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an unlettered old woman in his house before he preached them; and to change every word and phrase that she did not understand for one simple enough for her. Happy would it be for the church, and happy for the world, if all prelates, and all ministers, and all teachers would go and do likewise! It would, indeed, be wise for the teacher thus to practise upon the most ignorant child in his class; for, when that one comprehended, it would be clear to all.
I know that the objection to this simple style, felt by many, is, that it does not display talent, and does not even prove labour. Wherefore, though they may use plain words in the class, they must employ finer in the address. And, oh! what unintelligibly fine addresses I have sometimes heard, even from those who might have spoken to profit by a mingling of common sense with Scripture. They doubly err in judgment. Archbishop Usher, speaking of the lofty and glorious things. contained in the Scriptures, exclaimed, "How much learning it requires to make these things plain!" And it is always the lamentation of the wisest and best of men in the churches of Christ, that they cannot speak plainly enough to convey their meaning to the minds of all; though it would be easy for them to darken counsel by words without knowledge, -words of more sound than sense. Moreover, whatever talent and whatever labour a man may be able and willing to consecrate to this service, he will find ample scope for them in the illustration of the truths of the gospel. If he would exercise his mental powers, let him explain and enforce the lessons after the manner of our blessed Lord, by illustrations simple in terms, yet sublime in thought as his parables. He will find that he has quite enough to do to equal the thoughts, without striving to exceed the terms. And for myself I had rather invent (if I may presume to make the comparison,) such a story as "the Prodigal Son," or the Ten Virgins,' -a story that would awaken the conscience and improve the heart of every succeeding generation,-than be the author of the "Novum Organon," or even "The Analogy of Religion.' If bowever, any one finds that he has not the imagination for such original illustrations, let him judiciously select and strikingly relate those ready to his hand in Scripture, in history, and in biography; which will be something to do. But if, after all his efforts to do good and well, he is considered plain rather than profound, let me ask the teacher which he should prefer, the praise of men or of God? Let me remind him, that ⠀ ⠀ the more he suits himself to his sphere of labour, the more he will be approved of God: let me assure him, that he need not despair of the approval of worthy men. If he ardently desires and endeavours to be plain, that he may win the children of the poor, all such will commend him. For they are always of one mind with our much-loved bard that says,
"I seek divine simplicity in him
Who handles things divine; and all besides,
Though learn'd with labour, and though much admir'd
By curious eyes, and judgments ill-inform'd,
But after all, whether odious or admired by others, is a small thing in comparison with the soul of the child and the smile of God. And these are not to be gained without great plainness of speech. Thus, then, you must become a little child.
THE WORK; AND HOW TO DO IT.
A NARRATIVE.-CHAPTER V.
THE second lecture was to be conducted by Henry, and at the given time the youthful company were all quietly assembled. I was requested to open the engagements of the evening by prayer, and then to ask a few questions relative to the last lecture. The lads were also told that a box would be provided for them, to put in any question they had to propose, and that these inquiries would meet with kind attention.
"Well, my boys," said Henry, "what do you expect to hear about to-night?" "Human habitations, sir," was the reply. "What do you mean by this expression ?" "The dwellings of men like us, sir." "Do any other animals build besides man ?" "Yes, sir, birds do." "Only birds?” “Yes, sir, insects, bees, and wasps, and the like." "Did you ever hear of the beaver?" "Yes, sir,-no, sir," was the reply. Charles then advanced, holding against the wall a picture of this animal, with its dwelling, and Henry explained it.
He told them first that the art of building was as old as Cain, who built a city called Nod. Moses, indeed, does not tell us what methods he employed in constructing it.
The first materials employed by men were probably twigs of trees, formed into huts, somewhat similar, perhaps, to the wigwams of the North American Indians. These were likely to be the habitations of the woodland folks, but those who were situated in rocky districts would find shelter in caves and mountain hollows. The idea of using earth and stones would naturally be suggested to such people.
The tent invented by Jubal, Tubal Cain's brother, might consist of upright poles, secured at the top, and covered with skin. This was not a very ready contrivance, but was a step in advance of the twig architects. Tents came into use when men began to lead a wandering life, and could not be troubled to construct durable habitations in every place they went to with their cattle; but wherever they settled, these frail materials gave place to others of a more substantial nature. Old authors tell us that men first lived in caves; they then imitated birds, and built huts, first of a conical form like a sugar-loaf, made of branches, wide at bottom, and coming to a point at top, covering the whole with leaves and clay. Finding the cone an inconvenient figure, they changed it for the cube, by forming the sides of upright trunks of trees; and interlacing branches; over these they threw beams, likewise interlaced with branches, and covered with clay. Insensibly they came to regard elegance as well as convenience. They stripped the bark from off the trunks, levelled
their unevennesses, raised their dwellings above the dirt, and covered them with a flat stone. As this flat roof would not throw off the rain, it soon gave way to one raised in the middle, giving it the form of a gable, by placing rafters on the joist to support the covering of reeds and earth. The branch-works at the sides was replaced by rude boarding. From this simple construction the orders of architecture took their rise.
Here Henry paused, and showed the boys specimens of such buildings as he had described. He then went on to speak about Egypt, and the pyramids: he told them that the Egyptians regarded strength rather than elegance, and showed them the picture of one of the magnificent temples at Thebes, as an example. He proceeded to speak of the Greeks, and the improvement they made upon the Egyptians. He explained the invention of the arch, and three out of the five orders-Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian.
He said that great improvements in architecture were made after the taking of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar. It would be natural for him to imitate Solomon's temple; and the richly-ornamented pillars of that wonderful building could not fail to awaken admiration.
