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subject mentioned, even incidentally; every belief they sanction must be true. If then, any one mistake could be shown in them, any discrepancy, any contradiction, we should have to abandon them at once. But as long as we regard them only as the testimony of honest and intelligent men to what they heard and saw, there may be errors, there may be false conclusions of their own, there may be differences in their modes of recording the same event, and yet the substance of the Revelation may be so truly given, as to enable us to reap its benefits. What we propose to prove, then, of the Gospels is, that they are honest, simple, truthful records of the ministry of Jesus Christ, written by four of his early disciples, two of them apostles.
In like manner, the Book of Acts is to be considered as a correct history of the early church, when deprived of its Lord, not perhaps free from mistakes, but certainly free from fundamental and serious errors. And the Epistles are to be viewed with interest and studied with attention, as being expressive of the sentiments of those who had learned from Jesus, and who had been also favoured with that inspiration, which (if Christianity be true) was given to his early followers. The Epistles are helps to the Gospels, in showing us what was the Religion which Christ founded on the earth, and together they are enough to prove the truth of that Religion, if they were written by those whose names they bear.
None will deny that such a person as Jesus Christ lived, that he professed to have a mission from God, that he was crucified, and that his disciples declared he rose again. Thus much being granted, all beyond must depend on the character of the Christian records; if they were written by apostles and companions of apostles, under such circumstances as to preclude the supposition, that they could hope to deceive, by writing what was not true, then they are worthy of belief; if they are worthy of belief, the divine origin of Christianity is proved.
To this question, the arguments for and against the authenticity and credibility of the New Testament Scriptures, attention will be given in the future articles of this series. M. D. W.
THERE is nothing in the universe that stands alone, nothing solitary. No atom of matter, no drop of water, no vesicle of air, or ray of light, exists in a state of isolation. Every thing belongs to some system of
society, of which it is a component and necessary part. Just so it is in the moral world. No man stands alone, nor high angel, nor child. All the beings "lessening down from Infinite perfection to the brink of dreary nothing," belong to a system of mutual dependencies. All and each constitute and enjoy a part of the world's sum of happiness. No one liveth to himself. The destiny of the moral universe is affected by his existence and influence. The most obscure individual exerts an influence which must be felt in the great brotherhood of mankind. Should the hand say to the foot, "I have no need of thee," the world would stand still,
No human being can come into this world without increasing or diminishing the sum total of human happiness, not only of the present but of every subsequent age of humanity.
No one can detach himself from this connection. There is no sequestered spot in the universe, no dark niche along the disk of non-existence, to which he can retreat from his relations to others, where he can withdraw the influence of his existence upon the moral destiny of the world; everywhere his presence or absence will be felt; everywhere he will have companions who will be better or worse for his influence.
It is an old saying, and one of fearful and fathomless import, that we are forming characters for eternity. Forming characters! Whose? Our own? or others? Both; and in that momentous fact lies the peril and responsibility of our existence. Who is sufficient for the thought? Thousands of my fellow-beings will yearly enter eternity with characters differing from those they would have carried thither had I never lived. The sunlight of that world will reveal my finger marks in their primary formations, and in their successive strata of thought and life. And they too will form other characters for eternity, until the influence of my existence shall be diffused through all future generations of the world, and through all that shall be future to a certain point in the world to come. As a little silvery, circular ripple, set in motion by the falling pebble, expands from its inch of radius to the whole compass of the pool, so there is not a child, not an infant Moses, placed, however softly in his bulrush ark upon the sea of time, whose existence does not stir a ripple, gyrating outward and on until it shall have moved across and spanned the whole ocean of God's eternity, stirring even the river of life, and the fountains at which his angels drink.
CHRISTIAN FAITH AND LOVE.
BY THE REV. R. E. B. MACLELLAN,
YE in the pilgrimage of life
Who seldom from the path have swerved;
With faith and love who searches round,
To purify the heart that bleeds.
HE, who from first we trod the earth
From Love's own throne that doom is given;
A way, through pangs, that leads to Heaven.
Yes! all events of ages gone
And all of ages yet unborn,
The advent of that glorious morn;
FOR EVER, AND FOR ALL ABOUND!
The Day and Sunday Primer for the use of little Children, being an
introduction to "The Day and Sunday Reader."
Bailey. London, Shepherd and Sutton.
The First Book for Sunday Schools. New Series.
Vidler. London, John Chapman; Manchester, J. Wood. The Sunday School Penny Magazine. Edited by Travers Madge. Vol. I. London, J. Chapman; Manchester, J. Hibbert.
