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months past, in which it was my luxury to endure hardness with you (since voluntary pain is better than forced pleasure). O for those psalms and vigils, and those outgoings to God in prayer, and that life as it were immaterial and disembodied! O for that intimate and soul-union of the brethren lifted aloft and made godlike by you! O for that emulation, and that provocation to virtue, to which so much strength was added by your directions and rules! O for that sweet study of the divine oracles, and that light discovered in them by the guidance of the Holy Spirit; or, to speak of things smaller and more common, O for those daily tasks and willing labours, bearing wood, and cutting stone, planting trees, and making channels for the streams. O that golden plane tree, far excelling the plane tree of Xerxes, beneath which not the pampered King, but the mortified monk was seated, which I planted, Apollos watered, that is your own excellent self, but to which God himself gave the increase, for my honour, that a monument might remain with you of my cheerful toil, as the budding rod of Aaron was said to be preserved in the ark! All this is, indeed, easy enough to wish, but difficult to bring about. But come to me, breathe virtue into me, and work together with me and that profit which we acquired together assist in preserving by your prayers, lest, by little and little, we fade away like shadows in our declining day. Your communications are to me more refreshing than the air I breathe; I live only that life which I live with you when present, or with your image in my mind when absent."
We must find room for a shred from Chrysostom; and perhaps the following from a letter to his only sister may be less known to most of our readers than his official epistles. The published collection of his letters amounts to 242; all of them written during the last three years of his life, from his dreary place of exile, and for the most part in heaviness of spirit.
"John to his Sister, from Cucusas. "The law of nature has united us in love, and the same pains gave us birth. But yet not so much on that account as on another, which deserves still greater consideration, do I love and honour you, which is, that you regard the things of this present time as nothing worth; that you dispel them from you as smoke;
that you tread upon them as dust and dirt; and spread your light wings for your passage to Heaven; and further, that neither your conjugal cares, nor your anxiety about your children's nurture, nor your household administrations, nor the troubles which they create, are able to interrupt or retard your course; but that all these things which might appear to be so many impediments in your way, are made use of by you as means of increasing the celerity of your flight; and that poverty, which humiliates the high-minded of our sex (for, as Scripture says, poverty humbleth a man), is so far from being able to depress, that it exalts you. Such is the force of virtue, that it is entangled in none of those things which lie in its path, like spiders' webs, but dissipating all obstructions more easily than webs themselves, it turns everything to gain. I do not write this to you without a particular motive; but because I think it probable you were much troubled as well by my departure, as by the commotion to which it gave occasion, I have thought myself called upon to write to you, considering that in the affairs of this world two ways lie before us, the strait one of virtue, and the broad one of vice; though I know that you neither envy those who prosper in their sins, but rather bewail their folly, as knowing that their prosperity is only their passage to punishment; nor do you deem those unhappy who proceed by the narrow road, but pronounce them blessed, while they travel accompanied with virtue; for their hard allotment in this present state, if joined with virtue, conducts and prepares them for honours and crowns. The rich man was not tormented, because because he abounded in wealth, and enhe was without pity and humanity, but joyed a sumptuous table; and Lazarus was crowned, because with much patience he endured the anguish of his ulcers, his want, his destitution, his abject and despised condition, and his exposure to be licked by the tongues of dogs. Although all those things were known to you without learning them from my letters, yet I thought it needful to bring them to your recollection, that you may not be thrown under the dominion of despondency by any misfortunes. Though I do not like to commit all I have to say to a letter, yet as I know how many troubles beset you, I could not forbear writing to you. While I am living in this foreign land, give me the great pleasure and delight of hearing by your letters, that this my exhortation has prevailed with you, as much as I wish and desire it should; and then, far as I am separated from you, I shall truly
rejoice. Indeed, great as have been my sufferings, I shall lose the memory of them all, while I feel them to be thus rewarded; and shall look with assurance for a speedy change for better things, indicated by this happy prelude. While you reason on these things in your own thoughts, suffer not your spirits to be cast down by these trials of your patience, but while you cheerfully apply yourself to the care of all your other children, now that an additional blessing has been granted you, bestow your tenderest care upon the fair Epiphanium, in educating her agreeably to God's will. For you know how great a blessing attends upon the right bringing up of children. It was for this that Abraham, amongst other things, obtained a good report; by this was Job crowned; and the blessed Paul is perpetually exhorting parents, saying, 'Educate your children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.'
