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PRESENTS TO THE CLERGY.
silver coffee and tea service. From the British Magazine, June.
[See Rev. xviii. 12, 13.]
Testimonials of Respect to the Clergy.The parishioners have presented to the Rev. E. Jones, curate of St. Thomas, Southwark, a handsome silver salver. The Rev. George Townsend, vicar of Northallerton, a splendid silver cup. Rev. Robert Armitage, curate of Sellock, in Hertfordshire, a silver waiter. Rev. John Saunders, a service of plate. Rev. W. Legg, of Reading, a Bible and a purse containing seventy guineas. Rev. W. Wilson, curate of St. Pancras, plate to the value of 751. Rev. W. Maughan lecturer of St. John's, Newcastle, a pocket communion-service, and a purse of gold. Rev. E. Dewdney, St. John's Chapel, Portsea, a superior achromatic microscope, and an astronomical telescope, value 1811. 13s., as a reward for his opposition to the New Poor Law. Rev. C. Johnstone, Monkwearmouth, a handsome set of robes. Rev. R. M. Lamb, Preston, Henry and Scott's Bible and Pictorial Prayer Book, elegantly bound. Rev. R. W. Huntley, Alderbury, Salop, four beautiful silver corner dishes. Rev. Joseph Brown, Hendon, Middlesex,
“MR. BAINES, M.P. for Leeds, refused to pay 21. 58. for church rates; he appealed from the civil to the ecclesiastical authorities, and has been condemned in taxed costs, amounting to upwards of one hundred and twenty-five pounds.Leeds Intelligencer.
The Dissenters seem now to be quite under the paw of the Ecclesiastical Courts. Their political agitation has had little other effect than to rouse from his slumber the old dragon, that used to worry them in the days of Archbishop Laud. The unfortunate churchwardens of Wales are still languishing in their dungeons. But this is no new thing under the sun ; and it is no novelty that the clergy should seek to uphold their dominion by practices of this sort.
J. Wertheimer & Co. Printers, Finsbury Circus.
What saith the Scripture ?-Rom. iv. 3.
EXTENT AND ENERGY OF THE POWER OF SATAN.
Tms world presents the arena of a mighty contest between the conflicting powers of light and darkness. This is so evident a truth, that it has formed the basis of most of the religious views of mankind. The philosophers of the east, favoured by their imaginative temperament, and the warmth of sunny skies disposing to a contemplative life, reduced the faint light of original tradition, or the deductions of unassisted reason, to a system of their own, and attributed to matter in its imagined eternal changes, the origin of the power of evil, the great serpent Ahriman, who during three tri-millennial periods of the world's history struggles with Ormazd, the author of good, in the fourth period gains a temporary ascendancy, and inflicts terrible evils on mankind; but in the last period is compelled to yield to the beneficent reign of Ormazd, while he himself is either confined or annihilated. The most prevalent religion of the old world is strangely intermingled with adumbrations of truths which the Bible alone reveals, but it is only in the pages of this blessed word that we find an adequate solution of that enigma, which has perplexed the thinking portion of mankind in all ages.
The mind of man can find no refuge from conflicting thoughts, except in resting in child-like confidence on the “pure words ” of God; and that “ wisdom” which would explain away, or let down the meaning of any portion of this word of inspiration, should be deprecated as destructive to the dearest interests of immortal beings. Infidelity may scorn the simplicity of the narrative; and nominal Christianity evade its practical consequences; but the inspired record stands in unapproachable majesty, unmoved as the pyramids, over whose time-furrowed surface countless ages have passed, and left them alone, the record of generations passed into the land of forgetfulness.
