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A HELP TO THE BLIND.
A certain Philanthropist, observing soine poor blind men, very humanely furnished each of them with a Staff to help them on their way; but they, instead of thanking him for his kindness, availing themselves of the aid thus afforded them, and assisting each other in the use of it, quickly fell into disputes respecting its length, breadth and thickness; till, being unable to adopt the saine conclusion, and equally unwilling to agree to differ on the subject, - forgetting the end for which the Staff was bestowed, and the purpose to which it should be applied, - in the heat of their contention, they actually employed it as a Cudgel, with which they beat one another most unmercifully 3. Who is there that does not instantly see the folly and crimi. nality of such conduct! But may we not say to the angry disputant on subjects of religious controversy, as Nathan, at the close of his parable, said unto David,'Thou art the man?' The Bible, which is mercifully given as a guide to the blind, appears to be taken up by some of this description, for no other purpose' but to beat it about the head of his antagonist. Were such persons well acquainted with the nature and tendency of the doctrine for which they profess to contend (supposing them to have truth on their side) and did they feel its influence on their hearts, they would learn to state their views of truth in the spirit by which that truth was dedicated, and in conformity to the rules prescribed in the sacred volume, wherein it is revealed; laying aside that petulance and rancour, with which the pages of most polemical writers are so deeply tinctured : * for the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God; and the servant of the Lord must not strive, but be gentle uato all men, apı to teach, patient; in meekness instructing those that oppose themselves, if God, peradventure, will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth. Nil.
I CANNOT DIE!
'In August last, four men named Marshall, Sawer, Wake lin, and Atkinson, were executed near Lincoln. They severally addressed the surrounding multitude, boping that their unhappy situation would serve as an awful warning. Wakelin had been a great comfort to his fellow-prisoners; and in the hours when the Clergyman was not with them, read to tbem continually. Atkinson had given one of the best proofs of repentance of bis crime, by having given to the governor of the
gaol, bills to the amount of £35 to be sent to Messrs. G. and C. of Boston, whose property he declared it to be, lamenting that that was all the return he could then make to them. Just before the moment of the scaffold falling, Atkinson turned to shake hands with Wakelin, and in so doing shifted the knot of the halter from his ear, to under the chin. Marshal, Sawer, and Wakelin, seemed to be dead in two minutes after suspension; but at that time, to the inconceivable horror of all around, Atkinson cried out, O God! () God! I cannot die, I cannot die! - lift me up! Thee motion excited by such a scene can be but faintly imagined. A soldier had the presence of mind to run to hiin,-lifted him up a little, and then, by hanging at the body, mercifully put a speedy end to the misery of the poor creature by accelerating the death which the sufferer had sought, but had so feelingly expressed that he could not obtain.'
Mr. Editor, When I first read the above I did what your readers will, I am persuaded, also do :- I felt keenly for the fellow-mortal, and fellow-sinner who had suffered under circumstances of perhaps unprecedented distress ; - but many a time since then, the words. I cannot die!' have crossed my inind, and made an impression which, probably, may last as long as I live. They came with peculiar force lately when under the ministry of a pious and lively minister, who, discoursing on the immortafity of the soul, and shewing it to be one of the truths which a believer should have constantly and closely girded about him, - said, 'Here stand; and the life given to my soul must exist for ever. If I would put a period to its life, I should not be able ;-it must exist eternally. Men may, and will, hereafter call to the rocks and the mountains, in the vain wish (but conscious that they have not a glimpse of hope) that they would fall on thein, and crush them to annihilation; - but no! they must exist for ever.'
I could then have almost realized the dolelul piercing cry of the poor malefactur, 'I cannot die! Ah! méthought, that poor man expressed strongly the excessive agony he felt when despaising of relief, though it was attainable and at hand; but if in hell, where the worin dieth not, and where the fire shall not be quenched, I should lift up my voice, deeply agonized with excruciating torture, yet looking forward to eternal duration, and ceaseless anguish, with what deeper horror should I shriek out my woe, Oh I cannot die! I cannot die!
That poor inan called upon God; and I cannot but think that hope mingled with his earnest cry; but in that disinal region I could not call upon God in a spirit of prayer, for hope would be for ever excluded. Divine vengeance would be in continual and terrible array against me ; conscience would for ever condemn, fearfulness would possess me, and anguish
would still extort the lamentation which millions of damned g;irits all around would echo and re-echo, -Oh, I would, but cannot die!'
