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diabolical mysteries; and Frederic II. Elector Palatine, ordered Trithemius's original work, which was in his library, to be publicly burned.
Captain Silas Taylor says, that in the days of yore, when a church was to be built, they watched and prayed on the vigil of the dedication, and took that part of the horizon where the sun arose for the east, which makes that variation, so that few stand true except those built between the equinoxes.—From a MS. of Aubrey's in the Ashmole Library, Oxon.
HELPS FROM FELLOW-LABOURERS.--No. VII.
THE HEBREW MOURNER.
By the late Rev. J. W. Eastburn, of New York. Why trembling and sad dost thou stand there and mourn, Son of Israel, the days that can never return? And why do those tear-drops of misery fall On the mouldering ruin, the perishing wall?
Was yon city in robes of the heathen now clad,
No longer the tear for yon city shall flow,
The Prince whom ye pierc'd, and nail'd to the tree,
From the Investigator.
OBSERVATIONS ON YOUTH, AND THEIR DAN-
When I behold a genius bright, and base,
INFIDELITY, Sir, is endeavouring to spread its desolations over Britain, and poison all the springs of moral health, from the Tweed to the Land's End. It has liberty upon its tongue, and bondage in its heart: reason is its watch-word, and madness its design: and, therefore, wherever it succeeds in effecting its nefarious purpose, God is dishonoured, the soul of man debased, time abused, eternity forgotten, life undone, and death armed with ten thousand stings. YOUTH are peculiarly exposed to the subtlety of scepticism, from their inexperience, and ignorance of the world: and a young man is an object of too much interest and importance, to be neglected in the formation of his principles. He has excited many an anxious thought, and many a tender feeling in the parental bosom : his infancy was watched with the kindest solicitude for his happiness, and his subsequent paths were followed step by step, with the blessings of his friends. He has now passed the days of his childhood, arrived at the age of responsibility for his own deeds, and stands in the midst of perils. Unacquainted with the deceptions of the human heart, a stranger to the wiles of the tempter, and naturally averse to restraint upon his inclinations, he is dangerously circumstanced.
With passions ardent, and his judgment comparatively weak, he takes appearances for realities, and hollow professions of esteem for the sincerity of friendship.
If he should be caressed, applauded, and sought for as the life of the circle in which he moves;-if he possesses a ready wit, an easy flow of language, an acknowledged benevolence of disposition, and an elegant deportment, his dangers may be increased by the allurements of seduction; and his accomplishments prove his ruin.
The eyes of his kindred are fixed intensely upon him, and with many a palpitation of heart, they watch the developement of his principles, the objects of his taste, and the formation of his character:- they know that an error now may blast all their fondest hopes, and plunge the young man into irretrievable disgrace. The bonds of moral obligation, therefore, ought to be deeply impressed upon his mind, with all their weighty sanctions. But, if the youth should be caught in the snares of infidelity, and madly reject the Bible, as a system of absurdity, or priestly imposition, his case becomes unspeakably distressing :—launched as he is, upon a perilous sea, without compass, pilot, or chart, to direct him in his voyage,-who, or what, can rescue him from the waves of desolation?
Besides, Mr. Editor, here is the danger,-scepticism will accommodate itself to all his ungovernable passions, foster his vanity, and swell his heart with self-conceit.
With a smattering of philosophy upon his tongue, he will confidently reject a volume that NEWTON studied with the utmost reverence, as the word of God.
With high pretensions to rationality, he will condemn that sacred page, which LOCKE declared, ' has GOD for its author, salvation for its end, and truth, without the least mixture of error, for its matter.'
With the mere rudiments of his mother's language, he will decide upon the merits of a Book, as unworthy of his credence or attention, when that very Book, has had the most cordial and affectionate reception of the profoundest linguists.
Folly is confident where modesty hesitates, and ig
norance advances where prudence makes a pause; and when a young man becomes a sceptic, he casts off the brightest ornaments of a juvenile mind, and loses his proper safe guards from destruction.
First appetite enlists him truth's sworn foe,
But, I would still urge our youth to consider the consequences of irreligion; to weigh the evidences on which the inspired volume stands supported; to examine its moral influence upon the human heart; and to contrast the deaths of infidels with the last moments of those persons, who have possessed a spirit of faith in scripture promises; as he drew near the grave, Hobbes, the celebrated sceptic, was constrained to acknowledge, that he was about to take a leap in the dark.' Voltaire died in the most dreadful state of horror: and Gibbon declared, all was dark and doubtful.' It would be easy to swell the list to a great multitude, whose frighted spirits hovered over the brink of eternity with awful consternation; but the task is irksome and unnecessary.
Let us therefore turn our eyes to brighter scenes, and behold the final exit of the righteous; Job could look with composure upon his return to the earth, and anticipate a glorious triumph over death and the grave. David walks through the valley that separates time from eternity, and fears no evil as he goes. Simeon departs in peace, according to the sacred word; and Paul stands on the verge of Jordan, with the most delightful persuasions of his acceptance and felicity on the other side. Time would fail to enumerate the thousands, and myriads, who have departed from this world in the joyful expectation of a better, and are now with God in glory.
Is the young man disposed to read? I would recommend him to peruse LELAND'S VIEW OF DEISTICAL WRITERS: there he will see their arguments candidly stated, and completely refuted; their whole fabric left without a basis, and themselves buried in its ruins. HERVEY'S REMARKS ON BOLINGBROKE'S
LETTERS ON THE STUDY AND USE OF HISTORY, deserve attention. The pious defender of sacred truth has completely stultified the objections of the noble lord, and properly chastized his temerity.
Paine's ribaldry, mis-named The Age of Reason,” has been dissected, and its futility exposed, by several writers. Simpson, in his PLEA FOR RELIGION, has separated the abuses of Christianity from its legitimate objects; and Thomson, on the DIVINE AUTHORITY of the Bible, has totally defeated his adversary, and poor Paine wreathes beneath his lash. In his HISTORY OF THE BIBLE, Stackhouse encounters every difficulty, and answers every objection to the hallowed pages of eternal truth.
To these, hosts might be added who have successfully defended our bulwarks from rapacious hands; therefore, it is my most ardent wish and fervent prayer for every youth-that he may
Learn, in God's own school, the Christian part,
I am your's, &c.
London, Feb. 1823.
LIST OF ABLE WORKS IN VINDICATION OF CHRISTIANITY.*
LARDNER'S Credibility of the Gospel HistoryMACKNIGHT's Ditto-Lord HAILES on the Influence of Gibbon's Five Causes FAWCETT'S Evidences of Christianity-BERKELEY'S Minute Philosopher— SOAME JENYN's Evidences of Christianity-WHITE'S Bampton Lectures-DODDRIDGE'S Evidences of Christianity-FELL's and HUNTER'S Lectures on DittoPORTEUS'S Sermons, vol. 1, sermon 12 and 13-Essay by Ditto on the Beneficial Effects of Christianity on the Temporal Concerns of Mankind-BEATTIE'S
* Some outlines of a few of these, with others, will appear in future numbers.