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T1JE BIBLE THE SOUL'S TREASURE.
Perhaps no age of the world has so abounded with religious publications as the present: this wears a favourable appearance. The hearty reception and eager reading of these writings is still more pleasing; and the happy effects which they produce, under the influences of the Spirit of God, afford great cause of thankfulness.' These means of information, however, are but as so many rivulets or channels from the fountain of Truth, which is the Bible. Here all the heirs of glory, however widely situated, variously circumstanced, and differentlyemployed, may find suitable instruction, ample supplies of information, divine support, and solid comfort in every case! Here the seeking soul, the babe in Christ, little children in divine knowledge, young men in grace, and fathers in evangelical experience apply, and apply successfully, for the relief which their separate cases require.
The parent and offspring, the husband and wife, the master and servant, are all furnished here with directions suited to their relative stations; and with ability to perform their respective duties: so also the excursive Missionary, the stated pastor, and Christians of every order, all find support, furniture, armour, and provisions, with every necessary qualification for their 3everal spheres of action from this fountain of eternal Truth! O, my soul, make this the man of thy counsel! Here is saving wisdom, spiritual life, sacred joy, and heavenly delight! Am I in a state of darkness? The entrance of this word giveth light; and becomes a light to my path, and a. lamp to my feet! Am I doubting the kindness and faithfulness of God towards me?
"His kindest thoughts are here exprest,
Am I in want? Here are treasures of blessings; yea, durable riches and eternal honours! Am I lamenting my barrenness? Here is the word of life, which quickens the powers of the 60ul, and calls forth the graces of the Spirit into lively exercise! Am I in affliction? Here is suitable and seasonable relief, and comfort promised and applied! Am 1 in a desurt land, or on a trackless ocean, and at a loss to know the way of duty and safety? Here i« a sacred directory, a compass, a chart; yea, a voice behind me saying, " This is the way, walk ye iu it." And whatever distress or suffering 1 may endure,
This word can bring a sweet relief for every pain I feel!"
Perhaps some reader will say, " What is said is true; but we want the blessings Expressed and promised in the word applied, so that they may be sensibly felt and savingly enjoyed." Very right. "But all the promises are yea and ctmcn in Christ;" and may be taken in the hand or' Faith, and presented at the throne of grace, where Chiist is always in the office ready to receive the request; and to prove the faithfulness of Cod to his word, by communicating out ot l.is fulness such blessings, that our wants are supplied, our woes relieved, our griefs redressed, and strength, vigour, joy, and pleasure are sweetly felt; and the late weary traveller now goes " on his way rejoicing," in expectation of a. large inheritance in the upper world of glory I Piiiscoe* Stratford.
ON THE SLAVE TRADE.
Sir, To the Editor.
Permit me to request the attention of yonr readers to-a subject which involves the happiness of many of the human race,- and which canpot, therefore, be foreign to the purpose -of a work so uniformly characterized by benevolence, as is the vMaga: •. • which you conduct.
I. siv.ll Le understood to allude to an important question, on which the expectations of the public have been unexpectedly .disappointed by a recent decision. I do not mean to enter upon the question of the lawfulness or expediency of traflicking in the persons of our fellow-creatures, as those who have ai»y . sense of religion, and who respect moral obligation, arc agreed that robbery and murder cannot be made lawful; and that nothing that is unjust can be expedient. I only w ish to propose to persons of all religious denominations, especially to Protestant Dissenters, and such members of the Established Church as have their places of worship at their own coimnutid, to hear a public testimony against this iniquitous trade, by keeping day'of humiliation and praver on account of this national crime; and riot merely "to aftiict their souls for a •clay *'," but to evidence, the sincerity of their prayers by promoting petitions to the legislature, from all parts of the kingdom, riir the immediate abolition of the Slave Trade; and by resolving not to use any commodity which is the price of •blood. The latter resolution, if generally adopted, would be, :1 believe, the mo«t certain means of annihilating the Slave 'Trade; of immediately ameliorating the condition of the .slaves; and, probabiy, of eventually procuring their einanei.pation.
To connect the use of means with our prayers, to endeavour "to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo tiie heavy, burdens,
, • Fide Beza's translation, and the margifcal rending of the coir.moii
■tiiinshition ot' i-.iiah lviii. 5. 1
and to Jet the oppressed go free," will be to keep " such a fast us the Lord hath chosen."
Many persons among us are, with great zeal, endeavouring to guard our youth from temptations to evil, and to persuade their parents to avoid too great a conformity to the world in its pleasures; for the co-operation of those who are so zealous for whatever things appear to them to he pure, lovely, and of good report, we look with confidence. Were they to withhold their testimony against a practice, the immorality of .which is doubted by no one who is not interested in the support of it, would they not be in danger of being asked by those who consider the points at issue (as to the lawfulness of certain amusements) as matters of indifference, Whether they are so fully occupied in tithing mint, anise, and cummin, as lo occasion their omiuimr the weightier matters of the law, justice, and mercy .' «.
That your readers may all enter into the spirit of your excellent remarks in the last Number, and while they pray, both in public and private, for their native country, endeavour to purify their own hands, and the hands of their countrymen, from blood; thus endeavouring to remove sin, which is a reproach to any people,— and to promote that righteousness, which exalteth a nation, is the ardent wish of your constant reader,
THE CHRISTIAN PHILOSOPHER.
ON THE MOON.
