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not give, but lend you my horse; be sure you be honest and bring my horse to me, at your return this way to Oxford. And I do now give you ten groats to bear your charges to Exeter; and here are ten groats more which I charge you to deliver to your mother, and tell her I send her a bishop's benediction with it, and beg the continuance of her prayers for me. And if you bring my horse back to me, I will give you ten groats more to carry you on foot to the college; and so God bless you, good Richard.”
" And this you may believe was performed by both parties. But, alas! the next news that followed Mr. Hooker was, that his learned and charitable patron had changed this for a better life. Which happy change may be believed; for that as he lived so he died, in devout meditation and prayer, and in both so zealously, that it became a re. ligious question “ Whether his last ejaculations, or his soul did first enter heaven!”
Of this story Dr. Goldsmith has made a pleasing use in his beautiful moral tale of the Vicar of Wakefield.
EDUCATION. THE Trustees of the Episcopal Academy at Cheshire Connecticut) solicitous for the prosperity of the Institution committed to their care, and desirous of promoting the important object for which it was established, to subserve the interest of Literature, Piety and Religion, take this method to make known its claims to public notice and patronage. After struggling through the difficulties, and surmounting the obstacles usually incident to such establishments in their infancy, the Academy has at length gained such foot. ing as decidedly to promise a permanency. By the exertion of its friends, aided by an act of incorporation from the Legislature of the State, with the grant of a lottery, it has acquired a fund which has enabled the Trustees to grant permanent salaries to the Instructors, and leave in their hands an annual surplussage to be appropriated in purchasing books and other requisite apparafue. And arrangements are made and making for systematizing the method of instruction, and reducing it as far as may be, to a classical and collegiate form, in which will be taught the various branches of science usual in colleges and universities.
This Seminary is properly denominated Episcopal, having had for its origin. al founders the convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church in Connecticut; and being by constitution immediately superintended by a Presbyter of that Church ; yet no distinctions are made among the students except between the diligent and the idle, the sober and the profligate, or the virtuous and the vi. ‘cious. To say, however, that none of the studies pursued are calculated with a particular view to the doctrines and tenets of the Episcopal Church, would be something worse than an affectation of a liberality which no where in reality exists; it would be a culpable disregard of truth, inasmuch as the primary object for which this Institution was founded, was to be a nursery to that Church, and to prepare young men for her Ministry. Of this none' have a right complain; while the wise and good, the candid and truly liberal, must unite in wishing success to whatever is designed for the promotion of science, morality and religion. To the favour and patronage of such, the Episcopal Academy looks with confidence. And that their hopes and expectations may not be disappointed, those whose duty it is, pledge their best endeavours, by superintending the morals, and regulating the manners of youth; to train them up for usefulness and respectability in life.
BURRAGE BEACH, Sec'ry. CHESHIRE, October 27, 1806.
THE wintry blast of bleak December comes
WHILE days and months have flown away, these Reflections have followed their course : and now that the year is drawing to a close, and ushering in the glad season at which every pious heart exults; what subject more suitable for our meditations than this ? À Saviour is born! Yes, “all meanly wrapt in swaddling clothes,” he lies in a manger at Bethlehem ! Hark, how the heavenly hosts, descending down the sky, make all ether ring with their songs! Let us then go with the shepherds, and see this great thing that has come to pass, that we also may rejoice in God, and bring unto him our oblations of thanksgiving and praise.
