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breadth of the continent. Stanley, as you know, crossed from Zanzibar, and went down the Congo river. But a year
before him an English gentleman had taken the same jourAfrica has well been called the mysterious continent.
ney as far as Nyangwe, and struck immediately through Some of the earliest civilizations of the world arose on its
Central Africa to Benguela. Let us look at the continent, soil. It largely influenced the early condition of Asia and
in its physical aspect, first of all. The wonderful thing to Europe. It is one of the largest portions of the globe. It
those of us who think we understand something about getouches Asia, is almost a part of Asia, and is separated from
ography is the vastness of the continent. I suppose that. Europe by only a narrow frith, and yet it has less to do
many think they can grasp in their minds about five with the great movements of modern times than any of the thousand miles, which is about the length and breadth of petty continents, like Australia, or the islands of the South
the continent. That measurement is about equivalent to a Sea. Filled with teeming populations, large villages,
line drawn from the mouth of the Columbia river across the thriving cities, where there are merchants doing business
breadth of our whole continent and across the ocean to the to the amount of a hundred and a hundred and fifty thous
shores of Ireland. We think we have a great country in. and dollars a year, productive beyond almost any other con
America, but this single desert of Sahara is larger than the. tinent, the longest known, it is yet to-day the least known,
whole of the United States east of the Rocky Mountains;; and has less influence upon the world at large than many
three times as large as the Mediterranean sea, and ten times small principalities. It is now coming to the front. Com
as large as all Germany. And Central Africa, where mismercial, scientific, and religious interests are centering in the
sionary interest now centers, from about ten degrees north continent. It is taking its part in literature. The most suc
to an equal distance south of the equator, is larger than cessful literary venture of the year, when it was pub- the whole of the United States east of the Rocky Mounlished, was Stanley's “Dark Continent." It is the great tains, and has greater populations to-day. theater for bold adventures. It is brought on to the stage.
The equator very nearly subdivides Africa, though ai In Paris they have brought our friend, King Mtesa, whose
somewhat larger portion of the land lies north. Therefore, name you see at the head of Victoria Ny a, on to the
its temperature is very high, Nearly all the land is in stage, as the hero of the Black Venus. Of course, Chautau
either tropical or temperate climates; and yet it escapes bequa must have lectures on Africa. The lecture this after
ing burnt up as it would naturally be, by reason of the great 'noon will be chiefly devoted to the physical condition of the
elevations of the land and the abundance of the water systems, country, after brief introductory statements with reference
Just under the equator, with the rays of the sun all the year to modern explorers. We can not understand any field
pouring down fiercely upon it, is a mountain very much where Christian work is to be done unless we know some
higher than Mount Blanc, as high as Mount Blanc and thing about the physical aspects of the land.
Mount Washington on top of it, covered with perpetual The great explorations of the continent have been made
snow. In 1862 Baron Vanderoeken climbed the mountain within the last fifty years, and the most important within
and got up fourteen or fifteen thousand feet, and then was. the last twenty-five years. In the year 1788, the great Eng
driven down by a wild snow storm. There are other mounlish society, the Royal Geographical Society of Great Brit
tains nearly as high. The elevation of the whole interior is ain, had its origin, in what was called the African Associa
about fifteen hundred feet above the sea level. The average tion. As soon as that association was formed it inaugur
level of this region of southern Africa is twenty-five hunated explorations, and singularly enough, the first explorer dred feet. This great lake of Victoria Nyanza, larger than it sent to Africa was an American; as one of the last, and
the State of New York, on the borders of which we are toone that has done so much to open the great continent, also
day, small as it appears on the map, is thirty-eight hundred was an American. The first was John Ledyard, who in
feet above the sea level. Other elevations are so great that. 1788 started from this country and made his way into
Africa escapes many of the natural results of a region under Egypt, and died at Cairo when he was about to make his
