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gleams of religion will dart upon his soul like the golden rays which gild the morning hemisphere. At first the approaches of conviction are slow and imperceptible, as a stream which flows along the summit of a mountain; but, like the rivulet, it will advance, till, gaining the brink, it plunges down the rugged side in a foaming torrent, bearing before it, like twigs and bushes, all thy doubts-thy uncertainties-thy ignorances-thy disbeliefs-thy fears; and finally, having overthrown every obstruction, expand into the broad and settled lake of conviction."
"So have thy words acted upon me," cried the Atheist aloud; "conviction has quelled every doubt, and reason loudly tells me there is there must be a God." With this exclamation he clapped his clenched hands to his forehead, and sunk back into the seat overpowered by his emotions.
The sacred silence which had hitherto reigned around, was now broken by an universal expression of surprise; but all was again stilled as the clergyman with uplifted hands invoked the Almighty blessing upon his flock.
Then came the solemn peal of the organ, its lengthened notes swelling into the loudest tones, and then soaring aloft gradually, died into a melodious whisper.
In the mean time the reverend vicar having left his pulpit, directed that the stranger (who was insensible) should be conveyed into the vestry room, which was immediately done, and after some minutes we succeeded in restoring him to animation. His first words were, "I have seen my Maker, and shall be saved. Let the sacrament be administered, for I feel there are but few moments of life left me." His request was complied with, and never saw I that imposing ceremony conducted with greater devotion; the convert seemed to bend his whole soul to the privileged duty, and when it was concluded he exclaimed, "All is finished," and sunk back in the agonies of death. We were all deeply impressed, and joined in prayer for the dying sufferer. The reverend preacher raised his voice, and said aloud, "Lord, now let thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word." A convulsive struggle recalled our attention to the stranger. His eyes had lost their fire, and were now fixed and glassy; his face was pale, and the damp clammy dew of death rested upon his brow. A surgeon who had been sent for, now arrived, and pronounced him beyond all hope. He heard the words, and smiled, but with an expression so ghastly that I shuddered. Suddenly the life-blood again rushed into
his face-a flame lit up in his eye-every feature was animated-he clasped his hands, and repeated, "Lord, heal my soul, for I have sinned against Thee." One moment elapsed-his head dropped upon his bosom, and his soul, released from its earthly prison, disentangled from all the doubts and uncertainties to which it had been a victim during its mortal career, departed to receive its judgment at the foot of that tribunal whose existence it doubted, from that awful Being at whose omnipotence it had scoffed.
Some days afterward the tolling of the bell announced a funeral. It was indeed the funeral of the unhappy unbeliever, on whom the reasoning of the excellent vicar had a week before wrought so salutary and timely a change, that we now saw advancing towards the ancient church. It appeared that every inquiry concerning his name and connexion had been made without effect, and no document was found on his person to afford the least clue to a discovery. No one in the village knew him, or had seen him, before he entered the church-yard, but that he was a man of birth and education we could not for a moment doubt, from the superiority of his address during the short conversation I held with him. He was, therefore, consigned to a nameless grave, without a single relative to bedew it with the tear of sympathy. A sum was found about him more than sufficient to defray the expenses of his funeral and the erection of a tombstone, on which the worthy pastor caused to be engraved the following words
THE RICH MAN AND LAZARUS.
Is the account of the rich man and Lazarus, a history or a parable? The decision of this question is not likely to affect any fundamental article of the Christian faith; it is therefore a point on which true Christians may innocently and safely differ. On all hands the account is allowed to be a most solemn, weighty, and instructive portion of holy writ. If regarded as a history, it shows what has actually happened, and what of course may happen again. If regarded as a parable, it is an emblematical representation of the truth; and though not historically genuine, it is substantially and essentially correct teaching that a person may live like the rich man there mentioned, and finally be ruined; or that one may be as poor and as destitute as Lazarus, and finally be admitted into glory. In short,
THE RICH MAN AND LAZARUS.
the lessons taught, and the instructions conveyed by this account, are precisely the same, whether it be regarded as a parable or as a history.
