Графични страници
PDF файл
ePub

linen, its robes, and its carpets. In after-times, the merchants of the west, of Greece and Rome, resorted to Egypt for its own products, and for the goods brought thither by the oriental merchants.

"Spicery."—We are induced to think that some resinous production is here meant, which was either obtained from a species of pine, or of the terebinth-tree. That which is called frankincense, and used for fuming or incense in the Catholic chapels, is obtained from a species of fir. The spicery, therefore, may have been of the same nature, and employed for the purpose of grateful fumigation, as the frankincense of our shops. The Holy Land was remarkable for the excellence of its terebinth-trees. There is a great diversity among resins in respect of the quality, as depending upon the nature, health, and situation of the trees which respectively afford them.

Balm.”—This is the famous resin obtained from the Balsamodendron Gileadense, or balm of Gilead tree, which was a native of, and almost peculiar to, the land of Judæa. It is related to the terebinth and other trees, which are noted for the fragrant “gums which they yield. A small piece of this resin is said by Theophrastus to be so odoriferous that it filled a large space with its perfume. The balsam of Gilead is about fourteen feet high, with diverging branches that bear leaves at their extremities. These leaves are pennate, or winged, like those of the terebinth, and evergreen in their duration. The fruit is a berry, or rather a drupe, of an eggshape, marked with four seams, and with two cells.

Myrrh.—It has been recently ascertained that the myrrh is obtained from a species of Balsamodendron, which is very much allied to the Balsamodendron kataf, and its resin is now called Balsamodendron myrrha. It is a native of Arabia, where it forms stunted groves, which are intermingled with a species of acacia, moringa, &c. The leaves are in threes, oval, blunt, and slightly toothed near the point. If this account be correct, and there seems to be no reason to question it, the kindred origin of myrrh, balm, and “spicery,” forms a subject of curiosity and interest, while the fact will greatly assist us in remembering the particulars of each. All three

66

belong to the natural order Terebinthacea of Jussieu and Decandolle; and two of them appertain to one genus, Balsamodendron.Knight's Illustrated Commentary.

WESLEYAN CHRONOLOGICAL NOTICES.

No. III. 1736. February 5th. The Messrs. Wesley, with their fellowpassengers on board “The Symmonds,” enter the Savannahriver, Georgia; and the next morning land in America, on an uninhabited island : Mr. Wesley, during the voyage, having obtained, from intercourse with David Nitschman, a Moravian Bishop, and others of that Church, a glimpse of that religious experience he subsequently realized, and which he enforced with such extraordinary success.

Sunday, March 7th. Mr. Wesley enters on his ministry at Savannah, by preaching on the Epistle of the day, the thirteenth of the first of Corinthians: his brother Charles having left Savannah for Frederica, where the Governor, Mr. Oglethorpe, chiefly resided.

April 17th. Mr. Wesley advises the more serious among his flock to form themselves into “a sort of little society, and to meet once or twice a week, in order to reprove, instruct, and exhort one another.” This, in his Ecclesiastical History, is designated the second rise of Methodism."

- August 11th. Mr. Charles Wesley, having discharged his ministerial duties in Frederica and Savannah with exemplary, yet rigid, fidelity and zeal, having also passed through a painful succession of persecuting annoyances and personal hardships, embarks at Charlestown, on his return to England.

1737. August. In the beginning of this month Mr. Wesley unites with the Moravians in one of their love-feasts, supposed to have been the first of the kind he ever attended. “It was begun and ended,” he observes, “with thanksgiving and prayer; and celebrated in so decent and solemn a manner, as a Christian of the apostolic age would have allowed to be worthy of Christ.”

August 7th. Mr. Wesley, in discharge of what he deemed ecclesiastical duty, repels the niece of the Chief

Magistrate of Savannah from the holy communion, and is subjected, in consequence, to legal prosecution. Having attended six or seven courts, and finding his persecutors resolved to defer the trial, and thus harass him by delay; seeing also but little prospect of the accomplishment of his primary object, as "Missionary to the Indians,"—he gives public notice of his intended departure from the colony, and on the 2d of December, shaking off the dust from his feet, leaves Georgia; having officiated there as Minister, under many severe and painful exercises, one year and nearly nine months.

1737. December 22d. Mr. Wesley, having reached Charlestown, takes his leave of America, going on board “The Samuel,” Captain Percy. His ministerial labours, during his residence in Georgia, were attended with but little success : yet there were many," observes the lamented Watson, “who rightly estimated the character and labours of a man who had five or six public services on the Lord's day, in English, Italian, and French, for the benefit of a mixed population; who spent his whole time in works of piety and mercy; and who distributed his income so profusely in charity, that for many months together he had not one shilling in the house."

1738. February 3d. Mr. Wesley reaches London, and in the solemn review now made, as well as on his voyage home, of his religious state, affectingly laments, that he who went to convert the Indians, was himself not converted to God; having no such faith as prevented his heart from being troubled ; and earnestly prays to be saved by “such a faith as implies peace in life and death.”

March 4th. Mr. Wesley converses with Peter Böhler, a Minister of the Moravian Church, by whom, in the hand of God, he represents himself as “clearly convinced of unbelief, of the want of that faith by which alone we can be saved.”

March 6th. Acting upon the advice of Peter Böhler, “Preach faith till you have it, and then because you have it you will preach faith,” Mr. Wesley begins to publish this, at that period, new and strange doctrine. The first person to whom he offered salvation by faith alone, was a prisoner under sentence of death.

1738. March 27th. Visiting a prisoner in the condemned cell, Oxford, Mr. Wesley commences the practice of extempore prayer; “using,” says he, “such words as were given us in that hour.” After prayer, the poor man exclaimed, “ I am now ready to die. I know Christ has taken away my sins, and there is no more condemnation.”

May 1st. Mr. Wesley and some others form themselves into a religious society, and meet in Fetter-lane. The rules of this society were printed under the title of, “ Orders of a Religious Society, meeting in Fetter-lane, in obedience to the command of God by St. James, and by the advice of Peter Böhler, 1738.” The establishment of this society is represented by Mr. Wesley as the “third period of Methodism.'

P.

MISSIONARY FACTS AND PRINCIPLES. We have often heard the remark, made with nothing like levity or scoffing, but with, perhaps, a good-humoured smile, "Ah, well, the devil is not asleep: he sees that good is likely to be done, and he is stirring up opposition.” The remark is based on a principle of solemn truth. Satan has a kingdom in the world, and he is watchful over its interests, and, as far as the restraining power, which, however he hates, he cannot conquer, permits, he labours to promote them. And where peculiar malignity marks the opposition to the cause of God in any particular locality, there might be worse reasoning than that which attributes it to the wicked one, and to his perception of an efficient movement against his own work.

These thoughts were suggested by some curious paragraphs which met our eye, in looking over the Asiatic Journal for January. We found that in a large city in India, some of the natives had been stirred up to what they, very likely, would consider as a powerful attack upon Christianity. A house had been taken in Salay-street, Black-town, Madras, for the purpose of carrying on certain ridiculous imitations of Christian worship. A pulpit was provided, and a man who had been connected with the American Mission in some menial office, and who had a talent for buffoonery, was to be the Minister. A copy of the Tamul Scriptures having been procured, this unhappy man pretended to read and preach from them ; sometimes praising the native system, and sometimes abusing that of the Christians. “They worship an impostor," he said on one occasion, “who rode on an ass, and suffered death on a cross.” A prospectus of the plan has been issued, in which the projectors say, “We take up our mighty bow of discussion, and shoot at them with arrows of various kinds, such as may prove a check to the Christian religion. Our tracts shall yield light that shall be as a sun to dispel the darkness of Christianity. We have taken a room in which we can teach two hundred young men, besides the Shasters of the Siva and Vishnu sects, and objections against the religion of the Christians, grammar, and other branches of education.” The prospectus also states, that there will be “preaching every Friday night.” In these meetings, they pray to their native gods to put down the Missions.

The devil is not asleep. If Christianity were doing nothing in India, he would not stir up such opposition as this. But what can it effect? Let Baal's Priests call on the name of their god. It is not only against Christianity that he is powerless, but equally so for his worshippers. The gods of the Heathen are gods that cannot save. But our God, beside whom there is none other God, is, both in name and in deed, Saviour. Christianity loses nothing by examination. It is received, indeed, by faith ; but unanswerable arguments show that that faith is a branch of our reasonable service.

THE ONLY REFUGE. Religion is a subject which is utterly opposed to every principle and habit of fallen and corrupt human nature. There is a proneness in the human heart to attend to, cherish, and receive cordially, almost every novelty or invention which seems calculated to produce any degree of happiness, however vague and uncertain the knowledge of such plan may be, rather than come at once to that which alone can give “sweetest pleasures" even “while we live;" and when

« ПредишнаНапред »