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people flocked in crowds to hear him. At first, and for Quarter Sessions at Bedford, in 1660. No legal proof two years after he had been called to the ministry, he was adduced, no witnesses were brought forward, but directed his chief attention to the awakening of sinners; a part of his examination was recorded as a confession, but after that period, he himself began to feel much and he was sentenced to perpetual banishment; and comfort and peace in Christ, and he now therefore de- though the sentence was never enforced, he was imlighted in exhibiting Christ in all his offices as a complete prisoned in Bedford jail for twelve years and a half. and an everlasting Saviour. The following exhibition Sometimes during that long period Bunyan's heart of the state of his mind, when engaged in his pulpit sunk within him, more especially when he thought of duties, may be interesting :
his destitute wife and four children. And what tended " When I have been preaching, I thank God, my not a little to aggravate the distress of this persecuted heart hath often, all the time of this and the other exer- follower of Jesus, was that one of his children was eise, with great earnestness cried to God, that he would blind. His reflections on this subject are deeply affectmake the Word effectual to the salvation of the soul,
ing: still being grieved lest the enemy should take the Word away from the conscience, and so it should become un
“ But notwithstanding these helps, I found myself a fruitful. Wherefore I did labour to speak the Word,
man encompassed with infirmities; the parting with my as that thereby, if it were possible, the sin, and person place, as the pulling the flesh from the bones, and that
wife and poor children, hath often been to me, in this guilty, might be particularized by it.
I have done the exercise, it hath gone to my heart,
not only because I am somewhat too fond of these great to think the Word should now fall as rain on stony
mercies, but also because I should have often brought places; still wishing from my heart, Oh! that they
to my mind the many hardships, miseries, and wants, who have heard me speak this day, did but see as I
that my poor family was like to meet with, should I be do, what sin, death, hell, and the curse of God is, and also taken from them, especially my poor blind child, who
Oh! the thoughts what the grace, and love, and mercy of God is, through lay nearer my heart than all beside. Christ, to men in such a case as they are, who are yet of the hardship I thought my poor blind one might go estranged from him. And, indeed, I did often say in under, would break my heart to pieces. my heart, before the Lord, “That, if to be hanged up
“ Poor child! thought I, what sorrow art thou like presently before their eyes, would be a means to awaken
to have for thy portion in this world! Thou must be them, and confirm them in the truth, I gladly should be beaten, must beg, suffer hunger, cold, nakedness, and contented.'
a thousand calamities, though I cannot now endure " For I have been, in my preaching, especially when
the wind should blow upon thee. But yet, recalling I have been engaged in the doctrine of life by Christ myself, thought I, I must venture you all with God,
Oh! I saw without works, as if an angel of God had stood by at
though it goeth to the quick to leave you. my back to encourage me; Oh! it hath been with such in this condition I was as a man who was pulling down power and heavenly evidence upon my own soul, while his house upon the head of his wife and children; yet, I have been labouring to unfold it, to demonstrate it,
thought I, I must do it, I must do it; and now I thought and to fasten it upon the consciences of others, that I
on those two milch kine that were to carry the ark of could not be contented with saying, “I believe, and God into another country, and to leave their calves be
hind them.'” am sure ;'methought I was more than sure (if it be lawful to express myself) that those things which then I While in prison, Bunyan contributed towards the asserted, were true.'
support of his family by making long pointed laces. That the preaching of such a man was blessed to The respectability of his character, and the propriety the conversion of sinners and to the edifying of the of his conduct, led the jailor to take a particular inbody of Christ, cannot admit of a doubt. A single in- terest in him, and he even permitted him to go out occastance may be mentioned of the benefit accruing from sionally and visit his friends. On one of these occahis labours :
sions, the following curious occurrence took place : “ Being expected to preach in a Church, in a country “ It being known to some of the persecuting prelates village in Cambridgeshire, and the people being gather- in London, that he was often out of prison, they sent ed together in the Church-yard, a Cambridge scholar, down an officer to talk with the jailor on the subject; and none of the soberest of them, inquired what the and in order to find him out, he was to get there in the meaning of that concourse of people was, it being a middle of the night. Mr Bunyan was at home with his week-day; and being told that one Bunyan, a tinker, family, but so restless that he could not sleep; be therewas to preach there, he gave a boy twopence to hold fore acquainted his wife, that, though the jailor had his horse, saying he was resolved to hear the tinker given him liberty to stay till the morning, yet, from his prate, and so he went into the Church to hear him. uneasiness, he must immediately return.
