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Baptists, and so on. Do all these differ from one another in their interpretation of the Bible? Yes, in some things. Is not this remarkable? Yes, at first sight it does appear so. Is the Bible to be blamed for these differences ? No, certainly not; no more than Christ was to be blamed for the different opinions held respecting him. Matt. xvi. 13—17. How do you account for these differences ? In general I account for them by the imperfections of men. Explain your meaning further. I mean that all men are imperfect—some in one respect and some in another, and hence they view the same things in different lights. Can you mention any particular causes of these differences ? Yes. Ignorance, idleness, prejudice, self-interest, priestcraft, the imposition of creeds, the establishment of religion by the state, and many others. Let us take up the first of them. How is ignorance a cause of differences ? Some men know very little as compared with others, and therefore when they read the Bible very often misunderstand it. Can you give some example ? Yes. Suppose a little child to read the Bible, it knows very little of the meaning of what it reads. Most of the words, and many
of the customs and allusions require explaining, before it can understand what is read. But is it so with those who are grown up? Yes. Many are nearly as ignorant as children. Besides, the Bible contains so much, and refers to so many things, that the wisest men may err in their interpretation of it. What should we learn from this ? To gain all the knowledge we can, so as to be able to understand as much of God's word as possible.
IMPROVEMENT. Dwell upon the fact that although the wisest cannot exhaust the contents of the Bible, yet even the little child may so understand it as to become wise unto salvation.
Morning Reading, 1 Kings ii, 1–27.
Morning Lesson, Matt. xv. 21–28.
NOTES ON THE LESSON.
VERSE 21. Whence did Jesus depart? From Gennesaret. Matt. xiv. 34. Where were Tyre and Sidon? On the shores of the Mediterranean sea.—VERSE 22. What is this woman called by Mark ? Mark yii. 26. What did her saying, “ Thou Son of David,” imply ? That she regarded him as the Messiah. Does Mark relate anything which showed her earnestness and reverence ? Mark vii. 25.VERSE 23. Why did not Christ answer? To try her faith. What did the language of the disciples prove? That they were not so merciful as their Master. -VERSE 24. To whom did Christ address these words ? To the woman. What did he mean by them? That
he came especially to minister to the Jews.-Verse 25. How did she worship? By bowing down before him. The word "worship" means, to bow down before.-Verse 26. Who were the children referred to ? The Jews. Who were the dogs ? The Gentiles. Did Christ regard the Jews and Gentiles in this light ? No, his conduct to this woman showed otherwise.—Verse 27. What did she mean by“ truth, Lord ?” That she was willing to be regarded even as a dog, and that she knew that she had no right to the children's bread. What does the remainder of this verse mean? That as dogs are permitted to eat of the crumbs which fall from the table, so the Gentiles might be permitted to share in some of the blessings of the Jews.—VERSE 28. How did her faith prove itself to be great ? By her perseverance and earnestness, notwithstanding what Christ had said. Read Mark's account of the miracle. Mark vii. 29, 30.
IMPROVEMENT. How thankful should we be that Christ makes no distinction now between Jew and Gentile. What encouragement we have to persevere in prayer by our Saviour's conduct in this instance.
Afternoon Reading, Gen. xxxvii.
Afternoon Lesson, Matt. xvi. 5-12.
NOTES ON THE LESSON.
Verse 5. The other side of what? The sea of Galilee. How did they go ? Mark viii. 13. Had they no bread at all? Mark viii. 14.Verse 6. Why did Jesus speak these words at that time? Because he had just left the Pharisees, and no doubt was thinking much about their false doctrine.- Verse 7. What interpretation did the disciples put upon Christ's words ? Probably they thought that Christ cautioned them against purchasing bread made or used by the Pharisees.-Verse 8. Are we told that Jesus overheard them talking ? No, he knew what was in man, without hearing their words. How did the conduct of the disciples show that they had little faith? If they had had proper faith in Christ, they would not have been anxious about bread, and would have understood at once that he spake figuratively.–Verses 9, 10. Why did Christ work the miracles of which he reminds the disciples ? That they might be convinced of his great power, and exercise faith in him. How did the disciples show that they did not understand the import of these miracles ? By their not believing now that Christ was able to procure them bread.--Verse 11. How was the doctrine of the Pharisees and Sadducees like leaven? Leaven diffuses itself speedily through four; in like manner false doctrine speedily, diffuses itself through the spirit and corrupts the heart of them who receive it. Is anything else compared to leaven by Christ ? Matt. xiii. 33.-Verse 12. How was it that they understood now ? Because Christ had corrected their error, and they were therefore prepared to arrive at his meaning. Read Mark's account. Mark vü, 14-21.
IMPROVEMent. Dwell upon the importance of treasuring up in our memories the lessons which Christ has taught us.
REVIEWS. Sutherland as it was and is; or how a country may be ruined.
Edinburgh : J. Johnstone. London: R. Groombridge. 1843. Price Sixpence.
