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in an absolute and unqualified sense? Does it re- point of fact the guilty passions of men have often quire us at any expense to follow peace with all converted the Gospel of Peace into an occasion of men? In reply to this question, I would refer to animosity and strife. And all this was foretold the same precept as it is elsewhere stated in Scrip- by our Lord himself; for we find him, on a certure, when the apostle says to the Romans, "If tain occasion, saying to his disciples, "Suppose it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peace- ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell ably with all men." The injunction as thus ex- you, nay; but rather division: for from hencepressed, obviously assumes, that there may be forth there shall be five in one house divided, three cases in which it is not possible for Christians to against two, and two against three." Christians, live in peace with all men; and every one who then, are neither required nor permitted to follow knows any thing of the world or of the Christian peace with all men, at the expense of compromiswarfare, must know that such cases do frequently ing any Christian principle, or relinquishing any occur cases in which peace can be attained, only Christian duty: for whatever quietness they might in a way in which it must not be followed. The thereby secure, they would only be contributing to Christian, for example, may be brought into con- the temporary and deceitful stillness of spiritual nexion with men who will not permit him peace- death-leaving men undisturbed in the fatal indulably to maintain his religious profession-men gence of sin. Holiness, in the Scripture acceptawho will take offence at many things in his cha- tion of the term, will always be offensive to ungodly racter and conduct, which they feel to be a silent men-for besides comprehending in it the practice reproof of their own-and who will not be back- of all those virtues, and the faithful discharge of ward, therefore, to manifest their dislike in such a all those duties, which are essential to the temporal way as may be sufficiently annoying to put his well-being of society, and which most men, therestedfastness to a severe trial. There is reason to fore, are able in some measure to appreciate, and believe, that in all ranks of society, the young disposed to approve,-it implies also such a devout especially are frequently exposed to such a temp- sense of the Divine presence-such a reverential tation; and that no efforts on their part will be regard for the Divine law-and such a spiritual successful in disarming the opposition of such tone of mind and character, as cannot fail to lead gainsayers, unless they consent to abate somewhat those who witness it to think more frequently and of their rigorous adherence to Christian principle, more solemnly of God and of eternal things than or, it may be, run into a participation with them they feel it agreeable or easy to do. But, however in their unholy practices. It is plain, however, offensive it may be, no part of Christian holiness that peace is not to be purchased at such a price; must be left uncultivated. Till we are brought and our text plainly intimates that it is not; for into a state of entire conformity to the Divine while the apostle admonishes Christians "ear-image, we cannot be in a state of preparedness for nestly to follow peace with all men," he adds, "and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord." It is evident, indeed, in the case of the Hebrews, that without this qualification, the command to follow peace with all men must have led to an open renunciation of their christian profession; inasmuch as nothing short of this could have disarmed the opposition of unbelieving and ungodly men, at whose hands they had already suffered bitter persecution, and endured a great fight of afflictions. But in fact, the peace here inculcated, is itself a branch of that holiness, "without which no man shall see the Lord;" for inasmuch as it implies on the part of those who follow it, forbearance, compassion, and affectionate concern for the well-being of others, it is that in which they do most clearly reflect the image of their Divine Master-of Him, "who patiently endured such contradiction of sinners against himself"-"who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously." But this very holiness, so far from securing for Christians peace and goodwill with all men, may sometimes be the very means of rendering them objects of suspicion and secret dislike, if not of open hatred for though our Lord's birth was announced as peace on earth and good will to men-and though the tendency of every thing in his life and doctrine was to reconcile them to God and to one another, yet in

the full enjoyment of the Divine presence: and if we are not now in the way of being transformed into this likeness-if we are not conscious of a growing capacity for spiritual enjoyment, even delighting ourselves in God-but if, on the contrary, we feel aversion to that spirituality of character, which the Scriptures do everywhere ascribe to the saints, then what is the blessedness to which we professedly look forward in another world? If here we can see nothing to admire in the Divine character, as revealed to us in Scripture, or in the Divine image, as it is partially reflected in our fellow-men-and if now we can find no gratification or delight in holding fellowship with God; it is obvious that a more vivid manifestation of his perfections, and a nearer approach to his presence, such as the Scriptures represent heaven to be, would only prove infinitely more distasteful to us: and it follows, therefore, from the very nature of things, what is here announced as the unalterable ordination of God, that "without holiness no man shall see the Lord."


