as they would not see, our Lord determined to give them no further sign, but that of Jonas (or one that would be like the concealment of Jonas for three days and nights in the belly of the fish); and that sign was His wonderful resurrection after He had been three days buried. The poor disciples were as yet very dull, they had yet but little understanding. They could not understand our Lord; they took the leaven of malice and wickedness, and hypocrisy, which ran through the doctrines of the scribes and Pharisees, for the leaven of bread. They feared that their Master was angry with them for not having provided bread, and it seems that they really had forgotten our Lord's last miracle, by which He had supplied their wants and those of thousands out of just nothing This should teach you and me wonderful humility. We should mourn over our nature, so apt to lead us to forget the power, and wisdom, and love of God, though all around us, and especially in the Bible, there are such extraordinary marks and assurances of them constantly before our eyes. May God give you and me His Holy Spirit that we may trust Him more, and love Him better. Layman.


The late R. Pritchard, of Wales, was for some time awfully ensnared by the sin of drunkenness, but was at length recovered from it in the following singular way: he had a tame goat, which was wont to follow him to the ale-house which he frequented; and one day, by way of frolic, he gave the poor animal so much ale, that it became intoxicated. What particularly struck Mr. Pritchard was, that from that time, though the creature would follow him to the door, he never could get it to enter the house. Revolving this circumstance in his mind, Pritchard was led to see how much the sin by which he had been enslaved sunk him below the beast; and he not only became a sober man from that time, but, through divine grace, an exemplary Christian.

[graphic][ocr errors][subsumed][merged small]


This beautiful city was once the capital of learning and philosophy, the place where sages taught their various systems of heathen wisdom, to which all who were desirous of improvement in knowledge flocked from all parts of the world. Although the Bible does not profess to give a full description of the manners and habits of nations which are named in it, yet, perhaps, it would be impossible to give so clear an account of what was done at Athens, in the time of St. Paul, than is given in so few words by St. Luke, the inspired writer of the book of the Acts of the Apostles ; " All the Athenians and strangers who were there spent their time in nothing else, but either to tell or to hear some new thing." But this needs explanation. It does not mean to say that the Athenians occupied themselves in hearing and telling the common “news of the day;" this would not make them very different from many among ourselves, who spend too much of their precious time in that unprofitable talk. The "new things" which the Athenians were curious to know and eloquent to speak of, were the discoveries in science and philosophy, which their wise men were daily making, or pretending to have made. It was the city of k

knowledge, and of education for the higher classes, from the whole civilized world. Young men of wealth and noble birth, from many countries, were assembled there, and remained for years under the instruction of the great teachers of the day. The highest efforts and greatest discoveries of heathen wisdom were made in that place. And besides this, it was adorned with buildings of greater taste and beauty, with statues and pictures finer, and more true to nature, than were to be seen in any other city in the world. Athens was the abode of the noblest arts and sciences known upon earth in its day.

But here, in Athens, we see more plainly than any any where, that human reason can do nothing to bring us to the knowledge of God. During several hundred years, the Athenians had constantly been hearing "some new things” about God, from their various teachers and philosophers. But the first thing that the Apostle of




Christ beheld, when he entered the city, was a proof that ignorance still prevailed as much as ever, and that darkness covered the earth, and gross darkness the people. They themselves confessed it in the inscription their own hands had made upon the altar, " to the Unknown God." Him whom they ignorantly worshipped, Paul had now to declare unto them, and to tell them, that He was so great that their temples could not contain Him, and yet that they should “seek the Lord,” and find Him, who is “not far from any one of us." The glory of Athens, as the abode of learning, has now passed away. Its buildings and temples are in ruins; but their beauty is still so striking, that few can look at them without admiration, and without a deep sigh of regret, that so much genius, and labour, and cost, should have been expended upon the worship of gods who only represented the characters of the spirits of darkness, and drew their worshippers into transgression and sin.


LABOURS OF THE MISSIONARIES. The fervent and anxious desire of this tribe for the means of grace and Christian ministrations, is very pleasingly shown by the following facts, stated in the report of the missionary sent out by the Church to that island, the Rev. F. Redford :

They have been, for some weeks, engaged in cutting a road over the mountains from their town to my house, about six miles, that I may visit them with greater facility. The distance I had to ride to them, before they made this road, was above sixteen miles. It has been a most laborious work, and they have cheerfully undertaken it without any pecuniary remuneration. They have also new-thatched the chapel school-house, and have promised to repair the dwelling-house, which was built by the Society, when the road shall have been completed. These exertions show that they value the preaching of the Word, and the means of religious instruction. The school is in a very flourishing state. It is a pleasing sight to see the children on all sides running up the hill, on which the school-house stands, as soon as they hear the bell. Several of their parents have told me that they cannot keep them at home on any account: they will run off to school, when the bell rings, let them be in the midst of their dinner, or doing what they may. There is also an early school for adults, commencing at six o'clock in the morning, which is attended by ten males and twelve females, whose chief desire, in coming to school, is to be able to read the Bible. The Maroons have contributed about 131. toward the support of the school. .

Desire for Instruction. "I recently had an application from the people residing in the south-western part of my district, about eight miles from Siloah, to open a school among them. They are willing to build a school-house at their own expense, which might be used as a chápel for a weekday service. Between sixty and seventy children, who are now entirely destitute of all means of instruction, would attend the school as soon as it should be commenced.”


the corn.

Mr. Editor,-In a country parish I have deeply lamented, year after year, the necessity of employing many poor children in the fields on the Lord's day to watch

First when it is sown, they are obliged to remain in the fields all day to protect the seed from the ravages of the birds; and in the latter part of the summer they are again sent out to watch the full corn in the ear, because the same diligent plunderers are then again at work. In this way it happens that the greater part of the summer months are thus interrupted, and all the holy engagements of that “most blessed day of all the seven" are recklessly broken. The Sunday school becomes less numerously attended, and from the Lord's house many little ones are missed who ought then to have been sitting at their Saviour's feet to hear His word. They are missed from their place from Sunday

« VorigeDoorgaan »