We should like to see this pamphlet scattered far and wide over the whole country. Apart from the very grave questions which it submits to the attention of the British public, it is one of the most interesting publications of the kind that we have read for a long time. The author is one out of a million for power of delineation. In a literary point of view his production is of the highest merit. We know not whether his pen be that of a ready writer; it is certainly that of a master limner. His subject, whatever it may be, is grasped with wonderful ease and power, and laid before the reader in all its proportions with a facile skill that is surprising. He is certainly a graphic writer-whether his subject refer to the various aspects of outward nature, or the character and conduct of plodding and plotting
The object of this pamphlet is to trace the contrast, with its causes, between the present condition of Sutherland and its former condition under the “good earls.” Public attention has always so many objects to rivet it of a general and commanding nature, that minor ones, affecting limited portions of the community only, are too often passed over with slight notice : they make no impression unless invested with something adapted to strike the mind irrespective of the quarter from which they proceed or to which they refer. It is only on this principle that we can account for the indifference of the British public to what has been going on in Sutherland. Now that, through the movements of the free church of Scotland, the great evils perpetrated in Sutherland in bye-gone and present times have been brought to light, we trust they will engage the attention which is due : certain we are, they cannot engage too much. A tyranny, it seems from indisputable data, has been exercised amongst the loyal and religious Highlanders of Sutherland, which foreigners have been quick to perceive whilst we of England have slept: a tyranny, which perhaps we had continued to disregard, notwithstanding foreign remonstrance, had not modern agitation brought it prominently before us. Amongst the “oppressions” to be witnessed “under the sun,” that which this pamphlet so vividly pourtrays is by no means the least. Cobbett, the quickscented and keen-sighted, alone appears to have detected the monstrous procedure; and even he was too idle, or too busy, to follow up his suspicions by those observations which would have discovered the whole of the enormity.
How mysteriously does Providence work! Truly “his path is in the great waters,” and mortal eye cannot always trace it. What great events hang upon apparently trivial causes! The security of the oppressor cannot last long. Unexpected events occur, which in their ultimate issues baffle the wisest plans, and the most deep-laid schemes. A religious question, as easily as a political question, may be fanned into a flame which shall in the end consume corruption in quarters little suspected of taint in the outset. The ease and the grace with which a duke may wear his coronet, is never to be reckoned on as of long duration, whenever injustice plots beneath the jewelry: the disease will be sure to betray itself sooner or later.
The simple story of aggression and wrong narrated in this pamphlet is as follows. At the decease of William, the seventeenth Earl of Sutherland, and his Lady, " the sole survivor and heir of the family was a female infant of but a year old. Her maternal grandmother, an ambitious, intriguing woman of the world, had the chief share in her general training and education; and she was brought up in the south of Scotland, of which her grandmother was a native, far removed from the influence of those genial sympathies with the people of her clan, for which the old lords of Sutherland had been so remarkable. And, what was a sorer evil still, from the influence of the vitalities of that religion which, for five generations together, her fathers had illustrated and adorned.” Eventually this young countess
married into a noble English family-an event which brought “ a new set of eyes” upon the country, "eyes accustomed to quite a different face of things.” “ It seemed a wild, rude country, where all was wrong, and all had to be set right.” Henceforth Sutherland became the subject of a cruel experiment.
“ The plan of improvement sketched out by the English family was a plan easy of conception. Here is a vast tract of land, furnished with two distinct sources of wealth. Its shores may be made the seats of extensive fisheries, and the whole of its interior parcelled out into productive sheep-farms. All is waste in its present state: it has no fisheries, and two-thirds of its internal produce is consumed by the inhabitants. It had contributed, for the use of the community and the landlord, its large herds of black cattle ; but the English family saw, and, we believe, saw truly, that for every one pound of beef which it produced, it could be made to produce two pounds of mutton, and perhaps a pound of fish in addition. And it was resolved, therefore, that the inhabitants of the central districts, who, as they were mere Celts, could not be transformed, it was held, into store-farmers, should be marched down to the sea-side, there to convert themselves into fishermen, on the shortest possible notice, and that a few farmers of capital, of the industrious Lowland race, should be invited to occupy the new subdivision of the interior.”
This greedy plan was carried out with all the heartlessness consistent with the undertaking. The county was cleared of its inhabitants. Reluctance on the part of the Highlanders to quit their farms—so long possessed by them and their ancestors in peace—was overcome by force. The heaths surrounding the farms were set on fire—the starving cattle “went roaming over the burnt pastures, and found nothing to eat”-houses were pulled down over the heads of the inhabitants--and in one day, in an extensive tract of country, not a human dwelling was left standing. • Many deaths are said to have ensued from alarm, fatigue, and cold.” Donald Mc Leod, a native of the county, and himself a sufferer, thus describes the scene which he witnessed :
“ The work of devastation was begun by setting fire to the houses of the small tenants in extensive districts-Farr, Rogart, Golspie, and the whole parish of Kildonan. I was an eye-witness