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“REASON” AT FAULT.
( Abridged from the “ Continental Echo.") FIFTY years ago a degree of scepticism prevailed in Germany, of which in this country we can form no adequate conception. Under various names, Neologists, Rationalists, and so forth, they took the most daring liberties with the Word of God. They explained away all the miracles, and every thing in fact, which was supernatural. They pretended to an acquaintance with the language and history of the sacred writings so profound, as to be able to decide respecting the most ancient portions of Scripture, what was genuine, and what was not so, to a degree of certainty which overpowered all external evidence. Accordingly, there is hardly a book of the Old or New Testament whose genuineness, either in whole or in part, has not been impugned by them. And of what these writers have allowed to remain, the most important parts, the great facts on which our religion mainly rests, have been declared by others to be legends, or, as they call them, myths, to which some ancient common opinion had given rise.
In 1826, a small treatise was written by a clergyman of Usedom, a small island at the mouth of the Oder, in Prussian Pomerania, intended to illustrate the witch trials and the belief in witchcraft, at one time so general. For some reason or other it was not allowed by the censorship of the press. The author, therefore, kept it by him for some time, till the idea occurred to him of putting it into the form a narrative, professing to be derived from an old manuscript discovered in the church at Usedom, in which an account of a witch-trial, and the events that led to it, are given in the language and manner of the supposed period. It further occurred to him whether he could not mystify the Rationalists of Germany, and thus put to the test, by means of a modern production, the skill to which they pretend of detecting forgeries, be they ever so ancient, and be the traditionary evidence ever so strong in favor of their genuineness. He therefore sent the manuscript to Dr. David Strauss, a notorious Rationalist, suggesting whether the account which it contained might not, in some degree, illustrate certain statements in the New Testament. The scheme took; the crafty doctor was caught, and the work having been laid before the king himself, was by him ordered to be printed in 1843. Half-a-year after this, the author, finding that his myth was universally received as a piece of genuine history, made a public declaration of the entirely fictitious character of the work, and of the theological purpose it was intended to answer! He says, “Those persons have received my undisguised myth for genuine history, who have rejected, as fabulous, a history which is attested, not only by its existence and wide extension to the present day, but by the united testimony of all antiquity, and by the blood of thousands of martyrs-a madness more insane than if they were to affirm that the splendid cathedral at Cologne was commenced, and obtained its present state without an architect and without a plan, by the act of pilgrims who merely cast stones together as they passed!"-Baptist Record.
LATE HOURS. The late hour system leaves no time at sun-rise or sun-set for spiritual thoughts-for Bible reading--for devotional exercises. The exhausted body moves from the shop to the bed-room, with the tinkle of sovereigns and shillings, and the words “purchase,” "price," "silk," "satin,” &c., ringing in his head, and their echoes in his ears—too unstrung to read, or study, or thinkbarely able to pray
God be merciful to me a sinner.” He is awakened by seven, or soon after six, in the morning, and summoned to his daily harness. The youngest and most vigorous may, by dint of physical energy, stand the incessant drudgeryand catch glances of instructive books—and read hurriedly snatches of the Bible in some such way as dogs lap the water of the Nile, running as they drink lest crocodiles should catch them ; but even these get older, and weaker, and callous, and the general result, with few exceptions, takes place. The man is merged in the shopman – the intellect dies and decays in the body as its grave – the soul ceases to crave what it cannot get, “the hidden
”-and the only powers that survive are those passions that flourish in the corruption and decay of man's nobler nature. -Dr. Cumming.
INSECT INGENUITY. The cocoon of the emperor moth is shaped somewhat like a Alask. At its narrowest end it is composed of a series of loosely
attached longitudinal threads, converging like so many bristles, to a blunt point, in the middle of which is a circular opening through which the moth makes its escape, the threads readily yielding to pressure from within, and acting somewhat upon the principle of the wires of the opening to a mouse trap, or the willow cricks of an eel trunk. In order, however, to guard against the danger which might arise from the opening permitting the ingress of ichneumons or other animals, the caterpillar constructs within the funnel-shaped mouth a second funnel, formed of a similar series of threads, converging to a point, without the smallest opening being left, and its arched structure rendering it impenetrable to the most violent efforts of any external enemy; whilst it yields to the slightest pressure from within, and allows the egress of the moth with the utmost facility, immediately resuming its former appearance, so that it is impossible at first to conceive how it is that the moth can have made its escape from an entire cocoon.-Westwood.
EDIBLE LOCUSTS. “ His meat was locusts and wild honey."--Matthew iii. 4. In the deserts of Africa and Asia, where the locusts acquire a large size, these insects are employed, when dried and prepared, as food. I have tasted locusts thus prepared, and found them not unpalatable, but they are said to possess very little nutritious quality, and to produce disease when too much is eaten.-Westwood.
ONENESS AND DIVERSITY. “ There are diversity of gifts, but the same Spirit."-1 Cor. xii. 14. THERE are diversities of character among the Lord's one family, for the grace of God sanctifies, but does not change, the natural disposition : thus we see some who are cheerful and hopeful, while others are always desponding; some are of a bold and decided turn of mind; others, again, are timid and feeble ; yet they are all alike children of God; they are all led by the same Spirit to the feet of the same Saviour ; the same hope animates, the same sure word of promise supports them all. This unity in diversity may be fitly compared to the effect produced by the rays of the sun, when passing through a painted window. Observe this marble pavement on which they fall; here it appears of a golden hue-a little further on it is green ; here it is blue; and there, purple: amidst all this variety, it is the same sun which shines throughout, and, therefore, while there is diversity, there is at the same time, oneness.
HUMILITY. True humility does not so much consist in thinking badly of ourselves, as in not thinking of ourselves at all.
REMARKABLE PROPHECY OF CHRIST. The names of the antediluvian patriarchs, arranged in one sentence, without any intervening words, as given in 1 Chron. i. 1—4, present a concise and wonderful prophecy, which could not have been the work of chance. Standing as it does at the head of the national records, it was calculated continually to remind the Jews of the promised Saviour. The following table exhibits their names in the order of their birth, as well as their literal signification in English:NAMES.
Japheth. Extending Supposing, therefore, that the original Hebrew terms were not proper names, but taking them according to their literal meanings, the Book of Chronicles opens with this important and interesting prediction. Man, originally made in the Divine image, having exchanged that image, and sorrowing on account of it, The Brightness of God, in the person of Christ Jesus, shall descend, anointed and prepared for the work, and tasting death for every man, shall bring consolation to the humbled, extending to all nations, dark and white alike, the benefit of his merits and mediation."
Enquiries and Correspondence.
Infant Responsibility. Do you suppose a child at the age of two years and seven months to have committed actual transgression, and, “ being born in sin,” to be incapable of happiness in a future state. ?
It is impossible to fix the precise age at which human responsibility begins. If a child sin wilfully, and not through ignorance, it must be considered as an actual transgressor. No one, whether man, woman, or child, is shut out from heaven on account of sin, if that sin be repented of and forgiven by God, through Jesus Christ, who is represented as willing to save to the uttermost all who come unto God by him.
The Body of Moses.
We have no authentic record of the incident referred to; the allusion, however, contained in this text, is sufficient to assure us either that it took place, or was currently believed to be true by those to whom St. Jude was writing. We are inclined to the former of these opinions, though we do not think it derogates anything from the character of an inspired writer to draw a profitable moral from a tradition or even a fiction. The parables of our Saviour were in some cases of this character.
Sons of Korah. DEAR SIR,—Will you oblige me by an
answer to the following
In Numbers xvi. 33, it is stated that Korah, Dathan, and Abiram,