"You have now a vacant period, by which you may disengage yourself from superfluous and importunate care and grief; a vacation which may be productive of great benefit; and which may be the stock on which much virtuous fruit may grow, if you will improve it to the most advantage; for I do not think I need write to you on the subject of the lady, our mother, since I well know that among other virtues, your duty to her is one which you mainly cherish, and that it has been a source of blessing to you. I doubt not that by your assiduities you render unnecessary the attendance of servants. But since it is a matter which I cannot but advert to in writing to you, I will remind you of what the blessed Paul says, 'Honour your parents,' adding, which is the first commandment with promise.' By such a conduct, you will earn many crowns, and fill me with the greatest pleasure. While I think on this, I shall forget all my sufferings. Comforted and refreshed by your behaviour in this respect, I shall think that I am virtually at home, passing my hours with you, and that all things are in a train correspondent to my wishes."
We will conclude our extracts with a remarkable letter from Isidore of Pelusium, on the true ornaments of a church. We hope our Tractarian friends will not accuse us of having forged it.
set over the church at Pelusium, what a church really is. For it is most absurd, and of the worst consequence, that without this knowledge, he should imagine himself qualified to be a bishop. Now that a church is properly an assembly of holy men, having a sound faith, and the correctest moral discipline, is the view entertained of it by all wise men. From the want of well understanding this, Eusebius is doing what must tend to overturn the true church, and give scandal to many. It is true, he is busy about the building of the temple, but at the same time he is despoiling it of its great ornament, by expelling from it zealous and serious men. No one is ignorant of the pains he takes to decorate the building with variegated marble: but if he well understood that the church is one thing, and the structure of the church another, that the one is composed of holy and harmless spirits, while wood and stone are the materials of the other, I think he would desist from his hostility to the one, while he is bestowing superfluous ornament on the other. For it was not to contemplate walls, but living souls, that the King of Heaven visited us here below. But if he still declares himself ignorant of what I mean, though it be as clear as the light to all who are not in a state of the most gross insensibility, I will try to make myself understood by examples. As the altar is one thing, and the sacrifice another; as the censer is one thing, and the incense another ; as the council-chamber is one thing, and the council another, the one signifying the place of assembling, the other the persons meeting for consultation, to whom are committed questions of public danger and safety, the same is the difference between the temple and the church. But if he professes not to understand even this, let him be told for his better information, that in the days of the apostles, when the church abounded in spiritual graces, and shone forth in all the lustre of its discipline, there were no Christian temples at all. But in our times, unnecessary ornaments are bestowed on our temples, while the church is mocked by neglect, to use no stronger
I would certainly choose rather to live Now if the choice lay with me, in times in which the temples were not thus expensively adorned, but the church was encircled with divine and heavenly graces, than in times when the fabrics themselves are adorned with all kinds of marble, and the church left naked and "I wish Eusebius would learn, as he is destitute of spiritual graces."
"To Theodosius, Bishop.
VIEW OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS.
IT has pleased God again to be gracious to our beloved Queen, to whose royal house another princess has been added. It augurs well for the stability of our great national institutions, that, amidst the many differences of public opinion, there prevails so generally a strong feeling of loyal attachment to her Majesty and her illustrious consort, and of cordial interest in her infant family; and earnest should be the prayers of the faithful that we may continue to enjoy under her reign, and that of her successors, the inestimable blessings, civil and religious, which God has been pleased to bestow upon this highlyfavoured though sinful nation.
But life and death are ever nigh; and this we have again seen in the royal circle in the much lamented decease of the Duke of Sussex, who has left but two male survivors - his illustrious brothers, the King of Hanover and the Duke of Cambridge-of the numerous family of George the Third, which was long admired throughout Europe; though unhappily it was not as united as it was blooming. The Duke of Sussex possessed many amiable and benevolent qualities; and during a long series of years was connected with a large number of charitable institutions, in the concerns of which he took a zealous interest. He was much beloved in private life, and always drew forth the warm feelings of his fellow-countrymen, among whom he associated extensively and with much urbanity and kindness of heart, as long as his health permitted. In politics, and on most other questions, he embraced what is popularly termed the liberal side; though it may be more than doubted whether his judgment was as sound on these subjects as his intentions were patriotic and benevolent. His conduct in regard to the abolition of the Slave-trade, and afterwards of Slavery, was opposed to what might have been expected to be his course; for on these points he unhappily concurred with his father and brothers, and was found with the Duke of Clarence in the divisions against the abolition.**
* Pitt, Burke, Fox, Wilberforce, and the other leading abolitionists, deeply lamented the formidable opposition presented to this work of religion, justice, and humanity, by the King; all of whose sons, unanimous in little else, either among themselves or with their father, were unanimous here. But, alas! they were but too well supported by many eminent statesmen, whom it is afflicting
CHRIST. OBSERV. No. 65.
