페이지 이미지

British christians. If it be true, that British benevolence is graduated on a noble scale, then greater is the number of objects to which it may descend. And than our SAILORS, there is not any class of our fellow-men who have a stronger claim to participate in its distribution. We solicit attention to the following considerations :

Was it not from this class of men that our blessed Lord chose bis immediate followers--the ambassadors of his cross? And are they now to be left out of the calculations and exertions of the christian church?

Is it not to them, under God, that we are indebted for the present extent of our commerce ? Is not our commerce the grand source of our national wealth? And shall we then deny them “ the unsearchable riches of Christ ?

Is it not as the fruit of their toils, and sufferings, and frequent exposure to death, that we are surrounded by such a variety of earthly comforts ? But for them, and how scanty and comparatively poor, would be the daily provision of our tables? And shall we withhold from them “the bread of life," which alone can "give life unto their souls ?”

Is it not through them, that we send the heralds of the cross to the distant and benighted regions of the earth ; and shall we leave themselves without a living instructor? Are they not the channel through which “the water of life” is conveyed to famishing millions, and shall we leave them to thirst and die ?

Is it not true, that thousands of our seamen perish annually in the great deep? How often are they wrecked and lost ! Shall we suffer them, without any effort, to be found a wreck on the dark shores of eternity ?

Christians !-from those shores there comes back a voice :it speaks in deep tones and fearful. It speaks to you :-“GO AND WARN MY - BRETHREN." They need to be warned. But whom shall we send? Who will go ? Men of piety and power are to be found:-men imbued with the Spirit of Christ, and

who are willing to spend and be spent for his glory. There are also numerous stations which are, at this moment, waiting to be supplied with suitable agencies. Whether we look at home or abroad, the openings are many—the facilities great-the demand urgent-the call importunate. We turn


and we ask,-What is to be done? You have it in your power to provide the necessary means for the efficient occupation of these stations. Are you prepared to act? Your obligations rather increase than diminish with the progress of time:-are you in a state to discharge these obligations? If a larger measure of support is not extended to our Institution, then all these stations must still be neglected. Nay more :-other agencies must be given up :-the field of exertion greatly circumscribed, and thousands abandoned to the power of evil in its worst and most deadly forms! Can the church of Christ, will any christian justify such a course? We cannot believe it. We have more confidence in British feeling, and British piety. Let but christians of all parties throughout the land, solemnly resolve on one grand effort in the seaman's cause, and we shall be fully satisfied with the results. We appeal to every christian heart-appeal in the closing language of the last annual Report : “ Before that cross on which the Saviour died, and in which you profess to glory, say,“WHAT HAVE YOU DONE FOR THE SAILOR ? Before that holy altar at which you worship, and at which you so often vow to live to Christ, say-WHAT HAVE YOU DONE FOR THE SAILOR? Before God, who shall judge the quick and the dead, and to whose grace you are under infinite obligation, sayWHAT HAVE YOU DONE FOR THE SAILOR ? With the solemnities of the last judgment, and the disclosures of an eternal world opening to your view, say,--WHAT HAVE YOU DONE FOR THE SAILOR ? In the prospect of the Saviour's second advent, and with the certainty of sharing in his final triumph, say—WHAT HAVE YOU DONE FOR THE SAILOR? In the belief that every one shall receive according to his works, and in anticipation of the great rewards of immortality, say,-WHAT HAVE YOU DONE FOR THE SAILOR ?


(Continued from page 299.)

The Jews, as we have seen iu the days of Constantine, were again permitted to approach Jerusalem, and apparently to dwell once more upon their native soil. They had never been driven out from Galilee; and under the reign of his successor, Constantius, they formed the chief population of Diocæsarea (Sepphoris) and other towns, and felt themselves in sufficient strength to take up arms in rebellion against the Romans. But they were soon subdued ; and in A. D. 339, this city was levelled to the ground. The emperor Julian, in abandoning christianity, endeavoured as a matter of policy to win the confidence of the Jews. He showed them favour; granted them privileges; and gave them permission to return to Jerusalem and rebuild their sacred temple. They accordingly began to lay the foundations about A. D. 362; but the the attempt, according to contemporary writers, was rendered abortive by supernatural hindrances. Under the successors of Julian, the edicts would seem to have been renewed, which prohibited the Jews from residing in Jerusalem ; for Jerome relates, that in his day they were still forbidden to enter the city, except once a year, to wail over the temple. Thus they continued to struggle on for a residence in the land and city of their fathers ; objects of contumely and oppression on every side, and with little change in their general situation; until, at length, the Mahommedan conquest gave them the opportunity of acquiring larger privileges both in Jerusalem and throughout Palestine.

In the latter part of the fourth century, A. D. 384, Jerome, the celebrated father, took up his residence in Palestine, where he remained as a monk in the convent at Bethlehem until his death in A. D. 420. At this time, monasteries and communities of anchorites (laurae) were numerous; and the whole of Palestine swarmed with monks and hermits. Jerome speaks expressly of “ the great multitude of brethren and the bands of monks" who dwelt in and around Jerusalem. Even Paula, a noble Roman matron, the friend of Jerome, first made a pilgrimage to the holy places, and then retired to Bethlehem ; where she erected four monasteries, one for monks, and three for nuns. Nor was the throng of strangers and pilgrims who came from every quarter of the globe to visit the holy places and adore the cross, less remarkable. The same father relates that devotees - streamed to Jerusalem from every part of the world, so that the city was crowded with persons of both sexes and of every class." From Gaul, Britain, Persia, India, Ethiopia, Egypt, and the whole east, princes and nobles thronged to the holy city; believing themselves to have less of religion, less of science, and not to have attained the highest point of virtue, unless they had paid their adorations to the Saviour in the very places where the gospel first shone forth in splendour from the cross. Nor did the

[ocr errors]

pilgrims limit their holy veneration to Palestine. Egypt was equally thronged ; and many also travelled into Arabia, the supposed country of Job, to visit the dunghill, and kiss the ground on which the man of God had suffered with so much patience. Indeed after the fourth and fifth centuries, there are comparatively few of the more distinguished saints of the calendar among whose merits one or more pilgrimages to the holy sepulchre are not enumerated.

In such a state of things it cannot be a matter of wonder that the end should often be forgotten in the means; that a journey to Jerusalem, instead of being resorted to, merely as a means of elevating aud purifying the religious feelings, and quickening the flame of devotion, should come to be regarded as having in itself a sanctifying and saving power; and so the mere performance of the outward act be substituted for the inward principle and feelings. That such was actually the case is obvious from the language of Jerome and other fathers, who strove against this tendency. The former declares, that “ the places of the cross, and of the resurrection of Christ, can benefit only those who bear his cross, and who with Christ rise daily. From Jerusalem and from Britain the celestial halls are equally open.” And he goes on to relate of Hilarion, who spent much of his life as an anchorite in Palestine, that he only once visited Jerusalem and the sacred places. To the same effect, is the language of Gregory, of Nyssa ; who justly appeals to the corruption and licentiousness which prevailed in Jerusalem, as a proof how little such external impressions can contribute in themselves to the purification of the heart.

The effects which would naturally follow from all these circumstances, in respect to the topography of the holy land, have already been pointed out in the preceding section. Almost as a matter of course, every place celebrated in the Bible was sought after by the credulous piety of monks and pilgrims, and its site definitely assigned. Whether this were done correctly, was not often with them a matter of strict enquiry. Yet, during the fourth century, there is less reason for regret and complaint in this respect, than in the succeeding ages. Eusebius had composed his Onomasticon in Greek, apparently about A. D. 330, after the sites of the holy places in Jerusalem had been determined : and this was now translated and revised by Jerome, during his residence in Palestine, before the mass of foreign tradition which afterwards spread itself abroad had taken root or cast its darkening shadows over the land. This important work serves to show the state of topographical tradition as it then existed ; and often stands in direct contradiction to the specifications of later ages.

During the centuries after the destruction of Jerusalem, the metropolitan see of Palestine was at Cæsarea ; to which the see of Jerusalem was subject like the rest. But when in the fourth century, the holy places at Jerusalem became known, and were decorated with splendid edifices, and the holy city began to re-assume its importance in the christian world, its bishops were not slow in bringing forward its claims to a higher rank as the original seat of the apostolic churches. Even so early as at the Council of Nicea A. D. 325, its traditional claims had been acknowledged and affirmed ; saving however the dignity of the then metropolitan see. Cyrill, as bishop of Jerusalem, contended long with Acacius, of Cæsarea, for the supremacy: though he was at last compelled to yield to the authority of the primate by whom he was deposed. His successor, John, claimed also to be independent of Cæsarea, and appealed to the patriarch of Alexandria, for which he is censured by Jerome. The following bishop, Praylus, was a meek and holy man, and apparently avoided such controversies. But Juvenal, his successor, who held the chair of Jerusalem from about A. D. 420 to 458, exerted himself to the utmost to establish the authority of his see; not only as superior to Cæsarea, but as independent of the patriarch of Antioch. It was not, however, until the Council of Chalcedon A. D. 451-3, that he was able after long efforts to effect bis purpose. It was there decreed that Jerusalem should be thenceforth an independent patriarchate, comprising the three Palestines; while Antioch should retain the two Phenicias and northern Arabia.

Amid all the religious, or rather theological controversies which agitated the oriental churches during these centuries, it was hardly to be expected that Palestine, crowded as it was with ecclesiastics and monks, should remain in peace. On the contrary, it actually became one of the chief seats of strife and fierce contention, which were not in all cases appeased without bloodshed. In the fourth century, the Arian controversy had much to do with the repeated depositions of Cyrill from the see of Jerusalem. In A. D. 415, Pelagius himself appeared before two tumultuous synods at Jerusalem and Diospolis, (1.ydda.) About the same period, we find in and around Jerusalem, the germ of the controversy, which a century later, raged with such vehemence against the Origenists.

The declaration of the Council of Chalcedon (A. D. 451,) in favour of the doctrine of the two distinct natures of Christ was the signal for the outbreak of violence on the part of Monophysites, its opposers ; whose chief seat was at first in Palestine and Egypt. Theodosius a fanatical monk, who had already excited tumults in the council, returned to Jerusalem ; and having ingratiated himself with Eudocia, the widow of the late emperor Theodosious II, who resided in Palestine, he soon obtained influence throughout the convents, and raised a fierce party against the decision of the council. His partisans took possession of the church of the holy sepulchre, deposed the patriarch Theodosius in his stead. The orthodox bishops and moderate men, were now everywhere deposed; some were slain, and their places filled by unworthy persons, and even malefactors. The emperor Marcian, on hearing of these events, took measures to replace the exiled patriarch in his station, and restore things to their former order ; but this could only be done after fierce conflicts ; since both parties (as Evagrius expresses it) acted only according to the dictates of their rage. Theodosius retired secretly to Mount Sinai, where he was followed by a letter missive of the emperor.

The controversy continued to rage in Egypt, accompanied with

« 이전계속 »