« VorigeDoorgaan »
goes on to inform them why these enemies had been permitted to remain.
"It is to keep you wakening; to try your love; to make you watchful; and to cause you to prize my noble captains, their soldiers, and my mercy. Should I slay all your enemies within, the many that are without would find you sleeping; and then, as in a moment, they would swallow you up. I left you these enemies in you, not to do you hurt (the which they will, if you hearken to them and serve them), but to do you good-the which they must, if you watch and fight against them. Know, therefore, that whatever they shall tempt you to, my design is that they should drive you, not farther off, but nearer to my Father;that they should teach you to war, and make petitioning desirable to you, and keep you little in your own eyes. Hearken diligently unto this, O my Mansoul.
"Remember farther, O Mansoul, that for you I have lived; for you I have died, I have reconciled you to my Father by the blood of my cross; and being reconciled, ye shall live through me. I will pray for you; I will fight for you; I will yet do you good. Nothing can hurt you but sin; nothing can grieve me but sin; nothing can make you base before your foes but sin. Above all things, therefore, take heed of sin.
"Behold, I lay upon you none other burden than what thou hast already. Hold fast till I come."
The work here reviewed, though full of interest and instruction, has yet some obvious defects; owing in part, doubtless, to the impossibility of reaching, by means of an allegory, all the important points of the case. For example, almost no notice is taken of the work of the Spirit, in the recovery or conversion of Mansoul. The Lord Secretary scarcely appears on the stage at all, except in the third and last part of the work,-that relating to the deliverance of Mansoul (after conversion) from its external and internal
The work of regeneration is also represented as possessing somewhat of a progressive character; or if there be any where a turning point, it is not easy to discover where that point is. Diabolus leaves the castle days before Immanuel enters it; and Mansoul makes an unreserved submission some time before pardon is bestowed.
But notwithstanding some slight abatements of this kind, the work conveys, and in a manner deeply to interest and impress the reader, a variety of important lessons. Some of these have been glanced at, as we passed along. Others of a more general nature will now be briefly noticed.
We see here, first of all, the inestimable worth of the human soul. It is Mansoul, which is the object of such intense solicitude and conflict, between the high powers of heaven and of hell. It was to seduce and possess Mansoul, that all the stores of hellish cunning and malice were put in requisition, in the first instance. It was to recover fallen Mansoul, that the armies of heaven were sent forth to battle, and the great Son of God consented to put himself at their head. It was to re-capture Mansoul, that all hell was moved a second time. And it was to deliver it, when assailed and brought into bondage by the powers of hell, that the great and final conflict was waged and won. What, then, is Mansoul, that it should be the object of such a deep and abiding interest, among all the powers of heaven and of hell;-that for the possession of it, such high personages should be so long engaged, such terrible battles should be fought, and such victories gained! Whatever man may think of his own soul, we know how it is estimated by the inhabitants of other worlds. The great things which Christ has done for it furnish a strong comment on his most impressive interrogation, "What shall a man give in exchange for his soul?"
We further learn, from this allegory, the great evil of sin. It was sin which wrought the ruin of Mansoul-which pointed every dart of its great adversary-which inflicted all its wounds and miseries, both before and after its conversion. And it was to recover Mansoul from sin-from its terrible curse, and its reigning power-that the whole work of the Saviour was performed. How great, then, the evil of sin! And how important the closing words of Prince Immanuel to Mansoul on this very subject: "Nothing can hurt you but sin; nothing can grieve me but sin; nothing can make you base before your enemies but sin. Above all things, therefore, beware of sin."
Again, we learn from this allegory, that the warfare against our spiritual enemies, and more especially against sin, is a long and perilous war. It is not so soon or so easily terminated as some men dream. The goal of sinless perfection is not reached at a bound. Outward enemies may be much more easily overcome, than inward ones. It was the lurking Diabolians within the town, secluded in their secret haunts, that outlived all the other enemies of Mansoul. Indeed, these could not be wholly exterminated, till Mansoul itself
VOL. VII.-NO. XXVI.
was taken down, to be removed to another and better state. Happy the Christian, who understands the nature and perils of this warfare, and who girds on his armor and fights to the end!
