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splendour, and all the worldly possessions fore get wisdom, and with all thy getting, of a king are but dross before Him who get understanding.” When the merchanis “Lord of lords, and King of kings.” dise of the world is consumed, when the of all the glorious things which we put ships are destroyed, and the sea itself into the crucible, not a particle remains. dried up, then will the promise of eternal They are all consumed, there is nothing life be, "Yea and amen in Christ Jesus," left in the refining-pot,
for the hope of the righteous shall not be Let us try the merchants, and all those cut off ; it will endure the trial of the rewho compass sea and land, to bring back fining-pot. from the remote parts of the earth that “Every man" untaught of God, "at which is valuable. They have crossed his best estate, is altogether vanity.” We the trackless deep: they have endured will now look at the possessions of the peril and hardship, and have returned learned and the worldly-wise--men who richly laden with their choicest merchan- have laboured hard to obtain knowledge, dise : bring their gold and ivory, their whose company is desired, whose names costly bales and precious spices; bring are held in great estimation, and who all they have obtained, and put them are looked upon as the lights of the into the refining-pot.
world. The books are many which they These things being neither obtained in have compiled to instruct and amuse us the fear of the Lord, nor used to extend on earth, but where are those which his glory, shall not endure. They will they have written to guide us to heaven? yield their owners no comfort in death, We will put their works and their reputanor hope of eternal life. The time shall tion together into the refining pot. come when “the merchants of the earth The worldly-wise possess all knowledge shall weep and mourn, for no man buyeth but the knowledge of God, and of his their merchandise any more." They Son Jesus Christ; and lacking this, all have compassed the waters, but have not other knowledge is vain.
“Of making sought out “ the river of the water of many books there is no end ; and much life.” They have crossed the mountain study is a weariness of the flesh.” “The and the valley to obtain what "satisfieth wisdom of this world is foolishness with not," but what will their merchandise God.” If this be the case how could we avail them at the smoking unt of reasonably hope that such wisdom would Sinai, or in the dark “valley of the sha- endure the trial of the refining-pot? See dow of death ?" Had they striven to ob- the books and the reputation and all tain “the Pearl of great price,” their belonging to the worldly wise which we possessions would have been sanctified put into the crucible; all is consumed; with Divine grace; their merchandise not a fragment can be found in the rewould have been “holiness to the Lord,” fining-pot; not an atom is left for eternity. and they would have possessed themselves It is not earthly but heavenly wisdom of true wisdom. Happy is the man which will endure. “ The fear of the that findeth wisdom, and the man that Lord is the beginning of wisdom; a good getteth understanding ; for the merchan- understanding have all they that do his dise of it is better than the merchandise commandments.” If the worldly-wise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine knew more of the plague of their own gold. She is more precious than rubies; hearts ; if they knew more of the glad and all the things thou canst desire are tidings of salvation; if they knew Him, not to be compared unto her. Length of “whom to know is eternal life ;" then days is in her right hand, and in her left would their works endure; but now, they hand riches and honour. Her ways are wither in the fire, and abide not the trial ways of pleasantness, and all her paths of the refining-pot. are peace.”
What are the possessions of the mighty Look at the refining-pot; the costly men of war, who have dyed their swords, cargoes and precious things which were and rolled their garments in blood ? They put into it are gone; the trial fire has have dared to meet danger and death; consumed them all.
their names are recorded in history, and Seeing that the merchandise of the repeated by thousands, as the champions world will not bear the trial of the re- of their country, and the conquerors of fining-pot, let us seek after that which the earth. “ Verily, they have their rewill endure it, even heavenly wisdom, ward”-the homage of men in their lives, for “ wisdom is the principal thing, there- and a marble statue over their moulder
ing remains. But bring the homage of “ Lay not up for yourselves treasures mankind, and the sculptured marble, and upon earth, where moth and rust doth the page of history which records their corrupt, and where thieves break through deeds, and cast them at once into the re- and steal; but lay up for yourselves fining-pot. How will they bear the trial fire treasures in heaven, where moth nor rust of the word of the Most High. “Blessed doth corrupt, and where thieves do not are the merciful; for they shall obtain break through and steal; for where your mercy.” “ Thou shalt love thy neigh- treasure is, there will your heart be also." bour as thyself.” “A new commandment : “Labour not to be rich; cease from thine I give unto you, that ye love one an- own wisdom. Wilt thou set thine eyes other.” “ Love your enemies, bless upon that which is not? for riches certhem that curse you, do good to them tainly make themselves wings; they fly that hate you, and pray for them which away as an eagle toward heaven.” despitefully use you, and persecute you.” shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the “Scatter thou the people that delight in whole world, and lose his own soul ?" war."
“ Lose his own soul!" what a mockery The possessions of the warrior are con- then are riches! All that we heaped sumed as flax, and the refining-pot is together in the refining-pot is destroyed. again empty.
If riches could protect us from calamity; Let not him who delighteth in war if they could preserve us from pain, dispretend to love God. “If a man say, I ease, and death; if they could purchase love God, and hateth his brother, he is an inheritance in heaven; then every a liar : for he that loveth not his brother man ought to be anxious to obtain them; whom he hath seen, how can he love God but if they cannot do these things, then whom he hath not seen ?”. Had the “set your affections on things above, and mighty warriors of the world been readers not on things on the earth." “ Better is of the Bible, they might have been little with the fear of the Lord, than startled by the words, “Whosoever hateth great treasure and trouble therewith.” his brother is a murderer.” Had they The covetous man makes but a bad barbeen soldiers of Christ, they would have gain, for riches can at best but serve “resisted lusts which war against the him a little in this life, while “Godliness soul.” Had they fought under the banner is profitable unto all things, having the of the cross, they might have been more promise of the life that now is, and of that than conquerors," and, instead of shed which is to come. Though the riches of ding the blood of others, have served him the world may endure for a few short who shed his blood for them. As it is, years, they never will endure the trial of their hands are stained with the blood of the refining-pot. their fellow-sinners, and “instruments of But let us now put something into the cruelty are in their habitation.” Oh, for refining-pot that appears more likely to the reign of the Redeemer, when they stand the fire. Let us take the deeds of shall “beat their swords into plough- a man renowned for his goodness among shares, and their spears into pruning mankind. He has helped to build hooks ;" when “nation shall not lift up churches, and erect hospitals; he has sword against nation, neither shall they fasted and prayed. The almshouses on learn war any more.
The possessions the hill were raised at his expense, and of the warrior can never endure the fiery the charity boys were clothed by him. trial of the refining-pot.
His name is inscribed in gold letters as There are in the world those who de- the patron of the poor, and a thousand light in laying up silver and gold; and tongues, far and wide, praise his piety cheat themselves of the mercies which and benevolence. But have these things God has so abundantly bestowed upon been done for God's glory or for his the children of men, who delight to see own? To extend the Redeemer's kingtheir golden store increase, though it dom or his own reputation ? Put his cost them their peace here, and their piety and benevolence; put all his deeds salvation hereafter. Gold is their desire, into the refining-pot. See how his works gold is their delight, and gold is the god wither before the flame! for they were all they idolatrously worship.
done to obtain the homage of mankind ! We must put that gold into the refining- They may give reputation in life, but pot, and see if it be as valuable as it ap- they will yield no hope in death; they
will neither preserve their possessor from
pears to be.
PRIESTS AND PEOPLE OF ITALY.
hell, nor guide him to heaven. “Not thy repentance and thy faith shall enevery one that saith unto me Lord, Lord, dure. A new song shall be put into thy shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; mouth, and thou shalt "enter into the but he that doeth the will of my Father joy of thy Lord.” which is in heaven." " What is the Of all that we have tried in the refininghope of the hypocrite, though he hath pot, the repentance and the faith of a gained, when God taketh away his soul." pardoned sinner have alone endured the "The hypocrite's hope shall perish : fire. Let us, then, humbly seek repentance whose hope shall be cut off, and whose and faith of him who can alone bestow trust shall be a spider's web.” Nothing them, in the name and for the sake of that hypocrisy can bring, will bear for a Jesus Christ our Lord.” moment the trial fire of the refining-pot. The sun had now set, and the shadows
Come, lastly, thou tried and tempest- of eventide were gathering around. The tossed believer, whose heart is sinking old man closed his Bible in a manner within thee on account of thy manifold which showed his reverence for the word unworthiness, and of the hiding of God's of God, and rising from his seat he once countenance! who considerest thyself more slowly retraced his steps across the poor, and miserable, and blind, and spacious hall, accompanied by his comnaked; bring the little that thou hast, panion. that we may cast it into the refining-pot. Haply He, whose are the silver and the gold, may open the treasuries of his grace, making thy little much, so that thou mayest yet abound in enduring Dr. Baird says: “There is an amount riches.
of ignorance, gross ignorance, in the Thou feelest thyself to be a sinner, overwhelming majority of the parish and repentest of thine iniquity. Though priests and monks of almost every order, sadly tried, and sorely tempted by un-ihat would seem incredible to those who belief, yet hast thou faith in the death have not visited that country, and learned and sufferings of our Lord and Saviour the true state of things from the best auJesus Christ. Thou art a sinner! “This thorities. The greater part read little or is a faithful saying, and worthy of all ac- nothing from day to day, but the required ceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the portions of the breviary. Vast numbers of world to save sinners.” Thou believest them never composed a sermon in their in the Son of God, and that “he is able lives. Many of them never preach at also to save them to the utterinost that all, or, if they do, it is only on the festicome unto God by him.” “God so loved vals and great occasions; and then they the world, that he gave his only begotten avail themselves of the many helps which Son, that whosoever believeth on him they find prepared for their use. The should not perish, but have everlasting most that the priests and monks do in life.” Thy repentance and thy faith the way of public religious service, is to are the gift of God, his work in thee, and say mass, and repeat matins and vespers. resting upon him, they are uninjured in That they devote much of their time to the refining-pot. Thou hast no costly deeds hearing confessions, visiting the sick, adto offer up as a sacrifice; thy heart is ministering the sacraments, etc., we do broken, and thy spirit cast down on ac- not deny. It is certainly a general opicount of thy 'utter unworthiness; but nion in Italy, that very many of the “the sacrifices of God are a broken secular, or parish clergy, are corrupt in spirit: a broken and a contrite heart thou, their lives. That there is a great deal of O God, wilt not despise." Take courage, wickedness among the monks is also then, thou fearful servant of Christ, for asserted. How often have we heard it thou art a “child of God, an inheritor said in Italy, by Italians themselves, of the kingdom of heaven!” When the that many of the clergy, of all grades, majesty of the king faileth, and the mer- are sceptics and infidels. What proporchandise of the merchant is consumed; tion are such no one knows; but it is when the weapons of the warrior are believed that there are thousands. Very broken, and the wisdom of the worldly different is the character of the French, wise is forgotten; when the gold of the Swiss, and German Roman Catholic covetous has crumbled in the dust, and priests. the hope of the hypocrite has perished, "That a very small proportion of the
priests and monks in Italy possess and sound moral instruction, for they conread the sacred Scriptures, in any lan- tain the only revelation which God has guage, is what no Roman Catholic of that given to man, and impart unto us the country will venture to deny. How then knowledge which we need, of the existcan it be expected that they should have ence and character of our Creator, of our much clear knowledge of the glorious relations to him, of our duties to him plan of salvation which the Bible re- and to our fellow-men, and of the way by veals ?”'
which we may secure his favour and Of the popular religion, Dr. Baird eternal life,-Rome sends the people to writes: “The religion of the people of the perusal of the lives of the saints, and Italy is emphatically the religion of sen- books of a similar stamp, and deprives timent; and every fine art-painting, them of the Sacred Oracles, save the pormusic, architecture, sculpture-has been tions which are to be found in her serrendered tributary to it. To enjoy the vice-books, the Missal and the Breviary." above described sweet emotions, when connected with the services of the church, which these create in warm and excitable temperaments, is the highest religious
THE IGNIS FATUUS, THE WILL O' THE
WISP OR JACK O' LANTERN. happiness, in the estimation of the masses in that country, who have a capacity to
No. I. enjoy them. But these feelings, however There are few who have resided in the pleasant, having nothing in them of the fenny and swampy districts of our island nature of true holiness, and being withal who have not, occasionally at least, seen extremely evanescent, it is not wonderful those dancing lights hovering a few feet that those, whose religion consists mainly above the surface of the earth or water, in them, should experience nothing of popularly called will-o'-the-wisp, - and that moral renovation which they so few who have seen them have not specumuch need, nor of that internal peace lated as to their nature. which flows from faith, not in a cross of At almost all times of the year do wood, but in Him who died on a cross for these “wild fires dancing o'er the heath," our sins. And here is the grand defect of make their appearance, but it is chiefly the Roman Catholic religion. It consists late in the autumn, and especially in the too much in the emotions which are month of November that they are to be created by sensible objects, or exciting seen, Aitting in mazy circles and irregupictures presented to the imagination, by lar evolutions, sometimes along the edges the perpetual reference to material things, of the morass, over the tops of withered made by preachers and confessors, and sedges, reeds, and brushwood, sometimes too little in those intelligible and purify- over the still surface of the oozy bog, ing feelings of true sorrow for sin, of sometimes over palings and hedgerows. blessed and glorious Jehovah, which no- draining of our swamps has taken place, thing but the Holy Spirit can produce in the wild-fire, or will-o'-the-wisp is less the heart of any man.
frequently to be seen than formerly; yet Concerning practical morality, he adds: in some parts of France and Germany it " What can
we hope from the moral is far from uncommon. The French term teachings of a church, which still at-it "feu follet." tempts to deceive the people with lying Various theories have been propounded wonders, with absurd miracles, contrived in order to clear
mystery attached by priestly cunning, in order to hold in to these “merry wanderers of the night,' bondage weak and superstitious souls, some contending that the fitful flames are and which are even the subjects of ridi- produced by luminous insects on the cule among the well-informed? That the wing, -others that they are produced by influence of the Roman Catholic church bubbles or exhalations of inflammable upon the manners and lives of the people gas generated in the ooze, or turbid water, of Italy is not likely to be very salutary, which ignites when in contact with the will appear quite probable when we con- atmosphere. The latter theory is that sider how little calculated it is to secure generally adopted, but the first has found that effect. Instead of inculcating the many supporters. The several insects duty of reading the Sacred Scriptures, which various observers or theorists have which are the only true source of all respectively asserted to produce this light are the glowworm, some species of gnat | these ignes fatui ought to be equally or tipula, and the mole-cricket (Gryllo- abundant, and to be met with in numbers, talpa.)
dancing about every evening during May, With respect to the glowworm, the June, and July, but such is decidedly not wingless female of a species of beetle, the case. They may be seen starring the (Lampyris noctiluca,) of which the male warm banks, but not fitting in the air. is scarcely, if at all luminous, but is capa- As to the luminosity being caused by ble of flight, as conducive to the appear- some species of gnat or tipula, we can ances in question. Mr. Derham, in the find no authority for the idea,* except in Transactions of the Royal Society, vol. a communication to the Magazine of V., says, “It is the opinion of divers Natural History, 1837, in which the sugskilful naturalists, particularly Mr. Francis gestion is thrown out on the account given Willoughby and Mr. Ray, that the ignes by a farmer, to the narrator, of a will-o'fatui are only the shining of a great the-wisp, which hovered over the backs number of the male glowworms in Eng- of a herd of cattle he was driving at night land, or of the Pyranstæ in Italy. My from Aylesbury to London, and which at own observations I made in a place that last flitting within his reach, he struck lay in a valley between rocky hills, which down with his stick; when its light was I suspect might contain minerals, in some extinguished. He, however, as he says, boggy ground near the bottom of these picked it up, when it appeared exactly hills. When seeing one in a calm, dead like a “moggy long-legs,” (tipula,) wherenight, with gentle approaches I got up upon his conclusion was, that this wanby degrees within two or three yards of dering light“ is nothing but a fly.”. We it, and viewed it with all the care I pos- cannot say that the account is at all consibly could. I found it frisking about a clusive. dead thistle growing in the field, until a Let us next consider the claims of the small motion of the air, even such as was mole-cricket to be regarded as the source caused by the approximation of myself, of the ignis fatuus. This insect, as is made it skip to another place, and thence well-known, is expressly formed for burto another and another.' Derham, how- rowing, and lives in mines and chambers, ever did not ascertain that it was a glow- which it works out, in soft earth, selectworm : the male, moreover, would not ing damp and humid localities, in which emit any bright luminosity, and he admits colonies often establish themselves, and the proximity of boggy ground, in a rarely emerge from their retreats. In the mineral district, where glowworms are second volume of the Introduction to
To surmount one difficulty, how- Entomology we find the following cirever, other writers have asserted, upon cumstance related, as tending to prove no proof, that the male glowworm carries the ignis fatuus and mole-cricket to be through the air his luminous mate, and identical. “ The rev. Dr. Sutton, of thus sportively flits "over bush, over Norwich, when he was curate of Ticklebrier.” Mr. Aikin, in his "Tour through ton, Cambridgeshire, in 1780, knew a farWales," says, “I was not a little sur- mer of that place, who brought to him prised to see the glowworms at our ap- a mole-cricket, and told him that one proach darting over the hedges into the of his people seeing a jack-o'-lantern, fields. Knowing the female alone to be pursued and knocked it down, when it luminous, and destitute of wings, this
* In Mr. Kirby's “Introduction to Entomology,". phenomenon puzzled me a good deal, nor the learned writer, who leans to the insect source of can I account for it except upon the sup- the ignis fatuus, gives the following narrative:
“Mr. Sheppard, travelling one night between position of the male bearing the female
Stamford and Grantham on the top of the stage, through the air.” Here again is a defi- observed for more than ten minutes a very large ciency of close investigation. It might ignis fatuus on the low marshy grounds, which had have been, as Mr. Aikin says, but the
every appearance of being an insect. The wind
was very high, consequently had it been a vapour, ignis fatuus occurs in districts where the it must have been carried forward in a direct line, glowworm is unknown, and at seasons of but this was not the case. It had the same motions
as a tipula, flying upwards and downwards, backthe year when it is never to be seen. wards and forwards,
sometimes appearing as settled Moreover, the male glowworm is so much and sometimes as hovering in the air." How a smaller than the female that it would very large flame could be produced by a tipula, or
harry-long-legs, granting it to be luminous, is more seem impossible for him to fit about so
If the tipula were luminous, sportively with such a burden. Besides how many thousands of these wandering lights
should we not see every night in the meadows durin districts where the glowworm abounds, ing summer.
than we can tell.