Immagini della pagina
PDF
ePub

lent—the residence of integrity”- the asylum of freedom," " patriotism,” and “ genius."-V.-1.-In 1812, king William was a Draco_" a gloomy murderer," and Mr. Phillips very magnanimously “tramples on the impious ashes of that Vandal tyrant,' 1.- 109.—but in 1816, a new light breaks upon him; he applauds the revolution, vindicates “ the reformers of 1688," and calls that period “the most glorious of our national annals.”—V.-10.

These changes, monstrous as they are, have taken place in the last two or three years; but we have Mr. Phillips's own assurance that he began his backsliding earlier than the date of any of his pamphlets, and that young as, he tells us, he is in years, he is old in apostacy. In his first speech, August, 1813, he makes the following candid avowal.

“ I am not ashamed to confess to you, that there was a day when I was as bigoted as the blackest;-but I thank that Being, who giited me with a mind not quite impervious to conviction, and I thank you, who afforded such dawning testimonies of my error. No wouder, then, that I seized my prejudices, and with a blush burned them on the altar of my country!"III.-33.

Our readers will not fail to observe, that all this wavering is not the mere versatility of a young and ardent mind. Mr. Phillips is indeed inconstant, but it is a certâ ratione modoque;" his changes may be calculated, like those of the moon, and his bright face will always be found towards the rising sun.

He dedicated to the prince regent in expectation, and abused him in disappointment; he flattered Mr. Grattan and Mr. Ponsonby when they were popular, and sneers at them when he sees a more promising patron. He lent his labours and his lungs to the cause of Catholic emancipation, and preached up the doctrine of eternal petitions, while they afforded any prospect of celebrity or profit; finding that scent grow cold, he is now against petitioning; and reform in Parliament being the cry of the disaffected in England, he imports his “ parcel of” talent and celebrity into Liverpool, consigned to Mr. Casey-exhibits his wares at the dinner before mentioned-sings a palinode to Napoleon Bonaparte--and hardily enlists himself under the banners of radical reform. We have no doubt that, by the same arts which have forced him into what he and his colleagues modestly call celebrity, he will make a very acceptable addition to the society of major Cartwright and Mr. Gale Jones, until some new turn in the wheel of state, or in the popular feeling, shall again convert him; when we may have him once more bespattering Messrs. Grattan and Ponsonby with: his praises, and dedicating to his royal highness the prince regent, but, as we anticipate, without the permission of which he was for. merly so vain.

We have not noticed the particulars of the political tenets which Mr. Phillips has professed, or now professes; bad as they may be, they can do no harm till his style shall become more intelligible and his character less ambiguous.

FOR THE PORT FOLIO.

An abstract of the Bible, in a series of conversations between a mother and

her children. Chapter 1. Genesis; first book.

We have been permitted to copy the following pages from the original manuscript of a pious lady, who in more senses than one, keeps her lamp, both filled and trimmed. It was intended to be published in consecutive numbers of our Journal, but believing that it may be of more service to the community, if it is printed in a separate form, we have cheerfully consulted the public good, instead of our own convenience. A small volume, which will include the book of Genesis, will be published about the end of the year. It will be illustrated by plates, of which some have been already prepared, with much neatness, by Goodman and Pigott, engravers, of this city. The plan and the composition of part of the book have received the cordial appprobation of two eminent divines, and we are thus warranted în recommending the work to the public patronage.

Catharine.-Have we not your promise, mother, that as soon as the long winter evenings should commence, you would converse with us on the history of the Bible?

Fanny.--Ab! I am glad you have not forgotten to remind mama of that. Conversation is more intelligible and impressive than solitary reading; and besides, it will save us the trouble of reading this large book!

Mother.- Trouble, my daughter! it should be the greatest pleasure, as it is your enviable privilege, to possess, and be able to read that book. Your curiosity should be awakened to acquire a more intimate knowledge of a record which speaks truth without error, and unfolds to man his origin and his destiny. I can assure you, my dear, however strange it may sound in your ears, that you will find not less entertainment than instruction in this volume. It is the oldest in existence. It gives us an account of the very creation of all things, and the history of mankind from the beginning of time. As you have been habituated to the reading of this invaluable book, it is only necessary that I should give you a brief narrative of the contents; and you may interrupt me when you desire to have any explanations.

Catharine.-I often think I am acquainted with the whole of the Bible; but whenever you examine us, I find that I know very little. A general but connected view of the story and the system, would fasten itself upon our memory; and we should then be able to comprehend the various parts when we open the book.—and now I think of it, mama, why is it called the Bible;-often as I have got my lessons in it at school and read to you from it since, in the evenings, it never occured to me that so strange a word could scarcely have been selected without some reason.

Charles.-Oh! I can tell you, sister. Dr. told us, the other day, when we were saying our lesson in Leusden, that it was from a Greek word, which signifies a book.

