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RUSSIA AND THE GREEK CHURCH.
111 perhaps in vain! To be condemned! O my Son to die upon the cross? It may be that sovebeloved friends, think of it-lay it seriously to reign grace may visit even an enemy and a heart! To live under the frown of the lloly blasphemer-it may be that the grace which One to lie down and rise up and labour all touched the heart of Paul the persecutor may the day long with out the Father's blessing!—to reach even the very wretch who seems to have have the heart always pressed down under the sold himself to the wicked one. Yes ! my beintolerable weight of the curse of God, so that loved friends, that grace is all-sufficient; but fulness of bread cannot satisfy you, so that ease the promise is only to those who seek it with all cannot give you rest, so that the pursuit of en their heart. “ Seek ye the Lord while he may joyment cannot give you security or peace ! | be found, call ye upon him while he is near; Compared with your case, how blessed was that let the wicked forsake his way, and the unof Daniel when the mouth of the lions’den closed righteous man his thoughts: and let him turn upon him how blessed that of Paul and Silas
unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him: when the wounds of their stripes were festering, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.” and their feet fast in the stocks !-how blessed I should now proceed to consider, as I proposed, that of the martyr Stephen while the stones in the second place, that through Christ alone can fell in showers around him, bruising and this condemnation be removed. But this, with what breaking every limb of his body! Daniel remains, shall forin the subject of another distrusted in God - Paul and Silas prayed and sang course.* praises to God-Stephen saw the heavens opened, and he was enabled to lift up the RUSSIA AND THE GREEK CHURCH. prayer : “ Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” But BY THE REV. ANDREW THOMSON., A.B., EDINBURGH. what can you do? You have cast away your I HAVE been induced to select Russia and its only hope of reconciliation. Ah! why have you religion as the subject of some statements and rejected the Fountain of living waters? reflections, partly because I feel it to be a com
How sad your condition if you are just so paratively untrodden field, and partly from a far awakened that the very name of a seared conviction, which subsequent investigation has conscience should alarm you, and that to bid only served to deepen, that the degree of inte
rest in the religious condition and prospects of you pray seems as if it were to mock you! Russia generally existing in this country, is How sad, if you know just enough of your very strangely disproportioned to the over- || condemnation to make you fear to approach whelming magnitude of the subject. God—just enough, and no more, to make you In more than one respect, however, I place wish to forget him—to induce you to deny him, myself, by this selection, at serious disadvanto rebel against him in your hearts, and to call tage. The information supplied by either nahim a hard master! This is misery!
tive or foreign writers regarding the ecclesiasBut
tical condition of Russia is scanty, and what there is a greater misery still. When you has been supplied is, in many cases, seriously dehave succeeded in all your wishes—when you formed by silly legend and superstitious fable. have hardened your hearts and shut your eyes Moreover, the Russian Church displays no splenagainst the truth--when you can live in God's did roll of martyrs-no death-struggles between world and be insensible to his presence-when truth and tyranny— no voice of devoted and you can go down to destruction without an
inextinguishable energy stirring up its multi
tudinous tribes and tongues to life, and proving effort to save your souls. This is the misery itself too mighty and awful for the fiat of desof miseries—this is to be condemned! And potism to crush it. It is different with Western why, dear brethren, why is this the greatest of Europe: its states and kingdoms look back miseries? I reply, Because it is hopeless. As upon a Reformation rich in glorious rememlong as you know and feel that you are under brances, in noble characters, in faithful testicondemnation, there is hope for you. Con monies, in heroic martyrdoms, in blessed and
11 science is the voice of God speaking in the undying fruits; indeed, the most splendid and
profoundly interesting page in the history of soul. While you hear, while you listen to that
every kingdom in the West, is that which re. voice, though it be unwillingly, hope has not cords its Reformation-struggles. But the Rusaltogether ceased to shed its radiance on your sian Luthers and Calvins have yet to arisepath. You are still within the reach of the the revival and purification of the Eastern appointed means. But 0! if you have suc. • The above was the last sermon preached by the vene.