He did so, But God met him there by his ministry, the discourse and the jailor blamed him for coming in at such an unmaking such an impression on his mind, that he em. seasonable hour. Early in the morning, the messenger braced every future opportunity to attend to his minis
came, and interrogating the jailor, said, are all the try, and at length became an eminent preacher of the prisoners safe?' - Yes.' * Is John Bunyan safe?' Gospel in Cambridgeshire. What a remarkable instance - Yes.' 'Let me see him.' He was called, and appearof the sovereign grace of God, who works when and ed, and all was well. After the messenger was gone, by whom he pleases !”
the jailor, addressing Mr Bunyan, said, ' well, you may During the Protectorate of Oliver Cromwell, Mr go out again just when you think proper, for you know Bunyan was permitted, without molestation, to preach
when to return, better than I can tell you.' the Gospel of Christ; but immediately after the re
It was during his long imprisonment that many of storation of Charles the Second, he was apprehended
John Bunyan's works were composed, and among them, by a warrant from a justice, and committed to prison
the first part of one of the most popular books in the for having absented himself from the parish church, and
English language—the Pilgrim's Progress. For genius held what were considered unlawful meetings and con
and strong imagination, that admirable piece is still unventicles. Non-conformity was at that period a very
rivalled, and it may well be considered as entitling its heinous crime, and he was accordingly tried at the
author to be regarded as a boast of his country. Before his incarceration in the jail at Bedford, his time was so
AN ASCENT TO THE TOP OF much occupied in travelling the country as a tinker, for
MOUNT ARARAT. the support of his family, that he never thought of ensaging in writing ; but when secluded from the world, It is well known that the summit of this mountain is and driven, as it were, upon his own resources, he em
supposed to have been the spot on which Noah's ark ployed bimself in the preparation of those very works rested, after the waters of the deluge had subsided. A which were destined, in the course of Providence, to peculiar interest, accordingly, attaches to this mountain, prove the support and the consolation of many a Christ and the following account of an ascent to the top of it
, ian in every future age. What a remarkable exemplifi- by Professor Parrot, may not be unacceptable to our cation is this of the truth of God's own statement, that readers. It is extracted from the appendix to Mr Mor“ he maketh the wrath of man to praise him, and the ren's translation of Rosenmüller's Biblical Geography remainder of his wrath he will restrain.”
of Central Asia, which forms the Ilth vol. of the adAt last, by what nieans is not ascertained, but pro
mirable Cabinet Library, published by Thomas Clark, bably by the kind intervention of Dr Barlow, Bishop Edinburgh. Dr Parrot is the first who succeeded in of Lincoln, Mír Bunyan was set at liberty, and entered reaching the top of this celebrated mountain. upon the office of pastor over the congregation with “ The impression which the sight of Ararat makes on which he had been formerly connected. Here he ofii- every one whose mind is capable of comprehending the ciated for some years with much acceptance, and, assist stupendous works of the Creator, is awful and mysteri
ous, and many a sensitive and intelligent traveller bas ed by the kind subscriptions of some friends, he built a
endeavoured, with glowing pen and skilful pencil, to new meeting-house in the same town, where he con
describe this impression ; and in the feeling that no tinned to preach to large audiences till his death. description, no delineation, can come up to the sublime
He was accustomed to pay an annual visit to London, object before him, every one who has made such an atwhere he was remarkably popular as a preacher, and tempt, must certainly have experienced how dificult it was sometimes honoured with the attendance and de- thing that is poetical in expression or exaggerated in
is to avoid, both in language and in sketching, every cided approbation of the celebrated Dr Owen. He tra
form, and to keep strictly within the bounds of truth. velled, besides, through different parts of the country [“ Now follows the detailed account of his journey to proclaiming the Gospel in all its freeness, and urging the top. He appears to have been in the service of upon men everywhere to accept of its promised bless. Russia, whose armies in the last contest with Turkey, ings.
were, at this period, (1829,) in possession of the surThe last act of this good man's life was in the bene- rounding country. After he and his party had failed volent spirit of that religion which he delighted to pro
in two attempts to ascend, the third proved successful.]
