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from the air, retarding the sudden that none are so effectual as those elevation of temperature which which have a downy texture and a would otherwise ensue. Hence white color. Such is the raiment the approach of winter, in our cli. with which the Creator has investmate, is greatly retarded by the ed the polar animals ; and the congelation of water, which begins Greenland bear with his robe of to take place as soon as the cold matted fur of snowy whiteness, has reached a very moderate degree grows up strong and majestic, arid of intensity; and in the severest frosts so bitter, and winds so pierweather, when the increasing cold cing, that man, with all his boasted threatens to annihilate all things, resources, sinks down beneath them the spacious floods of water in- in despair, or dwindles to a pigmy. stantly change their form, and pour H ad our author sufficiently reforth from their secret chambers flected on these facts, he would torrents of heat, that limit and mit- never have thought of placing the igate the severity of the frost. The polar ice among those things in the liquefaction of large bodies of snow natural world which indicate the and ice, exert, on the other hand, displeasure of God against manan agency no less beneficial, to re. kind; and we are inclined to think tard the too rapid advances of the that no part of creation, no laws of summer heat. The excess of tem- nature, will be found, on close inperature is absorbed by this means, spection, to warrant our belief that and is again stored away to meet any such indications exist--his tenthe exigencies of the returning win- der mercies are over all his works. ter. Now let us consider these We pass now to the third posifacts in relation to the polar regions, tion of our author in the chapter and we shall soon discover that under review, namely, that the disthese “ vast and frightful” accumu coveries which have been made in lations of ice, are so far from being the system of nature, illustrate the designed to afflict the inhabitants of doctrine of the Resurrection of the those dreary climes, that, but for Dead. these, all those regions must have been totally uninhabitable. In a
The transformations of insects aflatitude where a winter's night lasts
ford us a beautiful illustration of this three long months, and a summer's
subject. All the butterflies we see
fluttering about in the summer months, day as many more, what could stay
were originally caterpillars. Before the severity of the frost or the in
they arrived at that highest state of tensity of the heat, did not the pro their existence, they passed through cesses of congelation and liquefac four different transformations. The tion perform these kindly offices ? first state of a butterfly is that of an The shivering Greenlander or Es
egg; it next assumes the form of a quimaux ought, therefore, when he
loathsome crawling worm; after re
maining some time in this state, it hears the forest-trees rending, and
throws off its caterpillar skin; lanthe ice groaning around him, to hail,
guishes; refuses to eat; ceases to with thankful emotions, these ago move; and is shut up as it were in a nies of nature as the means which tomb. In this state the animal is termhis beneficent Creator, mindful of ed a chrysalis; it is covered with a the lowest of his creatures, has pro- thin crust or shell, and remains, somevided to save him from destruction.
times for six or eight months, without The benevolence of God is indeed
motion, and apparently without life.
After remaining its allotted time in this eminently conspicuous in these fro
torpid condition it begins to acquire zen regions. Of all the bodies that
new life and vigour; it bursts its imare fitted to imprison and econo- prisonment, and comes forth a buttermize heat, it is found by chemists fly, with wings tinged with the most beautiful colours. It mounts the air; the purpose of comparison. But it ranges from flower to flower, and such instances cannot be offered as seems to rejoice in its new and splen- affording the slightest proof of the did existence. How very different does
doctrine of the Resurrection. Af
de it appear in this state from what it did in the preceding stages of its existence!
del ter all, the analogy fails in the prinHow unlikely did it seem that a rough, cipal point--the insect in making hairy, crawling worm, which lay for its transitions to the different states such a length of time in a death-like of being, does not die. If while in torpor, and enshrouded in a tomb, should either of these states of transition, be re-animated, as it were, and changed it be crushed between the fingers, into so beautiful a form, and endued
or be drowned, or burned, it lives with such powers of rapid motion! Perhaps the change to be effected on the
no more. In the examples of bodies of men, at the general resurrec
chemical decomposition which are tion, may not be greater nor more won adduced, the analogy is still more derful in its nature, than are the changes imperfect, or rather there is no which take place from the first to the analogy at all, and we noticed them last stage of a caterpillar's existence. with no little surprise. How slight In such transformations, then, we be an illustration does the mere fact hold a lively representation of the death
that the same matter may exist unand resurrection of a righteous man. A little while he shall lie in the ground,
der different forms, or in different as the seed lies in the bosom ofthe earth; states, as the solid and the fluid, but he shall be raised again, and shall afford of that sublime and holy docnever die any more.' p. 329.
trine which teaches, that this or
ganic being, though reduced to a “There is another illustration, taken cold and lifeless clod, though disfrom a consideration of the chemical
solved in dust, though scattered in
solved in changes of matter, which has a still more direct bearing on the doctrine of
the winds of heaven or in the depths a resurrection. We know that sub- or the sea, shall be re-animated, and stances which are invisibly incorpora- glow with renovated youth, and ted with air, water, and other fluids, and flourish in immortal bloom! We which seem to be destroyed, may be cannot but think (although such a made to re-appear in their original form purpose was far from the heart of by the application of certain chemical
our author) that this mysterious and re-agents. For example; put a small piece of solid camphor into a phial half
sacred subject is degraded and alfilled with alcohol or spirits of wine;
most profaned, by such a compariin a short time the camphor will be dis son. solved in the fluid, and the spirit will The fourth proposition, that the be as transparent as at first. If water discoveries of science tend to illusbe now added, it will unite with the trate the doctrine of the General ardent spirit, and the camphor will be Conflagration, is maintained like separated and fall to the bottom of the the preceding, by a feeble train of phial. In this way the camphor may be nearly all recovered, as at first; and
reasoning, and amounts to nothing by distillation the alcohol may also be
more than this, that the Creator has separated from the water, and exhibit.
abundant means within his reach ed in a separate state. p. 329. for the accomplishment of this
purpose. With regard to the transformations of certain insects, if this ex. Should the Creator issue forth his ample be intended merely as an Almighty fiat- Let the nitrogen of illustration of the changes which
the atmosphere be completely separaman undergoes in the different sta
ted from the oxygen, and let the oxy
gen exert its native energies without ges of his existence (such different
control' from what we know of its stages of existence being proved) nature, we are warranted to conclude we do not object to it-it may serve that instantly a universal conflagration
would commence, throughout all the Schools, and Private Families. kingdoms of nature-not only wood, By HERVEY WILBUR, A. M. coals, sulphur, bitumen, and other com
Boston, Cummings, Hilliard, & bustible substances, but even the hard
Co. Crocker & Brewster, also by est rocks and stones, and all the metals,
the American Sunday School fossils and minerals, and water itself, which is a compound of two inflamma
Union, Philadelphia. 1826. ble substances, would blaze with a rapidity which would carry destruction THE pleasure to be derived from through the whole expanse of the ter- reading the word of God, is deraqueous globe, and change its present
scribed by Chrysostom, the most aspect into that of a new world." p. 331.
eloquent of the Fathers, with his
usual vividness. He compares it The foregoing passage (which by
with that arising from witnessing the way is incorrect, in point of
the beautiful objects of nature, and fact, in several particulars*) is one
shows how it surpasses this in richof those which we had in view when
ness and permanence. The meadow we said, that the indiscreet applica
and garden, says he, are sweet, but tion of natural phenomena to the
far sweeter the perusal of the di." support of doctrines of Theology,
vine scriptures. In those are withhad an unfavorable influence upon
ering flowers ; but in these are the mind of the skeptic, and in- living th
living thoughts. In them is the deed upon the minds of men of
whispering zephyr; in these, the science generally ; and that they
breath of the spirit. There you in this way tended to weaken the
may see the thorny hedge for a prosalutary impression made by other
tection ; but in these you may learn parts of the same work. But,
the securing providence of God. while we have felt it our duty to ;
There you may listen to the chirpcensure what we have deemed a
ing crickets; but here to the soundperversion of the evidence, which
ing prophets. The garden is conthe voice of nature speaks in favor
fined to a single spot; the Scripof Revelation, we still cordially re
tures may be every where enjoyed. commend the Christian Philoso
The one suffers from the inclemenpher,' as a work replete with valu
cies of seasons, but the others in able information respecting the
summer and winter are rich in folcreation, and radiant with devout
iage, and laden with fruit. and pious sentiments towards the
The wonderful volume of inspiCreator.
ration is indeed replete with all which can yield pleasure and im
provement to the mind, or awaken, The Reference Bible, designed to correct, and gratify the feelings.
facilitate the acquisition of scrip. He who employs in its study inteltural knowledge, in Bible Class- lect merely, finds it a mine inexes, Sunday Schools, Common haustible, and rich in the quality of
its contents. It furnishes material * Rocks and stones might, in the case for the most intense thought and supposed, become melted or even con- ardent investigation. It is a tran. verted into vapour, but they would not blaze nor burn, not being inflammable
script of the “ living manners," that bodies. Water is not composed of two
flourished in the various ages durinflammable substances as the author says ing which it was composed; which -hydrogen is the only inflammable ingre- but for this had long since descendient, while its union with oxygen pre- ded to oblivion. It has transmitted vents its being combustible in the state of
to us, as it must to the last generawater. The presence of oxygen in a body is rather a reason why it will not
tion who will inhabit this earthly burn than why it will.
vale, the literature of a people sin. VOL. I.-No. III.
gular for intellectual and moral over its obscurities and difficulties, worth,--a literature rich in its own without suspecting their existence, material, and nervous with underi. To devise a plan which shall tend ved strength. It has made us ac- to correct this habit, and fix the quainted with a language simple, mind of the reader, to perceive and noble, strong, tender ; so like the feel the import of the sacred word, works of God, it seems to have is to subserve the end for which the been created by himself rather than Bible was bestowed upon us. And formed by the tardy and gradual in- this is the object of the Reference vention of men. This literature Bible.” By the use of various letand language were chosen by the ters of the alphabet affixed to the Holy Spirit in ancient days as a verses, or larger portions of scripmedium of revealing to man what ture, as the connexion may require, feeble reason could not teach. No reference is continually made to a book can afford so much food for “Key," or sheet of questions judithe mind as the inspired scriptures. ciously prepared by the editor, and So new and striking are their sub- by this means, the Bible, ceasing to jects, so peculiar the customs of be a passive book in the hands of church, and state, and private life, an idle reader, is made the active pourtrayed in them; so inexhaustiinterrogator respecting its own conble the sources from which materi- tents, requiring the reader at evals for their illustration may be ery step, to pause, investigate, and drawn, they call into exercise what- comment. The method may be ever feelings of admiration, and understood from a specimen. Take whatever powers of understanding, for example the 97th Psalm. we may possess.
Prefixed to the first verse we find But the intellectual enjoyment the letter d, and on referring to the and profit cannot for a moment be key, we find this letter asks the folcompared with the moral improve- lowing questions : “ What DUTY is ment derived from the study of the here enjoined ? On whom? Is it scriptures. It is impossible to say taught by precept, by example, or what this divine word has done to by inference? How enforced ??” elevate man, and how much of the To these questions severally, the civilization of this world is to be at attentive reader answers. The tributed only to it. Where then is duty enjoined is, delight in the gov. the man who would not wish this ernment of God, and it is binding book to be placed in the hands of on all the inhabitants of the earth: every son of Adam ?
-The Lord reigneth; let the earth But if it be a subject of lamenta rejoice : let the multitude of isles tion, that millions are without the be glad thereof. It is taught by Bible, it is also to be regretted, precept, as well as by the example that thousands of those who do pos- of the Psalmist ; and is enforced by sess it, and even habitually read it, a variety of motives drawn from remain in a great degree ignorant succeeding verses. Prefixed to the of its contents. They have been second verse we find the letter S, accustomed to course over its chap- which the key informs us asks the ters so familiarly from their child. following questions: “What subhood, that it has come to be like an LIMITY of thought or of language often repeated story, heard but not is here? What inference follows ?" heeded. They pass over its beau. To the first of these questions the ties, of language and of sentiment, reader might reply, that clouded without perceiving either; over its majesty, vivid lightnings, the tremfacts and doctrines, without being bling earth, and melting hills, all interested or instructed ; and even conspire sublimely to announce the presence of Jehovah ; and it might knowledge of the scriptures acquir. strike his mind as an inference that ed by merely reading a commentary the “shepherd king,”-uttering and imbibing its explanations, and language so much above the most that gained by studying and meditaadmired passages of the heathen ting on each sentence, is as the difpoets respecting the divinities they ference between the knowledge acannounced-must have “spoke as quired by doing a thing ourselves, he was moved by the Holy Ghost;" and that gained by examining it or in other words, the Psalmist was after it is done by others. inspired. For other passages dif- One of the most common difficul. ferent letters are employed, as D, ties in the way of understanding the f, g, o, t, &c. with which are asso- scriptures arises from its division ciated such questions as the fol. into verses. Each verse stands by lowing, together with various sub itself, as if it were an insulated proordinate ones, severally growing position. The unpractised mind out of them; namely, What diffi. therefore is predisposed to search culty in this passage? what facts for its meaning as though it were a stated ? wbat geographical infor- proverb, unconnected with the conmation, oriental custom, doctrinal text. Mr. Wilbur bas we think truth, &c.? To aid the learner in remedied this difficulty in part by answering these questions, various making but one reference where compendiums of useful information several verses are intimately united are appended to the volume, which in sense, and that at the first of we shall notice more particularly these verses. The mind is thus hereafter.
led to consider them all as contains The Bible though read in the ing the same idea, repeated, it may closet or the family, will fail of sal. be, under another form, for the pur. utary effect unless its truths are ap- pose of enforcement or illustration. prehended and felt. A commentary For ourselves such seems to us may explain a difficult passage, but the evil of this division into verses it will not cause the mind to form by breaks such as are used in other strong conceptions of divine truth, books only to mark paragraphs, we nor the breast to feel its force. But could wish that in the next edition the references of Mr. Wilbur are of the Reference Bible, the whole suited to lead the mind to think text should be thrown into a solid strongly of the subject of revelation form after the manner of Knapp's, Divine truth becoming thus the Titman's, or Griesbach's Testasubject of investigation, is incorpo, ment, and the paragraphs only be rated with our fund of knowledge, designated by breaks. The divisIt is associated with our trains of ions into chapters and verses might thought. We no longer recollect be retained in the margin. The scripture as we do the alphabet sign | inserted by the original ediwith an artificial memory, we re, tors of our version to mark para member its ideas. The tenderness graphs, is too liable to be overlook. of Jeremiah, as he pours forth his ed, is often inserted where the mournful elegies, has sunk into our sense does not require it, and often soul. We admire the abrupt sub- omitted where it does. limity of the Psalms and the pro If this alteration and one other phets, and our souls expand with in the Poetical books which we the eloquence of Paul. As we will mention were adopted, we read we make our own commenta. should be quite contented with our ry, and it is deep and original ac- version, The alteration now allur cording to the strength of our minds ded to is a change in the somewhat and feelings. The difference in the absurd punctuation of the Psalms