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its way as the harangue of brother Jonathan. Scene, the "somewhat popular village of Rhyl, North Wales," congregational conventicle. Time, 6th August, 1854. Dramatis Persona, Editorial We, and congregation including three gentlemen.
'On LORD's Day, we were invited by the minister of the Congregational Chapel to preach in the meeting-house newly erected by that body of Christians for the accommodation of visitors. No church, at present, has been organised in the village, and the congregation, therefore, was composed of persons belonging to various denominations of Christians. În accepting the invitation we of course expected perfect liberty to preach what we believed to be the truth. We selected as the foundation of our discourse Matthew xvi. 13-20, the verses appearing to be divided into three topics."
The writer mentions and proceeds (we must remind the reader that the Harbinger is a Baptist organ) :—
"In the ardour of the mind, and forgetful, for the moment, of the position we occupied, the passage referred to in support of our argument was repeated thus:- Repent, or reform, and be immersed every one of you into the Name of JESUS, for the remission of sins.' At the conclusion of this passage, a gentleman-a visitor, as we learnt afterwards-rose and charged us with reading the Scriptures falsely, stated that they were Congregationalists, and proposed that we be requested to leave the pulpit. Another gentleman, also a visitor, seconded the proposal, asserting that such doctrine should not be allowed to be uttered in a Congregational Chapel! A third gentleman rose to support the two former, and then we proceeded to reply. The term immersion was offensive to those who had interrupted the speaker, but in this respect we were supported by authorities to whom even they must pay deference, for Doddridge, Henry, Watts, Scott, Wesley, and a host of commentators, all conceded the point that immersion was the original mode of baptizing; whilst the Apostle Peter [S. Peter the writer means] settled the matter that it was for the remission of sins. We went on to show, that Baptism was so understood by all the Disciples of JEsus, when the Christian system was first propounded to the world. At this part of our reply, the three gentlemen already referred to, with about twenty others, left the chapel.. After a few words further illustrative of the truth, we concluded our remarks, and the congregation dispersed."
Such is the way in which devotion is conducted among dissenting bodies!
Thus much for the adult Baptist periodicals. Turn we now to those specially published for the benefit of juvenile readers. Of these we can afford to select but one, the "Baptist Children's Magazine," a small square duodecimo, monthly in its publication, in the thirty-first year of its age, though in the second of its-to adopt the language of its contributors-of its second birth; edited, printed, and sold by Mr. J. F. Winks, of Leicester; ornamented with a verdant cover, and for the insignificant amount of one penny, well printed and illustrated. From its appearance and general contents, we should feel inclined to suppose that this little magazine
was intended to circulate amongst little readers, whose ages might vary from eight to ten or twelve years, amongst those, in fact, not yet entered into their teens. Its contents may be concisely stated. to consist of two pieces of original poetry-of whose worth we beg to decline to offer an opinion-and two selected; of three slight anecdotes; of an account of certain Baptist Missions to the Heathen; of a chapter on Rabbits and tortoise-shell Tigers; of a conversation about Kings and Queens; and of an indifferent attempt at satirical persiflage, termed by the editor a "somewhat humorous sketch," and headed by the printer, "Superstition and Reformation." That we have rather overstated the age of the class of Readers for which the "Baptist Children's Magazine" is designed, than understated, will appear from the extracts we shall quote, and especially from the information conveyed upon the cover, with respect to a simple Bible-question proposed to its subscribers, "in the hope that it will be a pleasant and profitable exercise for our young friends during the coming long evenings (the Editor writes in the fall of the year);" wherein we learn that the replies are to be "written in a plain bold hand, on ruled paper;" that every name (it is a question of names) be numbered, and only one name given on one line, with chapter and verse at the end;" from which we glean that the successful respondent shall obtain, at the end of the year, "a neatly bound copy" of this little book. In the Magazine itself, passing over a colloquy about Kings and Queens, and an account of the " tortoise-shell tiger," we come to a somewhat humorous sketch, which was written by Mr. John Hursthouse, a Baptist minister of the last century.
