Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

follows; for sometimes you will find that which assists in disclosing the oracular character of the passage, because it cannot be applied to the times or subjects to which the connexion refers ; while, at others, the oracle stands alone, as though following from nothing said before, leading to nothing which follows after, and is thus impressively shown to be an oracle. 4. When the terms are verified clearly and perfectly in the person or thing which serves as a type or symbol, then must we carefully examine this typical person or thing, and ascertain as distinctly as possible what that truth is, the exhibition of which is presented under the veil of such type.

But these rules, and indeed all others that may be laid down on the subject, will be most clearly discovered by practice. It is to such an investigation of the most important of the oracles of the Old Testament, that the remaining chapters of this book will be devoted.

ESCAPE OF DR. ADAM CLARKE FROM DROWNING. The following account is recorded in the autobiography of Dr. Clarke, to which are annexed certain observations from the pen of that Divine, at once interesting and, doubtless, to many, somewhat strange. We have met, however, with a case similar, in a letter from the late Admiral Beaufort, addressed to Dr. Wollaston, and published in the recent Memoirs of Sir John Barrow, late Secretary to the Admiralty.

One morning, as was sometimes his custom, he rode a mare of his father's into the sea to bathe her; the sea was comparatively calm, the morning very fine, and he thought he might ride beyond the breakers, as the shore in that place was remarkably smooth and flat. The mare went with great reluctance, and plunged several times; he urged her forwards, and at last he got beyond the breakers into the swells. A terrible swell coming, from which it was too late to retreat, overwhelmed both the horse and its rider. There was no person in sight, and no help at hand : the description which he afterwards gave will be best known from his own words.

“In company one day with the late Dr. Letsom, of London, the conversation turning on the resuscitation of persons apparently dead from drowning, Dr. L. said, Of all that I have seen restored, or questioned afterwards, I never found one who had the smallest recollection of anything that passed from the moment they went under water, till the time in which they were restored to life and thought.'” Dr. Clarke answered, «Dr. L., I knew a case to the contrary.' 'Did you, indeed ?' 'Yes, Dr. L., and the case was my own: I was once drowned,'—and then I related the circumstances; and added, 'I saw my danger, but thought the mare would swim, and I knew I could ride : when we were both overwhelmed, it appeared to me that I had gone to the bottom with my eyes open. At first I thought I saw the bottom clearly, and then felt neither apprehension nor pain ; on the contrary, I felt as if I had been in the most delightful situation : my mind was tranquil, and uncommonly happy ; I felt as if in Paradise, and yet I do not recollect that I saw any person ; the impressions of happiness seemed not to be derived from anything around me, but from the state of my mind; and yet I had a general apprehension of pleasing objects; and I cannot recollect that anything appeared defined, nor did my eye take in any object, only I had a general impression of a green colour, such as of fields or gardens ; but my happiness did not arise from these, but appeared to consist merely in the tranquil, indescribably tranquil, state of my mind. By and by I seemed to awake as out of a slumber, and felt unutterable pain, and difficulty of breathing: and now I found I had been carried by a strong wave, and left in very shallow water upon the shore ; and the pain I felt was occasioned by the air once more inflating my lungs, and producing respiration. How long I had been under water I cannot tell : it may, however, be guessed at by this circumstance :—when restored to the power of reflection, I looked for the mare, and saw her walking leisurely along the shore towards home; then about half a mile distant from the place where we were submerged. Now, I aver, 1. That in being drowned, I felt no pain. 2. That I did not for a single moment lose my consciousness. 3. I felt indescribably happy; and though dead, as to the total suspension of all the functions of life, yet I felt no pain in dying: and I take for granted from this circumstance, that those who die by drowning feel no pain ; and that, probably, it is the easiest of all deaths. 4. That I felt no pain till once more exposed to the action of the atmospheric air ; and then I felt great pain and anguish in returning to life ; which anguish, had I continued under water, I should have never felt. 5. That animation must have been totally suspended from the time I must have been under water: which time might be in some measure ascertained by the distance the mare was from the place of my submersion, which was at least half a mile, and she was not, when I first observed her, making any speed. 6. Whether there were anything preternatural in my escape, I cannot tell : or whether a ground-swell had not in a merely natural way borne me to the shore, and the retrocession of the tide (for it was then ebbing) left me exposed to the open air, I cannot tell. My preservation might have been the effect of natural causes; and yet it appears to be more rational to attribute it to a superior agency. Here, then, Dr. L., is a case widely different, it appears, from those you have witnessed ; and which argues very little for the modish doctrine of the materiality of the soul.' Dr. Letsom appeared puzzled with this relation, but did not attempt to make any remarks on it. Perhaps the subject itself may not be unworthy of the consideration of some of our minute philosophers.”

The following is from a letter by Admiral Beaufort to Dr. Wollaston, in the Memoirs of Sir John Barrow, Bart., late of the Admiralty, London :

Many years ago, when I was a youngster on board one of His Majesty's ships in Portsmouth Harbour, after sculling about in a very small boat, I was endeavouring to fasten her alongside the ship to one of the scuttle-rings; in foolish eagerness I stepped upon the gunwale, the boat, of course, upset, and I fell into the water; and not knowing how to swim, all my efforts to lay hold either of the boat or of the floating sculls were fruitless. The transaction had not been observed by the sentinel on the gangway ; and therefore it was not till the tide had drifted me some distance astern of the ship that a man in the fore-top saw me splashing in the water, and gave the alarm. The First Lieutenant instantly and gallantly jumped overboard, the carpenter followed his example, and the gunner hastened into a boat, and pulled after them.

With the violent but vain attempts to make myself heard, I had swallowed much water. I was soon exhausted by my struggles, and before any relief reached me I had sunk below the surface : all hope had fled, all exertion ceased, and I felt that I was drowning.

So far these facts were either partially remembered after my recovery, or supplied by those who had latterly witnessed the scene ; for, during an interval of such agitation a drowning person is too much occupied in catching at every passing straw, or too much absorbed by alternate hope and despair, to mark the succession of events very accurately. Not so, however, with the facts which immediately ensued: my mind had then undergone the sudden revolution which appeared to you so remarkable; and all the circumstances of which are now as vividly fresh in my memory as if they had occurred but yesterday.

From the moment that all exertion had ceased, which, I imagine, was the immediate consequence of complete suffocation,-a calm feeling of the most perfect tranquillity superseded the previous tumultuous sensations : it might be called apathy, certainly not resignation ; for drowning no longer appeared to be an evil. I no longer thought of being rescued, nor was I in any bodily pain. On the contrary, my sensations were now of rather a pleasurable cast, partaking of that dull, but contented, sort of feeling which precedes the sleep produced by fatigue. Though the senses were thus deadened, not so the mind : its activity seemed to be invigorated in a ratio which defies all description ; for thought rose after thought with a rapidity of succession that is not only indescribable, but probably inconceivable, by any one who has not himself been in a similar situation. The course of those thoughts I can even now in a great measure retrace: the event which had just taken place, the awkwardness that had produced it, the bustle it must have occasioned, (for I had observed two persons jump from the chains, the effect it would have on a most affectionate father, the manner in which he would disclose it to the rest of the family, and a thousand other circumstances minutely associated with home, were the first series of reflections that occurred. They took then a wider range : our last cruise ; a former voyage, and shipwreck; my school ; the progress I had made there, and the time I had mis-spent ; and even all my boyish pursuits and adventures. Thus travelling backward, every past incident of my life seemed to glance across my recollection in retrograde succession; not, however, in mere outline, as here stated, but the picture filled up with every minute and collateral feature : in short, the whole period of my existence seemed to be placed before me in a kind of panoramic review; and each act of it seemed to be accompanied by a consciousness of right or wrong, or by some reflection on its cause or its consequences. Indeed, many trifling events which had been long forgotten then crowded into my imagination, and with the character of recent familiarity.

May not this be some indication of the almost infinite power of memory with which we may awaken in another world, and thus be compelled to contemplate our past lives? Or, might it not, in some degree, warrant the inference, that death is only a change or modification of our existence, in which there is no real pause or interruption? But, however that may be, one circumstance was highly remarkable, that the innumerable ideas which flashed into my mind were all retrospective : yet I had been religiously brought up; my hopes and fears of the next world had lost nothing of their early strength, and at any other period intense interest and awful anxiety would have been excited by the mere probability that I was floating on the threshold of eternity : yet at that inexplicable moment, when I had a full conviction that I had already crossed that threshold, not a single thought wandered into the future; I was wrapped entirely in the past.

The length of time that was occupied by this deluge of ideas, or rather the shortness of time into which they were condensed, I cannot now state with precision ; yet certainly two minutes could not have elapsed from the moment of suffocation to that of my being hauled up.

The strength of the flood-tide made it expedient to pull the boat at once to another ship, where I underwent the usual vulgar process of emptying the water, by letting my head hang downward, then bleeding, chafing, and even administering gin; but my submersion had been really so brief, that, according to the account of the lookers on, I was very quickly restored to animation.