The majority of commentators and divines have, I think, regarded this account as parabolical; among whom may be particularized Macknight, Doddridge, Henry, Burkitt, Dodd, Coke, and Rev. Joseph Benson. But some highly-respectable names have latterly taken the other side of the question, and have expressed themselves in strong terms; among these it will be sufficient to mention the Rev. John Wesley, in a sermon in his works; Dr. Adam Clarke, and the Rev. Henry Moore, in sermons which have appeared in the Methodist Magazine.
The first argument used to prove the account historically true is, that it is not introduced or accompanied with any intimation of being a parable; but that our Lord begins by asserting a plain matter of fact. There was a certain rich man, &c., there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, &c. It may be granted, that parables are generally accompanied with some word or phrase, which shews that they are not to be regarded as history; such as, he spake a parable-he spake many things unto them in parables—the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is a householder-then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, &c. This, however, is not always the case. There are several accounts both in the Old and the New Testament, which are universally allowed to be parabolical, though the sacred writer does not employ any word or phrase whatever, which proves them to be so, but introduces them exactly as though they were historical facts. Thus in Judges, ix. 8, we have the trees going forth to choose a king-and in 2d Samuel xii. 1, the account of the poor man and his ewe-lamb; but in neither case does the sacred writer give the least intimation that he is delivering a parable or a fable. Of this mode of introducing parables we have several instances in the gospel of St. Luke. Thus Luke x. 30, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho &c.—xiv. 16, A certain man made a great supper, &c.-xv. 11, A certain man had two sons, and the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me, &c.-xvi. 2d, There was a certain rich man which had a steward, &c. These four discourses, all recorded by the same evangelist, Luke, stand precisely in the same predicament as the account of the rich man and Lazarus: and if, in the latter, the want of an express assertion that it is a parable or similitude, 2D. SERIES, NO. 1.-VOL. I.
prove it to be a history, the same argument will prove that the good Samaritan, the great supper, the prodigal son, and the unjust steward, are all histories, and not parables.
Another argument adduced is, that our Lord gives us the name of the pious pauper, Lazarus. Some have ventured to call this account, the history of Dives and Lazarus; and by this unauthorized application of the word Dives (which is merely the Latin word for rich, or a rich man,) some have been deceived into an idea, that the names of both persons were actually given. It is true, that on the supposition the whole is a history, we might easily account for the omission of the rich man's name, while the mention of the poor man's name is the strongest consideration that can be adduced in favour of that hypothesis. It may, however, be accounted for in a way, not incompatible with the contrary scheme. Our Lord may have used Lazarus, merely as being a common name among the Jews, and a name actually borne by some of the pious poor in that day. We know of another, who had the same name, even the brother of Martha and Mary, who was raised from the dead. It may have been selected also, as being peculiarly appropriate to a pious poor man, on account of its signification; Lazarus, in Greek, being the same as Eleazar in Hebrew, and denoting literally the help of God.
The following considerations appear to me to turn the balance decidedly in favour of the hypothesis, that the whole account is not a history, but a parable.
The rich man speaks of himself as being tormented in a flame, and desirous of having his tongue cooled with a little water. If the account be a history, this is plain and literal matter of fact: the rich man was enduring bodily pain, the pain occasioned by fire, and which would have been relieved by water. Whereas it is stated in a previous verse, that he was dead and buried. If he were dead and buried, how could he be enduring bodily pain? His body had become an inanimate carcase-it had lost all sense of pleasure or pain-it could not be tormented by fire, nor refreshed by water. They who die in their sins, will have no bodily pain, prior to the general resurrection; till that period, their sufferings will be wholly mental or spiritual. This circumstance, therefore, cannot be understood literally if regarded as a piece of simple history, it would be impossible and false.
other, and the rich man as carrying on a conversation with Abraham. Can this be regarded as plain and literal matter of fact? If so, we are to believe that the abodes of the righteous and those of the wicked are so contiguous, that notwithstanding the impassable gulf between, they can see each other, and carry on conversations together. Is not this contrary to the ideas which the whole tenor of scripture leads us to entertain? Heaven and hell are represented as being so separate-so different-so opposite-that there can be nothing in common between them-no contiguity of place-no similarity of condition-no communications between their respective inhabitants. The damned in hell will not be permitted to see any thing of the light, and glory, and blessedness of heaven; nor will the saints in heaven be tormented with the slightest view of the wretchedness, and horror, and despair, that prevail in that bottomless pit.
Scripture teaches us, that the only occasion on which the righteous and the wicked will have any interview after death will be in the great day of judgment, when all shall stand together at the tribunal of Jesus Christ. Then and there all persons of all descriptions and characters shall meet-all who have been in any way connected on earth, shall recognize each other-shall give account of their conduct towards each other -and having passed the strict and impartial investigation, shall hear their righteous and unalterable doom. After that, there shall be a final separation, to the right and the left of the great Judge-the wicked to go into everlasting punishment, the righte. ous into everlasting life.
Surely it would be as absurd to imagine literally, that the inhabitants of heaven and hell can see each other and converse together, as to imagine that the saints in paradise can hear all the weeping, and wailing, and groans, and execrations of Satan and his angels, and the damned in hell-or that the latter can hear all the praises, thanksgivings, and songs of triumph and joy, proceeding from glorified saints and holy angels. And would not the scenes of the infernal pit, if laid open to the inspection of the glorified, cast a gloom over the celestial mansions, and interrupt the harmony and joy which there prevail? Are not such ideas too repulsive and shocking to be entertained? And should not preachers of the gospel be cautious not to assert so positively as some have done, that the account of the rich man and Lazarus is a history? since from that assertion are deducible consequences, which they themselves would in. stantly condemn and reject.
In support of the historical character of the account, reference has been made to a Jewish tradition, that Lazarus lived at Jerusalem; and it has been said, that some ancient writers have given the name of the rich man. It is a circumstance, however, which will at least weigh as much in favour of the contrary hypothesis, that some ancient manuscripts, particularly the Codex Bezæ at Cambridge, have at the beginning of the account these words-And he spake unto them another parable. X. Y. Z.
THE CULTIVATION OF THE MIND.
A GOOD education is of vast importance, and is strictly necessary to the formation of a useful or distinguished member of society. The mind of that man who has received one, is expanded and liberal, open to the best impressions, and filled with the most generous feelings and sentiments. Education elevates the mind above the general level, and enables man to move in a loftier and purer sphere, giving him a nobler dignity of mind, and a greater independence of condition.
Destitute of the blessings of a scholastic education, and therefore with an uncul. tivated mind, man can never expect to rise high in any station: the adventitious possession of "paternal acres" may, indeed, enable him to pass through life without much inconvenience; but, then, he will be liable to be the dupe of the basest flatterers, or the pitiable object of derision and scorn: he can enjoy no mental entertainment, without which, the finest figure and the most extensive property are but trifles, yea, vanity itself. The purest pleasures are mental: worldly pleasures are but secondary, precarious, and mixed; and, such as they are, they cannot be enjoyed without reflection and meditation. Even looking to the laborious peasant, we find that, unless he have some knowledge of books, and be capable of reading and meditating, his toils will become burdensome, and from his labours he will not experience the most cheering recreation.
The mind of man is so constituted, that it soars after things not seen or experienced, is a curious searcher for information, and continually aspires to a greater degree of intellectual wealth; and all these propensities of the human mind, when properly indulged, invariably lead to honour and renown, to ease and independence, to respectability and credit. Surely these are considerations worthy our most serious attention.
