Εικόνες σελίδας
Ηλεκτρ. έκδοση

manifestation of the truth as it is where in connexion with the appliin Jesus,” by the Holy Ghost. This, cation of the funds of the Institublessed be the name of the Lord! has tion to which I have made this brief been accomplished in cases quite as allusion. Well may our cheeks be desperate, as I sball, I trust, be able overspread bytheblush of shame, when to show in a subsequent letter. Ge. we see the noblest designs of benevo. nerally and deeply depraved as the lence entirely frustrated by the selfishmembers of this portion of the In- ness and cupidity of the human heart. dian race are, they are very harmless Though slavery never existed in and inoffensive, and their presence Nova Scotia, nor I believe was it is no longer dreaded by the settlers ever sanctioned in any of the present ia any part of the country. They dominions of Great Britain on the are placed under the spiritual direc- continent of America, there are, at a tion of the Rompish Priesthood in the moderate computation, between two colony ; but I never conversed with and three thousand Africans scatany one of them who understood tered over that province, not a few even the first principles of the Gos- of whom were once held in bondage pel; and I believe that I use “the in a country, the first principle in words of truth and soberness," when the constitution of which is, that I state, that there is too much reason “all men are born free and equal; to fear, that their knowledge and and that life, liberty, and the pursuit practice of Christianity are limited to of happiness are unalienable rights the exhibition of a few symbols of with which their Creator has entheir faith on their persons, together dowed them.” Some of them are with the observance of a few ce- employed as domestic servants and remonies, and an annual visit to day-labourers; while others are a Priest for the purpose of con- settled on lands, from the produce fession ; at which time they usually of which thay derive a part of their take with them a present of furs or support, which is in many cases other articles, that they may deem scanty indeed. For some time after suitable on such an occasion. At they were placed on their respective tempts have been made to improve locations rations were issued to them the condition of the Indians in New from the King's storés, under the Brunswick, under the direction of a direction of the Colonial authorities ; Society, formed for that purpose by but since that aid was withheld, they the New England Company. But have had to endure many privations. though it was placed under very li- There is an African settlement at beral and highly respectable patron. Hammond's Plains, a place that is age, it has utterly failed in its object, within a few miles of Halifax; and "to propagate and advance the during the last discussion of the Christian and Protestant religion great measure of pegro emancipa. among them:” a result, which will tion in the British Parliament, the excite no surprise, when it is consic condition of these settlers, as dedered that the method by which they scribed by Mr. M.Gregor in his ponaimed at its accomplishment was, derous work on British America, that of placing the children of the was appealed to, as affording decisive aborigines as apprentices in the fa- evidence of the unfitness of the milies of certain individuals, who then slave population of the West sought to obtain them, not for the Indies to discharge all the duties of purpose of instilling into their minds a free peasantry, so as to secure the sound religious principles, but from interests of their masters and their a desire to acquire for their own be- own comfort. Such of your readers nefit the pecuniary gain connected as have read the volumes in question, with the engagement. Hence, to may learn from the author's attempts use a convenient phrase, adopted by to identify his statements of the irrea late distinguished Commander, gularities of certain persons of cothey have “ advanced backward” lour on Prince Edward Island with in the path of improvement; and a Methodistical teaching, how to estifearful responsibility rests some mate the value of his testimony in