rable and lamented author, of whose life and labours we ceeded in stifling the voice of conscience, how expect to be able shortly to present a sketch to our readers. near are you to everlasting perdition! Yet
He was summoned to depart from the scene of forty seven
years of faithful labour, without discoursing on the other who may limit the mercy of Him who sent his part of the text, as he had intended,
Churches have yet to be enacted and recorded. its dark shadow over nearly half the world. The natural consequence is, that there can be Nor is it for us to do more than remind cu little history where there have been few great reader of what every thoughtful observer of events; and very imperfect development of cha- events must have discovered for himself, that racter where there have been no overwhelming Russia, ever retaining with iron tenacity what impulses, or great crises to draw it forth. There she has already acquired, only waits the con
is magnitude in the Russian annals, but seldom venient hour for absorbing Turkey within ber| sublimity; there is colouring, but not pictorial self, while she advances with steady and stealthy
effect. In short, my subject must draw its step upon our own Indian territories, not cutichief interest rather from its intrinsic importent to sway the regions beneath the frigid, but tance, than from outward attractions—from its aiming also at the most splendid dominions prospects, than from its history. But looking at under the torrid zone. it in this light, its interest is truly overwhelming:
Suffice it to mention, that even at the present To prove this, let me call the attention of moment the empire of Russia extends, in ose the reader, in the present article, to a few connected territory, from the frontiers of Ger introductory details respecting the territorial many and Prussia and the shores of the Gult extent, the population, and social relations of of Bothnia, eastward to the sea which separats the Russian Empire.
Asia from America. She thus embraces neariy About the fitth century, a horde of those one-half of Europe, while all the north of Asia tribes called Slavi or Slavonians, having ad- is her own. The islands which border on the vanced eastward from the banks of the Danube, arctic circle own her sway; while, passing lite established themselves in those regions which yond Behring's Straits, we trace her sceptre stretch along the borders of the Dnieper, where over considerable regions of the north-westen they built the city of Kief, and formed it into territory of America. Losing herself towards their capital. These laid the foundations of the north in the impenetrable polar regions the Russian monarchy.
where nothing but eternal winter disputes her It is believed that another tribe of the same empire, Russia extends her sway southward to people had, about the same period, settled still those sunny climes where the vine is owned and farther to the east, in the province of Novgorod, cultured as a native of the soil. How vast a where they founded the city still known by empire! Even to this hour we speak of China that name, as their metropolis. Nor is it im- with a sort of vague and mysterious seuse of probable that other tribes, following their ex. magnitude, but the whole of China does not ample, formed themselves into other princi- equal two-thirds of Russia; while the Roma: palities; at all events, we find various Slavonic Empire, even when it had reached the culmiprinces uniting their arms, and carrying their nating point of its greatness, did not embrace conquests, and extending their territories north- more than one-fourth of the territory that now ward to the shores of the Baltic.
owns the awful authority of those ukases which This extension of territory, however, proved pass from the winter-palace of the Czar. in their case, as in that of mightier nations, the This enormous territory is inhabited by a means of their subjection. Along the coasts of population of about sixty-three millions the Baltic there lived a piratical people called population including in it people of many tribes the Varages or Varagians--supposed to form a and tongues; the commercial German on the part of those Scandinavian tribes who, under Baltic shores — the rude Tartar tribes — the the name of Danes and Saxons, successively wandering Circassians—the Caucasian moun made themselves masters of England. Having taineers—the dwarfish Kamtchatkans and Esbeen employed by the Novgorodians as merce- quimauxnary auxiliaries to repel the encroachments of
" And on his sledge neighbouring states, they succeeded; and push
The Laplander, that nightly marks the bear
Circling the pole; and those who see the flames ing the advantage which their bravery and Of Hecla burn the drifted snow; the Russ energy had thus gained them, they reduced the
Long whiskered, and equestrian Pole," Slavonians themselves to subjection, settled and all these increasing at a rate that equals in the country around Novgorod, and reducing that of any other country in Europe. Even to the various principalities or tribes under one go- the eye of a mere politician or statist, what an vernment, proclaimed Ruric, their leader, king overwhelming interest thus encircles Russia ! This event took place about the year 860, and but who that looks at man with the intelligence from this period the Russian monarchy dates and interest of a Christian—as an apostle, as an its birth.
