inhabitants, and the "much cattle," mentioned in Jonah.
But we must return to our extracts, and give two specimens of Mr. Layard's power of description.
NIMROD IN SPRING.
"Its pasture lands (the 'Jaip ') renowned for their luxuriant herbage. In times of quiet, the steeds of the Pasha, and of the Turkish authori
ties, are sent here to graze. Day by day they arrive in long lines. The Shammutti and Jehush left their huts, and encamped on the green sward which surrounded the villages. The plain, as far as the eye could reach, was studded with the black tents of the Arabs. Picketted around them, were innumerable horses in gay trappings, struggling to release themselves from their bonds; flowers of every hue enammelled the meadows; not thinly scattered over the grass, as in northern climates, but in such thick and gathering clus. ters, that the whole plain seemed a patch-work of many colours. The dogs, as they returned from hunting, issued from the long grass, dyed red, yellow, or blue, according to the flowers through which they had last forced their way. The exhilaration of air in spring, in the desert, and the feeling of freedom arising from the contemplation of its boundless expanse, must be experienced before it can be understood."
THE PLAIN AT SUNSET.
"I gazed listlessly on the various groups before me. As the sun went down behind the low hills which separate the river from the desert, even their rugged sides had strove to emulate the verdant clothing of the plain; its receding rays were gradually withdrawn like a transparent veil of light from the horizon. The great mound threw its dark shadow far across the plain. Beyond the Zab-Kishap, another venerable ruin rose, indistinctly, into the evening mist. Still more distant, and still more indistinct, was a solitary hill overlook ing the ancient city of Arbela. The Kurdish mountains, whose snowy summits cherished the dying sun-beams, yet struggled with the twilight. The bleating of sheep and lowing of cattle, at first faint, became louder as the flocks returned from their pastures, and wandered amongst the tents; girls hurried over the green sward to seek their father's cattle, or crouched to milk those which had returned alone to their well-remembered folds. Some were coming from the river, bearing the replenished pitcher on their heads or shoulders.
Sometimes a party of horsemen might have been seen in the distance, slowly crossing the plain; the tufts of ostrich feathers, which tipped their long spears, shewing darkly against the evening sky. They would ride up to my tent and give the usual salutation, Peace be with you, O Bey!' or, Allah, Allah! God help you!' Then, driving the end of their lances into the ground, they would spring from their mares, and fasten their halters to the still quivering weapons. Seating themselves on the grass, they related deeds of war, or plunder, or speculated on the site of the tomb of Sofuk, until the moon rose, when they vaulted into their saddles, and took the way of the desert. The plain now glittered with in
numerable fires. As the night advanced, they
vanished, one by one, until the landscape was wrapped in darkness and in silence, only dis. turbed by the barking of the Arab dog."
We regret that our space will not admit of our giving even an outline of Mr. Layard's visit to the Nestorians. That
interesting people occupy the mountainous district, lying between Lake Ooroomiah and the Tigris. The history of their church can be traced back for the last fourteen hundred years. Small and feeble though it now is, and confined to the lonely valleys, and rocky fastnesses of Koordistan; yet more than a thousand years ago, its missionaries penetrated the most distant and barbarous regions, and founded flourishing churches in Scythian Tartary and China, which remained till the 13th century. A monumental stone, recording the names and labours, in the eighth century, of seventy Nestorian missionaries in China, was discovered by the Jesuits, in the Chinese city of Se-gan-foo, in 1626. "Their missionaries," says Gibbon, "pursued, without fear, the footsteps of the roving Tartar, and insinuated themselves into the camps and valleys of the Imaus, and the banks of the Selinga." For four hundred years they have been an oppressed and persecuted people. Tamerlane and his Tartar hordes, almost extirpated them. The fanatic Koords have massacred them periodically. Popery has never ceased, until this hour, to make strenuous efforts for their conversion, and to bring them under the government of the Pope. But amidst all revolutions, they have preserved their independence and their religion; and though much darkness and ignorance prevail among them, they still recognize the Bible as the only rule of their faith and practice, and are now most willing to receive that religious instruction which their fathers formerly gave to the Pagan nations of the East.
The American "Board of Foreign Missions," have had an excellent mission established among the Nestorians, chiefly in the district of Ooroomiah, since 1835. Dr. Asahel Grant, accompanied by Mr. and Mrs. Perkins, were the first to commence the mission. Many of our readers, Grant's volume, published in 1841, in we doubt not, are acquainted with Dr. which he endeavoured to identify the Nestorians with the lost tribes of Israel. The American Mission has met with numerous difficulties and disasters during the fifteen years of its existence. Many