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gelical Church, either by the fundamental laws of the empire, or by the various state constitutions.
6. To give advice to isolated evangelical Churches, both in and out of Germany.
7. To form and maintain energetically the bond of union with all the evangelical Churches of Europe, and the world.
the enemy!" In the same strain the illus. trious Dr. Tholuck of Berlin writes, "The absence of all true religion in our people is enormous, and truly frightful. You can form no conception of the diplorable influence, in this respect, which political movements have exercised upon them. In Halle, all the churches, with the exception of the small chapel of M. Aulfield, are every Sabbath almost deserted. My own congregation is considerably diminished. In the great city of Magde
8. To prosecute all works of Christian charity; and particularly that of home missions, for the evangelization of the nominally Christian world. The follow-bourg, you will scarcely find a single ing resolutions were also unanimously adopted, after a full discussion :—
1. "The German Evangelical Churches shall form an Evangelical Alliance, which shall not be a fusion of different confessions, but only a confederation, embracing all the churches founded on the doctrines of the Reformation; that is to say, the Lutheran, Reformed, United, and Moravian Churches."
2. "Every Evangelical Communion which shall join this Confederation, shall preserve its position relative to the state, and its integral organization, confession, and ritual, without any interference of the confederation on the subject."
3. "Each Member of the future Assembly shall be bound to declare, that his faith is in accordance with the confession of his own particular church, and that his acts in the Assembly shall be in conformity with this confession."
Our readers will be able, from those facts, to form a judgment for themselves as to the nature and objects of this league. For ourselves, we attach the greatest possible importance to it. The religious state of Germany is calculated to rouse the energies, and call forth the united prayers of every minister and layman in it, who has the interests of his country and of Christianity at heart. Hundreds of the clergy are blind leaders of the blind. Under the garb of heralds of the Gospel, and assuming the name of "Friends of Light," they are the greatest enemies to the light and life of Christian faith and practice. Pantheism and socialism, accompanied by unparallelled profligacy and blasphemy, are deluging the land, and loosening all the bonds of social order. A mock charity, which confounds all right and wrong, truth and error, has enervated the exertions of professing friends of evangelical truth.
Speaking of the state of the German congregations, the excellent Mr. Kuntze of Berlin exclaimed, at the Conference "We, alas! have no congregations rooted and grounded in the faith to call for aid. Ninty-nine hundredths of our people have either fallen away from us, or gone over to
church, during morning service, having more than twenty, or twenty-five hearers!" We do not wonder that, in these deplorable circumstances, the conference, before breaking up, should have resolved immediately to commence a Home Mission. The proposition was made by Mr. Wic hern. This reverend gentleman is well known as having, for the last sixteen years, superintended, with indefatigable perseverance, and extraordinary success, the famous "Rauhe Haus," near Hamburg, --a Redemption Institution," which he himself originated, for the reformation of vicious children. Having ourselves visited this singular establishment, and seen how admirably it has been managed, we shall, in some future number, give an account of it. No man was certainly, in Germany, more able, from his own observation and experience, to prove the necessity, and to conduct the scheme, of a Home Mission, than Mr. Wichern. Accordingly, when he made the proposition, -in a speech of immense power and eloquence, giving a deplorable account of the state of the lower orders in Germany,
the whole assembly rose, and unanimously resolved to begin this great work everywhere, and in every place; to preach the Gospel in the streets and in the fields, if necessary! Since then, Mr. Wichern has left the "Rauhe Haus,” and devoted himself, with great success, to the organization and work of the Home Mission. A conference is again to be held on the 11th and 12th of this month, (September,) in Wittenberg; and we cannot but express the desire and hope, that every reader who prays "thy kingdom come," will, on the mornings of the 11th and 12th, remember those brethren at a throne of grace, and ask for them the Spirit of wisdom, faith, love, and "sound mind;" and that they may be made instrumental for reviving God's work in Germany.
RELIGIOUS ANNIVERSARIES IN PARIS.
1. The Religious Tract Society have issued, during the last year, 605,000
tracts. Some of them are eminently tracts for the times, such as "Letters of a working man to his companions;" "Discourse on Communism;" "True maternity; or, one must love the Father to love the brethren," &c. The income of the Society, with the aid of the London Tract Society, was about L.17,000.
2. The Protestant Bible Society.-Never was there a period in the history of France, when the labours of such a Society were more required. Not Catholics only, but many professing Protestants also, have not a copy of the Word of God. Thousands of Romanists in the better walks of life, even never saw one in their lives! Last year the Paris Bible Society distributed 4078 Bibles, and 7146 New Testaments. The French and Foreign Bible Society have also distributed 14,124 Bibles, and 38,429 New Testa
3. Fenny Protestant Society.-Its object is to collect penny subscriptions from the working-classes, to aid the various Religious Societies. The receipts last year amounted to L.360.