angel, as Jesus Christ looked at him—in other It does not consist with our object to trace words, who that invests him at once with the the farther history of this kingdom from its grandeur of immortality, and the peril of imcradle on the banks of the Dnieper to its pre- pious revolt from God, does not anxiously in bent colossal magnitude, when, through vast quire, What are the religious condition and accessions of territory, by war, intrigue, and prospects of this vast empire? Is Russia diplomacy, it has in three centuries multiplied leavened with the Gospel in its renovating, eleits extent more than twenty fold, and now casts vating, ennobling, life-giving power? Do her
PICTURE OF THE FLOOD.
people walk in the liberty of truth and holi. one falling sheet of water, and the inhabitants could ness? or do they bow down under a superstition no longer stir from their doors. The rich valleys that to which little more than the name of Christi lay along the rivers were fiooded, and the peasants
had sought the eminences around for safety. Yet anity belongs? We shall endeavour to reply still the water rose around then, till all through the to some of these questions in our next paper. valley nothing but little black islands of human bei
ings were seen on the surface. Oh, then, what fierce
struggles there were for life among them! The PICTURE OF THE FLOOD.
mother lifted her infant above her head, while she
strove to maintain her uncertain footing in the sweep(From “Sacred Mountains,” by Rev. J. T. Headley.) ing waters; the strong crowded off the weak, as each
sought the highest point; while the living mass slowly Noah, whose head was whitened by the frosts of six crumbled away, till the water swept smooth and noisecenturies, laid the foundation of his huge vessel on a
lessly above them all. Men were heard talking of pleasant day, when all was serene and tranquil. The the number of lives lost and the amount of wealth fields were smiling in verdure before his eyes; the destroyed, and that such a flood had not happened in perfumed breezes Hoated by, and the music of birds the remembrance of the oldest man. No one yet and sounds of busy life were about him, when he, by dreamed of the high grounds being covered-least of faith alone, laid the first beam of that structure that
all the mountains. To drown the world, it must rain was to sail over a buried planet. When men, on in
till the ocean itself was filled above its level for miles, quiring the design of that huge edifice, were told its
and so men feared it not, and sought for amusement purpose, they could hardly credit their senses; and
within doors till the storm should abate. Oh, what Noah, though accounted by all a very upright and
scenes of vice, and shaine, and brutality, and revelry respectable man, became a jest for children. As the did that storm witness in the thronged city; and what farmer returned at evening from the fields, and the
unhallowed songs mingled in the pauses of the blast gay citizen of the town drove past, they christened it that swept by! Noah's Folly.” Those more aged and sober shook
But at length another sound was heard that sent their leads wisely, saying, “ The old man is mad." paleness to every cheek, and chained every tongue in Even the workmen engaged upon it laughed as they
mute terror. It was a far-distant roar, but faint and drove the nails and hewed the planks, yet declared fearful, yet sounding more distinct and ominous every they cared not, as long as the foolish old man was able moment, till it filled the air. The earth trembled to pay. Still the ark went up, and the day's wonder and groaned under it, as if an earthquake was on its ceased to be talked about. When it was finished, march, and ever and anon caine a crash as if the and curiosity satisfied, it was dismissed from the mind
“ ribs of nature" were breaking. Nearer, and louder, as a passing folly. Yet I have sometimes wondered what people their pleasure and their anger, rushed out in the
and more terrible it grew, till men, forgetting alike thought when they saw the beasts of the field and the storm, whispering “The flood ! 'the tiood !”—and lo, forest, and fowls of the air, even the venomous serpent
a new sea, the like of which no man had ever seen and the strong-limbed lion, coming in pairs to that before, came rolling over the crouching earth. ark. This must have staggered them amazingly, and Stretching from horizon to horizon as far as the eye made the ark for a while a fresh topic of conversation. could reach, losing itself, like a limitless wall, in the At length, the patriarch with his family entered--the clouds above, it came pouring its green and massive door was shut in the face of the world, and he sat
waters onward, while the continual and rapid crash down, on the strength of a single promise, to await the of falling forests, and crushed cities, and uptorn issue. That night the sun went down over the green mountains, that tell one after another in its passage, hills beautiful as ever, and the stars came out in the and the successive shrieks that pierced the heavens, blue sky, and nature breathed long and peacefully. In rising even above the deafening roar of the on-rushthe morning the sun rose in undimmed splendour and ing ocean, as city after city, and kingdom after kingmounted the heavens. Deep within the huge struc
