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fancies, and, as nearly as possible, resembling the temple of the Lord; but the temple of the Lord they cannot be, unless the builders humbly consent to receive his commission, and to act as his servants; obeying his will, and revering the means which he has appointed for the accomplishment of the work. The member of the holy catholic church has recourse to the word of God as revealed in the Old and New Testaments; and he finds ample information concerning both the outline of the church, and the way in which it is to
FOOTMARKS IN SANDSTONE ROCK*.
as that of a calf's-foot; while the impression was so deep-passing, indeed, in some instances, right through the upper stratum, and imprinting itself upon the one immediately below it-as to prove that the animal to which it belonged must have been of considerable weight. Having, by careful inquiries on the spot, and by actual observation, armed himself with a series of particulars, such as he knew could not fail to confound the minds of the most distinguished and learned geologists, and being well aware how great would be the scepticism with which any statement of his own, in regard to these footprints, would be received by scientific men, he resolved to open a private correspondence on the subject with professor Buckland of Oxford, in whose philosophic candour he to the storm of ridicule and opposition which he had some confidence, previous to exposing himself could not help anticipating. In reply to his first communication he received the following characteristic letter:
tion may resemble the prints of an animal's foot, I strongly suspect they must be cavities resulting from the decay of some organic body, probably a shell that was once inclosed in the rock, and has subsequently perished. I know of two species of shells that have been often taken for the feet of animals; but, till I see your specimens, I can, of course, give no farther opinion than a general one,
FOR many years Dr. Duncan had heard reports of the existence of strange footmarks on the sandstone strata at Corncocklemuir, a quarry about fifteen miles from Ruthwell; but, being aware of the generally received opinion, that the new red"Oxford, 17th June, 1827. sandstone, which lies immediately over the coal "Reverend Sir,-I was yesterday favoured formation, must have been deposited at an era with your letter respecting the supposed impreswhen no quadrupeds of a higher order than rep-sions of the feet of animals in the sandstone quartiles existed upon the earth, he long concluded ries of your neighbourhood, and shall have great that these reports must have originated in mere pleasure in examining the casts you propose to imagination. Nor was this impression by any send to London, whence they may be forwarded means weakened in his mind, on learning that a any day, by coach, to Oxford. As soon as I have well-known professor of natural science, who reseen them I will give you, with much pleasure, sided occasionally within a few miles of the my best opinion respecting them; but I had much quarry, so scouted the idea of its being possible rather see one of the actual marks on the stone itthat such footmarks could exist in the new red- self, in a slice cut off from the block, than a hunsandstone, that he refused even to take the trou-dred casts. However much the cavities in quesble of paying a visit to it for the purpose of inquiry. At length, however, having seen a very remarkable specimen of these footmarks at Dormont House, and, being convinced that they were no other than they appeared to be, he resolved to take the earliest opportunity of inspecting the quarry in person. This accordingly be did, one fine day in the summer of 1827; and be returned home convinced that, whatever surprise the announcement might occasion, the fact could not be questioned that, at the remote period when the new red-sandstone was in the act of forming, four-footed animals, of several scecies, had imprinted indelible footmarks on the surface of its strata. In various parts of the quarry he beheld numerous impressions so exceedingly distinct and well defined, and so exactly resembling the prints of such animals, that no room was left to doubt of their identity. Indeed, the writer of this, who accompanied him to the quarry on a subsequent occasion, on seeing some of them, could hardly believe that the stone was not yet as soft as sand, and that the animals had not passed over the face of the rock only a few minutes before, although he was aware that strata, to the depth of upwards of forty feet, had but recently lain above them. Some of the prints were larger than others; but all of them were of rather an uncommon appearance; and one, in particular, was at least as broad * From "Memoir of the rev. H. Duncan, D.D." By rev. G. J. C. Duncan. Edinburgh: Oliphants. London:
Hamilton, Adams, and Co. 1848. Dr. Duncan was a clergyman of the kirk of Scotland, who has a claim on public gratitude as the originator of savings'-banks. In his later years he seceded from the kirk. We extract from the menoir an interesting account of a geological discovery.
against even the remote probability of the marks you mention being the impressions of feet. You may, however, depend on hearing my farther opinion as soon as I have an opportunity of seeing what you propose to send up for my inspection. Allow me to thank you for your kind attention, and believe me to remain, sir, your obliged and most obedient servant.
