Gambar halaman
PDF
ePub

and read much of this burning prodigy, and had accordingly prepared myself for something more dreadful than ordinary, but the stupendous sight far surpassed all my imagination. Were it possible for mortal man to form any adequate idea of the fervent melting of the elements at the general dissolution, I think I have formed it here. I was surprised at the smallness of the apertures, through which such a mass of ashes and lava is discharged. The discharge of lava is best accounted for by supposing a communication between this mountain and that of Ætna in Sicily, which lies at the distance of 180 miles. Naturalists have assigned several rea. sons in support of this conjecture ; the principal one is the similarity of the lava and other matter thrown up from the two mountains. I shall never forget a notable specimen of Italian cunning. Our two guides, whose aspect announced them fit for treasons, murders, and death, came upon us when we were first looking down upon the flames, and demanded a sum of money, additional to that which we had agreed to give them on our first setting out. I have been told it is their constant custom of dealing with strangers, that they may strike (as we say) while the iron is hot, and make their ad. vantage of the terror which the place and circumstances are apt to inspire. I contrived, however, to elude their demand till our arrival at Portici, when I gave them what is usual, without satisfying their exhorbitant cravings.

LITERARY NOTICE.

The improvement of time, is an object of immense importance to all ages and all classes among mankind. He who aids us in rightly employing the present, and in redeeming the past, is å benefactor to his race. This conviction is revived in our breasts by the recent reception and perusal of two able and eloquent sermons on the improvement of time,” by PROFESSOR LINDSLY of Nassau Hall, delivered in the College Chapel at the close of the last year. We shall take the liberty to enrich our pages with a few extracts from them; hoping 20 Edit.

12

all who may have the opportunity, will peruse the discourses themselves.

“But again-were I addressing an ordinary audience -an audience, I mean, consisting of persons engaged in the ordinary pursuits of the world; I might ask, which has appeared most important to your eyes, time, or money? Of which have you been most tenacious; of which the most liberal ? Have you been as free and ready to assist the needy and the suffering-to patronise charitable institutions to support the gospelto contribute to objects of public utility-as you have been to dissipate time? Do yon not think more of a shilling than an hour? Would you not be more backward to give the former to any benevolent object than to waste the latter in what. ever way you might be solicited ? How seldom is it that you refuse your time to any who may choose to give you an idle call-while you would be grieved and vexed were half as many calls made upon your purse, even for the noblest purposes !--and you would disregard them too.

“ Is it not true that the loss of a day or a week occasions less pain to most men than the loss of a little property ? Is it not true also that they frequently calculate the value of lost time merely by the sum which they might have made during that time; And, if nothing could have been gained, then they do not esteem it any loss at all ? Is it reasonable that this should be the case ? Is the worth of time to be measured by gold and silver ? Was it to amass these that man was endued with angelic faculties-planted on this earth for a day—and when the day is ended, to be ushered into another world to es ist forever--without the privilege of carrying with him a particle of his hard-earned and beloved treasures ? God must have placed men in this world for some purpose and, would it not be a mockery of the divine wisdom and goodness to suppose that the acquisition of property were the grand purpose of his being ?

“ Have you not witnessed and are you not fully con. vinced that wealth, honour, power, pleasure, are enjoyed and held by a precarious tenure ? That to-day, men may walk forth arrayed in purple and fine linen--the objects of envy to some-of admiration and servile flattery to others- while to.morrow, they may appear in sackcloth and ashes-outcasts in the streets, and none so poor as

[ocr errors]

to do them reverence-derided and scorned by the very crowd, which now gaze and applaud, as though exisience depended on their smile?" And what do you infer from this caprice of fortune (as it is usually styled,) to which men are so generally enslaved, and of which they so frequently fall the heedless and unpitied victims? What-but that all sublunary things are vain, mutable, transitory-incapable of gratifying rational, immortal natures and therefore unworthy of your affection and your pursuit ? Yet these are precisely the objects of human desire and ambition; and have been so in every age and country, since first the gates of Eden were closed against the guilty pair who led the way in this career of sin and ruin; and who have entailed the same blindness and infatnation on all their posterity.

“ Renouncing then these airy illusive goods, which never imparted a ray of solid comfort to the anxious seeker, or to the proud possessor of them, and which all must leave so soon at best-what remains to occupy our minds, and to eall forth the active energies of our nature ?-Time-precious time is ours-and of this, none but God can deprive us. Time is our estate. This is our inheritance. It is our all. And on its right improvement depends our eternal welfare. Time is given us to lay up treasures in heaven-to prepare ourselves by submission, by patience, by humility and self-denial, by penitence, faith and prayer, during our pilgrimage, through this wilderness of sorrow and temptation ; for the full, the perfect, and the perpetual fruition of that Canaan of peaee, and plenty, and rest, and joy, and glory, to which the faithful shall, at last, be welcomed.

6 Were this sublime, this glorious object constantly in view-Were heaven steadily in our eye, could time ever hang heavily upon our hands ? Could it seem tedious, dull, burthensome ? Could we consent to lose so much in idleness; so much in unnecessary sleep; so much in trilling or profane conversation and amusement ; so much in puerile or hazardous sports and games ; so much in sensual indulgences ; so much in a thousand frivolous and criminal modes, which the evil genius of this world has artfully derised to cheat men out of their most valuable possessions ?

66 We have all erred in this matter. There is not an individual in this house ;-- there is not a child of Adam on earth who has not abused time. Nay more, there is not a day in which the best of men, when they review at evening, their conduct during the day, do not find abundant cause of humiliation and repentance before God for their unfruitfulness, their sloth, or their forgetfulness of Him who has solemnly charged them to occupy till he come."

SELECT ANECDOTES.

SANGUINE AUTHOR.

A Poor clergyman, in a very remote county in Eng. farut bad, on some popular occasion, preached a sermon so exceedingly acceptable to his parishioners, that they entreated him to print it; which, after due and solemn deliberation, he promised to do. This was the most remarkable incident of his life, and filled his mind with a thousand fancies. The conclusion, however, of all his consultations with himself was, that he should obtain both fame and money; and that a journey to the metropolis, to direct and superintend the great concern was in. dispensable. After taking a formal leaves of his friends and neighbours, he proceeded on his journey. On his arrival in town, by great good fortune, he

was recommended to the worthy and excellent 'Mr. Epowyer, to whom he triumphantly related the object of his journey. The printer agreed to his proposals, and real

quired to know how many copies he would have stru.

rick off? Why, sir," returned the clergyman, “ I have cat

leulated that there are in the kingdon so many

thousand

par

and ishes, and that each parish will at least take one. others more; so that I think we may safely ventu The

are to print thirty-five or thirty-six thousand copies.” rend printer bowed, the matter was settled, and the reve ith author departed in high spirits to his home. much difficulty and great self-denial, a period of abou two months was suffered to pass; when his golden vi inns so tormented his imagination, that he could endure

[graphic]

it no longer, and accordingly he wrote to Mr. Bowyer, desiring him to send the debtor and creditor account, most liberally permitting the remittances to be forwarded at Mr. B's convenience. Judge of the astonishment, iribulation, and anguish, excited by the receipt of an account, charging him for printing thirty-five thousand copies of a sermon, 6785,58,6d, and giving him credit for £1,65,6d, the produce of seventeen copies, being the whole that had been sold. This left a balance of 6784, due the bookseller.

All who knew the character of this most amiable and excellent printer, would not be at all surprised to hear, that, in a day or two, a letter to the following purpose was forwarded to the clergyman :

REV. SIR,

I beg pardon for innocently amusing myself at your expense, but you need not give yourself uneasi

I knew better than you could do the extent of the sale of single sermons, and accordingly printed but fifty copies, to the expense of which you are heartily wel. eome, in return for the liberty I have taken with you.”

ness.

THE WELL-STORED MEMORY.

A Youth, who was engaged in the social study of the holy Scriptures, remarked to a friend that since committing particular texts to memory, they often recurred under circumstances which rendered them peculiarly interesting and practically useful. It was added,- When I look abroad, this text occurs, “ The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament showeth his handy work.When I sit down to meals, another text occurs ;

" Whether ye eat or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to d

the glory of God.When I open the sacred volume, e. I remember, “ All Scripture is given by inspiration of 1 God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for cor

rection, for instruction in righteousness," &c. May the ve Holy Spirit multiply such effects from the social study TETERNAL TRUTH.

12*

about

en vi

endure

« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »