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regions of the earth are a striking proof of its | beneficial results.
8. Again, we must not omit to notice the beauty of many of winter's scenes. There are few sights finer than a winter landscape-the earth's surface veiled in purest white, and contrasted so strongly by the dark and varied outline of human habitations, trees and hedges, green holly and ruby berries, hoary towers and mantling ivy. How exquisite is the sight of a frosted tree! how infinitely more so of whole woods and forests, of all nature, valley and mountain, sparkling with countless millions of heaven's own diamonds! Well does David remind us that God has made summer and win ter, and in another psalm (cxlviii.) call upon fire and hail, snow and vapour, to praise the Lord. In Psal. cxlvii. also he refers to this subject. "He giveth snow like wool," he says: "he scattereth the hoar frost like ashes: he casteth forth his ice like morsels: who can stand before his cold? He sendeth out his word and melteth them. He causeth his wind to blow; and the waters flow."
9. Ninthly, nothing in nature more illustrates God's omnipotence than the intense frosts of winter. When continued for many days or weeks, how powerless is man to withstand them! The otherwise soft and yielding earth is impenetrable, impervious to his sharpest and most powerful implements. All nature is in the grasp and vice of the Almighty, all bound as if with a girdle of iron-rivers frozen, ships immovable, commerce paralyzed, many trades entirely suspended, the land like granite, and numerous families in town and country famishing. Thank God, such protracted winter rigours are but seldom experienced; but let us learn, from the very possibility of them and from their occasional occurrence, to fear and adore that irresistible Power which can so easily seal up all the sources of our wealth and comfort.
10. Lastly, another of winter's advantages is the revelation which it affords us of the glorious orbs of heaven. This is one of winter's night benefits. We then see, when the light of day has been withdrawn, unnumbered other worlds, of various sizes and degrees of brightness, studding the heavens everywhere above us and around us; and when we apply the telescope their number still increases, stars in deep defile beyond stars, far, far exceeding the possibility of all human computation either as to their number or their distance. The very nearest (a Centauri) is said to be 206,000 times farther from us than the sun-many of them are double and treble-of various colours, red and green and yellow and blue and purple; and it is rationally concluded that they are all central luminaries around which other worlds re
volve, just as the planets of our system travel round the sun. We see but few of these heavenly glories in summer: they are winter's grand revelation to us,
"For ever singing as they shine,
The hand that made us is divine."
how gigantic and godlike the constellation Orion, now visible in the south! and how interesting and exquisite the surface of the moon, her golden fringe and countless craters, ridges of mountains and extensive plains, all as distinctly visible through a telescope as if just across the road-the belts and satellites of Jupiter, the moon-like phases of Venus, the rings and belts of Saturn, the double and coloured stars, and nebula! These are all God's handiwork, and they are particularly the study of winter, and they well repay it: they lift the mind up higher, and were intended by God to minister to our faith. "The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament showeth his handiwork. Day unto day uttereth speech: night unto night showeth knowledge. There is no speech nor language where their voice is not heard." They are always preaching to us. They are ever testifying for God, telling us of his might and majesty and glory and wisdom and love, and leave even the heathen without excuse, if they do not see and recognize in them, "by the things which are made, his eternal power and Godhead." O let us not fail to behold in winter's revelations of the glories of the firmament the manifold wisdom of God, or to render unto him the praise due to his holy name. All nature speaks of him; the heavens and the earth, creation and providence, day and night, summer and winter, spring and autumn, dry land and sea, the fertile valleys and the rocky mountains, fire and hail, snow and vapour, wind and storm, fulfilling his word. In winter's advantages let us recognize his hand, his wisdom, love, and power; and let us learn from them lessons illustrative of the deeper things of his word, of the soul's welfare, and of the unutterable realities of eternity.
The soul, too, needs its winter; or it might be tempted soon to forget its God. God often sces that it is best for her to witness desolations, the falling leaf, the solemn silence, the departed beauty, strength, and glory of life's summer; and in her winter she finds life and strength and comfort and restoration. He brings her into the wilderness, to the dearth of earthly comforts; and alone with him she learns the true source of her joy and health and power.
