« AnteriorContinuar »
much to save time, as if people were really influenced by a consciousness of its true value. However, the disciples who lived there must have rejoiced at the delay which was caused by the unlading of the ship, as it afforded them opportunities for edification, which they improved to the last moment.
“ You will, I dare say, not recognize the modern Acre, under the name of Ptolemais : Cesarea we have noticed before ; and now once more the apostle reaches Jerusalem.
“We now come to the final journey of St. Paul. His brief visit to his friends at Sidon must have been singularly refreshing to his affectionate mind. You can track his course on the map till Crete arrests our attention, one of the largest islands in the Mediterranean, having a circuit of about five hundred miles. It was uncommonly fertile, and was said to contain a hundred cities. You will observe that it lies at a pretty equal distance from the three continents of Europe, Asia, and Africa. Here Minos is fabled to have reigned, and here, we are told, was the celebrated labyrinth. As to the character of the inhabitants, it by no means corresponded to the beauty of the scenes by which they were surrounded. “The Cretians are alway liars;' and here we may observe in passing, that Paul is the only sacred writer who quotes heathen authors. There was also another proverb which had reference to them as one of three nations whose names began with that letter.—“Beware of the three K’s,” the Greek K, answering to our C, hard.
“ The difference of character between different races of men, as well as between different individuals, offers a curious subject for reflection. That all partake alike of a fallen nature, it seems strange indeed that any reader of history should ever have called in question, but that there is an inclination in each to sin 'after his own way,' and that what constitute temptations to crime in one, offer no allurements to another, is no less to be doubted; and the blending of individual variety with natural uniformity is an interesting subject of thought.
“ Crete, you see, lies at the entrance of the Grecian Archipelago. The Fair Havens is a port on the southern side of the island, which still retains the same name.
“Is there not considerable difference of opinion,” inquired Fanny, “ whether Melita is really Malta or not?”
“I think,” said Mrs. Walters, "the question is pretty much set at rest. There are many arguments which only learned people can adduce, but the results of which even the unlearned can appreciate, which I have read, and the conviction in my own mind is positive.”
"But, mamma,” said Julia, “ the people are called barbarians : now I saw somewhere that Cicero and Diodorus Siculus both speak of the island as abounding in riches and curiosities, and that there were manufactories there, and also that the houses were very beautiful.”
"All very true, Julia, but we use the word "barbarian’ in a different sense to that in which St. Luke employs it. All the cultivated nations of antiquity applied the term barbarian to those whose language they did not understand. Now the inhabitants of Malta were of Phænician origin, and though the island was now in possession of the Romans, yet it is probable that the inhabitants retained their ancient language. If you turn to 1 Cor. xiv. 11, you will see an illustration of this application of the word as used by the apostle himself, “If I know not the meaning of the voice, I shall be unto him that speaketh a barbarian, and he that speaketh shall be a barbarian unto me.'
"Syracuse was in those days the capital of Sicily. There is a modern town built partly on the same site, but only imperfect fragments of the immense ruins of the old city can be traced, scattered through fields and vineyards. Rhegium, now Reggio, on the opposite shore of Calabria, abounds in remains of antiquity. Puteoli is in the present day called Pzzueoli, where there are ruins of a very striking description. There St. Paul landed, and thence proceeded to Rome, by a route well known to travellers in the present day.
“He travelled across what is now the dreary and desolate Campagna, but which was then inhabited by busy throngs; the withering malaria which now renders it impossible to be inhabited with safety, though all under its influence is still bright and glowing, so that the eye can detect no reason why disease should lurk in its wide domain, always seems to me typical of the spiritual state of the Romish church, over which the breath
of superstition has shed such deadly influences, that scarce the shadow remains of the substance of what the Apostle taught.
“And now we have concluded our journeyings; we have accompanied the Apostle to the end of his earthly wanderings; he has arrived at the place where he tells the Romans in his Epistle to them, which he wrote from Corinth some years before, he so much desired to visit. But little is recorded of the two years he passed there; but that little shews, that his energies were untiring, and that there was no flinching from the one purpose for which he lived, that of making his Saviour known to those who knew him not, and strengthening the faith of those who had already learned to love him. Now he rests from his labors; and if even when in this world, he could say, that the sufferings of time were light, when compared with the weight of glory hereafter, how much more will he think so now.
As Mrs. Walters was rising, I begged to detain the little party for a few minutes, while I read a few lines written by the Rev. Hugh White, which seemed suitable to the subject we had been considering, and with these I shall conclude these recollections.
Oh! can I hope, since Jesus wept,
And since his saints in every age
Can I wish more, than that a lot
OLD IPSWICH AND THE PURITANS. There are few places in America which in reality have any claims to antiquity. What is called an old house here, would be almost modern in England; but so far as I have yet observed, Ipswich certainly has the most of venerability about it in appearance. After a cheerful repast at the house of the pastor of the first Religious Society, a friend accompanied me in a stroll through the town, and a pleasant walk we had, in the bright moonlight, down the High-street.
As we walked down the town, the quaint appearance of the houses struck me very forcibly-very different were they from those in most of the New England towns. They had pointed gables, and irregular slanting roofs; and in many of them the upper stories projected considerably over the basement apartments, in some such a way as the old houses are built at Chester, and in some of the old cities in England. They were usually decorated with red or brown paint, and had in consequence a sombre appearance, which contrasted strikingly with that of a few jauntily-painted modern cottages in their neighbourhood, which shone in all the glory of white fronts and green shades.
The Sabbath morning was bright and beautiful, as if a “bridal between earth and sky" had been celebrated at early dawn, and all creation was yet rejoicing at the happy union. But the bell gives note of preparation ; and lo! from a hundred homes come forth young and old, grave and gay; and in the peaceful summer calm they approach, singly and in groups, towards the sanctuary
Let us enter. It is an old place this, with its square pews, in which are straight high-backed chairs, so characteristic of a former generation. The galleries are deep and elevated from the floor, more than is usual in modern erections. And what a monstrous pulpit! Look at the twisted railings of the banisters ; the quaint panels; and above all, do not fail to observe the mighty sounding-board, which is as big as the canopy of an ancient bedstead, and quiet as elaborately carved. Over the preacher's head, on this sounding. board, is a star which is splendidly gilt ; this star had a companion at one time, to keep it in countenance, in front of the pulpit ; but a strict deacon, fancying, perhaps, that the only star of the pulpit should be the preacher, had, some years ago, the gold scraped off! The interior of this pulpit is so
capacious that a whole presbytery could find room enough and to spare in it; indeed, I think a parsonage house to its occupant would be quite a work of supererogation.
The Rev. D. P. Kimball, who has labored in Ipswich for many years, officiated. On the conclusion of the service I walked forth on the green, and whilst sitting on a piece of rock, which Whitefield once occupied as a pulpit, looking, as an old man of the village said, “like a Aying angel," I read from a pamphlet entitled, “The Simple Cobbler of Agawam, (the Indian name of Ipswich) in America,” some curious particulars respecting the old church and its founders. A note to this work which was written by the Rev. Nathaniel Ward, the first pastor of the church, consists of the following extract from Johnson's “Wonderworking Providence of the Lord, printed in London in 1638, respecting the 9th church of Christ, gathered at Ipswich.”
“This year (1635) came over a further supply of eminent instruments for furthering the admirable worke of his, amongst whom the Reverend and Judicious servant of Christ, Mr, Nathaniel Ward, who took up his station at the Towne of Ipswitch, situated on a faire and delightful river, “in the Sagawanship or Earldom of Aggawam.” The peopling of this town is by men of good ranke and quality, many of them having the yearly revenue of large lands in England before they came to this wilderness, but their estates being employed for Christ, and left in Banke, they are well content till Christ shall be pleased to restore it again to them or theirs.
“Their meeting-house is a very good prospect to a great part of the towne, and beautifully built. The church of Christ here consists of about one hundred and sixty souls, being exact in their conversation, and free from the epidemicall diseases of all reforming churches, which under Christ is procured by their learned, pious, and orthodox ministry, as in due place (God willing) shall be declared. In the mean time look on the following meeters concerning that soldier of Christ, Nathaniel Ward :
“Welcome thou ancient sage !--Come WARD! among
Christ's folke-take part in this great work of His.
And hast thou armed with weapons for that end;