« ZurückWeiter »
equality with irrational things, expecting endless wanderings or sudden extinction, calling each reptile, 'brother,' each monster, 'god,' is looking for truth to thee! Mercy longing for the millennium, heaven waiting for a fuller population, Immortality craving for countless heirs, all fix their gaze on thee! Thy responsibility rises far above the high, to the very terrible!
“ The morality of Holland affects Holland, the morality of Belgium affects Belgium, the morality of France may affect Europe ; but the morality of England affects THE WORLD.”
MAN A SLOW LEARNER. The animal tribes in our own world, for the most part, perform the varied, many of them the skilful, functions of their life without difficulty. The colt stretches its long legs to keep up with the pace of its mother, on the very day of its birth. The bee, without puzzling itself to solve a difficult problem, goes at once, and cheerfully, to the work of constructing its cells, according to the strictest rules of the most exact and perfect science. The bird, serves no apprenticeship to the builder, before it begins to rear its nest, and its first effort to prepare a home for its expected brood, is as easy and successful as any which it subsequently makes. Through the whole range of animal nature, ease and certainty are the rule, difficulty and failure are the exception. Through the whole range of man's history and experience, difficulty is the rule and law of his labor. If he shrink from it, and resolve to do nothing but what he can do easily, his powers become enfeebled, and his life a blank or a blot. An insect, performing the proper functions of its nature, may put him to shame. “ Go to the ant thou sluggard ; consider her ways, and be wise.” If he gird himself to meet and master the difficulties, as in succession they rise before him, his powers increase and grow by exercise, and his path may be shining light, shining more and more unto the perfect day.” When do the difficulties of human life commence ?
Our memory does not go far enough back to take up the question at the beginning. But we know there was a time, when our own little feet had literally to commence the journey of life; and the diminutive stage, which was bounded by the floor of the nursery,
appeared to us not only formidable, but impracticable. How can I undertake it? was perhaps the first perplexing question, to which our infantile mind had to find a practical solution. We shrank, from what seemed to us to be the insurmountable diffi. culty, with fear and trembling; and required to be coaxed and urged, before we venti ed on the perilous effort. The feet of Cæsar himself, which afterwards trod so many hostile lands, and crushed so many hostile powers, once faltered and hung back, as they were urged to cross the domestic floor. It was when, by mastering and surmounting difficulties, his powers had been developed and matured, he learned to say, Veni! vidi! vici !!! -Stratten's Use of Difficulties in Mental and Moral Culture.”
Enquiries and Correspondence.
Inspiration. – Hyperbole. Dear Sir,-You will greatly oblige me by making some comments on the following texts :
1. 1 Corinthians vii. 6, 12, 25; and 2 Corinthians viii. 8. Are we
to consider these Scriptures inspired ? For St. Paul elsewhere says, in writing to Timothy, that “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God.” 2. Is not David's language hyperbolic in Psalm cxxxix. $.
1. Although it is true in a general sense that all Scripture is given by inspiration of God, it must not be supposed that He is responsible for all the sentiments it contains. We see no reason why a good man, as Paul was, should be prevented from stating his opinion upon points not expressly revealed, any more than an individual of bad character or questionable piety, especially when he guards it by such confessions as are contained in the texts referred to. On this subject, we cannot do better than quote a remark from the preface to the book of Job, in the Pocket Paragraph Bible, now publishing by the Religious Tract Society. “It may be well to observe that, although the inspiration of the Book of Job is undoubted, it is clear that when he or his friends express erroneous opinions, or argue incorrectly by drawing wrong inferences from right principles; we are not to consider these sentiments as the voice of inspiration. Their arguments and expressions must be carefully compared with the law of God, with the counsels and precepts elsewhere revealed, and with the nature of true religion as exhibited in other portions of God's word, and especially as manifested in the example and spirit of Him who was the only perfect being who ever appeared in our nature.”
Perhaps, however, there is little need of adopting this alternative, as regards three of the four texts referred to by our correspondent, as the apostle's meaning seems to be simply this, that as he was supplementing our Saviour's own instructions given by himself in person when on earth, he had, therefore, none of his actual recorded teachings to refer to, though he spoke as one who had obtained mercy of the Lord to be faithful, and was, therefore, worthy of attention and credence.
In the latter text, he simply intimates that he speaks in no dictatorial spirit-" not by way of command," as the phrase is more correctly rendered, but only as an incentive to the liberality of the parties addressed.
2. In the poetical books of Scripture, hyperbole, as one of the most common figures of oratory, is frequently used. The language of the text referred to is, however, strictly and literally true in a general sense, though it could not have been so in the personal experience of the writer.
A MEMORIAL OF LITTLE ALBERT. We have always been of those who give full, and hearty, and deeply grateful credence to the kind assurance that God often ordains strength and perfects praise out of the mouth of mere babes and sucklings. This conviction has been, if possible, deepened by the perusal of a little volume kindly forwarded to us entitled, Memorials of Bertie, the taught of God.* written by his bereaved but happy motherone of the sweetest biographies of an infant, but matured, christian, we have ever met with. Unlike most narratives of the kind, its truthfulness constitutes the great attraction.
It is indebted to none of the false aids, the prettinesses, and the specious accessories of other “ Tokens for Children." It is a living picture
London: T. Ward and Co.
radiant with the marvellous light and glory of the heavenly world—a wonderful, and exquisitely touching anticipation of things unseen, or rarely seen, on earth. The dear young subject of this vast display of grace, was not a mere hearer or talker, but a doer of the work"- the work of his Great Master, whom he now sees in all his beauty, and worships with the fulness of a heart too warm, too tender, too loving, for this lower world. But, let his affectionate parent speak for him, as a parent only can speak. The work, from which we are compelled to give a mere extract, is well worthy the perusal of every mother: it is the affecting transcript of a heart experiencing amidst the sorrows of a bereavement not to be expressed, the strong consolation and good hope of a trustful and assured christian.
“ It was very early in the morning of a bright and beautiful summer's day, July 29th, 1829, that Bertie first entered on this world.
“ Passing over the period of Bertie's infancy, the reminiscences which cluster around the memory of his babyhood, being only precious in a mother's eyes, I shall next speak of him when nearly two years old. He was very slow in acquiring pronunciation, although very quick in comprehension ; as long before he could speak many words, he understood much, if not all, that was said to him. It was when nearly two years old, that I first taught him of the existence of God: on one of those early summer mornings when little children awake, almost with the first carols of the lark; when all things bright and beautiful awake into the new existence of another day.
“ As I caught his eyes earnestly gazing upwards, I said — God is there! God is good, and kind, and loves you! Oh much more than mamma loves you; God gave Bertie to his mamma, and told me to teach you about him. Then taking his hand, I said, God made this hand, and these feet to run about with, those eyes to see with, and these ears to hear about him, and that little tongue to speak to him with. He is your Father, and he sees us now, and hears us too ; and is so pleased to hear us talk about him; and he says Bertie must call him. With intense interest the child looked up towards heaven, extending his arms, and raising his voice he cried out in baby language, • 'Pa in a 'ky!' This was Bertie's first call upon God; and thus did he unconsciously translate into his own infant-tongue the first words of the great pattern prayer—the Lord's— Our Father which art in heaven.'
“When about three years old, on hearing the bells chiming for church, he would quicken his pace, and gently pull me on faster, answering, meanwhile, the inviting of the chiming thus—'Come! come ! come! my' (as he used to call himself) my come ! Ma
come!' From that age upwards he ever paid the most earnest attention in the house of God; and so wrapt would he be in the subject, either read or preached, as he grew older, that, forgetting that silence was imposed, he would break out in some remark or inquiry of the meaning. In order to prevent this we entered into a little agreement, which was, that when he wished to have anything explained, he should press my hand that I might particularly observe, and remember the subject of inquiry. We were residing in the suburbs of a large town, and were consequently sometimes rather late. On these occasions, on arriving at the chapel, we had used to creep up stairs, and, spreading our handkerchiefs, sit down quite out of sight. These were seasons of much enjoyment to Bertie; as I could in a whisper translate almost the whole service into a language more intelligible to his age.
“ When he was five years old he was left much to the care of servants. This was on my part unavoidable, though a subject of deep regret to me. He became impatient of their control, and they, not treating him judiciously, but irritating instead of curbing, vexing instead of subduing, he has sometimes been aggravated into passion. This was a subject of deep regret to him: his tender conscience would not let him sleep until this sin had been confessed before God and to me. On one of these occasions he was confined to his own room, as a punishment. A servant who was very kind to him happening to be in the next room, she overheard him saying these words, amidst sobs and tears, ' Make me a good child, let them say to grandpa when he comes home, 'Bertie's the best child.' Take my poor mamma's sorrows away. Take this bad heart away, and give me a new one, that I may obey my mamma. May - never sin again ; forgive him;' and then the words were lost amidst deep emotion.
“ It was about this time, that one night, after retiring to rest, he was crying in deep distress in his cot bed, and though very late, and now nearly dark, he could not sleep - he was heard crying, but, on some one inquiring the cause, he begged to see me. I went to him immediately, when he burst out afresh in an agony of grief, throwing himself on his face across the bed, sobbing out, 'O mamma, what shall I do? My sins ! my sins !'
“ I told him that Jesus came to save the lost, and enlarging upon the subject of His love, soon quieted his fears.
“One revening, when about five and a half years old, being particularly engaged, he and his brother were put to bed without me, and prayers had not been heard. I was soon after desired to listen to the conversation between them, I lost much, but was in time to hear the following dialogue : _“You hav'nt said your prayers, Ernie; will you now?'