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about the 13th June. On the 15th I saw hinn for the first time since the evening he had met his companions at my house. I found him exceedingly ill. The disease was in the brain; this rendered him, at frequent intervals, insensible. He knew me however, and referring to our Sabbath evening exercises, said that he hoped to be able to meet with us the following Sabbath. I was anxious to know the state of his mind in reference to divine things ; but was fearful to put any question to him, which, in his weak and critical state might agitate him; he however, prepared the way by expressing a wish to have a Bible, with a large type, as the only one in the house was too small a print for bim to read. I expressed a doubt whether in his weak state he would be able to read at all, and offered to read a portion of Scripture to him. If you please, sir,' he replied, i only let it be something appropriate.' Can you remember any particular part of Scripture which you wish to hear?' I inquired. • If I had my catechism, I could soon tell ;' but while his mother was looking for it he continued, • Oh, I should be so glad if you would read to me that portion, I think it is in the Psalms ; it has these words in it, “ before I was afflicted, I went astray.”.
When I got to the concluding verse of that section of the 119th Psalm, in which the verse just quoted occurs, he anticipated me in the reading of it, and repeated the whole verse with considerable feeling. Well, John,' I said to him, you wished me to read these verses of Scripture to you—do you think you have gone astray ? Oh, yes,' with much emphasis he replied, I have gone very much astray, and I have been very inattentive to the instructions I have received ; but I trust this affliction will be for my lasting good—I am a great sinner, but the blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth from all sin.' He appeared now so exhausted and weakened by this short visit, that I thought it most prudent to leave him for the present, after having commended him, by prayer, to the care and blessing of God. I had two more interviews with him previously to his becoming totally insensible through the power of disease, from each of which I returned with a stronger conviction than before, that the instructions which had beer. given him had not been in vain. He was constantly referring to our Sabbath evening engagements, expressing the liveliest gratitude for the privileges with which he had been favoured, and sometimes anticipating the pleasure of meeting with us again.
SCRIPTURE ILLUSTRATION. The practice of insulting the religion of such persons as profess a faith different from their own, has ever been a characteristic of the oriental nations, and is illustrative of a passage which I have not seen explained :-*It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. For a long time previous to Christ's appearance, it had been usual for the 'sons of Ishmael,' or Pagan Arabs of Asia Minor, to make hostile incursions into the towns of Judea, and riding their dromedaries into the synagogues to desecrate the altar (whenever the Osmalis take possession of a Greek village, they invariably ride into its Christian church, and endeavour to force their horses to defile their altar) in the manner here described. In order to put a stop to these enormities, the Jews hit upon the expedient of constructing the doors of their churches, &c. so low that an ordinary sized man could only enter by stooping; and thus they completely foiled their persecutors ; for the disinclination of the Arabs to dismount, even on the most pressing occasion, is well known to such as have travelled among these sons of the desert. In the hyperbolical phraseology of the East, these diminished apertures were compared to the eye of a needle; and the impossibility of a camel's making his way through them became at length a proverbial expression for any impracticable undertaking.--Auldjo's Journal,
THE BEAR. The cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together.'
ISAIAH X. 7 There are several varieties of the bear. The chief are the brown bear of Europe, the grizly bear of America, and the white bear of the polar regions. The latter is the largest, strongest, and fiercest of all the species ; though all are exceedingly strong. The representation given in our cut is that of the brown, or European variety. This is found wild and free, principally in the north of Europe, except in the higher ranges of the Alps, where it finds a shelter. In the extensive forests of Bohemia, Poland, and Russia, and in Norway and Sweden, the bears abound. Bears belong to what naturalists call the plantegrade class : that is, they place the entire of the sole of the foot upon the ground, and on that account are able to stand and walk erect; a posture in which we often see them exhibited in this country. Bears are solitary, like most other destructive aniinals; their make is heavy and their motion slow; their appearance awakens gloom and terror. Their habits are nocturnal, and they pass the winter in a state of torpor, like the dormice, buried in some cavern, deep in the recesses of the forest, or reposing securely within the hollows of decayed trees. The Scandinavian bear attains to a very considerable size, and weighs from four hundred and fifty to eight hundred pounds. The strength of these animals is quite equal to their bulk, being able, with a stroke of the paw, to bring a horse to the ground. Bear hunting, therefore, will be something more than an agree. able amusement. Bears are generally considered carnivorous, and they certainly are very destructive; but their chief food is roots, leaves, and smaller branches of trees, with wild berries and fruits. They are, proverbially, fond of honey, so that those who reside in their locality form their beehives of the hollow branches of trees, and place them on the ground; thus the bears turn over the hives without injuring the bees or getting at the honey. Bear-baiting used to be one of the vile sports of this country. The bears were baited in gardens prepared for the purpose; whence bear gardens' is a term for every thing low-lived, abusive, brutal, and disorderly. The practice has happily sunk into disuse; and we hope that dog fighting, horse racing, and other brutal sports will soon follow bear-baiting into its merited oblivion. They are now chiefly confined to the dregs of the population. The passage of Scripture, quoted as the heading of this article, shows the change which the gospel will produce in its speed and triumphs in the world ; when