The paper in question occupies nearly one fifth part of the entire Magazine. It is in the main a covert attack upon the Church, under the name of Superstition, in the historico-parabolic form; although Presbyterianism and Independency do not escape without reprobation; and even Methodism and Quakerism are scarcely viewed with favour. The fable, taking it as a fable, is not without a certain degree of life and smartness; yet with all its cleverness, it lacks an ingredient without which no character can be pourtrayed, no incident can be related, with real "instruction " or with genuine "amusement "-and that is, veracity. The Magazine, however, shall tell its own tale, and the reader shall form his own judgment. Superstition, it says:
Superstition has ever busied himself in striving to prevail upon mankind to take his counterfeit ware for the religion instituted by the Almighty. And, indeed, the extreme glare and showiness of it has rendered him by far too successful in his attempts to deceive. This noted cheat, though very ancient, is surprisingly active."
Superstition's career is now roughly traced both in Old and New Testament times, and in times subsequent to both.
"In the third century SUPERSTITION began to have vast influence on the Christian Church; but he was forced to appear in disguise amongst them. He pretended to be the grandson of Pure Religion; and that he had a varnish given him by one called Sophistry, which would greatly embellish and improve their religious worship. With some difficulty he prevailed upon the good people of those times to lay by the Bible, and only read his annotations of it, which he told them his grandmother highly approved: and then he introduced (though with a great deal of caution) infant baptism, which he told them would take away original sin, and be a great deal more agreeable to the world than the old fashioned way."
Of course, "His Holiness the Pope" is not forgotten, or the times of the Reformation passed by. The latter, we are told, fled to England in the days of good Queen Bess, where she soon became espoused to a son of Hierarchy, Dr. Bigotry.
"By Dr. Bigotry, REFORMATION had several children. The eldest three, Episcopacy, Presbytery, and Independency, are in their persons very much alike; but those who are intimately acquainted with them, affirm that they are very different in their tempers, and the management of their families. Let that be as it may, there is a striking likeness in them all of their father and his family. Baptist, the fourth son, is allowed by the impartial to be handsomer than his mother, and very much like his famous predecessor, Pure Religion, as will appear by examining a very valuable Old Picture, painted by JESUS CHRIST and His Disciples almost 1800 years ago, called the New Testament, kept in the Christian's library."
Bigotry's unkindness in leaving all his property, real and personal, to Episcopacy, is then lamented, and his widow's marriage with Enthusiasm, from whom sprung Methodism, is then recorded, whilst
'Baptist being the only son that much resembled his mother's relations in person, temper, and deportment, shall, on that account, be further delineated. Finding no peace or encouragement amongst his brothers, though he was the darling of his mother in her heart, he became deeply in love with a very amiable virgin, of poor but pious parentage, called Truth-simple. Her he married, and she brought him two sons at a birth,-the one called General, the other Particular. They are both reckoned by the discerning to very much resemble, in their features, the famous picture of Pure Religion before mentioned."
The "Baptist Children's Magazine," we consider a fair type of the juvenile publications of the sect, and with this opinion we do not feel called upon to furnish additional extracts from this class of serials. The specimen here offered, however, will form, in part, the basis of some remarks at the close of our examination upon the style and character of children's magazines; and hence we beg attention to the extracts.
The Missionary Magazines of the Baptist Body do not seem to require any special notice.
MILES' RAMBLES IN ICELAND.
Nordufari: or Rambles in Iceland. By PLINY MILES. Longmans, 1854. Pp. xvi. 252.
THIS Volume forms part of Longman's Traveller's Library, and it has better claims to be included in such a series than other books that might be named. It is the work of a well-read, vivacious, fraternizing, sharp-sighted, and perhaps rather egotistical, and overweening Yankee-as most Yankees are-who, spending a few years in travel, found himself after the "great exhibition" epoch, having visited every nook and corner of the old country, "like the unconquered and unconquerable Macedonian, seeking for a world to pommel with his footsteps," and bethought himself of Iceland, the "one land that was untrodden," (though not quite so untrod den as he seems to think,) "the solitary lump of unlicked lava;" and so straightway to Iceland he went. One of the practical results of his journey is the publication of the present volume. Most of it, the author tells us, was penned in the Ultima Thule which he attempts to describe, and very little, he adds, has been altered or amended since the original draft. This is plainly observable in several parts of the work. Not that we have any objection to it.
Mr. Miles says, and says truly, that "the spirit of travel is the freshest at the time the travel is enjoyed, and all impressions are then the most vivid. What is written on the spot, carries with it a vraisemblance; and, though an after revision may add some polish to the style, yet, to a certain extent, it takes away the life and vivacity of the narrative."
Whether he speaks with equal correctness when he informs us that "there are no accessible books of a late date in our language that give either an intelligible or a faithful account of Iceland," is another question. We had always thought, on the contrary, that there was no lack in the English language-and we presume that, barring the admixture of a few Americanisms, that language is Mr. Miles' own-of very "accessible" and perfectly "intelligible" books on Iceland. The works of Barrow, Dillon, and Pfeiffer, to say nothing of Henderson, Mackenzie, and others of a still later date-and not forgetting either one of the volumes of the Edinburgh Cabinet Library-are neither very uncommon nor very unintelligible, among us at least, whatever they may be in America; and, indeed, that several of these are not altogether unknown or incomprehensible to Mr. Miles himself, his own book affords unequivocal evidence, for he alludes to, and even quotes some of them, one with decided approval, although he impeaches the veracity of another; whilst the very existence of these works
affords, on the other hand, a practical contradiction to our author's unqualified assertion that Iceland is the "one land" out of Christendom that remains "untrodden." Nay, he himself tells us that Sir George Mackenzie's Travels in Iceland was one of the few companions in the shape of books that he took with him on his journey.
Whether all these works are faithful and veracious is a different matter. Mr. Miles thinks not, and, in fact, he plainly intimates that he has published his present work with the view of remedying the various defects and inaccuracies, real or apprehended, of which he (rather inconsistently) complains, and to communicate to the public, we presume both of the old and new world, intelligible as well as interesting and trustworthy information in regard to Iceland. "The object of the following chapters," he says, "has been to present a readable and truthful narrative, to create some interest in the people, the literature, and the productions of the lonely isle of the north." We will now see how Mr. Miles has executed his task, and initiate our readers in some of his Icelandic discoveries.
At four o'clock A.M., July 1st, (the year is not mentioned, but we think we have read somewhere that this voyage was undertaken in the year 1852,) our traveller found himself before Copenhagen, on board the little schooner, Sölöven, Anglicè, Sea-Lion, bound for Iceland, and carrying his Danish Majesty's mails. The passengers consisted of a "round dozen," among whom were two or three dignitaries of Iceland, one sysselman, the landfoged or treasurer of the island, and several ladies, who were all squeezed together in a cabin scarcely six feet square, with only six berths and a sofa between them all! According to Mr. Miles' account, it would not seem that the " living" on board the Sölöven was much superior to the accommodation. It principally consisted of a thin watery compound called "soup," composed of black potatoes, black beef, and yet blacker bread. Very "black" certainly all these viands must have been, if, as our author's words imply, the only blacker thing on board was the dog "Nigger." At the evening meal the passengers were regaled with a decoction which the captain audaciously called "tea," but which Mr. Miles describes as nothing else than "hot water frightened into a faint colour by a gentle infusion of China's favourite plant." This infusion must have been very "gentle" indeed, if it consisted only of something like half a teaspoonful of tea to a gallon of water, as our author seems to tell us it did. It will be readily conceived that all this did not contribute to make the voyage a particularly agreeable one, and that time hung rather heavily upon the hands of the passengers on board the Sea-Lion. Mr. Miles, however, as well as his fellow passengers were not left altogether without some source of recreation and amusement.