My feelings while life was returning were the reverse in every point of those which have been described above. One single but confused idea, a miserable belief that I was drowning, dwelt upon my mind, instead of the multitude of clear and definite ideas which had recently rushed through it; a helpless anxiety, a kind of continuous night-mare, seemed to press heavily on every sense, and to prevent the formation of any one distinct thought, and it was with difficulty that I became convinced that I was really alive. Again : instead of being absolutely free from all bodily pain, as in my drowning state, I was now tortured by pain all over me; and though I have been since wounded in several places, and have often submitted to severe surgical discipline, yet my sufferings were at that time far greater ; at least, in general distress. On one occasion I was shot in the lungs, and, after lying on the deck at night for some hours bleeding from other wounds, I at length fainted. Now, as I felt sure that the wound in the lungs was mortal, it will appear obvious, that the overwhelming sensation which accompanies fainting must have produced a perfect conviction that I was then in the act of dying. Yet nothing in the least resembling the operations of my mind when drowning then took place; and when I began to recover, I returned to a clear conception of my real state.

THE SABBATH. THE “Sabbath, being made for man,” was, no doubt, coeval with his creation. Even in the state of innocence, Adam and Eve were employed in dressing and keeping the garden ; and though exempt from sin and suffering, yet their rational nature was capable of a far more exalted state; and they were taught to consider themselves as preparing for it, by progressive improvement. The seventh day, therefore, being blessed and sanctified by God, separated from common employments, and consecrated to religious worship, they were required on it especially to remember their Creator, to contemplate his works, and to render him their tribute of thankful praise; and this would, even in Paradise, be conducive to the glory of God, and beneficial to them ; perhaps absolutely necessary to their safety and felicity.

The only wise God instituted the Sabbath in Paradise before the entrance of sin; and thus he has shown, not only the advantage, but the absolute necessity, of time set apart for his immediate service, as the world now is, if we would pay any suitable regard to religion, or to the salvation of our immortal souls. How diligently, then, should we sinners keep holy the Christian Sabbath, and take care that our children and domestics have Jeisure and opportunity, and make use of them for the same salutary purposes !-Scott's Commentary.

[ocr errors]

BIOGRAPHICAL RECOLLECTIONS OF ANTHONY

FARINDON, B.D. WITH OCCASIONAL REMINISCENCES OF HIS FRIEND, JOHN HALES, OF ETON.

BY THE REV. THOMAS JACKSON.

(Continued from page 751.) VII.-FARINDON'S EXPULSION FROM MILK-STREET. HIS CONDUCT ON THE

OCCASION. EXTRACT FROM HIS FAREWELL SERMON. COLLECTION BY
THE MEMBERS OF HIS CHURCH, AFTER TWO SERMONS BY A CLERICAL

FRIEND. The history of one of these devoted friends is so interwoven with that of the other, as to be incapable of separation. Thus the reason assigned for the retirement of Hales from Lady Salter's family, affords us data for ascertaining the year of Farindon's expulsion from his church in Milk-street. Walker says, “ Some time after Farindon was settled in that place, a Proclamation being issued out, that no sequestered Minister should preach in any parish-church in London, or within seven miles of it, he was in a manner sequestered a second time, and turned out from thence also.” * Wood calls that which extruded Hales a Declaration against harbouring Delinquents; and Walker calls the mittimus of Farindon a Proclamation forbidding every sequestered Minister to preach in the parish-churches of the metropolis. But, without waiting to inquire into the difference between these two ordinances, which, in common with other decrees issued in those unsettled days, might vary both in the time and circumstances of their execution according to the pleasure of the functionaries of Government, we have the best authority for the fact, that “the same Order which carried Mr. Farindon from his preaching in London, removed Mr. Hales from the Lady Salter's; he affirming that he would be gone, lest he should mischief his friends." + This is the testimony of Dr. N. Ingelo, Prebendary of Windsor, communicated in a letter, dated October 29th, 1675, to Mr. Marriott, the publisher of Farindon's “Sermons,” and some of Hales's ; concerning the latter of whom Izaak Walton was then prosecuting his inquiries, that he might communicate the result of them to Mr. Fulman. This letter is peculiarly valuable, as it embodies the substance of Mr. Mountague's contributions to the personal history of the ever-memorable John Hales ;” under whose last Will and Testament he was appointed one of the Trustees, (or, as the term then was, Orerseers,) being at that time Usher of Eton School, subsequently Master, and at last Fellow of Eton College.

When Farindon and his party were devoted to contumely and oppression, it does not appear that he ever abused the liberty of the pulpit, by employing it as a vehicle of invective against the ruling powers. Yet his compulsory silence cannot be regarded such a matter of surprise, as that of his having been permitted nearly four years to continue without molestation in the discharge of his ministerial duties. For though he studiously avoided all political railing, yet he indulged in sufficient freedom of speech, while describing the rampant follies of the age, to entitle him to the marked

[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »