Page images
PDF
EPUB

Egypt, in order to pursue the multitudes of the children of Israel, and compel their return to bondage ?

But there is altogether another mode of looking at these Bible difficulties which long ago occurred to a Christian bishop of intellect more lofty, and of vision more extensive, than Bishop Colenso. The features on which he founds his frivolous scepticism are not only such as might have been expected in a book 3300 years old; but they are characteristics which testify to its authenticity, and which go strongly to prove its Divine authorship.

In truth, the Bible would be less worthy of credence, if there were no problems unsolved, no portions apparently not really) contradictory, no incomprehensible statements, and no passages not to be readily understood. If it had been thus clear and easy, like a newspaper of yesterday, it would have been more like a book forged by man, and far less in accordance with Infinite intelligence.

Is the Book of Nature void of difficulties, free from mystery, without any apparent contradictions, in every part intelligible ? Here, at every step, we meet with facts which we must admit but cannot explain. Here are mysteries which we cannot unravel ; and the further we proceed into the enquiry for causes, or attempt to make out all the links of the chain which unites all the beautiful sequences we discover, the thicker the darkness grows around us, and the more forcible that naked and rigidly exact truth uttered by Solomon, ( Eccles. iii. 11.) “No man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end."

The analogy between the constitution and course of nature, in its difficulties, mysteries, and unfathomed profundities, with those of revealed religion; long since furnished Bishop Butler with a basis for the most unassailable argument for its Divine origin.

There is much concealed, as yet, from the knowledge of man, both in religion and in nature, which is essential, in order to the full revealing of either the works or the words of the Deity. What then? Did not the wisest of men, under Divine inspiration, tell us—" It is the glory of God to conceal a thing." (Prov. xxv. 2.)

The very difficulties which stagger feeble minds are those points upon which the minds of larger grasp, and greater vigour, will plant their most unanswerable arguments for the conclusion, that the great Author and Builder of this universe is also the Author of that system of religion which is revealed in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament.

THE MODEL PREACHER. By Rev. Wm. Taylor. pp. 403. London: H. J.

Tresidder.

We are unable to divine for what class the author is writing. Does he wish to interest the laity? If so, why does he give them advice that can never be of any use ? Or is his aim to instruct his ministerial brethren? If it is, why all that bombast and foolish jesting which abounds in the book ? Study is a minister's work, and he does not require to be coaxed into reading by stories and tales, most of which he has heard a hundred times before. If the author has anything useful to say, we should be the last to wish him to refrain from giving the world the benefit of his experience, but let him tell it in a plain straightforward manner, remembering that "a round unvarnished tale" excites most. The extracts from sermons are good. Bunyan's “ Fig-tree” is an excellent specimen of his style; and Latimer's " Plough” reads splendidly. Truly there were giants in those days. Has the author ever read “ Bridges' Christian Ministry ?" We fear not, for if he had, these letters we think would have shewn more gravity, and have had more power in them. Still the book will suit those who must have truth made

ир into sugar-plums to induce them to receive it.

THE ADVISER; a Book for Young People. 1862. London: Houlston & Wright.

This is the Year's volume of a Halfpenny Monthly Periodical, devoted to the inculcation upon the young of the principles of Total Abstinence from Intoxicating Liquors. It is well printed; has an abundance of pictorial illustrations, and its articles are well adapted to interest the readers, and forward the object it has in view.

THE PRINCESS OF WALES: Her People and Country; Her Religion and

Marriage. London: John Snow. pp. 140. Price One Shilling.

The title of this work fully describes its object. It is beautifully printed; and not only furnishes an interesting record of the circumstances attending the entrance of the Princess into our kingdom and her marriage, but also supplies much historical information as to the connection between the Danish people and our own during the last thousand years.

A Daily GLEAM FROM THE LAMP OF LIFE. London: Book Society. pp. 128.

The author acknowledges that she is increasing an already numerous supply of text books; yet thinks she is justified in printing in a small space a powerful Scriptural evidence upon twelve important and vitally interesting subjects; each subject occupying a month, and closing with a hymn. We know not that such books can be too numerous.

A CHRISTIAN MOTHER ; or, Notes for Mothers' Meetings. By Mrs. E.

Hoare. London: Wertheim, Macintosh, and Hunt. pp. 58.