THE advantages which the Christian mind derives from a constant intercourse with Missionary subjects, are very many and very great.


1. A spirit of intercession in behalf of the heathen is encouraged.

It was

"when Jesus saw the multitudes that he was moved with compassion, and bade his disciples pray the

Lord of the harvest to send forta labourers into his | the more it is conversant with its object; increase of harvest." (Matt. ix. 36.) This shews how completely the Son of God was also the son of man, for with us it is always the sight of the object that calls forth the emotion. We come we see we are conquered. It was "when Paul saw the city wholly given to idolatry that his spirit was stirred in him." (Acts, xvii. 16.) The eye affected the heart. Just so will it be with every Christian mind. Set him down, like Buchanan, among the myriads that shout around the car of Juggernaut; or, like Gutzlaff, among the more civilized idolators of China, the man who is the follower of Paul, as he was of Christ, will be "stirred in spirit," and "moved with compassion," and one vent of the full heart will be in prayer to the Lord of the harvest. But we who sit at home cannot see the spirit-stirring sight, we are cut off from this blessed influence to drive us to

our knees. Nor can any written information wholly make up this deficiency. The hearing of the ear will never produce so powerful an effect as the seeing with the eye. Yet, in the absence of the greater influence, how dare we neglect to use the less? When we cannot see, how dare we refuse to hear? If we live in ignorance of the state of the heathen world, how can we pray intelligently on its behalf? If we content ourselves with general notions of its idolatries, and barbarities, and struggles against the Light, shall not our petitions be general, unfervent, and ineffectual? On the prayers of the children of God depends the coming of the kingdom and the conversion of the heathen, as it is said in the 2d Psalm, "Ask of me." Should not every child of God then bring himself under those influences which shall bind him to intelligent, fervent, effectual prayer on this behalf. Ccme, then, true child of God, who art bound to the service of Christ in thy native soil, come and let us gather from the records of faithful men who have jeoparded their lives in the high places of heathenism, food for meditation, and incite- | ment to prayer. Let us give ear to these spies of the land of darkness, that when they tell us of some spot where grace is beginning to drop from above" like the first of a thunder shower," our prayers, mingled with thanksgivings, may arise with interest and intelligence on this special behalf: or, when they tell us of some stronghold of Satan, fortified on every side by the triple brass of superstition, self-righteousness, and lust, our united cry may ascend into the ears of the Lord God of Sabaoth," Have respect unto the covenant, for the dark places of the earth are full of the habitations of cruelty."

II. Intercourse with Missionary subjects helps forward personal holiness.

We find in 1 Thess. ii. 16, that "forbidding the preaching of the word to the Gentiles," was looked upon by God as the filling up the cup of sins, the crowning transgression of the Jewish people; and conversely, the bidding and enabling faithful men to preach the word to the Gentiles, is one of the essential virtues of the child of God. And if it be a good and gracious thing to send grace, it is but the continuation of this grace to look after them,-to sympathise with their difficulties and encouragements,—to weep with them when they weep over obstinate sinners,—to rejoice with them and the angels, when they rejoice over one sinner that repenteth. But love increases and abounds,

appetite seems to grow by what it feeds on; and the
sure effect of increasing and abounding love toward all
men, is a surer establishment in personal holiness.
(1 Thess. iii. 12, 13.) The very effort of sending a
man to convert others, makes us ask the question, "Am
The very sight of so many mil-
I myself converted ?"
lions left in ignorance of "the only name whereby we
may be saved," whilst we have heard it from our in-
fancy, overpowers the believing mind with an abiding
sense of the sovereignty of God, and the freeness of his
electing love. Privileges are used more ardently,—
thanksgivings are offered more feelingly,-" What have
I that I did not receive," is graven more durably upon
the heart. And if God does bless the efforts of our
Missionaries, how is every grace of the new nature
stirred into a burning flame! When the Greenlander,
the Hindoo, or the Chinese becomes a believer in
Jesus,-when the same gracious feelings which spark-
led in our bosoms "when first we saw the Lord,"
have evidently got possession of these barbarian souls,
-when we can trace a kindredness of sentiment and
affection,-a oneness of spirit with these last of men,—
then we remember that it is written, we being many,
are one body in Christ, and every one members one of
another." Our lagging faith is by sympathy quickened

into active exercise. The flame of our "first love" is
rekindled, and we hasten to "do the first works."

III. Intercourse with Missionary subjects makes us

watch more anxiously the coming of the kingdom. "When the world shall say peace and safety, then sudden destruction cometh upon them." To them "the day of the Lord cometh as a thief in the night." But the children of God" are not in darkness that that day should overtake them as a thief." Does not this Bible truth imply that the saints are watchful and intelligent as to the signs of the times? And is not the state of the Jewish and heathen world the very page to which we must chiefly look for signs of the latter day glory? "When the branch of the fig-tree is yet tender and putteth forth leaves, we know that summer is nigh." So likewise shall there be infallible signs of the coming of the season when the Beloved shall speak and say unto his bride, "Rise up my love, my fair one, and come away. For lo the winter is past, the rain is over and gone." These buddings and premonitions of the coming summer of our world, none of the wicked shall understand, but the wise shall understand." And why? Just because "the wise," the taught of God, are not fools nor slow of heart to believe all that is

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written concerning the coming of the kingdom of Jesus; and they are on the watch for the first vibrations of that shaking of the earth and the heavens that shall usher in the kingdom" that cannot be moved." Where is the intelligent child of God who is not even now looking with most intense interest upon the movements now making in Hindostan, and upon the strange spirit of enquiry that within these few years has caused such a shaking in the Jewish community, like the shaking of the dry bones in the open valley? As upon the first streaks of the eastern sky before the breaking of the day,-the day when "the fulness of the Gentiles being come in, all Israel shall be saved," the day when the whole temple being completed, of which Christ is the foundation-stone, corner-stone, and top-stone,-the Lord shall

"be glorified in his saints, and admired in all them | north to south, cannot be traversed in less than about that believe."

Child of God, sleep not thou as do others, but having thine own heart established with grace, be ever moving the anxious question, "Watchman, what of the night? watchman, what of the night?" And then shall the answer be returned to thee,-" The morning cometh!"

Minister of Westruther.

THE story of the young and adventurous Ishmael forms an episode in patriachal history full of interest, on account of the disastrous circumstances with which it opens, and of its exhibiting in the character and habits of that wayward youth, the germ of a mode of life, whose wild and irregular feelings are still indelibly impressed on one of the most singular people that have existed in the world. Of the various misfortunes, however, that clouded his early days, it does not fall within our province to speak; and, accordingly, we hasten to consider him in the situation of an outcast from his father's tent, and wandering in the neighbouring wilderness of Beersheba. For whatever reason he had repaired to that desolate region-whether he chose it as the nearest route to Egypt for his mother, who was going to seek in her own country, and among her kindred, for the asylum which the jealousy of her mistress denied her, or whether his proud spirit had resolved to bury its cares and disappointments in the depths of that boundless solitude, he had scarcely planted his footsteps within its border, when he was overtaken by one of those disasters so common to those who attempt to explore the secrets of the Desert. It is impossible to read the simple and graphic narrative of the sacred historian without emotions of the liveliest sympathy in behalf both of the youthful sufferer, whom a burning thirst was threatening with a premature and excruciating death, and of the distracted mother, who, wrapped up in the fate of her son, appeared totally insensible to the misery of her own situation, alone and without hope in an inhospitable wild. But, perhaps, of those who give the tribute of their generous pity to the affecting tale of Ishmael's distress, few are aware of the real extent of a calamity altogether unknown in a temperate climate, or can picture to themselves how severe must have been the privation that prostrated the spirit and energies of a youth of seventeen, whose hardy frame and intrepid character soon after made him the first among the stirring spirits of the place. We are so accustomed to the influence of a humid atmosphere, and a sky tempered by the friendly interposition of clouds,-to perpetual verdure smiling on the mountains and valleys, and rivers diffusing their watery treasures by a thousand channels, and forming essential elements of every landscape, that we find it difficult to entertain the idea of a scene so fearfully wild as to be destitute of every one of these natural features, or to conceive the dreadful state to which the want of them-especially the want of the common article of water-often reduces the unfortunate people who chance to be placed in a situation so unpropitious. This, however, was precisely the character of the dreary solitude whose want of resources had so nearly proved fatal to Ishmael. The wilderness of Beersheba, or Shur, lying at the north-eastern extremity of the Red Sea, and forming the northern part of the great Arabian Desert, is, according to the testimony of those who have crossed it, a vast expanse of uninhabited country, which, by the straightest route from

This beautiful illustration of Sacred Scripture is extracted from an interesting work recently published, under the name of " Eastern Manners; illustrative of Old Testament History." Edinburgh: Oliphant and So... 1835.

forty days; and it is so wild and desolate a region, that it seems to have been doomed by the Creator to the curse of perpetual sterility. Throughout the whole extent of it not a blade of verdure is to be seen, nor the voice of living thing to be heard, and but for a few hardy plants the tamarind and acacia, which here and there strike their roots into the clefts of the rocks, and nourished by the dews of night, "waste their sweetness on the desert air"-there would be nothing to dis pel the feeling which this dismal scene strongly produces that here was a region where nature was wholly dead. Vain is the hope of the traveller, that, the first dreary spots being passed, his eye may yet rest on some oasis, his panting frame be refreshed under some grateful shade, and he may arrive at some stage where the peopled city or village will remunerate his toils with the pleasures of society. From day to day, from morn to night, he prosecutes his irksome journey, while nothing is seen but the same tedious monotony,-nothing but the frightful precipices and the bright sand,-which the fierce rays of a vertical sun are scorching.

"There no spring in murmurs breaks away,
Or moss-grown fountains mitigate the day;
In vain he hopes the green delights to know,
Which plains more blessed or verdant vales bestow;
There rocks alone, or tasteless sands are found,
And faint and sickly winds for ever howl around."


The springs are but few and scanty all over the desert, in that part especially where Ishmael wandered, a traveller who crossed it having found only four in the space of a hundred and fifteen miles, situated at the distance of four, six, and even eight days' journey from each other; and, besides the danger of missing them, always liable to happen in a trackless solitude, but particularly so in the wilderness of Paran, which in many places is full of rugged and precipitous cliffs, around the base of which the traveller has to seek his way; it may happen, that after the greatest exertions have been made to reach these springs, they are found entirely choked with the moving sand, or that they prove, to the mortification of the luckless traveller, so impregnated with brackish qualities, from the beds of sulphur or salt over which they roll, as to increase, instead of allaying, his already insufferable intensity of thirst. And then follows a scene of the most dreadful and protracted sufferings which a human being can experience. The burning thirst, rendered more violent by the fierce heat of the glowing firmament and the fiery sand, produces an intense agony in every part of the frame, and the dry and contracted feeling of the skin, the eyes appearing like balls of coagulated blood, the unnatural swelling and hardness of the tongue and lips, increasing difficulty of seeing and hearing, the total loss of speech, together with the most painful sensations in the throat; all these, which are invariable consequences of unalleviated thirst, indicate a universal derangement of the bodily system, produce langour and insensibility, and at last bring the unhappy sufferer, after many a struggle, to drop on the ground, happy if, like Ishmael, he can purchase a brief respite from his misery, by sheltering his scorched head under one of the dwarfish acacias that are strewed around.* In such circumstances, it is said that five hundred dollars have been given for a draught of water. But, in general, where one is placed in such extremities, all who are with him are, more or less, in a similar state of distress; and then no bribe, however great, no en

Thevenot found a person in precisely the same circumstances as Ishmael, having, in his agony, thrust his panting head under a small bush, to smell any damp that might be there. These small bushes were probably the very cause of Ishmael and his mother not being able to see the well which was so near him. Mr Campbell was once in this predicament. Having travelled the whole day without water, and halted about sunset in great distress from thirst, he found in the morning that he had been spending the night within a few yards of an abundant supply of the precious Auid.

treaties, however importunate, can procure a single | drop; for of what use would all the wealth of the Indies be in a place where death would be the inevitable consequence of parting with the precious beverage? The master of a whole caravan is then not better privileged than the meanest of his slaves; and, as the desire of self-preservation triumphs over every consideration, when one drops the victim of thirst, his companions, however they may commiserate the sufferer, are obliged to pass on without delay, and abandon him to his fate. And how terrible such a situation, to be exposed in a savage interminable desert! In vain does he exert his expiring energies, in a last effort to cry out for help, or to hoist the signal of distress. Not a soul is near to whisper the accent of sympathy, or to pour a drop of water on his burning lips, not even an echo responds to his cries, and he lies there, dreaming of the murmur of limpid streams, and of wandering along the verdant banks, and stooping to swallow the delicious draught, till the effort to obey the impulse of imagination dissipates the enchantment, and awakens him to all the horrible realities of his situation,-a helpless and forsaken wanderer, perishing for thirst in a vast howling wilderness!

in quest of water. The messengers, however, had not proceeded far ere one of them dropped on the ground, through perfect feebleness, and, unable to speak, merely waved his hand to his companion to leave him, and to return with water as quickly as possible. The survivor accordingly continued his solitary and now almost hopeless task,-for so great was his own debility, and the excessive thirst that preyed on him, that his eyes became dim, and he lost the road, though he was well acquainted with the situation of the spring. Having wandered about a long time he alighted under the shade of a tree, and fastened the camel to one of the branches, but the impatient beast having scented the water, broke its halter, and, wearied as it was, galloped off at a furious rate in the direction of the well, which, it afterwards appeared, was about half an hour's distance. The servant well understood the movements of the camel, and hastened to follow it, but after advancing a few hundred yards he fell exhausted on the ground, and had lain a considerable time, expecting nothing but death, when a kind Providence directed a Bedouin of the neighbourhood to that place, who threw a little water on the face of the expiring man, and in a short time succeeded in restoring him. They proceeded together to the spring, and after filling as many skins as they could carry, returned to the stragglers of the caravan, whom they had the satisfaction of finding still alive.

