Page images

Old Testament being the most ancient book somewhat bespeaks its origin. The earliest heathen writer being Herodotus, who was only cotemporary with the last of the Old Testament writers. The Jews themselves being the depositaries of a document which so greatly exposes their rebellious character. The various references made to it by our Saviour, and the fulfilment of the greater number of its predictions exhibit striking proofs.

As it regards the New Testament, it may be observed that during the 4th century, when the knowledge of the truth was widely disseminated, the greater part was allowed to be genuine, and very shortly after, the whole of it. Observe again, the repeated reference made to it by Pagan writers, sometimes quoting the language verbatim. The harmony of the gospels, the correctness of the facts stated in the Acts of the Apostles, supported by direct and indirect evidence, viz. undesigned references and allusions in the Epistles, (see Paley's Hora Paulina) as well as other evidence which may be adduced, abundantly affirm the authenticity and genuineness of the Scriptures.

As it regards the nature of its contents, the historian will here derive pleasure in perusing the interesting narrative of the Jews. The dealing of the Almighty with that highly favoured people; their habits, ceremonies, journeyings, and settlement in Canaan; also the rise and fall of some of the most renowned kingdoms and cities in the world. The biographer will here find a great variety of characters portrayed with the greatest faithfulness and accuracy, whilst virtue is exhibited and commended, vice also is exposed and deprecated.

Chronology, genealogy, geography, zoology, are also interesting. But to speak of the true nature and design of the Bible-it has God for its author, salvation for its end, and the counsels and will of the Almighty for its matter. It contains a revelation of God's will to man, describes his moral attributes-the creation of man, the immortality of the soul, the mode of its future existence, the loss of God's image and favor through the fall, the doctrine of the atonement or reconciliation, and the new birth requisite for the enjoyment of heaven; it sets before us an eternal state, and offers eternal life in that state. It contains the chart that describes it, the charter that conveys it, the direction to the way that leads to it, and the foundation upon which that hope of it is built; so excellent is this

book, that the oftener it is read the greater inclination is there for it. Time will not suffice to read it often enough to develop all its beauties. Bishop Horne has remarked that he who has once tasted its excellency, will desire to taste it yet again; and he who tastes them oftenest will relish them most.

Reader, remember the command, "Search the Scriptures." Let it be thy companion now, and it shall be thy comforter in death; it shall be thy weapon to defend thee against all the assaults of thy enemies, and it shall, under the influence of the Holy Spirit which shall be vouchsafed in answer to prayer, afford you that knowledge which is life eternal; and after you have dropt the shackles of mortality, you will no longer need it--for in heaven there are no enemies, and not knowing in part, but in whole, your knowledge will be complete. A. A. A.


A chameleon was brought to us that had been in confinement for two months, tied to a stick, about which it clung by the feet and tail, and remained day and night without motion (except of its eyes), and without food. From the snout to the tip of the tail it measured fifteen inches, of which the head and body were only seven. The general form was that of a lizard, but this varies exceedingly under different circumstances. When frightened, the little creature swells out the abdomen, curves the back, and seems full of flesh; at ordinary times meagre and ill-favored. The legs and thighs are of equal thickness; over each eye is an elevated circular ridge; from the back of the head a similar excrescence rises, and extends about an inch, like a hood, from the temples over the neck. The eye is a surprising structure, and in constant motion. The socket is a cone, half an inch in diameter at the base, and nearly half an inch high, in the centre of which the eye is placed, the size of a large pin-head, very bright and lively, surrounded by an iris, which has sometimes the appearance of a minute convex lens, set in a ring of the purest gold. This formation gives the animal the power of seeing as well behind as before, both upwards and downwards; and the eyes, which are continually turning about, have the singular faculty of looking, at

the same time, in contrary directions. The mouth, which reaches the whole length of the head backward, is constantly shut, and so close that a mere line intimates its situation. From the chin, a serrated white fleshy substance, the eighth of an inch wide, extends downwards under the belly, narrowing as it lengthens. The legs are three inches long, with a joint; the feet are divided into two lobes; the one stands inward, which in the fore-feet terminates in three sharp claws, the outer having but two; these are reversed on the hinder feet. The soles of all four are soft and flabby, their whole construction being adapted to climbing and adhering to branches of trees. The tail is numerously jointed, and equally suited to winding round, and holding by, similar perches. The change of color with the chameleon is not entirely fabulous. It sometimes appears of a vivid green, mottled with large white spots; from which it occasionally turns to a deep chocolate-almost black, when the spots nearly disappear. These, with the intermediate shades, are the only hues which we have seen our chameleon assume, after keeping it five weeks. During this period, to our knowledge food of no kind was given it; and for two months preceding it had been equally abstinent. (Tyerman and Bennet's Journal.) B. V.


DAILY experience witnesseth the world's vicissitudes. There are some who are raised from obscurity to grandeur. Darius descended from a servant; Willigis, archbishop of Mentz, was the son of a wheelwright; the father of Sir Francis Drake was a vicar in indigent circumstances; Joseph from the prison, and David from the sheepfold, were raised to eminent dignities; while on the other hand, Haman, Nebuchadnezzar, Bajazet, Belisarius, and we may add, in more modern times, Napoleon Bonaparte, were stripped of their honors and reduced to wretchedness and misery. LECTOR.


Ir is said of the zealous and learned martyr, John Mollens, that he never mentioned the name of Jesus, but the tears instantly fell from his eyes!

[merged small][graphic][subsumed][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]
« PreviousContinue »