The Dorians wanted to make their columns sufficiently strong to support the whole edifice, and, at the same time, to render them agreeable to the sight. For this purpose they gave them the same proportion that they found between a man's foot and the rest of his body; therefore they made each pillar six times as high as it was thick. The Ionians tried to throw more delicacy and elegance into their buildings; so instead of taking for a model the body of a man, they adopted that of a woman. The flutes represent the folds of the drapery, and the volutes, or the turn-over at the top, the curls on each side of the face, the base represented a pile of twisted cord. The Corinthian sprang, long after this, from the following accident:-A basket, covered with a flat stone, was left standing among some acanthus; the leaves sprang up and covered the outer surface of the basket, and as the stalks shot up also, they soon reached the stone, which overhung the edges of the basket. This stopping their course upward, they curled and twisted themselves into a beautiful form. Callimachus, a famous sculptor, saw it, and took advantage of the suggestion.
Henry gave, in the progress of his lecture, a little idea of Roman architecture, still employing pictures; but he wisely thought his youthful hearers would care chiefly to know about the rise and progress of the art in their own country.
He told them that the Romans found the natives of Britain in no better
dwellings than caves and dens. Tacitus, an historian, says, they used to dig deep caves in the ground and cover them with earth, where they laid up their provisions, and dwelt in winter for the sake of warmth; some of these are still pointed out in the Western Isles of Scotland. Their summer residences resembled the early tent. The first improvedment was the use of clay, which they whitewashed with chalk; gra
dually they came to use straw to thatch with. These buildings were of circular, tapering towards the top, with an aperture to admit light and Iemit smoke. At the time of the Roman invasion there were no villages, but the dwellings were all scattered about. Caractacus, their king or the ne chief, on returning from Rome, delighted with the magnificent buildkings he had seen, could not help expressing his astonishment that
the Romans should envy the wretched cabins they found here. Under the instructions and reproaches of their new masters, the Britons made rapid progress. Roads were laid down, castles built, and in the course of eleven years, our country was adorned with temples, baths, and theatres, and could accommodate many thousand inhabitants. After the retirement of the Romans the art declined, and the natives soon returned to their primitive huts. London was formed at this time as a commercial city. It was surrounded by a wall, part of which still remains; and on a secluded spot, called Thorny Island, a magnificent cathedral, Westminster Abbey, was built. Henry exhibited one of the baronial halls erected in these early times; and the boys were delighted with his description of it, and the massive furniture it contained.
He then gave them a brief account of the progress of internal accommodation-how they came to think of stairs-what they did for windows, chimneys, &c. The manner in which glass was discovered amused them exceedingly. Towards the close of the lesson he made some remarks to this effect:-"We see, then, that the very means we now possess, existed from the first; all that was needed was the power to make use of them-observation, judgment, and experience. Just as the statue exists in the block of marble, but waits for the genius with his chisel, and a clear brain to call it forth; so are we led to distinguish between instinct and intelligence. The mere animal comes into the world, having and knowing the exact use of its faculties. Man comes into the world imperfect-knows nothing, and has, therefore, every thing to learn-is always advancing, never perfect. The one commences life alone; the feeble powers of the other are nourished and developed by the parent. The insect comes from the egg, full of life, instinct with power and matured energy, wanting nothing; the man comes first an infant, powerless and strange, wanting everything. The
one arrives, promptly equipped for the immediate service of time; the other arrives, a languid unconscious being, whose energies are developed in time, so as to fit him for the service of eternity!"
After a few kind words from Charles, a hymn was given out and sung
"There is a house not made with hands."
Another glance was taken of the different pictures, and then the company departed, leaving Charles and Henry quite satisfied that their labour was not in vain.
HINTS FOR ADULT BIBLE-CLASSES.
THE Holy Scriptures form the only inspired book in the world. They are the only book which brings life and immortality to light, and teaches, with unerring wisdom, what we must do to be saved. The most important study in the world, therefore, is that of the Holy Scriptures. How ought these to be studied by the numerous Bible-classes now forming in our several congregations?
1. Remember constantly, that "all Scripture is given by inspiration of God."-Every part of it is the word of God. In examining uninspired books, we inquire what is true; but here, merely what is declared. We should search with reverence. The ground is all holy. It is as if God were speaking to us, from out of the burning bush, from Mount Sinai, or from heaven.
2. Remember that the Bible was never designed to be fully understood, without the aid of the same Holy Spirit, who moved and inspired holy men to write it. That aid is accessible to all: it is certain to be enjoyed by: all who are truly desirous to know and do the will of God, and who seek that knowledge by the study of the Bible and prayer.
3. Consider the GRAND DESIGN of the Bible.-So far as it is historical, it is a church history. The rise, progress, vicissitudes, and ultimate triumphs of the church, are the grand theme of inspired history. Its narrations, and its prophecies (which may be called prospective history,) send a stream of light backward and forward on the path of the church, from the creation to the end of time; and beyond, into the boundless ages of eternity. So far as the Bible is geographical, it still has reference to the church, showing the place and bounds of her habitation, and her condition and prospects in relation to the surrounding world. The same may be said of the statistics, and legislation, and biography of the Scriptures. The church, which is the body of Christ, and in which is seen the glory of the Godhead, forms the great subject. The didactic parts of Scripture are intended, through the influence of the Spirit, to form the character and extend the influence of the church, and make it the joy of the whole earth, and meet also for the heavenly world. The grand design of the Bible, then, is spiritual. Its history, geographical descriptions, statistics, and laws, relate mainly to a kingdom which is not of this world.