Imágenes de página

Character of the Puritans. '?'); - 3349ile Dotis , si

tate ridot "W Didool The Puritans were men whose minds had derivedi a peculiar character from the daily contemplation of superior beings' and eternal interests. Not content with acknowledging, in general terms, an over-tue ling Providence, they habitually ascribed every eventi to the will of the Great Being for whose power nou thing'was too vast, for whose inspection nothing was too minute. To know him, to serve him, to enjoy him, was, with them, the great end of existence. They rejected, with contempt, the ceremonious hoit mage which other sects substituted for the pure word ship of the soul. Instead of catching occasional glimpses of the Deity through an obscuring veil, they aspired to gaze full on the intolerable brightb ness, and to commune with him face to face. Hence originated their contempt for terrestrial distinctions. The difference between the greatest and meanest of mankind seemed to vanish, when compared with the boundless interval which separated the whole race from him on whom their own eyes were constantly fixed. They recognised no title to superiority but his favour; and, confident of that favour, they dispised all the accomplishments and all the dignities of the world. If they were unacquainted with the works of philosophers and poets, they were deeply read in the oracles of God. If their names were not found in the registers of heralds, they felt assured that they were recorded in the Book of Life. If their steps were not accompanied by a splendid train of menials, legions of ministering angels had charge over them. Their palaces were houses not made with hands; their diadems crowns of glory, which should never fade away! On the rich and the eloquent, on nobles and priests, they looked down with contempt: For they esteemed themselves rich in a more precious treasure, and eloquent in a more sublime language; nobles by the right of an earlier creation, and priests by the imposition of a mightier hand. The very meanest of them was à being to' whose fate a mystel rious and terrible importance belonged on whose

slightest action the spirits of light and darkness looked with anxious interest; who had been destined, before heaven and earth were created, to enjoy a felicity which should continue when heaven and earth should have passed away. Events, which shortsighted politicians ascribed to earthly causes had been ordained on his account. For his sake, empires had risen, and flourished, and decayed. For his sake, the Almighty had proclaimed his will by the pen of the evangelist, and the harp of the prophet. He had been wrested, by no common deliverer, from the grasp of no common foe. He had been ransomed by the sweat of no vulgar agony, by the blood of no earthly sacrifice. It was for him that the sun had been darkened, that the rocks had been rent, that the dead had risen, that all nature had shuddered at the sufferings of her expiring God !

Edinburgh Review.

In this energetic and eloquent description of those religious men called Puritans, we have many sentences which divide themselves into two parts--the one taking the rising, the other the falling inflection ; such as Not, the rising terminating at providence ; instead of rising ending at veil. The same slide attends favour, poets, heralds, menials. We shall always find it more easy to inflect good than bad composition. To the former this most evidently belongs,

An Account of the dreadful Earthquake which visited

the Calabrian Coast, a part of South Italy, in the year 1783.

The shock which all this portion of the Calabrian coast experienced the morning of the 5th of February, had been highly detrimental to the town of Scylla, and levelled with the dust most of the houses situated in the upper range. The castle. had also suffered considerable damage ; it was the residence of the prince, whom advanced age and infirmities had ren. dered almost indifferent to the fate which appeared to threaten his existence, in common with that of the

whole population. He had determined to await the event before the crucifix in his chapel, but was persuaded to leave the walls of a mansion which appeared scarcely able to resist further concussion, and seek his safety in flight towards the mountains, where he possessed a magnificent residence, called La-Melia. But the road that led out of the town was so encumbered with the ruins of the buildings which had been overthrown, that it was resolved to defer his departure until the following day; and a temporary and apparently secure asylum was sought on the strand of one of the two small bays which are sepa. rated by the castle, and form the harbours for the fishing boats. To the largest of these, on the southern side of the promontory, this nobleman retired, and prepared to pass the night in a felucca, which had been hauled up on the sand, with all the other vessels belonging to the place, serving as receptacles for the remains of property or household goods saved by the unfortunate owners out of their fallen habitations. Here, all the surviving individuals had assembled, and, after a day of terror, hoped to pass a few hours of comparative ease and tranquillity. The Ave Maria had been saved, in which the feudal despot and all his vassals, now reduced to one common level of humiliation by the visitations they apprehended, had joined with all the fervour of penitence and fear. The cries of motherless babes, and the lamentations of childless parents, had subsided with the commotions of the earth; while grief, terror, and even despair, lost their power of excitement, and all had sunk under the languor of bodily as well as mental exhaustion. Not a breath of air disturbed the stillnėss of the atmosphere ; not the slightest ripple was visible on the surface of the sea : it seemed as if the elements, mankind, and nature herself, had wasted their energies, and yielded to the necessity of repose.

