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of the second year of the birds building in the church, an event which confirmed their superstitions, and "will be remembered," says Mr. Bree," and handed down to posterity for the benefit of any future vicar, should the robins again make a similar selection."
At Knowle Hall, Warwickshire, as we learn from the same authority, a wren built its nest in the skeleton body of a heron, which had been nailed up against a wall. A still more remarkable choice was that of a tomtit, which built its nest, some years ago, in the skull of a murderer who had been gibbeted at Drinsey Nook, in Lincolnshire.
The following is an instance of the friendly confidence of a pair of swallows: In the summer of 1830 a pair of swallows commenced their nest upon the crank of a bell-wire in the passage of a farm-house at Crux Easton, the one end of which opened into a little garden, the other into the kitchen, the door of which, towards the garden, was usually left open. The passage was fifteen or eighteen feat in length, and the bellwire nearly at the extremity, towards the kitchen. The farmer and his wife were so much pleased with the sociability and confidence of their new inmates, that they not only allowed their muddy domicile to remain unmolested, but took care that free ingress and egress should be always afforded through the garden door. The nest was completed, and a brood of young swallows reared, which took wing. In the autumn of the same year the farmer, returning from shooting, with his gun loaded, thoughtlessly discharged it at a swallow, which he killed. The circumstance passed unnoticed until the next summer, when, from the absence of his old favourites, it occurred to him that the poor bird so wantonly killed must have been one of them.
The year following, a pair of birds-the offspring, perhaps, of the former occupants--were observed at the old haunt. They first attempted to fix their nest to a cupboard door, immediately over the door leading into the kitchen; and the farmer's wife, fearing it might be shaken down from the closing and opening of the door, drove a nail beneath, to secure it in its position. However, the swallows did not approve of this interference; they forsook their nest, and commenced a second over the kitchen door; but this they could not secure. The thought now struck the farmer that if the nest of 1830, which still remained on the bell-wire, were removed, the birds would adopt the old situation. This was accordingly done. The pair immediately profited by the farmer's suggestion; a nest was completed, and an egg deposited, in the short space of four days from the commencement of the new work. While the business of incubation was going on, the farmer's sheep-shearing was accomplished, and the usual supper given to the labourers in the kitchen; but, notwithstanding the confusion and smoke, and the constant opening and shutting of the door, the parent bird never moved off her nest. The haymaking feast arrived, when the young birds were hatched; and again, amid the noise and confusion, the old swallows unremittingly waited upon their offsprings. The nestlings took flight; but, until the period arrived for migration, they constantly returned to the passage for the
night. At the beginning of the evening they perched on the edge of the nest; and, as the night advanced, as if for additional warmth they sank down into the interior. As the season advanced, and they became full-feathered, they deserted the nest altogether, and perched on the bell-wire. Here they perched during the conviviality of the harvest-supper, perfectly regardless of the uproar; and here they were seen perched, for their night's repose, by the narrator of their history, when visiting Crux Easton, on an evening in the middle of September, 1832.
PORTSMOUTH, OHIO, IN DAYS PAST;
OR, A BISHOP IN A FIVE DOLLAR SKIFF, FLOATING DOWN THE SCIOTO*.
PORTSMOUTH, at the mouth of the Scioto river, was passed in the night. In doing so, the writer called to mind days that were long since passed, and mused on scenes recorded in tears of painful suffering, while seeking the wandering sheep in the wild wilderness of woods in Ohio, before canals or steamboats, and scarcely good bridges
were to be seen.