The casts, to which reference is made in the preceding letter, Dr. Duncan had prepared with the utmost care; and, on receiving them, Dr. Buckland, in the true spirit of a philosopher whose mind is open to conviction, wrote: far at least as I can judge from the specimens be fore me, I am strongly inclined to come over in toto to your opinion upon the subject." He could not, in fact, against the evidence of his senses, deny that the marks were those of some kind of four-footed animal. Anxious, however, now to ascertain what the quadruped was, "and being led," as he said, "to look to our recent crocodiles, or tortoises, for the living counterpart of these impressions," he made several curious and somewhat amusing experiments with animals belonging to these genera, by causing them to march over soft dough and wet sand, the result of which led him to refer at least some of the footmarks to animals of
the tortoise kind. After giving a particular account | of these experiments, he goes on to say: "The difficulty is to explain why sand so soft did not subside, and obliterate the cavities, before or during the arrival of the next superincumbent bed of sand which filled up and preserved these impressions. Elongated excavations, similar to those last spoken of, are made by hares and other quadrupeds, in moving over soft and half-consolidated snow." This was indeed a difficulty; but there were also others. For example, some of the impressions could not be referred to these animals; and this remark especially applies to what we have called the calf-like footmark. And then the steep inclination of the sandbeds, which the appearance of the marks plainly demonstrated" must have been the same at the time when these strange creatures had crawled over them, seemed to present another mystery; the dip of the quarry being in most places 38°, and in some as much as 40°. And there was, besides, the extraordinary fact, that the prints occurred not on one stratum only, but on many successive strata; "a fact which," as Dr. Duncan remarks, in a very full account of these wonders, afterwards prepared for the Royal Society of Edinburgh, "leads the mind into the remotest antiquity, and perplexes it in a maze of interminable conjectures as to the state of the earth's materials when these living creatures walked on its surface, and bathed in other waters, and browsed on other pastures; and not less as to the extraordinary changes and vulsions of nature which have since taken place, and which have broken up, overturned, and remodelled all things." The this discovery soon spread among geologists; and, as had been anticipated, it gave rise to a consider able ferment. Among other sceptics on this subjeet, Dr. Duncan was honoured by a visit, during that very summer, from professor Sedgwick of Cambridge, and Roderick Murchison, esq., who carried away with them several specimens from Corncocklemuir, which unfortunately were not by any means so perfect as those from which Dr. Buckland's casts were taken; and in reference to these deservedly celebrated geologists, the Oxford professor writes: "My friend Mr. Chantrey, the sculptor, who has seen the casts and specimen you sent me, has no kind of doubt that these impressions are footsteps; but I find professor Sedgwick and Mr. Murchison brought away a different opinion as the result of their visit to the quarry. I have only seen Mr. Murchison, who tells me Mr. Sedgwick was, like himself, not convinced by the very imperfect and uncertain marks they could find, on visiting the quarry. I can only say that two small single impressions Mr. Murchison brought away with him confirm me still more in my opinion; and so successful have I been in making converts, with the single specimen I have from you, that if you could send me one or two more, on the real sandstone, I am sure I should bear down all the opposition (which is now very strong) to the belief in your hypothesis, among the geologists of London." Having occasion, some years after, to write to Dr. Buckland, regarding similar appearances in another quarry near Dumfries, he received a reply, from which we extract the following valuable testimony: "I look upon your discovery as one of the most curious and most im
portant that has been ever made in geology; and, as it is a discovery that will for ever connect your name with the progress of this science, I am very anxious that the entire evidence relating to it should be worked out and recorded by yourself." I have only to add that all doubts have long since vanished from the minds of geologists, and that sir David Brewster, in a remarkable article in the first number of the "North British Review;" Mr. Ansted, in his very interesting elementary work on geology, and Dr. Chalmers, in a paper which we have yet to notice, all agree with professor Buckland in the value which they ascribe to this discovery. Nor is it the least remarkable circumstance connected with it, that Dr. Duncan's attention was first devoted to the subject while he was as yet but a tyro in the science, and that he had resolution, notwithstanding, to maintain and make out his case against the united authority of the whole race of contemporary geologists.
THE PRESENT TIMES*.
IT surely well becomes us of this country and nation, in these days of discontent, marmuring, and disaffection, to remark, and with the deepest sense of gratitude to Almighty God to acknowledge, that the greatest blessing which any people can enjoy is to have for their ruler a wise and virtuous personage, such a one as this country is happily blessed with, and one who is acknowledged by all reasonable and respectable parties, ranks, and classes of men to have every virtue which adorns human nature.