Next to the sun, the moon is the most remarkable of the celestial objects. In its form, it is not like the earth, flattened at the pole; but it is a perfect sphere. It revolves round the earth at the distance of 240,000 miles, in an elliptical or oval orbit; and with it is carried round the sun. As the moon turns Tound her axis only once while making one revolution round the earth, she always keeps nearly the same side towards the earth; but as her motion in her orbit is not exactly uniform, ve sec something more than one side. In the swiftest part of lier revolution, her face is turned from the earth a little more than her rotation on her axis turns it the contrary way; in the slower parts of her revolution the reverse will happen. As the axis of the moon, like that of the earth, is always parallel to ,it«elf, or directed to the same star in all situations, it will sometimes incline from the earth, and sometimes towards it; in consequence of which we see more orlc -s, at different times, of tho^e pai ts of the moon whic h lie about each of her poles. This motion is called her Librution in Latitude, as the former is denominated her Libration in Lunaitude. The time in which this planet performs her revolution round the earth, is twent}'seven days, seven hours, and forty-three minutes •f.
It is evident that the spots on the moon are mountains, from their Casting a shadow in the direction opposite to the sun. The height of some of these mountains has heen found, by observation, to be '2.5,000 feet in perpendicular altitude; which is greater than any of those on the earth. Several of these mountains appear to be volcanoes. It has been a general opinion, that the moon has no atmosphere; but the latest discoveries seem rather to favour the idea. The continual change of figure to which the moon is subject, depends upon her relative situation to the earth and the sun. That side of the moon which is towards the sun, will be enlightened. When we see the whole of the enlightened side, it appears in the full. In order to this, the earth must be between the sun and the moon. When the enlightened side is wholly turned from us, she is invisible; being then between the earth and the sun : — in this case, the moon is said to be in conjunction with the sun; in the former, in opposition. As the moon advances in her orbit, after being in conjunction, a small part of the enlightened side is seen, and we have a new moon ; and we continue to see more and more of the enlightened side as the moon approaches a state of opposition. The waning of the moon takes place in the same manner, but in a contrary order. These changes of the moon may be easily illustrated by an ivory hall, which, being held in various positions near a candle, will present a greater or less portion of its illuminated hemisphere to the view of the observer; appearing, like the moon, homed, full, and gibbous.
The attraction of the sun and moon produces the tides. When the sun and moon are in conjunction, or in opposition, they act together, and occasion spring tides: when the moon is in her tirst or third quarter, they counteract each other's attraction, and neap-tides are experienced. If the orbit of the moon were in the same plane with that of the earth, whenever the moon was between the earth and the sun, or in conjunction, the sun's light would be interrupted, and an eclipse of the sun take place; and whenever the earth was between the sun and the moon, or in opposition, the moon would come within the earth's shadow, and be eclipsed: but as the plane of the moon's orbit makes an angle with that of the earth of five degrees, she is sometimes north, and at others south, of the earth's orbit; so
+ "The time in which this planet performs the complete revolution of her own orbit, is twenty-seven days, seven hours, forty-three minutes, eleven seconds and a half; but as, during this period, the earth lias advanced through a consideiable portion of l.er animal course, the moon must make more than a complete revolution, in order to finish a lunation, or arrive at the same posi'ion, in relation to ihe sun and earth. This period is the »y nodical cr chronological month; and consiMs ut twenty .nine days, twelve hours, forty-foui minutes, and three seconds."
tbat if the time of the opposition or conjunction does not happen at or near the time of her crossing the orbit of the earth, she will be either too high or too low to come within the. shadow 01 the earth, and there will be no eclipse of the moon, or at least only a partial eclipse; for the same reason there will be no eclipse of the sun, except the moon cross the earth's orbit at the time of her being in conjunction.
It seems to belong to the Christiau Philosopher to remark, that the darkness which took place when our blessed Saviour • hung on the cross, could not have been produced by an eclipse of the sun; since this event never can happen when the moon is in opposition; which was the case at this important period, as the passover was always kept at the time of the full moon. The darkness which, in that awful season, overspread the face, of Mature, was, doubtless, occasioned by a particular interference of Divine Power; and perhaps intended as a lively emblem of the darkness and distress of spit it with which the Lurd of all things was then overwhelmed.
"A midnight nature shudder'd to behold
He who then hung on the accursed tree, made the lesser light to rule by night. By her pale reflected beams, she, in some degree, supplies the place of the sun when he is set; and ■when she shines, preserves the earth from being wrapt in total darkness. Whilst the moon enlightens our world, the eartli answers the end of a moon, more than fifteen times as large, to enlighten that planet. Thus has the Creator formed Lis works, that one part of them is useful to another; so should the followers of Christ endeavour to confer benefit as well as to re • ceive it; thus realizing, in the moral world, what the wisdom, and goodness of God has produced in the world of Nature. "1 am sure," says Dr. C. Mather, in his Christian Philosopher, "to be under such influence of the moon, as to see the great God managing many of his gracious intentions by such an instrument; and to be awakened to his praise in the night, when we seethe moon walking in brightness, would not be a lunacy that the mosfrational man could be ashamed of."
ON SOLEMNITY IN PUBLIC WORSHIP.
Nothing can be more painful to the feelings of a faith-, ful minister than the general inattention of his hearers. I do, not mean when he is addressing them particularly, but when t/tej/ arc addressing God. Is it not a fact, that too many woi>