4. French Evangelical Society.-Its aim is to preach the Gospel in France. It is not connected with any particular Church.
It employs 27 ministers, 6 Evangelists, 31 male and female teachers. It has expended, last year, in the work of Evangelization, about L.4600.
operations are confined to South Africa. 6. Foreign Missionary God has greatly blessed its labours. It Society.-Its regular church fellowship. There were 181 has gathered about 2000 Bechuanas into baptisms last year. church, consisting of 110 communicants, One small African only collected L.48 for the Society. Another congregation built a church for themselves, costing L.320! The Society was but very low the year before last, from the brothers F. and A. Monod, in Britain want of funds. But by the exertions of and France, and by the exertions of the friends of missions in various parts of the world, upwards of L.3000 have been raised to meet the expenses of the present year.
is to labour in connection with the Na7. Central Protestant Society.-Its design tional Church. It has presented an interesting report. Its receipts amount to only L.760.
the General Assembly will more than We trust the collection appointed by make up the deficit in its exchequer.
Notices of Books.
THE DEAD SEA AND THE JORDAN.*- FIRST NOTICE. WELL do we remember the mysterious feeling that crept over us, when we first made our acquaintance with these legends, that ancient travellers, such as Mandeville and Maundrell, had propagated in regard to the Dead Sea. The Scriptural account of the destruction of the cities of the plain, and of the fate of their inhabitants, upon whom God rained fire and brimstone out of heaven, was itself sufficient to fill the mind with awe. this was not all. The traditions of the But Arabs who live on its shores, and the stories told by credulous travellers, had added wonder to wonder. They spoke with terror of its salt and bitter waters, as well as of the death-like silence that prevailed along the shore. They told of the apples that grew on its banks, fair without, but within full of dust and bitterness of the exhalations that arose from its surface, so noxious, that no bird could fly over, no sailor navigate its waters of the smoke, like "the smoke of
Narrative of the United States' Expedition to the River Jordan and the Dead Sea, by W. F.
a furnace," that ascended from the cities
Lynch, Commander of the Expedition; with
now have in Lieutenant Lynch's hand- | some volume,— -a short account of the contents of which we now propose to give our readers.
The Dead Sea, the Bahr Lût (Sea of Lot) of the Arabs-the Asphaltic, or Bitumen Lake, of the Romans-the Salt Sea, Sea of the Plain, and East Sea of the Old Testament-is not mentioned at all in the New. From its nearness to Jerusalem, being, in fact, visible from the Mount of Olives, few travellers in Palestine have omitted to visit it. Apart altogether, too, from its Scriptural interest, its peculiar physical features have attracted much attention. Its surface was known to be somewhat below the sea-level; but how far, was not known, until, in 1840, Lieutenant Symonds of the Engineers, by a series of triangulations carried from the valley of the Jordan and the Dead Sea through Palestine to the Mediterranean, determined that it was 1312.2 feet, and the Lake of Tiberias 328.98 feet below the level of that sea. These measurements, however, were not undisputed. Giving 983-22 feet as the difference between the levels of the two lakes, while the direct distance between them was not more than about sixty miles, they inferred a degree, of rapidity in the Jordan above that of any known river. Indeed, the most distinguished general, and the most celebrated Biblical, geographers of the age, (Professors Ritter of Berlin, and Robinson of New York,) concurred in thinking, that there had been some error in the calculations; For," said Dr. Robinson, "the Jordan, so far as known, has neither cataracts nor rapids, yet in its descent there is room for three cataracts, each equal in height to Niagara; and there is still left an average fall equal to the swiftest portion of the Rhine." But Lieutenant Lynch's labours have confirmed the "skill and extraordinary accuracy of Lieutenant Symond's calculations." The river has proved to be full of cataracts, no less than twenty-seven of considerable size having been passed, besides many long reaches, in which the river was little else than a continued rapid. Its course, too, was, as we shall see, exceedingly winding; so much so, indeed, that though the direct distance between the two lakes is but sixty miles, the length of the river is fully 200 miles.
dan, and in launching their boats on the Dead Sea. The first of these was Mr. Costigan, an Irish gentleman, who, in 1835, had, in spite of many difficulties, succeeded in carrying a boat from Beyrut to Tiberias, and launching it on the Sea of Galilee. After exploring this lake, he entered the Jordan, and followed it down for a considerable way, until the difficulty of proceeding among the rapids without assistance, which the Arabs refused to give him, made him relinquish this part of his project, and proceed by land to the Dead Sea. There he embarked with his servant, a Maltese sailor. They spent, Mr. Stephens tells us-who was fortunate enough to meet the sailor at Beyrut the following year-eight days on the lake, crossing and recrossing it several times, and frequently sounding as they sailed along.
