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ruin may be depending on the judgment | ing way in which the great God, in the and activity which I may exercise this person of the Son, made himself visible, not day? But here is the supreme interest of by manifesting himself in the spiritual your existence. It cannot be safe, you nature of angels, but by appearing in the will confess, it cannot --if you will give it .fleshly nature of man, The Word was no serious attention. But then you are made flesh,' and we beheld his glory, now confessing that you have left it but now in visible, and the rays thereof darting peril, and that it is so at this very hour; | through and breaking forth from under the nay, in greater peril than ever before, as dark and dusky veil of his flesh.-Shirra. aggravated by the guilt of such wilful neglect, and by the diminution of the term allotted for the attainment of a happy
THE CROSS OF CHSIST. security.--Foster.
The cross of Christ is an object of such incomparable brightness, that it spreads a
glory around it to all the nations of the THE TEMPLE OF GOD.
earth, all the corners of the universe, all CONSIDER as exemplary, the temper of the generations of time, and all the ages the royal Psalmist how he sware, how he of eternity. The greatest actions or events vowed, 'I will not come into the taber that ever happened on earth, filled with nacle of my house, nor go up into my bed; their splendour and influence but a moI will not give sleep unto my eye-lids, until ment of time, and a point of space; the I have found out a place for the Lord, a splendour of this great object fills immenhabitation for the mighty God.' Yours sity and eternity. If we take a right view is a business of less inquisition less ex- of its glory, we shall see it, contemplated pense; this temple is to be within you. with attention, spreading influence, aud Lament. 0 bitterly lament. the common attracting looks from times past, present. case, that if he may look through a whole and to come; from heaven, earth, and world of intelligent creatures, and find hell; angels, saints, and devils. We shall every breast, until he opens, shut up see it to be both the object of the deepest against him; 'all agreeing to exclude their
admiration of the creatures, and the permost gracious rightful Lord, choosing fect admiration of the infinite Creator; we rather to live desolate without him. The shall see the best part of mankind, the preparation, or prepared mansion, is a Church of God, for four thousand years penitent, purged, willing heart. Fall looking forward to it before it happened ; down and adore the most admirable and new generations yet unborn rising up to condescending grace; that the high and admire and honour it in continual suclofty one, who inhabits eternity, who, hav cession, till time shall be no more; innuing made a world, and surveying the work merable multitudes of angels and saints of his hands, inquires, where shall be my looking back to it with holy transport, to house, and the place of my rest?' and the remotest ages of eternity. Other glothen resolves it himself; the humble, ries decay by length of time; if the splenbroken, contrite heart, there, there I will dour of this object change, it will be only dwell." —Howe.
by increasing. The visible sun will spend his beams in process of time, and, as it
were, grow dim with age; this object THE WORD WAS MADE FLESH.
hath a rich stock of beams which eternity God made himself in a manner visible,
cannot exhaust. If saints and angels grow by making this.visible world; his wisdom,
| in knowledge, the splendour of this object power, and goodness are everywhere
will be still increasing.---Maclaurin. printed, in legible characters, on the whole, and all the parts thereof. The light, how glorious a garment is it ! with which he is,
FAITH IN THE REDEEMER. as it were, clothed: the heaven of heavens, Let me charge you, O prisoners of hope, how majestic a throne is it! upon which to look out by faith to that speedy and he, as it were, sits: the earth, how stately swift salvation of God which is coming to a footstool is it! the thunder, how power- you. That is a broad river which faith ful a voice is it! reaching and roaring may not look over; it is a mighty and a over the spacious ocean, rattling and rum- broad sea whose farthest banks and shores bling among the thick clouds, the waters cannot be beheld by those of a lively hope. that are above the firmament, making the Look over the water; your anchor is fixed ears of those which hear the same to tingle. within the vail,' whither the forerunner, The being, the beauty, the parts, and pro- Christ, is entered for you. O, but we portion of this huge frame are a visible have short, and narrow, and creeping appearance of the invisible Being. (Rom. thoughts of Jesus, and do but shape Christ i. 19.) But there was a far more wonder- in our conceptions, according to some fully-admirable, and knowledge-surmount. I created portraiture! Lend us your help,