The Bible speaks in no doubtful or obscure terms, respecting the existence and the power of Satan; and does not limit the extent of that power to the mere suggestion of evil to the mind of man; but describes this leader of the hosts of darkness, as the “ prince of this world,” “ the god of this world,” “ the spirit that now ruleth in the hearts of the children of disobedience.” He is depicted as
having the power of death;" as appearing personally to tempt our Lord, and as showing him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. His present position is implied to be that of accusing the saints day and night before God; and he, and the principalities and powers under him, are represented as occupying not, now, the bottomless pit, but“ heavenly places” (Eph. vi. 12); and as destined to be finally cast into the lake of fire, prepared for the devil and his angels. Of all the spheres in which his energy is exerted, we have good reason to believe, none is so vigilantly occupied as that in which the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ is the most displayed. The church of the elect, as manifesting“ the manifold wisdom of God," and changed into the image of Christ, from glory to glory, as by the Lord the Spirit,” is the object of his special assault. How needful is it, then, that the saints of God, in putting on the whole armour of light, should divest themselves of those unbelieving views which the neologian principles of interpretation admitted by many in this superficial age do exceedingly cherish. “ Ye shall not surely die,” was the first temptation by
which he succeeded with man; and we fear he is employing the very same stratagem with more refined subtlety, and with vast success in the present day. “ Things are not quite so bad as God represents them,” is the substance of much of the new theology of the passing age. We marvel not at any amount of incredulity in the circles
of philosophy or worldly literature ; but we feel not only surprise, but alarm, at the views inculcated on these subjects by popular evangelical teachers. Take as an illustration the following extract from a sermon preached by a leading dissenting minister in London, May 26th, 1839, published in the Penny Pulpit
“ Hell is represented as a place of fire-a fire that is never quenched—a worm that never dies—a fire that is ever scorching, and ever living upon the spirit, but never destroying it. I do not believe in material fire in hell. I do not expect that in hell there is literal fire and brimstone; it does not want that; no, it is quite enough to have this fire—the natural effects of sin on a moral nature—the consciousness of being separated from God, separated from all holy beings, separated for ever from all possibility of obedience, from all possibility of mercy, from ever joining the ranks of the wise and the virtuous—shut up with nothing but the recollection of the number and the aggravations of the transgressions committed. The spirit of man, suffering all the reflections that will arise from the thought of what it has done against the God that made it—this is represented in Scripture as the scorching, burning, eternal operation of fire upon the spirit.
6 And this is not confined to what we call hell; it is not confined to futurity. The flames of hell have been as really lighted up on this earth; they have been as really lighted up in the bosom of a man, as in that place which we call hell itself-as really, but not to the same extent; as really, but still surrounded by many alleviations, alleviations which cannot be felt there."
We know not from what source Mr. Binney derived his information on this subject; but we can certainly affirm it was not from the recorded words of our Lord, of whom it was prophetically testified, “ grace is poured into thy lips;" yet on this subject His expressions are as fearful in their import, as became one who loved the souls of men, and far too explicit to be explained away. 6 Fear him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” “ It is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.” Will Mr. B. tell us that this means thy whole body” being cast into remorse? If the theory propounded in this sermon, could be supposed true, what possible sense could we assign to the words of our Lord, John v. 28, 29.—“ All that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth...they that have done evil unto the resurrection of damnation."
Our object in this paper is, not to enter into any theological discussion, but simply to place before our readers, some well-established facts, tending to elucidate the very humiliating truth, that Satan is still permitted, at times, to exercise direct power over the bodies and souls of men, especially in the dark regions of the earth. It would be a useful task, which we would suggest to any of our readers possessing the requisite facilities to extend the investigation, and collect, in one volume, the abundant supply of materials furnished by the observations of missionaries in heathen lands.
The first testimony which we select, is from the life of that eminent saint, David Brainerd, who thus writes in reference to the difficulties attending the conversion of the Indians :
“What further contributes to their aversion to Christianity, is the influence that their pow-wows, conjurors, or diviners, have upon them. These persons are supposed to have a power of foretelling future events ; of recovering the sick, at least, oftentimes, and of charming, enchanting, or poisoning persons to death by their magic divinations. Their spirit, in its various operations, seems to be a satanical imitation of the spirit of prophecy, which the church in early ages enjoyed. Some of these diviners are endowed with this spirit
in infancy; others, in adult age. It seems not to depend upon their own will, nor to be acquired by any endeavours of the person who is the subject of it; though it is supposed to be given to children sometimes, in consequence of some means which the parents use with them for that purpose. They are not under the influence of this spirit always alike; but it comes upon at times; and those that are endowed with it are accounted singularly favoured.
“ I have laboured to gain some information respecting their conjurations ; and have, for that end, consulted with the man mentioned in my journal of May 9th;
who, since his conversion to Christianity, has endeavoured to give me the best intelligence he could of this matter. But it seems to me such a mystery of iniquity, that I cannot well understand it, and know not oftentimes what ideas to affix to the terms he makes use of; and so far as I can learn, he himself has not any clear notions of the thing, now his spirit of divination has gone from him. However, the manner in which he says he obtained this spirit of divination was this,-he was admitted into the presence of a great man, who informed him that he loved, pitied, and desired to do him good. It was not in this world that he saw the great man ; but in a world above, at a vast distance from this. The great man, he says, was clothed with the day; yea, with the brightest day he ever saw; a day of many years, yea, of everlasting continuance. This whole world, he says, was drawn upon him, so that in him the earth and all things in it might be seen. I asked him if rocks, mountains, and seas were drawn upon, or appeared in him? He replied, every thing that was beautiful and lovely in the earth was upon him, and might be seen by looking on him, as well as if one was on the earth to take a view of them there. By the side of the great man, he says, stood his shadow, or spirit; for he used chiching, the word they commonly make use of to express that of the man which survives the body, which word properly signifies—a shadow. This shadow, he says, was as lovely as the man himself, and filled all places, and was most agreeable as well as wonderful to him. Here, he says, he tarried some time; and was unspeakably entertained and delighted with a view of the great man and of his shadow, or spirit, and of all things in him. And what is most of all astonishing, he imagines all this to have passed before he was born. He never had been, he says, in this world at that time ; and what confirms him in the belief of this is, that the great man told him that he must come down to earth, be born of such a woman, meet with such and such things, and in particular, that he should, once in his life, be guilty of murder. At this he was displeased, and told the great man he would never murder. But the great man replied, “I have said it, and it shall be so ;' and it accordingly happened. At this time, he says, the great man asked him what he would choose in life? He replied, first to be a hunter, and afterwards to be a pow-wow or diviner. The great man told him he should have what he desired; and that his shadow should go along with him down to earth and be with him for ever. There were, he says, all this time no words spoken between them. The conference was not carried on by any human language, but they had a kind of mental intelligence of each other's thoughts, dispositions, and proposals. After this he saw the great man no more, but supposes he now came down to earth to be born. The spirit, or shadow, of the great man, still attended him, and ever after continued to appear to him, in dreams, and other ways, until he felt the power of God's word upon his heart, since which it has entirely left him.
“ This spirit, he says, used sometimes to direct him, in dreams, to go to such a place, and hunt, assuring him he should there meet with success; and so it proved. When he had been there some time, the spirit would order him to another place. Thus he had success in hunting, according to the great man's promise made to him at the time of his choosing this employment.
“Sometimes this spirit came upon him in a special manner, and he was full of what he saw in the great man. Then he says he was all light, and not only light himself, but it was light all around him; so that he could see through men, and knew the thoughts of their hearts. These depths of Satan' I leave to others to fathom or to dive into as they please, and do not pretend, for my own part, to know what ideas to affix to such terms, and cannot well guess what conceptions of things these creatures have at these times when they call themselves all light. But my interpreter informs me, that he heard one of them tell a certain Indian the secret thoughts of his heart which he had never divulged. The case was this: the Indian was bitten with a snake, and in extreme pain. The diviner, being applied to for his recovery, told him that at such a time he had promised the next deer he killed should be sacrificed to some great power, but he had broken his promise : and
said he, that great power has ordered this snake to bite you for your neglect. The Indian confessed it was so ; but said he had never told anybody of it. But as Satan, no doubt, excited the Indian to make that promise, it was no wonder he should be able to communicate the matter to the conjuror.