In addition to his affection for charitable institutions, the Duke of Sussex was an active patron of science and literature, and of the useful and elegant arts; and though not a deep scholar, he was a well-read gentleman; and could speak with aptness and facility on a great variety of subjects. He had much delight
to see handed down to posterity as zealous abettors of the slave-trade. It is mournful to read in Mr. Wilberforce's Diary such passages as the following as late as 1807:
"The Princes canvassing against us, alas!' It seemed clear that he would have no easy triumph. Two Cabinet ministers never withdrew their opposition, and the Dukes of Clarence and of Sussex declared openly against the Bill, speaking, as it was understood, the sentiments of all the reigning family."
"Duke of Gloucester highly respectable. Moira and Holland very good. Westmoreland out-blackguarding the blackguard. Sidmouth beyond his own precedent in this cause. Lord Selkirk sensible and well-principled. Lord Rosslyn good and sensible. Lord Eldon humiliating. Clarence worse in point
of execution than usual.'"
This opposition is partly accounted for-we cannot say justified-by supposing that the atrocities of the French Revolution had so frightened the judgment of these statesmen from its propriety, that they confounded a great national act of duty, humanity, and religion, with the murderous yells of licentious "liberty" which had desolated Europe. The Duke of Gloucester, both on this question and the abolition of slavery, had the courage to stand out against his royal relatives. The Duke of Clarence happily lived to affix his royal assent to a Bill for the extirpation of slavery, which was but the sequel to those measures which he had formerly stigmatized as the projects of "fanatics and hypocrites," among whom he included Mr. Wilberforce by name. Even so well-disposed a man as Lord Sidmouth protested that he could not see that the slave-trade was contrary to justice or humanity; for that, if it were, its fate was decided, since true policy could not be opposed to justice or humanity. It is well sometimes to call to mind such strange and painful historical facts, as they suggest useful morals; for every age, and every heart, has its peculiar prejudices and besetting sins; and it is important that we should understand and guard against them.
in his library, especially in his highly valuable collection of rare and curious bibles. We may add also-and we do it with great pleasure-that the sacred text did not repose unconsulted on his shelves; for he had been from his youth a diligent reader of the Bible, as was also his revered father. Some years since a clerical friend, at whose house he passed a night, told us that he asked for a lamp and a Bible in his bed-room, in order that he might read the Word of God in the night, which he used to do when illness prevented his sleeping, and also the first thing at rising in the morning. What were his views of Christian doctrine, and of the Gospel as a revelation of pardon to fallen man, we cannot clearly gather; and up to the time at which we are writing no statement has appeared from the pen of those who surrounded him in his last days relative to his state of mind. We remember, however, a remarkable letter which he wrote to the late Dr. Adam Clarke, in acknowledging the gift of his Commentary upon the Scriptures, and which we will transcribe as an interesting memorial of him though we fear the remarks respecting dogmas may be construed as implying a rejection of some essential truths; which however, we trust, was not really the case.
"Had I not been seriously indisposed for some time, long before this you should have heard from me: an illness of upwards of six weeks has hitherto rendered me incapable of doing any thing except of feeling grateful to you for a most interesting letter, as well as for the most valuable present which you could have bestowed upon me.
Your precious Work is already carefully placed in my library; and as soon as I return to Kensington Palace, it will afford me infinite satisfaction to study and diligently to examine its contents, which I cannot do so profitably at this place.
"It is with the Almighty alone, who knoweth the hearts and most inward thoughts of every one of His creatures, to recompense with everlasting grace your great exertions and activity in expounding and publishing the Divine Truths to the world at large. That this will be the case I have no doubt, and I most fervently pray that when it may please the Omnipotent Disposer of all human events to call you hence, that you may then receive a more durable and adequate reward for your labours than in this mortal and transitory world I fear you are now likely to attain. We miserable inhabitants of this terrestrial globe are, however, capable at least of
judging and estimating your mental and physical exertions in this great cause; and I, for one, can assure you that I feel most thankful to you for having selected me as a witness of your diligence, assiduity, and perseverance, in this god-like work, by the presentation to me of a copy of your voluminous work-the produce of the fruits of your industry. This kind distinction, believe me, is not thrown away upon one who is either insensible to the compliment, or ignorant of the value of the gift; and most faithfully do I promise to read, consult, and meditate, upon your faithful, luminous, and elaborate explanations of the Sacred Book. As far as I have presumed to dive into, and to occupy myself with the Holy volumes, I feel satisfied of their Divine Origin and Truth; but that they contain likewise more matters than any one, and myself in particular, can ever aspire fully to understand. This belief ought, however, in no wise to slacken our diligence, nor damp our ardour in attempting a constant research after the attainment of knowledge and of truth, as we may flatter ourselves, although unable to reach the goal, still to approach much nearer to its portals; which, of itself, is a great blessing, as I am convinced that if we only follow strictly the rules and regulations contained in the Scriptures for the guidance of our conduct in this world, we may present ourselves, (although aware of our own unworthiness,) before the Divine Throne with a confident hope of forgiveness, from the knowledge we acquire therein of His mercy to all truly penitent sinners.
