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last mite in purchasing a chaplet of flowers, or a waxen heart, for her brow or bosom.
Protestants often smile at what they term Roman Catholic credulity—yet it is a blessed thing to possess such ardor and faith, as we daily observed among the lowest ranks, producing content and cheerfulness, although common sense and industry were the consequent sacrifice. But that such was not always the result, the following incident will
prove. I learnt it from Mrs. , and detail it as
nearly as I can in her own words:
"While travelling through Tuscany, we were attracted one day by the interesting appearance of a young peasant, who diligently whirled her spindle as she presided over a flock of goats. Her garments were coarse and much worn, but clean, and the countenance of the blooming girl so intelligent and prepossessing, that we were induced to bestow on her a trifle and enquire about her parentage and situation. 'They call me Teresa,' she replied,' and the Madonna takes care of me, for I have neither father nor mother. They died while
I was an infant, and I do not even know what were their names. A poor woman had charge of me, but she treated me cruelly, and as soon as I was old enough to work, I ran away from her. In my distress, I prayed fervently to the Madonna: she heard me and moved the heart of a lady, to have pity on my forlorn condition and give me a home and employment. I still live with her, for she is a good mistress—gives me plenty of bread and grapes to eat, and never beats me. At night I sleep in her barn, and in the day I tend her goats and spin flax.'
"After hearing this recital, we offered her more money—she was in raptures—kissed our hands as we cast it into her apron, and exclaimed, 'never did 1 expect to be so rich! Now, I can buy a crown for the Madonna, and go to mass and pray for blessings on my generous benefactresses.' Happy Teresa! the Madonna did not forsake her. Years afterwards, we met her in the same neighborhood, neatly dressed and the picture of contentment and health."
We are brothers! King and peasant,
Formed by the same hand divine, Through the past, as in the present,
Boast the same exalted line.
Trace their blood to every heart,
Coursing 'neath a kingly breast,
Cannot elevate and bless.
Not the merit of our sires,
Which the thirsting soul desires;
Deeds approving angels own, For truth, the world's derision bearing,
We must win the crown and throne. And, of earth's one-band of brothers,
He's the noblest, kingliest soul. Who within his bosom smothers
Lusts, that baser hearts control,— From the purest motives, living
In a light from heaven revealed, Unto Love a tribute giving,—
Wounded bosoms soothed and healed. Upon this broad field of labor,
Rank and wealth no pref'rence claim. Side by side, the king and beggar
Struggle for the peerless name: Not a name, or title given
By a sov'reign to his slave; But a claim, writ out in heaven,
To estates beyond the grave. Thus, a brother here neglected,
Spurned in anguish, mock'd in pain,— Shunned, as one with plague infected,
In the better world shall reign.
Many a titled Croesus here,
There a suppliant shall appear. Then, my brother, wherefore grieving,
Languish ye through life's short span! Courage! thou'rt thyself deceiving,
Thou art peer to any man! Outward circumstance here giveth
Rank nor honor, worth nor fame; 'Neath the rag-clad bosom liveth,
Heaven-baptized, a deathless name. When the book, for judgment sealed,
Before the world shall op'n lay, Glory to that name revealed—
"Blessed," shall the Saviour say. As, amid the sons of morning,
Its bright seat it takes in heaven,
For each bitter hour of mourning,
Full reprisal shall be given. Then let us encounter trial—
Brief's the driven blast of life— With a God-like, self-denial,
Faithful to the close of strife. Soon, heaven's golden gates unclosing,
Words of welcome shall be said, By Him who here knew no reposing,—
Had not where to lay his head. We are brothers, onward tending
To a better, brighter land—
Say not, heart, that with thy beating,
The superior life expires;
Is but a volcanic light,
Of a dark, eternal night.
With a hope that never dies;
Nearer to its native skies.
Thought to purer worlds than this— Burn those embers, spirit-lighted, In the depths of every breast; Cheering oft the soul benighted,
Whisp'ring of the coming rest.