EDUCATION Should be a blessing, but it may be perverted into its opposite. It should open and expand the faculties, it may contract and stunt them. It should correspond with its import, the drawing forth and development of the whole human nature, it may shut up and dwarf both heart and mind. It should be truthful, free, affectionate, it may be false, slavish, tyrannical. It is a work requiring faithfulness, patience, knowledge, perseverance, hope, love, it is often engaged in by the irritable, morose, ignorant, unconscientious, bigotted. It should be untrammelled, national, uni
versal, it has too commonly been exclusive, sectarian, class directed. Efforts have from time to time been made to give it free course, but these have been checked and thwarted by party and priestcraft. That England, in the 19th century, should still contain within her borders an uneducated population, is matter both of wonder and disgrace, but the melancholy fact is beyond gainsaying.
The Sunday School was an attempt to breast the evil of popular ignorance. Little in pretension, it has effected mighty things. Thousands upon thousands have received no other elementary instruction, save that its lessons have imparted, in the few brief hours devoted to this labour of love. Yet have these lessons proved indelible, animating to godly life and conversation, and inciting the pupil to faithful discharge of duty. Many have risen to eminence in worldly station through the teachings received beneath the humble roof in which the Sunday School has been congregated; and others have attained to higher eminence still, in becoming indefatigable labourers for the mental and moral well-being of their fellow creatures. The Rev. Theophilus Lindsey led the work of Sunday School instruction at Catterick, in Yorkshire, in 1764, and was imitated in this benevolent deed by Miss Harrison, (afterwards Mrs Cappe,) at Bedale in the same county, speedily thereafter. At High Wycombe, in Buckinghamshire, Miss Hannah Ball in 1769, put forth kindred effort. In 1775 Mr James Heys of Little Lever, Bolton, Lancashire; in 1777 the Rev Thomas Stack of Ashbury, Faringdon, Berkshire; in 1778 the Rev. D. Simpson, M.A., Macclesfield, Cheshire; about the same period Mr. William King of Dursley, Gloucestershire; in 1780 Messrs Stock and Raikes of St. John's, Gloucester, and in 1781 Robert Raikes of St. Mary de Crypt, Gloucester, nearly all probably unknown to the other, and all prompted by Christian benevolence, engaged in this labour. Through the energy and influence of the last named individual, an impulse was given to the work which has not stopped, which cannot stop. Happy had it been for Society had wisdom always accompanied benevolence, and the great purposes of Education not been perverted by fanaticism and cant, irrationality and error. Happier still had Society wakened up to its duty in this particular, and fulfilled its first and paramount obligation by providing an efficient secular education, day by day, for all the children of the realm. Then would the Sunday School have now been dedicated to
its more appropriate work, the evolvement of the moral and ́ spiritual affections, and their consecration to the high and holy purposes of the Christian life.
It was not to be expected that all the agencies in Sunday School education would be equally rational, or that all the books prepared for the children would be equally meritorious. If there be persons who imagine that any books may do for children, or that the preparation of appropriate works is an easy task, they are woefully mistaken. As there are few things more difficult so there are few things more important. Willing to make allowances, we were yet not prepared for the insufferable folly and insolent bigotry manifested in sending forth the following sentences" for the use of little children."
"Our God is one God. God has a Son; He did call him God. Is the Son a less God? He is not a less God. He is the God of all men.' "" "The Son of Man is the way to God, for he is God. He is, and was, and is to be the God of all. Bad men say, The Son of God is not God; but all are bad men who say so."
"He was made man for you. And while he was in this our world, he did some great works, that all men might know and see that he was God, by the good works which he did on earth.”
It is high time the Schoolmaster was abroad with different books from this, more truthful, more charitable, more just, more Christian.
With pleasure we turn to one of this description, and welcome the excellent and indefatigable Secretary of "the Sunday School Association" in this additional evidence of his untiring zeal. This "First Book for Sunday Schools" is a great improvement on the one published formerly by the Association. The lessons are well adapted to interest and instruct the minds of "little children;" the subjects are well selected, they will elevate not debase the thoughts, they will excite love not aversion. We agree with the Author that "there are strong objections against the common mode of making the first lessons exclusively passages from Scripture.” and "that there is danger of the children becoming weary of such passages, and missing, in the effort to acquire the words, the truth which may be taught." The publication by "the Sunday School Association" of such works as this, will entitle it to increased support.
With "The Sunday School Penny Magazine," we have been much pleased. Its successive numbers we have perused with interest. We earnestly recommend it. Its tone and spirit are truly Christian. The name of its Editor is a