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in his day, included persons of all ages, from the hoaryheaded veteran to young children. At the present day there are, doubtless, many children in our Sabbath schools, who are decidedly pious, and show forth in their conduct and conversation, their love to the Saviour and to the ordinances of his appointment. These delightful instances ought to be cherished, and every means used to increase their number in each section of the church of Christ. But whilst we earnestly urge attention to this object, it is undoubtedly necessary to exercise much prudence in the matter: lest by untimely commendations, spiritual pride should seize the hearts of the children ; or lest the Spirit's early influence should be checked. May that Spirit bless teachers and scholars and secure results equally delightful in every school.

W. S.

SACRED TOPOGRAPHY.

MAP I. THE EARLIEST SETTLEMENTS OF THE HUMAN RACE.

(Continued from page 52.) MOUNTAINS OF ARARAT.-LAND OF SHINAR. From the remotest antiquity, tradition has identified 'the mountains of Ararat' with the Armenian mountains. Thus, in 2 Kings xix. 37, and Isaiah xxxvii. 38, the country which is, in the Hebrew text, called Ararat, is, in the Greek version of the lxx, called Armenia; and Gen. viii. 4, of the Latin vulgate is rendered mountains of Armenia.' The part of these mountains, on which the ark is supposed to have rested, is what are called the Gordiæan mountains, near to the source of the Tigris.

• The mountain,' says Morier, is divided into three regions of different breadths; the first, composed of a short and slippery grass or sand, is occupied by shepherds; the second, by tigers, or crows; the remainder, which is half the mountain, has been covered with snow since the ark rested, and these snows are hid half the year under thick clouds. The common belief of the country is, that none ever yet ascended the Ararat of the Armenians. It has, however, been lately scaled by two adventurous travellers, one of whom, Professor Parrot, has determined the elevation of the loftier peak at 16,200 French feet, and the extent of the region of perpetual ice and snow, not according to Morier, at half, but at about the fourth part of the height of the mountain. The north-west side is abrupt and rugged and broken, by a rocky chasm of immense depth and

gloominess. The summit is a circular plain of about 160 feet in circumference, where, as may be supposed, M. Parrot, perceived nothing of the remains of the ark, long believed by popular tradition to be found there. Erivan, a city about twelve leagues to the north-west, is said by the Armenians to mark the spot where Noah settled after he had landed ; and at the distance of a league from the city, is shown a place where he planted his vineyard, and exposed himself in a state of intoxication before his sons. (Gen. ix. 29.) The appearance of Ararat, standing apart from the other mountains of its chain, rising from a plain as level as the ocean to the height of 1500 feet above that of Mont Blanc, and crowned with snow, is represented by all travellers as most imposing.

THE LAND OF SHINAR.

That this was the valley enclosed by the rivers Euphrates and Tigris, we have abundant proof in the sacred volume. It is declared to be the region where Babel or Babylon was situated :

:- The beginning of the kingdom of Nimrod was Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh in the land of Shinah,' Gen. x. 10; also the capital of the kingdom of Nebuchadnezzar, which was the same as ancient Babel, is declared by the prophet to have been situated in the land of Shinar :- In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, came Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon unto Jerusalem, and besieged it. And the Lord

gave

Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with part of the vessels of the house of God, which he carried into the land of Shinar to the house of his God.' Dan. i. 1, 2.

This country was well watered and exceedingly fertile. Herodotus informs us that of all the countries with which he was acquainted, it was by far the most fruitful in corn, the soil generally yielding two hundred fold, and in seasons unusually favourable, three hundred fold. It was, however, entirely destitute of lofty trees, and produced no figs, olives, nor grapes. But it was rich in palm trees, whose fruit (the date) not only served for food, but yielded wine and honey. It was also generally very salubrious, notwithstanding the heat of the climate.

Here were planted the first colonies of the descendants of Noah,--at least, of the children of Ham and Japheth. Here also was erected that tower which was the occasion of the confusion of tongues, and, hence, of the wider dispersion of the human race. Gen. xi. 1-9. Hackney.

S. R.

The Sketch Book.

(Resumed from page 59.) The Sabbath had returned, and a clear frosty day it was, giving colour and animation to the faces of the rustic crowds appearing at the door of the little church, after their healthy walk. It was a pleasant sight to behold the aged, to whom the bracing atmosphere had given unusual elasticity and vigour, and quickened all their stiffening muscles, uncover their venerable head, and pass the large cotton handkerchief over their sweating brow, as they took their seat; whilst the children entered in rosy beauty, their attention divided between the white home-wrought mittens they wore, and the little psalm-books they carried. But it was a more pleasant sight still, to behold the deep interest with wbich all entered upon the devotional exercises, not because their feelings were soothed and charmed by the tunes of an organ, breathing, as if with the voice of earth itself, through the long aisles, and between the fretted arches of a cathedral : but because the very simplicity of religion, with its still small voice and unostentatious temple, had won for itself the noblest temple their immortal hearts. The place of Colin Hertoun was vacant : his little face, peeping during the reading of the morning lesson, behind his father's arm over the Bible, his musical voice at times, in the fulness of its tones, rising above the loud and louder notes of the precentor,—his hand holding up a snuff-box, or the more innocent and useful scent of some garden rose, or of some wild briar, plucked from the hedge as he came, to the nose of a drowsy neiglıbour ;-all were missed.