THESE Notes have been used by the writer in conducting Mothers' meetings amongst the poorer classes. The following extracts from the list of contents will shew the nature of the subjects : "the temper of the wife and mother; the watchful mother; the hasty mother ; the weary mother; companions, sloth, &c." The Notes themselves, and the suggestions in the Preface as to the mode of using them, will be found very valuable by all engaged in such meetings.

Correspondence,

To the Officers and Teachers of Sunday brethren. Now it is very plainly stated

in the Bible, what work is proper to be Schools.

done on the Sabbath, and from it I learn BRETHREN,- In my former letters I that anything which cannot be done on called your attention to excursions and the Saturday, nor left undone until anniversaries, permit me now to make a Monday, is properly Sunday employfew remarks on the duties and qualifica- ment. So that if we apply our schools tions of teachers, as I feel it is a duty to to this test, and act accordingly, no give them the benefit of my long and evil can possibly be chargeable to us. general experience, which no doubt to It would be a departure for me to enter many will be beneficial, and can do

upon the irregularities often manifested; others no harm. To my mind, the edu- but I certainly think, that in many of cation of the young is an important our schools the Sabbath is so secularized, topic, and becomes infinitely profound that we unwittingly foster in the child's as we approach its results.

mind, a want of respect for its holiness. Indeed, no superficial glance can com- What is teaching writing, ciphering, prehend its vastness, and few minds are grammar, reading and spelling, but so capable of fathoming its depths. We know many departures from God's express that the 'political, social, and religious command, and as many steps towards condition of the world depends upon, and infidelity. I have given some of you will flow out of the education given to offence by speaking of these things in the rising generation.

your schools, but sooner or later this But what is this world to the eternal ? prostitution of the Sabbath must give Life is only the school-day of our being, way before the growing intelligence of where at most we can only get the ele- our nation. If it is wrong to work an mentary part of our education, but its animal, surely it is wrong to put the significance is incomprehensible to the children to do what they are instructed highest archangel. If ever the world is to believe is purely secular, and what to be converted, it will be in youth, and can be done either at school or at home. seeing that we have now about 3,500,000 Hence to my mind, there is no difficulty children in our Sabbath-schools, what an in ascertaining what the duty of a opportunity there is for sowing the teacher is, and he is justified in conseeds of everlasting life. Let us, there- fining himself to the highest moral and fore, examine the subject thoroughly, religious culture of his class, avoiding and if we find our stronghold giving all controversial points, and leading the way, or our ideas becoming dim by the children by every possible means to the presence of brighter light, our duty is at foot of the Cross. How important is once clear and straightforward. I am our work ! prepared to hear adverse thoughts, but But we will not stop here, as there is don't let us get into unkind expressions, another thought which has often deeply or allow ourselves to forget that we are affected my mind; it is, that by becoming a teacher, I take upon myself when from the high and holy standing the duty of the parent, without divine of God's word, we find those duties inauthority, and thereby become per- volving the present, future, and eternal sonally responsible to God for the souls condition of thousands of souls ! Indeed of the children. Let us not mistake we are ready to ask, who is sufficient for ourselves in this matter,--the parent these things, especially in these days of should be prophet, priest and king, to unparallelled moral evil? For myself I his family, and woe be to that man who have but one opinion, and that is, that it neglects these essential prerogatives. is the duty of the middle-aged and senior Hence the great responsibility which members of the church, to educate those attaches itself to Sunday schools, is in- who are sent to the school. How is it tensified by the fact, that we are doing possible for the young inexperienced parents' work, and superseding parental person to instruct the unconverted, of relationship, which no intelligent mind whatever age or profession? Can a clean could conceive to be just for one moment. thing come out of an unclean ? or can All scripture is yea and amen upon one speak of what they know nothing ? this head. — The school-room is not the How then are we to expect results such place to sow the earliest seeds of truth, as we propose, and how can we prevent nor have the greatest men risen from evils that we endeavour by other means this source, though we are not without to suppress. fruit to our labour. Indeed the most Shew me the teacher, and I will deefficient school can never accomplish the scribe the character of the pupil. You good that the most humble parents know, brethren, the happy results of could perform; and if so, what might a pious, middle-aged teacher in your respectable and well-educated heads of schools. This class of persons, backed families do? Yet, how few care for the up by the minister's visits and influence, souls of their children! Ungrateful will never fail to accomplish the most people! What if God were so to act sanguine expectations. I will not enter towards them in their weakness of mind upon the imperfections of the generality and body. Oh that parents would but of teachers, as it might tend to dissee themselves as heaven sees them, courage them; but what real good can before the thunderbolts of eternal be expected from such persons I am at vengeance be hurled upon their un- a loss to comprehend. Certain it is, that sheltered heads ! Forward then is the wherever we find a middle-aged man of command, for while parents neglect, we God, from his class will come fruits. I have our work thrust upon us by cir- was a member of such a class, and while cumstances over which we have no we were lads, the whole joined the control; and thanks to those who will Church ; but not one from any other thus labour for the good of others. class in a school of about 200 boys. How important then is the teacher's From that time to this, my eye has been position, and with what humility and steadily fixed upon results, and painsul self-insufficiency should he undertake as the facts are, I am obliged to state the office-surely no office is more im- that not 4 per cent. per annum of the portant, yet how few comparatively do scholars are introduced into the churches, we find competent amongst those now and many of these the children of reengaged as teachers !