“ in the meantime, the sky cleared up, and the air mulgate.
became serene and calm, the mountain was more quiet, “ A young gentleman, a neighbour of Mr Bunyan's, the noise occasioned by the falling of masses of ice and falling under his father's displeasure, and being much
snow grew less frequent ; in short, every thing seemed troubled in mind on that account, and also from hearing to indicate that a favourable turn was about to take it was his father's design to disinherit him, or otherwise place in the weather, and I hastened to embrace it, for deprive him of what he had to leave, be pitched upon a third attempt to ascend the mountain. On the 25th Mr Bunyan as a fit man to make way for his submission, of September, I sent to ask Stephan whether he would and prepare his mind to receive him; which he, being join us, but he declined, saying, that he had suffered willing to undertake any good office, readily engaged too much froin the former excursion to venture again so in, and went to Reading, in Berkshire, for that pur- soon; he, however, promised to send four stout pezo pose. There he so successfully accomplished his de- sants with three oxen and a driver. Early the next sign, by using such pressing arguments and reasons morning four peasants made their appearance at the against anger and passion, and also for love and recon
camp, to join our expedition, and soon after a fifth, who ciliation, that the father's heart was softened, and his offered himself voluntarily. To them I added two of bowels yearned over luis son.”
The deacon again accompanied us, as It was on his return home from this deed of charity well as Mr Hehn, who wished to explore the vegetation and kindness, that Bunyan was seized with the ill- at a greater elevation, but he did not intend to proceed ness which, in the short space of ten days, proved his beyond the line of snow. The experience of the predeath. He closed his carthly career on the 31st of pended on our passing the first night, as closely as pasa
ceding attempt had convinced me that every thing deAugust 1688, at the age of sixty, and was buried in Sible to this boundary, in order to be able to ascend and Bunhillfields, where there is a tomb erected to his
return from the summit in one day, and to contine our memory.
baggage to what was absolutely necessary. We there. Instead of dwelling upon the character of Bunyan, fore took with us only three oxen, laden with the clothing, we content ourselves with quoting the following lines wood, and provisions. I also took a small cross, carved of the immortal Cowper, alluding obviously to the dis- in onk. We chose our course towards the same side as tinguished author of the Pilgrim's Progress :
before; and, in order to spare ourselves, Abowian and
I rode on horseback, wherever the rocky nature of the “O! thou, who borne on Fancy's cager wing, Back to the sea en ct' life's lipy spring,
soil permitted it, as far as the grassy plain kip-Glioll, I pleased remember; and while memory yet
whence we sent the horses back. Here Mr Hehn partHolds fast her ofiice here', can ne'er forget ;
ed from us. It was scarcely twelve o'clock when we
reached this point; and, after taking our breakfast, we
our former attempt. The cattle were, however, unable Speaking in parables bis slightest word;
to follow us so quickly. We, therefore, halted at some I name thee not, lest o despisd a name Should raise a sneer at thy deserved tame;
rocks, which it would be impossible for them to pass ; Yet even in transitory' lie's late cay,
took each our own share of clothing and wood, and sent That iingler all my brown with sober grey, Revere the man whose Pilgrim marks the road,
back the oxen. At half-past five in the evening 1 And guides the Progress of the soul to God."
were not far from the snow line, and considerably higher
than the place where we passed the night on our pre- Only another icy plain was to be ascended, and at a
other Armenians, who strictly adhered to their rules of was erected, it had already sunk below the horizon.] X fasting, contented themselves with bread, and the brandy “ • It was a glorious sight,' says the traveller, 'to see GE which I distributed among them in a limited quantity, the dark shadows which the mountains in the West cast
as this cordial must be taken with great caution, espe- upon the plain, and then the profound darkness which
self down under an overhanging rock of lava, the tem- and on the following day, Sabbath the 28th of Septemre perature of the air at 41°, which was tolerably warm, ber, 0. S., they offered their grateful thanksgiving to considering our great height.