Oye glorified indwellers of earth and the statesman in his politics—the labourer heaven, sea and air, that we may set on in the field-the preacher in the pulpithigh the praises of our Lord; let all the legalist in his righteousness—the hypocreature beauty blush before his uncreated crite in his prayers, and in his charities- ! beauty! let all created strength stand are all under the same principle; the lanamazed before the strength of the Lord of guage of their hearts to God is, Depart Hosts ! let all created love be ashamed be- from us, we desire not the knowledge of fore the unparalleled love of Heaven! O thy ways. What is the Almighty, that angel of wisdom, hide thyself before our we should serve him ? and what profit Lord, whose understanding passeth find should we have if we pray unto him?' ing out! Sun, in thy shining beauty, veil Job xxi. 14, 15. There is something emi. thyself in darkness before the brightness nently and awfully defective in the best of thy Master and Maker! Who can works of man. God is not in all his add glory, by doing or suffering, to our thoughts,' he is a withered branch, sepa. never-enough admired and praised Lord ! | rated from the parent tree; more than Keep your love to Christ, lay up your faith this, he is a brand burning in the fire, in Heaven's keeping, and follow the Chief even on this side eternal torment; for of the house of martyrs, that witnessed a where sin is, there is hell in einbryo.good confession before Pontius Pilate: Hou'cls. let faith live, and breathe, and lay hold on the sure salvation of God, when clouds and darkness are about you. Take heed
PENAL EVIL THE NECESSARY CONSEof unbelieving hearts; beware of, 'Doth
QUENCE OF MORAL EVIL. his promise fail for evermore?' for it was How astonishing is the quantity of a man, and not God, that said it, and who | misery in the world! How many thoudreamed that a promise of God could fail? sands are rending the air with the cry of O sweet and strong word of faith, ' Though I pain and wretchedness! Strange that he slay me, yet will I trust in him! The ever there should be so much, that there eyes of faith can see through the clouds, should be any suffering, in the creation of and read God's thoughts of love and a good God! Doubtless there is a cause peace. Hold fast Christ in the dark; for it; and if Moses had not told us what surely ye shall see the salvation of God. it is, we should be for ever in the dark. Rutherford.
'O Adam, what hast thou done! O man, i
what art thou always doing! O Jesus, TIMELY WARNING.
what hast thou not done to relieve guilt and
pain; to sweeten adversity; to restore If you could be made to apprehend the happiness in some degree to the earth, and importance and value of religion, that, insure it in eternity ! -Adam. after so constant and systematic a rejection of the sovereign good, you should not here find a great gulph fixed between it and you,'--on your side of that tremen
When the privations of life have dimidous chasm, there is still religion acces
nished the objects of social happiness ; sible to you, in all its blessings of deliver
when death has dried up the fountains
which run freely from their clear and saluance, peace, and security for hereafter. You are still on the favoured ground,
tary waters; when pain and disease have where you are invited by the God of
altered the character of existence, and mercy,-a Redeemer with his atoning
changed the scene of hilarity, buoyancy, sacrifice,-a Divine Spirit with all powers
and activity, into the scene of suffering, and operations of assistance, to enter yet
inactivity, patience, and abstraction from at last into the possession of that which
the previous intercourse of life—then, to will be a glorious portion, when all you
go to the throne of grace, and to draw have been striving with the world to gain,
closer the ties, that no privation nor sufferwill vanish in dust and smoke. But be
ing, nor vicissitude, can dissolve, this is to warned again that the time is passing, and
connect'a time of need' with the best and a very short persistance in your folly may
brightest manifestations of mercy and make it too late.-Foster.
grace to the soul !-Nocl.
