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altar is meant a place of general worship for the Church with him. It is stated—“He builded an altar unto the Lord, and called on the name of the Lord.” (Gen., XII., 8.) So when he settled for a time at Mamre, it is specially stated that “there he built an altar unto the Lord.” (Gen., XIII., 18.)
In the history of Jacob's wanderings, we also find Moses making frequent mention of his receiving counsels and promises from God Himself, and of bis careful attention to provide a place for the worship of God. There is one very remarkable instanco (Gen., XXVIII.) when at Luz the promises made to the Church are renewed, and represented to him in a vision. The ladder, reaching from the promised land of the chosen people, or Church, to Heaven, to the throne of God, and baving angels ascending and descending from the one to the other, shews the communion between God and His Churcb, and the ministrations of His providence in attending to its prayers, and watching over its safety and welfare. The promise of the multiplied seed of the faithful is confirmed, and assurances of continued protection are repeated: Jacob's exclamation, which under inspiration he utters with awe and gratitude, shews how he felt the place to be consecrated. "How dreadful is this place! this is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of Heaven." He immediately determined that the consecration of it shall be not only in his own heart, but also in the Church at large. He changes the name of the place to Bethel, which means-The house of God. He con. secrates the stone, whereon be had slept, by pour. ing oil upon it-he devotes himself to God's worship --and vows that this anointed pillar shall be the spot for “God's House," and that of all God shall give bim, be will set apart the tithe for an endorment. The building, the consecration, the endowment, are each expressly mentioned. In like manner God talked with Jacob--and the latter builds an altar and
consecrates a place of worsbip. (Gen., XXXV.) However, not to dwell further on these distinct marks of the setting apart of a Church, and of God's direct regulation of it, we may observe, that, though scattered and incidentally mentioned, they are, by that
very casual mention, clear proofs, that the existence of such a church from the beginning, and God's immediate government of it, were facts pro. bably well understood by the people, to whom the history was addressed; and therefore were spoken of without explanation, because no explanation was needed.
There is also another remarkable ordinance connected with this period of Church bistory, which must not be passed over
-the ordinance of circumcision. In the Seventeenth Chapter of Genesis
may be seen the brief account of it given by Moses. St. Paul under the Christian dispensation further explains its typical and spiritual intent. But with this at present we shall not concern ourselves. We will confine ourselves to the Mosaic statements. It is represented as a sacramental sign or token of a covenant, and is ordained by God. Jehovah introduces the subject by a declaration of His power to fulfil all that He may promise, and also of man's obligation to perform what is required of bim, if he would enjoy what is promised him, in the covenant, which is now to be amplified and confirmed, The Lord said “I am the Almighty, walk before me,
and be thou perfect." This was Abraham's or in other words the Churcb's part of the Covenant. · Jehovah then proceeds, to assure bim of the blessings and favour, which He has in store for the chosen people. It was no new covenant-Abraham was already the cbosen Father of the faithful, and his children were the Chosen people in the Churcb. Circumcision was ordained not to admit them into the covenant, but as the token of the obligations to purity and holiness, which that covenant imposed upon them. This rite
God ordained should be undergone by children on the eight day after their birth; thus shewing that the children of believing parents were, at the earliest age, considered parties to
[is covenant of mercy, placed in “a state of salvation,” and numbered with the Church. If the carnal curiosity and conceit of man will ask, why could not the chosen people remain in their state of salvation without this ordi. nance, or of what use it would be to apply it to mere children; we answer, and we think it a sufficient answer—the inspired historian of God's will bas not
He has done all that is necessary. He has recorded God's words that children were to be circumcised on the eighth day—and whoso should not be circumcised “that soul shall be cut off from his people; he hath broken my covenant.” (Gen., XVII., 14.)
On the history of the Church during its bondage in Egypt the historian gives us little information. We are not making history, but giving its outline; and therefore shall not attempt to describe, from our imagination, that wbich Moses has not told
All that sacred history relates is, that the Church was brought by the hand of God into Egyptian bondage; that it had been pre-ordained that it should remain in that state four hundred years; and that it did so remain, till, at His appointed time, God brought them out with signs and wonders, and with a mighty hand and stretched out arm. All, we can gather from the facts revealed to us, is that the Israelites themselves fell into great ignorance and irregularities, and that the Egyptians were plunged into the grossest darkness and corruptions. So that not only did they cruelly oppress the Church, but their king defied the power of the Lord Jebovah, and miserably perished for his presumption. Of the testimony given by the Lord to these wicked men, and of the awful visitations they brought upon thema selyes, the history is too well known to need
repetition here, The hand of the Lord in the plagues brought upon Egypt, and in the destruction of the bost of Pharoah in the Red Sea, is clearly visible. We will therefore here close the subject of our first sbapter.
In the next Number, we shall make a few reflections upon this Chapter.
RELIGION ALL IMPORTANT IN EDUCATION.
It is often only for want of reflection, that we are led astray. We use words without having clear ideas of the things, which these words signify. Thus we hear people talking of education without religion. “Oh!" say they, “we cannot all agree about religion, but we all agree, that we must have education. Never mind religion: give the people education." But after all what is education. It is only an instrument or means to attain some end. That end isthe preparing a person to perform some part, or to secure some good. But what will “ COMMON SENSE" tell him he ought chiefly to desire with respect to this part and this good? Will it not tell him first to consider what is the most important part he has to perform, and what the most important good, he has to secure? And can « Common Sense” doubt for a moment, whether that part and that good must relate to earth, or to Heaven, to time, or to eternity? It cannot doubt. The most simple, the most unlearned, must know that all his hopes, and all his views cannot end here, nor ought to be chiefly regarded as belonging to this life. Who expects to live here for ever? Who is foolish enough, to believe that he has no soul_that there is nothing after this life-or that his future life will not, in length and importance, infinitely exceed the present? But if the next life in length and importance is to exceed the present, what a silly short-sighted notion
must he have of the meaning of the word “education," who supposes that it is to prepare a man for this life, * and not for the next-for the least important portion, and not for the most important portion, of his existence-or at least that, if both these cannot be the objects of preparation, the greater is to be thrown aside to make way for the less; and not the less for the greater? When this poor vile body shall be cast into the grave, and given to corruption and the worms, what, on the great day of the general resurrection, shall we be the better, that we could read or write, or understood mathematics? What comfort will it give a serious man, that he can calculate the distance of the stars, or the movements of the planets, if he cannot establish, on sure and certain grounds, his own hope of eternal life, or of the situation in which, on the great day, he will himself be placed by the Lord of all Creation? Or again, to what good purposes either for himself, or for the society in which he lives, will all his acquirements be turned, unless first and foremost be established in his heart those principles of piety and religion-that knowledge of the things which concern his salvation—that love towards God and Man, which make it his ruling desire, his continual endeavour, to apply them to the saving of his own soul-to the Glory of God, and the good of his fellow-creatures? Surely education, which neglects, or treats as inferior, those great principles, cannot be deserving of the name. If both secular and religious teaching can be combined, Well and good! But, if one is to be sacrificed to the other, “Common Sense" will counsel -sacrifice secular learning, rather than religious---and not religion, to secular learning. This may be called illiberal; but it is both Christianity, and Common Sense, to give up the less, for the greater. Educa. tion which has not in view principally the establish.. ment of religious discipline, and the formation of religious Character, is a mockery---it is the husk