Again, the rest and refreshment of the body in the grave are represented by winter. As all nature then ceases from her labours, and awakes invigorated and improved in spring, so will the body rise more glorious from the bed of death, immortalized and spiritual. It has only been undergoing a refining process in the grave: the winter of death will have destroyed all its hurtful sinful qualities, and it will awake in Christ's likeness, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing. In the meantime the soul, the undying spirit, will have been gathered to its eternal home in heaven, where, with angels and the spirits of just men made perfect, death's long winter will have been passed in joyful com
nunion with its God and Saviour. And O what untold and inconceivable revelations of glory will it have witnessed-how many new worlds and new wonders discovered, and with how How glorious is the belt of stars called the Milky many of their inhabitants have entered into reWay, stretching almost across the heavens!lationships of everlasting brotherhood! It
doth not yet appear what we shall be; but we know enough from the glorious firmament of scripture-promises to enable us to form some idea of the transcendent blessedness of those who die in the Lord, and of the soul's felicity and glory in heaven while the body waits and rests and is made meet in the winter of death for the commencement of the everlasting spring. Let us be thankful for this hope of glory, and let us remember what the redemption of our bodies and souls cost, even the precious blood of the incarnate Son of God; and, when life's spring and summer and autumn are past, may we then all rest in him who is the Resurrection and the Life, and after life's winter awake in his likeness, to be for ever with him, and for ever satisfied in his kingdom!
BISHOPS AND CLERGY OF OTHER DAYS*.
THE Romish church is making very great efforts to regain her lost power in England; and thousands of English people are helping her. None are doing the work of Rome so thoroughly as the English churchmen who are called ritualists. Consciously or unconsciously, they are paving the way for her advance, by laying down the rails for her trains. They are familiarizing the minds of thousands with Romish ceremonial-its mummery, its processions, its gesticulations, its postures, its theatrical meretricious style of worship, and they are boldly preaching and laying down her erring doctrines -the real presence, the priestly character of the ministry, the necessity of auricular confession and sacerdotal absolution. They are loudly proclaiming their desire for re-union with the
church of Rome. In short the battle of the Re
formation must be fought over again. Ritualism is nothing but Romanism in the bud; and Romanism is ritualism in flower. The triumph of ritualism will be the triumph of Romanism and the restoration of popery.
Now, before we go back to Rome, let us thoroughly understand what English Romanism was let us bring in the light: let us not take a "leap in the dark." What were the leading characteristics of English religion before the Reformation? In what state did the mighty change which Hooper witnessed and helped forward find our forefathers? In one word, what does England owe to that subversion of popery and that introduction of protestantism in which Hooper was a leading instrument? Let me try to supply a short answer to these questions. They are subjects, I am sorry to say, on which most people seem to know nothing at all. The minds of the vast majority of my countrymen appear to be a total blank about the history of three hundred years ago. With all the stir made about education, the ignorance of our own country's history is something lamentable and appalling and depressing. I never can believe that ritualism would have obtained so many adherents, if English people only knew the extent of our debt to the protes*From "Bishops and Clergy of other Days," by the rev. J. C. Ryle.
tant Reformation. They never would trifle and tamper and dabble with popery if they only knew what popery was.
Before the Reformation one leading feature of English religion was dense ignorance. There was among all classes a conspicuous absence of all knowledge of true Christianity. A gross darkness overspread the land, a darkness that might he felt. Not one in a hundred could have told you as much about the gospel of Christ as we could now learn from any intelligent Sunday-school child. The
We need not wonder at this ignorance. people had neither schools nor bibles. Wickliffe's New Testament, the only translation extant till Henry VIII.'s bible was printed, cost £2 16s. 3d. of our money. The prayers of the church were in Latin; and, of course, the people could not understand them. Preaching there was scarcely any. Quarterly sermons were indeed prescribed to the clergy, but not insisted Latimer says that, while mass was never to be left unsaid for a single Sunday, sermons might be omitted for twenty Sundays, and nobody was blamed. After all, when there were sermons, they were utterly unprofitable; and latterly to be a preacher was to be suspected of being a heretic.
the diocese of Gloucester, when he was first ap To cap all, the return that Hooper got from pointed bishop in 1551, will give a pretty clear idea of the ignorance of pre-reformation times. Out of 311 clergy of the diocese, 168 were unable to repeat the ten commandments; thirty-one of the 168 could not state in what part of scripture they were to be found; forty could not tell where the Lord's-prayer was written; and thirty-one of the forty were ignorant who was the author of the Lord's-prayer.
