« AnteriorContinuar »
impurity. The wiser Heathens reprobated them, as injurious to the state, and pernicious to public morals. In the bust ages of Christianity, theatres were equally avoided as Heathen temples; and no person who regarded his character could associate with actors. In the whole history of society, there occurs not an in- . stance of a man who was made wise, brave, or virtuous by the theatre ;-- but the examples of persons ruined in their character, in their religious principles and fortune, by attending plays; defy all calculation. Be so good as read Jeremiah Collyer against the Stage, and pronounce whether his arguments can be answered. Drydén himself confessed that the most of them were unanswerable. Why find fault with conscientious men for not attending the theatre ? Would you compel them to attend? Are they the worse for not attending? Cards were not known to the antients; and were invenied to please a royal idiot. If you can describe the pleasure they communicate, or the good they produce, you shall be my great Apollo. You chastize the licentious More, - and in this you deserve great credit from your countymen; but why, as censors of public morals, do you vindicate the passions excited by gambling? The great Locke condemned cards in the most express manner; and why call it Methodism to avoid them as a snarc, and condemn them as an evil ? Surely, Gentlemen, you forgot your dignity when you mentioned Puuchinello, dancing dogs, and blind fiddlers! a pretty spectacle, indeeil, to see wise men witnessing such scenes ! Are you acquainted with any Methodists? Have you ever been distressed with their ennui, their groans and sighs which they offer, you say, to the Deity ? I have witnessed their devotions, but saw no ennui, no wretchedness, no infelicity, marked in their faces, or pourtrayed in their worship. Some of their preachers are very eloquent, and speak good sense in a captivating style. They sing most delightfully in their chapels and churches, and appear in every thing the reverse of being wretched. If the face be an index of the mind, if devotion be a test of character, they seem to be a very happy people indeed. In the Tabernacle there is no vaulting nor tumbling ; and no low arts used to prosure popularity! All who have attended the Tabernacle can contradict your assertion, as destitute of truth and replete with malignity. That some preachers havc occasionally uncouth attitudes, may be granted to you;, but that'that place resembles Saddler's Wells, is a shocking insult upon the devotions of a pious au:lience. The most virulent enemy to our common Christianity could not have said any thing more indecent or wide of the truth.
Where you learn that Mihodists lay very little stress upon practical righteousness, you do not inform us. Sachan as:crtion required strong documerts to support it, either treni the reaalia ing or books of the Methouists; - but no such thing appeurs ali is unfounded rumour. “They do not sij to their people's
Do not be deceitful, - do not be idle, - get rid of your bad passions! - or, at least” (here your consciences remonstřate against yon) “ if they do say these things, they say them very seldom."-Did you ever hear them say so? or did you ever read such shocking sentiments in any of their works? Why not then, in the name of common honesty, mention the place, the person, or the book? Here is defamation of the blackest kind! Here is filcbing a good name, the immediate jewel of the soul,' with a witness ! 'Tis pity but Shakespeare were alive; to look our Reo viewers broad in the face, and say to them, Who steals my purse, steals trash, &c. His presence would create a blush in their cheeks. They would revere him, though they are not ashamed to calumniate the Methodists; -- bat, as abler pens are employed in reruting your unfounded assertions, I sball, for the present, bid you achieu. I remain, Gentlemen, Perthshire.
' yours, S. G.
THE CHRISTIAN PHILOSOPHER...
. THE Eye. The Eye is in form nearly globular; it consists of three coats and three humours, Fig. 1. represents the section of an
eye cut horizontally across the middle. The external coat, which is represented by the outer circle, ABCD is called the Sclerotica; the front part, B E C, which rather projects, is called the Cornea. The next coat, which is represented by the second circle, is called the Choroides. In the front of this coat is an aperture, a b, through which ibe rays of light pass into the eye: it is called the Pupil. That part of the Choroides which surrounds the pupil, and which in some persons is blue, in others brown or almost black, is callel the Iris (see a c b e, fig. 2, which represents a front view of the eye.) The Iris may be en- .
muscular fibres; the one like a number of circles of different sizes placed within each other, so as to have one common centre in the middle of the pupil: thi olhe set of fibres appear like
lines drawn from that centre to the circumference of the largest circle, and are called Radial Fibres. When too strong a light shines upon the eye, the circular fibres contract and diminish the pupil, by which a less number of rays are adınitted. When too Jittle light is received to peræive the object distinctly, the radial fibres contract; by which the pupil is enlarged, and a contrary effect produced. Unless the Iris possessed this property, the most painful effects would be producal, by sudden transitions from a greater to a less elegree of light, or the contrary. There are some animals who can so contract the pupil, as to admit a very little light; or enlarge it to such a degree, as to take in the -faintest rays, and see objects when other creatures cannot: -- a wonderful provision for such as seek their prey in the night! · The third coat is called the Retina, which sprcads like a network all over the inside of the Choroides. Immeriiately under the Cornea is a transparent fluid, like water, and is called the Aqueous Humour: it gives a protuberant figure to the Cornea. Ai the back of this is situated the Chrystalline humour, d f, in the shape of a double convex glass, of the consistence of a very hard jelly, and perfectly transparent. It is kept in its place by a fiae transparent membrane, which attaches it to the circumference of the iris. The rest of the eyc, Z Z, is filled withi. the vitreous humour, which is transparent, ani) about the consistence of the white of an egg. A is the Optic Nerve, which proceeds from the eye to the brain. - In a future paper we shall describe the effect of the different parts of the eye in producing -, sight. The wisdom and goodness of the Creator appears in the astonishing apparatus of muscles with which the eye is furnished, to produce all the necessary and convenient motions in the situation where it is placed, and in the provision mıle to preserve this delicate organ from injury. The eye bro:vs defend the eye from too strong a light; the eye-lids act like curtains to cover and protect it during sleep; and, when we are awake, they diffuse a fluid over the eye as often as we wink, which keeps it clean and well adapteil for transmitting the rays of light; and, lest the sig!ıt should be interrupted by this operation, it is performed in an instant; – the eye-lashes guard the eye trom floating dust, with which the atmosphere abounds. It is a remarkable circumstance that fishes, who have no occasion for a defence against doet or motes in the air, have no cye-lids * Thus, in the works of Jehovah there is nothing superfluous, and nothing deficient! - and the more minutely they are examince, the more evidently will it appear that He is excellent in countel and wonderful in working, both in the world of nature and of grace!