ligious parents, with home assistance. It appears to me that the church sup- What a humiliating thought! and how poses any one qualified for Sunday school it ought to rob us of our self-importance, teaching, and that most young persons and trust in means ! But this is not all. presume themselves equal to the duties; Out of every 100 prisoners, 39 have but how mistaken each party appears, been Sabbath scholars; and with all our

day schools and Sabbath tuition com- | losing his armour, or becoming a cast-
bined, crime is on the increase, and like away.
Goliath, laughs at our great armies, and What then are we to do? Ministers
costly establishments, and defies heaven do not come forward as they ought. The
itself. It so happens, that before me church looks on coldly, as if she cared
lie the returns for 1860 and 1861-I am little or nothing about us, (so far as
thereby enabled to give the following teaching is concerned,) hence we are
figures, from which we may learn some left to do the best we can, and feel
important lessons. We will take a few thankful for the assistance we get. Now
of the more serious character, and 1861 I would just say, in conclusion, that we
gives an increase over 1860, of common have more teachers by half than is
assaults, 23 per cent; attempt at bodily necessary. As I have many times said
harm, 23; with aim to rob, 31; attempt in my lectures on the defects of Sabbath
to murder, 26 ; burglaries, 40; house- school teaching, one teacher to fifty
breaking, 56; and murder, 30. I am scholars is enough. Second. It is my
aware that some will say, you forget the conviction that ministers would come
increase of population; but the popu- forward generally, were they asked to
lation has only increased in ten years do so, and did they feel that no offence
about 7 per cent. Whereas crime, since would be given by their attention; and
1860, has increased on an average about my own experience shows me that the
30 per cent. But, say some, what has church only requires more light upon this
this to do with us? Are not the evil subject, and she will come forward also
associations of the week counteracting to the help of the Lord against the
our efforts on the Sunday, and causing mighty; for not until this is the case
us to lose our scholars just when we shall we be enabled to stop the onward
desire above all to eep them? No course of crime, and drive back infidelity
doubt there is truth in this question ; within the boundary of her own do-
and, because I feel it more and more, main. One of two things is imperative.
my pen will not stop until Sabbath Parents must discharge their duties at
schools are what we wish them to be, home, or the church undertake to do
nurseries to the church. Then the time that work; for, in the language of the
would not be far distant, when each scho- great Duke of Wellington, “To educate
lar, by his divine teaching, could meet without the Bible, is to educate so many
the world, and fight it fairly, without devils.''

E. Y.

Intelligence.

ALBION SCHOOLS, BETHNAL GREEN.

Mr. J. Lapworth, the Superintendent. On Thursday evening, March 12th, The large room of St. Simon Zelotes, an entertainment of a very substantial Morpeth-street, having been lent for the and interesting character was given to occasion by the Rev. C. M. Christie, the scholars of the above institution, in M.A., an abundant supply of refreshcelebration of the Marriage of His Roy- ments was provided, consisting of cake, al Highness the Prince of Wales and fruit, milk, sandwiches, &c., to which the Princess Alexandra, kindly provided all present did ample justice. The scene by Sir Thomas Fowell Buxton, Bart., was occasionally enlivened by short and and other friends, under the direction of suitable addresses and singing; there

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »