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doom pronounced against the inhabitants of Jerusalem on account of their grievous idolatries.
“ ' Hear ye the word of the Lord, O kings of Judah, and inbabitants of Jerusalem ; Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel ; Behold, I will bring evil upon this place, the which whosoever heareth, his ears shall tingle.
"• Because they have forsaken me, and have estranged this place, and have burned incense in it unto OTHER GODS, whom neither they nor their fathers have known, nor the kings of Judah, and have filled this place with the blood of innocents;
They have built also the high places of Baal, to burn their sons with fire for burnt offerings unto Baal, which I commanded not, nor spake it, neither came it into my mind :
““Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that this place shall no more be called Tophet, nor the valley of the son of Hinnom, but The valley of slaughter.
“ ' And I will make void the counsel of Judah and Jerusalem in this place; and I will cause them to fall by the sword before their enemies, and by the hands of them that seek their lives: and their carcases will I give to be meat for the fowls of the heaven, and for the beasts of the earth.
“And I will make this city desolate, and an hissing ; every one that passeth thereby shall be astonished, and hiss because of all the plagues thereof.
"' And I will cause them to eat the flesh of their sons and the flesh of their daughters, and they shall eat every one the flesh of his friend, in the siege and straitness wherewith their enemies, and they that seek their lives, shall straiten them
· And the houses of Jerusalem, and the houses of the kings of Judah, shall be defiled as the place of Tophet, because of all the houses upon whose roofs they have burned incense unto all the host of hearen, and have poured out drink offerings unto OTHER GODS.' *
“And now, my dear Mrs. Sandford," said her friend," let the appalling doom pronounced against Jerusalem-realized as it was to the very letter—deeply impress your mind with the utter abhorrence of the Almighty against the awful sin of idolatry in all its varied forms. Let also that illustrious servant of God, who is emphatically styled the Evangelical Prophet, furnish a conclusive commentary on the sinful idol worship which we have just been considering. Jehovah here speaks Himself, as recorded by the inspired pen of Isaiah :
Before Me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after Me.
'], even I, am the Lord; and beside Me there is NO SAVIOUR."'+
“But would you place the Roman Catholics," inquired Mrs. Sandford, with somewhat of a disappointed air, " in the same category with the nations of ancient Canaan ?" Truth, I am sorry to say, compels me to do so," replied
Idolatry is as much a sin in the present day as it was in the ancient days of which we are speaking. Its offensiveness to the Supreme Being must ever be the same, however different the forms which it may assume; and as long as the two first commandments of the Decalogue remain unabrogated, which were intended to last the duration of man, does the crime stand condemned, and will be followed, sooner or later, by its condign punishment.
“I do not mean to say,” she continued, " that, on drawing the parallel, I accuse the Roman Catholics of worshipping ' Ashtoreth, the goddess of the Zidonians;' or Milcom, the abomination of the Ammonites ;' neither that they fall down
* Jer. xix. 3-13; see also Zeph. i. 4, 5. + Isaiah xliii. 10, 11,
in adoration before. Chemosh, the abomination of Moab;' nor before 'Molech, the abomination of the children of Ammon.' But this I do say, and with deep sorrow of heart, that they worship saints, and angels, and relics, and give a much more decided religious prominence to their adoration of the Virgin Mary, and to prayers and supplications addressed to her, than to the divine honours they pay to God himself, the Redeemer of the world. Thus, they rob the triune Jehovah of that exclusive homage due alone to Him, who has declared himself to be a 'jealous God,' and will not give his honour to another ; who has said, I am the Lord : that is my name : and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.
Remember what is so solemnly declared in the first five verses of the 20th chapter of Exodus :
I am the Lord thy God ... “ • Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth :
Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me.'
“Do you not think,” rejoined the lady of the house, “ that there is much of exaggerated statement and prejudiced feeling in what the world imputes as a charge against the Romish Church ? Mr. Merton denies that they worship either saints, or angels, or images; and it seems but charitable, my dear friend, to give them credit for knowing better what they really do than others can tell them.”
“Pardon me," dear Mrs. Sandford,” said her honoured guest; “it is a spurious charity to credit mere professions against the demonstration of facts,-in opposition to the solemn and deliberate decrees of councils,—the Encyclical letters and injunctions of popes,-missals, prayer-books, creeds, printed and published, and the various doctrinal works of the Romish priesthood. One fact, my dear madam, is worth ten thousand words. It is the grain compared with the chaff,—the fruit with the leaves."
* Isaiah xlii. 8.
After so strongly expressed an opinion,” exclaimed the half-affrighted hostess, as the golden vision for her daughter appeared dissolving away, “ you will, I am sure, pardon me, if I request you to show to me some of the documentary proofs to which you have so pointedly alluded. My motive for asking for them is this, that should we eventually refuse Mr. Merton's offer to my daughter, we may be able to confront his declarations with decisive evidence to the contrary, such as you have referred to, and so terminate the affair."
“ You have an undoubted right to demand them," said Mrs. Gracelove; " and if you had not, candour and a sense of duty would call upon me to produce them. You shall see these written tests the moment I can procure them from Derwent Cottage, and for which I will write immediately. Had I entertained the smallest suspicion of what was to be the subject of our conference, I would have brought them along with me.”
The letter was written in the course of the same morning, and committed to the post; and as the packet could not arrive before the second day following, it was proposed that they should fill up the interval by enjoying a sail on the lake, which was fixed for the succeeding day.
Ullswater is considered by some to present an assemblage of the beauties of all the other lakes. In dimensions it is the largest, with the exception of Windermere; being about nine