T. P. B. * Resham's Physico-Theology, p. 110. XVII. .
THOUGHTS ON ADULTERY.
(By the Bishop of I.onden.) Mr. Editor,', The following Observations of Bishop Porteus, in his Lecture on Herod .
and Herodias, struck me'as deserving, at the present time, a place in your Magazine. Perhaps they may be useful in preserving some of our Youth, from sims which entail misery upon individuals, families, and oations in this life, and cudless woc on the immortal souls of men.
Yours, Clion. In the conduct of life, there is nothing more to be dreaded and avoided, - nothing more dangerous to our peace, to our 'comfort, to our character, to our welfare here and hereafter, than a criminal attachinent to an abandoned and unprincipled woman,-but particularly in the early period of life. It has been the source of more misery, and, besides all the guilt which naturally belongs to it, has led to the commission of more and greater crimes than perhaps any other single cause that can be nam.cd. We have seen into what a gulph of sin and suffering it plunged the wretehed Herod. He began with adultery; and he ended with murder, and with the total ruin of himself, his kingdom, and all the vile partners of his guilt! The same has happen. ed in a thousand other instances ; and there are, I am persuaded, few persons here present, of any age or experience in the world, who cannot recollect numbers, both of individuals and of families, whose peace, tranquillity, comfort, characters, and furtunes,
have been completely destroyed by illicit and licentious connec, tions of this sort. Nor is this the worst. The present cffects of
these vices, dreadful as they sometimes are, cannot be compared with the misery which they are preparing for us hereafter. "The Scriptures cverywhere rank these vices in the number of those presumptuous sins which, in a future life, will experience the severest marks of divine displeasure. The world, indecd, treats * them with more indulgence. They are excused and palliated, and even defended, on the ground of human frailty, of natural constitution, of strong passions, and invincible templations! and they are generally considered and represented in various popular performances (especially in those imported from foreign countries) as associated with many amiable virtues, with goodness of heart, with high principles of honour, with benevolence, compassion, humanity, and generosity ! but whatever gentle names may be given to Sensuality and Licentiousness, whatever specious apologies may be made for them, whatever wit or talents may be employed in rendering them popular and fashionable, whatever numbers, whaiever examples may sanction or authorize them, it is impossible that any ibing can do away their natural turpitude and deformity, or avert those punishments which the
gospel has denounced against them. They are represented there as things that ought not even to be named among Cbristians;
yes exposing them incapelstice soul, as oristians ; *
Spirit of God, as rendering men incapable of inheriting the kinga dom of Heaven, as exposing them to the indignation of Him who is of purer eyes than to behold iniquity; and, as if men had en. deavoured in those days as well as our own, to soften, extenuate, and explain away the guilt of licentionsness, the apostle adds, with great solemnity and earnèstness, Let no man deceive you with vain words; for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience *' Let every man then, who pretends to be a Christian, and lives in the habitual practice of the vices here condemned, weigh well these tremendous words.
If there be any truth in the gospel, they shall not be vain words; · nor will offences of this nature ever pass unnoticed'or unpunish
ed by the righteous Governor of the world. These remarks are not introduced here without reason. It is the peculiar préva: lence of these very vices' at this moment which demands such'animadversions as these, - a prevalence which I infer, not merely from an imaginary estimate of the low state of morals amongst us, founded on rumour, on conjecture, or misconstruction,-but from facts too well ascertained, and which obtrude themselves on the notice of every observing mind. I mean those daring viclations of the nuptial contract, and the frequent divorces resulting from them, which seem daily gaining ground in this kingdom. This is a most melancholy and incontrovertible proof of increasing depravity amongst us; and I am sorry to add, of depravity of the very deepest dye; for instances have not long since occurred, in which the guilt of the parties too nearly resembled that of Herod, combining the two atrocious crimes of adultery and incest ! Surely, such enormities as these are enough to inake us tremble, and loudly call for the interposition of the Legislature, lest they bring down upon us the just vengeance of an offended God. Shall I not visit for these things, saith the Lord ? Shall not my soul be avenged on such a nation as this?"
Another reflection arising from this short history of Herod and John the Baptist is this, That although, in the ordinary course of divine administrations, the punishment of the wicked does
* We cannot here avoid noticing the polite cant of the day, by which the adulterous intercourse of a married strumpet with a married gentleman, is styled Living under his protection! --- a shamelul perversion of language ! Of the same description is another phrase, lately applied to the same crime, -- Indiscretion! This mode of softening down the scriptural terms, by which our forefathers properly denomioated this atrocious vice, has a most pernicious tendency ;' for it serves to lessen in the mind, and especially in the female mind, that abhorrence which oughi to be ontertained against Foroicaiion and Adultery. Should ihis new phraseology prevail, the old-fashioned terms of Scripiure will be thought obsolete, and, in a new version of the Decalogue, the Seventh Commandmeni ought te be rendered, 'Tbou shalt not cominit Indiscretion !