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mercy towards some of the noblest and streaming with blood; while it has been most useful of the irrational creatures? apparent, from the distended nostril, from Are they promotive of the best interests the tension of every muscle, from the of the hman race? Do they accord with veins almost ready to burst, from the the principles of sound morality? Do tremendous effort made, and the utter they, above all, harmonize with the dic- exhaustion experienced, that a little, and, tates and requirements of Christianity ? in many instances, a very little more exerNo, my friend—! Such pleasures op- tion would have been sufficient to occapose all that is dear to the virtuous, the sion death. Horse-racing, George, say humane, and the excellent of the earth! what you please, is cruel, most cruel; and You have told me of your pleasures on on this ground I object to it. Epsom race-course. Were I to go there, “ I am opposed also to races in conseI should speak of my miseries. Indeed, quence of the evils which are inseparably I should be perfectly wretched. I grant connected with them. I say inseparably you—for I have, in former years, visited connected, and not merely occasional or the race-ground—I grant you that, ex- incidental. Evils which I am persuaded ternally, there is much that is imposing, are growing, glaring, prodigious. Look brilliant, and exciting. I grant you, that at the expense which is incurred by those to a person with tastes and views like who regularly attend the race-course, yours, few spectacles can be more splendid and thousands do this; or by those who and spirit-stirring than those witnessed are connected, in a sporting and pecuniary at Epsom, or Doncaster, on a Derby sense, with various races, what sums of or a St. Leger day; still, they are not money are squandered, and worse than scenes with which I am anxious to be thrown away! The Derby stakes require familiar; and, certainly, I am not desi- every subscriber to pay 50 sovereigns, rous that the noble, the beautiful, the and often there are 180 subscribers. The accomplished, and the youthful of our sum therefore contested for is nine thourace, should be conversant with them. I sand pounds. This immense sum, in my am persuaded that they are undesirable opinion, is foolishly and criminally apmost undesirable ;—that they are impro- plied. Besides, think of the tens of per-most improper;—that they are per- thousands squandered in one day at nicious—most pernicious ;- in a word, Epsom. Is this no evil? that, morally and in a Christian sense, “ Observe the loss of valuable time they are destructive-most destructive ! which is sustained. You may not deem
"I object, most decidedly object, to the it so, George; but I do. Home leftrace-course, in respect of the noble ani- the shop neglected—business deserted— mals themselves which run. It is granted, and for what purpose ? Is this no evil ? that they have been long and early “Mark the gambling which is practised trained to run; but what have not many
on the race-course. This is identified of them endured before they attained with it, and you cannot prevent it. With their present eminence on the race- any modification, it would be maintained. ground ? It is readily allowed that many At present the gambling transactions are of them are perfect specimens of sym- fearful. Is this no evil? metry, elegance, and beauty; why, then, “Dwell on the drunkenness and dissipasuffer them to be injured, or to be treated | tion of the race-course. Races and inas we have known many of them to be, temperance-races and dissipation-are with reckless and wanton cruelty? It is inseparable. I have seen more drunkenoften said, that the racehorse does not ness at races and fairs, George, than at suffer at all on the course.
Is this a
any other places of public resort. Enfact? Is it not palpably a falsehood? Icourage races, and you encourage the have seen the noblest and finest animals curse, the pest of Britain,-intemperance. coming in with their sides and flanks “The prostitution attendant on the race.
course is proverbial. Scenes of impurity evening, was thrown from the box of the are associated with all races, and espe- carriage on which he had been seated, cially with races of the greatest notoriety, by a collision of vehicles, near Kenningof so foul and awful a character, that the ton Cross. A concussion of the brain mind of a chaste and virtuous person can was the result, which involved him in scarcely recur to them at all.
great danger for some period; and it is “ Besides, on the race-ground what a believed that he can never perfectly reharvest do thieves and pick-pockets reap! cover. When William heard of the acciThe Derby, or the St. Leger day, is their dent he thanked God that his principles gala day. Probably millions of pounds bad kept him from the Epsom races. have been stolen, during a succession of And now, dear readers, we hope you years, on the race-course. Is this no are not fond of the race-course; indeed, evil ?
