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perform all those fine and free operations which the ignorant attribute to spirits.” Such is the atheist's creed, from whence we learn that he must be weak, credulous, and absurd.
Of all principles, that of atheisní is the most incongruous to the nature of man, and the most ini. mical to true happiness. Without the belief of a God, and the hope of immortality, the miseries of human life would often be insupportable.
The following observations of Dr. Beattie rela. tive to characters professing such principles are truly admirable, “ Caressed by those who call themselves the great, engrossed by the formalities and fopperies of life, intoxicated with vanity, pampered with adulation, dissipated in the tumult of business, or amidst the vicissitudes of folly, they perhaps have little need and little relish for the con. solations of religion. But let them know, that, in the solitary scenes of life, there is many an honest and tender heart pining with incurable anguish, pierced with the sharpest sting of disappointment, bereft of friends, chilled with poverty, racked with disease, scourged by the oppressor, whom rothing but trust in Providence, and the hope of a future retribution, could preserve from the agonies of despair. And do they, with sacrilegious hands, attempt to vioalte this last refuge of the miserable, and to rob them of the only comfort that had survived the ravages of misfortune, malice, and tyranny ? Ye traitors to human kind, how can ye answer for it to your own hearts? Surely every spark of your generosity is extinguished for ever.
-Let not the lover of truth, however, be discouraged. Atheism cannot be of long continuance; nor is there any danger of its becoming universal,
When men have retrieved the powers of serious reflection, they will find it a frightful phantom, and the mind will return gladly and eagerly to its old endearments.” Truth will arise, and vindicate her rights, notwithstanding all opposition : it must and will prevail.
WHAT an invaluable blessing is it to have the Bible in our own tongue! Our forefathers rejoiced when they were first favoured with the op. portunity of reading it for themselves. We are told, that when Archbishop Cranmer's edition of the Bible was printed, in 1538, and fixed to a desk in all parochial churches, the ardor with which men flocked to read it was incredible. They who could, procured it; and they who could not, crowded to read it, or to hear it read in churches, where it was common to see little assemblies of mechanics meeting together for that purpose after the labour of the day. Many even learned to read in their old age, that they might have the pleasure of instructing themselves from the scriptures. -Mr. Fox mentions two apprenti. ces who joined each his little stock, and bought a Bible, which at every interval of leisure they read; but being afraid of their master, who was a zealous papist, they kept it under the straw of their bed.
By a law, however, in the 34th of Henry VIII, it was enacted, that no woman, except noblewomen and gentlewomen, might read to themselves alone, or to others, any texts of the Bible, &c; nor artificers, apprentices, journeymen, husbandmen, nor labourers, were to read the Bible or New Testament in English to themselves, or to any other person, privately or openly. With what pleasure ought we to reflect on our deliverance from those times of darkness, and that now we live in a land of Bibles, and in a time when they are still on the increase.
It is recorded of our Edward VI, that, upon a certain occasion, a paper which was called for in the council chamber happened to be out of reach : the person concerned to produce it took a Bible that lay by, and, standing upon it, reached down the paper. The king, observing what was done, ran himself to the place, and, taking the Bible in his hands, kissed it, and laid it up again. This circumstance, though trifling in itself, shewed his majesty's great reverence for and affection to that best of all books; and whose example is a stri. king reproof to those who suffer their Bibles to be covered with dust for months together, or throw them about as if they were of little value, or only a piece of useless lumber.
Robert, King of Sicily, thus said : “ The holy books are dearer to me than my kingdom ; and were l'under any necessity of quitting one, it should be my diadem.” And even the haughty Louis XIV sometimes read his Bible, and considered it as the finest of all books.
Dr. Harris, in all his wills, always renewed this legacy :--Item, I bequeath to all my children, and to my children's children, to each of them, a Bible, with this inscription, “None but Christ.” A noble legacy, truly! If parents were to leave such a boon as this to all their children, with an earnest request that they should constantly read and study it, it might, under the divine blessing, be
. the mean of enriching them more than if they left them thousands of gold and silver. .
We are informed of Dr. Marryat, that after he was somewhat advanced in youth, having a strong memory, he thought iî his duty to make it a secret repository of the words of divine revelation.
Accordingly “he treasured up," says one, “ a larger portion of the scriptures than, perhaps, any one besides, whom we have known, ever did : for there are some who can assure us they had the account immediately from himself,—that he has committed to memory not a few whole books, both of the Old Testament and the New. When he mentioned this, he named distinctly, Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Isaiah, and Jeremiah, with all the minor Prophets : and every one of the Epistles likewise in the New Testament, with the book of the Revelation; and that he might carefully retain the whole of what he had thus learnt, he de. clared, it was his practice to repeat them memoriter once a year.—The special reason or mo. tive which he assigned for his entering upon this method deserves a particular notice. He began it in the younger part of life, when, being under a deep sense of the evil of sin, and his mind sadly ignorant of God's way of salvation by the righteousness of the glorious Messiah, or being in the dark as to his own personal interest in it, he was sorely distressed with fears that hell must be his portion. At that time it was put into his heart, that, if he must go to hell, he would endeavour to carry with him as much of the word of GOD as possibly he could. And it seems to me to have been a secret latent principle of the fear and love of God that established him in this purpose.
light be a records, the recollectin flus
For it looks as if he desired to have a supply of scrips ture materials for his mind to work upon, chusing it should ever be employed in recollecting and reflecting upon those records, that hereby, if possible, it might be kept from blaspheming God, like the rest of the spirits in the infernal prison."
The society which has been lately formed for the purpose of circulating the sacred scriptures through the British dominions and other countries, whether Christian, Mahometan, or Pagan, we trust will be of incalculable benefit. A clergyman in Wales gives us the following interesting account. “I cannot express,” says he, “ the joy I felt on receiving the information of a society be. ing formed for supplying various nations of the world with Bibles. The Sunday Schools have oc. casioned more calls for Bibles, within these five years, than perhaps ever was known before among our poor people. The possession of a Bible pro. duces a feeling among them, which the possession of no one thing in the world besides could produce. In many houses they have but one Bi. ble for the use of a numerous family ; of course every one cannot obtain the free use of it at all va. cant seasons, when they might read it ; and frequently, the young people and the menial servants, who are debarred the use of it, are the most anxjously desirous for the reading of it. The last Oxford edition was bought up by them principally, in every parish. where dispersed, with the greatest avidity; and there was not half.enough to answer the demand for them. I have seen some of them overcome with joy, and burst into tears of thankfulness on their obtaining possession of a Bible as: their own property, and for their free use. Young