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you may be among them! If we confess our sins, we know that he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins ;" for “ he made atonement for the transgressors ;” and “the blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth us from all sin." Plymouth.
E. W. P.
FAITHFUL REBUKE. WHEN the Rev. John Fletcher was residing as a tutor in the family of Thomas Hill, Esq., of Tern Hall, in Shropshire, though he felt the importance of religion, he was far from being an open and decided servant of Christ. On one Sabbath evening, a servant coming into his room to make up his fire, observed he was writing music, and looking at him with serious concern, said, “Sir, I am sorry to see you so employed on the Lord's Day.” At first his pride was excited at being reproved by a servant; but, upon reflection, he felt that the reproof was just. He immediately put away his music, and from that hour became a strict observer of the Lord's Day.
6. THE STRING IS BROKEN.” IN Lisbon, the priests once found, or pretended to have found, an image, dug up from the earth, and proclaimed it to be the effigy of an eminent saint. It was accordingly set up in one of the churches, where crowds of devotees assembled to offer their devotions. To his saintship was also referred the decision of the disputed point, “Who was the legitimate monarch of Portugal ?"
The officiating priest put the question in an audible voice, “Is Don Pedro lawful sovereign ?” The image shook his head as a negative indication. "Is Don Miguel the sovereign ?" The image nodded assent.
This was repeated to increased congregations, and was considered by the multitude as an astonishing miracle. At one time in the presence of our informant, the first enquiry had been replied to as usual; to the second, no answer was returned ; upon which the priest several times repeated the question, but in vain. At length, a boy popped his head out from behind the curtain, and exclaimed “It is not my fault, sir, the string is broken."
“Confounded be all they that serve graven images—that boast themselves of idols."
A SMALL CONGREGATION. DR. BEECHER once engaged to preach for a country minister, on exchange, and the Sabbath proved to be excessively stormy, cold, and uncomfortable. It was in mid-winter, and the snow was piled all along on the roads so as to make the passage very difficult. Still the minister urged the horse through the drifts, put the animal into a shed, and went in. There was no person in the house yet, and after looking about, the old gentleman, then young, took his seat in the pulpit.
Soon the door opened, and a single individual entered, walked up the aisle, looked about, and took a seat. The hour came for commencing service, but no more hearers came. Whether to preach to such an audience was a question, and it was one Lyman Beecher was not long in deciding : he felt that he had a duty to perform, and he had no right to refuse to do it because only one man could reap the benefit, and accordingly he went through the services, praying, singing, and the benediction, with only one hearer; and when all was over, he hastened down from the desk to speak to his congregation, but he had departed.
A circumstance so rare was referred to occasionally; but twenty years after, it was brought to the doctor's mind quite strangely. Travelling somewhere in Ohio, the doctor alighted from the stage one day in a pleasant village, when a gentleman stepped up, and spoke to him familiarly, calling him by name.
“I do not remember you,” said the doctor.
“I suppose not,” said the stranger, “but we once spent two hours in a house alone, in a storm."
“I do not recall it, sir,” said the old man, “pray when was it?"
“Do you remember preaching, twenty years ago, to a single
“Yes, yes,” said the doctor, grasping his hand; “I do indeed, and if you are the man, I have been wishing to see you ever since.”
“I am the man, sir, and that sermon saved my soul, made a minister of me, and yonder is my church: the converts of that sermon, sir, are all over Ohio."
ERUPTION OF MOUNT VESUVIUS. ONE of the most magnificent eruptions of this mountain, upon record, has very recently taken place. On the 6th February last, volumes of smoke and vapour, with occasional sheets of flame, were succeeded from time to time, by awful subterranean rumblings; and on the morning of the 7th, the lava made its appearance, running down the mountain, on the side of Torre Annunziata, in seven or eight distinct streams.
“On the evening of the latter day,” says an eye-witness, “a party of us ascended to the Hermitage, and thence, on foot, with guides and torches, to the cone, whence a fine view was obtained of the lava at a white heat, as it was pumped out of the crater, and thence bent its way in the direction of Pompeii and the Bosco Reale. This ascent was very fatiguing and disagreeable, and one of the party had a narrow escape of fracturing a limb by a fall.
“During the night of the 8th, the roaring and bellowing of the crater kept most people from enjoying their rest, and on the whole of the 9th, volumes of smoke, lava, and vapour, together with huge stones and scoriæ, were ejected without intermission. On the evening of this day a special train was announced to leave Naples at six o'clock for Torre Annunziata, returning at eleven. About four hundred natives and foreigners availed themselves of this opportunity; and a strong party of Inglesi, with guides and torches, and mules and donkeys, proceeded from the station at Torre Annunziata to the Bosco Reale, which is about five miles, through narrow lanes and country roads.
