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its lovely and forgiving nature; and secondly, of its mighty powe. Well may such instances lead us to exclaim, O the depth of the riches, both of the wisdom and goodness of God! how far short would have been the effect of that speedier interference, which my impatience was ready to demand. You will not wonder, dear Caroline, that from that hour I resolved, by divine grace assisting me, to judge nothing before the time; to rest satisfied with all the appointments of providence; to trust and pray when unable to aid ; and to say, like the Shunammite, it shall be well.' Let me entreat you also, ever to tarry the Lord's leisure; assured that what you know not now, you shall know hereafter, that the divine eye

neither slumbers nor sleeps; that the Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly, and will deliver them in his own way; while the proud and injurious, remaining in that state, Shall in due time,-ah surely, soon enough!— bear their judgment whoever they be. I cannot better conclude my letter, than with those beautiful lines from Dr. Beattie.

• One part, one little part, we dimly scan,

Thro' the faint medium of life's feverish dream:
Yet dare arraign the whole stupendous plan,

If but that little part incongruous seem :
Nor is that part, perhaps, what mortals deem;

Oft from apparent ill our blessings rise :
O then renounce that impious self-esteem,

Which dares to judge the secrets of the skies. For thou art but of dust; be humble, and be wise.' “I will only add, read attentively the 73rd Psalm ; and henceforward, when compelled to be angry, be watchful that you sin not. Accept my kind love, and believe me to be dear Caroline,

Your sincerely affectionate
MARGARET Owen."

S.S.S.

ORIGIN AND HISTORY OF IDOLATRY.

( Concluded from page 91.) IDOLATRY spread rapidly over all those nations, who had no other guide than the twinkling star-light of benighted reason, till the dreadful contagion even reached the immediate residence of the great God himself, as Milton says; witness that hill of scandal, that opprobrious mount, where king Solomon, to please his foreign wives, not only allowed liberty of conscience, to worship the idols of every nation, but even erected temples where he had, a very little before, so magnificently finished that wonder of the world, the temple of the Lord. Even upon that mount, I say, (would any one have thought it ?) did this same king likewise erect temples to the abominations of all the neighbouring nations, namely,

For Chemos, th' obscene dread of Moab's sons ;
And Moloch, horrid king, besmear'd with blood
Of human sacrifice, which Ammon's sons

Adored in Rabba, and her watery plain.
Baal likewise, and Ash-teroth with her crescent horns,

“ To whose bright image, nightly, by the moon,
Sidonian virgins paid their vows and songs.”

All these, and more, were worshipped on the offensive mount, in opposition to the house of God; which proves, even to demonstration, that wherever God has a church the devil has one likewise.

We are told, by the naturalists, that it is always darkest near break of day; and whoever examines the state of religion about the time when the Star of Jacob, that bright and morning star, arose to usher in the gospel-day, cannot but see that gross Egyptian darkness covered the earth. The Roman people, who were not only the graspers after, but actual possessors of, universal empire, (being the last of the four successive empires, that the prophet Daniel had foretold should arise, each out of the ashes of the other,) exceeded all their predecessors in the practice of idolatry; for they had erected a temple at Rome, called the Pantheon, which was the common receptacle for all the gods, that either were, or could be invented. For good policy, and the acquaintance they had with the history of other nations, had taught them that nothing was so dear to men as religious liberty; and the only way to endear themselves to the various nations, of which their empire was composed, was to give liberty of conscience for each nation to worship its respective gods; and, let people come from what part of the empire they would, they had free access to the Pantheon, where they miglit easily find their own gods.

But, among all that great multitude of gods, I never heard that the Hebrew God had any place assigned to him in the Pantheon: and the reason, possibly, was this; they had no objection to the divinity of the Hebrew God; but, as the Jews had no representation of their God, they could not instal him there, having no form nor similitude. And, considering the state the world was now in, this was a piece of most excellent policy, and a scheme the best calculated to aggrandize the Roman empire. And thou, imperial city, ancient Rome, mightest still, perhaps, have stood, the mistress of the world, if Rome Papal had learnt no more of religious persecution than Rome Pagan; for, however ignorant the greatest part of the world was, of the true God, yet, to their honour be it spoken, they had learnt to think, and let think; and every one, in this sense, sat under his own vine, and under his own fig-tree,

Four thousand years elapsed from the creation to the birth of Christ; and in all that time, the great God had never left himself without a witness to the world, though the world had always perverted the meaning of God's messengers: and, though the Redeemer was to be a Man of sorrow, and acquainted with grief, yet the world expected a mighty monarch, and one that was to acquire universal empire. But the end for which the Redeemer came, was to purchase his church with his blood ; and the validity of his purchase, and the efficacy of his death, by no means depended on man's obedience or belief, as the prophet says—He has trodden the wine-press alone, and of the people there was none with him: His own arm brought him salvation, and his fury, it upheld him : He shall see of the travail of his soul, and be satisfied ; and all that the Father hath given him, shall come to him.

