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declaration, came not to bring peace on earth, but a sword, and to sow dissensions and quarrels, amongst even near and dear relatives. But how was he to do this ? Simply by bringing into a dark world that light which it was determined not to comprehend. The Sun of Righteousness can no more shine into the filthy heart of man, without arousing all its evil passions, than the natural sun can throw its glory over the stagnant pool without exhaling its corruptions. Offences must come: and come they did; but he by whom they came was not the unoffending Saviour, but the guilty and convicted sinner.
Again it is urged that, in one case at least, our Saviour recommended the use of the sword. The words occur in Luke xxii. 35, 36. “When I sent you without purse, and scrip, and shoes, lacked ye anything. And they said, nothing. Then said he unto them, But now he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one.”
Now here is apparently a very strong case for the advocates of war. True, our Saviour says nothing as to the employment of the sword; but if we are to understand his words literally, we must, I think, allow that it was meant for use. At all events, it was not only to be worn, but to be bought; not only to be purchased, but to be purchased at the sacrifice of a garment, certainly very useful, and probably indispensable. A sword then appears to form an important part of the equipment of a Christian.
Now for the counter-argument. If our Saviour spoke literally, his directions were, to say the least, very singular. The disciples were to take with them money, food, and arms; but were to sell their garments and go without shoes !
But figuratively regarded, how complete and beautiful are these directions. The wide world they were to traverse would not only refuse all necessary temporal supplies, but would be arrayed against them. We are not, however, left here to mere conjecture: the inference that Christ was speaking figuratively is inevitable, since he tells his disciples, in reply to their eager but unsanctified rejoinder, either that two swords were enough for the whole eleven, though each was to take one, or that they had said enough to shew that they entirely misunderstood his meaning.
(To be concluded next month.)
COWPER'S RHYMING EPISTLE. The substance of the following letter from the poet Cowper to his friend, the Rev. John Newton, has been long before the public. But the subjoined copy, from the original autograph, in the collection of the late Mr. Upcott, contains many paragraphs not found in the ordinary editions. They are printed in italics for the sake of distinction, and refer mostly to the gossip of the time and place when and whence the letter was written, for which reason, it is most probable they were suppressed by Hayley. But, as more than half a century has elapsed since these remarks were penned, there cannot now be any impropriety in making them public.
The allusions to passing events at Olney, at this distance of time are not easily intelligible. “ Poor Mr. Peace," and possibly, “ Page and his wife," appear to have taken umbrage at the plain and faithful preaching of Mr. Newton, who was at this period domiciled in London, but who, now and then preached in his old pulpit. “ Silver End," was the name of an obscure part of Olney, at the entrance of which Cowper's house was situate, so that he could easily have caught a glimpse of Mr. Scot in transitů. Mrs. Jones, one of the few neighbours admitted to the society of the poet, was no other than the sister of the amiable and accomplished Lady Austen, whom she had, just about the time at which this letter was written, introduced to Cowper, and whose acquaintance she was desirous of farther establishing by the proposed pic-nic in the spinney. Her “ Jones Mister," was a clergy man, residing at Clifton, within view of Olney.
The most curious discrepancy in this letter is the date, clearly written 1791, though correctly given in the printed copies, ten
MY VERY DEAR FRIEND,-I am going to send, what when you have read, you may scratch your head, and say, I suppose, there's nobody knows, whether what I have got be verse or notby the tune and the time, it ought to be rhyme, but if it be, did you ever see, of late, or of yore, such a ditty before? The thought did occur, to me and to her, as Madam and I, did walk not fly, over hills and dales, with spreading sails, before it was dark to Weston Park.
The news at O'ney, is little or noney; but such as it is, I send it, viz., Poor Mr. Peace, cannot yet cease, addling his head, with what you said, and has left parish church, quite in the lurch, having almost swore, to go there no more.
Page and his wife, that made such a strife, we met them twain, in D......g lane, we gave them the wall, and that was all. For Mr. Scot, we have seen him not, except as he pass'd in a wonderfull haste, to see a friend in Silver End. Mrs. Jones proposes, e'er July closes, that she and her sister, and her Jones Mister, and we that are here, our course shall steer, to dine in the spinney, but for a guinea, if the weather should hold, so wet and so cold, we had better by far, stay where we are; for the grass there grows, while nobody mows, (which is very wrong.) so rank and long, that so to speak, 'tis at least a week, if it happen to rain, e'er it dries again.
