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"FROM a love of experimenting on hu- | field, has been crowned with laurels. This manity, and in some cases, from a deep chieftainship among the tribes has drawn disaffection to the Divine law and order its dark lines and written its scenes of of things, men have sought to rupture blood on the page of British history. the family compact, and to some extent The domestic relationship is productive have succeeded in loosening the most en- of evil, as well as good. It is favourable dearing and delightful relationships of for the growth of wickedness. Tares life. But violated law has inflicted its will ripen luxuriantly in it, as well as penalty, as it always will do, on so wanton wheat. and daring a doing. The framework of government has been shaken, the solidity of society has given way, and disorder, lawlessness, and tyranny, have held sway for a season, under the pretence of promoting equality, fraternity, and freedom. Liberty without law, is no liberty, but a wicked national licentiousness, profitable to no one, but perilous to all.
"What myriads of families there are on this green earth, and also in our own much loved isle, without hope and without God! The household, where God's law and God's authority are banishedwhere no Divine oracle has ever been consulted-where no altar has ever been built-and where no sacrifice of prayer has ever been offered, are the tabernacles of the wicked. They are not homes, but hiding-places of the unrighteous. Each is a congregation of evil doers;' and, like the dark places of the earth, they are frequently the habitations of cruelty.'
"With another state of things we have to do. The family compact, from its deep native relationships, and from its tender intimate associations, has a fitness for great good. Perhaps a really deep-toned vigorous piety can only be reared under healthy home influences. The natural
affections of parents and children, are the | with much that is youthful and glad
channels for the conveyance of these to all the members of a household. They are the great arteries that lie near the heart of humanity, and to handle them roughly and rudely, is to interfere with healthy family action; but to use them wisely, and to cherish them assiduously, is essential to a godly domestic economy. Acts of kindness are longer remembered, than acts of teaching and reproving. The young mind, too, is susceptible of right impressions. There is a moulding age in all our households, a spring-time of life, when character is either marred or made. For a child is in a new world, and learneth somewhat every moment. His eye is quick to observe, his memory storeth in secret, his ear is greedy of knowledge, and his mind is plastic as soft wax.' The household rule is a government, whose prevailing law should be the law of love; but to make this rule what it ought to be, requires practical wisdom, and thorough earnestness. Where these have been obtained, family management has not been a barren enterprise, but like the diligent wise working of a mine, rewarding the worker with rich treasure; or, as the skilful cultivation of a field yielding its appointed crop. Truth is imperishable, and if we sow it bountifully, we shall reap also bountifully.
some; but may this be tempered and controlled by the life of God in the soul, and be all the more blissful from having its roots in a true household piety. Let us have, where it is possible to have it, grace, beauty, poetry, music, and whatever is softening and refining in influence, throwing a halo of light and blessedness and joy about the hearth and home; but underlying all this, and pervading all this, may we have a godly ChristlikeLet us in our dwellings daily draw near to the fount of light and life,' till they are pervaded with a rich evangelical element-the oxygen of the Christian atmosphere, which is able to save the soul.
"The absence of this tone of piety in our professedly religious households, is a matter of sore lamentation. Domestic piety is, we fear, rather waning than waxing. The streams of our Christianity are multiplied and broadened, but we have not, as formerly, a deep, strong, rushing current.
"A system of training which does not insist on this as one of its first things, is not sound. Good books are good things. Good company is a good thing. Good preaching is a good thing. Good counsels are good things. But these can never stand in the place of Bible teaching. Gospel truth is manna to the hungry soul been-milk for babes in Christ-food for children-strong meat for young men. It is the life-blood of our faith, and the staff of our spiritual being. A home without a Bible is a house without furniture-the ark without the covenant-a vessel without rudder and compass-a field unfenced. The Times newspaper says, 'We question if any person, of any class or school, ever read the Scriptures regularly and thoroughly without being, or becoming, not only religious, but sensible and consistent. Scriptural instruction is too much undervalued, and therefore not urgently and faithfully plied.' This is not a quotation, but an editorial opinion; and a striking admission from the greatest organ of public sentiment in the civilized world.
"If Christian families have ever the spring-head of benevolent and holy influences-if it is here that the dews of heaven are first imbibed and collected—. if here the refreshing waters of pure and undefiled religion commence their earliest flow-if in the bosom of such families, we have the first settings of earnest thought, and the buddings of manly piety, and the best form of holy fellowship, it behoves us to 'look well to the ways of our household.' We plead for a real spiritual life in our homes. Let us have all that is manly in action, useful in life, solid in principle, in worth, in character, but all springing from a deep inward religious life. Let us have the joyousness of childhood in our homes, innocent glee and mirth, parents partaking in the loud laugh, and welling up in full sympathy
"The newspaper well written, with its bold manly comments on men and things,
Church, and many have more love to serve God in the crowded congregation, than in privacy of retirement.