O, my soul! listen then, now, with attention to mercy offered for thine acceptance -Now! while it is called To-day! Let not procrastination rob thee of the blessing, by putting again off til To-norrow;-but now, in this the accepted day, flee to the cross of Christ, for he that believeth shall be saved.
To the Editor. The account of the conduct of the New Zealanders, in your Magazine for December last, reminds me of a passage which I lately read, on the subject of Cannibals, in Dr. Leyden's Essay on the Languages and Literature of the Indo-Chinese nations. “The language spoken by the Balta tribes is the most ancient of Sumatra. Their savage manners, and the horrid custom of anthropophagy subsisting anong them, have often been mentioned ; but their cannibalism is not confined to prisoners of war, and to persons condemned for crimes, as some suppose. When a man becomes intirm and weary of tlie world, he is said to invite his own chil. dren to eat him, in the season when salt and lime, are cheapest. He then ascends a tree, round which his friends and offspring assemble ; and as they shake the tree, join in a funeral dirge, the import of which is, Tho season is come, the fruit is ripe, and it must descend. The victim de scends; and those that are nearest and dearest to him, deprive him of life, and devour his remains in a solemn banquct. This,' adds Dr. Leyden, is the account of some of the battas themselves. This inboman custom, and the similarity of name, naturally reminded Dr. Leyden of the Padaivi, which he mentious (from Kerodotus) about 500 years before our era, as not only addicted to eating raw flesh, but accustomed to kill and eat their relations when they grew old.
When we consider such awful facts as ibe above, how should it stimulate us to sanction the propagation of the gospel in those dark parts of the earth, wbich are full of the habitations of cruelty! Civilization, it is said by many, must always precede the diffusion of Christianity ; but, perhaps, it is forgotten that Christianity carries with it the principles of civilization. As a proof of this, iet apy one peruse the interesting account of the success of the Missionaries among the Hottentots. Our Mission,' says Mr. Latrobe, at Bavian's Kloof, is one instance, among many, that the preaching of the gospel is the surest and only way to promote civilization, - whereas an erroneous idea bas gone forth, that the latter should precede the former. By degrees, after the Hottentots had been brought to the kvowledge of the truth, the Missionaries led them into better habits; and now the people who formerly sought roots for their support, and lived like wild beasts in the woods, are sowing and planting; and had last year a harvest of 800 sacks of corn."
ANECDOTE OF A QUEBEC PILOT. “Our Pilot, Louis le Clair, was an old French Canadian, who possessed, like the rest of his countryinen, a tolerable opinion of bimself; yet was a good-humoured friendly fellow. It was poi long before we found that
his predilection for the clergy was not excessive. He entertained us with many of his whimsical opinions, and declared, that for his own part, he never went to confession, though he allowed his wife and daughter to go. • Women,' says he, can never be happy until they let out their secrets ; and on that account it is necessary they should have a confessor ; I there fore pay him bis fees, which is only justice; but for myself, I consider it all as useless ; and it must be so, since the women say that they only tell him bin a part, and conceal the rest.' A few years ago the Pilot picked up an old Bible, which had been thrown ashore from the wreck of a ship. As he understood the language, he read it through; and it opened his eyes so much, that he could not forbear soon after disputing with his Curé upon certain points of religion. The latter was much surprised to find bim so knowing; and enquired how he had obtained his inforination: upou which the old man shewed bim the Bible. The Curé declared it was not a fit book for him to read ; and desired he would give it into his charge : this the Pilot refused ; and the Curé threatened to write to the Bishop, aod bave him excommunicated as a heretic; but finding that neither thrcats por intreaties had any effect, he was necessitated to request that he would keep it to bimself, and not let any of his neighbours know that he had such a book. The old Pilot declared, that be considered the finding of that book the bappiest event of his life, in consequence of the comfort and consolation whicb he received from perusing it.'.
Lamberi's Travels through Lower Canada.
ANECDOTE OF GILPIN. Sir,
To the Editor. Tas remarks upon the Doctrine of Preventives' in your Magazine (vol. XVII, page 496) reminded me of a circumstance in the life of the famous Bervard Gilpin, who held the Rectory of Houghton le Spring, in the reign of Queen Mary; and, from his uncommon exertions in the cause of truth, was called the Apostle of the North.'