The soul which is the subject of grace,
however meagre its acquirements in THE CARNAL MIND IS ENMITY AGAINST
earthly knowledge, knows little less than GOD.
angels know. It is possessed of that VIEWING man irrespective of the grace knowledge which fills eternity, the knowof God, the glutton at his table—the
glutton at his table--the ledge of God, and it is conscious of his drunkard at his tavern—the thief in his dishonesty—the philosopher in his study -the merchant in his counting-house
THOMAS GRANT, PRINTXR, EDINBURGH,
THE PHILOSOPHY OF SACRED HISTORY. The TIMES OF THE MESSIAH.–No. II. The Superstition of the West. That portion of the history of the East be able to present it in such a light as which precedes the Christian era is marked may be useful in illustrating the necessity by many singular providences. The and advantages of a revelation. To leave period was like a long erening, the gloom room for any remarks that may be sugof which was often brightened by events gested in our progress, we shall divide our that, like 'God's lightning, enlightened the observations into three separate articles, world, and the earth saw and trembled;' beginning with the causes, nature, and and the silence of which was often dis- consequences of the superstition of the turbed by judgments that pealed over the Greeks. nations like thunder, awaking in every The ancient history of Greece is underland the echo, 'Be still, and know that I stood to reach back to about 1800 years am God. During the same period the before Christ, but as the authentic period history of the West was emphatically that only begins about the time when the Olymof times of ignorance which God winked pic games were instituted in the year 776 at;' a night whose deep darkness had no B.C., the history of the first thousand is vision, and whose dead slumber had no chiefly fabulous. During this long mil, dream; even the bright stars which arose lennium of romance, there was not only at the dawn, and whose light is now seen | time for the early traditions of the country in the most distant climes and times, were to multiply, but as these were recited by then unknown, and shed their lustre like wandering minstrels the simplest events the gems in the caves of ocean, or the were magnified into marvellous legends, flowers in the solitudes of the desert. It and fact and fiction became so blended may be interesting to the reader to that it is now difficult to say where fact glance at the causes and consequences of begins, or where fiction ends. Also, as that darkness, to notice the dawn of phi- these traditions were full of the chivalrous losophy as it struggles to break through deeds of their ancestors, it was natural for the clouds of superstition, and to mark its an enterprising and warlike people to veneeclipse when the world becomes covered rate the memory of their most distinwith gloom, and man, groping in doubt guished chiefs; and the transition from and sinking in depravity, longs for the veneration to worship being easy, the light of a better day. The superstition Greeks were led to believe the minstrels, and the philosophy of the West have had and to regard their heroes as gods. Thus such an influence on society, that a brief the mists of tradition, the myths of poetry, outline of their nature and tendency is in- and the mysteries of religion, combined dispensable in any sketch of its progress; to form the hero worship of Greece, and these may be forgotten in the civil history identified it with the traditions, the literaof nations, but they cannot be overlooked ture, and the customs of the country. To in the biography of man. We are aware illustrate this it may be necessary to glance that, however interesting this subject may at the writings of their early poets, the be to the student of history, it may not be chief of whom were Hesiod and Homer. attractive to the general reader, and that About the year 1000 B.C., Hesiod comas the former will easily find a better posed his 'Theogany,' or generation of the guide, unless we succeed in exciting the gods, in which he professes to give an accuriosity and in engaging the attention of count of all that were then worshipped or the latter, our efforts will be useless; there- acknowledged as divinities. But though fore, any formal attempt to review the the book begins with the first principles of poetry of Greece, or to arrange its schools the heathen system, that chaos—the rude and explain its systems of philosophy, and shapeless mass of matter, composing would be equally beyond our capacity and the yet unformed globe-was the parent design. We can only notice the effects of its of all, and that heaven and earth were the poetry, and some of the speculations of immédiate parents of all visible things; yet those men who have distingushed them- the philosopher soon sinks in the poet, selves by their efforts and discoveries, and and the Greeks, instead of being furnished left their names like mile-stones in the with a system, were only favoured with a path of knowledge, to mark its progress song. In his description of the gods he and guide and encourage others in the labours so hard to reduce the absurd to the pursuit of wisdom. Our observations natural, and to elevate the mean to the must be general, and may be superficial; noble, inventing narratives when he wishes but if we should only glean a portion of to instruct, and altering and embellishing the mera gossip of literature, we hope to tradition when he wishes to please, that No. VI.- NEW SERIÉS. .