Meanwhile, he awoke in the manse, and found himself surrounded by his mother, and Jean, his favourite sister, who testified their indescribable joy, on seeing him throw off the dead stupor and insensibility in which he had lain for a week past. Dim and confused recollections of his visit to the grave of his friend, of his sitting down in the snowy wreath, and of a languid sensation stealing pleasantly over his frame, suddenly arose to his astonished mind; but beyond this, his memory was a blank, and his eyes were turned wistfully on every object in the room, as if for an explanation. He was informed that on that Sabbath evening, the minister also had repaired, in the sorrow of his heart, to the little churchyard, and found him lying apparently lifeless. • But hush, Colin,' said his fond mother, as she concluded the narrative, and placed his head back on the pillow, 'you

must not speak, your strength is gone, and a quiet rest is required. His sister, struck with the paleness of his thin face, and the fever of his hand, gently whispered a similar command, and then smilingly said aloud, 'that she must be obeyed.' But now the boy began to speak of his new views and feelings to the Saviour,—of the manner and purposes of his death on Calvary,—of heaven, as the home of all who trusted in him,—and of God, as willing to receive all who came by Jesus. • Oh, mither and sister,' said he, read to me the life of Jesus. He is altogether different to me from what he was a few days ago. An' should I get better, I will speak of him to a' my playfellows. Does the minister intend to speak to them as he did last Sabbath ? Should I recover-'

Here he was interrupted by his mother, who assured him that she would be very angry if he exhausted himself any more. He did recover, and soon was able to take his place in the Sabbath class for the young, which met regularly in the church, and which in time became so numerous that not only were all the children, as well as the minister, employed in conducting it, but six private members also were invested with the great responsibility. It is well known that the poorest of the poor in Scotland educate their children in the common branches, so that no time was occupied in teaching the alphabet, or leading them through the rudiments of spelling and pronouncing. Spiritual instruction, suited not more to satisfy than to expand the youthful capacity, was tenderly and faithfully given. Delightful was it to see the aged teachers, laying aside even their excusable sternness and gravity, and gaining the confidence, in order to secure the welfare, of the very youngest. Their fingers turned over the same sacred page together, in search of proofs to attest some useful remark. Their voices affectionately met in the same notes as the hymn was sung, and at evening when all was over, each of the elders was accompanied home by three or four of his scholars, who were delighted in his company. The quiet village had received a new spirit; religion was alive and active, like her divine master, 'going about doing good,' both to body and soul, to the friend and stranger.

The first examination of this Sabbath school, of which the present writer was a gratified witness, shall be given in the next number.

Obituary.

JOSEPH WOLSTEN HOLME.

BY RIS TEACHER, T. MILNB. The subject of the present paper was born in Bury, Lancashire, October, 1822. His parents were of humble origin, belonging to that class of people whose daily bread is earned by the sweat of their brow. Owing to their circumstances they were unable to give their son an education. At five years of age he began to work, a circumstance not unusual in the manufacturing parts of England, but one which all right-thinking men must admit is discreditable to so enlightened and great a nation. He continued steady and industrious in his arduous avocation, till sickness disqualified him for further effort.

At six years of age he began to attend a Sabbath school. At that age he did not much like the confinement of Sabbath school hours, few though they may be. This dislike however gradually died away, and for the most part, up to the time of his illness, he was diligent and regular as a scholar, and for the last two years a devoted teacher. The writer of this memoir had the happiness to become acquainted with him in the year 1834. Up to that period he appears to have been very ignorant. In his letter addressed to the Independent church, (written when he was a member of that church,) near Castle Croft, Bury, under the pastoral care of the Rev. Wm. Roseman, referring to the period just named, (1834) he says :-'At that time I was absolutely ignorant of the way of salvation, indeed, I was ignorant in every respect, for I could not read my Bible. I was accustomed to associate with wicked companions, and continued to do so for a considerable length of time. About this period, however, I began to be impressed with the instruction of both my teacher and minister. I could not afterwards associate with my companions willingly, yet I did not entirely forsake them. Often I was so impressed with the services of the Sabbath, that sometimes in the evening I made the resolution that I would not be so bad again ; these resolutions were made in my own strength, and consequently were broken. In this state I continued for some time, not having seen things in their true light.' From the time specified, namely, 1834 to 1837, the instructions he received from the pulpit and in the class, seem, under the blessing of God, to have produced a gradual change in him. His own words are: ‘Having become more acquainted with my Bible, and baving heard of the strivings of the Spirit of God with men, and the end to which those came who resisted His strivings, I became alarmed. I was then led to see how vain it was to trust to myself to become good. I thought that God had been striving with me by His Spirit for a long time. The feelings I then had are beyond description; I was in great distress, but did not open my mind to any one. I was, however, induced to do so to God, and to repair to Him who is ready and willing to receive the chief of sinners : this took place in 1837.

Joseph had now arrived at his fifteenth year, and was indeed an ornament to his class. In his conduct there was a marked seriousness, and a disregard of all those amusements and follies which generally captivate the mind at this period of life. He was regular in his attend. ance at the Sabbath school, and showed great anxiety to learn something of Christ. For four years that Joseph was under the special observation of the writer he does not remember that he was absent from school more than tbree or four Sabbaths, and then he was detained either on account of sickness or the want of clothing. Soon after the writer's first acquaintance with him, bis mind seems to have received an impetus which was never relaxed. His thirst for knowledge and desire for improvement enabled him to break through difficulties, and

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