If this is not ignorance, I know not what is. If such were the pastors, what must the people have been! ledge among the parsons, what must it have If this was the degree of knowbeen among the people!
But this is not all. Before the Reformation, another leading feature of English religion was superstition of the lowest and most degrading description. Of the extent to which this was carried, few, I suspect have the smallest idea.
Men and women in those days had uneasy consciences sometimes, and wanted relief. They had sorrow and sickness and death to pass through, just like ourselves. What could they do? Whither could they turn? There was none to tell them of the love of God and mediation of Christ, of the glad tidings of free, full, and complete salvation, of justification by faith, of grace, and faith, and hope, and repentance. They could only turn to the priests, who knew nothing themselves and could tell nothing to others. "The blind led the blind; and both fell into the ditch." In a word, the religion of our ancestors, before Hooper's time, was little better than an organized system of Virgin-Mary wor ship, saint worship, image worship, relic wor ship, pilgrimages, almsgivings, formalism, ceremonialism, processions, prostrations, bowings, crossings, fastings, confessions, absolutions, masses, penances, and blind obedience to the priests. It was a grand higgledy-piggledy of
ignorance and idolatry, and serving an unknown | God by deputy. The only practical result was that the priests took the people's money, and undertook to ensure their salvation; and the people flattered themselves that, the more they gave to the priests, the more sure they were of going to heaven.
My task is done. I have brought together as concisely as possible the times, life, death, and opinions of one of our greatest English reformers. But I cannot leave off without offering a few practical suggestions to all into whose hands this paper may fall. I address them to each reader personally and directly, and I entreat him to ponder well what I say.
For one thing,. I charge you to resist manfully the efforts now being made to unprotestantize England, and to bring her once more into subjection to popery. Let us not go back to ignorance, superstition, priestcraft, and immorality. Our forefathers tried popery long ago, and threw it off with disgust and indignation. Let us not put the clock back and return to Egypt. Let us have no peace with Rome till Rome abjures her errors, and is at peace with Christ.
Read your bible, and be armed with scriptural arguments. A bible-reading laity is a nation's surest defence against error. I have no fear for English protestantism, if the laity will only do their duty.
Read history, and see what Rome did in days gone by. Read how she trampled on your country's liberties, plundered your forefathers' pockets, and kept the whole nation ignorant and immoral. Read Fox, and Strype, and Burnet, and Soames, and Blunt. And do not forget that Rome never changes: it is her boast and glory that she is always the same. Only give her power in England; and she will soon put out the eyes of our country, and make her like Samson, a degraded slave.
Read facts standing out on the face of the globe. What has made Italy what she is? Popery. What has made Mexico and the South American states what they are? Popery. What has made Spain and Portugal what they are? Popery. What has made Ireland what she is? Popery. What makes Scotland, the United States, and our own beloved England, the powerful, prosperous countries that they are at present, and I pray God they may long continue? I answer in one word, protestantism -a free bible and a protestant ministry, and the principles of the Reformation. Think twice before you give ear to the specious arguments of liberalism falsely so called. Think twice before you help to bring back the reign of popery.
CUVIER, THE GREAT NATURALIST.
