« AnteriorContinuar »
the language is sufficiently antique, the thoughts and feelings may be too plainly of a modern cast.
Éd. Mr. Cobbold, in his ZENON, * has overcome this difficulty very fairly. Of course, as a classical scholar he had an advantage when writing a Roman story, and having to put long speeches into the mouths of his personages. This advantage he has turned to very good use, and through it has presented his readers with a story of Roman life which is thoroughly Roman.
Aug. What is ZENON about?
Ed. It is a story of martyrdom in the days of Domitian, avoiding the horrors of most martyr stories, though showing plainly enough what the trials and sorrows of the early Christians were. It sketches, in a masterly manner, the character and end of the tyrant who fancied he had made himself the “ God of Rome.' It is a great acquisition to the “Run and Read Library.'
Emm. Now, Mr. Editor, we are impatient to introduce to your notice one of the most interesting books we have ever read. Augustus and I have read it through, and strange to say, we have no fault to find with it. TONGA, AND THE FRIENDLY ISLANDS,+ is a book written purposely for young people, and one which all young people will be certain to read, if it is put into their hands.
Aug. Which is saying a great deal, you know, sir. Ed. Certainly it is. I happen to know something already of this book, and fully agree with your commendations. The authoress, Miss Farmer, has a delightful way of writing, as the readers of our Magazine last month had an opportunity of discovering. Oblige me, Augustus, with some account of this excellent book.
Aug. It relates in a lively manner the discovery of the South Seas, describes the islands of the Pacific, the way they grew into being, and their inhabitants ; narrates the visit of Captain Cook ; details the first christian mission, and the disappointments of the missionaries ; delineates the religious and social condition of Tonga ; sketches the religious endeavours of the Methodists, their trials and successes ; tells us of peace and war and of good king George's reign.
Emm. Ah, that good king! I thought when I had finished this book, how much I should like to pay a visit to Tonga on purpose to see king George. Aug. Missionary narratives are frequently very poorly written, and accordingly are very dry. This is a delightful
*London: Clarke, Beeton, & Co. † London : Hamilton, Adams & Co.
exception, and if it gets into Congregational or Sunday School libraries will be certain to be always "out."
Ed. Mr. Douglas, of Cavers, a well-known writer, has just published the first of a series of tracts, on the COMING OF THE KINGDOM.* It is a brief pamphlet, showing the duty of prayer during this present alarming time of war. It has a prophetical cast, but not very strongly so, and deals very practically with present dangers and duties.
“ The great lesson which we have to learn and to practise is, that in human affairs God does not work without man, but makes him coefficient though subordinate to Himself.
All great and ameliorating changes are to be preceded by prayer.' The writer thinks that war may serve as a “merciful remembrancer to stir up God's people to a fervour of prayer unknown to their more prosperous days. The danger of relatives and the losses of friends have evidently raised up an earnestness of intercession, which has had power with God, and has prevailed.”
Aug. The Fast day seems to have been well observed.
Ed. The more so when we regard our disasters in the present war, “as signs of God's displeasure ; though these disasters may be traced to human incapacity.”
Mrs. M. The great remedy is prayer. The church of Christ ought to be earnest in their supplications before God, on behalf of their country.
Ed. Mr. Douglas observes, “ An appeal must be, in the first place, to God. He has raised up in former days a Marlborough, a Nelson, and a Wellington, who overbalanced the incapacity of former ministries, out of weakness waxed strong, and put to flight the armies of the aliens. “I therefore exhort,' says St. Paul, 'that supplications be made for all men, for kings, and all in authority.' Prayer should therefore arise for the Queen, morning and evening. None of our misfor. tunes are attributable to her, who still has the cause of Britain at heart, and who still possesses the hearts of her subjects. May she never lose them! Prayer should be made continually for the Queen's ministers. May God deliver her from hollow-hearted or weak-headed men, and surround her with those who are fitted for as arduous a situation as man ever occupied !
* Wise, upright, valiant, not a venal band Who arē to judge of danger which they fear, And honour, which they do not understand'!'
* Edinburgh: Constable & Co.
“Prayer also should be made for both Houses of Parliament, lest they be weighed in the balance and found wanting, when they come up in remembrance before God, with all other bodies to whom political power has been intrusted, before the angel pours out the fulness of his vial into the political heavens, and before the storms are let loose which will shake to their centre all the institutions of the world. Above all, prayer should be made for the people, the true heart of Britain, whence all that is vital circulates to the remotest branches of the political body, that they may maintain integrity of purpose and firmness of resolution. They have the real and ultimate power in their hands, as far as they possess the power of election and the choice of Members of Parliament." Let them never intrust men with the affairs of the nation to whom they would not commit their own private affairs. Let the elected at least be honest, and if possible religious-men who fear God and hate covetousness, and who will ask counsel of the Most Wise before they give advice or instruction to others, and with God's blessing all will yet be well.
"The tropical tornado has begun. It is attracting all the elements of storm and destruction within its vortex, as with an ever-widening eddy it sweeps over land and sea. guarantee the Turkish Empire, but we cannot prevent the mystical Euphrates from drying up. In prosperity as well as in adversity, amidst victories as well as defeats, the Turks are disappearing from the lands they have conquered, and their strength through their very successes is wasting away. They have no great mass of population to fall back upon. They are a large army, but an inconsiderable people, and have no funds either of men or money to sustain a long protracted war. This was foreseen by our great Harrington even in their palmiest days. The Turkish Emperor can only retain the sword in his grasp by the assistance of his Christian allies. But have these allies the right to place and retain the sword in his enfeebled grasp, when that sword must be used to strike off the head of every Moslem who renounces the imposture of Mahomet? Are we well advised also in the strictness of our alliance with the Anti-Christian and Papal powers ? is in the hand of the Lord, and it is red with the mixture of the wine of his wrath. All these nations must drink of it. And if we identify ourselves too closely with them, may we not also in some measure have to drain the bitter dregs along with them?
"It is a time of judgment. Let us humble ourselves before the Lord.”
[By the request of several of our readers we are induced to give our Counsels a more permanent place than they could have when printed on the cover of this Magazine.--Ed.]
Y. Y.-Your remarks on the Lord's Prayer are not in the form of & query, so we do not understand what you want to know.-A stone altar is both illegal and anti-scriptural. A visible altar must be useless where there is no visible sacrifice to put upon it. The Lord's Supper in the Protestant Church is a feast, in the Romish Church it is a sacrifice, and therefore suitably connected with an altar. The word “altar” does not occur in the English prayer-book, because the evangelical idea of the Lord's Supper is that of believers communing together, and they want to surround a table; an altar would be out of keeping with the character of a family festival. Of course, it does not matter whether the table be made of stone or wood, provided it really is a table and movable, which it is not very likely to be if the construction of it should be intrusted to a mediæval stone-mason. (See engraving of a stone altar, at Cambridge, in “Youths' Magazine" for August, 1845.) As to the use of incense, it is a feature of the church's childhood, fitted for the immature spirituality of the Mosaic dispensation. With our fuller and clearer realizations, we do not need the symbolic teaching of “carnal ordinances,” which were only the “ shadow of good things to come ” during the ministration of the Spirit.
Juvenile Reader. – Many wiser people than yourself have been puzzled about Saul and the Witch of Endor. It is better, unless there are very grave reasons against it, to take the words of Scripture in their plain, natural meaning. It is said that “Saul perceived that it was Samuel," and that “Samuel said unto Saul.” If it were not Samuel, we think it would be described differently. No doubt the woman meant to pretend she saw some vision, and as she might easily guess that her visitor was Saul, she meant to describe a figure similar to Samuel's when he was alive. But it seems that God really permitted Samuel to appear. This view is confirmed by the woman's fright, when she saw Samuel," as if she had not expected him. N.B.-She should not be called a “witch.” The word really means “a mistress of Ob,” and she was evidently a necromancer. In Africa the poisoners are said to deal in Obi or Obeah. The idea of a witch attended by a familiar spirit is quite a modern one.
S. T. M. Oratorios we know to be attended by persons of whose spirituality of mind we have no doubt, and they tell us that it is with them a season of deep and hallowed enjoyment. But the intrusting of exquisite ministrelsy to graceless hirelings, must, by all Christians, be unhesitatingly condemned. And the attending of any sacred performances, whether oratorios or the services of God's house, merely for intellectual entertainment, is a mockery and therefore a sin. If you go to an oratorio to “hear one who has a pleasant voice and can play well upon an instrument”-thousands crowd to church and chapel for the same purpose-without associating with your attendance any sacred feelings, you are clearly reprehensible. Mr. Curwen's vocal concerts show that it is possible to have high musical gratifications, without seeking them at the hands and lips of opera professionals.