dom disappeared, made a scene of terror aud horror ture, Noah could hear the muffled sound of life with
inconceivable-indescribable. “ The jountains of the out.' The lowing of herds came on his car, and the great deep were broken up." song of the husbandman going to his toil, and the
But the last cry of human agony was at length rapid roll of carriage wheels as they hurried past, and hushed--ocean met ocean in its flow, and the waves perhaps the ribald shout and laugh of those without, swept on without a shore. Oh, what a wreck was as they expended their wit on him and liis ark to
there! the wreck of two thousand years, with its gether. To say nothing of the improbability of the cities, its cultivated fields and mighty population. event, the idea was preposterous that such a helmlegs, Not shivered masts and broken timbers, the wreck helpless affair could outride a wrecked world. Thus of some gallant vessel, were seen on that turbulent day after day passed on until a week had gone by, but surface, but the fragments of a crushed and broken still the faith of that old man never shook. At length world. It was a noble wreck-splendid cities and the sky became overcast, and the gentle rain de
towers, gorgeous palaces, gay apparel, the accuscended-to Noah the beginning of the flood-to the mulated wealth and luxuries of twenty centuries world a welcome shower. The farmer, as he housed strewing the bosom of the deluge, like autumn leaves his cattle, rejoiced in the refreshing moisture, while
the surface of some forest stream. the city never checked its gaiety or the man of wealth
But amid the sudden midnight that had wrapped his plans. But as the rain continued day after day, the earth, and the frenzy of the elements, and utter and fell faster and fiercer on the drenched earth, and overthrow and chaos of all things, there was one heart the swollen streams went surging by, men cursed the that beat as calmly as in sleep-one brow over which storm that seemed determined never to break up. The
no breath of passion or of fear passed; for in the solilowlands were deluged; the streams broke over their tary ark that lifted to the heaving billows, the aged banks, bearing houses and cattle away on their mad- patriarch knelt in prayer. Amid the surging of that dened' bosons. Wealth was destroyed and lives lost, | fierce ocean his voice may not have been heard by till men talked of ruined fortunes, famine, and ge- mortal ear, but the light of faith shone round his neral desolation; but still it rained on. Week after aged form, ani the moving lip spoke a repose as week it came pouring from the clouds till it was like tranquil as childhood 's on the bosom of maternal love.
The patriarch's God ruled that wild scene, and Noah felt his frail vessel quiver in every timber, without one trenior himself. Upborne on the flood, the Heavenprotected ark rose over the buried cities and mountains, and floated away on a shoreless deep. Like a single drop of dew this round sphere of ours hung and trembled—a globe of water in mid-heaven. I have often wondered what the conversations were during the long days and nights that lonely ark was riding on the deep. As it rose and fell on the longprotracted swell, massive ruins would go thundering by, whole forests sink and rise with the billows, while ever and anon an uptorn hill, as, borne along by the resistless tide, it struck a buried mountain, would loom for a moment like some black monster over the waves, then plunge again to the fathomless bottom. Amid this wreck and these sights, the ark sailed on
in safety. How often in imagination have I pictured | it in the deluge at midnight! To a spectator, what an
object of interest it would have been. Round the wide earth the light from its solitary window was the only indication of life that remained. One moment it would be seen far up on the crest of the billow, a mere speck of flame amid the limitless darkness that environed it, and then disappear in the gulfs below, as if extinguished for ever. Thus that gentle light would sink and rise on the breast of the deluge, the last, the only hope of the human race. Helmless, and apparently guideless, its wreck seemed inevitable; but the sea never rolled that could extinguish that star-like beam that told where the ark still floated. Not even the strong wind that the Almighty sent over the water to dry it up, driving it into billows that stormed the heavens, could sink it. Though it shook like a reed in their strong grasp, and floundered through the deep gulfs, it passed unerringly on to the summit of that mountain on which it was to rest; | and at length struck ground and ceased its turbulent motion. Noah waited a week, and then sent forth a raven to explore the deep. Though the waters still swept from mountain to mountain, the myriad carcasses that floated on the surface furnished both food and resting-place, and he returned no more. He then sent forth á dove. It darted away from the place of its long confinement, and sped on rapid wing over the flood, now turning this way and now that, looking in vain with its gentle eye for the green earth, and at last turned back towards the ark of rest. The
tap of its snowy wing was heard on the window, and | the patriarch reached forth his hand and took it in.
