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evening the Rev. C. B. Howard, the Colonial Chaplain, will preach at the Chapel. We have endeavoured to make the place as unsectarian as possible: and I am convinced this is the most likely way to prosper.
I have to be thankful to an all-wise Providence, for the auspicious circumstances under which the BETHEL FLAG has been introduced into South AusTRALIA,
AMERICAN SEAMAN’S FRIEND SOCIETY.
We have but recently received the last Annual Report of this invaluable kindred Institution ; and have great pleasure in exhibiting a brief outline of its operations :
The year now closed has been one of around him, and much to the satisfacuncommon trial, wherein our faith has tion of all concerned. The committee been put to a severe test. An enter- would mention the establishment of a prise like ours, must stand or fall with good hospital at Havre, within the year the commerce of the country; and past-where seamen, as well as others, hence the embarrassments among the find a quiet and safe retreat, when they merchants, and the almost entire revul- are sick, at less than half the expense sion of trade, have deeply affected our incurred formerly. movements, cut off our resources, and well nigh paralyzed every effort.
HONOLULU.This port, in the SandIt was sorrowful to be compelled to wich Islands, is becoming a place of furl the Bethel flag, even for a season, much commercial importance; and duat any of those ports where it had so ring the year 1836, for which we have recently been spread forth. But “ received our chaplain's official report, cessity knows no law;" and with a was visited by one hundred and six vestrembling hand, and a feeling somewhat sels, the greater part of which were like that of a surgeon who amputates a whale ships, 'manned by large crews. limb to save life, two toreign chaplains A multitude of men have thus been were recalled : the Rev. Mr. Ely, of thrown into circumstances to receive Marseilles, and the Rev. Mr. Johnson, benefit from the administration of the of Rio Janeiro. It may, perhaps, be gospel there. Our chaplain, the Rev. thought that the Committee acted has- Mr. Diell, has laboured very faithfully, tily, and that they should have exercised preaching the gospel on the sabbath, more faith, and raised a louder cry to and from ship to ship, as he had opporthe churches for help; but they were tunity, during the week,-distributing fully satisfied, from past experience, the scriptures in the English, French, that the receipts of their best years Spanish, and Portuguese languages, towould not meet their expenditure, and gether with many thousand pages of they could not reasonably expect large religious tracts. collections, as formerly, under the un- But the most important movement at exampled embarrassments of all classes Honolulu, during the year, is the orgaof the community
nization of the Oahu Bethel church,
which was accomplished about the midHAVRE.-This station continues to dle of May last. Nine persons, residents be highly favoured. Our chaplain, the at Honolulu, and who had been memRev. Mr. Sawtell, in good health and bers of churches in their native land, spirits, appears to be labouring to much including the chaplain and his wife, enadvantage, with crowded assemblies tered into solemn covenant with God
and each other; and with the assistance of the missionary brethren on the island, were duly constituted as a christian church. They take no denominational character, or name; they lay aside, or rather leave to the conscience of every individual, those matters of form, which have separated christians, and embracing only those cardinal points, on which all christians agree, they have taken each other by the hand, and banded together, to advance the Redeemer's cause and kingdom. Mr. Diell remarks:
steward, were hopefully converted; and five or six officers and seamen, who were in the port last season, gave cheering evidence that they had passed from death unto life; - one had been an infidel, and had hated God's truth, because it imposes restraints upon a wicked heart. Another, a young sailor, -in the midst of a ship's company, every one of whom was living without God in the world--from remembering the faithful prayers and instructions of a pious mother, was brought to resolve that he would seek the Lord, and serve him. Another, a young seaman, who left his friends in the city of Washington, nearly ten years ago, and without having communicated to them any information respecting himself, on going into the chapel, one evening, his attention was arrested by the truth ; and the remembrance of the prayers and counsels of a mother, now in heaven, so deeply affected him, that from that time he has walked in newness of life.”
6. While this has been a year of
many trials, it has been one also of encouragement. There is reason to hope, that to some seamen, this last year has indeed proved the acceptable year of the Lord. On board the 'Independence' there were three or four hopeful conversions, after she left the island, and previous to her shipwreck. On board another ship, the master, mate, and
A very numerous and highly respectable assembly was convened in the Eastern Institution, Commercial-road, on Friday evening, the 14th ult. ; on occasion of the Second Anniversary of the East-London Auxiliary to the B. and F. Sailors' Society. G. F. YOUNG, Esq. was invited to the chair, amid the most unequivocal demonstration of good feeling. In opening the business of the evening, he expressed his approval of the constitution and objects of the Society,--the pleasure he felt in presiding over such a meeting, and his readiness to promote, in every possible way, the great design of the Institution.
The Secretary of the Parent Society, instead of reading the written abstract prepared for the occasion, stated ver
bally the nature and extent of the Society's operations, with the necessity of enlarged effort, and therefore of more liberal support.
The Meeting was then most effectively addressed, by the Rev. Drs. Smith, Fletcher, and Reed, the Rev. Messrs. Burnett, Hyatt, Wallis, C. J. Hyatt, and Stovel, Thomas Roberts, Esq. and Capt. Evans.
The spacious and elegant hall was filled to overflowing. Many, very many, went away, who could not obtain admission. We believe an impression has been made, and an impulse given, which will be felt at the very extremities of the United Kingdom. The spirit and the interest of the entire meeting were all that could have been desired.
Maddox, Printer, Dockhead, Bermondsey.
It has been a question among the learned, whether the wonders performed by the magicians of Egypt were real miracles, whether they were wrought by the aid of Satanic influence, or whether they were merely the effects of legerdemain? The question is one of considerable interest and importance, and especially as these extraordinary feats have been conceived, by some sceptical or infidel minds, to invalidate and overthrow the great facts and miracles of divine revelation. It is on its historical relations and miraculous events, that the Bible rests its claims to a divine original. If these cannot be authenticated, the whole book must be given up. If its histories and miracles be incapable of proof, -if the weight and character of the evidence be not sufficient to render them credible, then none of the doctrines or discoveries of the book can be received as true. But this evidence challenges investigation; it is open to the minutest and most subtle analysis; and the more severely it is examined and sifted, the greater is the probability of its producing conviction and belief in the mind of the enquirer.
That those deeds of wonder which Moses performed, and on which he rested the divinity of his mission, really possess and exhibit all the great characters which belong to miracles, and that what was attempted by the magicians was as really deficient in these characters, will appear, if we contrast the one with the other. A miracle is an effect which resolves itself into the power of God as its cause, and which, though it may differ from the settled constitution of things, neither violates, nor infringes that
constitution; it is something which is independent of human instrumentality, or to the production of which human instrumentality is not essential,--something which is done not secretly and in private, but publicly, and in the presence of competent witnesses,-something of which the senses as well as the minds of men can judge; and which is done for some adequate and important end. Now the immediate end which Moses had in view, in the miracles he performed before Pharaoh, was to vindicate the name, and honour, and supremacy of the Most High God. Nor could there be any doubt as to the reality of what he did. His miracles were most palpable to the senses of the people, and on which they could decide with the most absolute certainty ; done in the most open and public manner, and all indicative of a Power which knows neither impossibility nor limit.
Let us apply these tests to the wonderful effects ascribed to the magicians. We know, and have no wish to conceal it, that the narrative states,—" they also did in like manner,” as Moses and Aaron. There was a correspondence between the acts of the one party and the other, yet there is a marked distinction in the language employed by the historian, in the relation which he gives of these extraordinary events. In the one case, they are declared to be the result of divine power, and in obedience to divine authority; in the other, they are represented as the effect of magic, _“they did so with their ENCHANTMENTS.' The word in the original Hebrew, signifies, anything concealed, any secret art or charm; so that the narrative itself reduces the whole to a mere deception,-a magic spell, or a juggling trick. Besides, while the miracles of Moses were designed to awe the mind of Pharaoh into reverence for God, and submission to his sovereign supremacy,--these feats of the magicians were calculated rather to strengthen his opposition to the divine will, and render him still more inattentive to the high intimations from above.
It was not one miracle which the great legislator of Israel performed, but a series of miracles; and after each, these reputed “ wise men,” made an effort to imitate, if not to equal him. But each effort was nothing more than the result of their secret magic art. When “ Aaron cast down his rod before Pharaoh and before his servants, and it became a serpent, they also did in like manner with their enchantments :"-when Aaron, at the
command of Moses, “ lifted up his rod, and smote the waters that were in the river, in the sight of Pharaoh, and in the sight of his servants, and all the waters that were in the river were turned to blood, and the fish that was in the river died; and the river stank, and the Egyptians could not drink of the water of the river; and when there was blood throughout all the land of Egypt, the magicians did so with their enchantments ;"—when “ Aaron stretched out his hand over the waters of Egypt, and the frogs came up and covered the land,—the magicians did so with their enchantments ;”—but when “ Aaron stretched out his hand with his rod, and smote the dust of the earth, and it became lice in man and in beast; when all the dust of the land became lice throughout all the land of Egypt-and the magicians did so with their enchantments, to bring forth lice, they coULD NOT !” Here their art failed. Nor do we find them, on any of the subsequent manifestations of supernatural power, attempting to put it into practice. Baffled, and finding their mystic art inadequate to the effect now produced by the ambassadors of Heaven, “they said unto Pharaoh, TÌIS IS THE FINGER OF GOD!” or as the words might with equal propriety and force be rendered, (for they were believers in a plurality of deities, this is the finger of a god! In this language, there is an obvious admission, that what they had in previous instances effected, was not the result of any supernatural power,---of any more intimate or immediate intercourse with the gods, but of those clever and artful manæuvres by which the senses of others are deceived. If it was any thing more than mere legerdemain, or slight of hand,-a mere juggle, why should one effort succeed and not another? If they were qualified to work miracles, it is impossible to conceive that the power which had turned their rods into serpents, the water into blood, or brought frogs upon the land, should have failed in this instance. The power which accomplished the one, was surely competent to the accomplishment of the other.
In this instance, more than in any of the other three preceding feats in which they had succeeded, would the evidence in their favour have been most direct and conclusive. But with all their magic they COULD NOT do it. It surpassed the science they professed, -came not within the rules of their art.
It should seem from the narrative, that notwithstanding their failure, the magicians, as well as their sovereign, denied and