It well becomes us also as Christians to remember that the prayers of the righteous servants of the Most High God are of great efficacy before the throne of his mercy; through whose prayers, and for whose sakes God frequently condescends to spare the wicked from temporal judgments; and, therefore, have we not every reason, my dear brethren, to be exceeding grateful in these days of sorrow and distress, in which the kingdoms of the earth are being shaken to their very foundations, and the people of many countries are up in arms against one another, brothers being opposed to brothers, parents to their sons, and sons to their parents, killing one another without any reasonable cause-I repeat, have we not especial reasons to be grateful, and to be heartily thankful to our divine Protector, that this country, compared with other countries, is quiet and undisturbed. We have been favoured, and still God continues to favour us, more than any nation on the face of the earth. Our liberties and privileges are greater than those of any other country or nation. And, above all, we enjoy the invaluable blessings of the Protestant religion; for the establishment of which our forefathers so nobly and willingly suffered. If we valued these blessings as we ought, we should not hear the loud voice of sedition and murmuring: if we duly appreciated them, each member of society would
be content with his station or condition in life. All true churchmen are loyal subjects: they are ever ready to perform their duty towards God,
From a sermon preached by the rev. Edward Griffiths, curate of Lanvaches and Lanvair Discoed, Monmouthshire, with reference to the present times.
mighty God; on our love for Christ, and reliance on his merits for acceptance with God the Father, depend our present comfort and future happiness, yea, the preservation of our admirable constitution, and the prosperity of the nation.
as well as towards their earthly sovereign. They
PAUL'S THANKFUL CONFIDENCE FOR
THE PHILIPPIAN CHURCH:
BY THE VEN. GEORGE HODSON, M.A.,
Archdeacon of Stafford; Canon of Lichfield; and
PHIL. i. 3-7.
I would remind you, my brethren, that God orders all things, both in heaven and earth, by ways to us often unknown, and even unthought of by us. His providence still presides over all things. By him kings and queens rule; and in his name and by his authority we owe them submission and obedience. Considering the many favours we have nationally or individually received at his hands, infinitely surpassing those which were conferred on his people of old time, O how great would be our ingratitude, should we show any tokens of dissatisfaction, should we betray any disposition to revolt, or the least symptoms of disobedience! Those who would cast off their allegiance to their earthly sovereign cannot surely pretend to fear God, and keep his commandments. For our Saviour plainly tells us that we are to render unto Cæsar the things "THEY that sow in tears," says the psalmist, that are Cæsar's, and unto God the things that "shall reap in joy. He that goeth forth and are God's." And we are exhorted by St. Peter "to submit ourselves to every ordinance of man, weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtfor the Lord's sake; whether it be to the king less come again with rejoicing, bringing his as supreme, or unto governors as unto them that sheaves with him." This beautiful passage are sent by him for the punishment of evil-doers, was never more strikingly verified than in and for the praise of them that do well. For so is the result of St. Paul's labours at Philippi. the will of God, that with well-doing ye may put When we view the account of his first visit to silence the ignorance of foolish men." would be no living among those who fear not the to that city, in the sixteenth chapter of the invisible God in heaven, nor consider what great Acts, we seem to feel that nothing could well things he hath done for them, had they no one to have been more discouraging than his recepfear upon earth. Far be it from us to follow the tion there. We read, at first, of but one soliwicked ways of those who are enemies to order and peace, and to trample under foot all divine tary convert, and that a stranger-Lydia and human laws; to be ungrateful to the best (a seller of purple, from Thyatira in Asia), "whose heart the Lord opened to attend to and greatest of benefactors for the innumerable benefits we have received, and are receiving day the things spoken of Paul." Presently the by day. Far be it from us, brethren, to forget whole city is in an uproar. Paul and Silas his mighty works; to blasphenie his holy name; are beaten and imprisoned, and the next day to neglect his worship; to profane his sabbath: obliged to quit the city, notwithstanding the far be it from us to side with the disaffected or double miracle of their own deliverance and the infidel; to deprive our brethren of their rights by any unlawful means, or to raise our voice the jailor's conversion. Never was Christian against our beloved sovereign, whom God in his church planted under circumstances appamercy has set over us; lest by so doing the Al-rently less hopeful. Truly might it be said mighty in his anger should visit us, and in his sore displeasure consume us. May it be our study, on the other hand, to live peaceably with all men, and to do unto others as we would they should do unto us; to honour the queen, to obey her lawful commands, to pray affectionately for her, and to praise God for the blessing of her government. May it be our care to pray fervently and heartily that God would deliver us "from all sedition, privy conspiracy, and rebellion, from all false doctrine, heresy, and schism, from hardness of heart, and contempt of his word and commandment" (Litany). On the purity of the protestant faith, unmixed with popish traditions and superstitions; on our zeal for the honour of Al
"I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy, for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now; being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ: even as it is meet for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart; inasmuch as both in my bonds, and in the defence and confirmation of the gospel, ye all are partakers of my grace."