I have writ Charity, not for popularity, but as well as I could, in hopes to do good. And if the Review'r, should say to be sure, the gentleman's muse, wears methodist shoes, you may know by her pace and talk about grace, that she and her bard, have little regard, for the tastes and fashions, and ruling passions, and hoydning play, of the modern day, and though she assume, a borrowed plume, and now and then wear, a tittering air, 'tis only her plan, to catch if she can, the giddy and gay, as they go that way, by a production, on a new construction, and [she] has baited her trap, in hopes to snap, all that may come, with a sugar plumb, his opinion in this, will not be 'amiss, 'tis what I intend, my principal end, and if it[I]succeed, and folks should read, 'till a few are brought, to a serious thought, I shall think I am paid, for all I have said, and all I have done, though I have run, many a time, after a rhyme, as far as from hence, to the end of my sense, and by hook or crook, write another book, if I live and am here, another year.
I have heard before, of a room with a floor, laid upon springs, and such like things, with so much art, in every part, that when you went in, you was forced to begin, a minuet pace, with an air and a grace, swimming about, now in and now out, with a deal of state, in a figure of eight, without pipe or string, or any such thing, and now I have writ, in a rhiming fit, what will make you dance, and as you advance, will keep you still, though against your will, dancing away, alert and gay, 'till you come to an end of what I have pennd, which that you may do, e'er Madam and you, are quite worn out with jigging about, I take my leave, and here you receive, a bow profound, down to the ground, from your humble me,
W.C. P. S. When I concluded, doubtless you did, think me right, as well you might, in saying what, I said of Scot, and then it was true, but now it is due, to Him to note, that since I wrote, Himself and He, has visited we.
July 12th, 1791, [1781.]
PUNCTUALITY. Mr. Editor,-As I presume that the Youths' Magazine is read by many Sunday school teachers, I send you a short paper, written at the request of one of our suburban Unions, the history of which will at once explain the reason of my sending it to you, and furnish a much-needed, and I hope, profitable lesson.
Some little time since, I was requested to prepare an essay for a periodical meeting of teachers-of course at a very short notice, as those who are themselves dilatory, are always the most noted for hurrying other people. I, however, consented, choosing a theme which, I hope you will allow, was not very inappropriate.
Five minutes before the time appointed, I was at my post, and having waited till nearly five minutes after, without the pleasure of meeting any of the teachers, or even the secretary himself, I left my compliments with the door-keeper, and a message to the effect, that I had gone home again ; thus, perhaps, giving them a more effective lecture on the importance of punctuality, than I should have done, had we actually come into contact.
T. F. Time, as an element of order in Sunday schools.
If time be “the stuff life is made of,” it is highly desirable that it should be rightly divided and appropriated. The wisest of men tells us there is a time for every thing; and every day's experience proves the value of his remark. For a good thing, if done at a wrong time, becomes as thoroughly bad, as if done in a wrong spirit or an improper manner. God's commendation, too, is pronounced on those words only which are spoken in season-not on those which are uttered out of it.
But valuable as the right appropriation of time is thus shewn to be, its right measure and division, are of nearly equal importance. It has been well said that if we lose an hour in the morning, we may run after it all day without overtaking it. Yet this carelessness is a very common fault among Sunday school teachers — not, perhaps, to the extent of an hour—but often to no inconsiderable portion of time. Five minutes' procrastination will push every thing out of its proper place or proportion, as really, though not to the same extent as sixty, and occasion as much confusion and disorder, amounting not unfrequently to the entire subversion of all comfort or usefulness.
I am not speaking now of a want of punctuality only in commencing Sabbath school exercises. The spirit which I am anxious to correct, pervades every part of those exercises, dislocating and deranging all the movements of machinery which ought to be exact as clockwork; and actually doing mischief where good only should be thought of.
But as the worst feature (which I shall therefore mention first) I would dwell particularly on this want of punctuality—this utter disregard and recklessness of time—as concerns the commencement of Sabbath school duties. There are many secretaries, and superintendents, and moderators, who practically recognize the heathenish notion that time was made for slaves, and for slaves only–who come dawdling to their duties, five, ten, twenty minutes after the proper time, and who yet expect their brother-teachers, and their young charge are to do nothing till they arrive.
Multiplying the minutes thus wasted, by the number of souls kept waiting, how many hours are squandered in this way every
Sabbath? Yet, this I do not hesitate to say, so far as my limited experience has extended, is a common evil in Sabbath schools. Indeed I have often thought that it must be a recognized principle with teachers, especially as it pervades one of their favorite hymns –
“The clock has struck-I cannot stay"