Through a wild chaotic night—
Naught, save primal death and gloom; Where research the skeptic endeth, 'Mid the shadows of the tomb ;— Crushing all that's lofty, burning
In man's God-created soul, Into Stygian satyrs turning
Hopes that claim a brighter goal. Oh! dreariness pervades the present!
Still despair the coming hour,—
W'ither like the early flower;—
Cheers the faithless, or the just.
But heaven draws the veiling curtain,
As our sensual idols die: And those earthly loves discarded,—
An unseemly motley train,— Leave the garnished bosom guarded
By a host from heaven's plain. Brothers, from bright worlds above us,
Where unspoken glories dwell, Tell us how a God doth love us,
Whisper courage, fear dispel,— Kindling aspirations glorious,—
Spirit-attestations given, That the soul shall mount victorious,
When its prison bars are riven— To a clime with beauty vernal,
(Clothed in never fading white,) Where, ever blessed and eternal,
Flows the river of delight. Bravely, then, thine hours number,
Few and fleeting they appear, Bid each doubt degrading slumber,
Hero like resolve each fear ;— Struggle for the prize before thee,
Manfully life's ills defy! Good spirits, ever bending o'er thee,
Point thy pathway to the sky. Hopes immortal, hopes befriending,
Comforters of love divine, With our all of heaven blending,
With our all of earth entwine. Baltimore, Md.
Harpers' Illuminated And Pictorial Bible. The Publishers inform us. that this splendid Edition of the Bible will be embellished with Sixteen Hundred Historical Engravings, exclusive of an initial letter to each chapter, by J. A. Adams, more than fourteen hundred of which are from original designs, by J. G. Chapman. It »ill be printed from the standard copy of the American Bible Society, and contain Marginal References, the Apocrypha, a Concordance, Chronological Table, List of Proper Names, General Index, Table of Weights, Measures, &c. The large Frontispieces, Titles to the Old and New Testaments, Family Record, Presentation Plate, Historical Illustrations, and Initial Letters to the Chapters, Ornamental Borders, &c, will be from original designs, made expressly for this Edition, by J. G. Chapman, Esq., of New York. In addition to which, there will be numerous large Engravings, from designs by distinguished modern artists, in France and England ; to which a full Index will be given in the last number.
As the following article treats of the contents and beauties of the Bible, it appeared proper to preface it with an account of the peculiar attractions of the Edition before us. Already have thirty-seven numbers appeared, verifying the promises of the publishers. They have faults which we might point out and condemn. But the difficulties in the way of such an undertaking are many and great j and though they may not in alt caaes have been surmounted, to the satisfaction of the critic, yet have they been sufficiently so, to entitle its authors to high commendation. When completed, this Edition will constitute a rich Family Treasure, that may be handed down from sire to ton, kindling alike bis filial reverence and his piety. Il deems peculiarly adapted to such a holy purpose; for whilst il is not too costly for large numbers to possess it, its value will ensure its preservation. Its internal excellence and beauty can not be enhanced; but its rich embellishments, without detracting from these, make it an ornament and a delight.—Ed. Mess.
The intellectual powers of man can never fully develop themselves, without a proper and accurate knowledge of the existence and attributes of Deity. For this we are indebted to revelation alone, inasmuch, as in the nature of things, it is impossible, by " searching to find out God." The man who has been aided by the light and influence of the Bible, is necessarily a man of more mind, of more systematic thought and better judgment, than the one who has never had such assistance. If this remark be correct, which we presume will not be questioned, none can fail to discover the important position the Bible ought to assume in all our studies. It demands our special attention.