heaven for the success of their arduous enterprise, per* At day-break we rose, and began our journey at half- haps not far from the spot where Noah built an altar to past six. We crossed the last broken declivities in half the Lord.] an hour, and entered the boundary of eternal snow, “We have lately received (says the Quarterly Renearly at the same place as in our preceding ascent. In view) an account of an ascent of Mount Ararat in the consequence of the increased warmth of the weather, middle of August 1834, accomplished by a Mr Antonothe new fallen snow, which had facilitated our progress moff, a young man holding an office in Armenia, who on our previous ascent, had melted away, and again was induced to make the attempt, partly to satisfy bis frozen, so that, in spite of the still inconsiderable slope, own curiosity, and partly out of regard for the reputawe were compelled to cut steps in the ice. This very tion of Professor Parrot ; whose having actually reached much embarrassed our advance, and added greatly to the suinmit of the mountain is still obstinately denied, our fatigue. One of the peasants had remained behind particularly by the inmates of the convent, who fancy in our resting place, as he felt unwell. Two others that the truth would lower the opinion of the people became exhausted in ascending the side of the glacier. with regard to the sanctity of their mountain. Mr They at first lay down, but soon retreated to our quar- Antonomoff succeeded in reaching the summit; the
Without being disheartened by those difficulties, large cross set up by Dr Parrot was nearly covered with we proceeded, and soon reached the great cleft which snow, the smaller cross, planted on the summit, was marks the upper edge of the declivity of the large glacier, not to be found, and was probably buried in the snow. and at ten o'clock we arrived at the great plain of snow One of his guides, who had also accompanied Mr Parrot, which marks the first break on the icy head of Ararat, shewed him the spot where it had been set up. He asked At the distance of a verst we saw the cross which we some persons to look while he was at the top and try if had reared on the 19th of September, but it appeared they could see him. On his coming down, however, to me so extremely small, probably on account of its nobody would admit having seen him there; they all black colour, that I almost doubted whether I should affirmed, that to reach the summit was impossible; and be able to find it again with an ordinary telescope from though he and his guides agreed, the magistrates of the the plain of the Araxes. In the direction towards the village refused not only to give him a certificate of his summit
, a shorter, but at the same time a steeper de having ascended the mountain, but even of his guides clivity than the one we had passed lay before us; and having declared he had done so. between this and the extreme summit, there appeared “ This disbelief of the assertion that the mountain has to be only one small hill. After a short repose we actually been ascended, is not confined to the people of passed the first precipice, which was the steepest of all, the country, but is shared by the American missionaries, by bewing out steps in the rock, and after this the next Messrs Smith and Dwight, (Researches in Armenia, p. t'evation. But here, instead of seeing the ultimate goal 267, note,) who, in justification of their incredulity, say, of all our dificulties, immediately before us appeared a that the report was not believed by many of the Russeries of bills, which even concealed the summit from sians, and hint that even the governor of the province our sight. This rather abated our courage, which had was sceptical. But the idea that a man of Dr Parrot's never yielded for a moment, so long as we had all our scientific character could either be deceived himself, or diüculties in view, and our strength, exhausted by the could procure the men of his party to join with him in Labour of hewing the rock, seemed scarcely commensu- propagating a deliberate falsehood, presents too imrate with the attainment of the now invisible object of probable a supposition to be for a moment admitted. ont wishes. But a review of what had been already The repeated ascents of Mont Blanc and other mounscomplisbed, and of that which might still remain to tains, nearly as elevated, and in a much colder latitude, ve done, the proximity of the series of projecting eleva- render Parrot's account perfectly credible. tions, and a glance at my brave companions, banished “ The incredulity of the Armenians, as to the posniy fears, and we boldly advanced. We crossed two sibility of ascending to the top of Ararat, is based on more hills, and the cold air of the summit blew towards their superstition. They are firmly persuaded that is. I stepped from behind one of the glaciers, and the Noah's ark exists to the present day on the summit of rcreme cone of Ararat lay distinctly before my ei- the mountain, and that, in order to preserve it, no peraptured eyes. But one more effort was necessary. son is permitted to approach it. We learn the grounds
of this tradition from the Armenian chronicles, in the king, while it enabled him to perform essenthe legend of a monk of the name of James, who was tial services to his brethren of the captivity. After afterwards patriarch of Nesibis, and a cotemporary and the return of the Jews from Chaldea, he succeedrelative of St. Gregory. It is said that this monk, in ordered Zerubbabel as the governor of those who, from to settle
the disputes which had arisen with respect to the the various connections they had formed, chose Scriptural accounts of Noah, resolved to ascend to the top of Ararat to convince himself of the existence rather to remain in Babylon; and to them he beof the ark. At the declivity of the mountain, however, came the object of reverence and esteem. But he bad several times fallen asleep from exhaustion, and he had not forgotten Jerusalem. His affections found, on awaking, that he had been unconsciously gathered around its ballowed precincts, and the God at length had compassion on his unwearied though interests of Zion lay near his heart. An occasion fruitless exertions, and during his sleep sent an angel soon offered to prove all the ardour of his patriowith the message, that his exertions were unavailing, tic and religious attachments. Having received but as a reward for his indefatigable zeal, he sent him a information that Jerusalem still remained in ruins, piece of the ark, the very same which is now preserved and that the slow progress of the builders had beas the most valuable relic in the cathedral of Etschmiadzen.
come an object of derision to the nations around, The belief in the impossibility of ascending he betook himself to fasting and prayer, and imMount Ararat has, in consequence of this tradition, which is sanctioned by the Church, almost become an plored the direction of God in the painful exiarticle of faith, which an Armenian would not renounce, gency. King Artaxerxes, observing him to be even if he were placed in his own proper person upon sad and dejected in his countenance, asked of him the summit of the mountain.'