"Public worship, as to form, is an easy thing, but homestead godliness requires real-heartedness and constant watchful ness, or its glow soon departs. The lamp must be daily trimmed and fed with oil, the fire daily tended and supplied with fuel, or both will expire. And equal constancy is demanded in keeping alive the kindled coals of devotion on the altar of the heart. Religious parents, in the majority of instances, do not feel deeply their family responsibility, nor apprehend clearly the far-reaching consequences of home influences. The public ordinances of grace are valuable and indispensablethe service of song is attractive-pulpit appeals and teaching stir up hearts and intellect-the fellowship of the saints is profitable-the godly gatherings to ply the people with appeals to liberality on behalf of our religious institutions are needed-acting in concert with likeminded men and genial spirits is stimulating and praiseworthy-the works of benevolence must have their largehearted workers. In these things many religious men find all the religion they have. But these can never be a substitute for domestic piety. Where this is sedulously cultivated, we find the pith, the marrow, and the back-bone of our common Christianity. Multitudes, by thus acting, reverse the order of a true religion, which inserts its leaven in the centre, working thence to the circumference-from the individual to the mass; but many prefer working from the circumference to the centre-from the [mass to the individual.
is becoming a prime organ of teaching to | spirit of so acting has been caught by the the religious world. Many Christians spend much time over its pages, and read it, apparently, with deeper interest than they do the Bible. Newspaper reading in excess has had an injurious effect, imparing the vigour of family godliness, and has given rise to a deep craving for a kind of photographic writing and preaching, which we do not think the strongest thing in our world. Literature with its charms, and politics with all their interest, can never become a substitute for Bible teaching. They cannot nourish the root of Domestic Piety. They contain no sentiments to sanctify and save the soul. In many religious families, evangelical truth is not earnestly taught as an indispensable element of spiritual life. The children have nothing more, daily, than a chapter hurriedly read, and a prayer as hurriedly said. And THIS course of instruction is curtailed, by sad omissions arising from domestic disorder and the professedly urgent calls of business, as if prayer and provender hindered a journey.' The same children are carried through a round of Sunday teaching from the pulpit, but it palls upon them, because it is not spoken of at home with solemn interest; and there is no effort to simplify it, and suit it to their capacities. So far from this, it is often openly and coarsely handled, and gives rise to caustic, ill-timed remark. Real Bible teaching requires us to go into details to put ourselves into sympathy with those we teach, and also with the truth taught to give forth the precious food in morsels, not in masses, and as is most adapted to the opening mind of youth. In doing thus we are to be unwearied, as if diligence could never be sick at heart, and teaching our own, never sore of foot. In a fastidious, book-surfeited age like ours, there is a danger of the Bible being a too much unused, undervalued volume in the religious dwellings of the land. There are weighty reasons for dealing with it far otherwise.
"We are passing through a busy bustling age, one of ceaseless activity and of national enterprise. Men have learnt to act in concert with each other, and by so doing have reached great results. The
"In professedly religious families there is, oftentimes, a sad lack of needful There is no authority and obedience. aptitude on the part of parents to govern. Their rightful moral influence has gradually diminished in their households. They hold the reins so loosely, as almost to invite their children to wrest them from their hands. They give their commands in so feeble, faltering a tone, as to warrant early disobedience. Their counsels are ill-conned, ill-timed lessons, as far as
possible removed from wisdom, and with- | whole world shall be blessed indeed. It out even a glimpe of insight into humanity. is a solemn thought that every child we When their authority is wantonly trifled train up in our homes, may be 'a savour with, they seem utterly unconsious of the of life unto life,' or a savour of death wrong done to themselves and to their unto death,' in his influence upon fallen children. Commands and threatenings humanity. The pebble thrown into the are unheeded as an idle tale, by the oldest smooth-faced lake, produces circle after and the youngest around them. Such circle, and ring rises out of ring; so that parents know nothing of ruling well from the centre to the circumference, a their own house, and of having their considerable width of water is agitated. children in subjection.' Under such do- Each child going forth from our respectmestic management, disorder and con- ive homesteads is as a pebble in the great fusion are the rule, not the exception. sea of society, a common centre from What unsightly scenes arise! What un- which waves of influence will incessantly seemly strivings of sons and daughters flow forth, some more near and some for mastery! What perilous yielding of more remote, and all for good or for fathers and mothers to the claim! What evil in this fallen world of ours. a giving up in despair of parental authority, under the stress of frequent family feuds ! And if recovery of it be attempted for order's sake, it is by some coaxing promise-by the sacrifice of some principle -or by the application of an ill-judged physical force, which loosens the domestic bond, and shakes to the foundation the domestic constitution.