1. Because, it is by far the most ancient Book. In the Holy Scriptures, we are furnished with a correct knowledge of events, far more remote than in any other history in the world. The first instance of a revelation committed to writing, is that of the decalogue, or ten commandments, which were written on tables of stone by the finger of God (see, Exodus, xxxi c. 18 v.) The Lord gave to mankind, in every successive age, such portions of the sacred canon as their capacities and circumstances called for. The Jewish histories are by far the most ancient of any that have been handed down to us, and will be found the most rational and probable. They record a series of transactions and events the most curious and interesting; and give us the only reasonable account of the creation of the world, and the beginning of things; the dispersion of mankind, and the origin of ancient nations. There, we have an authentic chain of history, beginning with the birth of time, and stretching onward through a period of nineteen hundred years. There are no writings of any other nation, which will bear comparison in respect of antiquity with those of the Jews. In proof of this remark, it may be observed, that Moses lived more than a thousand years before the age of Herodotus, who is universally acknowledged to be the father of Grecian history. As further proof of the priority of the literature of the Jews to that of the Greeks, it appears, that many of the Greek writers themselves confess, that they received the letters of their alphabet from the Phoenicians; and we have very sufficient grounds to believe, that the Phoenicians obtained the art of writing from the Jews. Porphyry, who was an avowed enemy both to Jews and Christians, and strongly attached to the literature of Greece, frankly confessed, that Moses and the Prophets, who immediately succeeded him, flourished nearly a thousand years before any of the Grecian philosophers. The books,
then, which compose the Jewish canon, have the concurrence of all antiquity in their favor.
2. The Bible is a book of facts, the most important that ever happened, and in which, all mankind are deeply and eternally interested. "There, stand recorded the creation of the world and its inhabitants; the fall of our first parents from their state of innocence and happiness, and their subsequent banishment from the garden of Eden; the repeated and signal promises of a future restorer of the lost blessings of mankind; the history of the patriarchs, seers and prophets of Israel, honored by the special revelations of Jehovah; the description of the general deluge, and the wonderful preservation of righteous Noah and his family; the dispersion of the progenitors of the human race over all the earth; the adoption of a particular family to perpetuate the remembrance, and establish the worship of the true God; and their final and prosperous settlement in the land of Egypt." Here, we are favored with History, authentic, minute, and comprehensive. Natural Science shines "like apples of gold set in pictoresof silver." Here, is Geography enlivened and beautified with scenes of breathless wonder; here, is Biography with every light and shadow, delineating human character in all its changeful phases; here, too, is Poetry of every description—sweet, tender, majestic, awful, and sublime: here, is Prophecy, like the benignant spirit of another world, holding the brilliant star of hope, to light up the deep darkness of the unexplored future; here, too, maj be found true delineations of other worlds—of happiness or woe; here, are grand revelations of the divine character: and here, too, are the grand principles of his government, reaching through every age of time, and stretching onward, and still onward, through the countless ages of Eternity.
These are some of the facts found on record in the Sacred Scriptures—that blessed Book which teaches us the way to the kngdom of grace and glory.
11 This Book, this holy Book, on every line
is received by the reformed religious world, not only as a book of facts, important and interesting! but, as " the only rule, and the sufficient rule, both of faith and practice." It is just and proper that it should be so, for, " the law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandments of the Lord are pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous, altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, jea, than much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and the honey-comb.'
3. The Bible is a book of literature, the most remarkable the world ever saw, if we consider it merely as a human composition. Its histories and hingraphies are remarkable for their conciseness, perspicuity and interest; its narratives and descriptions are true to nature, full of life and animation; its poetry is subHme and beautiful beyond a parallel; its eloquence is powerful and persuasive; its style is infinitely varied and inimitable; its pathos is most affecting; and its devotional strains gently waft the mind above the trifles and vanities of this world to the contemplation of God, and eternity. We discover in all the books of the sacred history an impartiality of narrative, which may be strictly regarded as an undoubted characteristic of truth. If we peruse the lives of Plutarch, or other writers of profane history, we shall very soon be led to see, that these authors wrote with many prejudices in regard to their peculiar country. Efforts are stodiously made to cast a veil over the faults and imperfections of their heroes, whilst their virtues are set forth in the strongest light, and painted in the most brilliant colors. On the contrary, in the Sacred Scriptures, both of the Old and New Testament, the strictest impartiality is every where to be seen. The gross wickedness and apostacy of David, Solomon, and their successors, are neither obscured nor palliated in the least degree. There is no effort on the part of the writer to make a display—no parade of panegyric ;—virtue is presented in her most attractive dress, and captivates by the simplicity of native beauty; and sin finds no mask to disgoise her hideous deformity. The sketches of individual character, and the effects of human passion, are given without the least reserve or concealment. The low and degraded condition of the Jewish people, when they were denied the use of the implements of warfare by the victorious Philistines; their sad relapses into wickedness and idol worship; their perverse and rebellious disposition; their various defeats and captivities, with every circumstance of private as well as public disgrace, ate faithfully recorded for our instruction. These writers have no disposition to violate the purity, or degrade the majesty of truth; bat they seem always to have had one object in view, and that was to show the different expedients, by which the providence of God had carried and would carry into effect his gracious purposes; and how good was often made to come out of evil, to the astonuhment and admiration of the world.