reference to such facts. During remained nearly nine months in a nearly three of the years that he was state of separation; but, convinced on that island, I was stationed there of his error, he returned again to the myself; and during that period there fold, and requested that he might be was only one coloured family con- allowed to pay the full amount of nected with our society; and at class and ticket money which he Three-Rivers, where they dwelt, the would have contributed if he had refather was greatly respected for his mained in the society, because he felt piety, industry, and integrity. Such that he had done wrong in forsaking was the confidence reposed in his the church. He died in peace, in veracity, that a white man who re- a good old age; and committed his sided near him, assured me that if body to the grave “in sure and cerhe were engaged in a suit at law, tain hope of the resurrection to eterand our coloured friend were to be nal life. summoned as a witness against him, It is no wonder that the predial nehe would be as well satisfied groes in our provinces, as, for inwith his simple affirmation as to stance, those of them who are settled facts within his own knowledge, as in Nova-Scotia, are too generally if his testimony were given under found in such a state as excites the solemn sanction of an oath. It feelings of commiseration in every is well known to all who have visited well-regulated mind; for, in addithe African settlements at Ham- tion to the severity of the climate,mond's Plains, or in other parts of 80 different from that from which the province, that they afford few many of them have been brought,marks of improvement, and that the unfavourable nature of the land their occupants are poor indeed; assigned to them, their ignorance of but it is as inconsistent with sound many things necessary in order to logic, as it is unjust towards the ne- the profitable cultivation of the soil gro himself, to infer from such a fact which they occupy, it should be rethat in other countries, and under collected, that little or nothing has different circumstances, he would be been done to cultivate their minds or found in a state equally deplorable. to correct their vices; and that, in The fact is, that in Halifax many of reference to social intercourse, and I the families of Ham, in consequence may add, Christian communion in of their own industry, possess as one of the highest acts of religious large a portion of domestic comfort worship, they are too generally reas most, and more than some, who garded and treated as a degraded are placed in the same station of race. And yet, because they do not life with themselves; and many of improve, without the means of imthem are consistent members of our provement, they are to be taunted own and other Christian churches. by heartless men with their ignorance I knew an African in North Ame- and poverty; and while they are rica, who was brought to a know. looked upon as aliens from the human ledge of the truth at a comparatively family, because of the colour of their late period of life. He had been a skin, they are to be censured for slave, and was never taught to read; their want of self-respect. It is only but by frequent and serious attention proper to add, that until within a to the word of God, read and ex. comparatively short period, we had pounded by others, he obtained a only one Missionary stationed in very accurate and extensive ac- Halifax; and that his numerous pasquaintance with its important and toral engagements in town rendered interesting contents; and so entirely it impracticable for him to visit the was his spirit brought under the in- adjacent settlements, whether occufluence of divine grace, that though pied by white or by coloured inhabitnaturally a “violent man," in his ants. In that, as well as in every renewed state he became an example other part of our widely extended of meekness worthy of imitation. Missionary field, we greatly need an At one time he was induced to with increase of faithful labourers, draw himself from our society, and Dec. 18, 1834. R. ALDER.

A Commentary on the Old and New Testament, in which the Sacred Text is illustrated with copious Notes, Theological, Historical, and Critical; with Improvements and Reflections at the end of each Chapter. In Two Volumes. By the Rev. Joseph Sutcliffe, A.M., Author of a Grammar of the English Language, &c., and one of the Translators of Saurin's Sermons. Vol. I. 185. 6d. London: Holdsworth and Ball, Amen-corner, Paternoster-row; and John Mason, 14, City-roud.

Men who have spent a lengthened duties of his ministerial office wich life in the diligent study of the holy exemplary regularity and diligence, Scriptures, and have also employed but assigns himself the superadded their best efforts in striving, among task of preparing this elaborate different classes of the community, work for the press, as the fruit of and in every form of ministerial ser- his long application to biblical purvice, to promote their hallowing in suits. If there were nothing to refluence, cannot but enjoy peculiar commend the publication but the advantages for the profitable exposi years and character of its author,tion and application of inspired if it contained merely the thoughts truth. By the repeated lessons of and maxims of a mind assiduously personal experience, they have exercised during a protracted course learned, not to injure or abate their of time in spiritual things, even zeal, but to temper it with judgment though that mind were comparaand sobriety. Their meditations tively unfurnished with the literary have often been revised and correct, subsidies usually deemed requisite ed; they are free from the crude and to the clear interpretation of Scripundigested qualities which taint the ture,--it would even in that case have first essays of unpractised and un- claims on our attentive examination skilful writers ; and they possess a which ought not to be resisted. richness and maturity, which are so Who has not felt the weight of the congruous with age not yet enfeebled instructions which have sometimes by decay, and so admirably fitted to fallen from the lips of perhaps unaid the diffusion of heavenly light, lettered, but aged and established, and to foster every sentiment of Christians? Our venerable Founder piety in the heart. Fathers in Christ was fully alive to such an advantage speak- with a mild authority which as this. ' Referring to his purposed commands respect. When they teach, collection of Notes on the New Teswe may emphatically say with Eli. tament, he says, “I have been conhu, “Days should speak, and multi- tinually deterred from attempting tude of years should teach wisdom;" any thing of this kind, by a deep and may subjoin, not as be did by sense of my own inability; of my way of contrast, but by way of addi. want, not only of learning for such tionto their other attainments, “There a work, but much more of experiis a spirit in man; and the inspira- ence and wisdom. This has often. tion of the Almighty giveth them un- occasioned my laying aside the derstanding."

thought.” He further remarks conWe are led to this reflection by cerning the invaluable Notes which the volume which now lies before he at length prepared, “They were us, and by a reference to its justly not principally designed for men of esteemed author. He has faithfully learning, who are provided with devoted bis early and riper years to many other helps ; and much less the investigation and advancement for men of long and deep experience of the sacred verities which are em- in the ways and word of God. I bodied in the successive revelations desire to sit at their feet, and to of God to man; and now, at a period learn of them."'* when age naturally seeks respite from toil, and indulges in repose, he - Preface to “Explanatory Notes upnot only continues to discharge the on the New Testament."

But, together with the incalcula. and by other means, he has, without ble benefits derived from age and any ostentatious parade, furnished experience, our author brings to his the attentive reader with helps of no work a mind enriched with various ordinary value. Scarcely any Comlearning, and assisted in its inqui. mentary on the entire Scriptures, ries by an extensive course of appro- with which we are acquainted, conpriate reading. “The present work,” denses so much matter in an equal as he observes in the concluding part compass, or offers itself at so cheap of his excellent Introduction," is a price; while it is at the same time the result of his study and labour so contrived as pot to supersede the for about forty years. Favoured with use of larger Commentaries, where health, and a biblical library, he has ihey can be procured, but rather spent his mornings in reading the serves as an important addition to original Scriptures, with versions them. and comments. His favourite authors Our author is not inattentive to have been Jerome, Chrysostom, critical exposition. It is true, that and Theophylact of Bulgaria. Of his criticisms are generally short, the Reformers and Catholics, be and are not attended, or, as somehas studied Munster, Valla, Lyra. times happens, encumbered, with conus, Vatablus, Drusius, Castellio, pious citations and references; but Clarius, Calvin, Beza, Scaliger, Ca- they are terse and pointed. He not saubon, Cameron, Cappellus, Gro- unfrequently sums up in a single tius, Gagæus, Estius, Sa, Menochius, sentence what must have been the Tirinus, Heinsius, Gorannus, Light result of long and patient investifoot, Marlorat, &c. From these, gation. The illustrations which he the first and best of authors, he pro. draws from Pagan mythology, hisfesses to have culled honey, like the tory, natural philosophy, ancient bee, leaving the particular flowers manners and customs, and various less distinguished; but all their literary collections, some of which names appear as authorities of criti. may be termed comparatively new cism."

in biblical elucidation, are often very The Commentary, like the expo- excellent. He has contributed largely, sitions of many of the ancient fa- by these means, to the right underthers, the annotations of Grotius, standing of many obscure and diffiand the remarks of several other cult passages ; and has shown, by modern interpreters, is published his own example, how literary acquiwithout the text, excepting so far as sitions of every useful kind may be the text is introduced into the notes. pressed into the service of the sancOur author has undoubtedly adopted tuary, and made subordinate to the this method to save expense, and to augmentation of scriptural know. secure all possible brevity. It is not ledge, attended with any particular incon. Nor does the author neglect to venience. Every person in the pre- pay a steady and consistent regard sent day, with the ample facilities to the great doctrines of divine reafforded by the British and Foreign velation. He seizes every favouraBible Society, and other resources, ble opportunity of enforcing those is expected to possess a copy of the which are best adapted to prostrate holy Scriptures, which he can use, the pride of man, and lead him in whether in his closet or his fa- deep humiliation of soul to the mily, while reading this Commen. “throne of grace;” those too which tary. It is also, for many reasons, vindicate the honours, offices, and extremely desirable that he should mercies of our Almighty Deliverer, provide himself with an edition of and clearly unfold the way of our the Bible, containing the marginal salvation by him; and those which readings and textual references. We discover the ineffable provision made may add, that the author has freely for the full recovery and perpetual rendered such assistance as came peace of the human family in time within the limits of his plan. By and in eternity. Whenever the au. the summaries prefixed to each book, thor is guided, in the progress of his remarks, to such themes as these, who originally received them; and his mind expatiates as in its chosen they are not less truly appropriate to and favourite element. At such the succeeding generations of men, times, especially, the truths which ainidst all the modifications and be advances are placed in a living shapes which their external condilight, and invested with a warmth tion may assume. They are not and energy which nothing but a long confined to local and temporary limi. and experimental familiarity with tations: they address themselves to them could supply. The form, too, universal man, in whatever age or which such instructions assume, is nation he may live. To trace this pot unimportant. He selects and general application, and to connect advances them with a freeness which it with each particular case, is the corresponds to the character of the duty of every one who examines or Revelation on which he comments. expounds the sacred volume. Unfettered by a preconceived and Reflections on Scripture have, confined system, be ranges at large however, sometimes fallen into disthrough the wide paradise of Scrip. repute by the injudicious manner in ture, culls the flowers which every which they have been pursued. They where arise in apparent but regular bave been loose, jejune, and insipid, confusion, and presents them in their -have not seized on special topics, native freshness and fragrance to his or possessed the richness and force readers. Yet he never allows him which ought to form their genuine self to fall into licentious inconsis- character. At other times they have tency. While he plentifully ga- been fanciful and visionary. The thers what inspiration spontaneously reader may have been disposed to give yields, he sufficiently proves that all the writer credit for pious intention ; is in harmony with that one, undi- but has marvelled at his want of vided, and eternal scheme of truth, judgment, and the unrestrained vawbich God has conveyed in his ma- garies of his imagination. Somenifold communications to the human times such reflections, how just sorace.

ever they might be in themselves, Spiritual and practical reflections have not arisen naturally and without conclude the remarks on each chap. constraint out of the portion of ter; and they are often more copious Scripture under consideration; and than the notes themselves. As the therefore, if they have not wanted antbor has evidently bestowed great point, have wanted authority and care on this part of his performance, weight. and as it appears to us to be of pre- Failures of this kind induced the eminent value, we beg to offer a few late venerated Dr. Adam Clarke to more particular observations in rela. say, “ Many are of opinion that it tion to its nature and use.

is an easy thing to write reflections It is our decided conviction that the on the Scriptures : my opinion is the boly Scriptures should always be reverse. Common-place observations read, not only with a view to ascertain which may arise on the surface of their proper meaning, to illustrate the letter, may be easily made by that meaning by all the direct and col. any person possessing a little comlateral lights which are placed within mon sense and a measure of piety ; our reach, and to examine the whole but reflections, such as become the in its constant and unbroken bar. oracles of God, are properly inducmony, but also and especially to ac- tive reasonings on the facts stated, quire the habit of faithfully applying or the doctrines delivered, and rethe lessons which we may learn to quire not only a clear head and a our personal experience and conduct. sound heart, but such a compass The word of God contains the seeds and habit of philosophic thought, and principles of all spiritual and such a power to discern the end from moral science. It is an inexhaustible the beginning, the cause from its treasury of wisdom, adapted to every effect, and, where several causes are circumstance. Its instructions were at work, to ascertain their respective wonderfully appropriate to those results, so that every effect may be

« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »