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low, the vilest of the rile. When enlightened and pure, there are none so good; when degraded and vicious, there are none so bad, and this on account of the predominance of the affections over the intellect. Coleridge, has justly observed, that many a man, with a heart as depraved, has kept himself from completes! villany, has laid some salutary restraint upon his passions, by the strength of his intellect; but woman, when her moral feelings are depraved, when her heart is vitiated, is completely lost. It was not without much significance, and considerable insight into human character, that the Greeks represented the Muses, the Graces, the Furies, as all females, some of whom are far more pure, more angelic, than man has ever been, while others are more thoroughly demoniacal.
Hence it is, that on subjects affecting morals and the propensities of life, the judgment of a thorough good woman is generally so correct—her moral taste is so accurate; she judges more by the heart than by the head. Hence her decisions may be relied on, though she may not be able to sustain them by an array of the strongest and best reasons. Hence it is, too, that woman is more confiding than man; that her sympathies are warmer; that her benevolence is more self-denying and untiring, and her devotion more ardent—it is thoroughly the devotion of the heart; and that she more frequently loves the good for the good's sake, apart from all consideration of the consequences. Very much of all this appears to be indicated in the conduct of the women presented to us in the sacred narratives; and this constitutes to my mind a part of their charm, and one beautiful proof, amongst numberless others, of their veracity.
These women were amongst the excellent of the earth; they were pure in heart; of transparent integrity and worth; and they were all the subjects of a holy, ardent, reverent affection for one whom they justly regarded as the impersonation of wisdom, truth, gentleness, goodness. For some years they had followed him, more or less constantly, in his various journeys of benevolence through the villages and cities of Palestine. They ministered unto him of their substance; they did it not reluctantly, but delightedly with all their hearts; it yielded them the purest gratification and joy. They laboured in every possible way to lessen his toils, to alleviate his sufferings, to promote his comfort. No tongue can tell what pleasure it afforded them in any way to serve Him. Hence the seamless garment which He wore; a garment which some of them had woven with their own hands, and had woven for Him. No act by which they could show their affection for Him, was too costly. Hence, on more than one occasion, some of them poured the most precious ointment, now on His head, and again on His feet. The Apostles, not merely the poor thief, complained of this as waste, but Jesus excused and commended it. It is worthy of remark, as a beautiful illustration of the gentleness, kindness, goodness, of the Redeemer's character, that He accepted all these tokens of affection, and valued them as proofs and expressions of the attachment from which they proceeded. Thus also their uffection continued unabated to the very last; all the trying changes in the Redeemer's circumstances had produced no change in their attachment to Him. When in the hands of Ruffians, they did not forsake Him; when on the Cross; they were not far from Him—they were as near to Him as they were allowed to be; they remained with Him to the last; they saw, with tearful eyes and bleeding hearts, all that was done to His sacred remains; "they were the last at the cross and the first at the grave." How true to nature is all this! How the affections of a pure-minded, noble-hear! ed woman last! Nothing can change them. She is almost incapable of seeing any deterioration of character in the object of her love. How her affections go out after her erring husband, or her prodigal boy! How tenderly she draws the veil of charity over their faults; her lovecovers a multitude of sins. Still less will any change of ^circumstances diminish her attachment. Is the object of her affection reduced to poverty? Is he stretched on a bed of sickness 1 Is he in danger, in prison, in the arms of death? Through all this she loves him, cleaves to him, will not leave him, but will rather sink under her privations and toils with him and for him.
We regret our want of space to do justice to the claims of this excellent writer. We cannot, however, refrain from quoting another passage of singular force. We allude to his vivid description, in his character of Herod,
OF THE POWER OF CONSCIENCE.
During the imprisonment of John, Herod must sometimes—at least— have thought, and not without compunction, of the faithful reproofs and solemn warnings which the prophet had addressed to him; and his happiness could not have heen increased hy his connection with Herodias. But, after the murder of John, he became miserable; his throne was a seat of thorns. He was, at this time, not without his cares and anxieties as a ruler, for he was engaged in war with his brother Philip, occasioned by his conduct in relation to Herodias; but he found that the cares of government were infinitely less painful and less tormenting than the stings of a guilty conscience. A dreadful sound was in his ears ; the vision of the murdered prophet was ever before his eyes; it haunted him incessantly f it disturbed the slumbers of the night; it broke in upon the pleasures of the day, and incapacitated him for the business of life. Every sound alarmed him, every voice condemned him, every appearance terrified him; nothing was natural, nothing appeared itself; every thing seemed strange, ominous, dreadful. Solitude was unspeakably alarming—alone, indeed, he never was—the murdered prophet was always with him. SOCIETY afforded him no relief, the voice of the prophet was louder, more impressive, and more distinctly heard, than that of mirth or of friendship; the prophet was nearer to him, and more distinctly seen, than the friend who sat by his side—the friend was without him, the prophet was within him, troubling, agitating his sou!—he saw him with the eye of the mind, which never closed nor blinked, but was fully and irresistibly fixed on the image which appalled it.