such burning heat. Then, also, its immense water systems journeys through the deserts.' The last, as you all know,
save the land from aridity, and makes it wonderfully ferwas Stanley, the last great American explorer. Dr. Liv
tile. The smallest of the large rivers, the Zambesi, is the ingstone's brother, indeed, was an American and went out
Mississippi of Africa. It rises not far from the Atlantic and from his Massachusetts parish and joined him in his final
sweeps over the whole breadth of the continent to the Inexplorations. Stanley journeyed in Africa as an American
dian ocean, and has a larger basin than the Mississippi. citizen. I was told in England, when I asked about the
The Congo, with its head waters locking into the Zambesi, bearing of Stanley before the great societies, that he was
Stanley says, has four thousand miles of navigable waters. not quite as gentle and polite as might have been expected
After passing the large cataracts at Stanley Pool, there are from a man receiving the honors that were bestowed upon
eight hundred miles of clear water before you come again him. “Why," said an American gentleman who knew him
to obstructions. The Niger river rises in these mountains, intimately, "there was one very curious scene at the dinner
some two hundred miles from the Atlantic, and not far given to Stanley by the Royal Geographical Society. An
from the sources of the Senegal. The French are now makEnglish gentleman, in great pleasure over what had been
ing explorations to connect these two rivers. The Niger done, spoke of Stanley as carrying the flag of England probably flows further than the Congo itself. Then we have through the dark continent. Stanley sprang to his feet and
the Nile, whose length by all measurements is one eleventh said: 'No, sir; I did not carry the English flag. I let my of the circumference of the globe. Stanley makes it four servants carry the English flag. I carried the stars and
thousand miles. With all these fertilizing floods forming stripes.'” It is worth remembering that the earliest ex
channels of communication, the country is saved from plorer of the Geographical Society, and one of the latest aridity, and is wonderfully productive. Its population is great explorers, was an American. The Germans have
one-sixth of the population of the globe, and yet it feeds done a great work in exploring Africa. The first one that
them easily, and could feed twice as many. It raises all the crossed the whole breadth of the desert from Tripoli to the
cereals of America and Europe, wheat, barley, oats, and Gulf of Guinea, was a German, Gerhard Rohlfs, in 1865.
maize. It raises potatoes, rice, and certain products which There have been very few journeys made through the
do not grow in any of our climates, and yet which consti*A lecture delivered in the Amphitheater at Chautauqua, August tute chief parts of the food of the whole world. Its fruits 1880, by Rev. J. O. Means, D. D., of Boston, Mass.
are all the fruits of the tropics, and many of the temperate
zones. It grows cotton, hemp, tobacco, and the staple arti are also semi-civilized people, we should call them, who are cles which form the basis of commerce. It yields certain partly Mohammedan and partly heathen, occupying the articles which can be found nowhere else.
The ivory pro- Soudan, south of the Sahara. The population here cannot be duct of the world is almost wholly from Africa. The state classed with pure barbarians. Winwood Reade, an English ments which are made in regard to it seem incredible. But gentleman, who had several times resided four or five years a statement which I saw first in a French periodical, on the coast, and who made one journey inward from l'Afrique, I have since had occasion to investigate, and Sierra Leone toward the head-waters of the Niger, during his from other sources gathering the amounts of ivory shipped travels conversed with the Mohammedan merchants and to England, it does not seem, on the whole, to be an exag- | travelers, and says as the result of his inquiries that a travgerated statement, namely, that the quantity of ivory an eler might start and cross this whole region eastward and nually exported from the continent involves the destruction come out at Cairo, or go through the desert and come out at of fifty thousand elephants. Within a few years there has Tunis, and, except when in the desert, sleep every night in a grown up in South Africa, and in other parts of the conti village, and in every village he would find a Mohammedan nent, an immensely profitable trade in ostrich raising, yield- school. In many of the large cities he would find merchants ing profits to those engaged in it beyond the oil wells of who could easily furnish on demand, to any one who should Pennsylvania.
offer adequate securities, one hundred and fifty thousand There are great mistakes or misapprehensions in regard dollars in money. In many of these large walled cities to the people of Africa. The people are interesting, and with populations of a hundred and fifty to two hundred the land is interesting because of the people. The first mis thousand people, he would find Plato and Aristotle in take is that they are all supposed to be very much alike. Arabic translations, studied by the scholars, and he would There is as great variety in the populations of Africa as in find the African gentleman on horseback with his chain arthe populations of Europe. Scotchmen and Turks are both mor on, such as our ancestors wore in the middle ages, with called white men, and live in Europe, but we would make his sword dangling by his side. Thus, there is a semi-civino greater mistake if we supposed that every European was lization all through this immensely populous region. There a Scotchman or a Turk, than we make when we suppose are other portions of the land which may be called barevery African is a negro. In the northern parts of Africa, barous. Some of the barbarous kingdoms are of great exall along the region of the Red Sea, and the Mediterranean, tent. In other portions the social condition is that of a peoare people who are classed by some ethnologists as of the ple who have been broken up and disintegrated, and have same race with ourselves. They are straight nosed, oval fea very little civil coherence, chiefly because of the slave trade. tured, of swarthy complexions, straight hair, with none of Of the domestic institutions the most characteristic is those marks which we attribute generally to the African. polygamy. We are in danger of making extravagant stateSouth of them, from the Senegal eastward, is another peo ments, and I use round numbers for convenience. It is not ple, the Foulahs, some of the finest looking people on the possible to make all the exceptions which would probably earth. They have many marks of the negroes. They are be made in general statements, but it is a fair general stateblack or copper-colored. Many of them have the straight ment to say that, on the whole, polygamy prevails throughout facial angle and fine forms. One of them, a young prince, the whole continent. The family is only a cattle kraal on that I met at Cape Mount, seemed to be the very picture of a slightly elevated scale. Every man has as many wives as the Apollo Belvidere. South of these are the negroes he can buy or sell, and every wife is a slave, and every feproper, dwelling in the region of the Gulf of Guinea, and male slave is a wife. Cameron, in crossing the continent, stretching to the Nile and beyond. Then another great came to a region where he found polygamy prevailing to a African people inhabit the region stretching down to the most awful extent, the king having in his harem aunts, Cape of Good Hope. They have many marks of the pure cousins, nieces, and even daughters. He said the bed-room negro, yet with many striking differences. The Zulu Caffre furniture of the king was made up of the members of his is a specimen of them. I was talking with one of our mis- harem, many of them on their hands and knees, forming sionaries who was among the Zulus many years, and asked comfortable couches, and others lying prostrate on the him what he thought of our taking negroes from America, ground, forming a sort of carpet. when they had been educated, to work in our mission field. There are exceptions which should be stated to all that “Well," said he, “I have never seen any American negroes is true of the awful condition of women in Africa, and of to compare with our Zulus. They look like a different kind their awful degradation. Up among the Niamniams, the of people.” Dr. Livingstone, who perhaps was a little travelers tell us, there appears to be great conjugal affection, prejudiced in favor of the Africans, said of the Manyuemas and the slave traders play upon it, for, if possible, they capthat he would be willing to match a company of them for ture a man's wife or wives, and the husband is willing form and fulness of the head, and for fineness of features to give anything in his power to regain them. While against the whole Anthropological Society of Great Britain. women are sacrificed as beasts almost, yet an incident is You would say they wore fine men, physically and intel told of a young woman-one of the travelers beheld the lectually, and by God's blessing on the Gospel of Christ will scene himself-who, when she was to be delivered over to a become so morally and religiously. Besides these great hoary-headed old polygamist, and was refused permission classes of Africans, are the Bushmen or Hottentots, and there to have the man whom she loved, as every other defence are also Dwarfs and Albinos in some parts of the Continent. failed her, seized an assegai and plunged it into her breast,
The social state of the Africans is no less interesting. and fell dead at the door of her hut. There are on the continent all the varieties of social state The dress of the people in certain portions is very graceknown to man. To begin with, in South Africa we have ful. We should see something like the old Roman toga if civilized states. South Africa was colonized at just about we were among the Mandingoes and Foulahs, a dress they the same period that America was colonized, and the ad call the tobe falling gracefully from the shoulders. In other vanced civilization of Europe may be found there-pros- parts the chief dress is a straw hat, or a string of beads. Inperous cities, with schools and colleges, large public and pri- asmuch as they have no pockets in such dresses they envate libraries, fine painting galleries, and all the appliances large the lobe of the car by making a larger hole than our of a refined social life. The northern part of the continent genteel ladies make, and put in plugs till the lobe of the ear is occupied, as you know, by the Mohammedan people, comes down to the shoulder. In the large hole that is thus chiefly, and they stretch down through the Sahara. There made they carry their snuff boxes, or perhaps they extend
the upper lip by drawing it out and making an incision un restrict their sacrifices of human beings to funeral rites. til it projects two inches. Some tribes insert a large plug The first visit that was made King Mtesa, at the head of in the lower lip. Tattooing is practiced. Large rings of copper Victoria Nyanza, was in 1861 by Captain Speke, of the or brass are worn. Many of the elegant women are des British Indian service. In honor of his reception he said cribed as wearing rings nearly to their knees, of many that there were human sacrifices made. When Dr. Liv. pounds weight, making it almost impossible to walk. Their ingstone saw that account he denied it, with a good most fashionable attire is in the arrangement of the hair, deal of earnestness defending the Africans, and said he which is sometimes done up so that it lasts six months. The thought Captain Speke must be mistaken; that there must hair is dressed out in all directions; clay is worked into it, have been some criminal trial which had been going forso that they make all kinds of shapes of their heads. Then ward, and these people were executed after judicial investithey are obliged to have a little stool with a hollow in it, so gation. Therefore, it became a question of some importance that when they lie down at night the delicate tracery of to know whether they were accustomed to honor great their hair may not be injured.