The fierce pantings of its mottled breast, and its drooping pinions, told too well that the earth gave no place of repose. But the second time it was sent abroad it returned with an olive leaf in its mouth, showing that the earth had risen from its burial, and was sprouting again in verdure. Then the patriarch went forth with his family, and stood on Mount Ararat, and, lo! the earth was at his feet, but how changed! Cut into gorges, which showed where the strong currents swept, and piled into ridges, it bore in every part marks of the power that had ravaged it. Noah and his family were alone in the world; and he built an altar there on the top of the solitary mountain, and listed his voice in prayer, and the Almighty talked with him as “friend talketh with friend,” bidding him go forth and occupy the earth. And as the flame of the sacrifice rose from the mountain top, bearing the patriarch's prayer heavenward, the promise was given that the earth should never again be swept by a deluge, and, lo! God's signet-ring appeared in the clouds, arching the man of God, and shown as a
warrant that the covenant should never be broken. 1 Baptized by the food, consecrated by the altar,
illumined by the fine fresh rainbow, Mount Ararat stood a sacred mountain on the earth.
WHY SHOULD I WISH TO DIE? “ For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to de.
part, and to be with Christ; which is far better."
PRIL. i. 23.
'Tis true, the heav'nward way is rough Thorns round my footsteps lie
But is not Christ's imparted strength enough? And shall I grudge the tear Wrung forth by sorrows here, When soon, how soon! His hand shall wipe it
off? Why should I wish to die?
Is there no work for me to do? Swiftly the hours pass by
For the great task my moments seem too few; Then shall I wish them o'er, Since I can ne'er restore
One parted day, and bid it dawn again? Why should I wish to die?
This is my only time to prove
Lifting the cross to show him how I love;
When I repose beneath his smile above.
Would I so soon from conflict flee? My thrice repeated cry Still meets the word: “Is not my grace for
thee? 'Tis all to bring thee lowTo prove thee-make thee know
Thou art undone, unworthy but for Me." Why should I wish to die?
True, death's a calm untroubled thing;
Ere life revisit me as dew of spring-
And Jesus bid my dust "awake and sing."
The thorns that hedge the heav'nward wayNo wish my task were done,
That makes me long dove-like to flee away ! No sickly sigh for rest On earth's soft, dreamless breast
That makes me watch the closing of the day; But my heart-love is gone
To Him whom yet I have not seen; Whose glory I have known
On whose meek breast e'en now I fondly lenn; And I would see his face, And, sinless, taste his grace, Where flesh and weakness come no more be
tween. His smile makes earth look dim
There's none that I desire beside; And though 'tween me and him
Dread Dissolution rolls its sullen tide,
FRAGMENTS FROM A MINISTER'S DAY-BOOK.
I burn that stream to ford
It is not said, If you be in earnest you shall be saved; That parts me from my Lord;
neither is it said, If you be anxious about your soul It cannot whelm me, since my Saviour died. you shall inherit the kingdom. No: except ye be
converted, ye shall in no wise enter the kingdom. It Jesus! Immanuel !
is the coming to Christ that saves us-not the mere Before I see thee as thou art,
wishing or desiring to come. How many stumble at My soul must brave the swell
this point! How many perish at the very threshold Of waters that are chilling to the heart !
of the city gates! With how many is conviction Yet, when I feel thee near
only like the lightning-flash at midnight, which leaves When gleams of heav'n appear,
behind it a deeper gloom than before ! How can I help desiring to depart?
For some time after this Mary continued much February 25, 1846.
A. R. C. the same as hitherto-quiet and consistent. I never
had full evidence of her really being in Christ, though FRAGMENTS FROM A MINISTER'S DAY
there were many striking things which gave me much
hope. She never became a communicant; and I did BOOK.
not urge her to this; for she was still young, and, be
sides, I was not fully satisfied of her conversion. BACKSLIDER.
It was not long, however, till I noticed a change She seemed to be first awakened when only about
for the worse. She began to absent herself from the fourteen or fifteen. She had been a very regular and Sabbath school. Her attention in church was not attentive Sabbath scholar for two or three years. what it used to be. Once or twice my eye caught During that period there had apparently been no her trifling with some companions who were sitting spiritual impressions--nothing save attention and a beside her. Then I noticed a change in her dress. quiet, modest deportment. Her appearance was formerly she was neat, but nothing more, in this | winning and gentle, and many noticed and loved her. respect; now she was gay and showy. Her deport
She was first aroused, I believe, under some ser ment also changed. Instead of quiet modesty, there mon, but both the text and the substance I have was boldness and forwardness in her look and manner, alike forgotten, though I think she mentioned them
which proclaimed the sad change which had taken to me. Her convictions seemed sharp and deep. place. She never came to see me any more, but kept Sometimes, when she came to speak with me, she most studiously aloof from myself and her teacher. would shake all over with a sort of nervous tremor. But I could not allow her thus to backslide without She spoke simply, and though perhaps not very freely an effort to reclaim her. I sought her out. I went or fully, yet she said enough to let me into the state to her house. Once or twice I could not find her. of her soul at that time. She was neither ignorant But once I did find her in her own house, and twice | Dor stupid, and seemed to understand what she said. I met her in the street. Her gay dress saddened and
I have no reason to suppose that there was the slight- shocked me. But I at once addressed her on the sub. est wish to profess what she did not feel; in truth, ject of her apostasy. The first time she was considershe had no temptation to do so. She was a member ably melted, and promised to come again and call upon of a very ungodly family, from whom she met with me with a book of mine, of which, for a long time, no encouragement, but the most profane opposition. she had had the loan. This promise she never fulShe had nothing to gain by coming to me and pro- filled. The second time I met her she was much fessing what she did; and, besides, her conduct at more hardened. She was quite civil, and did not that time was altogether consistent, and marked by appear to take ill the words of solemn warning which! sincerity and simplicity. Many things about her I spoke to her; but she was evidently unmoved. tended to make her case an interesting one.
Every trace of her former impressions had faded I remarked also, at this time, that she was anxious away. “She refused to be ashamed." about the souls of others. One striking fact of this After that I heard of her several times, but the kind I remember well.
accounts were all sad. She went from sin to sin; There was an orphan girl, poor, uneducated, un and I believe she is now a wretched wanderer in the 1 godly, who stayed in the flat immediately below. One streets of E—. May she yet be plucked as a brand afternoon Mary had persuaded her to accompany her from the burning! May the Seeker of the lost yet to church, where she was very deeply impressed. seek and save her! She is yet young. She cannot | That same evening they spent some time together in be above nineteen or twenty. May she have days prayer. A day or two after Mary brought her to me given her to repent, and not be cut off in her iniquity! as being concerned about her soul-seeking rest and But what a warning! O that those who are imfinding none. She seemed very much in earnest, and pressed under the hearing of the Word would lay such told me of the dreadful thoughts she had of a coming a case to heart! See how far one may go and not be hell and a coming eternity on that night when she converted; see how near one may come to the gates was first awakened. I spoke to her and prayed with of the kingdom, and yet never enter in; nay, see her, but what has been her conversation since that how one may go up to the gates of the kingdom, and I know not, as she soon left. I fear her goodness was look in, and be moved with the sight of the surpassing as the morning cloud and the early dew. She w s glory, and yet turn round, go back, and hasten down in earnest at the time, but earnestness is not conver to hell! Some years ago, I remember a young sion; anxiety about the soul is not coming to Christ.
woman came to speak with me about the things of