Terrors surrounded him; everything alarmed him; he trembled at his own shadow; the rustling of a leaf was the footstep of vengeance. Jesus had been labouring for eighteen months in Galilee, and Herod seems not even to have heard of him ; but now the prophet is murdered, he immediately hears of the fame of Jesus,.and is alarmed ; fears unutterable possess his soul; he cries out, "He is John the Baptist; yes, he is not Elias, he is not one of the old prophets risen from the dead; he is no other than John, whom I beheaded; he is risen from the dead, and, therefore, mighty works do show forth themselves in him."
Oh, how great is the power—how awful are the terrors, of a guilty conscience! Who would fall beneath its frowns t Who would be for ever subject to its terrible inflictions? With truth hath God said, "There is no peace unto the wicked." Well hath he represented them by the troubled sea when it cannot rest, which continually casteth up mire and dirt. When the guilty conscience takes the soul firmly in its grasp, and lets loose upon it all its terrors, the ocean, in the most furious tempest, is not more deeply troubled, or more fiercely agitated; what then must it be to spend eternal ages, exposed to the fury of infernal elements, the storms and tempests which agitate the regions of the lost, scathed by the lightnings of retributive justice, and torn by the vultures of a guilty mind? Those who are deeply impressed with a sense of the evil of sin, and the importance of religion, are often spoken of as beside themselves.; they appear so to the thoughtless and the vain. But we are not left in doubt as to the side to which the aberration really belongs. Broken-hearted penitents are bat " coming to themselves," and if their distress is great, what must it bo to awaken frtom the dream- and the delusion of sin in the eternal world? The mind will then be steadily fixed on the one object; its impressions will not be effaced or succeeded by others. Far different will be the condition of the lost spirit from that of Herod, whose feelings of terror appear to have worn away, as months 'passed on, and the great prophet did not visit or punish him.
. These quotations will supply the reader with means of estimating the value of these "Sketches." This work supplies some fine specimens of highly elaborated writing, which are equally free from stiffness on one hand, and attenuation on the other. There is more thought in one of these "Sketches" than in some moderate-sized volumes, which have won for their authors a considerable share of popularity in this age, when the mere tinsel of authorship it so ofteri mistaken for its solid metal. Mr. Davies, like all those writers in whom the elements of thought abound, will bear reading a second time, and the secopd perusal will generally be found to be quite as interesting as the first . Our readers will do well to make themselves acquainted with this valuable writer.
Congregationalism for Christ. By Newman Hall. London; John Snow, Paternoster Row.
This is, we believe, a verbatim publication of the Address, whieh its author delivered in Exeter Hall, at a public meeting held in connection: with the late Meeting of the Congregational Union in London. Its object is the promotion of Congregationalism on Christian principles, and as such it will he read with deep interest by persons of all denominations. It abounds in noble sentiments.
Tiie Seven Words. Translated by Dr. Cox. London: Jones And Co., Paternoster Row. >
A Romish publication, with less than the usual proportion of Popish doctrine. The "Seven Words," is a work well adapted to lead the unwary astray.
Evangelical Preacher. London : Sangster And Fletcher, Paternoster Row.
The fourth and fifth numbers of a Publication to assist Pulpit preparation. They are well adapted to this end.
The Song of Solomon. London: R. Theobald, Paternoster Row.
A work, which the devout will read with interest and edification. The common interpretation, which treats this portion of the Canon of the Old Testament as describing the relation that subsists between Christ and his Church, is adopted by the Author, and beautifully worked out.
Buried Treasures. London: Cockshaw, Ludgate Hill.
Four Tracts, on the State Church. London : British Anti-state Church Association.
The Buried Treasures is a republication of Locke's Treatise on Toleration and Milton's Civil Power in Ecclesiastical Causes. The Tracts are from the pens of Burnet, Miall, Hinton, and Tillett. They are all eminently adapted to promote the cause of Anti-State-churchism. We cordially recommend them to the attention of our readers.
1. "The Gospol of EzekieL" Rev. T. Guthrie. Edinburgh: Adam & C. Black.
2. "A New History of England." By G. S. Poulton. Loudon: W. Freeman, Fleet Street.
3. "Way of Holiness." By Mrs. Phoebe Palmer. London: Alexander Heylin, Paternoster Bow.
4. "Bible History for Children." London: E. Routledge and Co., Farringdon Street.