We learn, finally, from the work over which we have passed, the goodness, the patience, the forbearance of God. The goodness of God was manifested in the first building of Mansoul, in constituting it such a noble and all but impregnable structure. But when it had wickedly revolted from God, and fallen under the power of the Destroyer, a much higher degree of goodness was manifested, in the toils and sacrifices which were endured for its recovery, and in bestowing upon its consciously guilty inhabitants a free and a full pardon. But even now, the manifestations of divine goodness are not complete. When Mansoul is again seduced, and most wickedly wanders from its almighty Deliverer, still, it must not be abandoned. It must be delivered, restored, forgiven, and blessed. It must be crowned with celestial honor, and its cup be made to overflow with joy. It must be kept by the mighty power of God, while it continues here, and be set up as a monument of divine grace and goodness in heavenly places for ever.
No wonder that celestial minds are interested in contemplating the conflicts and triumphs of redeeming mercy; since it is in these, emphatically, that they behold the grace and the goodness, the patience and forbearance of God.
We have only to add, that the public are under great obligations to the American Sunday School Union, for bringing out, in so attractive a form, this precious relic of the venerable Bunyan. The engravings which have been annexed are appropriate and beautiful, and will add much to the interest with which the work will be read We commend it to the study, not only of Sabbath school teachers and scholars, but of the members and ministers of our churches generally.
THE KAREN LANGUAGE.
"THE Karens," wrote Mr. Boardman some twelve years ago, "are divided into two great classes, or nations as they would say, the Myet-thos,* and the Myet-khyans. These two classes use two dialects so different, that the one understands the other with difficulty." He might have added, that unless they speak the same dialect, or have acquired both, they are quite unintelligible to each other. Still, three-fourths of the roots in the two dialects are, probably, of common origin, though perhaps no two words are exactly alike. The most remarkable difference is, that while Sghau words have no final consonants, many words in Pgho terminate in the French nasal n. Regarding the two dialects as parts of one language, the Karen has nine vowels, and twenty-two initial consonants.
The vowels are
grave, as in father.
There are no diphthongs in the language.
The consonants are k, s, t, p, and their aspirates k, s, t, p, with b, d, h, l, m, n, r, w, y, th, sh, and the three Arabic sounds represented by Kha, Ghain, and Ain.
Sh is found in Pgho, but never occurs in Sghau. S and its aspirates have a little of the flat lingua-dental sound of t, and are sometimes written ts, and ts. The corresponding letters in the Sanscrit family of languages are ch, and chh, and some of the northern Karens incline slightly to this pronunciation. Hence, s in the name of the Karen that came † Pgho.
to America, is always written ch-Chet-thing. The sound represented by the Arabic Ghain, is not quite so rough as enunciated by those whom the writer has heard speak the living Shemitish languages. In other respects, it is believed, that the above representatives give a tolerably adequate representation of the powers of the alphabet. It will be observed, that there is no simple g in the language, although there is a g compounded with another guttural sound in Ghain, and the Septuagint translator renders Ayin (y), the corresponding Hebrew letter, when it had this sound by g. G is wanting, also, in Chinese; but, is a letter of frequent occurrence in Burman. The guttural-nasal gn is found in a few words, principally imitations of inarticulate sounds. There are, also, many compound consonants in common use. Thus the compounds of w are kw, kw, sw, and others, to the number of sixteen. In like manner / is compounded with six other consonants; r with eight; Ghain with three; Kha with one; and y with six. Every consonant, unless compounded with another consonant, is accompanied with an inherent short vowel, like a short eu.
Of the three great families into which all the languages of Asia resolve themselves, the Hebrew, the Sanscrit, and the Chinese, these alphabetic powers seem to claim most affinity to the Hebrew; but no sooner do we pass from letters to syllables, than we are met by that remarkable feature of the Chinese family,-intonations. The nine Karen vowels have each, (1) a deep, long, even tone; (2) a high sound, pitched several notes above the common tone of conversation, with a rising inflection; (3) an emphatic falling inflection, (4) a circumflex inflection; (5) an inflection like the first, broken off short; and (6) the short sound of the vowel with little reference to inflection.
Thus, in Sghau, ko, with the first inflection, signifies hard ; with the second, a jug; with the third, hot; with the fourth, bread; with the fifth, neck; and with the sixth, call. Again, mai, with the first inflection, signifies to play on wind instruments; with the second, tooth; with the third, tail; with the fourth, fat; with the fifth, eye; and with the sixth, sand.
In Pgho, syllables with the final nasal, are subject to the first four inflections only; and to some ears the fifth and sixth intonations, with final vowels are pronounced with a slight sound of a k or t, nearly as in Burman where these