With some hesitation, and with a
heart devoutly lifted up to God, he told him the DISCOURSE.
cause of it ; and the king instantly issued an edict, BY THE Rev. ROBERT BURNS, D.D., empowering him to go and rebuild Jerusalem. Minister of St. George's Parish, Paisley.
He ordered him to receive from the keeper of the “ Remember me, O my God, concerning this, and wipe forest of Lebanon the quantity of wood that might
not out my good deeds that have done for the be required ; and he furnished him with all the house of my God, and for the offices thereof."- facilities in his power for the successful execution NEHEMIAH xüi. 14.
of his commission. Arrived at Jerusalem, he, Paul assures the believing Hebrews, that the with his servant, surveyed the ruins by night, Lord will not forget “ their work of faith and
assembled forthwith the chief men among the labour of love;" and the prayer of Nehemiah, Jews for consultation, informed them of his powers in our text, amounts to nothing more than a and of his intentions, and with promptitude and petition, that God will be pleased to fulfil his skill set about the execution of the great work. own promise regarding him. It was not the
By a judicious division of labour, the work prodictate of a self-righteous spirit; for surely Ne- ceeded with speed. Thirty-two of the principal hemiah did not imagine that any good deeds of men had the charge of so many departments upon his, however valuable, could possess merit in the the wall. Weapons of war were furnished to the eye of that God, in whose sight the heavens workmen to defend themselves against the malithemselves are not clean. He presumes not sure- cious assaults of Sanballat, and Tobiah, and Gesly to bargain the matter with God, as if his civil hem, who, with their adherents, proceeded from and religious services could lay the Almighty un- scoffs and taunts to deeds of assault and of murder. der any obligation to remunerate him for his deeds; Defeated in their schemes, they had recourse to a or, as if, independently altogether of recompense, vile stratagem; and under the pretext of inviting he were not bound to consecrate himself wholly to Nehemiah to a conference, had resolved to war. the Lord. But surely there is no self-righteous- lay and assassinate him. Aware of their intenness in the humble prayer, that God would look tions, or at least distrusting the sincerity of their upon him in love ; that he would deign to accept proposals, he told them that the work in which of his feeble services as proofs and evidences of a he was engaged, was too important to admit of religious spirit; that he would be pleased to verify his absence from it even for a limited time. The his gracious promise, that “it shall be well with enemy, again disappointed, tried to spread reports them that fear the Lord,” and that “ godliness is unfavourable to the character of Nehemiah. They profitable unto all things, having the promise of charged him with selfish and ambitious designs, the life that now is, as well as of that which is and attempted to excite prejudices against him, to come.”
both in the breast of Artaxerxes and in the minds 1. Nehemiah, one of the children of the capti- of his own countrymen the Jews. These su: vity in Babylon, was the son of Hachaliah, and a mises Nehemiah treated with a noble disdain, and descendant from the royal line of David. Though went on with calm intrepidity in the work of rehis early years were spent in a heathen land, and building the wall. In the short space
of fifty-two amidst many powerful snares, he held fast the days was it finished, and within a year afterwards
, principles of his fathers, and gave decisive evi- it was dedicated with solemn sacrifice and thanksdence of the sincerity of his piety. By the spe- giving to the Lord, whose special providence had cial Providence of God he was raised to the ho- crowned the undertaking with unlooked-for success nourable office of cupbearer to the Persian mo- But the building of the city and its walls was narch, and this situation gave him easy access to not the only work in which Nehemiah was en:
gaged. He curbed the inhumanity of the nobles we admire the grace of God in the display, and we and rich men who grinded the faces of the poor ; are compelled to acknowledge that there is a reaand he gave to the children of depression and of lity in religion. . With comparatively few advanwant all the advantages which the year of jubilee tages of a religious nature, and dwelling amid was designed to secure to them. He observed, scenes very uncongenial to the progress of piety and caused to be observed, with greater exactness in the heart, Nehemiah displayed a firmness of than had been known since the days of Joshua, principle and an ardour of religious feeling, truly
the feasts of trumpets and of tabernacles, and admirable. The early lessons of his parents he by2
on these occasions was the law publicly read duly prized and improved. Attachment to the and expounded to the people. The regulations God of his fathers he fondly cherished. Love to regarding marriage, and the due observance of the Jerusalem and its worship was in him no feeling Sabbatb, he punctually enforced ; and renewed, of common patriotism merely, but the dictate of a with solemn fasting and prayer, the national cove- heart dedicated to God. Amidst the enticements nant with God. The order of Levites and other of a splendid and licentious court, he sought the attendants on the temple was rectified and esta- glory of his heavenly father, and not the grablished ; and due provision made for the regular tification of vanity, ambition, or carnal desire. observance of the worship of the sanctuary. Suit- Surrounded by the ensigns of a gross and imable precautions were taken for securing the de- pious superstition, he reared a standard for the fence of the city, and its civil government settled true God, and stood forth as a witness for him, in on judicious and patriotic principles.