WHAT LED HIM TO RXPLORE THE WORKS OF THE
CUVIER was born at Montheliard, in the duchy of Wurtemburg, in 1769. While still quite a young man he became tutor to the children of count d'Hérieg, and lived with them in an old château in Normandy. The window of his room looked towards the garden; and one morning his attention was attracted to two swallows, who were busily engaged in building their nest, in the acute angle of the small casement. He determined to watch them whenever he had the time and opportunity, and became each day more interested in their work. In due course the nest was completed, and the interior well lined with feathers, wool, and dried leaves. The swallows then flew off to a neighbouring wood, and did not return for some days. But, whilst they had been working so hard, Cuvier had noticed two sparrows perched on a chimney close at hand. They seemed to take much interest in the progress the swallows made in the construction of their nest; the reason for which was soon apparent, for scarcely had these disappeared, when the sparrows established themselves in the nest, as if it had been their own property. They, however, took great care never to leave it unguarded; for, while one went out to procure food, the other remained at home, with its sturdy bill protruding from the entrance, with the evident intention of excluding all visitors. You can well imagine the surprise and indignation of the swallows, when, on their return, they found the nest, which they had built with such care and trouble, occupied by others. The cock flew angrily towards it, hoping to be able to get rid of the intruders, but he was met by the sparrow's bill, and returned to his mate, wounded and bleeding. They remained some time on a neighbouring tree, engaged in apparently earnest conversation, and then both disappeared. In the meantime the other sparrow had returned from its foraging expedition; and a good deal of chattering went on between these two, which resulted in immediate preparations for a siege. They went out in turns to procure food, and, having laid in a good supply, they stationed themselves to guard the entrance to their abode. Ere long upwards of a hundred swallows had assembled in the neighbourhood. They soon advanced, and each in turn discharged a beak full of mud against the nest, at the same time taking great care to keep well out of reach of the sparrows' beaks. These were nearly blinded by the sudden shower, and had great difficulty in keeping the entrance to their nest clear. This they for a time effected, by shaking off some of the mud. But the swallows had not taken all this trouble to be so easily turned aside from their purpose. Some of them established themselves on the nest, and with their beaks and claws succeeded in pressing down and smoothing the clay over the entrance, until it was quite blocked up. This done, they devoted a few minutes to a song of triumph, and then set to work to complete their revenge. Numbers of them hastened to
bring, from all sides, the materials for the con- | struction of a new nest, which they placed over the entrance of the old one. In about two hours this was completed; and the swallows immediately took up their abode in it. The poor sparrows must have died of suffocation; and, though they richly deserved to be punished for taking possession of a nest which they knew did not belong to them, one cannot help feeling sorry they should have suffered such a lingering death. The swallows remained in undisturbed possession of their new nest; and for some days the hen rarely quitted it, for she had several eggs. The cock during that time supplied her with food, and in about a fortnight the young swallows were hatched, and their growth and education proved a constant source of amusement to Cuvier, who watched them, until, as autumn came on, they prepared for their departure to the sunny south. The following spring they reappeared, and immediately set about re-pairing their old nest, which had, of course, been much injured by the winter's frost and rain. The morning after the swallows had finally taken up their abode in it, they were gaily pursuing their prey, when one of them was pounced upon by a hawk, which was carrying him off, when he fell mortally wounded, pierced by the shot from Cuvier's gun. He hastened to the assistance of the poor little swallow, and, having extricated him from the talons of the hawk, dressed his wounds and replaced him in the nest. There he was carefully watched and tended by his mate, who never left him, save to procure the necessary food. Notwithstanding all her care, his strength visibly declined, and soon he breathed his last. From that day the other swallow drooped, and pined away, surviving her beloved companion but a few days.
This little episode in the lives of two swallows made such an impression upon Cuvier that he determined still further to devote himself to the study of natural history, and finally became the most eminent naturalist of modern times.
happiness of this otherwise-dark and stormy being. But to prayer, besides the inducement of momentary gratification, the very self-love implanted in our bosoms would lead us to resort, as the chief good; for our Lord hath said, "Ask, and it shall be given unto thee; knock, and it shall be opened"; and not a supplication, made in the true spirit of faith and humility, but shall be answered; not a request which is urged with unfeigned submission and lowliness of spirit, but shall be granted, if it be consistent with our happiness, either temporal or eternal. Of this happiness, however, the Lord God is the only judge; but this we do know, that, whether our requests be granted, or whether they be refused, all is working together for our ultimate benefit.—H. K. White.
THE PENDING BATTLE.
BY THE REV. J. D. HULL.
(For the Church of England Magazine).
REV. xii. 7, 12.
How wonderful a scene must be presented
They mark the powers of darkness warfare wage Against the church, with wrath unprecedented; Her large defections from their realm resented. Tremendous are their efforts to retain
Their tyranny on this distress'd domain;
Till these be signally and soon defeated,
PRAYER.-There is such an exalted delight to a regenerate being in the act of prayer, and he anticipates with so much pleasure, amid the toils of business, and the crowds of the world, the moment when he shall be able to pour out his soul without interruption into the bosom of his Maker, that I am persuaded that the degree of desire or repugnance which a man feels to the performance of this amiable duty is an infallible criterion of his acceptance with God. Let the unhappy child of dissipation-let the impure voluptuary boast of his short hours of exquisite enjoyment: even in the degree of bliss they are infinitely inferior to the delight of which a righteous man participates in his private devotions; while, in their opposite consequences, they lead to a no less wide extreme than heaven, and hell, a state of positive happiness, and a state of positive misery. If there were no other inducement to prayer than the gratification it imparts to the soul, it deserves to be regarded as the most important object of a Christian; for nowhere else could he purchase so much calmness, so much resignation, and so much of that peace and repose of spirit in which consists the chief
"I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly, in unbelief." -1 TIM. i. 13.
"And pray tell me what may be your rea
"Claude," said the good old Highlander, "I know nothing about what learned men call the evidences of revelation; but I will tell you why A YOUNG man, a native of the Highlands of I believe it to be from God. I have a most deScotland, was one day walking in one of the praved and sinful nature; and, do what I will, great London thoroughfares. By one of those I find I cannot make myself holy. My friends providential coincidences which are commonly cannot do it for me, nor do I think all the ancalled accidents, he met an aged fellow-country-gels in heaven could. One thing alone does it: man, whom he recognized as having been an intimate acquaintance of his father's.
The young man had been trained from childhood in the knowledge of the Christian religion, and in the practice of its external duties; but having travelled on the continent as attendant and companion of a young gentleman of fortune, he had become imbued with infidel sentiments, which prepared him only too well, on his subsequent settlement in London as an attorney's apprentice, to plunge into the dissipating follies of metropolitan life. It was at this critical stage of his journey through life that he met his aged friend.
For conversation's sake they retired to a house of refreshment; and there the young man gave his countryman a very animated description of his tour, and of the wonders he had seen upon the continent. The old man listened with attention to his narrative, and then eagerly inquired whether his religious principles had not been materially injured by mixing among such a variety of characters and religions. "Do you know what an infidel is ?" said the
"Yes," was the reply.
"Then," said he "I am an infidel, and have seen the absurdity of all those nostrums my good old father used to teach me in the north; and can you," added he," seriously believe that the bible is a revelation from the Supreme Being "
"I do." No. 1946.
the reading and believing what I read in that blessed book-that does it. Now, as I know that God must be holy and a lover of holiness, and as I believe that book is the only thing in creation that produces and promotes holiness, I conclude that it is from God, and that he is the Author of it."
The young man affected to laugh at this; but the argument reached his heart; and though he would not confess it to his companion, he could not get rid of it. He purchased a bible, therefore, and determined to read it again for himself. The perusal excited fearful apprehensions of his state as a sinner against God, and most gladly would he have enjoyed another conversation with the pious Highlander; but he could not find him; and at that period he had not one serious acquaintance in England to whom he could unbosom his mind. While thus ruminating on his situation, he recollected his father's having mentioned a Mr. Newton, an excellent clergyman, who resided in London. He made inquiry among all his acquaintances where Mr. Newton preached; and at length found a young man who conducted him to St. Mary Woolnoth.
In hearing John Newton preach, the young man was deeply affected; but his soul found no rest. He accordingly adopted the plan of stating his case on the back of a letter, with a request that Mr. Newton would preach on it the following Lord's-day evening; and he gave this note to the pew-opener to be conveyed into the vestry.