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said he, " is a ragal alem" (a very clever man).” “Very likely," said I; "but he surely might leave me to my own belief, as I leave him to his." * Staffer Allah!" (God forbid !) said he : “ do not compare them." "I do not,'* said I, “ God knows, but you, Kasbella, should protect me from such repeated annoyances." "No," replied Barca: " in this I cannot interfere. Malem is a holy mari. Please God you will be enlightened, and I koow the sheikh wishes it; he likes you, and would you stay amongst us he would give you fifty slaves of great beauty, build you a house like his son's, and give you wives from the families of any of his subjects you choose.” “Were you to return to England with me, Kashella, as you sometimes talk about, with the sheikh's permission, would it not be disgraceful for you to turn Christian and remain ? Were I to do as you would have me, how should I answer to my sultan who sent me?" * God forbid !" said he. “ You are comparing our faiths again. I propose to you eternal paradise, while you would bring me to “ Not a word more," said I. “Good night. Peace be with you." "I hope we shall always be friends," said he. “ Please God," returned I. Amen," said the Kashella.
Penitent Malefactor's Address to our Lord.
Dalston, September 8, 1826. Among the many interesting traits of character which the Scriptures exhibit, few, I think, exceed the account of the penitent malefactor, recorded in Luke xxiii. 40–43. ;
According to the expectations of the Jews, the Messiah was to have been a great personage, who would restore the Israelitish nation to its former glory, and, after rescuing them from the oppression of their conquerors, become their sovereigo.
Such were not the pretensions of the man who presented himself as the claimant of this high distinction : born in humble life, the associate of fishermen and the lower orders of society, the preacher of a doctrine which possessed no attractions for the worldly-disposed and self-opinionated, but levelled the pre-eminence of which they boasted, and raised those to an equality whom they despised.
The few who became the disciples of Jesus, I imagine, were attracted by the hope of gain; they flattered themselves, no doubt, with the idea that Christ would establish
a temporal kingdom, and raise them to the highest offices in it; for we find (Mark ix. 34) " they disputed among themselves who should be the greatest;" Luke xx. 21, “the mother of Zebedee's children" desired places for her sons; and all indeed, from a misconstruction of his language, entertained false conceptions of his character.
With impressions like these, can we conceive of the disappointment and dismay which pervaded the minds of the disciples when on the cross hung he whom in anticipation they had long beheld as the “ Prince of the kings of the earth"? Was not their faith then shaken, and did not their hearts inwardly respond to the exclamatiou of the mocking populace which surrounded them, “ If he be the Christ, let him come down from the cross, and we will believe in him;": “ He saved others, let him save himself" ?
Yet under all these circumstances, the partner of his fate believed ; and, rebuking the other malefactor for his unreasonable request, he contrasted their guilt and the justice of their punishment with the innocence of Jesus ; and, separating external appearances from reality, he addressed the dying man, in language apparently unsuitable to his situation, “ Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom."
Perhaps be might have heard some of our Lord's discoura ses, or he might even have witnessed some of the miracles he wrought, but he was certainly destitute of those private admonitions and instructions, the transfiguration, the ministration of aogels, the voice from heaven, he had never observed: these and many other advantages the apostles possessed, but they left to the penitent malefactor the sole honour of furnishing to the world an example of a faith uninfluenced by conditions, and a true, philosophic resignation to the will of God,
Curious Superstition in Edward the Third Reign. ABOUT the year 1350, in the reign of Edward III., the dreadful pestilence which had broken out in the North of Asia, and with a destroying course made its way through Europe, approached England. This plague was called The Black Death; and it truly deserved the name in England, where it has been said that nine out of ten persons were swept away by the awful calamity. This is probably
an exaggeration, though it is chronicled that there fell at Yarmouth above 7000 persons, and in Norwich more than 50,000. It is complained that the plague stripped the church of the priests. Law-suits and sessions of Parliament were suspended. The poor Jews were charged with the visitation, though it is difficult to conceive how they drew it down upon the country:
Lingard, the Roman Catholic writer of the History of England, thus describes the effects of the plague upon some men's minds:
* The piety of the age attributed this destructive visitation to the anger of the Almighty; but in speculating on the causes which provoked that anger, every writer seems to have been swayed by personal prejudices or local considerations. All, however, embraced the opportunity to inveigh against the prevailing extravagance of dress, the silk hoods and party-coloured coats of the men, their deep sleeves and narrow confined waists, the indecent shortness of their hose, and the ridiculous length of their pointed shoes, the bushy beard before and the tail of hair behind. Some bad even the temerity to extend their censure to the females, whom they affected to describe as having renounced the native modesty of their sex, to ape
the manners and adopt in a great measure the dress of the men. No lady of distinction, if we may believe them, could now ride on a palfrey; she must be mounted on a spirited charger. Her head was encircled with a turban, or covered with a species of mitre of enormous height, from the summit of which ribbons floated in the air like the streamers from the head of a mast. Her tünie was half of one colour and half of another : a zone deeply embroidered and richly ornamented with gold, confined her waist, and from it were suspended in front two daggers in their respective pouches. Thus attired she rode in the company of her knight to justs and tournaments, partook of the different diversions of the men, and by her levity and indiscretion afforded food to the lovers and retailers of scandal. Whatever the reader
may think of these censures, he must be entertained with the descriptions.
“ But there is one discovery I must not omit, that of the fanatics denominated Flagellants or Whippers. It was their peculiar felicity not only to know that the mortality was sent in punishment of sin, but to be in possession of the only means by which the remission of sin could be
effected. Divided into companies of male and female devotees, under a leader and two masters, they stripped themselves naked to the waist and publicly scourged themselves or each other, till their shoulders were covered with blood. This expiatory ceremony was repeated every morning and afternoon for thirty-three days, equal in number to the years which Christ is thought to have lived upon earth; after which they returned to their former employments, cleansed from sin by the baptism of blood.' The Flagellants appeared first in Hungary, but missionary societies were soon formed, and they hastened to impart the knowledge of this new gospel to foreign nations. They spread with rapidity over Poland, Germany and the Low Countries. From France they were excluded at the request of the Pope, who had issued a severe constitution against them; * but a colony reached England and landed in London to the amount of one hundred and twenty men and women.
Each day at the appointed hour they assembled, ranged themselves in two lines, and moved slowly through the streets, scourging their naked shoulders and chanting a sacred hymn. At a known signal, all, with
the exception of the last, threw themselves flat on the ground. "He, as lie passed by his companions, gave each
a lash, and then also lay down. The others followed in' succession, till every individual in his turn had received a stroke from the whole brotherhood. The citizens gazed and marvelled, pitied and commended; but they ventured no farther. Their faith was too weak, or their feelings were too acute; and they allowed the strangers to monopolize to themselves this novel and extraordinary grace. The missionaries' made not a single proselyte, and were compelled to return home with the barren satisfaction of having done their duty in the face of an unbelieving generation.”-History of England, 4to ed., III. 68—70.
* “ L'Evesque has given us too stanzas of one of their hymns, p. 531. They run in the following strain:
Through love of man the Saviour came,
Through love of man he died :
Was scourged and crucified.
And lash the sinner, lash again."
To Mr. Worsley, on his Communication on
(See Christian Reformer, p. 296.) DEAR SIR,
Rolvenden, Sept. 10, 1826. Your remarks on Lay Preaching are to me a high gratia: fication. It is a subject which has occupied much of my thoughts, and I am persuaded that if the plan could be generally adopted, it would be attended with much good.
I am pleased and thankful that we have many ministers who are men of learning, and that we have a prospect of having a succession of this most valuable class of preachers; but if, in addition to the regular and stated labours of these, we had in our several congregations a number of pious and intelligent persons capable of acting in the capacity of local auxiliary preachers, it would be useful. In how many villages around our stated places of worsbip might they supply, especially on Sunday evenings, and preach the plain truths of pure Christianity; and how many small congregations are there in different parts of the country who are unable to support an educated minister, which local preachers might supply! And is it not lamentable that any of these places should be shut up and the cause lost?
The general state of education is now much improved, and the means of general information may be obtained in our own language. The plan, therefore, of local auxiliary, preaching appears practicable.
The qualifications necessary for this good work are what
every Christian should strive to attain; and whatever qualifications any Christian possesses, it is his duty to use them for the good of others. Every privilege has its cor-, responding duty, and every duty its privilege.
The first qualification is personal piety, and without this every other acquirement is “as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.” « Unto the wicked God saith, What hast thou to do to declare my statutes, or that thou should. est take my covenant in thy mouth, seeing thoù hatest instruction and castest my words behind thee?” And surely every reflecting Christian must acknowledge that this qualification is needful for every one to attain.
A second qualification for this great and good work is a general knowledge of the Holy Scriptures : the more they can be committed to memory the better; added to this, a