the midst of his enemies. Like Daniel, he held After Nehemiah had governed the Jews for fast his integrity. Neither the blandishments of twelve years, he returned to Artaxerxes ; but court favour at one period of his life, nor the bitter soon did he find that his presence and authority assaults of his foes at another, could tempt him to were necessary in Judea, to reform abuses that swerve from the good path. And why? because had begun to creep in, as well as to give vigour and by the grace of God holy principles had been imstability to the state. Partly by expostulation, and planted in his mind; because these principles were partly by force, he succeeded in rectifying these well understood and practically felt; because love disorders. The noted enemies of the Jews, who, to God was enthroned in his heart; and because in his absence, had presumed, for treasonable ends, a sense of God, on his mind, led him to stand to take up their residence within the city, and habitually in awe, and not to sin. 6 Shall such eren within the precincts of the temple, he in- a man as I flee?" was his bold and impassioned stantly expelled. The civil and ecclesiastical sta- reply, when assailed by temptation. Confidence tutes of God's own appointment, he rigidly and in God kept him steady in the scene of danger; righteously enforced. Religion, morality, and ge- and the lofty aims of a devoted spirit raised him nuine patriotism he cherished by his own exam- above the grovelling pursuits of sense. In the ple; and after a faithful and prosperous govern- circumstances in which Nehemiah stood, grace, of ment of Judea for the space of thirty-six years, he no common degree, was necessary to produce such gave up the ghost, and was gathered to his fathers. steady piety. And his example is an affecting reIt is worthy of remark, that as from Ezra's com- proof to those, who, in situations much more favourmission to rectify the affairs of Judea to the year able, and with all the advantages of a finished in which Nehemiah died, is exactly forty-nine Revelation, satisfy themselves with a form of godyears, this may correspond to the seven weeks of liness while they deny its power. It speaks to the Daniel, in which the city and wall of Jerusalem guardians of youth á lesson of instruction, while were to be built in troublous times, (Dan. ix. 25.) it demonstrates the high value of systematic knowSo minutely is God's predictive word accomplish- ledge of God, early and devoutly imparted to the ed, and so satisfying is the evidence from histori- youthful mind. It speaks to the young, while it cal fact, that “ prophecy came not of old time by proves the importance of steady principles in rethe will of man, but holy men of God spake as sisting temptations.
It reproves and admonishes they were moved by the Holy Ghost.”
all, by exhibiting a practical illustration of the II. Character of Nehemiah.
comprehensive proverb of the wise man, that “ the 1. Nehemiah was characterized by well-ground-fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” ed and steady religious principle. We do not 2. Nehemiah was distinguished by his selfwonder at finding that the children and the do- denial. One of the best evidences of sound relimestics of a truly pious family are generally pious gious principle is self-denial. When the will is and sober-minded; we rather wonder that our subjugated to the will of God; when the mind reasonable expectations, in this respect, should feels itself completely satisfied with the wisdom so frequently be disappointed. But when, as and goodness of the divine economy; when self is in the case of the corrupt house of Rehoboam, thrown into the back-ground, and a noble disinwe find a young Abijah in whom “there was terestedness of feeling gives its tone to the chasome good thing towards the Lord God of Is- racter, then have we some good proof that our rerael ;” and when, as in the case of Nehemiah, we ligion is sincere. Nehemiah dwelt in the court of find the vigour of holy principles bidding defi- Artaxerxes
, where he might have lived in ease and ance to all the spares of a wicked court, and splendour, and where his ready access to the powerrising superior to all the enticements of idolatry, ful monarch of Persia gave him many opportunities