"Thus far I boldly state what I think; but I do not venture to enter upon, or to burthen myself with, what are commonly designated as dogmas, and which in my conscience I believe for the most part, if not entirely, are human inventions, and not exerted for purposes, or from motives, of Christian charity : I am therefore determined to keep my mind calm upon such topics, and to remain undisturbed and unbewildered by them I am persuaded that their adoption is not necessary for salvation. This I say, wishing at the same time that I am making this honest declaration, not to be thought a Freethinker; which imputation I would indignantly repel ; nor to pass for a person indifferent about religion, which God knows I consider, if Christianly, I mean most charitably, observed, to be the greatest blessing to mankind in general, and of the utmost importance to my own comfort and happiness in this world, as well as to my hopes in futurity.
"These objects, besides many others
which seem to have occupied the greatest and most valuable part of your active life, cannot fail of being most interesting to the historian, the theologist, the legislator, and the philosopher : from all these details the mind will undoubtedly derive rich sources of information wherewith to make researches, and thence to ground deductions. To these I shall assiduously apply myself when retired in my closet, and as my heart and mind improve, I shall feel my debt of gratitude towards you daily increasing; an obligation I shall ever be proud to own."
The Indian mail brings the intelligence that we have quarrelled with the Ameers of Scinde, and have vanquished them in a sanguinary battle, in order to possess ourselves of certain strips of territory upon the banks of the Indus, which we coveted in order to carry out our plans of navigation and traffic upon that river. We hope and believe that our occupation of these swamps and jungles may in the end be a blessing to the natives, by introducing peaceful habits, equal laws, commercial and agricultural industry, and, above all, the Gospel of salvation; but though it may please God thus to over-rule events, our cupidity, ambition, and spirit of aggression cannot be justified, and must call down his condign displeasure. We lament also to observe another indication of indifference to his commands and glory, upon the part of the Governor General, in selecting the Christian Sabbath for his gorgeous entry into Delhi; by which that holy day was profaned in the sight of the heathen, to the great affliction of some whose official duties obliged them to take a part in the ungodly proceedings; while many, who preferred their duty to God to paying an unhallowed compliment to Lord Ellenborough, abstained from mingling in the rejoicings. This just rebuke, and the indignation of all Christians in India and at home in the matter of the Somnauth gates,-and we might add, the consequent contempt of the Hindoos, and the exasperation of the Mohammedans-it may be hoped will teach his Lordship some salutary lessons for the future; though after his indiscretions and worse-it is not soothing to see the weighty affairs of India resting upon his judgment.
Our commercial and diplomatic relations with China have been again discussed in the House of Commons, in a debate upon a motion by Lord Ashley, "That it is the opinion of this House that the continuance of the trade in opium and the monopoly of its growth in
the territories of British India, is destructive of all relations of amity between England and China, injurious to the manufacturing interests of the country by the very serious diminution of legitímate commerce, and utterly inconsistent with the honour and duties of a Christian kingdom; and that steps be taken, as soon as possible, with due regard to the rights of governments and individuals, to abolish the evil." These statements his Lordship supported in a speech of extraordinary ability, by the adduction of masses of stringent and incontrovertible fact, concluding with the following solemn and religious appeal. "I do confess that if this is to continue to be the course of policy that England pursues; if these are to be the consequences of our advancement in the arts, the sciences, and in arms: if the fruits of knowledge are thus to be turned all to the injury of others, I should prefer that we retrograded to a state of national virtue, and sunk to the level of a third-rate power in the scale of nations. How becoming would it be in a great and powerful country like this to be just and generous in the height and excitement of victory. Actuated by such principles, we may still be found running a useful and a glorious career, as a nation directing all that we have attained in wealth, or in power, to the great objects of human existence, glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace and good-will
If ever there was a case in which the policy of a wise, and the duty of a Christian, government was clear and decided, it is this. The mischiefs of opium smoking and opium eating, are too notorious to require to be enlarged upon. One such instance as that of the poet Coleridge concentrates a sufficient number of the horrible consequences to shew what even in the case of such a man is the result of the habitual use of large doses of opium, even though commenced for medical purposes, and not for delirious intoxication. We have but to multiply this awful case by millions; and to take away the counterpoising favourable circumstances which, by the mercy of God, checked Coleridge's destructive career before he was finally plunged into irretrievable ruin of body and soul;* in
*The particulars of Coleridge's case, which the Quarterly Reviewers, and the relatives of that highly gifted man, wished, from feelings of respect and delicacy, to suppress, were published by Mr. Cottle; and we felt justified in transferring the chief facts to our pages, as it was the express wish of Coleridge himself that they should be made public