The period allotted for laying the founda
THE CULTIVATION OF THE MIND.
tion of a liberal education, and commencing the mental superstructure thereon, ought, therefore, to be earnestly and exclusively devoted to this one grand object. Here lies the duty of instructors, and a most responsible one it is. They have to regulate the studies of youth in the manner best calculated for their improvement and advantage -to stimulate the lazy to correct the unruly to encourage the timid-to excuse the dull-in short, to study the tempers and abilities of all, and to pour their instructions through the channels most likely to convey them to the seat of knowledge channels varying as the dispositions vary. Where there are more teachers than one in an establishment, it is highly necessary that they should co-operate, with zeal and energy, in the accomplishment of the important work in which they have embarked, otherwise, "their labour will be spent in vain, and their strength for that which satisfieth not."
In all establishments, from our universities to our parochial day-schools, one grand object ought to be kept in view-to make the rising generation useful and honourable members of society.
But boys have likewise a duty to perform. In vain will man toil, and useless will be all his cares, his anxieties, and trouble, if his instructions are not well received. Unless his pupils receive kindly what is given affectionately, the best instructions will, with regard to their weight, be like chaff thrown to the wind; and, with regard to their effect, like seed sown upon the rock. The boy that receives his education with reluctance, and is compelled to his tasks, will never become noted either for his wisdom or his learning. Most boys require stimulants to make them apply, but unless there be some voluntary wish to learn, some spontaneous ambition to excel, these stimulants will never have effect; the seeds of instruction will never germinate, or they will be choked before they become visible to the most curious beholders. Such is the nature of an education, classical or commercial, that the greatest attention is required, both in tutor and pupil, to surmount all the difficulties attending it, and to shine forth, with the effects of its splen dour, in future life. Having made these remarks on the importance of a liberal education, and shown the necessity of strict attention and application for the attainment of mental treasure, let us, in our subsequent observations, point out some of its good effects, where it is cultivated and reduced to practice.
Contemplating the good effects of a re
gular education, both on individuals and society, it is perfectly natural to suppose, that it is the greatest source of entertainment and happiness to the one, and of stability and independence to the other. But, speaking of individual good, its admirable effects on the mind may be readily perceived. The man of cultivated understanding, what does he enjoy? Why, his mind is not circumscribed by his native city, or village, or mountain; but it takes excursions through the universe, reviews times long since past, and, I had almost said, anticipates those to come. By the help of history and observation, man familiarizes to his mind the manners and customs of all nations, ancient and modern, contemplates the rise and fall of empires, admires the stupendous and inscrutable plan of a superintending Providence, and traces the human character, as it is regulated by different circumstances, climes, or governments. If we possess minds well cultivated, we have an inexhaustible fund of entertainment within ourselves. We may form a proper idea of the surface of our earth, and the situation of its different countries with respect to each other, and lose ourselves in the contemplation of the various revolutions that have occurred, and scenes that have been witnessed on it, since the world began. Thus, we cannot peruse the records of ancient nations, nor those of our own times, nor even look around us, without learning useful lessons for the regulation of our conduct, or the amelioration of our hearts. Are we in prosperity ?--we have sufficient examples to make us moderate. Are we in adversity ?-we have sufficient to make us resigned and dignified. In short, whatever be our lots, a little reflection will show us that others have been as we are.
By clear and expanded views of men and manners, we insensibly gain a knowledge of the human passions, and of the moral government of the world; our minds become filled with a universal philanthropy for our species, and we are affected at the woes of others. But again-admitting a superintending Providence, (and the more we see, and learn, and know, the more we are convinced of this important fact,) we cannot but feel grateful for his gracious designs in our redemption and preservation, knowing our own degeneracy, and the degeneracy of our species, and perceiving that the annals of all countries are blended with the most intolerant principles, and the blackest crimes. But these reflections are not to be despised, if they open our eyes to the depravity of our natures, and, through those who have long since quitted this stage
of existence, exhibit the mirror of our own conduct. They are produced by learning and meditation; and those qualities which give more accurate and comprehensive views of the deformity of our natures, can certainly arm us against the follies of others who have gone before us, and make us firmer in our purposes of living well. These are a few, and but a few, of the benefits resulting from a cultivated mind. We will endeavour, further to consider the subject in other points of view; and we may rest assured that, in whatever light it appears, it will present irresistible claims to our attention and regard.