But the heat and the want of water proved too much for Mr. Costigan's strength. When they arrived near Jericho on the eighth day, he was utterly exhausted, and was found by the Arabs on the shore in a dying state. He was carried to Jerusalem, where he lived two days; but he never once alluded to his "Unfortunately," disastrous voyage. remarks Mr. Stephen, "he had always been in the habit of trusting greatly to his memory, and, after his death, the missionaries in Jerusalem found no regular diary or journal, but merely brief notes, written on the margins of books, so irregular and confused that they could make nothing of them." The second who launched his boat on this sea, was Lieutenant Molyneux of H.M.S. Spartan, who, in August, 1847, transported a small boat from the Bay of Acre to Tiberias; and though attacked and robbed by the Arabs, succeeded in sailing down the Jordan to the Dead Sea, where he spent two days and two nights on its bosom, surveying its shores and sounding its depths. Had this gallant and energetic officer been spared, we should have been sooner in possession of accurate information; but the fatal fever that carried off Costigan, did not spare him. Scarcely had he rejoined his ship, when he was attacked; and by his death, after a few days' illness, the world was deprived of the results of his labours also.
It was very soon after the death of Lieutenant Molyneux, that Lieutenant Lynch of the United States' Navy, solicited and obtained permission to undertake the survey of the Jordan and the Dead Sea. Undeterred by the fate of those who had preceded him, and animated by an insatiable yearning to ex
Before proceeding, however, to give an account of Lieutenant Lynch's labours, we consider it but an act of justice to mention the names of two British travellers, who, though not spared to lay before the world the results of their toils, both anticipated him in sailing down the Jor-plore their mysteries, and to determine
the configuration and depression of that mysterious lake, he was not turned aside from his purpose by the ominous forebodings of his friends. The main objects of his mission were scientific. These, as described by himself, in a letter to Dr. Anderson, the medical officer of the expedition, were the following:
"To examine the geological structure and physical phenomena of the shores of the Dead Sea, and the terraces of the Jordan-to investigate the volcanic phenomena of the Dead Sea-to obtain mineralogical specimens, with the view of ascertaining if the surrounding regions be volcanic-to ascertain whether birds live on its shores, or fish in its depths-and, generally, to make a thorough survey of the lake, determining its extent, configuration, and depression, and sounding it through its whole extent,"-(p. 137-9.)
In the accomplishment of these scientific objects, Lieutenant Lynch has been completely successful. He is evidently a bold and energetic sailor; and it is no more than justice to attribute the success of the expedition to his indomitable perseverance and skill, as well as to the tact he displayed in all his intercourse with the Arabs he encountered. But here our commendations must cease. In many important respects, he is lamentably deficient. We do not allude merely to the gross errors by which his volume is disfigured. Some of these-though many are of a kind that would disgrace even a Sabbath School scholar-may, perhaps, be accounted for by the unfortunate haste with which, from certain circumstances, he found it necessary to get up and publish the narrative of his expedition. But this is not all. He is evidently destitute of these literary acquirements, and of that peculiar species of learning, which it is absolutely necessary that the traveller in Palestine should have. It will be a lasting subject of regret, that some properly qualified person, like Dr. Robinson of New York, the Author of the Biblical Researches, or even Mr. Smith of Beyrut, was not attached to the expedition. this been the case, we might have expected, that not merely the physical, but also the ancient geography of the valley of the Jordan, would have been determined, and that many new illustrations of the Scriptures would have been added to those we already possess. But it is not our purpose to write a criticism of Lieutenant Lynch's volume. We shall
therefore proceed, at once, to give our readers an account of the labours of the expedition,-doing so, as much as possible, in the author's own words.
tions, and having with him a selected Having made all the necessary preparaparty of ten able-bodied seamen, and three officers, Lieutenant Lynch left New addition to the articles commonly proYork on the 26th November, 1847. In vided for expeditions like that on which he was entering, he had constructed two metallic boats, one of copper, and one of galvanized iron, which it was thought would be more easily carried, and from their combining great strength with great buoyancy, would be better fitted for descending the rapids the party expected to encounter. This, in truth, proved to be the case. Indeed, a wooden boat, which abandoned on the second day of their they purchased at Tiberias, had to be voyage down the Jordan. After a proshowever, we may remark in passing, far perous voyage,-with the details of which, in the bay of Acre on the 28th March, too much space is occupied,-they arrived 1848, where they succeeded in landing their boats and stores." difficulties were encountered in transConsiderable porting them across the hills of Galilee to Tiberias; but by placing them on trucks to which camels were harnessed, these were, at last, overcome, and the sea of Galilee was reached.