“ The sight that met our view on our arrival at the Bosco was grand in the extreme. The lava presented a frontage of about at least a mile and a half, and was advancing slowly but steadily and surely, and devouring everything in its way. On the road we had met parties of poor peasants carrying beds, chairs, pots and pans, and other moveable furniture, which they had been able to save from the devouring liquid—the women and children rending the air with their groans and cries and supplications to the good San Gennaro, the patron saint of these parts. These poor creatures were thrown on the world homeless, penniless. By the time of our arrival, which was about nine o'clock, the lava had taken complete possession of the wood, having devoured
about half of it. At times a row of three or four hundred saplings caught fire, simultaneously, producing a vivid flame that lighted up the country for miles around. Some splendid full-grown ilex, oak, and ash trees, offered in their ponderous trunks a momentary resistance; but it was to no purpose; the larger ones generally exploding with a loud report and a leap of twelve or fourteen feet in the air, to be consumed like tinder on their descent. It was curious to observe, when, from a sudden rush of lava, which always occurred after a temporary obstruction, how the larger trees gave out tens of thousands of little jets of steam from the knees and elbows of the smaller branches. It was owing to the roots and trunks coming immediately and suddenly in contact with the lava, and before the whole tree had had a preparatory roasting previously to its final combustion. In these cases the tree generally exploded; those, on the contrary that had had their initiatory grilling, generally bowed their heads slowly and majestically, dying like Cæsar, in their dignity.
“ As this novel and brilliant spectacle quite absorbed our attention, the majority of us lost the return train to Naples, and decided to pass the night on the spot. There was no moon, but the stars shone clearly, and the sky was cloudless; a cold tramontana, however, on one side, and the insupportable heat of the advancing furnace on the other, made it necessary for us to keep revolving from time to time like bottle-jacks before the lava, to obviate being frozen on one side and baked on the other. At about three o'clock in the morning the eruption was at its height. The amount of lava was quintupled, and the masses of stones which shot up into the air descended with a reverberating crash. It was the discharge of these stones which caused a noise that rendered our voices inaudible. I can only compare it to the concussion produced by the broadside of a three-decker. The ground at times trembled under our feet, and a wailing, sobbing, distressing sound seemed to indicate that nature was undergoing a horrible subterranean convulsion; and thus gave Fent to the throes and throbs' of her agony.
“ At about four o'clock the destroyer advanced to a farm house and outbuilding, which seemed from their solidity, being built of rubble-stone, and joined with the well-known Roman coment, likely to offer a stout resistance. And here the lava seemed to be endowed with consciousness and instinct. No sooner did it feel the momentary check, than it commenced rising like the water in the lock of a canal, and from being at its arrival about twelve feet deep, speedily rose to about thirty; and attacking the bomb-shaped solid stone roof of the main building, and at the same time running in at the windows and doors, caused a rarification and condensation of air, that caused the whole structure to leap into the air with a terrific report. When no traces of the farm or offices were any longer visible, being covered by a smooth surface of liquid fire, the poor agriculturist, the proprietor, together with his wife, their children, and some half-a-dozen louts, set up a yell, and beat their breasts, and tore their hair in the true Neapolitan fashion. Instead of saving as much as they could from destruction beyond their mere bedding, they did not attempt to remove a single thing ; thus all the doors and fittings, mangers, troughs, also about an acre of cabbages, carrots, and celery, together with various gates and farming utensils, were allowed to be destroyed. There was ample time to move those things, but they preferred howling and calling on San Gennaro either to do it for them or stop the torrent of lava.
“A still more interesting and affecting spectacle was presented about an hour after by the destruction of a small church embosomed in this hapless wood. The lava here, as at the farm, had a rather tough job from the extreme solidity of the edifice; and with a sort of instinct and conscious pride in its own irresistible power, it dashed forward to the attack, despite the moans and chants of a parcel of Franciscan friars connected with the church, and of the mute sorrow of the poor curé. The ornaments of the altar, together with the pictures, statues, and finery of the Virgin and the patron saints, and the parish records, had all been removed; but the incessant entreaties of the curé failed to induce his parishioners to put their shoulders to two fine doors, and lift them off their hinges to a place of security, which they could easily have done. The bells also might have been saved with little exertion. No; the Virgin or the patron saint would either appear visibly, and stop the sacrilegious destroyer, or the edifice would resist and go scatheless. From