that the apostle "sowed in tears;" but such "precious seed" could not be lost; and with what joy he reaped, how plenteous "the sheaves he brought with him," let this epistle testify. Nowhere-except, perhaps, in the neighbouring city of Thessalonica, also planted amidst much persecution-did the fruit more amply repay the toil and labours of the husbandman. And, full as the apostle's heart was of love to all the Christian churches, towards none of them was there more of the overflowings of parental love and tenderness than towards his dear Philip
pians. What father's heart ever yearned more to them, as it did shortly afterwards to over a beloved child than his does over them? their brethren in Thessalonica; "not in How endearing the terms in which he ad- word only, but also in power, and in the dresses them! how wakeful his solicitude! Holy Ghost, and in much assurance." how affectionate his exhortations! how fer- They had "received it, not as the word vent, how constant his prayers! " My breth- of men, but as the word of God," in ren dearly beloved and longed for," he says the obedience of simple faith; and, so reto them, "my joy and crown, so stand fast ceived, it had "wrought effectually" in them, in the Lord, my dearly beloved." He was "turning them to God from idols to serve at this time a prisoner at Rome, looking for- the living and true God, and to wait for his ward, at no distant period, to martyrdom. Son from heaven." Nor was this a sudden But he forgets his own sufferings and pros- and transient effect, but permanent and propects in their spiritual progress, and is filled gressive. Like the Thessalonian converts, with joy and thankfulness on their account, they had become "followers of the apostles as though he had none to care for, or bear and of the Lord," and that so consistently as on his heart before the mercy-seat, but them. to be "examples" to other Christian churches. Now, brethren, such as the Philippians We cannot have a surer interpretation of St. were, such (allowing for change of times Paul's meaning in the passage before us than and circumstances) ought we, through the by comparing it with the manifestly similar grace of God, to be. There is not a single passage in the opening of his first epistle to the topic, either of prayer or praise, in the text, Thessalonians. What he here calls their felwhich, in substance, Christian ministers lowship in the gospel, he there expresses more ought not to use in behalf of their congrega- fully by their work of faith, and labour of tions now. I trust I may humbly say, for love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus myself and my associate in the pastoral care Christ." A real, thorough, abiding work of of this parish, that we would wish to "thank grace had taken place in their souls. They our God upon every remembrance of you," had experienced the power of religion in their for what divine grace has already wrought hearts, and manifested it in their lives; and in you, and to entertain the same confident that permanently and progressively, "from assurance with that expressed by St. Paul, in that day to this," says St. Paul, writing at the words before us, that "he which hath the expiration of more than ten years from begun the good work in you will perform it the date of their conversion. So that by their until the day of Jesus Christ." And if your "fellowship in the gospel" he means their hearts, dear brethren, do but respond to our participation in the saving, sanctifying grace hearts, and your prayers for yourselves and of the gospel; their enjoyment of its blessings one another be in unison with ours for you and privileges; their personal experience of all, then with what mutual joy and congra- its benefits and comforts, of its practical intulation shall we meet again-the pastor and fluence, its life-giving power, its vital transthe flock together-in that great day of the forming energy upon the soul. Nothing less Lord's appearing! than this would have satisfied the apostle; nor, let me tell you of a truth, brethren, should any thing short of this satisfy us.
In considering the expression of the apostle's feelings respecting the Philippians, let us notice, (1) his thankfulness as to the past; (2) his confidence as to the future: his thankfulness for what God had done, his confidence as to what God would do for them.