“ These things serve to fix them down in their idolatry, and to make them believe there is no safety to be expected but by their continuing to offer such sacrifices.
And the influence that these pow-wows have upon them, either through esteem or fear, is no small hindrance to their embracing Christianity.”—Life of Brainerd,
Whatever may be said of the warmth of imagination, or the highly wrought narrative of the Indian, the fuct of supernatural power exerted is very evident.
The statements which have recently been made by several independent and most respectable witnesses, relative to the power of magic still extant in Egypt, are incapable of explanation on any other ground than that of direct intercourse with evil spirits. We assert this without fear, because the attempt to account for the phenomena, on the ground of optical deception, by a leading Review, is so evident a failure as to confirm any unprejudiced person, in the conviction not only that such facts do exist, but that they are incapable of solution by any deductions from the known laws of nature.
The following is an extract from Mr. Lane's “ Modern Egyptians," a work of great research and apparent accuracy:
“ A few days after my first arrival in this country, my curiosity was excited on the subject of magic, by a circumstance related to me by Mr. Salt, our consul-general. Having had reason to believe that one of his servants was a thief, from the fact of several articles of property having been stolen from his house, he sent for a celebrated Mugh’reb'ee
magician, with the view of intimidating them, and causing the guilty one (if any of them were guilty) to confess his crime. The magician came, and said that he would cause the exact image of the person who had committed the thefts to appear to any youth not arrived at the age of puberty; and desired the master of the house to call in any boy he might choose. As several boys were then employed in a garden adjacent to the house, one of them was called for this purpose. In the palm of this boy's right hand, the magician drew, with a pen, a certain diagram, in the centre of which he poured a little ink. Into this ink he desired the boy stedfastly to look. He then burned some incense, and several bits of paper inscribed with charms; and, at the same time, called for various objects to appear in the ink. The boy declared that he saw all these objects, and, last of all, the image of the guilty person : he described his stature, countenance, and dress; said that he knew him; and directly ran down into the garden, and apprehended one of the labourers, who, when brought before the master, immediately confessed that he was the thief
. “ The magician was called the sheykh 'Abd El-Ckadir El-Mughrebee. A few weeks after my second arrival in Egypt, my neighbour Osman, interpreter of the British consulate, brought him to me, and I fixed a day for his visiting me, to give me a proof of the skill for which he is so much famed.
“ In preparing for the experiment of the magic mirror of ink, which, with some other performances of a similar nature, are hereby termed durb el-men' del, the magician first asked me for a reed-pen and ink, a piece of paper, and a pair of scissors ; and, having cut off a narrow strip of paper, wrote upon it certain forms of invocation, together with another charm, by which he professes to accomplish the object of the experiment. He did not attempt to conceal these ; and on my asking him to give me copies of them, he readily consented, and immediately wrote them for me; explaining to me, at the same time, that the object he had in view was accomplished through the influence of the two first words, “Tur'shoon' and “Turyoo’shoon,' which, he said, were the names of two genii, his familiar spirits.' * “ Having
written these, the magician cut off the paper containing the forms of invocation from that upon which the other charm was written, and cut the former into six strips. He then explained to me that the object of the latter charm (which contains part of the 21st verse of the Sooʻrat Cka'f, or 50th chapter of the Ckoor-a'n) was to open the boy's eyes in a supernatural manner; to make his sight pierce into what is to us the invisible world.
“ The chafing-dish was placed before him and the boy, and the latter was placed on a seat. The magician now desired my servant to put some frankincense and coriander-seed into the chafing-dish; then, taking hold of the boy's right-hand, he drew, in the palm of it, a magic square. In the centre, he poured a little ink, and desired the boy to look into it, and to tell him if he could see his face reflected in it; the boy replied that he saw his face clearly. The magician, holding the boy's hand all the while, told him to continue looking intently into the ink ; and not to raise his head.
Ile then took one of the little strips of paper inscribed with the forms of invoca