The parish of All Saints, Portsmouth, where good Mr. Burr now officiates, was organized by the writer, and cherished by the lay reading of that pious man, now in heaven, Mr. Samuel Gunn. This is the place (O, how vivid the memory thereof!) that the writer, when bishop of Ohio, visited, being wafted down the Scioto in a skiff, purchased in Chilicothe for five dollars, as the sole means, during the overflowing of the waters, of fulfilling an appointment to hold confirmation. With only one man to row this frail bark, it was in passing by a farm near the village, that good Mr. Kinney hailed him from his cornfield, as the skiff passed swiftly by on the flowing tide, near the shore. And it is here the descendants of that good man now gather round their aged parent, while oft reciting the story of this singular event: how he led the bishop to his peaceful farm-house, and warmed his chilled limbs by his cheerful fireside; how Mrs. K. flew round her new brick house, then a rarity, evincing her deep feelings of hospitality and maternal affection, while she spread a table, large and long, with plates for her numerous family, reserving one where the great chair stood, for a person so unexpectedly thrown by Providence among them, to minister to their spiritual wants, more urgent than the behests of
"O, merciful parent of the human family!" said the writer to himself, as he passed, in the dark night, in a steamer, this interesting place of Portsmouth, on the Scioto river, on the 17th day of November, 1847. "For what end dost thou bring these scenes of bygone days to the remembrance of one stricken with age and bowed down with infirmities! Are these poor labours to promote thy glory indeed written in thy book? Wash the page, O Lord; and blot out every taint of sin, mingled as it is with all things human."
* From the "Motto;" by bishop Chase, of Illinois.
man should, in place of standing in fear of the Almighty, be found to kneel down before, and lift up his hands to, inanimate objects of any description as BAYREUTH.-This is a Phoenician city, on a rising strange gods, and in "dead things have his hope, ground, close by the sea-shore, and originally called yet it is a fact there exists here a relic of the ancient Berytus. It was taken from the Saracens by Bald- mythology of Egypt; for the representation of a calf win the First in 1111, and retaken in 1187. Ten of wood, covered with gilding," the work of man's hands," is elevated in their temple, where they prosyears afterwards the Christians captured it; but trate themselves, and offer acts of adoration; thus it was frequently ravaged during the period of the changing the glory of the incorruptible Being into an crusades, who kept possession of it till their ulti- image made like to four-footed beasts, and robbing mately leaving Palestine. At this period it was a large him of that homage he is exclusively entitled to from fortified place, and depôt for the costly merchandize of his dependent creatures. In the language of an aposDamascus. From being distinguished by an institu- tle, "An idol is nothing in the world; and there is no god but one God." In short, the Druses appear to tion for the study of jurisprudence under Justinian, be as mad with regard to their idols as the Israelites it had the honour of calling into public life some of | of old, and delighting in their abominations (Judges the most distinguished civilians, and named mother x. 14; Exod. xxxii. 4,8; Levit. xxvi. 1; 1 Cor. iii. 11). and nurse of the laws. It fell into the hands of the This district opens a wide field for the labours of missionaries, to turn men from the power of Satan to the Druses in 1700, and became their capital, with a kingdom of God, "whose heart is waxed gross, and palace, from whom it was captured by the Turks, whose eyes have they closed." The wonderful exerwho still retain possession. The country at one time tions which have been made, and the beneficial effects was one hundred leagues in extent, and divided into produced by these standard-bearers of the cross in seven districts. It may now be proper to advert parmore distant lands, speak to others in language similar to that which Moses addressed to the children of ticularly to the Druses-an extraordinary class Israel-" Go forward;" and may there appear on among the families of mankind. According to one their banners, "Holiness to the Lord." And here I opinion they are descendants of crusaders for the re- cannot omit observing how great are those intellectual covery of the holy land, who captured the place on advantages which arise from the contemplation of the their march from Antioch to Jerusalem 1097, and different religions and manners of our fellowconstituted themselves a totally distinct and sepa- proper estimate on those blessings we enjoy. By creatures, calculated as they are to make us put the rate sect; while others hold their origin to be from looking at the history of the heart and uncultivated Mohammed Ben Ismael, surnamed the Dorzes. mind, in different regions where absurd prejudices There are two classes. One is denominated the usurp the place of reason and folly, and idolatrous rites are sanctified in the name of religion, how great Akkass, being well-informed; and the other Janal, are the obligations we are under to the Almighty for those in a state of ignorance. They do not aim at blessings conferred on us in a solid system of religion making converts; and, if secrets are imparted by founded on that key of knowledge, the imperishable any of their number to strangers, it is visited with word of the living God; that our lot should have been death. The dress of females is distinguished by a cast in a land of gospel light! while there is cause to large tantoura or horn, placed in an upright position lament that other parts of the world should be under gross spiritual darkness and the dominion of the on the forehead, with a long robe thrown over it, to despotic tyranny and wretchedness of their rulers. veil their faces, which affords a striking commentary One extraordinary opinion the Druses entertain is, on passages of the inspired word. Such symbolism that after death the souls of persons who have exerof power is supposed to have been taken from the cised a virtuous course of life pass into other human Hebrews; and allusions have been made to the beings; while, on the other hand, the vital principle of such as lead a wicked or sinful course enters into horn as an emblem of strength (Ps. lxxv. 4, 5, brutes*. At the same time, Egyptians maintain that xviii. 2; Exod. xxi. 29; Dan. vii. 24; 1 Kings xxii. after death the immortal part transmigrates into 4)*. For example, the wise man, in reference to his different animals, such as fowls, beasts, and fishes; state, declares he "had defiled his horn in the dust;" and, at the expiration of three thousand years, returns and Zedekiah we find had made his horn, with which, to the body it left. As to a future state, it may be as he said, the Lord declared he should push the Syrians added, the Chinese also grope in utter darkness, as it is till they were consumed. And again the royal writer maintained the spirit of man after death wanders says, his "horn shall be exalted." Horns also signify among mountains, and rewards and punishments are kings and kingdoms, and the two of Daniel's vision-only dealt out to him in this life.-Travels in the ary ram were the united kingdoms of Media and Persia; East, by William Rae Wilson, LL.D. also the "horn with eyes," and "a look more stout than his fellows," may apply to the pope, whose high pretensions to authority are superior to earthly princes, whom he can denounce and excommunicate (Dan. vii. 20-27; Rev xii. 3; xiii. 1-17; xvii. 12); and the four horns that scattered Judah are their enem es from every quarter (Zech. i. 21). accounts agree in pointing out this class as an unenlightened people, involved in the grossest idolatry, error, and spirit of slumber; and their worship is altogether a mystery. Although to some it may appear extraordinary that, at the present day, immortal procured, by order, of all Booksellers in Town and Country.
* Hebrews, Egyptians, and Gentiles, wore them as marks of honour, and they were the helmets of our ancient knights. The head-dress of Icelanders is nearly the same.
"As a man throweth away old and putteth on new garments, even so the soul, having quitted its mortal frame, en
tereth into another which is new."-HEATHEN MYTHO
London: Published for the Proprietors, by EDWARDS and HUGHES, 12, Ave-Maria Lane, St. Paul's; and to be
PRINTED BY JOSEPH ROGERSON,
hated him. And Joseph himself seems, as might have been expected, with youthful vanity to have increased the dislike thus evinced against him; for he reported to his father the evil conduct of his brothers; and when he had dreamed more than one dream indicative of his future superiority to his family, he seems to have related those dreams with a kind of exultation, so that his father had at last to check him. There is nothing more injurious to a beloved child than doting fondness. The evil that is naturally in the heart requires to be checked by wholesome restraint. And the parents who neglect to repress the seeds of vanity and pride, are preparing bitter sorrow both for themselves and the children they have indulged.
Jacob did not perceive the discord that was rising in his family: he was not aware of the evil tempers cherished by his elder sons towards their brother. Perhaps they added hypocrisy to their other faults: perhaps they professed affection for Joseph in their father's presence; else, if he had detected the malice that was in their hearts, he would not have ventured his beloved child among them.
The world, comparatively young as it was in those days, had had an awful example of dissension between brethren. Cain had slain Abel; and Cain's punishment might well, one would have thought, have affrighted others from indulging hatred. But men will not learn by others' experience; and Satan is ready enough to keep the consequences of sin hidden from their thoughts: he represents the sweetness there is in revenge, he promises opportunities of indulging passion, and leads, if he can, his victims blindfold to ruin.
The sons of Jacob considered not the command of God: they considered not the grief into which they would plunge their aged parent: they only thought of gratifying their dislike of Joseph. And soon an occasion was afforded them. They were occupied in pastoral labours. Wealthy as they were, they had to tend their flocks, and frequently to journey far from home for the purpose of obtaining proper pasturage. They had gone for this purpose to Shechem; and it appears that their absence was long, so that their father began to be uneasy. He therefore charged Joseph, who was but a youth, to go from Hebron to Shechem to ascertain whether all was well with his brothers and with their flocks. When he arrived there, his brethren had gone on to Dothan, and thither accordingly Joseph followed them. When they saw him coming, now, they said, is our time: "Behold this dreamer cometh: come now, therefore, and let us slay him, and cast him into some pit; and we will say, Some evil beast hath devoured him; and we shall see what will become of his dreams" (Gen. xxxvii. 19, 20). The fear that his visions would be fulfilled actuated them; and they thought by this means to disappoint the prognostication.
But God's purposes are not to be disappointed; and the very way which men take to bring about their own desires, are overruled by God to the accomplishment of his will. The hatred of his brethren was the first step to Joseph's advancement in Egypt: he was thus carried down to that land which he was afterwards to rule. Thus it is that "God moves in a mysterious way His wonders to perform."
Thus it is that he can bring good out of evil, and make even the wrath of wicked men to praise him.
Joseph was a remarkable type of Christ. Christ had done no injury: he had entertained no unjustifiable thoughts; and yet he was hated of his brethren. As the sons of Jacob against Joseph, so the Jews plotted against Christ, and rested not till they had the opportunity of seizing him, when they proposed cruelly to slay him. But the evil treatment he sustained God overruled, and made effectual for the salvation of the world.
"What shall I do that I may inherit eternal life ?" SUCH was the interesting question put by the rich young ruler to our blessed Lord. Who could wish his child to make a more important inquiry? and yet there was something lacking in this most truly moral and amiable youth. Jesus knew what was in man, and needed not that any should testify of man. He saw that, notwithstanding his moral excellence, the heart was unchanged: he was unconverted, he was essentially worldly: like many others, he was blind to the extent of the law of God: he had not learnt that the commandment of God is exceeding broad. Our Lord pressed him with the two tables of the law. He was ready with the reply, a reply conscientiously given, true indeed to the letter, but most lamentably erroneous in spirit. "All these," said he, "have I observed from my youth." Jesus then urged him to give up the world, and take up his cross and follow him. But he was sad at that saying, and went away.
I will not, however, dwell upon the history itself, but at once direct you to the subject on which I undertook to speak to you to-day, the third baptismal vow. This refers to keeping the commandments of God. The first vow was to renounce the world, the flesh, and the devil; the second concerned our faith; the third comprises our obedience. I must, then, endeavour to show
I. What is required of you.
II. I will point out your own inability to do what is right.
III. I would endeavour to lead you to the Sa viour, "Christ being the end of the law for righte ousness to every one that believeth" (Rom. x. 4).
First, then, what is required of you? My brethren, God requires that every one of you should obey his commandments. This obedience must be immediate, unreserved, and unceasing.
It must be immediate. This is for the most part the great stumbling-block to the world. No one denies that God demands obedience, no one gainsays the fact that we must give an account before God for our disobedience, and yet scarcely any one is prepared to say, "Show me what is the will of God, and I will at once obey." How fearful are the consequences of delay! What awful presumption is it for any one to speak of
* From " eight By the Religion no Fiction; being the substance of hon, and rev, H. M. Villiers, M.A., rector of St. George's, Bloomsbury. London: Nisbets. 1845.
some future time being a more convenient season for repentance! It is a practical assertion that our life is our own, that our times are in our own hands, forgetting that it is in God we live, and move, and have our being." If sin exists, and we perish in that sin, unrepented of, we perish eternally. Many persons are now in hell, I do not doubt, who could bear testimony to the madness of delaying instantly to abandon sin. You probably have some sin which more easily besets you than others. Your peculiar circumstances expose you more frequently to certain temptations than others. You have very probably reasoned upon your sins as if they were trifling in the sight of God, because they are trifling in your own eyes. You have felt that, as you could not be perfect, it would be of little profit that you should remove every imperfection in your power: at any rate you have felt that at a later period of life it would be soon enough to commence this thorough reformation. Now permit me to be very plain with you upon this subject; "What fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? and what concord hath Christ with Belial?" (2 Cor. vi. 14, 15). Before you can ever hope to be Christians, before you can be entitled to any privilege of a believer, sin must be renounced. If, therefore, you desire to be Christians at this time, give up sin immediately, and obey God immediately.
Furthermore, your obedience must be unreserved. It is not gradual improvement that must satisfy you. Your whole life must indeed be one of gradual improvement, but, if you can discern any sin which may appear as necessary to your comfort as a right hand or a right eye, you must cut it off. If ever there was a case in which we might suppose partial obedience would have been sanctioned, it is in the history of Saul and the Amalekites: the best of the spoil was preserved, not for selfish ends, but for the purpose of offering a solemn sacrifice to God. But this case was no exception; God had spoken; God must be obeyed: "to obey is better than sacrifice."
But let me add to this, your active obedience must be no less unreserved. There must be a devotion of yourselves, your souls and bodies to God. Your profession is no excuse for neglecting religion, rather let your religion sanctify your profession. Your worldly interest must not stand between you and your obedience to God: your real interest is eternal. God has said, "Give me thine heart:" "Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also: "Ye cannot serve God and mammon." If, then, you commit sin willingly and knowingly, either to please man or to gratify yourselves, you cannot belong to the people of God.
Again, your obedience must continue, even to the end of your lives. "No man having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God." If, then, you undertake to keep the commandments, you undertake to keep them all the days of your life. I mention this, that you may not deceive yourselves as to the importance of the step you are about to take. It is not enough for you to have your hearts solemnized now, or that you should maintain a serious demeanour until you have once partaken
of the Lord's supper; but you assert your determination to walk as children of God for ever.
But to what is obedience to be yielded? We are to obey what is called the moral law of God. This is contained in the ten commandments, these ten commandments are the Christian's rule of conduct; the first four referring to our duty towards God, the remaining six relating to our duty towards our neighbour. Both these tables of the law are to be obeyed. This is a point of which too many appear to be ignorant. They comfort themselves with the thought that they have abstained from the commission of gross sin, have been amiable to their neighbours, dutiful as children, and careful as parents. These things indeed are right; these things ought ye to do, and not to leave the others undone.
A man may be strictly honest to his fellow-men, and yet "rob God." How many times has the sabbath been broken? This is robbing God. Suppose, for instance, the case of two poor men, the one saying to his neighbour, "I have seven pounds; I will give you six to spend for yourself, but the seventh I must keep." Now, picture to yourself this man, saying directly that he had obtained the six pounds, Whether you will allow me or not, I must have this seventh pound also." What, I ask, would you say of the conduct of this man? Would you not describe it as base and ungrateful? Would you not speak of it as robbery? And, yet, where is the difference? God has given us six days wherein we are to labour for the body: he demands the seventh to be exclusively used for the good of the soul, and for his own glory. Men, nevertheless, think it lawful to use the six days for labour, and refuse to keep the seventh day holy unto the Lord; and thus they rob God.
I repeat, then, neither of these two tables must be broken. If you believe in God you will keep his commandments. It is not, it cannot be sufficient, to love the Lord with that love which you can spare from the world, or to obey the Lord when obedience costs you nothing; but God must be loved supremely and obeyed implicitly, and that at any cost to yourselves.
I cannot enlarge upon the commandments. I will merely remark that, when the first teaches us to serve the one living and true God, it implies, that God must reign supreme in our hearts; that there must be far less eagerness for the things of this world than there is for the things of the world to come.
The second commandment teaches us how to worship God; and should guard us, not only from the grosser forms of idolatry, but also from the pharisaic formality, which contents itself with an uplifted eye or a bended knee, and which forgets that God is a Spirit; and they that worship him, must worship him in spirit and in truth.'
The third has reference to the use of the name of the Lord. This commandment is broken when the name of God is used without seriousness or reflection. The excuse made by many, that in speaking of Jehovah thus lightly they intended no evil, is worse than vain. They forget God at that time, if their excuse be true; and scripture says: "The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God." If any of you should then come in a thoughtless