It appears that his enemies, the Papists, had exhibited a number of articles against him, before Bishop Bonner; who promised that the heretic should be at a stake in a fortnight. His biographer says, " Mr. Gilpia's friends in London trembled for his safety, and instantly dispatched a message to him, that he had not a moment to lose. The messenger did Rot surprise bim.' He had long been preparing himself to suffer for the truth; and he now determined not to decline it. He received the account therefore with great composure; and immediately after called up William Airay, a favourite domestic, who had served him as his almoner and steward; and laying bis hand upon his shoulder, • At length (says he) they bare prevailed against me; I ain at last accused to the bishop of London, from wbom there will be no escaping; God forgive their malice, and grant me strength to undergo the irial? He then ordered his servant to provide a long garnient for him, in which he might go decently to the stake. As soon as this garment was provided, it is said, he used to put it on every day till the Bishop's messengers apprehended him.'
We are then informed of the earnest solicitations of his friends, who is vain orged him to make his escape. His determination continued firm, and be was apprehended. The narrative thus proceeds: • In his way to London, it is said, he broke his leg; which put a stop for some time to bis journey. The persons in whose custody he was, took occasion thence maliciously to retort upon him an observation he would frequently make, * That nothing happens to us but what is intended for our good ;' asking him, whether he thought his broken leg was so intended ? He answered meekly, le made no question but it was; and indeed so it proved in thu
strictest sense ; for before be was able to travel, Qeeen Mary died, - and ide was sel at liberty::
From Gilpin's Life of Bernard Gilpin, p. 135.
Account of the happy Death of Thomas PARKER, belonging to the
Sunday School at the Countess of Huntingdon's Chupel, Worcester, who departed this life, Sunday, Feb. 10, 181.
Thomas PARKER was admitted into our Sunday School, August 29. 1906, being then about eleven years of age. Since that time his conduct has been good; but during the last two years, particularly worthy of imitation, both as it respected bis diligence in learning and the respect be paid his teachers, as well as for his fixed attention while hearing the Word in chapel. His father testifies that he was a dutiful son; and his master, that he was a faithful apprentice. About twelve weeks before his death, the first symptoms of disease appeared, and in three weeks afier, a blood-vessel burst, which much increased his illness. Immediatels, at his own request, one of his teachers visited him. He was shortly afterwards removed to the Infirmary, and there continued to be visited. During this time, he was questioned respecting a future world, and the state of bis inins; his knowledge of the fallen state of man appeared correct, as well as of his own inability to do any thing to recommend himself to the favour of God; and his views respecting the salvation of Christ were clear. Being asked whether he loved private prayer : his reply was, That sometimes he enjoyed it much. He appeared fond of reading his Bible, and applied at the school library for, religious books. About three weeks before he died, he left the infirmary without hope of recovery; and continued gradually growing worsea on the Saturday right preceding his departure, a great change took place. About Dine o'clock he requested to see the minister of the chapel, or the teacher who regularly visited him; the latter impedately went to him, and found him very weak and ill. He was asked how he felt his mind. His reply was • Happy!. The next inquiry was, If he was afraid to die? He saiil, he was not at all afraid to die, - for he found Christ to be precious. I then asked bin,' says the visitor, - if he thought God would be just in punishing him and me with everlasting punishment ? – He said, He certainly would. I then inquired what his motive was in wishing to see Mr. L. or myself ; Whether to pray with bim, or to rejoice with hiin? - He answered, To rejoice with him. His strength. was now so much exhausted, that he was not able to converse any more that night. * I visited him again,' says the same teacher, early the next morning, Sunday, and then asked him, if Christ was still precious ? - His reply was
, O yes; more precious! I inquired whom he expected to find in hcaven?--He said, - Jesus Christ; and, I hope, one day Ishall see my teachers there.'. He was again questioned if he could enjoy hearen without Christ?- He replied, No; not without Christ. In the course of the day he was further asked how he came by such a knowledge of Christ, and how long he had loved bim? – He said, More than a twelvemonth; and had cause to be thankful to God and his teachers, that he bad ever come to the Sunday School.'
He continued to get worse, and at times was in much pain ; but appeared at intervals to be carnestly praying. In the course of the day he gave directions about his funeral, and chose the persons who should carry and attend him to the grave. About four hours before his de parture, being much composed, he requested to see his master, bis brother and sisters, with bis father. When they came, he kissed them all with much affection, and bade them farewell. After this, he continued silent until near his dissolution. He appeared to have forgotten all ter. restrial objects, and rejoiced at the approach of death. About twelve o'clock, looking up, with a smile upon his countenance, he uttered his last words, i am coming, I am coming !' -and sweetly fell asleep in Jesus,