"Pious households are lights shining in a dark place; they are the salt of the earth to season it; they cannot be
'Like snow-falls in the river,
A moment white, then melt for ever.' "They are fountains from whence innumerable tributary waters flow into the great gulf-stream of life and salvation, to a dying, guilty world. They are as Jordan sending its living waters through the heart of the Dead Sea, disturbing and vivifying the domain of death. When the families of the carth are blessed, the
"How solemn is our position-how responsible our duties as parents! When we are laid in the grave, and sleep beneath the green sod, we shall not be dead, but living and speaking. The counsels we we have have given; the prayers uttered; the examples we have shown; will be re-embodied in our sons and daughters, and will be a living presence in the world, on the side of virtue or of vice. May we have grace given to behave so holily and unblameably in our families, that our last review of domestic life shall cast no dark shadow on our dying day, and plant no sharp thorns in our dying pillow; but may the legacy of prayers, counsels, and example, we have left our children, help to a peaceful parting with them, and as we stand on the border of two worlds, may the last rush of parental affection show itself in heartfelt yearnings for the salvation of our households."
Reviews of Religious Publications.
MISSIONARY TRAVELS AND RESEARCHES | large number of our readers are beforehand
IN SOUTH AFRICA, by DAVID LIVING-
London; John Murray.
with us, having already perused the work and formed an opinion for themselves. Such, however, in all probability, is the fact in the present instance. The popularity of this publication is wonderful.
Ir is hardly ever the case when we review a book, that we are pretty sure a
There it stands, in its brown binding, in every bookseller's window. In numberless drawing-rooms and boudoirs it may be found-thanks to Mr. Mudie for much of this-not lying there for show, but, by the cut page and thumbed cover, showing it has been read. The avidity with which the work is seized by all classes of people shows a strange revolution in the history of missionary literature, and betokens rapid progress, as we fondly hope, in the onward course of the good cause. The volume is worthy of its popularity. In all respects it appears to us most admirable. It is quite out of the question that, in our limited space, we should give anything like a competent review of its 683 pages. Our sense of its merits must not be estimated by the number of lines we devote to the discharge of our present very agreeable duty. Indeed, the extent to which the book has been purchased, and circulated, and read, renders it superfluous for us to say much. The humiliating necessity-under which most of the brethren of the craft unfortunately labour-that something should be done to excite curiosity in regard to their productions, and to commend them to the public as worthy of favour, has no existence in this case. Dr. Livingstone's well-acquired fame has been the best pioneer of his writings, and prepared the British nation at large to welcome them.
The readers of our Magazine will have been previously acquainted with the outline of Dr. Livingstone's journeys and discoveries, as traced in the pages of the Missionary Chronicle soon after his return to England: but between that outline and the present book there is all the difference there can be between a rough diagram and a finished model, a mere sketch and an elaborate picture. As one here follows the faithful and laborious man, it is as if a moving panorama of the country of the Makalolo, the city of Linyante, the banks of the Zambesi, the Victoria falls, the coast of Loanda, and the mouths of the great river on the eastern shores of Africa, were before us, and we could see the whole depicted on coloured canvas, while specimens of produce and spoil, of grain and game, of
fruits, birds, insects and animals of all kinds were submitted by the lecturer to the close inspection of the audience. Dr. Livingstone's style is as easy and inartificial as it can be. He makes no attempt at fine writing, but yet there is a correctness, a compactness, a force in every sentence, which conveys to our minds impressions more vivid and distinct than we have been wont to receive sometimes from authors much more imaginative and pictorial. Occasionally a gleam of poctical feeling, however, lights up the description with a peculiar charm. For example, in describing insect life in the Mopane country, not very far from Iete, on the western side of Africa, he says, "In the quietest parts of the forest there is heard a faint but distant hum, which tells of insect joy. One may see many whisking about in the clear sunshine in patches among the green glancing leaves; but there are invisible myriads working with never-tiring mandibles, on leaves, and stalks, and beneath the soil. They are all brimful of enjoyment. Indeed, the universality of organic life may be called a mantle of happy existence encircling the world, and imparts the idea of its being caused by the consciousness of our benignant Father's smile on all the works of his hands."
But on the literary merits of the volume we cannot dwell, nor are we able to point out the vast stores of scientific and general knowledge which it contains. Our business must be to indicate its great value in reference to missionary operations. And here we may be permitted to observe that we have never read anything which inspires a more impressive conviction of truthfulness than does every page of the book. There is not only a total absence of everything which the most fastidious and prejudiced against religion could call cant, but there is continually manifest a conscientiousness bordering on what might be termed the scrupulous, in every, even the least statement of fact. All the descriptions of natural objects are most rigidly exact, and one feels that not less rigidly exact are statements in reference to missionary labours and their results. Men who have no sympathy with us in