Mother.-Yes. It is called THE BIBLE, or THE BOOK, by way of eminence: to express in the most emphatical manner its superior excellence and authority. It is divided into two parts, which are entitled, the old, and the new, TESTAMENTS. These are connected by a chain of predictions, many of which have actually been accomplished, and others are daily coming to pass.

The Old Testament, was chiefly written in the Old Hebrew, or Samaritan language; and the new, with the exception, perhaps of the gospel by Matthew, which Charles is now reading, was composed in Greek. The whole is sub-divided into books; and though they were written by different hands, in different ages, and in various countries, yet they form one complete whole, perfectly harmonious and beautiful. From this correspondence in all the numbers, we infer that the writers were divinely inspired to speak nothing but the truth. The Bible contains the only authentic account that we have of the earliest times. It consists of narrative and doctrine,-of precepts and prophecies, the sublimity and importance of which, would sufficicntly demonstrate their divine origin, if all other proof were wanting. To explain all this to you, I do not intend to undertake; but I can give you a general sketch of the subject, which may be filled up, hereafter, by reading books which have been written for that purpose, by theologians and divines.

Fanny.--But, pray do not forget to tell us, in the course of your narrative, lest we might interrupt you too often, wher

any accomplishment of a prophecy can be shown. I should like to see the reality of all that the Bible promises.

Mother.-That, my children we shall all see! may it be your lot to enjoy the blessings which those promises have offered to your acceptance!

The first five books of the Bible, or the Pentateuch, as they are called, were written by Moses, the great Jewish Legislator. They commence with Genesis, the meaning of which I suppose Charles can inform us.

Charles. It is from a Greek word which signifies the Be. ginning or Production.

Mother.-In Genesis we learn that the world was created by the Almighty word of God in six days, and, by the same unerring wisdom, it was pronounced to be perfect. On the seventh day the great Architect “rested from all his work,” and “ blessed and sanctified it.”—By this we are to understand the appointment of a Sabbath;a seventh part of our time peculiarly appropriated to his own service and worship; and 'to man a day of repose and relief from his worldly, labours.

The Mosaic account of the creation, is very concise; but its sublimity has been admired by the politest schools. I need only call your attention to the passage in which the production of light is described:—" and God said, let there be light; and there was light!" How exquisitely expressive of the grandeur of that power and wisdom, that could speak into existence, a substance, at once so astonishing and so useful.

The division of time into wceks, can no otherwise be accounted for, but in the divine ordinance, for the period is entirely arbitrary; not being indicated by any aspect of nature, as days, months, and years, are by the revolutions of the sun and moon.

On the sixth day, having prepared an habitation, and provided an abundance of fruits, God created one man, and one woman. He made them good, like the rest of his works, and endued them with ability to continue in their native holiness; yet with liberty to choose between virtue and vice. They were placed in the garden of Eden, and had permission to eat freely the fruits of all the trees, one only being excepted as a test of their obedience. They did not long preserve their allegiance: they violated the condition

upon which they had been so bountcously provided, and incurred the penalty of death! The pleasures of Eden were forfeited;paradise lost-and their future subsistence was now to be gained through toil and sorrow. Yet all was not lost; that mercy which is from eternity, had provided relief, and now enlightened their darkness with a feeble, but infallible intimation of a Saviour, to break the power of the enemy, which had endeavoured to work their ruin, to rescue them from the grave, and restore them to an eternal life.

Their first descendants were Cain and Abel; the former, a cultivator of the earth, and the latter a keeper of sheep. At an appointed time, each of these brothers offered a sacrifice to the Lord.

Fanny.—Tell us, if you please, what is meant, strictly by a sacrifice, and how it originated?

Mother.-By a sacrifice, we mean, generally, an offering to the Deity as an acknowledgment of his power, and a payment of homage. We have no account of the origin of this mode of worship; but we connot hesitate in ascribing it to divine authority, because Adam was taught immediately by his Creator, and without a command to that effect, it is highly probable that he would not have thought of destroying animals committed to his care: nor should he have imagined, that an offering, apparently so cruel, would have been acceptable to him, whose benevolence was impressed on every thing around him.

The offering of Abel, on this occasion was accepted, while that of his brother was rejected. This preference, instead of awakening in Cain a sense of his own unworthiness, and a desire to find favour by relying on the divine word, inflamed him with rage and instigated him to the murder of Abel. Thus early did the effect of Adam's disobedience appear in the depravity of his son!

The next remarkable event of which we read, is the translation of Enoch, a descendant of Seth, the third son of Adam. In reward for his exemplary piety he was taken to heaven without the pain of dying. The life of man was protracted, at this time, to a great length. Methusalem, the oldest man of whom we have ever heard, lived to the age of 969 years. The earth then would be peopled rapidly, and we find that vice increased in the

« IndietroContinua »