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INTERESTING ANECDOTE OF QUEEN VICTORIA. One of the pleasantest churchyards I know of is in the Isle of Wight, and many years ago I was sauntering among its graves, when I saw a lady in deep mourning, with a little girl, sitting on a tombstone. The former was reading a book to the latter, who was looking with tearful eyes into her mother's face. When they turned away from the spot, I saw that they had been looking on the tomb of the “Dairyman's Daughter," whose simple epitaph was engraved on the head-stone. That lady was the Duchess of Kent, and the little child was the Princess VICTORIA, now a Queen, on whose dominions the sun never sets. Perhaps the book the lady was reading was the delightful and affecting narrative of Legh Richmond. Striking was the contrast in the condition of the sleeper and her who watched by her grave—the one a peasant's daughter in her dreamless slumbers, the other a child who ere many years had passed over her head, was to take her place amongst the rulers of the nations! The humbler of the two had won her palm, and was wearing her crown, whilst the daughter of a royal line was fated to endure the perilous splendour of dominion, and become the mother of more kings, ere she should lie down in the vaults of Windsor.—Local Loiterings. Boston, Mass. 1846.
Enquiries and Correspondence.
To the Editor of the Youths' Magazine. Sir,–). Will you or any of your talented correspondents, reconcile the following seeming contradictions: In John v. 31, Jesus says, “If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true”—and in John viii. 14, “ Though I bear record of myself, yet my record is true.”
2. Again in John xx. 17, “Jesus saith unto Mary, Touch me not, for I am not yet ascended to my Father ;” and yet in verse 27, he says to Thomas, “ Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand and thrust it into my side, and be not faithless, but believing.”
A Youthful Reader.
1. It seems to have been a maxim among the Jews in our
Saviour's time, as it still is with us, that a man could be no witness in a matter directly affecting himself. Hence we find the Pharisees saying to Jesus, in John viii. 13, “ Thou bearest record of thyself; thy record is not true.” In John v. 31, Christ recognises this axiom as a fair one in ordinary cases, for when arguing in favor of his own divinity, He says, “If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true.” Hence he follows it up by adducing two other kinds of evidence-the testimony of John the Baptist, (v. 33) and of the wonderful works which he performed in the execution of his mission. He was, therefore, fully justified when they taunted him with this opinion, in saying as he did (John viii. 14,) “ Though I bear record of myself, my record is true, notwithstanding the prevalent idea that selfpraise is no commendation." He does not say that he was to be believed because he bare witness to himself; but certainly they were wresting the phrase from its true spirit and meaning, when urging it to neutralize or over-rule testimony so powerful as that which he had brought forward from other sources.
2. With regard to the other texts, we need only repeat the old adage, that “ circumstances alter cases.” As respects Thomas, there was a sufficient reason for our Saviour's language, which did not exist in the other instance.
It is indeed supposed that our Saviour did not absolutely forbid, but merely deferred till a more convenient season, the implied wish of Mary, as the reason he assigned was this—that He was not yet about ascending to heaven, and would therefore atford her other opportunities of manifesting her affection, which no doubt he afterwards did in common with those disciples who were permitted to embrace his feet, and worship him. Matt. Ixviii. 9.
Fasting. SIR— Will you through the medium of your Magazine favor me by explaining Vark ii. 20 ?
Did our Saviour mean that his people should fast after he had left them?
A YOUNG ENQUIRER.
Our Saviour does not appear to be speaking of fasting, as a religious act. Indeed the Scriptures, both of the Old and New
Testament, invariably represent it rather as an effect than a cause, as we have before explained. His meaning seems to be simply this—Whilst I, the Great Bridegroom of the Church, remain amongst you, it would be most unbecoming to manifest anything like mortification or mourning ; but darker days are coming on the church, in which my disciples shall suffer distresses and privations hitherto unknown to them. “In hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness,” they shall be made a spectacle to the world, to angels, and to men.
Things strangled. Sir,—I shall feel much obliged by your giving me your opinion on the apostle's meaning of Acts xv. 29. He is speaking of the things to be abstained from by the first Christians, and amongst them enumerates " things strangled.” I have recently met with some who think it binding on them to observe this according to the strict letter of the text.
May I ask if you think it a duty binding on Christians of the present day?
Certainly not, as it seems to form part of the ceremonial observances relative to meats and drinks observed under the Jewish law. As, however, the first Christians retained many of their predilections for such observances, it was not thought necessary that they should all at once abandon them. Wherever blame attaches to such a practice, it does not arise from the thing itself, but from -a spirit of pharisaism, or some idea of merit connected with it; and we should by no means condemn any one in the present day who chose to follow out the letter of the text, provided he placed no reliance upon it as a religious service.
. Esau's repentance.- Mount Sinai. SIR,-1. A constant reader of your valuable Magazine would feel greatly obliged by your explanation of Hebrews xii. 17, 18, as she cannot harmonize that text with Matthew vii. 8.
2. The apostle, in verse 18, speaking of Mount Sinai, says that it might be touched, whilst in Exodus xix. 12, we read that it might not be touched. A desire to be instructed, and your kindness and readiness to oblige, have encouraged me to trouble you.
Yours, in sincerity,
1. The text first cited is not happily rendered in our translation. The marginal reading is far preferable—“ he found no way to change his (i. e. Isaac's) mind.” The passage does not refer, as many might suppose, to any impossibility of repentance experienced by Esau, but to the fruitlessness of his attempt to procure a reversal, in his favor, of the blessing pronounced on Jacob.
2. Mount Sinai was material, and consequently tangible, but the awful prohibition laid upon the people by God, fenced it round more effectually than any other guard could do. In one sense, therefore, it might be touched, whilst in another, it was not to be approached. The apostle throughout this passage is contrasting the Jewish and Christian dispensations, and his object is to shew the spiritual nature of the latter as contrasted with the sensible and ceremonial character of the former.
Phrenology SIR,_Will you favor me with your opinion on Phrenology—as to its truth, and the propriety of its study.
There may be some truth in the fundamental principles of Phrenology, but it has of late years been carried to a ridiculous extent. So far as it is true, it may be safely studied ; but as soon as it appears to lead away from Revelation it should be watched with great jealousy. The danger in following out this pursuit is an overweening confidence in men, rather than in facts, in systems instead of principles, and generalizations instead of individual truths.
- LA MARSEILLAISE DE LA PAIX. [The following hymn “composed for a prize offered by the Provisional Government of France,” is copied from the pages of our valued cotemporary “ The Herald of Peace.” For the translation, we are ourselves responsible. The original certainly forms “a curiosity of literature:” and is an earnest, that however visionary and impracticable may be the idea of making legislators out of poets and rhapsodists, the so-called government of France meant well in thus calling to their aid the Muse of Peace. We are nevertheless old-fashioned enough to believe, that neither songs nor fêtes, nor vows of brotherhood, nor trees of liberty, will pay a nation's debts, or provide for the righteous administration of its laws.]
Allons, enfans de la patrie,
Le jour de gloire est arrivé.
L'étendart brillant est levé.
L'étendart brillant est levé.
Tous les peuples, ouvrant leur bras,
Crier à nos braves soldats,
Plus d'armes, citoyens ;
Pourquoi ces obus, ces canons ?
Ces fiers défis aux nations ? (bis)
De montrer au monde dompté
Que les droits de l'humanité
Plus d'armes, citoyens, etc.
Les larmes, de deuil, et la mort,
Et nous jetteraient loin du port ? (bis)