At about half-past seven, a distant but loud crash proclaimed some new disaster, and awakened to a fearful state of suspense all the silent sufferers. A powerful recurrence of the morning's shocks had se

vered a large portion of Mount Baci, which forms the next promontory towards the south, and dashed its shivered mass into the sea. The darkness precluded an immediate communication of this event to the trembling population on the sands, and also shrouded from their knowledge the anticipation of its consequences. They were roused by the earthquake; but, extended on the beach, and out of the reach of all buildings, they thought themselves comparatively secure from real danger. A low rustling noise was soon heard, and gradually but rapidly increased to the roar of the most impetuous hurricane. The waters of the whole canal, impelled by the pressure of the fallen mountain, in a single wave, had rushed with irresistible force over the opposite point of the Faro, which it entirely inundated. Thrown back towards the Calabrian coast, it passed with impetuosity over the shore of Scylla, and, in its retreat to the bosom of the deep, swept from its surface every individual who had thought to find safety in the bareness of its sands. One abhorrent shriek utterred by the united voices of 4000 beings, thus snatch. ed to eternity, re-echoed from the mountains; and the tremendous wave returning a second and last time, rose to the elevation of the highest houses that yet remained entire, and buried many of them in masses of mud and sand, leaving on their flat roofs, and among the branches of the trees which grew out of the impending rocks, the mangled bodies of the victims it had destroyed. But these were not many; for the mass, including the Prince of Scylla, were never seen nor heard of more.

Craven's Tour.

A stora

vas 91u1:a . Selts .

Inaltention to Oratory, the bane of the Church of desi 's England.

It is a truth, too self-evident to be denied, that every part of divine service ought to be properly performed. The prayers ought to be properly read, the psalms ought to be properly sung, and the ser. mon ought not only to be good as a composition, but it ought to be properly delivered. Shakspeare fills us with disgust from the lips of a bad performer, and our transcendently beautiful liturgy, and the besti sermon, stare heard with impatience and pain from the lips of a bad orator. 1 A clergyman who is not a reasonably good orator is not qualified for the pulpit ; he cannot perform in a proper manner the most important of his duties ; he cannot withstand the competition of the dissenters; and he cannot avoid losing that Aock which the Church commits to his keeping. Every clergyman who is a bad ora. tor, no matter what his life and learningmay be, imniediately loses the body of his congregation when the dissenting preacher raises his voice to oppose him; and people will scarcely go to hear him even if he have no competitor.

On this matter, we think our church government is exceedingly, defective. Our candidates for holy or. ders are compelled to qualify themselves with regard to learning, doctrine, and character, but not with re. gard to Oratory. One of the main qualifications that which is necessary to give due effect to all others

is entirely disregarded, and the poorest : orator may, without any difficulty, become a clergyman. The natural consequence is, that a very large number of our clergy are most wretched readers and preachers.: Some have impediments, and cannot be understood; others have no : voice, and cannot be heard ; and many who have proper powers' will not exert them. This holds good to a very great extent in the country. In the churches of the metropolis, para ticularly those of the west end, eloquent preachers are numerous, but the readers are generally miser. able ones. How any man can read our service in an idle, lifeless, unemphatic, hurried manner, we can, not conceive, and still we rarely can hear it read dif, ferently. This is deeply to be lamented ; such a ser, vice, if read with due feeling, emphasis, and solem. nity, could scarcely fail to rivet the attention, and

« AnteriorContinuar »