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similar situations. Fields no longer spread even a brown, dusty verdure between Islington and London. All is town now. Where the splendid mansion once stood, there is, indeed, a "genteel residence," with a pleasant garden, having the "New River" as one of its boundaries; but, with the exception of the old brick tower, once, perhaps, from the prospect it commanded, the most valued portion of the whole, Canonbury-House has disappeared. And the brick tower, perhaps because it is brick, has anything but a romantic appearance. An ivy-mantled, stone tower, in the country, looks well, even in its ruins: but a square, brick tower, unruined, in the midst of bricks and tiles, no green ivy, but well-blacked with smoke, looks better in the picture than in the reality. Still there is the power of association, and Canonbury tower, even in its degradation, has a real and deeply interesting history. Nay, even its latter days have not been altogether barren. In this tower, Ephraim Chambers, author of the "Cyclopædia" which still bears his name, and which was the forerunner of such a host, died, in 1740; while engaged in preparing a new edition for the press. John Newbery, Esq., of St. Paul's Churchyard, whose name was so well known to the children of half or three quarters of a century ago, for the golden-covered, pretty-pictured, fairytale books which he published for them, and in which department he stood supreme, had apartments; and under his protection there, was the poor, but richly-endowed, author of the sublime lines,
"At once above, beneath, around,
The name of Christopher Smart is thus connected with the memories of Canonbury tower. And here, too, occasionally resided one whose name will last till English literature is forgotten. Oliver Goldsmith had a room in the tower, and is said to have written one or two of his principal works in it. Only think of Oliver Goldsmith issuing forth from that darklooking place to carry to his publisher "The Vicar of Wakefield,” “The Deserted Village," or "The Traveller,” to see
what he could obtain for the manuscript! Even the decrepitude of Canonbury tower has not been an unhonoured
EXODUS XX. 24-26. “Altars of earth," &c.-The building of altars by the Patriarchs is frequently mentioned, but no particular account is given of their form or materials. From such incidental notices as do occur it is safe to infer, that the altars here enjoined are intended as a return to the patriarchal simplicity in such erections, and which had probably been forgotten in Egypt; and, at the same time, to keep up in the Hebrew mind a marked distinction between Jehovah and the gods of Egypt, while the forms of Egyptian idolatry were still fresh in recollection. These rude altars were adapted to inculcate the idea that elaborate and figured altars were not necessary in the sacrifices to Jehovah, as they were in those to most of the heathen gods, while they precluded the occasion for idolatry which such altars were likely to afford. The patriarchal altars could scarcely be more simple than those here directed to be built of earth, or of unhewn stones where earth could not well be obtained in the desert. The altar on which Jacob poured his offering of oil at Bethel was only the rude stone which had served for his pillow during the night. The injunction in the text against hewn stones, was most probably designed as a restriction operating to the exclusion of sculptured figures. How intimately altars were identified with the worship of the god to whom they were dedicated, will appear from the strict injunctions laid upon the Israelites to overthrow the altars of the lands they subdued; and also from the fact that, when they apostatized from their faith and worshipped Baal, they overthrew the altars of the Lord, and built others in their stead. The reason for the former injunction would appear to have been, not merely that such altars had been polluted by sacrifices to idols, but lest the people should be seduced to appropriate or imitate them, with the worship to which they were consecrated; and this, at times, they actually did. And that
when they turned away to new gods, they erected new, and doubtless, more adorned, altars, was probably not merely because a new god required a new altar, but because the simple altars of Jehovah then appeared to their corrupt minds as unsuitable for sacrifices as the adorned ones connected with idol-worship were declared by God himself to be unsuitable in sacrifices offered to him. The order against the use of iron tools has been variously interpreted. The most probable seems to be, that it was intended to render it impossible that the altars should have images sculptured on their surface.-Knight's Illustrated Commentary.
WESLEYAN CHRONOLOGICAL NOTICES.
1756. TUESDAY, August 26th. The thirteenth Wesleyan Conference, at which about fifty Preachers are present, commences its sittings at Bristol. The Rules of the Society, of the Bands, and of Kingswood-school are carefully reviewed, and some verbal alterations made in those of the Bands; a subscription on behalf of Kingswood-school is ordered to be begun in every place, and, if need be, a collection made every year; the necessity of "keeping in the Church" is largely considered, and the deliberations of the Conference close by a declaration on the part of Mr. Wesley and his brother of their purpose never to separate from the Church. August. The debt incurred by the Connexion in the erection of preaching-houses, amounts, at this period, to nearly four thousand pounds.