Had it been left to man to devise the manner in which the Son of God should have made his first appearance in the world, he would have descended in a cloud of resplendent glory; the sun and moon would have veiled their faces before his brighter effulgence; they would have retired and hid themselves, to make way for their Creator God; the earth would have trembled before him, and the perpetJual hills would have bowed their heads in reverence to him who set .them on their strong foundations. All this, it might seem at first view, should have taken place, that all the world might know their Lord was come, and assemble to do him homage. Instead of which, what do we behold ? A feeble Infant, wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. We behold none of the trappings and splendours of even earthly greatness; none of the ornaments which deck the infancy of the rich, and the mighty ones of the earth ; none of the delicacies, the soft raiment, the silk and fine linen, and downy beds, which lull the first hours of vain mortals, born to inherit a few fleet
ing years of worldly eminence, and then to be no more ; not crea the conveniences and comforts of ordinary life, scarcely those of the most wretched beggar. A bed of May for his repose, and the unornamented apartment, intended for the dwelling of cattle, are all the conveniences which he enjoyed. A smiling babe, a feeble helpless infant, thus poorly shrouded and defended from the injuries of the dark and damp air of night, he is presented to our contemplation.
Why did he, in whom all fullness dwelt, thus veil himself in humility, when first he appeared to the view of men ? - Tho’by searchiing, we cannot find out God to perfection, yet whereinsoever he has revealed himself, or displayed his dispensations, we are capable of discerning many of the reasons, why he thus determines in his holy counsels. Though we should be able to form no conception of his ways beforehand, yet when they have come to pass, we can see their consistency and wisdom. In the present case, we need not look far nor long for reasons; they offer themselves at the first thought.
For let us consider the end of his coming into the world, and taking on him our nature : not to make a display of divine power, but of the humility of the Cross; not to rulc and reign over the earth, but to be obedient to the law, which inflicted the penalty of death on the transgressor; not to sit in the high places of authority, but to be subject to earthly rulers; not to lead armies to war and conquest, in which vain mortals place their greatness; not to ride in triumph over the heads of Kings and Princes, or lead them in captive chains, by which men too often think they gain immortal renown; not to lay waste countries and nations, and gather the spoils of defenced cities; not to fill the earth with sorrow and mourning, with widows and with orphans, in which consists the guilty honours, and the misdirected applause bestowed on vain men. He did not come into the world, to make himself famous for searching out and unfolding the depths of science, or the mysteries of nature ; nor yet to amass the fleeting treasures of time, which endure but for a day. It was for none of these ends that he come; but to be poor and humble, to have not where to lay his head; to be persecuted and afflicted ; to be a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grirf; to be bruised for our transgressions, and wounded for our iniquiirs ; to have no form nor comeliness ; to be despised and rejected of men, not to cry nor lift up his voice; not to break the bruised reed; nor quench the smoaking flar; but in all things to be a perfect pattern of humility and lowliness; to wander about in poverty and want ; to suffer indignity and reproach ; to be called by way of contempt, the Carpenter's Son; to be traduced, maliciously calumniated, and in perpetual danger of being torn in pieces by an enraged multitude ; and at length to be arraigned before a partial and wicked tribunal, buf. fetted, mocked, derided, spit upon, and put to a cruel and ignominious death on the cross.
Such being the end of his coming, a glorious and splendid Advent, would but illy have accorded with what was to follow. Hence every thing bespoke humility and meanness-hence the bed of hay.
and the unsightly place, in which we are called to contemplate IIIM, in whom all fullness dwelt, and through WHOM all glory and honour are promised, to those who will follow in his humble steps; who will renounce the vain glory which cometh from beneath, and scek that alone which God, and only God, can give.
But when we consider the main end for which the Son of God came into the world, it will suggest many stronger reasons, why he should have made his first appearance in this humble manner. He came to make atonement for sin, to destroy the works of the Devil ; and the foundation of all sin and rebellion against God, is pride, and and self-exaltation; that propensity which doth not belong to man. Take away pride, and you take away almost every temptation to sin. Most wisely then, did he who knew what was in man, thus lay the axe to the root of the tree, that every tree which bringcth not forin good fruit, might be hewn down and casi into the fire. His humility, and the sufferings which followed, were the means by which he made atonement for our sins. It was then not only wise and consistent with the subsequent part of his life, that he should be born in so lowly a condition ; but it was even necessary to his office as the Saviour of men. He who could have commanded worlds, for our sake divested himself of all things, and submitted to hardships and indignities, in the very beginning of his carthly abode, which fol. lowed him to his cross. Shall we then, miserable worms of the dust, be puffed up in our vain imaginations, because we have a few more temporal accommodations than some of our fellow-beings Or shall our pride make us repine and murmur against God, because we are poor and destitute ?