The mind of man is always in search of something new. The books that were read and studied in youth, do not afford sufficient satisfaction in mature age. And even the most elaborate work of general science will lose its interest, at least comparatively, when it becomes familiar. It is not so with the Bible; it is ever new, and may always be read with interest and profit. The subjects never become so familiar as to produce a disrelish for
[ them, in the mind, nor can its sublime and holy doctrines lose their interest, or slacken their claims upon the faith and practice of men, as long as the world stands.
The Scripture history is every where marked with the purest simplicity of ideas, and is occasionally raised to a tone of high elevation. In the works of Moses there is found a majesty of thought, which is most strikingly expressed in the plainest and most energetic language. In the writings of the prophets, the greatest splendor and sublimity of composition are every where conspicuous. They are enriched with such glowing images, and elevated by such grandeur of diction, as at once to captivate the classic reader; and will compare well with the most admired productions of Greece and Rome. "The sweet Psalmist of Israel" is eloquent, dignified and pathetic. His harp is always happily strung, and sends forth the sweetest strains of music, that ever fell upon mortal ear. Isaiah unites in his style all the beauties of composition. There is a majesty in his ideas; a propriety, beauty and fertility of imagery, and an elegance of language, which are unsurpassed, employed as they are upon the noblest subjects that could possibly engage our attention. The chief excellence of Jeremiah consists in those expressions of tenderness, which excite, with the most pleasing enthusiasm, the feelings of compassion in the human bosom. These peculiar beauties of composition are used, in order to recommend to mankind the most interesting details of events, and the most faithful delineations of human character.
4. The Bible is a book of philosophy. It is not a book of mere definitions and theories, but of practical and experimental philosophy. This fact will not be questioned by any one, who is capable of appreciating the sacred volume. The Bible knows what is in man, enters into his inmost soul— probes the heart thoroughly, and searches him out. In this precious volume, we find a code of laws, every way adapted to the wants and woes of the world: a system of philosophy of the purest and most elevated kind, and which suits well the abject condition of degenerate man. These laws show forth the character of God in a way most reasonable, and describe the state of the whole human family, in strict harmony with our experience of its truth. Religion is spoken of in a manner that will satisfy the most inquisitive mind, upon the most anxious and intricate questions;—the doctrine of future rewards and punishments; the forgiveness of sin by a Mediator; the means of grace, in the exercise of which, our fallen nature may be restored and created anew. These are subjects, with regard to which natural religion can never furnish us with satisfactory information. Philosophers may describe the beauties of godliness, and tell us what is the duty of man; but how to make man inwardly good, and outwardly virtuous;—how to bring him to love the truth which condemns his natural propensities, and to practice the duties which his nature dislikes, is a problem they pretend not to solve.