If we take another view of the subject, we shall find the effects of a good education equally favourable to the establishment of genuine happiness among mankind. Education produces a noble independence of mind, superior to the casualties and accidents of life, making men above being moved to take revenge for injuries received, and unwilling to live useless members of society. To independence it adds pleasure, and to pleasure respectability. It must be gratifying for a man to retire within himself, to collect and arrange his thoughts, and to express them in a forcible and elegant manner. This truly is a qualification of which every man may be justly proud—a qualification which will gain a man respectability and honour, and be a source of daily gratification and delight. This world is apt to countenance wealth, and to be very officious and fawning to the man possessed of it, even though he should be scarcely able to write his name, or to read a chapter in his Bible. But the paltry meed of its praise is often insincere, and generally misapplied in such cases, it is a man's possessions, not his person or endowments, that are besieged with false flatterers. And it is also worthy of remark, that its praise is commonly as precarious as it is worthless. "Riches make themselves wings, and fly away;" and what must be the predicament of that man who has placed his whole reliance upon them, when they leave him, and he has nothing internal to which he can have recourse! The truth of the old proverb is demonstrated in him, "Learning is better than house and land:" for internal or intellectual wealth will remain with a man in all his fortunes; the honours which it creates, and the pleasures which it bestows, will be more creditable and lasting than the most affluent fortune can confer.
To show in yet more glowing colours the vast and just ascendency which learning gives one man over another, let us for a moment, contrast the man of mental cultiva
tion with the country peasant. I do not say but that the latter may be as happy as the former, perhaps more so in a certain sense; but their happiness springing from distinct sources, is essentially of a different kind: the one is sublime, the other contracted; the one proceeds from a grateful knowledge of God's gracious and wonderful dealings with us, the other from the ignorance arising from rustic simplicity. And who would not wish, if he had to retire among the most secluded peasantry to pass the residue of his life, to retain his expanded view of things, and to retire with all his powers of reflection?
How pertinent soever the adage may be, "Where ignorance is bliss, 'tis folly to be wise," few, I apprehend, were it possible, would consent to lay aside their knowledge, to put on the rustic garb. Whilst the countryman, whose travels have scarcely extended beyond his native hills, and whose observation is confined to his own parish, is unable to talk about any thing but the tittle-tattle of his busy neighbours, or, occasionally, perhaps, the wondrous phenomenon of an act of parliament; the man of science and observation can range the whole universe in thought, ascertain the principles on which governments are founded, and deduce useful and entertaining lessons from the history of the world.
But, lest any one should suspect that I am holding up learning as an unmixed and infallible good, I assert that no classes of men in society have greater reason for circumspection than those whom we denominate the learned. It is the opinion of one of our greatest bards, that "a little learning is a dangerous thing," and his recommendation, in consequence, is to "drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring;" but I am afraid it is necessary to add, that much learning has often proved destructive to its possessors. We have examples of the greatest philosophers of the age in which they lived, being sceptics or atheists: witness Hume, Gibbon, and many others. A solid stock of learning is, however, of essential service and importance, when the vagaries of the imagination are curbed, and that pride and ambition, which it excites, are kept in a proper degree of subordination.
If the learned would study the scriptures with the honesty of a Bacon, an Addison, a Newton, a Johnson, with a multitude of other worthies who might be enumerated, scepticism would be banished from the world; for I hesitate not to say, that unbelief has its origin in the vanity of the human heart, which too often condemns without a careful examination, and destroys,