He whom we call Lord and Master was turned out of doors, when first he came among men, because there was no room for him in the Inn; who then are we to complain? Who are we, that we should overflow with anger and resentment, because we may not have been gratified with the highest places, with the most convenient situations, but have been obliged to give way to others ? Who are men, or the greatest sons of men, that they should kill and devour, lay waste and destroy, to gratify their little dislikes, or their pride and ambition? Whatever else they may be, it is certain they are very far from being Christians, if they indulge themselves in such utter disregard of the amiable example of humility, presented to their contemplation in the manger at Bethlehem.
Pride and ambition was the cause why Angels fell, and weaker man joined in the revolt under the same temptation. He dared to lift his teeble arm against the Almighty: and almost every subsequent transgression has sprung from the same root of bitterness. Men in their pride will be making to themselves Divinities of their lusts and desires. Hence come irreligion, profane disregard of God, with wrong and violence towards cach other; and the world is fall, as we experience, of misery, sorrow and pain. Nor is there any way to cure these evils, but to go back to the fountain from whence they have flowed; to infuse into those bitter and poisonous waters of pride, a spirit of meckness and humility, and change them into the waters of comfort, that they may flow with peace on carth and good will to men.
To this end Christ was born and laid in a manger; wonderful ex. pedient, worthy of God to devise! demanding all our attention, all our reverence, admiration, and love. It was a scene which arrested the notice of Angels ; they descended from their bright abodes, earnestly desiring to look into these things. Shall we then be thoughtless and unmoved ? God forbid! But with hearts full of gratitude and love, let us bow before the humble Jesus, while we contemplate him in the manger; let us banish our pride, as utterly unbecoming us in such a presence. In whatever way we may be distinguished in this transitory scene of time, let us lay vur distinctions at his feet, and dedicate ourselves wholly to him. Have we wealth and power, or have we wisdom and knowledge, let them be employed in promoting his Religion and the honour of his name, among the sons of men ; let us not give the profane unbeliever occasion to reproach us ; let us not have to reproach our own hearts, that a price has been put into our hands to get wisdom, but that we had no hearts to improve it to God's glory.
Let this now returning season imprint on our hearts, the meek and lowly temper of the Gospel; a temper worthy of him who was born and lay in a manger; then he was indeed the patient Lamb of God; and while as such, we reverence his name and commemorate his birth, it becomes us to remember, in order to our greater hu. mility, that he shall come again in the end of the world, not as then, but as the Lion of the tribe of Judah. Now we honour him in his human form, but then we must stand before his eternal throne of glory. Now we view him as the Son of Man, but then we shall see him as the eternal Son of God. Now we should humbly ex. press our gratitude to him for his goodness; but then we must bow to his Almighty Power.
With these reflections on our minds, let us spend this solemn and joyous season in love and good will among each other, and with heart-felt thanks to God for all the glorious things he hath wrought in our behalf. Let it be a season of free-will offering and benevolence to such as have need. Since God displayed his bounty to men, let not men be behind in bounty to each other; but with becoming joy, and sober rejoicing, partake in the good things of time. So shall God delight in our pious services, and bless us in this and all our enjoyments : and at length we shall be prepared to spend an eternal festival in Heaven, in presence of the now glorified Lamb, who sitteth on Mount Zion; no more veiled in human flesh; no more shrouded in night and darkness; no more confined to the hum. ble dwelling of a manger; but as St. John has described him in the Revelations, shining in eternal glory, above the brightness of the sun in the firmament, with thoussands and ten thousands of Saints and Angels, casting their crowns at his feet, and singing Allciuiah for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth, let us be glad and rejoice.