Lions and beasts of savage name,
Put on the nature of the lamb.' The truly affecting incident, recorded 2 Kings ii. 23—25,
conveys to the minds of parents and children a most impressive nioral lesson, on the evil and danger of early depraved habits, and on the necessity of early training the mind to reverence God, the ministers of religion, and sacred things in general. The destruction of these children was evidently the punishment of their sins. There is no greater sin of which parents can be guilty, than to suffer their children to scoff at religion and at its ministers. Such parents and their race are not far from cursing and destruction. How dreadful are the divine denunciations against such workers of iniquity :- I will meet them as a bear bereaved of her whelps, and will rend the caul of their hearts, and there will I devour them like a lion : the wild beast shall tear them,' Hosea xiii. 8. Sabbath school children are better taught than these wicked children of Bethel ; let them see that they do not follow so depraved an example.
THE PRAYING CHILDREN OF SILESIA. In perusing the preceding extraordinary narrative, see p. 67, the pious reflecting mind cannot but have been impressed with the conviction, that the events therein recorded, must have been of God, and under the enlightening influence of his Holy Spirit. For it is evident that in one week, this revival spread over all the principalities of Silesia, so that humanly speaking, it was impossible the children, without divine assistance, should encourage each other to such exercises of devotion, and observe the same method, and preserve the same harmony and union in their proceedings. Contrary to the usual inconstancy of children, they appear to have manifested a steady devotion and composedness of mind ; though they were so frequently disturbed by the magistrates and others, as well as the great concourse of people gathered around them, many of whom were powerfully affected and gave signs of a sincere reformation from their evil ways. It is also apparent that the children were not satisfied with mere formality in the profession of religion, but excited each other to diligence in obtaining a thorough change of heart, as well as a reformation of life; and thus to evince their attachment to the Saviour who loved and died for them.
ESTEEMED FELLOW LABOURERS.-What effect ought these remarkable instances to have on our minds? We are engaged in the honourable work of seeking the spiritual
improvement of thousands of our youthful population on the Sabbath ; but it is to be feared that we have not sufficiently felt it our advantage and privilege to seek occasions to pray with our respective classes alone, and to direct their young minds to the great importance of the duty, and to lead them by our example to Jesus, who, when the children in the temple at Jerusalem cried • Hosannah to the Son of David, and the chief priests and scribes rebuked them; said, · Have ye never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise ?' Amidst all our discouragements there is much to cheer and animate us in the work, if we would only unreservedly, with humble faith and prayer, commit all our fears and disquieting thoughts to him, who has graciously assured to us that blessing, which would result in increased enjoyment and profit in our work of faith and labour of love. Whilst we are not to expect the children of our schools to meet together for prayer, in imitation of the young in Silesia, yet we ought to be stimulated individually to use the means to realize the outpouring of the Spirit of God on our classes, and this from the knowledge that meetings for prayer among children have been usual in ormer times. Rev. Philip Henry encouraged his son Matthew, (author of the Commentary,) when a boy, to collect others of his age and read and pray together. The judicious Mr. Willison, of Dundee, superintended a society of boys, who regularly met in his house for the purpose of reading, singing, and prayer. For some years a meeting of boys was held in the house of Rev. John Brown, of Haddington, for prayer, praise, and Scripture conference ; and though it was on the Saturday evening, he frequently left his studies, conversed familiarly with them, and after giving them serious advice, recommended them to God in prayer, while the dear young ones were kneeling around him. The excellent President Edwards, of America, when a young boy, collected some others and built a kind of a house in a grove, and prayed and conversed together in that retirement. In his after days, he says, “I have seen many happy effects of children's religious meetings, and God has remarkably owned them, and descended from heaven to be among them; and I have known several probable instances of children being converted at such meetings.' The Rev. John Wesley makes frequent mention of striking visitations of the spirit of God amongst the young. That great revival of religion which took place