6. "Biblical Literature." Vol. for 1855. London : Freeman, Fleet-street. 6. "The Pastoral Function in the Church." Rev. M. HilL London: Ward and Co.
SEED THOUGHTS AND SEEDLINGS. It is of the utmost importance to have the plan of life distinctly laid down, to have the boundaries of that plan well defined, and always to keep the grand ultimate object of pursuit vividly in view. John Hessel.
'Live while we live!' the epicure will say,
'And taste the pleasures of the present day.'
'Live while we live!' the hoary preacher cries,
'And give to God each moment as it flies.'
Lord! in my view, let both united be;
We live in pleasure, when we live in thee! Doddridge.
As a body becomes hot before it becomes luminous, so the Christian must be filled with the love of God, before he can become a light of the world.
Christianity, like Rome, has had both the Gaul and Hannibal at her gates. But, as the 'Eternal City,' in the latter case, calmly offered for sale, and sold at an undepreciated price, the very ground on which the Carthaginian had fixed his camp, with equal calmness may Christianity imitate her example of magnanimity. She may feel assured that, as in so many past instances of premature triumph on the part of her enemies, the ground they occupy wul one day be her own; that the very discoveries, apparently hostile, of science and philosophy, will be ultimately found elements of her strength. H. Rogers.
An essential condition of happiness is to have something to do, and a disposition to do it .
The record of human life is far more melancholy than its course; the hours of quiet enjoyment are not noted; the thousand graces and happinesses of social life, the loveliness of nature meeting us at every step, the buoyancy of spirit resulting from health and a pure air, the bright sun, the starry firmament,—all that cheers man on his road through his probationary state, that warms the heart and makes life pleasant, is omitted in the narrative, which can only deal with facts; and we read of disappointment, and sickness, and death, and exclaim, 'Why is man born to sorrow?' He is not so; life's grief is far less in the reality than it appears in the relation. Eclectic Review.
How stikingly the course of nature tells,
We sow the glebe, we reap the corn,
Good or bad habits, those frequently unnoticed companions, generally go with us through life, and become, sooner or later, from the universally dominant spirit of their race, less our companions than our masters.
The effort to utter our thoughts makes them more truly our own. Many a thought that passes through the mind would be forgotten almost as soon as born if it were not spoken. Ideas are born into the world, like children, in a very helpless state, and unless a robe of words is put upon them, and they are fed and carefully nursed by serious reflection, they very soon die and are forgotten.
The strong heat of Imagination projected into the future, rarities the atmosphere before us, and the consequent rush of air carries us rapidly along with it.
A STARTLING PICTURE.
In the interesting autobiography of a Beggar-boy, we are presented with the following graphic description of the etfects of strong drink upon the body and mind of one who suffered no little through its withering influence.
"Onetime my father had been drinking some days in New Galloway, a small place in the wilds of Kirkcudbrightshire. After he could remain no longer in this town, he sallied forth late in the evening of a cold October day, he knew not whither. In the course of a short time we had arrived upon a wild and desolate moor, the face of the sky was covered as with a pall, and the rain fell in torrents. I can never forget how he dragged me along the dreary waste, he knew not whither. His tall, gaunt figure, was frequently brought into fearful relief by the flashes of lightning, which followed the fearful claps of thunder; and he looked like the genius of the storm, with a young victim in his hand ready for a peace-offering. During that awful night we floundered through its dreary hours, and had so frequently measured our length amid the bogs and swamps of the moor, that we actually looked as if we had been a part of it."
Shortly after the poor boy had passed through this dreadful night, his brutal parent had an attack of delirium tremens, which is thus described:—
"One evening we left Wark between eleven and twelve at night in the middle of winter; my father made up his mind to go to Hexham, in Northumberland, but instead of going direct to Chollorford, he forded the Tyne, and took the road to Barrisford, which was at least three miles further round. How he got safely through the river I cannot imagine, but it must have been attended with no small danger. All I remember now is, that we were both as wet as water could make us.
"We had not proceeded on our journey more than half a mile after having forded the river, when my father brought up in the middle of the road. Up to this time he had been talking a good deal of disjointed stuff. This was an ordinary occurrence when poor Mac was under the influence of Bacchus. The moment we came to a dead stand, he pointed his hand to the devil, who he said, was standing in the middle of the highway, at the comfortable distance of about five yards in advance of us. We stood still for a few minutes, during which time my father seemed revolving the matter over in his mind as to whether he should retrace his steps or go on. At last he crossed himself, and we moved forward; the devil in the most friendly and complimentary manner doing the same. In order to satisfy himself of Satan's identity, my father made an attempt to pass him, but however fast we walked, we could not lesson the distance a single inch, or, however slow we paced the ground our relative position remained the