When we consider this, though the greatest part of the world are, now, either totally ignorant of God's method of salvation, or perverse blasphemers of it; yet Christ died not in vain, but he will find out his redeemed ones, however scattered over the face of the whole earth ; and will, at last, present them before the eyes of his glory, without spot or wrinkle, or any such thing, though men and

devils oppose.

But there is something very remarkable in the visible change that passed on the world, after the resurrection of Christ; for it was not long before all the idol gods began to vanish, like so many stars before the rising sun. The Jewish nation, (which was itself, with

all its typical institutions, but a type of the gospel-church,) was with these gradually removed, to make way before a rising God. But, alas ! as under the old dispensation, a misunderstanding divine revelation, as conveyed in types and symbols, was the cause of all that visible idolatry, which every where abounded in the patriarchal and prophetic ages; so, from the days of Christ, to the present age, all that spiritual idolatry, which has, and still does abound, is occasioned by misunderstanding the person and offices of Christ, which the types and symbols represented.

No sooner had he finished the great work of man's redemption, and proved himself to be the Son of God with power; but (as in the days of Solomon, no sooner was the temple finished, but presently the mount was studded over with idol temples,) we find all the apostles of our Lord, complaining, that ungodly men had crept in, who turned the grace of God into licentiousness : just as the deists do now, who tell us, we teach men to sin,” because we tell them, grace has abounded. But what was the first step those ungodly men touk in the apostolic age? Why, they struck at the root of Christianity; they denied the only Lord God : and who was that? even our Lord Jesus Christ. And what was the next step? They set aside his propitiatory death, which all the types, for about four thousand years, had figured out, and counted the blood of the covenant an unholy thing. And what did they introduce in the room of it? Why, truly—That men could not be saved, unless they kept the law. But, one thing must be observed, in favour of the church of Rome ; idolatrous as she is, amidst all her heresies, she never has rejected the Godhead of Christ, as Arius and Socinus have done, which redounds as much to his glory as the obedience to all his moral precepts, if such an obedience were possible to be performed by degenerate man. But, as every one attempted to detract from the Redeemer's work, at last he was brought down to the level of a mere moral preacher ; one that was sent to deliver a system of moral ethics to the world, and to restore what men call the law of nature : but, unless it be allowed that Christ restored the law of nature, by ren ing in man, what he was naturally created with, even the image of God, He in fact, did nothing at all, but only came to tell the world how wretched it

But the reigning idols of our days, are man's righteousness, set in opposition to the righteousness of God; free will, in opposition

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to free grace; man's repentance, instead of Christ's blood; reformation, instead of regeneration ; and the object of worship an absolute God, who is a consuming fire, instead of a God in Christ, reconciling the world to himself.

SO FAR. Tue Autumnal tide had nearly covered the smooth sands of St. Aubin's Bay in one of the lovely islands of the channel; and the rapidity of its rising forced me hastily to retrace my steps. When a place of security was gained, I had leisure to contemplate with feelings of admiration, which doubtless many of my readers will well imagine, the majestic waves rolling with impetuosity, and each seemed proudly to say, whilst it foamed amidst the rocks, and furiously dashed around the castle walls, “what barrier can resist my advance ? what arm can bind me?" I might have said so too, whilst I watched the rapidity with which the ground I had so lately trod on was covered, and saw the white spray dash above the highest rock; but I remembered that “He who holds the waters in the hollow of his hand,” had appointed those waves their boundary, and though the line which marked the extremity of their domain was guarded by no precipitous barrier, not even one rock which would for a moment obstruct their advance; the word of the Lord was an all-powerful restraint, “so far shalt thou come and no further, and here let thy proud waves be stayed !"

The sea gained its permitted height, and then retreated in obedience to the influence by which it rose. As I gazed upon the expanse of water which lay before me, and adored the power which controlled it, I recollected that there were other waves and floods which needed the restraining power of the same Almighty arm. I remembered the deep waters of affliction—the billows of trouble, when the tempest had raged, and wave had succeeded wave; when it needed the actings of a vigorous faith to stay upon the promise, “ When thou passest through the waters I will be with thee.” But all these had their bounds ; in times of deepest sorrow there is an appointed “ So far," beyond which affliction cannot pass ; its duration, its depth, are fixed by a Father's unerring wisdom.

But I thought of another sea--of darker waters rolling with more VOL. IX. 3rd SERIES.

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