guests by the sacrifice of human life. In the year 1874 I have not spoken of slavery; there is not time, and I Colonel Long, then in the employ of the Pasha of Egypt, in think enough has been said in the public prints in our coun
connection with Colonel Gordon, penetrated with a small try. The travelers who have been there tell us that no one Egyptian company as far as Mtesa's capital, and was recan begin to depict the awful desolation which slavery has
ceived in great pomp.
He describes his reception. He brought upon the land.
was received by the King in a hall of audience of immense Cannibalism prevails through great breadths of territory.
breadth. He wondered how they were enabled to get such The Secretary of the French Evangelical Society, who for a breadth of roof for their hall of audience. It was very twenty-five years was a missionary among the Basutos, has finely fitted with tapestry—the tapestry in this case was visited cannibal caves where he saw half burnt skulls and
cotton cloth—and he looked up, admiring the fine proporshoulder blades; and in portions of the caves where they
tions of the hall and its walls, and saw near the upper part held their feasts were spots where the flesh had been piled
of it the “Wachusett Mills” stampon the cloth. Our cotton up until the blood had soaked through into the limestone cloth, when they find a piece that has the mills' stamp on rocks and left ineffaceable marks. So recently as the year
it, is sure to be put by the wearer in the most conspicuous 1859 human flesh was sold in the markets in the Cameroons place, as being an article of adornment. In this hall where as any flesh would be sold. Some travelers apologize to a
Mr. Long was received stood the King. A little way back, certain extent for cannibalism, by saying that, though these commanding all the entrance, his executioners were arpeople eat human flesh, perhaps it began with the notion ranged by the posts, with a cord around their foreheads that it would make them brave. “Here is a brave soldier;
knotted in front, and at a signal the executioners went out, I have killed him; if I eat his flesh I shall gain his courage
and a file of slaves was brought in front of the open door and his skill." Also, it seems to be true that a fearful ap and sacrificed. And that was repeated, says Colonel Long, petite is developed in comparison with which the appetite though not to so great an extent, every time the King reof many for strong drink is almost nothing. The story was ceived him to audience. He has changed that now, given told of a young girl, the wife of a polygamist, who was it up in a measure. captured by the cannibals and carried to their cave. Great
to speak of their funeral ceremonies, just in the exertions were made to restore her, and they finally suc region west of Victoria Nyanza there was the death of a ceeded in winning her back, but in a few months she king not long before the visit of one of our travelers, and he escaped, and they found she had returned to the cannibals. described the services held after his death. The body was She had tasted of human flesh, and preferred to go and dwell sewed up in a cow skin, and one of the finest and largest among those who ate it. At the meeting of the British huts was taken, and the body put into the center; then his Association for the Advancement of Science, last summer, a
choicest wives and choice virgins were placed with him, traveler was present who had just returned from his ex
and a number of cattle, and the building was hermetically plorations, and in the course of his remarks he spoke of the sealed and all were left to perish there. Commander Cameron, fact that many of the most intelligent races he saw were in his journey across the continent, describes the death and cannibals. Thereupon many of the members who had burial of a chieftain, where the stream of a river was diverted been in Africa arose and said that the best races, the most from its bed and a deep pit dug, and the body of the dead hopeful in many respects, were the cannibal races. In talk chieftain placed in it. The report of the people declared ing with the Secretary of the Baptist Missionary Society in
that a hundred of his wives were buried alive with him. Great Britain, in regard to the work in which they were
The other statements were that ten or fifteen were placed, engaged, and asking how it would do to work in those one to support his dead body, and the others round about, regions in which there were so many cannibals, he said: with ten choice virgins; then the earth was heaped on and “Why, some of our missionaries are cannibals' children. slaves slaughtered over them, their blood to soak down We have the sons of fathers and mothers who were can through the earth, and the stream of water was made to nibals when our missionaries went out to the Cameroons,
flow in its channel again. and those sons are now working at the mouth of the Congo I ask you to bear with these chapters of horror that we to establish Christian missions." While it is necessary to may have our pity wrought upon as it needs to be, and that describe these people as being so loathsome, let us under we may understand the degradation of the people who, as stand that there may be traits of the cannibal tribes which they suppose, out of honor to guests, or to their gods, or to will make them by and by ready to do noble work in pro their dead friends, perform such ceremonies. Before the mulgating the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Zulus were Christianized this was their funeral service. In connection with the cannibalism of Africa perhaps it The founder of the military power of the Zulu people, the is proper to speak of the low estimate of human life which one who trained their armies so that they came to be equal seems to prevail all through the continent. It appears, for to coping with English generals, and did defeat them at instance in their funeral rites. I will not repeat what I first, died in 1828. His mother died not many years before suppose many are familiar with, the awful sacrifices made him, and when she died the greatest ceremonies took place by some of the kings in former times, but there are state that were ever known. The statement was that on the day ments of recent occurrences which all, perhaps, may not be of her death there was a great gathering of the whole peoso familiar with. I say their funeral rites, but they do not ple. Seventy thousand, it was thought, were gathered near
the kraal where she was buried, and they began to beat one Happily his sons ran to my aid; they respectfully begged another and to cut one another in sign of sorrow.
him to retire, but he was deaf to their entreaties, and a stated that probably seven thousand people perished on the struggle was the inevitable consequence. The wretched first day of mourning. Then she was buried; the grave old man reduced his children to the grievous necessity of was dug as usual in the center of a cattle kraal. The queen laying him on the ground, and keeping him there during mother, with great ceremonials, was laid in the grave. And the whole service. He ended by knocking his head vioin her grave also ten of the choicest virgins of the land | lently against the ground. At last he ceased, being quite were buried alive, and blood sprinkled on her grave, and worn out, and casting on me a look of which I could not then the cattle driven over it, as was their custom. Not
have believed any man capable, he loaded me with inveccontent with this, a year of mourning was commanded by tives. After this, we went to see Libe no more; but we the king, and an army of observation of ten thousand men sent him friendly messages by his neighbors. kept guard a year in honor of the queen mother, and if any What was my surprise one day on receiving an invitation where in Zululand that year a father's heart and a mother's to go to him; the messenger that he sent was radiant with heart were made glad by the birth of a child, the infant joy. "Libe prays,” said he with emotion, "and begs you to babe was slaughtered, and the father and mother slaughtered, go and pray with him." Seeing my incredulity, the pious that there might be no joy in the land. These are awful Isiu went on as follows: “Yesterday morning Libe sent accounts. It seems incredible that anywhere under the for me into his hut and said, 'My child, can you pray? light of the sun such things can have been going on, and Kneel down by me and pray God to have mercy on the are going on.
greatest of sinners. I am afraid, my child, this God that I There is no time to stop to speak here of scenes, some have so long denied, has made me feel his power in my of which I have known from personal inspection; of soul. I know now that he exists; I have not any doubt of witchcraft delusions; of punishment of witches; some of it. Do you think God will pardon me? I refused to go you perhaps have read our periodical, the Missionary and hear his word while I was still able to walk. Now Herald; in the number for July accounts were given of that I am blind and almost deaf, how can I serve Jehovah ?' some of these awful barbarities, and yet this people, so de- Here," added Isiu, "Libe stopped a moment, and then graded, and seemingly so blood-thirsty, are capable of re asked, "Have you your book with you?' 'Yes.' 'Well, ceiving, and long to receive, the gospel of Jesus Christ, and open it and place my finger on the name of God.'
I did as will be made glad by it. The cord of God's love has dropped he wished. It is there, then,' he cried, 'the beautiful name down on Zululand, and many are now rejoicing in the Lord of God. Now place my finger on that of Jesus, the Savior."" Jesus Christ, and believing in him, have found peace and Such was the touching recital of Libe's wonderful conjoy. I hope to-morrow to be able to say something about version, and I soon had the pleasure of assuring myself of the results of Christian missions, even among those who its reality. For nearly a year we shared the happy task of seem most degraded, when it seems almost hopeless to ministering to this old man, whom grace had rendered as think that they, out of their hardened and imbruted con docile as a little child. He was baptised in his own vildition, can be brought to Christ. The missionaries who | lage. This ceremony attracted a crowd of people, who have labored there have been blessed by God in finding wished to see him who had persecuted us, and who now some of the most wonderful fruits of his grace. I will preached the faith which once he sought to destroy. Four close what I have to say this afternoon by giving a story of aged members of the church carried the neophyte, who the conversion of an African chief, in the way of whose was too feeble to move alone, and placed him on a couch in conversion there seemed at first to be every possible ob the midst of the assembly. We thought it our duty to ask stacle, but from whose paths the Holy Spirit of God moved him to give an account of his faith. “I believe," said he, away the obstacles, and prepared for the coming of the
without hesitation, “in Jehovah, the true God, who created Kingdom.
me, and who has preserved me to this hour. He has bad Libe, the uncle of Moshesh, a Basuto chief, witnessed the pity on me who hated him, and has delivered Jesus to arrival of the missionaries with great displeasure. “Why death to save me. I have no more strength; my days are are these strangers not driven away?” said he one day to ended. Take me to thyself; let death have nothing of me Khoabane. “They do us no harm,” said Khoabane; "let us but these poor bones. Preserve me from hell and the devil. listen to what they say. No one obliges us to believe them."
Oh, my Father, hear Jesus who is praying to thee for me! “That is what you and Moshesh are always repeating. You Oh, my Lord! Oh, my Father!” The good old man forgot will find out your mistake when it is too late.” Libe was himself so completely in these pious ejaculations that my nearly eighty years old. He soon left the neighborhood colleague was obliged to interrupt him by asking: "Do you for a distant hill side to procure good pastures for his flocks, still place any confidences in the sacrifices you have been and to escape from our preaching. He soon saw with vex accustomed to make to the spirits of your ancestors ?" ation that we had found our way to his dwelling.
“How can such sacrifices purify? I believe in them no At the first sound of our voice, a smile of scorn and ha
more; the blood of Jesus is my only hope.” “Have you tred played on his lips. “Depart,” cried he; "I know you any desire you would like to express to your family, and to not. I will have nothing to do with you or your God; I the Basutos?" "Yes; I desire them to make haste to bewill not believe in him until I see him with my own eyes.” lieve and repent. Let them all go to the house of God and As the missionary persisted in his endeavors, Libe became listen meekly to what is taught there. Moshesh, my son, furious, and said, “Young man, importune me no more; if | where art thou ?" Here Moshesh covered his eyes to hideyou wish me to listen, go and fetch your father from beyond his emotion. "And thou, Letsie, my grandson, where art the sea; he, perhaps, may be able to instruct me."
thou? Attend to my last words. Why do you resist God? The violence of his animosity was specially shown at the Are your wives an objection? These women are your sisinterment of one of his daughters, at which I was invited
ters, your wives. Jehovah created but one man and to oficiate by her husband. The procession had preceded
one woman, and united them to be one flesh. Oh! submit me, and I was following slowly to the grave, praying the yourselves to Jesus, and he will save you. Leave off war, Lord to enable me to glorify him, when I saw Libe rushing and love your fellow creatures.” “Why do you desire baptoward me with a rapidity which only rage could give him. tism?” “Because Jesus has said that he who believes and His menacing gestures plainly showed his design, and I is baptised shall be saved. Can I know better than my trembled at the prospect of being obliged to defend myself. Master tells me ?!? It is the custom in our stations to re
peat the ancient form of renouncement, before receiving DIFFICULTIES OF SCRIPTURE.* baptism. It had been explained to Libe, and he had perfectly understood it, but it was impossible for him to learn it, or even to repeat it after the minister. "I renounce the
“In which are some things hard to be understood." So world and all its pomp,” said my colleague. "No," ex
writes the apostle Peter of the epistles of his fellow apostle claimed Libe, "I do not renounce it now for I did so long Paul; listen to his language: “Account the long suffering of ago." “I renounce the devil and all his works." "The
our Lord salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also. devil,” interrupted the happy believer; "what have I to do according to the wisdom given unto him, wrote unto you; with him? He has deceived me for many long years.
as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; Does he wish to lead me to ruin with himself? I leave hell
in which epistles are some things hard to be understood, to him-let him possess it alone."
which they that are unlearned and unstable." Nor are these According to a wish, very generally expressed, Libe was
difficulties of Scripture confined to the epistles of St. Paul; surnamed Adam, the father of the Basutos. He died one
the Bible teems with them. Let me mention some of them. Sunday morning, shortly after his baptism. One of his
There are metaphysical difficulties, e. g., the creative act, grandsons had just been reading to him some verses from the
the compatibility of the divine purpose with human freeGospels. “Do you know," said the young man, “that to-day dom, the incarnation, the person of Christ, the Trinity. is the Lord's day ?'' "I know it,” he replied, “I am with
Again, there are doctrinal difficulties, e. g., hereditary sin, my God.” A few moments after he asked that a mantle propitiation, imputation, regeneration, the second advent. might be spread over him, as he felt overpowered with Again, there are ethical difficulties, e.g., the problem of insleep; and he slept to wake in this world no more.
nocent suffering, the command to offer up Isaac, the hardening of Pharaoh's heart, the permission of polygamy and
slavery, the imprecatory psalms, the commendation of LINES BY THE LATE DEAN OF
such characters as Lot and Jacob, Samson and David.
Again, there are scientific difficulties, e. g., the doctrine of WESTMINSTER.
providence, the power of prayer, the miracles of Scripture generally. Once more, there are what I may call circum
stantial difficulties, e. g., the variation in the ancient man" Till death us part."
uscripts, the ambiguities of interpretation, the discrepanSo speaks the heart,
cies as to persons, places, times, numbers, etc. Such are When each to each repeats the words of doom; Thro' blessing and thro' curse,
some of the difficulties of Scripture. A formidable topic, For better and for worse,
surely. We will be one, till that dread hour shall come.
But I hear some of you objecting. What though these difficulties exist ? Is it wise to remind the public of them?
Would it not be better to pass over them in silence? Why Life, with its myriad grasp,
bring them into prominence by selecting them as the theme Our yearning souls shall clasp, By ceaseless love, and still expectant wonder;
for a lecture? In bonds that shall endure,
My answer is as follows: Not only do these difficulties Indissolubly sure,
exist; they are, as a matter of fact, persistently paraded Till God in death shall part our paths asunder.
before the community; they are the talk not only of the lecturer, but also of the factory. Even the most devout
Christians are sometimes troubled by them. What then Till Death us join. () voice yet more divine!
shall we do with these difficulties? Affect to ignore them? That to the broken heart breathes hope sublime;
That would be foolish and even cowardly. It is falsehood, Thro' lonely hours
not truth, that fears ventilation. Frankly acknowledge And shattered powers
their existence and meet them as skillfully as we can? We still are one, despite of change and time.
That would be wise and manly. This, in fact, is one of the
principal functions of the Christian ministry. Like Paul Death, with his dealing hand,
himself, we too are set for the defence of the Gospel, and Shall once more knit the band
one of the stoutest ways of defending the Gospel is to reWhich needs but that one link which none may sever; move misconceptions concerning it. For many of these Till, thro' the Only Good,
difficulties are absolutely groundless, being no difficulties Heard, felt, and understood, Our life in God shall make us one forever.
at all. Others of them are soluble, at least in great part. -Spectator.
Still others of them are absolutely insoluble; and a great point is gained when it can be philosophically shown that
they are inherently incapable of solution, and now may There is a story of some mountains of salt in Cumana, the spirit of God rest upon us as we ponder the difficulties which never diminished, though carried away in much of Scripture. abundance by merchants; but when once they were monop And first, Scriptural difficulties must exist. For God is olized to the benefit of a private purse, then the salt de infinite and man is finite. The bounded can never enclose creased, till afterwards all were allowed to take of it, when the boundless. Canst thou by sounding find out God? it had a new access and increase. The truth of this story Canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection? It is as may be uncertain, but the application is true; he that envies high as heaven. What canst thou do: deeper is it than others the use of his gifts decays then, but he thrives most hell, what canst thou know? The measure thereof is longer that is most diffusive.-Spencer.
than the earth, and broader than the sea. This is the rea
son why all worship, even the most thoroughly Christian, Let not a man trust his victory over his nature too far;
is in a certain sense idolatrous, or image-worship; that is for nature will lie buried a great time and yet revive on the
to say, the God we worship is, practically speaking, a occasion of temptation; like as it was with Æsop's damsel,
*A lecture delivered in the Hall of Philosophy at Chautauqua, turned from a cat to a woman, who sat very demurely at the August 9, 1880, by the Rev. G. D. Boardman, D. D., of Philadelphia, board's end till a mouse ran before her.-Bacon.