Thursday, September 9th. Mr. Wesley, in reviewing his financial affairs, observes, "It is now about eighteen years since I began writing and printing books; and how much, in that time, have I gained by printing? Why, on summing up my accounts, I found that on March 1st, 1756, the day I left London last, I had gained, by printing and preaching together, a debt of twelve hundred and thirty-six pounds."
Mr. Thomas Brown, a zealous Local Preacher, removing from Sunderland to Scarborough, is instrumental in the formation of the first Methodist society there. Having
procured a room in Whitehead's-lane, near the present Bethel chapel, he institutes, though in the midst of much persecution and insult, meetings for prayer and supplication; where, also, he occasionally preaches.
1756. September. Mr. Charles Wesley commences a tour of seven or eight weeks through the West Riding of Yorkshire, and some parts of Lancashire; confirming the several societies, and strongly urging them, "according to their original order, to attend the prayers and sacraments in their respective parish churches:" generally supposed to be the last effort of his itinerant ministry.
October 11th. Mr. Charles Wesley, having spent several days in Leeds, endeavouring to obviate the ill effects of the secession created by Mr. Edwards, holds, this evening, a watchnight there; in which he is assisted by Messrs. Whitefield and Grimshaw; the former of whom preaches on the occasion. On the following day, after testifying his warm approval of William Shent, by whose fidelity and discretion "the rest of the flock had been kept together," he leaves for Wakefield.
November 9th. Mr. Wesley, having procured the necessary apparatus, sets apart some hours in every week, and afterwards an hour in every day, for the gratuitous application of electricity. In the course of two or three years several thousands, most of whom are stated to have obtained benefit therefrom, avail themselves of the opportunity thus presented. Of these, "part are electrified in Southwark; part at the Foundery; others near St. Paul's; and the rest near the Seven-dials."
November. Mr. Wesley publishes his "Treatise on Baptism," in which he dispassionately inquires, "What is it? What benefits are received by it? Whether the Saviour designed it to remain always in his church? And who are the proper subjects of it?"
1757. Sunday, March 13th. Mr. Fletcher, subsequently the saintly Vicar of Madeley, having this day been ordained Priest at Whitehall, unites himself to Mr. Wesley as his fellow-labourer; assisting in the administration of the Lord's Supper at the West-street chapel. "How wonderful,"
observes Mr. Wesley, "are the ways of God! When my bodily strength failed, and none in England were able and willing to assist me, he sent me help from the mountains of Switzerland; and a help meet for me in every respect. Where could I have found such another?"
1757. Monday, May 9th. Mr. Wesley's first visit to Huddersfield is thus recorded:-"I rode over the mountains to Huddersfield. A wilder people I never saw in England. The men, women, and children filled the streets as we rode along, and appeared just ready to devour us. They were, however, tolerably quiet while I preached; only a few pieces of dirt were thrown, and the bellman came in the middle of the sermon, but was stopped by a gentleman of the town. I had almost done, when they began to ring the bells; so that it did us small disservice. How intolerable a thing is the Gospel of Christ to them that are resolved to serve the devil!" How changed in this day is the scene there!
Thursday, August 4th. The fourteenth Wesleyan Conference is held in the Foundery, London. "From the first hour to the last," observes Mr. Wesley, "there was no jarring string, but all was harmony and love." Mr. Alexander Mather, then a married man, enters the Itinerancy; when provision for the wife of a Methodist Preacher is for the first time made.
September 16th. Mr. Wesley, in further correspondence with Mr. Walker of Truro, as to the propriety of giving up his Societies to the care of the Clergyman in whose parishes they were found; after stating, that "so far from preventing a separation from the Church," a step of this kind "would be the direct way to cause it;" proceeds to inquire, "Have the King and Parliament a right to prescribe to me what Pastor I shall use? If they prescribe one which I know God never sent, am I obliged to receive him? If he be sent of God, can I receive him with a clear conscience till I know he is? And even when I do, if I believe my former Pastor is more profitable to my soul, can I leave him without sin? Or has any man living a right to require this of me?"