; Vol. I.. his light only makes the darkness visible, | loom, and weaving the sad story of her life, and the path through the wilderness of and moistening with her tears this memotradition is made more wild and uncertain. rial of her early friends, manifests the eleHence his works, though quoted by the ments of a better nature than the jealous philosophers, were never popular. It was and termagant Juno on the throne of reserved for his contemporary, Homer, to heaven. Even Jupiter, the great cloud give the lyre a more certain sound, and as compeller,' himself, when stripped of the it was his genius which moulded the re- | glory with which the genius of the poet ligion and customs of his country, his has surrounded his station, and exbibited works are more worthy of our attention. as irritated by the cabals of heaven, ene |
The principal works of Homer are the raged by the officiousness or seduced by Iliad and Odyssey. The first relates the the coquetry of his wife, appears as a being siege of Troy, the second describes the re-less noble than Milton's Satan, and more turn of Ulysses from the siege. The moral vulgar than Byron's Lucifer. One and all of the former is, that division among the of them were leaders will ruin any enterprise; and that Gods partial, changeful, passionate, unjust, of the latter is, that courage and perse
Whose attributes were rage, revenge, and lust.' verance will overcome every difficulty. In the Iliad, the lay of the first minstrel Possibly Homer felt that, if he had made worthy of the name, the poet has embalmed the gods more noble, the Greeks would the traditions of his country, and preserved have appeared to less advantage; that his for the inspection of every age a specimen countrymen, flattered by the praise of their of its genius, and a memorial of its faith ancestors, would be more disposed to learn and customs; and in order to perceive the and practise the moral he wished to iminfluence of this celebrated poem. it may press on them; and that by exhibiting the be necessary to look at the materials of effects of discord on the affairs of both gods which it is composed.
and men, he would teach more effectively Paris, the son of Priam, king of Troy, the necessity of union and co-operation to being exposed in his infancy, in conse secure the common good. But whatever quence of a dream of his mother, becomes was the design of the poet, it is evident a shepherd on mount Ida, where he is that such a poem must have had a telling chosen to decide on the comparative beauty effect on the religion of the people. Fletof Juno, Minerva, and Venus. Having cher of Salton has said, 'Let me but make decided in favour of Venus, he was so the ballads of a nation, and I care little favoured by that goddess, that he persuaded who forms its creeds or makes its laws; Helen, the most beautiful woman of her and the religion and customs of the Greeks age, and the wife of Menelaus king of were but a result and proof of the power Sparta, to elope with him to Troy. The of popular poetry. Greek princes, resenting this injury done the popularity and influence of the Iliad to one of their number, combine to avenge is evident from the following facts in its it, and laid siege to the city, and the ad-history. It was first recited to the people, ventures arising out of this siege form the in detached fragments, by wandering minprincipal incidents in the poem. To fatter strels. It was also read at the public games the Greeks, all their heroes are represented and festivals, and commented on by a class as being descended from the gods; and to of men called Rhapsodists. Some of these explain their extraordinary prowess, each kept schools, and were honoured with the hero is described as being patronized and name of sophists, or teachers of wisdom; assisted by the divinity to whom he is re and so general was its use in these semilated. Thus, during the siege, gods and naries, that Plutarch says that Alcibiades, men mingle in the struggle, so alike in when very young, having entered a school their virtues and vices, that it is difficult in which there was not an Homer, gave the to distinguish the divine from the human, master a box on the ear, as one who was an The poet may have gifted the one class ignorant fellow, and a disgrace to bis prowith a supernatural power, which he has fession. Whether the whole poem was or not given to the other; yet the distinction was not the work of Homer, is a point disis only like that between the magician and puted by the learned, and a question which the giant, for earthly passions and feelings we are neither competent nor called on to are common to both, and discord and divi- decide. It is, however, generally undersion are as frequent in the councils of stood that the first entire copy was brought Jupiter as in the camp of Agamemnon, from Lona to Greece by Lycurgus, in the If required to give a preference. we would lvear 886 B.C.. who then formed the constiprefer the characters of the human pertation at Sparta after the model of virtue formers in the drama, to those of the divine. which the poem exhibits. Another edition Andromache, the tender mother and faith was prepared in the year 546 B.c, by the ful wife, is a purer being than any goddess order of Pisistratus, for the benefit of the in the poem; and Helen sitting at the Athenians; and his son Hipparchus se
lected some portions to be sung at the feast philosophic bard; but their patience was of Minerva, the tutelar goddess of the city. ultimately exhausted, and the earnest old In the year 350 B.C., Alexander the Great man was banished, and left to mourn out appointed learned men to correct and re- his declining years in unavailing lamentavise a new edition; and so highly did he tions over his own inability to discover esteem this work, that he kept a copy in truth or to eheck error. his pillow for his daily perusal, and made! Aristophanes, the comic poet, was another its heroes the models of his own mad career. distinguished reformer, who attacked the The last edition was finished about 60 year's scepticism of his day, with the same zeal
after this, by the order of Ptolemy, for the as Xenophanes had denounced the super| library of Alexandria. Thus the Iliad was stition of a former age, though with a dif
the Bible of Greece, the hymn book of its ferent spirit and result. In his hands the temples, and the class book of its schools; drama assumed the place of the modern the youth of the country were early bap press, and he became the Thunderer tized into its spirit, and taught to look on of the Times. No person was too great war as the chief duty of man. And so to be attacked, no vice was too gross to be powerful was its influence on the minds of exposed, and nothing was.so sacred as to be the people, that the timid philosophy of the spared ; and as Homer, to give force to his times was afraid to oppose and unable to moral, had introduced the gods to the battle resist it.
