Page images
PDF
EPUB

in heaven the Almighty Father expending the whole of his wrath on the head of his Son; behold hell in concert with heaven, and heaven with earth.

Consider this death by the terrible signs which accompanied it, by the earth which was shaken, by the sun which was darkened; by the rocks which were rent, by the graves which opened, and by the dead who returned to light.

Collect all these traits, and still say that the death of Christ is the whole of them. The death of Jesus Christ is the substance of figures, the original of types, the reality of metaphors, the fulfilment of prophecies. The death of Jesus Christ is the general receptacle of the anger of the Almighty, where all the arrows of his justice were darted, and all the phials of his wrath poured on one single head. The death of Jesus Christ was the great event that darkened the sun, opened the tombs, rent the rocks, caused the earth to quake, and that overturned nature and the elements. You regret the world; you who should go to heaven. And what is heaven > It is the price of this death. He who spared not his Son, but delivered him up to death for our sakes, will he not give us all things with him? If the means are so great, what must be the end? If the preparations are so rich, what will be the issue? If the combat is so violent, what will be the victory? If the price is so inestimable, what, what will be the riches acquired by this price?

What do you regret? Do you regret palaces, sceptres, and crowns? A crook which you carry, a hut which shelters you? Do you regret a society whose failings and perfections are often an equal source of misery to you? Ah! phantom -of our desires, dost thou still appear before our eyes, and dost thou still hold out against the real blessings that the death of Jesus Christ has obtained for us?

Death is then not terrible to the christian. In the sepulchre of Jesus Christ are dissipated all the terrors which-were found in the tomb of nature. .In the tomb of nature I see an impenetrable darkness, in the sepulchre of Jesus Christ I behold light and life. In the tomb of nature I see the punishment of my sins; in the sepulchre of Jesus Christ I behold their atonement; I see in the tomb of nature the sorrowful destination of Adam, and his unhappy posterity—"dust thou art, and to dust thou shalt return," in the tomb of Christ I break forth in thanksgiving. Oh death, where is thy sting? Oh grave, where is thy victory? Thanks be to God who has given us the victory, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Attested by her Father, Mr. T. Hough.

ARTICLE III.

Translated by Master F. C. Spencer, aged 14,J,
Blackwall School, near Halifax.

Contemplate this death through the medium of the types which have prefigured it; in the shades which have delineated it; in the ceremonies which have represented it; and in the prophecies which have foretold it.

Contemplate this death, in the indignation and wrath which have been heaped upon the person of Jesus Christ. See his soul weighed down with sadness; his blood pouring upon the ground; the cup of bitterness of which your Saviour drank so deeply: hearken to the insults, the calumnies, the accusations, the unjust decrees; behold his feet and hands pierced with nails; his body almost covered with wounds; an infatuated mob burning with rage at his cross, and increasing the horror of his punishment: ascend even into heaven itself; behold the Almighty pouring upon the head of his Son all the phials of his anger; see hell in concert with heaven, and heaven with earth.

Contemplate this death in the dreadful signs that accompanied it; in the earth that trembled, in the sun that was darkened, in the stones that were rent asunder, in the graves that were opened, and in the dead that returned to light.

Collect all these traits, and you must still say that the death of Jesus Christ is seen in them. The death of Jesus Christ is the substance of the figures; the original typified; the reality of the shadows; the fulfilment of the prophecies. The death of Jesus Christ is the universal assemblage of the furies of the Almighty, where all the arrows of his justice have been darted against one single person, and all the phials of his wrath poured upon a single head. The death of Jesus Christ is the grand event which darkened the sun, opened the tombs, rent the stones asunder, made the earth to tremble, overthrew nature and the elements. You repine at the world. You who may go to heaven. And what is this heaven? It is the price of his death. He that spared not his own Son, but who delivered him for us to death, will he not with him give us all things? If the means are so great, what must be the end? If the preparations are so splendid, what will be the consummation? If the fight be so severe, what will be the victory? If the price is so inestimable, what, what will be the advantages acquired by that price?

For what do you repine? Will you repine for palaces, sceptres, and crowns? Will you regret the stall' which supports you, or the hut in which you live? Will you regret society, a society of which the defects or the perfections are often to you an equal source of misery? Ah! phantoms of our lust, will you appear still to our eyes, and withhold us yet longer from the real advantages which by the death of Jesus Christ we mav acquire?

