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propitious, one of the farmers will come, and with a large knife slice off a piece of the flesh of the poor victim, carry it away to his field, press the blood out of it while it is warm, and then bury it in the earth. A second, a third, and a fourth will come and act a similar part, till the wretched man be sliced to pieces while alive, and consigned to various parts of the ground. But perhaps you ask, Why this barbarity ? Simply that the favour of Maree (a heathen god) may be obtained ; and that no curse nor blight may rest on their land; and that a richer harvest may arise from fields watered by the blood of sacrifices.
There are cruelties quite as bad practised in many parts of Africa. The Ashantees sacrifice an hundred human victims at each of their great festivals, some of which occur every twenty-one days. On one occasion, when the king's mother died, he offered three thousand victims; and at the death of a distinguished captain, twenty-four hundred. At the funeral of a person of rank, it is usual to wet the grave by the blood of a free man, who is slaughtered un
ta suspectingly, while assisting in the funeral rites, and then rolled into the grave with the corpse. A regular correspondence is supposed by them to be kept up with the invisible world. Hence the king, wishing to send to any of his deceased friends, calls a servant, delivers to him a message, and kills him that he may carry it. And if he wishes afterwards to make an addition to the message, he just calls another slave and treats him in like manner, and all with as much unconcern as you would add a postscript to a letter after writing it!
Fearful cruelties were practised by the South Sea Island. ers before the introduction of Christianity to their islands. If a man was infirm, or an invalid, instead of trying to make him better, they would murder him. Sometimes
SINNERS SEEKING REST.
they buried them alive. When this was intended, a pit was dug, bathing was proposed, and the man's friends would offer to carry him to the beach ; but instead of this, they would carry him to the pit, cast him in, and fill it up with stones and dirt, unmindful of his cries for mercy.
But great changes have taken place in the South Sea Islands. The gospel has carried love and mercy and brotherhood into many a once-wretched heart and home. It does so wherever it goes ; it would do so all the world over if Christians would obey our Lord's injunction, and “ preach it to every creature.” May that glorious day soon arrive when " the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.”
We have already told you about the “ Revivals," as they are called, in America and in Ireland, where the Spirit of God has been poured out upon the people, conrincing them of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment," and leading many to cast themselves upon the Lord Jesus for salvation. This blessed work is still going on, and in our own country-in Ireland, in Wales, in Scotland, and some parts of England, people are seeking the Lord with great desire, and many are entering into the path of life. In a Ragged School in London, lately, a large number of boys had such impressions of their sinfulness before God, that many of them did not sleep for a whole night, weeping and crying to the Lord for mercy. In another school a number of girls were impressed about the same time, and in a similar manner. One poor girl, who formerly
SINNERS SEEKING REST.
belonged to this school, having left her place of service, called to see her former teacher. She was invited to a prayer-meeting conducted by a few of the girls. To her astonishment, the first girl who engaged in prayer was an intimate school-friend of her own; and the prayers were 80 earnest and impressive that the poor girl left the meeting with a heart broken for sin, and crying for pardon. She wrote the following letter to her former teacher a few days afterwards :
“ MY DEAR TEACHER,- I feel my sins are great, and I cannot forget that day (the day when she went to the little prayer-meeting]; but I read a verse of my Bible before I go to bed, and pray to God to pardon my many sins. I feel that I could pray to God all the day long. I think of your words and cry; I cannot help it. Ob, if I knew that the Lord had pardoned all my sins ; but I cannot say that yet. My dear Teacher,-I have no one to speak to me about Jesus Christ. I feel that the Lord is with me, and I pray to God all day long. I pray for all the dear girls in the school. My dear Teacher,—I long to speak to you; I feel that my tongue has been a false ove. Oh, that it may always speak the truth. O Lord! have mercy on me, a sinner! I write to you with a heart almost breaking. God’s Spirit has shown me my own heart. Christ, have mercy on me? I feel that the Lord has filled my mouth with prayer. I cry unto the Lord all day for Jesus Christ. I long to find peace with God. Good-bye. God bless you. I hope you will be able to read this; I cannot write any better, I cannot say more, or my heart will break, “ Yours, affectionately,
L. D.” Who would not envy the language of this poor girl's heart. Reader, do you long and cry in this way to be saved ? Have you not as much reason to do so as she has?
WHY THE BIBLE DON'T TELL MORE. “Why don't the Bible tell about more things, mother ? It might, God knows so much.” " What books are those on the lower shelves of the library ?" asked she. “ The large ones there are so many of ?” asked Henry. Henry went toward them, and read, “ En-cy-clo-pe-dia ;" a long, hard word; “what does it mean ?” he asked.
“A collection of the principal facts and discoveries in the different branches of knowledge," answered his mother. “ There is something about medicine, and steam-engines, and water-wheels, and coal, and china, and almost everyo thing you can think of.”
“ How many volumes there are !” said Henry. I'll count them one, two, three, four;" and so he counted on to thirty. “Thirty big volumes. I should think it would take a life as long as grandpa's to master them.”
“ One person is not likely to be interested in every subject that is treated of," said his mother.
“ One might wish to learn about spinning, another mining, another about bee-hives. That would depend upon people's tastes and studies. Caroline, you know, was hunting the other day for the camel.”
“ It is strange I have never been to them since I have been at Uncle Henry's," said the boy; “but, mother, didn't they cost a great deal ?”
Perhaps about a guinea a volume.” “A guinea a volume, and thirty volumes, that would be thirty guineas,” cried Henry. “It's not many who could afford to buy them.”
“ You now see why the Bible is not an encyclopedia, telling about a great many more things than it does. It would then have told many things interesting to some
WHY THE BIBLE DON'T TELL MORE.
people, and having no interest to others. The Bible only tells what is important for all men—for all men, women, and children to know; for in some respects they are all upon the same footing. What does the Bible teach ?”
“ The creation of the world, and when the Sabbath was made; about Adam and Eve, and how they sinned; about God's giving his law on Mount Sinai; about Jesus Christ our Saviour ; about heaven and hell, and all such things," answered Henry.
“ Just such things as are of common concern to us all," said his mother. “It is of no importance for me to understand how the great wheel of the factory turns all the little wheels, but it is for Mr. Miles, the engineer. Neither does it concern him how to cut a man's leg off in the most skilful manner; that belongs to surgery, and Uncle Henry knows about that, because he is a surgeon. Uncle Henry and Mr. Miles, therefore, need to study different things in order to be skilful in their different branches of business. They are not on common ground there, you see. But it concerns equally Mr. Miles, Uncle Henry, and you and me, to know there is a hell for the wicked, and a heaven for the righteous ; that we are sinners, and that God has provided a way to escape the consequences of our sins. Why are these more important to know, and equally important for us all, Henry ?”
“Because these are about eternal things, for ever important,” answered Henry. Eternity is millions longer than time.”
“The Bible then teaches what is most important for everybody to know, and which could not have been known unless God told it, and it is silent about everything else."
“Now I see why the Bible should be what my teacher calls it,' much in little;' it is so important, that it is made