its rounded and beautiful, but treeless "Like a mirror, it lay embosomed in hills. How dear to the Christian are the memories of that lake! The lake of the New Testament! nature of its element, it has borne the Blessed beyond the Son of God upon its surface. Its cliffs first echoed the glad tidings of salvation, and from its villages the first of the apostles were gathered to the ministry. Its placid water and its shelving beach; the ruined cities once crowded with men, and the everlasting hills, the handiwork of God,—all identify and attest the wonderful miracles that were here performed Had-miracles, the least of which was a crowning act of mercy of an Incarnate God towards His sinful and erring creatures.
*There is a tradition among the Arabs, that no one can venture on this sea and live. Lynch (p. 348.) tells us, that the Arabs of Kerah call it accursed of God; and entertaining the most awful fears regarding it, looked upon the Ame
slopes of the hills were full of flowers,
ricans as madmen for remaining on it so long.
tations, and I could scarce realize that I | was there. Near by was the field where, according to tradition, the disciples plucked the ears of corn upon the Sabbath. Yet nearer was the spot where the Saviour fed the famishing multitude; and to the left the Mount of Beatitudes, where He preached His wonderful compend of wisdom and love. At its foot, as if to shew how little man regards the precepts of his Maker, was fought one of the most dreadful battles recorded on the page of history. I neither put implicit faith in, nor yet in a cavilling spirit question, the localities of these traditions. Unhappy is that man who, instead of being impressed with awe, or exultant with the thought that he is permitted to look upon such scenes, withholds his homage, and stifles every grateful aspiration with querulous questionings of exact identities. Away with such hard-hearted scepticism-so nearly allied to infidelity! What matters it, whether in this field, or an adjoining one-on this mount, or an
other more or less contiguous to it, the Saviour exhorted, blessed, or fed His followers? The very stones-each a sermon-cry shame upon such a captious spirit,-a spirit too often indulged; not in the sincerity of unbelief, but to parade historical or biblical lore.
"Not a tree! not a shrub! nothing but green grain, grass, and flowers; yet acres of bright verdure. Far up on a mountain-top stands conspicuous the holy city' of Safed, the ancient Japhet. Nearer is the well into which Joseph was put by his brethren. Beyond the lake and over the mountains, rise majestic, in the clear sky, the snowy peaks of Mount Hermon."
After incredible labour and anxiety, success at last crowned their efforts, and the "Two Fannies" (the boats were named Fanny Mason, and Fanny Skinner, after two little American girls) were at last launched on the lake. And here we must, from want of space, for the present leave them.
THE IMMORTALITY OF MAN.
Behold! we stand alone in creation; earth, sea, and sky, can shew nothing so awful as we are. The rooted hills shall flee before the fiery glance of the Almighty judge; the mountains shall become dust, the ocean a vapour; the very stars of heaven shall fade and fall as the fig-tree casts her untimely fruit; yea, "heaven and earth shall pass away;" but the humblest, poorest, lowliest, among us is bound for undying life. Amid all the terrors of dissolving nature, the band of immortals shall stand before their judge. He has made you to be sharers of His own eternity; the most incomprehensible of His attributes is permitted, in its measure, to be yours. Alone in a world of weak and fading forms,-with all perishable, even to the inmost folds of the fleshly garment that invests you, with the very beauty of nature dependent on its revolutions, its order, the order of successive evanescence, its constancy, the constancy of change,-amid all this mournful scenery of death, you alone are deathless. In the lapse of millions of ages hence, for aught we can tell, it may be the purpose of God that all this outward visible universe shall gradually give place to some new creation; that other
planets shall circle other suns; that unheard-of forms of animated existence shall crowd all the chambers of the sensitive universe with forms of life unlike all that we can dream; that in slow progression the immense cycle of our present system of nature shall at length expire :-but even then no decay shall dare to touch the universe of souls. Even then there shall be memories in Heaven that shall speak of their little speck of earthly existence as a well remembered history; yea, that shall anticipate millions of such cycles as this, as not consuming even the first glorious minute of the everlasting day! For these things ye are born; unto this heritage are ye redeemed. Live, then, as citizens of the immortal empire. Let the impress of the eternal country be on your foreheads. Let the angels see that you know yourselves their fellows. Speak, think, and act, as beseems your high ancestry; for your Father is in Heaven, and the first-born of your brethren is on the Throne of God. Oh! as you read and hear of these things, strain your eyes beyond the walls of this dim prison, and catch the unearthly light of that spiritual world where the perfected just are already awaiting your arrival.-Professor W. A Butler.