I. "I thank my God," says the apostle, "upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy, for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now." What does he mean by their "fellowship in the gospel"? He means their fellowship with himself and other Christians, in the blessings and benefits of the gospel. He rejoiced that through the grace of God given to them they had been made partakers of the gospel; not in profession only, but in principle; not in form, but in fact; and that from the very first time they had heard it. The gospel had come
We, like the Philippians, have been called to the fellowship of the gospel; not, indeed, like them, from amidst the darkness of heathenism; but from a state, in which, if we remain till death call us hence, we shall be no better off as regards our prospects for eternity than if we had been heathens; yea, in one sense, very much worse off, inasmuch as our opportunities of light and knowledge are greater than theirs. We cannot too highly estimate our advantages as a Christian people. The benefits of Christian birth and parentage, of admission into the visible church of Christ by baptism, of participation in Christ's ordinances and sacraments, are unspeakable. We cannot be sufficiently thankful for them. And the blessings, direct and collateral, which flow from the public profession of Christianity,
well be thankful even for this? But to cherish a good hope, on solid, substantial grounds, which will not give way beneath him; to indulge a confidence not presumptuous-an assurance warranted by the word of God, and dictated by the Spirit of God-that,
from its adoption as the law and recognized rule of government, its incorporation into the framework of our constitution, its effects on the social habits, manners, customs, institutions of our country, are all above price. But these national blessings, great and manifold as they are, are limited to time."when Christ shall appear," he also, poor, They can go no farther. They cannot save the soul. They may make it saveable by placing it within reach of the means of salvation; but they cannot secure the efficacy of those means. And the soul that rests in them, relying for salvation on corporate acts, on visible communion, on baptismal privileges, on creeds and articles of faith, on church membership, or any thing else whatever, which goes not beyond an outward fellowship in the gospel, will find itself miserably deluded and hopelessly destitute, when it passes into the eternal world, and stands in the judgment of the last day.
I entreat you, brethren, as you value your immortal souls, rest not in any thing short of an actual personal participation in the blessings which the gospel of Christ reveals and offers-its grace and mercy, its hopes and comforts, its peace and purity. The full and free forgiveness of all your sins through the atoning blood of the Redeemer; acceptance with God through his righteousness and intercession; the renewal of your souls, after the divine image, in righteousness and true holiness; and a growing meetness for the inheritance of the saints in light: these, these, brethren, are the inestimable gifts of which the gospel invites you to partake; this the blessed "fellowship" for which, and for nothing short of which, should you be content to praise your God, and for which if you can, on good grounds, praise him now, you will be enabled to praise him through all eternity. For mark,
II. How the apostle in our text reasons from what God had done for the Christians at Philippi to what he would do for them. "Being confident," says he, " of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ." O blessed assurance! Who would not wish to call it his? Amidst the snares and temptations, the dangers and difficulties which beset the Christian in his passage through this sinful world-so many enemies without leagued with his worst enemy within, and threatening to rifle the precious treasure of his soul-and in such circumstances to be permitted even to hope that he may safely reach the goal, to be raised above despondency, to be kept from sinking in despair; with so hard a work to accomplish, and so fearful a prospect if he fail, who might not
miserable sinner that he is," shall appear with him in glory," tell me, brethren, what is there in a thousand worlds that you would not gladly give in exchange for this? O, think what it is, with eternity in view, to be enabled to say, "I know that, when this earthly house of my tabernacle is dissolved, I have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens." I know that I have, reserved and secured for me in the highest heavens, by the promise of him that cannot lie," an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled, and that fadeth not away. In seasons of trial, more especially, and affliction, whether of mind or body; when earthly comforts fail, and those we most dearly love are taken from us, and we seem left alone in a dark and cheerless world; when our bodies are wasting with disease, and life itself is a burden, and the soul is about to take its flight into the eternal world, and stand in the presence of its Judge; O, what words can express the happiness of that man who on good grounds can say, "I know in whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day."
And there are good grounds on which a man may say this; else would not St. Paul have said it, nor encouraged the Philippians to say it, by telling them that he was confident of their final happiness; nor would he have connected, as he does in Rom. viii., the beginning of a work of grace here with its consummation hereafter, saying, "Whom he did predestinate, them he also called; and whom he called, them he also justified; and whom he justified, them he also glorified." Neither, if from the oracles of God we turn to the standards of our church, would our seventeenth article have adopted almost the very words of the apostle as declaratory of her own faith, tracing the purpose of God, respecting the salvation of his elect, from its origin in his own secret counsels, before the foundations of the world were laid, to its final issue in eternity: "therefore," says this truly scriptural article, "they which be endued with so excellent a benefit of God (i. e., his choice of them only), be called according to his purpose, by his Spirit working in due season; they through grace obey the calling; they be justified freely; they be made sons of God by adoption; they