No general description, however, of the misery of such a situation can convey so vivid a picture of Ishmael's distress as the unvarnished and circumstantial narratives of those who have had the courage to brave, A French traveller relates an occurrence similar to and the good fortune to survive, the perils of the same, this, but which awakens a more melancholy interest, or a similar scene. And, to the reader of the Bible, both from the greater number of persons who were who meets, both in the story of the son of Hagar, and overtaken with the calamity, and the disastrous consethe travels of the Israelites in the wilderness, with se- quences with which it was attended. The caravan beveral notices of this kind of distress, which the rapid longed to a Turk who speculated in the slave trade, narrative of Moses introduces only by incidental allu- and who having with great care, and at a great expense, sion, an important and grateful service may be rendered reared and educated some female slaves he possessed, by subjoining the most interesting particulars of the was on his way to dispose of them at the market of accounts of some individuals who have felt all the hor- Bagdad. They had taken with them a copious supply vors consequent on a failure of water in the Arabian of water, and had calculated on being able to renew it desert. The following story is given on the testimony at a well which they had to pass; but, to their great disof the celebrated Burckhardt, who travelled over that appointment, they found it completely dried, and they dreary region; it relates to a small caravan of five were reduced, in consequence, to the greatest distress. merchants, with about thirty slaves, and a proportion- The first object that struck the eye of the Frenchman ate number of camels, who were passing, for the pur- as he approached, was the owner of the caravan runposes of trade, from Berber to Egypt, and having re- ning about in a state of distraction, and bewailing, in ceived intelligence that they were to be way-laid by a most doleful terms, his situation, and the ruin of his band of robbers at a well which lay on their road, they fortunes; on a nearer view a spectacle was disclosed determined on choosing a more easterly route, by an- that would have wrung pity out of the hardest heart. other well of no less repute with travellers. They had In the midst of twelve eunuchs and about a hundred placed themselves under the conduct of a trusty and camels, was a band of two hundred girls of most exexperienced guide, but as the way they had chosen was quisite beauty, of from twelve to fifteen years of age, not much frequented, they soon wandered out of the lying on the ground in a state approaching to insensibiproper track, and for five days could not discover where lity, produced by excessive fatigue and thirst. Some they were. Meanwhile their stock of water failed, and had already sunk under their distress, and were thrown as their necessities were increasing every hour, they de- into a pit dug for the purpose; the greater part, howtermined to direct their course by the setting sun, in ever, showed, by their panting bosoms and imploring hopes of reaching the Nile. After having sustained the looks, that they were still alive, but so faint and feeble pangs of thirst for two days, fifteen of the slaves and that had water been within their reach, they could not two of the merchants died. Another, who was owner have made the necessary exertion to carry it to their of the camels, conceiving that the beasts might, by sa- lips. The air was rent with the piercing cries of the gacity or instinct, be more successful than their masters dying girls, and many a wistful eye was cast on the in discovering the situation of water, requested his traveller and his companions for a drop of the precious companions to tie him fast to the saddle of his stoutest fluid. Deeply affected by such a scene, he was proceedremaining camel, to prevent his falling through weak-ing to open his leathern bottle, and to distribute its conness, and then allowed the animal to carry him in whatever direction it chose; but neither the merchant nor his camels were afterwards heard of. Meanwhile the caravan, now diminished to a little party, came in sight of the mountains of Shigrè, which they recognised, and where they knew they were certain of finding water; but they were so greatly enfeebled, through fatigue and privation, that neither men nor beasts were able to proceed any further. Throwing themselves down at the foot of a projecting rock, whose shade promised them a little respite from their misery, they despatched two servants, with two of the strongest remaining camels,

tents among as many as possible of the pitiable objects, when his guide rushing forward with the peremptory exclamation: " Madman, wouldst thou have us also perish of thirst," dashed off the unfortunate slaves, seized hold of the water skin, and threatened with instant death the first who ventured to touch it. The traveller, knowing that the ruthless Arab was in the right, and was acting as his own friend, was obliged to yield to the cruel necessity; and, as their departure from the scene of horror took away the last ray of hope from the perishing girls, a shriek of despair was raised, every one crying out with frantic vehemence for death to come and

relieve them from their sufferings.—It was a most distressing scene; even the Arab, not unused to such spectacles, could no longer resist; he took one that lay nearest him, poured a drop of water on her burning lips, and placed her behind him on his camel, with the view of presenting her as a present to his wife. The poor slave fainted several times as she parted from the spot, -but being borne across the desert at a rapid pace by her deliverers, was spared the agony of witnessing the death that inevitably awaited her less fortunate companions.


FREQUENT notice has been taken of the extraordinary simplicity of arrangement and depth of thought observable in the Assembly's Shorter Catechisın. Of the former, I have just had a remarkable proof, in reading over Dr Chalmers' Preface to the first volume of the new edition of his works. With his usual clearness and analytical acumen, he proposes two methods of studying Theology. According to the one, the first object of contemplation is the Divine Being; and then the history of his doings in this world, detailed in natural, if not chronological order. The other fixes at once on some awakened sinner, and accompanying him as he advances in knowledge and holiness, describes progressively the discoveries which he makes, or which are made to him, in the word and works of God. The former considers God abstractly, and follows out the other branches as so many of his works. And divinity taught upon this principle, recommends itself to reason, as regularly deductive and capable of systematic arrangement. And accordingly, this is the principle on which catechisms and systems of divinity are usually constructed. The other, instead of the matter observed, takes up the observer; and simply recording what he is supposed to see and feel, as he advances towards perfection, the same subjects pass in review; but they are seen from different points, and under different lights. They are seen, not as abstract truths, but as practical directions. And this, therefore, is the view of divine truth best fitted for the guidance of the heart and conduct. The principles thus referred to, are, if we mistake not, the same with the categories of Aristotle and the first principles of Bacon; the one assuming, as the basis of his arrangement, being, or the things about which men think; and the other, the powers of mind by which these are known and enjoyed. Now, it is perhaps new to some of our readers to be told, that the profound distinctions of an Aristotle and a Bacon, are employed in the construction of that humble Primer called the Shorter Catechism; and that the prolific mind of a Chalmers could not have selected a finer example of its own original speculations, than is to be found in this directory for catechising such as are of a weaker capacity.

The number of Questions in this little manual, is, in all, one hundred and seven. The first three are introductory-God's chief or principal end in creating man, the rule by which man may attain to that end, and the principal branches into which that rule may be divided, are the topics thus introduced.

From the beginning of the fourth Question, to the end of the thirty-eighth, we have a system of divinity,

regularly constructed according to the first of the two principles explained. Every thing stated under these questions, is laid down speculatively; that is, as a matter of study and contemplation, not of command and direction. Each answer tells us what is, and not what should be. The arrangement of topics, also, is such as to shew their consecutive dependence on each other, so that, like so many links of a chain, they are all suspended from the primary Question,-" What is God ?" This will be observed in a mere rehearsal of the subjects, of which the Questions are composed;—the being and attributes of God,-the persons in the Godhead — the divine purposes or decrees, the execution of these in creation, their fulfilment in providence,-the special providence of God towards man, in an unfallen state,— in the fall and its consequences,-in redemption from these,-in the character and offices of the Redeemer,— in what he did on earth to redeem man, and in what he is raised to in heaven, for the farther purposes of redemption,-in applying to sinners the blessings of redemption by the Holy Spirit, his operations in effectual calling, justification, adoption, and santification, and the fruits of these in life, at death, at the resurrection, and throughout eternity.


From the beginning of the thirty-ninth Question, to the end of the book, the topics are strictly practical, and they are so arranged as to furnish an appropriate directory for every stage of Christian advancement. The subjects introduced, are not presented speculatively, but as pointing to the conscience and the heart, and as leading forth the mind, and guiding the conduct, inta the ways of God. And accordingly, the arrangement, instead of assuming some principle in the matter of contemplation, assumes a principle in the man, and proceeds to address and direct him in all his advances onward to perfection. It is in this way that the thirty-ninth Question commences with what "God requireth of man?" It is thus the first arrow driven from this quiver, is so pointed as to aim at the conscience, God's witness in And the commandments which follow, are as a bundle of these. They are variously pointed, yet all have a point; and this very diversity only fits them the more for the diversified circumstances in which man is found. One, for example, is aimed at the conscience of such as worship strange gods,-another at those who worship even the true God, through the medium of images, a third at the blasphemer, a fourth at the Sabbath-breaker, a fifth at children who are disobedient to parents,-a sixth at murderers,-a seventh at adulterers,—an eighth at thieves,—a ninth at liars,— and a tenth at the covetous. And to render each of these sharp as a two-edged sword," there is under each, first, what concerns the "want of conformity to," and then, what belongs to the "transgression of;" in other words, a required," and a forbidden," with occasional reasons also annexed. Nor does each commandment point only to as many individual sins or du ties, but under these, to as many classes of both. It is therefore scarcely possible to conceive of any arrangement better fitted to bring home guilt to every conscience. And it is accordingly followed by other questions, respecting man's inability to keep the commands, the sins of which he thus becomes guilty, and the eternal judgments to which he is exposed. By these, he is left helpless and hopeless, under a sentence of condemna

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