Natural religion never was able to teach mankind, beyond the possibility of a doubt, that there was a state of future rewards and punishments,— it never led us to expect the expiation of sin by a Divine Redeemer; it knows not that there are spiritual influences with God, by which our fallen and sinful nature may be restored to rectitude and holiness. If the upward burnings of immortality stir within, and I ask, what lies beyond the grave, is there any response from reason's oracle t
If a man feel himself to be a sinner before his Maker, and dreads the infliction of some severe punishment, he knows not what, who can tell how sin may be pardoned, the sinner reconciled to God, and the threatened vengeance appeased, but he who has learned it from the Book of God! Is there a mysterious power of evil abroad in the world, what shield shall cover me in temptation's hour,—what armor defend me from the fiery shafts, but the immutable truth of God' These are some of the things which are brought clearly to light in the Sacred Scriptures; and if they teach us our duty to God, our fellow-men, and ourselves, should they not " be taken as the man of our counsel, and our guide in all things." The following confession of a noted infidel, has been often referred to, and may be repeated here :—" I will confess," said Rousseau, "that the majesty of the Scriptures strikes me with admiration, as the purity of the Gospel hath its influence on my heart. Peruse the works of our philosophers, with all their pomp of diction; how mean, how contemptible are they, compared with the Scriptures! Is it possible, that a book, at once so simple and sublime, should be merely the work of man?" The celebrated Erasmus, and the judicious Locke, after having ranged the circle of the sciences, and passed through the whole extent of human literature, finally betook themselves solely to the study of the Bible, in order that their minds might be thoroughly imbued with its spirit, and replenished with its incomparable truths. Sir Walter Scott said, in his dying hours—" give me a book ;" and when asked what book;—" can you hesitate," said he, " to give me the Bible!"
"And what," says the Rev. Mr. Henry, "can the fables of Grecian song, or the finest pages of Roman eloquence—what can they exhibit in any degree comparable to the matchless prerogatives of revelation! Though I should not dislike to visit my heathen masters, I would live with the prophets and apostles."
5. The Bible is a book of the Spirit. The books which compose the sacred canon were indicted, and the authors were moved and controlled
by the Holy Ghost. "It is the spirit that qnickenelh; the flesh profile) h nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life." (John, vi. c., 63 v.) The Sacred Scriptures are not only to be received as perfectly authentic and credible, but also, as containing the revealed will of God, or in other words, a^iivinely inspired writings. "By inspiration, we mean simply, such a full and direct communication from the Holy Spirit to the minds of the sacred writers, of those particular facts, which could not otherwise have been known; and such an effectual superintendence and guidance, as to those subjects concerning which they might otherwise obtain information, as was amply sufficient to enable them to communicate religious knowledge to others, without any error or mistake, that might, in the least possible way, affect any of the doctrines or precepts contained in their writings, or mislead any person, who considered them as a divine and infallible standard of truth and duty. According to this view, every sentence must be considered as'the sure testimony of God,' in that sense in which it is proposed as truth." Facts occurred, and words were spoken as to the import of them, and the instruction contained in them, exactly as they are here recorded; but the morality of words and actions, recorded merely as done and spoken, must be judged of by the doctrinal and preceptive parts of the same book. The sacred writers, indeed, wrote in such language, as their different talents, tempers, educations, habits and associations rendered natural and easy to them; but the Holy Spirit so entirely superintended them when writing, as to exclude every error, and every unsuitable expression, and to guide them to all those views which best suited their several subjects: they are indeed the voice, but the Divine Spirit is the speaker.
All the sacred writers claim for themselves divine inspiration, and assert, without fear or shame, that the Scriptures are the infallible word of God. All the prophets, under the Old Testament dispensation, speak in the most decided terms of themselves and their predecessors, as declaring not their own words, but the word of God.—(Sec i Samuel, xxii c., 1,2 v. Nehemiah, ix. c, 30 v. Psalms, xix c, 7-11 verses. Isaiah, viii c 20 v. Jeremiah, xx c, 7-9 v. Ezekiel, i c, 1-3 v. Daniel, ix c, 12-13 v., &c, &c.) They propose things not as matters for consideration, but for adoption and practice: we are not left to the alternative of receiving or rejecting; they do not present us with their own thoughts, but exclaim," Thus saith the Lord," and on that ground, claim our assent. The apostles and New Testament writers, also speak with regard to the prophets of the Old Testament, as " holy men of God ; who wrote as they were moved by the Holy Ghost."—(Romans iii c, 2 v.,) And it is also declared, that