field, he, to give point to his ridicule, The first man who distinguished himself brought them on the stage. In one of his for his opposition to this evil was Xeno-comedies the priest of Jupiter determines phanes, who lived about the year 539 B.C., to quit his service, because the sacrifices and was the founder of the Elatic school of were so few; and Mercury is represented philosophy. He had taken advantage of as coming, in a starving condition, to seek the light that had broken in on his times, his fortune on the earth, and offers to serve and believing that there was only one God as a porter or door keeper, rather than rewho was supreme in power, in goodness, turn to heaven. In another, the gods are and in wisdom, he looked with indignation represented as being in want, from the on the manner in which the divinity was birds having built a city in the air, where degraded in the common religion of the their provisions were cut of, and the smoke country. He ridiculed the belief in human l of the incense and sacrifices prevented gods, declaring, as there was but one God, I from ascending. In their extremity they who was the greatest of gods and of mor: depute three ambassadors to treat with the tals, neither resembling mankind in body birds. The chamber where the three gods nor ideas, it was foolish in them to think are received, is a kitchen well stored with that the gods were like themselves in either game, where Hercules is so deeply smitten dress. voice, or figure.' To illustrate this with the smell of roast meat, that he begs folly, he tells them that the Ethiopians | leave to remain and assist the cook. In painted their gods with flat noses and his other comedies, the poet was still more black skins, while with us they are made severe on the sceptism of the times, and with blue eyes and ruddy complexions;' | equally irreverent to the gods, but the wit and to give point to his ridicule, he supposes of his satire was at all times acceptable to 'that if the lions and oxen had hands and an Athenian audience. He lived in a profingers like ours, then would they also Aigate and speculative age, when all relifashion gods like themselves. He had no gion, morality, and philosophy were distolerance for the poetic legends so popular owned, and he strove to arrest the spirit in his day; for though as a poet he was of innovation, and to preserve the traditions fully alive to the beauty of the Homeric and customs of the early times. But so fables, yet as a philosopher he felt more indiscriminating was this stànch conserkeenly their religious falsehood, and pub- vative, that he confounded the earnest licly taught that such things were related Socrates with the mercenary sophists of the by Homer and Hesiod of the gods as would day, and became his bitter reviler and be a disgrace to any of mankind-promises persecutor; and though anxious to restore broken, and thefts, and deceiving one an the respect for the mythology and notions other.' Thus for more than three quarters of his fathers, yet as his own mind never of a century did the minstrel of truth wan rose above the irreverent level of Pagan der through many lands, to expose the Greece, he took such liberties with the god's legends of the minstrel of fiction; and where of his country as must have lowered them ever the poet was known or the gods of his still further in the estimation of that seep poem were worshipped, there also did he | tical age. utter his wide and loud protest against the | If the amusements of the theatre were falsehood of both, and this not out of envy unfavourable to the cultivation of a relil at the great poet, but solely from reverence gious feeling, the solemnities of the temple to God and truth. The license which the were still more so. These religious festi Greeks gave their poets- long sheltered the vals were but a commemoration of the