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for; he knew the mind which he had helped to form himself, and he felt persuaded that in time it would burst the trammels of its new-formed faith. It was perfectly demonstrable that, for the present, she was under the influence of a strong delusion—that she took for granted to be true, much which in reality she could neither reconcile nor comprehend—that she was carried away by her feelings instead of being led by her judgment, and so satisfied was he as to the justness of his conclusions, that he felt persuaded had any one requested Minna to state the principles of her faith, she could not have connectedly told her own belief. Besides, she was too young to have yet studied the subject of religion; in her whole life she had never read but two controversial works, and that was during her residence at the Rosemores', when they had put into her hands the “ Righteousness of God,” and the “ Atoning Merits of Christ." These she had perused, and wondered while she did so; she had never heard the mystery of grace so explained before, and because it was wonderful, she concluded it must be true likewise. A few conversions, too, during the time of the Revival, tended to strengthen her newly-formed opinions. Nothing, she was convinced, but an immediate miracle could have effected so sudden a change as she learned had been wrought in the hearts of several individuals; and when in church, one Sabbath evening, she herself had actually shed tears at a remark of the minister's, which—her feelings already worked up to the highest pitch of enthusiasm-accidentally touched upon her natural sensibility; that circumstance she attributed to the power of the Spirit; and from the same moment, she was pronounced to be a converted person.
Mr. Mornton and Henry alternately hoped and despaired. Charles alone believed the spell would break, though it might not be in a month or a year. However, all agreed that the utmost tenderness, caution, and prudence were requisite, combined with gentle, though not unreasonable firmness. Henry was the only one who was apt to lose his temper upon these occasions; but from the nature of his profession, being a physician, and already engaged in an excellent practice, he was seldom at home, and therefore came little in contact with his sister. His cousin, who had not yet obtained a congregation of his own, resided constantly at Elm Park, occasionally officiating on the Sundays for his brother clergymen. A good deal of his time was also passed in teaching Alice to draw, and instructing her in the various branches of learning. From delicate health, her education had been greatly neglected; and as her parents were not rich, Mr. Mornton was anxious to save them as much expense as possible in that way, and for this benevolent purpose first requested his daughter to undertake Charles's duty, which she absolutely refused to do declaring, “that all accomplishments and learning were sinful, and she would never be the instrument of leading a fellow-creature onwards to destruction.” It was needless to argue the matter, and the former kindly offered his services. Although Alice was exceedingly fond of music, she was but a very indifferent performer, and would have been glad had Minna occasionally accompanied her in a duet, as the best means of improving her style of playing; and one morning, when the latter had rendered herself more than usually agreeable, she ventured to ask her companion's assistance:- _“Do, Minna, play a few bars with me; oblige me for this once.” “ And do you imagine that my refusal proceeds from a wish to disoblige? no, Alice, were I not satisfied it would be a sin to comply, I should instantly do as you desire; and I am astonished that you, who I begin to think mean well, although good intentions can avail us nothing in the sight of God, can spend so much time in playing and singing with my cousin every evening, as you do.” Miss Mordaunt smiled:- 66. We never exceed an hour at most; and Mr. Herbert understands music so thoroughly, and I find the flute along with the piano really useful.”
Minna. “ But would not that hour be more profitably employed in reading the Scriptures, or conversing upon religion."
Alice. “ There is a time for everything, my dear Miss Mornton; and as to your cousin's conversation, I am surprised you can find fault with it. Do you not observe how much he is in the habit of spiritualizing all he says, 80 powerfully evincing how deeply Christianity absorbs his thoughts."
Minna. “ Charles is no more a Christian, Alice, than you are yourself; and if he ever gets a church, he will find that he has otber duties to fulfil besides teaching people music and drawing, and encouraging them in all the idle vanities of this sinful world."
“And I hardly know any man who is better qualified, or who will more religiously perform these sacred duties, than Mr. Herbert. His whole soul is in his work; his whole powers are devoted to the cause of God and goodness; yet even then I do not imagine he would consider it a sin to employ a spare moment in assisting a friend to play correctly a few bars of music.” “ Ab well, take your own way; but, remember, yours will be a fearful reckoning. Perhaps I sin in sitting with you so long." And she rose and left the room. Yet notwithstanding Minna's numerous resolutions to the contrary, she sometimes unconsciously found herself bending over Alice, when the latter was engaged with her pencil. When Charles chanced to be absent, her natural goodness of heart would not allow her to see a beautiful landscape spoiled, when a few hints from herself might be of service; she even one day took the brush to alter a leaf which was not correctly shaded, and to soften the hills, which had been made too dark in the distance; but almost immediately put it down, saying, “ This is a sad waste of time; I fear, Alice, you have made me sin!" “ No, Minna; you have done as you would be done by, and I thank you sincerely for your ready aid; I know you will feel happy all day.” The former shook her head, and prayed that she might never again be surprised into such a worldly act.
A BRIEF EXPOSITION OF THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW.
(Continued from p. 210.)
CHAPTER XIV. VERSES 1, 2: “ At that time Herod the tetrarch heard of the fame of Jesus, and said unto his servants, This is John the Baptist: he is risen from the dead; and therefore mighty works do show forth themselves in him.” This Herod, surnamed Antipas, was the son of “ Herod the king," who was monarch of Judea wben the Master was born. “ Herod the king” was elevated to the throne by the Romans, after their conquest of the Holy Land. After his death, his kingdom was divided into four separate jurisdictions, called Tetrarchies; bence a tetrarch is the governor of the fourth part of a kingdom, country, or province. The Herod mentioned in the text was such a governor, ruling over a quarter of the dominions of his father. Of “ Herod the tetrarch” we have but few particulars in the New Testament bistory. It appears, from this chapter, that he married Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip, who was still living. Being reproved for this act by John the Baptizer, and having imprisoned that fearless rebuker of immorality, he was induced to put him to death, by the malignity and artifices of his wife and step-daughter. It appears that he afterwards sought the life of Jesus; for, in Luke xiii. 31, it is written, “ The same day, there came certain of the Pharisees, saying unto him, Get thee out, and depart hence: for Herod will kill thee.” Herod was tetrarch of Galilee, and, in that capacity, exercised the office of judge in all matters coming within his own jurisdiction. Hence, when Jesus was accused before Pilate, and when, in the course of the investigation, the Roman governor learned that bis prisoner was a Galilean, he sent him to Herod:-“ And, as soon as he knew that he belonged unto Herod's jurisdiction, he sent him to Herod, who himself was also at Jerusalem at that time." It is related by Josephus, that this Herod engaged in a conspiracy against Tiberius, the emperor of Rome, which was discovered, and the tetrarch banished, first to Lyons and then to Spain, where be, with Herodias and her daughter Salome, perished miserably in exile.
The saying of Herod, when he heard of the fame of Jesus, that Jobn the Baptist was risen from the dead, is a striking instance of the power of conscience in the sinner. The victim of bis sin is ever before his
eyes: whichever way he turns, in whatever occupation be engages, alone or in society, in gloom or in gaiety, awake or asleep, he is haunted as by a spectre. Riches, pleasure, power, or honour, have no efficacy to shield their guilty possessor from the poisoned arrows of remorse. We may array our heads with the jewelled crown; we may
bear a golden sceptre in our hand; we may clothe' ourselves in purple and fine linen; we may fare sumptuously every day, on viands the most costly that wealth can purchase, the most delicious that foreign climes produce, or skilful cooks prepare; the nobility of the land may kneel before us in homage; crowds may shout in our train, and distant kingdoms view our power with respect and awe;-yet, if our life have been stained with misdeeds, if our conscience be tortured by images of remembered guilt; we must, amid all this external splendour, dwell in misery, alarm, and horror. Such was the case with Herod the tetrarch; the image of the headless Baptizer ever stood between him and prepared enjoyment, and turned his expected pleasures into gall and wormwood. The unreflecting are prone to admire the trappings of a court, to envy their possessor, and to imagine that his life must be a life of happiness; but when we remember the base crimes of which almost all monarchs are guilty, and the agonies of remorse which they consequently endure, better, far better it is, to dwell in a peasant's but, with the rudest fare and the coarsest clothing, so we have peace of mind therewith, and the joys of an innocent life and approving conscience!
Immediately after the circumstantial narrative of the death of John the Baptist, is related a signal miracle performed by Jesus-that of feeding five thousand persons with five loaves and two fishes. This exertion of supernatural power is its own best commentator; and its truth was testified to the world by five thousand witnesses. In the account of the distribution of the food, it is said, “ And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the grass, and took the five loaves, and the two fishes, and, looking up to heaven, he blessed, and brake, and gave the loaves to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude.” From this language it would be at once inferred that Jesus blessed the bread ;- “ He blessed, and brake, and gave the loaves.” The same inference might be more easily drawn from the parallel passage in Luke ix. 16:4" Then he took the five loaves, and the two fishes, and, looking up to heaven, he blessed them.” Similar language occurs in the account of the institution of the Lord's Supper, contained in Matt. xxvi. 26:-“And