תמונות בעמוד

that you will have to account for the mode of acquiring, and the manner of using, your possessions.

Watchfulness over Children.—“Watch, with Christian tenderness, over the opening minds of your offspring ; inure them to habits of self-restraint and filial obedience ; carefully instruct them in the knowledge of the Holy Scriptures, and seek for ability to imbue their minds with the love of their heavenly Father, their Redeemer, and their Sanctifier.

Of household Furniture and manner of living.—“ Observe simplicity and moderation in the furniture of your houses, and in the supply of your tables, as well as in your personal attire, and that of your families.

Attention to the Holy Scriptures.-“ Be diligent in the private and daily family reading of the Holy Scriptures; and guard carefully against the introduction of improper books into your families.

Of placing out Children.—“Be careful to place out children of all degrees with those friends whose care and example will be most likely to conduce to their preservation from evil; prefer such assistants, servants, and apprentices, as are members of our religious society ; not demanding exorbitant apprentice fees, lest you frustrate the care of friends in these respects.

Watchfulness over Servants.—“Encourage your apprentices and servants of all descriptions to attend public worship, making way for them herein : and exercise a watchful care for their moral and religious improvement.

On Wills and Trusteeships.-—“Be careful to make your wills and settle

your outward affairs in time of health ; and when you accept the office of guardian, executor, or trustee, be faithful and diligent in the fulfilment of your trust.

Conversation and Conduct. —“ Finally, dear friends, let your conversation be such as becometh the gospel. Exercise yourselves to have always a conscience void of offence towards God and towards man.

Watch over one another for good; and when occasions of uneasiness first appear


any, let them be treated with in privacy and tenderness, before the matter be communicated to another : and friends, everywhere, are advised to maintain the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace.'

Excellent observations of Quakers respecting Benevolence and Charity.The best recreation of a Christian is the relief of distress ; and his chief delight to promote the knowledge and to exalt the glory of his heavenly master : and this is most effectually done, under His holy influence, by a life of faith, purity, and general benevolence.

Warn those that are rich in this world, that they apply not the blessings of God to the indulging of their appetites in pleasure and vanity ; but that they be ready to do good, and to communicate to the relief of those who are in necessity. The principal, if not only satisfaction, a man of a truly Christian disposition can have in affluence, and the increase of the things of this world, must arise from the greater opportunities put into his hands of doing good therewith.

Observations of Elisha Bates, an accredited authority among Quakers, are as follows :-However humble or obscure your station may be, you are to contribute either to the suffering or the rejoicing of the living members of that body to which you belong. Your lukewarmness and indifference to the great objects of religious regard, cannot fail to increase the weakness of the Society, and those painful exercises which arise in consequence of that weakness. And, on the contrary, your close attention to what passes in your own minds, and the secret exercises into which

you would be led, like the prayers and alms-deeds of Cornelius, would rise as a memorial before Him who sees in secret. And thus you might not only know an increase of religious experience and religious enjoyment, but also contribute to the prevalence of that power, which is the crown of our most solemn assemblies. But by settling down into a belief that there is nothing for you to do, you will deprive yourselves of that improvement, usefulness in society, and peace of mind, which would otherwise be your portion. It is not always from among the most wise, according to the wisdom of this world, nor from those who possess the brightest natural talents, that religion has found its ablest advocates, or Christianity its brightest ornaments. Suffer therefore your minds to be aroused from that state of ease into which you have fallen—not to an unqualified activity in the Church, but to an entire submission to the renovating power of truth. You will find that a remembrance of God, and a submission to the

regulating, sanctifying operations of his Spirit, will not interrupt the right order of your domestic concerns. But through the seasoning virtue and illuminating nature of that influence which would regulate your feelings and direct your conduct, you would take your portion of that character


gave of his disciples, when he called them “ the salt of the earth,” and “the light of the world.”

What if your opportunities of improvement have been limited-or your capacities, in your own estimation, be small-or your natural energies already begun to decline ? you have souls to be saved or lost-you have no continuing city here; and are bound, by the most solemn obligations, to prepare for the final change ; " and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” In that very preparation for the world to come, from which no age or condition in life can exempt you, you will experience a preparation for the various duties that devolve upon you in civil or religious society.

Whatever may be our name as to religious profession—whatever our stations in the militant church, the closing address of the apostle on a very interesting occasion may be suitably applied : “I commend you to God, and to the Word of his Grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.”

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EGYPTIANS. ACCORDING to the most authentic ancient records in Egypt, the priests held the next rank to kings, and from among them were chosen the great officers of state. They enjoyed many privileges, and, among others, that of having their lands exempted from the payment of taxes ; of which we have a remarkable instance in Genesis, chap. lxvii., verse 26, where we read that “ Joseph made it a law over the land of Egypt that Pharaoh should have the fifth part, except the land of the priests only, which became not Pharaoh's.” As they had the sole management of the religious rites and ceremonies, so they were at the head of all the public seminaries of learning; and their care was committed the education of the youth, especially

such as were designed for high employments. That the progress of idolatry was very rapid after the Deluge cannot be doubted, and yet the Egyptians pretend that they were the first who instituted festivals, sacrifices, and processions, in honour of the gods. These festivals were held in the most celebrated cities, where all the inhabitants of the kingdom were obliged to attend, unless prevented by sickness;

and when that happened, they were to illuminate their windows with torches. They sacrificed many different sorts of beasts; and at every sacrifice the people drew near, one by one, and laid their hands upon the head of the victim, praying that God would inflict upon that creature all the punishment due to him for his sins. Then the priest stabbed the victim, part of which was burned, and part eaten ; for no person was thought to gain any benefit from the sacrifice who did not taste less or more of it.

The Egyptians believed that the souls of men, at death, went into other bodies ; such as had been virtuous going into such persons as were to be happy in the world; but the vicious, into the bodies of such as were to be miserable, and sometimes into those of serpents. In that state of punishment they were to remain a certain number of years, till they had been purified from their guilt, and then they were to inhabit more exalted beings. The priest had the keeping of all the sacred books, whether relating to religion or to civil polity; and therefore to the common people everything was delivered in a mysterious, emblematical

Silence, with respect to their sacred rites, was pointed out by


a figure called Harpocrates, resembling a man, holding his finger upon his lips-intimating that mysteries were not to be revealed to the vulgar. They had likewise, at the gates of all their temples, images of a similar nature, called sphinxes; and everything in their religion was symbolical. The figure of a hare pointed out attention, or watchfulness, because that creature has been always esteemed as one of the most fearful in the universe. A judge was painted without hands, with his eyes fixed on the ground, thereby intimating that a magistrate should judge with impartiality, without considering the characters or stations of the

persons who are brought before him.

From attending in a careful manner to the perusal of the Egyptian history, it would seem, that while idolatry was in some measure cultivated by the neighbouring nations, there it flourished in a state of perfection. The number of their idols was endless; but those which seem to have been most regarded by them in ancient times were Osiris and Isis, which we have much reason to believe were the sun and moon. These, however, were only the general gods of Egypt, and such as were worshipped by the king and his courtiers; for almost every district had its particular deity. Some worshipped dogs; others oxen ; some hawks; some owls ; some crocodiles ; some cats ; and others ibis, a sort of an Egyptian stork. The worship of these animals was confined to certain places, and it often happened that those who adored the crocodile were ridiculed by such as paid divine honours to the cat. To support the honour of their different idols, bloody wars often took place; and whole provinces were depopulated to decide the question, whether a crocodile or a cat was a god! And yet it is remarkable, that although they disputed concerning the attributes of their idols, yet they all agreed in this, that every person was guilty of a capital offence who injured any of those animals whose figures were set up in their temples : of this we have a remarkable instance in Diodorus Siculus, who was an eye-witness to the fact which he relates.

A Roman soldier, during the time of Mark Antony, having inadvertently killed a cat at Alexandria, the populace rose in a tumultuous manner, dragged him from his house, and murdered him. Nay, such was the respect the Egyptians had for these animals, that during an extreme famine, they chose rather to eat one another than to hurt them. But of all the idols worshipped by the Egyptians, the Apis, or bull, bad the preference; and it is undoubtedly from his figure that the Jews formed the golden calf in the wilderness. The most magnificent temples were erected for him ; he was adored by all ranks of people while living, and when he died, for he was a living bull, all Egypt went into mourning for him. We are told by Pliny, that, during the reign of Ptolemy Hagus, the bull Apis died of extreme old age ; and such was the pompous manner in which he was interred, that the funeral expenses amounted to a sum equal to that of twelve thousand pounds sterling. The next thing to be done was to provide a successor for this god, and all Egypt was ransacked on purpose. He was to be distinguished by certain marks from all other animals of his own species ; particularly he was to have on his forehead a white mark, resembling a crescent; on his back the figure of an eagle ; and on his tongue that of a beetle. As soon as an ox answering that description was found, mourning gave place to joy, and nothing was to be heard of in Egypt but festivals and rejoicings. The new-discovered god, or rather beast, was brought to Memphis to take possession of his dignity, and there placed upon a throne, with a great number of ceremonies. Indeed the Egyptians seem to have given such encouragement to superstition, that not content with worshipping the vilest of all reptiles, they actually paid divine honours to vegetables.

That such absurdities should have taken place among a people justly celebrated for their knowledge of the sciences, is what we are hardly able to account for ; but that it did so, we have the greatest authority to assert, from the whole evidence of antiquity. To read of animals and vile insects honoured with religious worship-placed in the most pompoue temples, erected at a most extravagant expense—that those who killed them should be put to death—and that those animals were embalmed after death, and treated with divine honours, is what a sober heathen would hardly believe; and yet we have it from the testimony of the most sober heathens.

We may add further, that to hear that leeks and onions were worshipped as deities–nay, were invoked in all cases of necessity, are such surprising instances of the weakness of the human understanding, and the corruption of human nature, that we have reason to bless God for the times, and the places where we were born. Lucian, a profane heathen author,who wrote about the middle of the second century of the Christian era, seems to have had very just notions of the ridiculous rites and ceremonies of the Egyptians in his time. His words are, “ You may enter into one of their most magnificent temples, adorned with gold and silver ; but look around you for a god, and you behold a stork, an ape, or a cat.”

It is, therefore, proper that we should inquire what motives could induce these people to act in such a manner; but here we are led into a large field indeed. The ancient Egyptians had a tradition that, at a certain period, men rebelled against the gods, and drove them out of heaven. Upon this disaster taking place, the gods fled into Egypt, where they concealed themselves under the form of different animals; and this was the first reason assigned for the worship of these creatures. But there was another reason assigned for the worship of those animals, namely, the benefits which men often received from them, particularly in Egypt. * Oxen, by their labour, helped to cultivate the ground; sheep clothed them with their wool ; dogs, among many other services, prevented their houses from being robbed; the ibis, a bird, somewhat resembling a stork, was of great service in destroying the winged serpents with which Egypt abounded; the crocodile, an amphibious creature, was worshipped because it prevented the wild Arabs from making incursions; the ichneumon, a little animal, was of great service to them in different ways: he watches the crocodile's absence and breaks his eggs, and when he lies down to sleep on the banks of the Nile, which he always does, with his mouth open, this little creature jumps out of the mud, and leaping down his throat, forces his way down to his entrails, which he gnaws, then he pierces his belly, and thus triumphs over this most dreadful animal.

The first Christian fathers ridiculed the Egyptian idolatry, and painted the absurdity of it in the most lively colours, and asked the heathen priests how they could dishonour the great God of heaven and earth, by

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