we hope you are determinately opposed “Moreover, George, I must tell you to it. Races are among the most undeplainly the tendency of the race-course is sirable, expensive, pernicious, and debad, radically bad, arrange it as you structive pleasures of the nation, ruining please ; modify it as you please; purify thousands of souls annually. it as you please ; still it must do harm, Parents, we beseech you, with intense and serious harm. It must injure the fervonr, keep your children from the racemind and vitiate the character. A love course. Let them go to it, and they may of dress—a love of drink-a love of be undone for ever. gambling-a love of dissipation-a love Young men, young women, throughout of sin has been acquired on the race England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales, course—which has at once beggared and abstain from visiting the race-ground. ruined both the body and the soul. I We conjure you, as you value your chahave known many, George, who have racter, your happiness, your respectability, commenced a course of iniquity by fre- your safety, to keep always away. quenting the race-ground. The evil, I Professors of religion, you dare not, am persuaded, is most serious in its in- you cannot, visit the race-course. You fluence on servants, apprentices, and young would not be seen at Epsom, Doncaster, men. I see, George, everything in races, Ascot, or Goodwood, would you, on a under any modifications, to induce me to race day? Impossible, if you have any keep away, and I hope I always shall. principle of Christianity at all; anything Do not ask me, therefore, to visit Epsom. of the fear of God at all; under the inI wish I could prevail on you to stop Auence of the love of Christ at all! And away."
yet the admonition may be necessary to “ That you never will, my friend, after some even among professors, “Go net all your tirade against the race-course. near the race.ground." I know you mean well; but I see you How mournful to dwell on the mulhave turned Methodist, and, therefore, I titudes that visited Epsom on the Derby. have no hope of convincing you." Be- day, on Wednesday, May 19th, 1847. sides," taking out his watch, “it is get- From eight o'clock in the morning until ting late, and I would not be behind for half-past two in the afternoon, twenty-four a good deal of money. Farewell, Wil- trains, of immense length, with nearly liam; and I suppose I must not ask you one hundred thousand passengers, left the to go to Epsom again. We shall have a terminus at London-bridge for Epsom. merry day!" and away he dashed out of The crowd was so great, during a great the apartment as hastily as he had portion of the time, that many persons entered.
were severely injured. One man was Sad to relate, this gay and dissipated forced, by the pressure of the mob, over young man, full of life and spirits, on the balustrade of the arch where the returning from the race-course in the second and third-class passengers were
waiting to be admitted, and received and the noise and uproar beyond any several frightful injuries. Many females description of the pen. These are facts, received such injury from the pressure readers, and some of the facts of May, of the crowd wanting to go, that they 1847. Thank God, Christians, that you fainted away and were trampled upon. avoid and abominate the races. They were extricated with considerable P.S. Since writing this paper, the audifficulty, and borne, in a state of insen- tlor bas just heard of a respectable sibility, to the station. One gentleman man at the west-end of London, with a lost his pocket-book, with a 301. Bank of numerous family dependent on him, who England note. Others lost their purses committed suicide, in consequence of the and contents. The scene, from eight heavy pecuniary losses which he sustained o'clock until two, was almost indescrib- by speculating on the Derby-day in May able. The shrieks of the females,-and 1847. This, we fear, is not a solitary numbers of them young, delicate, and case. Suicides, in connection with races, accomplished, were absolutely terrific, are proverbial.
THE BIBLE ITS OWN INTERPRETE R.
BY PROFESSOR HENRY D. TAPPAN, D.D., NEW YORK. The Bible is the voice of our Father | philosophy and science have ever stood in heaven, speaking to us his ignorant abashed. The highest cultivation of the and sinful children. He speaks to us intellect and the taste still leaves the that he may enlighten and correct us ; heart corrupt; and the most glorious and that he may make us wise and good like ripened knowledge of the visible and bimself. It is to be presumed that he temporal, contains no adequate data of speaks in a way adapted to our ignorance the invisible and the eternal. The high and our wants; that he speaks so that hope, the illimitable destiny, the final we may understand him, and of things well-being of men, lie in these solemn which it behoves us most of all to know. and sublime problems, but he does not
Now, we do not find in this Bible a find the solution within himself, nor in system of science or of art, by which the the mechanism of the world around him. efforts of the human mind are anticipated It is on these great questions that God and rendered unnecessary. These have speaks to him. He will not leave his been left to our own thought and skill to poor child in darkness; He will not work out, and slowly to ripen from age abandon him to the power of evil. to age. He has presented us the objects In accordance with his benevolent purof science, and the materials of art in the pose, the language which he employs, is universe around us; and he has planted the familiar language in use between deep within our minds the elements of man and man. And while he employed truth, and the principles of investigation men as the instruments of his revelaand reasoning; and here he has left us. tion, and so inspired them that they
But there were truths and interests too should communicate the truth adequately high and momentous to be given up to and without any admixture of error, he the slow development of ages, even if the still permitted them to speak both achuman mind of itself could have grasped cording to their vernacular idiom, and them. But there were truths and interests their individual peculiarities of style, and which the human mind of itself could not according to the usages of language genereach, or in a degree very limited and rally, in respect to illustrations, figures, insufficient. Redemption from sin and and graces of speech. all its attending and consequential evils, With the exception of prophecies reand the state of man after death, are the lating to remote events, where the import two great problems before which all mere is designedly and for obviously wise reasons concealed under mysterious symbols and before swine; but put them often in a imagery, the sacred writings are so writ- form which was calculated to test the ten as to be easily understood by those sincerity and earnestness of his auditors : to whom they are addressed. Moses if they sought for the explanation, they wrote under the Divine inspiration and obtained it; and then, when it was obdirection, for the information and in- tained, the truth appeared the more vivid struction of his countrymen, in the ver- under this form of representation. When nacular idiom. There is no doubt that Christ preached on the hills, in the plains, he meant to be understood, and that he and in the streets of Judea, none could was understood. The book of Job was fail to know and comprehend, who would an intelligible book to the readers of his attentively and candidly hear, earnestly age. All the sacred historians evidently inquire, and devoutly meditate; and so wrote on the same principles, and were, at the present time, none can fail to at least, as well understood by their know and comprehend these simple, countrymen, as the historians of other weighty, and beautiful discourses, who nations are by their countrymen. The read them earnestly and thoroughly, and Psalms, and the devotional parts of the with an humble and childlike spirit. Bible, generally, were intended, like all The discourses of the apostles, as redevotional books, for popular use and corded in the book of the Acts, are of edification ; and furnished to the devo- the same simple, direct, and earnest chational heart apt, natural, and beautiful racter. It is plain that they meant to expressions.
give instruction ; that they meant, if Those predictions which related to possible, to satisfy the understanding of events near at hand, such as the predic- their hearers. Hence, when they adtion delivered to Hezekiah respecting his dress their countrymen, the Jews, they death, and the predictions of Jeremiah borrow illustrations and authorities from concerning the captivity, were delivered the Old Testament; and when they adin plain and direct language. The same dress the Greeks, they quote admired is true of the New Testament. The dis- passages from their own poets. The courses of Christ were at first delivered apostolical epistles were addressed to the openly to the people and to his disciples, churches, and undeniably from the whole plainly with the intent to instruct them. style and manner, and from the general And it cannot be questioned that all who character of the salutations with which heard him with a right spirit, like Mary they open, as well as from express charges sitting at his fecl, were instructed. There to this effect, were intended to be read was no man that ever spoke like this openly for the instruction of all the man, whether we consider the wisdom members. It does not appear from any or the plainness, the sincerity or the au- thing contained in these epistles, that thority with which he spoke. It is true, any system of philosophy, or deep eruindeed, that he sometimes spake in pa- dition of any kind, was necessary in rables which seemed to require an ex- order to understand and profit by them; planation. But that nothing was intended addressed to the people, they seem boto be concealed is evident from the fact nestly intended for the instruction of the that the explanation was given to the people. Indeed, the chief writer of these disciples as soon as requested by them, epistles, although himself a man of learn. and now stands upon the pages of the ing, is very explicit in representing their gospel, a perpetual record. Nor is there “calling" as not effected through the any reason for believing that it would wisdom or eloquence of this world. It not with equal readiness have been af- was instruction given in simplicity and forded to any other sincere inquirers faithfulness to the ordinary human mind; from among the multitude. Christ did not it was instruction designed not particachoose to cast his instructions like pearls | larly for the select classes,—the noble, the wise, the philosophical; but for the simple and massive as the pyramids, are masses, and for the select classes, only even more enduring, because founded as merged in the masses. Throughout on universal principles and addressed to the whole course of this Divine instruc- the common mind and heart of man. tiov, from the preaching of Christ on- But a just and impartial criticism must wards, it was a gospel preached to the award this merit, in a supereminent depoor; it was, like the light of the sun gree, to the sacred writings. Even in and the ambient atmosphere, a universal that most remote patriarchal age we feel at gift.- for there was a universal want. home. The beautiful pictures of the form There is, however, one aid announced, of that early life of man are fresh with the an essential and indispensable aid to the colours of nature and of truth; we unright understanding and reception of the derstand and are impressed by the chaDivine gift, and that is, the Divine Spirit racters; our hearts respond to the sentihimself in his illuminating and regene- ments. The same holds true of all the rating power; but it is an aid held out descriptions, and the histories and biofreely and sincerely to all, as freely as graphies of this precious volume—they our daily bread, and as sincerely as the belong to the human race. Nor do the proffer of this bread made by the parental strictly didactic parts fall short in this hand.
characteristic of universality. Indeed, The Bible is, therefore, as we have it is the more admirable here; for it is said, the voice of our Father in heaven in this species of writing that human wit speaking to us bis ignorant and sinful has most signally failed. Many of ihe children, and speaking in the most apt most illustrious philosophers were wont way to meet our condition, and to bring to affect obscurity in their writings, as if us back to himself. The prodigal son the wisdom which they professed to make understood the voice of his father when known were too august to be presented he received him and forgave him, and to men without a veiled countenance. rejoiced that the lost one was found Even Plato and Aristotle are often obagain; and cannot we understand the scure to their most enraptured disciples. heavenly voice? He who made the hu- Scholasticism delighted to pile mountains man mind must perfectly comprehend all of subtleties upon the green fields of its capacities, and be able to trace and truth, as if it were better to be amazed estimate its nicest movements! He who than to be fed. The fathers took their gave the power of language, must be familiar walks amid the labyrinths of capable of using language with the ut- multiform philosophies. But the Bible most skill and effect, for all the ends of conveys the most momentous truths in language,-for teaching and persuading. language so simple and under illustraThe Bible, therefore, is to be received as tions so striking, that the reader of every the best book, not only in respect to the nation and of every age recognizes its facts and doctrines which it contains, but import, and seems to be in intimate conalso in respect to the style of its compo- verse with a kind and venerable wisdom, sition, as designed to set forth clearly and teaching him as earnestly and approprifully these facts and doctrines.
ately as if he were the only listener, and One thing is not to be forgotten here, the only object of his benedictions. And and that is, that the Bible, while written this suggests to us the remark, that the so as to be intelligible to those to whom Bible in its universality is still individual. it was first addressed, is written, also, so It speaks to all by speaking to each as to be intelligible to men of all ages and nations. This is, indeed, the cha- Hence, it is not required that any inracteristic of all those great works in terpreter of hidden mysteries should come literature which stand as everlasting between the human being and his God; inonaments of Truth and Beauty, which, just as no mediator is required in the