« PreviousContinue »
several Addresses were delivered, which were intended to point out the best methods of inducing habits of regular attendance on public worship in the young people, and that not only while they continue in the Schools, but also after they have left them.
The following is the substance of the hints brought forward by the different speakers.
1. It is lamentable that any necessity should exist for the consideration of such a question, in a place so highly distinguished for religious privileges, and where the Gospel and its invaluable institutions have been so long in operation. But, however much the fact may be regretted, it cannot be denied ; a highly respectable individual in this city having ascertained, that there are at least sixty thousand persons in Glasgow, and its vicinity, able to attend and yet absent from public worship every LORD's-day. This being the case, and no reasonable ground existing for the hope of any extensive change taking place in the habits of the up-grown part of the population, it becomes a serious and highly important question, to those who have the charge of the rising generation, how they may, in this respect, train them up in the way they should go.
2. In order, by the blessing of GOD, to attain this desirable end, they should be taught, convinced, and persuaded, by an explanation, application, and enforcement of those passages of the Sacred Scriptures which bear upon the subject, that it is their indispensable duty publicly to worship GoD, and that SchoolWorship, however excellent and useful, should rather be considered as a preparation, than as a substitute, for Public Worship.
3. At the same time, the most plain and pointed instructions should be given to the young people, as to the nature of that worship which GOD requires, and will accept. It is not every kind of attendance at
the house of God that will be pleasing to him. He requires the worship of the heart; and therefore must refuse the offerings, and condemn the persons, of the gay trifler, the formalist, the hypocrite, or the wicked.
4. In enforcing this duty, the promised advantages, whether temporal, spiritual, or eternal, which accompany and follow a right discharge of it, should be frequently presented to view.
5. The importance of proper, Christian, Public Worship, demands that it should be made a specific and constant subject of Sabbath-School instructions; that the young people should be frequently addressed upon it, in small companies and individually; that their excuses respecting clothes, &c., should be answered; and that they should be examined as to their behaviour in the house of GOD, and in reference to the discourses they have heard.
6. School-hours should be made to suit, and carefully guarded against any interference with, a regular attendance on Public Worship.
7. In order to carry into efficient operation any plan, embracing the object which at present engages our attention, it is absolutely necessary that the Trustees and Managers of Churches and Chapels should appropriate a sufficient portion of room for those young persons who belong to Sabbath-Schools, and are willing to attend such places, but cannot be accommodated with their Parents. It is also humbly suggested to the Ministers of the Gospel, that it is important that they should, as frequently as possible, visit SabbathSchools, and, by efforts to do them good, should gain the affections of the young; and that, in feeding the flock of GOD, they should not wholly forget the "lambs," but should often introduce into their discourses something adapted to their situation, and specially directed to them.
THE CRUELTIES AND DEATH OF NACKEE KHAN.
To the Editor of the Wesleyan-Methodist
THE following account of the Cruelties of an Eastern Despot, of the remarkable preservation of au innocent man, and of God's judgment manifested in the destruction of the Tyrant, I have taken from the Second Volume of SIR ROBERT KER PORTER'S Travels, just published.
Chelsea, June 13, 1822.
THE Author, having related his introduction to one of the persons who were the objects of NACKEE KHAN'S rapacious cruelty, gives the substance of the narrative, as recited by him, in the following manner :
"Having, by intrigues and assassinations, made himself master of the regal power at Shiraz, this monster of human kind found that the Governor of Ispahan, instead of adhering to him, had proclaimed the accession of the lawful heir. No sooner was the news brought to NACKEE KHAN, than he put himself at the head of his troops, and set forward to revenge his contemned authority. When he arrived as far as Yesdikast, he encamped his army for a short halt, near the tomb on the north side. Being as insatiable of money as blood, he sent to the inhabitants of Yesdikast, and demanded an immense sum in gold, which he insisted should instantly be paid to his messengers. Unable to comply, the fact was respectfully pleaded in excuse, namely, that all the money the city had possessed, was already taken away by his own officers and those of the opposite party; and that, at present, there was scarce a Tomaun in the place.' Enraged at this answer, he repaired, full of wrath, to the town, and, or dering eighteen of the principal inhabitants to be brought before him, again demanded the money; but with threats and imprecations, which made the hearers tremble. Still, however, they could only return the same answer,—their utter inability to pay; and the tyrant, without a moment's preparation, commanded the men to be seized, and hurled
from the top of the precipice, in his sight. Most of them were instantly killed on the spot; others, cruelly maimed, died in terrible agonies where they fell; and the describer of the dreadful scene was the only one who survived. He could form no idea of how long he lay, after precipitation, utterly senseless; but,' added he, by the will of God, I breathed again; and, on opening my eyes, found myself amongst the dead and mangled bodies of my former neighbours and friends. Some yet groaned.' He then related, that in the midst of his horror at the sight, he heard sounds of yet more terrible acts, from the top of the cliff: and momentarily strengthened by fear of he knew not what, (for he believed that death had already grasped his own poor shattered frame,) he managed to crawl away unperceived into one of the numerous caverned holes, which perforate the foot of the steep. He whole night; but, in the morning, lay there in an expiring state the was providentially discovered by some of the town's-people, who came to seek the bodies of their murdered relatives, to mourn over them, and take them away for burial. The poor man, feeble as he was, called to these weeping groups; and, to their astonishment and joy, they drew out one survivor from the dreadful heap of slain. No time was lost in conveying him home, and administering every kind of assistance; but many months elapsed before he was able to move from his house, so deep had been the injuries inflicted in his fall.
"In the course of his awful narrative, he told us, that the noise which had so appalled him, as he lay among the blood-stained rocks, was indeed the acting of a new cruelty of the Usurper. After having witnessed the execution of his sentence on the eighteen citizens, whose asseverations he had determined not to believe, NACKEE KHAN immediately sent for a devout man, called SAIED HASSAN, who was considered the sage of the place, and for his charities greatly beloved by
the people. This man,' said the KHAN, being a descendant of the Prophet, must know the truth, and will tell it me. He shall find me those who can and will pay the money.' But the answer given by the honest SAIED being precisely the same with that of the innocent victims who had already perished, the tyrant's fury knew no bounds, and, rising from his seat, he ordered the holy man to be rent asunder in his presence, and then thrown over the rock, to increase the monument of his vengeance below.
"It was the tumult of this most dreadful execution which occasioned the noise that drove the affrighted narrator to the shelter of any hole, from the eye of merciless man. But the cruel scene did not end there. Even in the yet sensible ear of the SAIED, expiring in agonies, his execrable murderer ordered that his wife and daughters should be given up to the soldiers; and that, in punishment of such universal rebellion in the town, the whole place should be razed to the ground. "But this last act of blood on a son of the Prophet, cost the perpetrator his life. For the soldiers themselves, and the Nobles who had been partizans of the Usurper, were so struck with horror at the sacrilegious murder, and appalled with the threatened guilt of offering insult to women of the sacred family, that they believed a curse must follow the abettors of such a man. The next step, in their minds, was to appease Heaven by the immolation of the offender; and in the course of that very night, a band of his servants cut the cords of his tent, which instantly falling in upon him, afforded them a secure opportunity of burying their poniards in his body. The first strokes were followed by thousands. So detested was the wretch, that in a few minutes his remains were hewn and torn to pieces. It does not become men to lift the veil which lies over the whole doom of a ruthless murderer; but there is something in the last mortal yell of a tyrant, whether it be a ROBESPIERRE or a NACKEE
KHAN, which sounds as if mingled with a dreadful echo from the eternal shore.
"While the above particulars were relating, it was a shuddering glance that looked down, from the open side of the Ketkhoda's saloon, on almost the very spot where the unhappy victims had breathed their last. It recalled to my remembrance a similar window, for similar purposes, at Erivan, where the Governor of that place used to dispose of his malefactors, the moment sentence was pronounced. And, while listening to the hideous details of a sort of punishment so. common in the East, I could not but recall similar descriptions in ancient writers on these countries, which showed how old had been the practice of taking offenders to a height, and casting them headlong, sometimes from a rock, at others from high battlements, and often from a window which commanded a sufficient steep. We have a dreadful picture of this most tremendous mode of punishment, in the Second Book of Kings. It describes the death of JEZEBEL, when, by the command of JEHU, she was thrown from the palace-window of Jezreel, during his triumphant entry, and her blood was sprinkled on the wall, and on the horses, and he trode her under their feet; and when he sent to bury her, no more was found of her than the scull, and the feet, and the palms of her hands. Nearer home, the classic reader has only to remember the various precipitations from the Tarpeian rock, to see what chastisements the Sages of antiquity, in almost every country, devised for the reformation of mankind. Blessed indeed are these latter times of the world, when such fierce punishments are neither necessary to appal vice, nor would their barbarous outrage of human sympathy be tolerated. The change has been wrought by the ameliorating effects of Christianity, and therefore, only in countries where the religion of mercy has not yet been received, do we find the dregs of heathenish cruelties, remain."
(From "LACON, or Many Things in few Words: By the REV. C. COLTON, M. A.") (Continued from page 236.)
We are ruined, not by what we really want, but by what we think we do. Therefore, never go abroad in search of your wants;-if they be real wants, they will come home in search of you; for he that buys what he does not want, will soon want what he cannot buy.
Some are so censorious as to advance, that those who have discovered a thorough knowledge of all the depravities of the human heart, must be themselves depraved ;-but this is about as wise as to affirm that every physician who understands a disease must be himself diseased.
Public charities, and benevolent associations, for the gratuitous relief of every species of distress, are peculiar to Christianity; no other system of civil or religious policy has originated them; they form its highest praise and characteristic feature; an order of benevolence so disinterested, and so exalted, looking before and after, could no more have preceded Revelation, than light the
Faith and works are as necessary to our spiritual life as Christians, as soul and body are to our natural life as men; for faith is the soul of religion, and works the body.
In naval architecture, the rudder is first fitted in, and then the ballast is put on board, and, last of all, the cargo and the sails. It is far otherwise in the fitting-up and forming of man; he is launched into life with the cargo of his faculties aboard, and all the sails of his passions set; but it is the long and painful work of his
life, to acquire the ballast of experience, and to form the rudder of reason; hence, it too often happens that his frail vessel is shipwrecked before he has laid in the necessary quantity of ballast, or that he has been so long in completing the rudder, that the vessel is become too crazy to benefit by its application.
Expense of thought is the rarest prodigality; and to dare to live alone, the rarest courage; since there are many who had rather meet their bitterest enemy in the field, than their own hearts in their closet. He that has no resources of mind, is more to be pitied than he who is in want of necessaries for the body; and to be obliged to beg our daily happiness from others, bespeaks a more lamentable poverty than that of him who begs his daily bread.
As there are some faults that have been termed faults on the right side, so there are some errors that might be denominated errors on the safe side. Thus we seldom regret having been too mild, too cautious, or too humble; but we often repent having been too violent, too precipitate, or too proud.
Accustom yourself to submit on all and every occasion, and in the most minute, no less than in the most important circumstances of life, to a small present evil, to obtain a greater distant good. This will give decision, tone, and energy to the mind, which, thus disciplined, will often reap victory from defeat, and honour from repulse.
To him that will often put eternity and the world before him, and who will dare to look steadfastly at both of them, the former will grow greater, and the latter less.
There are two things which ought to teach us to think but meanly of human glory;-the very best have had their calumniators, the very worst their panegyrists.
This world cannot explain its own difficulties, without the assistance of another.
An Introduction to the Critical Study and Knowledge of the Holy Scriptures. By THOMAS HARTWELL HORNE, M. A. &c. Second Edition, revised, corrected, and enlarged. Illustrated with numerous Fac-Similes of Biblical Manuscripts. 4 vols. 8vo. pp. 3000, £3. 3s. bds. ·
(Concluded from page 381.)
MR. HORNE deserves great praise for the attention which he has paid to the workings of the spirit of error in the present day, and for having furnished the means of exposing the stratagems and subterfuges of the present race of infidels. With these views he has given, in the last Appendix to his First Volume, an excellent article on the writings usually called the Apocryphal Books of the New Testament, with a design to counteract the intention of the publishers of a work entitled "The Apocryphal New Testament," &c. Considering the quarter from which that work originated, the time at which it was published, and the wording of the title-page, we shall go farther than MR. HORNE, who is willing to admit the disclaimer of its having been published with sinister design. That it was intended to bolster up the cause of modern infidelity, and to mislead the simple, we have no doubt; but it is one of the most bungling contrivances of the apostate faction, and could never be expected to succeed but with the most ignorant, whom, however, it affords a diabolic gratiWith fication to them to deceive. every rational man, the argument goes just the contrary way intended; and so it was felt by TOLAND, the precursor of the publishers of "The Apocryphal New Testament" in this unlucky species of warfare, which exposes the assailant to receive both his own blows and those of his adversary. TOLAND felt this when too late, and therefore got clear of the difficulty in which he had incautiously involved himself, by pretending that his object was to illustrate and confirm the Canon of the New Testament. He saw that he had undesignedly served the cause he meant to injure, and then put in a claim for the credit of a good intention! On one or two points, connected with this subject, we shall offer some remarks. For a more
copious examination of these books, we refer to MR. HORNE.
What impression did the publishers intend to produce? Was it that they had made a new discovery? This would appear from the title-page. Did they thus intend to entrap the ignorant into the belief that their researches had brought to light what the believers in revelation would have gladly kept back? Nothing was better known than these apocryphal productions, and they had only to go for them to the collections made to their hands by Christian Divines of modern times themselves. Did they intend to insinuate that the fact, that spurious books have been written in their names, tends to discredit the writers of the New Testament? But how many eminent writers have had works ascribed to them which they never wrote; and which only prove their just and well-established fame,-for otherwise there would have been no encouragement for forgery. These books, say they, were "not included in the New Testament by its compilers." The insinuation is that there was as much reason to include them in the New Testament, as the books which actually compose it. But how greatly must they have calculated upon the implicit credulity of their readers, if they did not anticipate that they would ask, “Why were they not so included ? " reason there must have been; and it is obvious enough to any rational man, who makes the comparison between the genuine and the spurious books. In regard to the internal evidence, every one must see that they who wrote the books of the New Testament were incapable of writing the superstitious folly, and the wretched composition, of many of the apocryphal books. But the argument goes farther: the fact of their exclusion proves, that not every writing, which pretended to inspired authorship, was greedily sought after