Death has nothing dreadful to a christian. In the tomb of Jesus Christ are dispersed all the fears that are J found in the tomb of nature. In the tomb of nature I see a dark night through which I cannot penetrate; in the tomb of Jesus Christ I see light and life. In the tomb of nature I see the punishment of my offences; in the tomb of Jesus Christ I see my crimes expiated. In the tomb of nature I see the sad destination of Adam and his unfortunate descendants—" dust thou art, and to dust thou shalt return." In the tomb of Jesus Christ I break out in thanksgivings. O grave, where is thy victory? O death, where is thy sting' Thanks be to God who has given us the victory, through Jesus Christ

our Lord.

Attested by Mr. T. S. Swale, Master.

Other very good Translations were sent byMiss M. Hall, aged 14.£, Mare Street, Hackney.

Attested by Mrs. S. Bowring, Grove House, Hackney. Master W. Freme, aged 15, Townhead Academy, Rochdale.

Attested by Mr. H. Hermitage.
Master C. Metcalf, aged 15$, Wisbeach.

Attested by Mr. Suchard, and his Father.
Master H. Atkin, aged 14, Sheffield Academy,

Attested by Mr. Abraham.
Miss M. Groves, aged 15, Spalding Seminary,

Attested by her Governesses, Miss S. and I. Hebard.

Miss A. H. Holdsworth, aged 14|, Well Street, Hackney,

Attested by Mrs. Holdsworth.
Master T. F. Marillier, aged 13£, Homerlon,

Attested by Mr. F. Marillier, French Master.
Master R. Daking, aged 13£,

Attested by Mr. A. Danet.
Miss M. Graves, aged 14J-, Hackney.

Attested by Mrs. Batt, Governess. Master P. S. Templeton,aged 13, Shenfield Academy, near Brentwood, Essex,

Attested by Mr. S. Perry, Master, and Mr. B. Brown, Assistant. Miss A. Kemp, aged 14-J, Homerton,

Attested by Mrs. Batt,fioverness, Wirtemberg House.

ARTICLE IV.

Theme I. "On Superstition," by Miss Abigail Kemp, aged 14$, Homerton.

"When religion is considered in any point of view, it appears as an object worthy of our highest reverence and love, being inspired by the sentiments of gratitude to the Being to whom we owe every blessing, and on whom all our dependence is placed; but too often we find it disgraced by Superstition, which 'produces the greatest evils in abusing the greatest good.' To the truly religious, it would seem sufficient to contemplate the lowest works of the creation, in order to adore the Divine Architect who built the whole; but man, when guided only by the light he obtains from reason and nature, being unable to comprehend his perfections, blindly substitutes the phantoms of his imagination in the place of his Maker, and bestows the worship due to the true God on the idols which himself has framed. So little is he capable of entertaining any just ideas of the nature of the Deity without a revelation from him, that we find all those nations that are not thus favoured, sink in the grossest superstitions. Mere unassisted reason cannot pierce the obscurity with which Jehovah is shrouded, but loses itself amid the mazes of ignorance and error. Nature assures us of the existence of a superintending Providence, who has created all things, but she can go no further; his perfections surpass her understanding; she is dazzled by the effulgence of his power and glory, and lost in the contemplation of his goodness. The Creator, being thus superior to the utmost stretch of man's understanding, he invented divinities more suited to the narrow limits of his capacity. The worship of the sun and the moon seems to be a natural beginning of idolatry, for when the almighty Maker is once lost sight of, they may easily be mistaken for the rulers of the world they animate and enlighten; mortals and animals have been adored, and we read that even plants were deified by the Egyptians. Thus, while men superstitiously venerated his works, they forgot the omnipotent Being who produced them, and ' worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator who is blessed for ever.' The sacrifices that are sometimes offered to these imaginary deities, make us shudder even at the thoughts of them. The hideous sight of parents devoting their children, and even themselves, to destruction, to propitiate an idol, inspires us with detestation for a religion, the rites of which are so horrible. History records but too many instances of the melancholy effects of Superstition; but, perhaps, there are none more shocking than that related of the Carthaginians, who being once alarmed at the successes or

« PreviousContinue »