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may be enabled to pray. Be sure you be acquainted with the word of God,,converse with him frequently there,-lay up in your heart such precious promises as are applicable to your distressed soul. With them in your eye, you inay look forward to the perfect man in Christ Jesus; but if you do not keep them before you, the great distance of perfection will be apt to discourage you ; but, with them in your view, you will boldly press on from one promise to another, till, through the grace of God, you will make them all your own.
I long to see you. The Lord Jesus grant, that then, and always, both you and I may be found in him. How my heart glows when I think of that eternal kingdom, where we shall be with one another, and with him who is the deliverer of his people; and, I hope, the beloved of our souls, for ever and ever!
My dearest lad, I beg your thanksgiving to God, for his very tender mercy to me, one of the most sinful of his creatures, and most unworthy of his ministers. RICHARD CONYERS,
LETTER FROM AN ITINERANT MINISTER.
To the Editor. Sir, The following Letter was sent from a Minister in the country, to a Geno
tleman in London, near eleven years since. As it is' fraught with instruction to every Christian, and particularly encouraging to Itinerant Preachers, I send it to you, hoping you have a spare place in your valuable Miscellany.
LYDIA. My good friend Mr. S.
July 30, 1792 I am happy that I fell into your hands :- when I was in trouble, you were kind. I hope you, Mrs.S., son, and daughter are well. I have been taught of late to live by faith more than ever;-it is a happy life' indeed! very difficult for the poor to learn,-and
may be still more difficult for the rich ; yet it is as needful for the one as the other. I must, of necessity, be where, and do what God calls me to. I find God is still with me, he does still feed me and mine. Now and then, when I am still, and leave all to him, he sends me something handsome, or rather comfortable, from an unexpected quarter, but when I fret, and murmur, and rage, and storm, he sends me nothing but a rod; or, like a backslider, as I then am, he fills me with my own ways. Good God! how wonderful art thou! Oh how I would trust thee, love thee, live upon, and be devoted to thee!
Last Lord's Day evening, I walked near seven miles to preach at cne of our dark towns. I stood up in the broadway, and preached in the face of a loaded gun, from the parable of the
THE NATURAL HISTORY OF THE ICHNEUMON. 335 Rich Man and Lazarus; and came home when I had done. The gun did not go off until I had almost done; nor did I fear it, except a little at first sight. Had I been killed, I should have gone to Heaven; -- not to blame the man, but to praise God.
My love to you all,
THE NATURAL HISTORY OF THE ICHNEUMON*.
The divine Psalmist tells us, that “ The works of God are sought out, of all them that have pleasure therein;" and such discoveries must be doubly sweet, when, in addition to the gratification of our innocent curiosity, as it respects the works of Nature, we are enabled to discover traces of the divine wisdom and goodness in their formation and economy; and it is assuredly oar own fault if these escape us in any individual sub- . ject of enquiry.
The Ithneumon is a native of Egypt, Barbary, and the Cape of Good Hope. Iis length, from the tip of the nose to the end of the tail, is from twenty-four to forty-two inches, of which the tail takes near the half. Its colour is pale reddish grey, each hair being mottled with brown or mouse, colour. The eyes are of a bright red, the ears almost naked, small and rounded, and the nose long and slender. The tail is very thick at the base, from whence it gradually tapers almost to a point, where it is slightly tufted. The hair is hard and coarse; and the legs are short.
in Egypt, the Ichneumon is considered as one of the most useful and inestimable of animals; being an inveterate enemy to the serpents, and other noxious reptiles, which infest the neighbourhood of the torrid zone. It attacks, without dread, that most fatal of serpents, the Cobra di Capello, or Hooded Snake; and, when it receives a wound in the comibat
, instantly retires, and is said to obtain an antidote from some herb ; after which it returns to the attack, and seldom fails of victory. It isa great destroyer of the eggs of crocodiles, which it digs out of the sand ; and even kills multitudes of the young of those terrible creatures. It was for this reason that the ancient Egyptians ranked the Ichneumon among
It is sometimes domesticated, and kept in houses in India and Egypt, where it is found more useful than a cat in destroying vermin. It is easily tamed, is very active, and springs with great agility on its
prey. It will glide along the ground like a serpent, as it without teet. Samica
* See Animal Biography, Vol. I. 296, &c.
times it sits up like a squirrel, and eats with its fore feet; catching any thing that is fung to it. It is a great enemy to poultry; and will feiga itself dead till they come within its reach. It is said to be extremely skilful in seizing the serpents by the throat, in such a manner as to avoid receiving any injury. Lucan has beautifully described the address of this animal in conquering the Egyptian asp :
“Thas oft th’ Ichneumon, on the banks of Nile,
Invades the deadly Aspic by a wile.
And shed the fruitless mischief on the ground. I had (says M. d'Obsonville) an Ichneumon very young, which I brought up : 'I fed it at first with milk; and afterwards with baked meat, mixed with rice. It soon became even tamer than a cat; for it came when called, and followed me, though at liberty, into the country:
One day I brought to him a small water-serpent alive; being desirous to know how far his instinct would carry him against a being with which he was hitherto totally unacquainted. His first emotion seemed to be astonishment mixed with anger, for his hair became erect; but, in an instant after, he slipped behind the reptile, and, with a remarkable swiftness and agility, leaped upon its head, seized it, and crushed it between his teeth. This essay, and new aliment, seemed to have awakened in him his innate and destructive voracity, which, till then, had given way to the gentleness he had acquired from his education. I had about my house several curious kinds of fowls; among which he had been brought up, and which, till then, he had suffered to go and come unmolested and unregarded: but, a few days after, when he found himself alone, he strangled them every one, ate a little, and, as appeared, had drank the blood of two.
In a wild state, the Ichneumon is said principally to frequent the banks of rivers; and, in times of Hood, to approach the higher grounds and inhabited places, in quest of prey. It is reported to swim and dive occasionally, in the manner of an otter, and to continue beneath the water for a great length of time. Its voice is very soft, somewhat like a murmur; and, unless it is struck or irritated, it never exerts it. When it sleeps, it folds itself up like a ball; and is not easily awaked.
These animals are short-lived, but grow very rapidly. In our temperate climates, they cannot, without great difficulty, be either reared or preserved. Whatever care be taken, the frost incommodes them; and they generally fall a victim to the change,
In the history of rapacious animals, nothing is more observable than the economy of Divine Providence; which, while it gives existence to millions of this class of being, by implanting antipathies against each other, prevents the inordinate increase of any one species, preserves an equilibrium among, them, and prevents ihe destruction of either, and especially of mankind. But our design, in the insertion of articles of this nature, is, not merely to convey natural information, but also to lead the ideas of our readers to subjects more spiritual and important.
The first reflection occurring to a spiritual mind, on the per rusal of the above account, will arise from the natural enmity,
THE NATURAL HISTORY OF THE ICIINEU MON. 357 between the Ichneumon and the serpent; and the dexterity of the former in the destruction of the latter. Hlow forcibly does.' this bring to recollection the first great mystic promise of salvation, given in Paradise : “ I will put enmity betueen thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.”
The wonderful instinct of the animal, in flying to its antidote, suggests also to the Christian, a very useful hint in all his engagements with his subtil enemy, - toily to the only tree which antidotes his venom, and heals the wounds of conscience: “ The accursed tree has blessings in it;" and the very leaves of it are salutary to the nations of the redeemed..
The serpent, we may fariher remark, though the most sagacious of the brute creation, is yet vunerable ir its head; so. that, among animals as among mankind, “ The wise are taken in their own craftiness ;” and this remark is as fully applicable to the Old Serpent, the Devil, as to any of the venoinous generation.
Lastly, The anecdote related by M. d'Obsonville suggests another lesson. The powers of education may go far to civilize the human character; and the decency of civilization, accompanied by an obliging temper, may be inistaken for the effects of grace; but let the suitable temptation come, without grace to resist it, and, like the ferocious disposition of the Ichneumon, the depravity of human nature instantly appears.
SUM AND SUBSTANCE OF ALL THE BLESSINGS:
which Ministers of the Gospel
of Pastoral Divinity.
May that Spirit, which anointed and attended the Lord Jesus, in the discharge of his office, as our great Prophet, High Priest, and King, anoint, attend, and lead us! (a)
May his office-blessing (or the blessing attendant on his own sacred ministry) bless and cheer the whole order of Gospel Ministers!
May the wisdom displayed in his ministry, enlighten and guide each of us!(6) - May the zeal he shewed in his ministerial office, urge and strengthen us! (0) - May his ministe
la) Isa. lix. 21. lxi. 1, &c. Luke iv. 13, &c. 2 Cor. v. 18-20. chap. vi. I-I9. 15) Isa. lii. 13. (c) Ps. lxix. 2. John ii, 17.
338 BLESSINGS. WHICH MINISTERS SHOULD DESIRE. rial faithfulness, at once animate and abase us!(d) — May his patience in his ministry, establish and settle us : (C) - May the authority which attended his teaching, endow us with ministerial authority! (f) - May the glory which shone from his face in the ministry, reflect itself in our faces! (g)
May the temptations and trials which he suffered in his ministry, render bim compassionate towards us in all our ministerial temptations and trials! (h)
May his willingness * in his ministry, make us also willing and ready to serve in ours, both hy day and night!(i)
May his being sent by his father, and performing his ministry, give energy to our ministerial functions! (R)
May his fear and trembling, in his official sacrifice of himself, make us fear and trouble in the execution of our miois
May his not pleasing himself, preserve us from all self-coinplacency! (m)
May his meat in the discharge of his office to do the will of his father, be also our meat in the discharge of our office!(n)
May his consolation in the ministry + be also our consolation in ours! (0)
May his agony in prayer, in his ministry, excite us to pray without ceasing ! (p)
May his enduring, in his ministry, the reproach, contradiction, ingratitude, cold neglect, persecution, and hatred of the world, be always before our eyes when we experience the like treatment! (9)
May his behariour in his ministry, - his not striving or crying (r), his crying, on some occasions (s),-his lifting up lis eyes to his Father in Heaven (t'),-his lamb-like meekness (u),
- his powerful look upon Peter, &c. (x) regulate and form our behaviour in our ministry !
May his tears over Jerusalem, bless our tears in our ministry! (y)
May the grace, peace, and tender compassion, so conspicuous in the performance of his otfice, be also our grace, peace, and mercy, for our manifestation in the consciences of men !(z)
May bis cautious prudence in conducting his ministry, render us also prudent! (a)
(d) Heb. ii, 1, 2, 6. 10) 1 Pet. v.10. (f) Mat, vii. 29. (3) John i. 14. 2 Cor. ii. 18. !!) Heb. i. 17, 18; and iv. 15, ii) Mat. xx. 26--28. ) John xvii. 18. 1) Heb. 6. 7.
(m) Rom. XV. 1-3. in! John iv. 34. Ps. xl. 8. Heb. x.';. Vol John xvii. 6-8. (p) Luke xxii. 44. Eph. vi. 18. I rhes. v. 17. 19) Heb. xii. 3. Johın xv. 18, 20, 25. Ps. lxix. 4, 7, 9, 20. Acts v. 41. (r) Isa. xlii. 2. Mat. xii. 19.
(3) John vii. 37. ix. 43., xii. 444 (1) John xi. 41. xvii. 1. («) Isa. hii.j. (1) Luke xxii. 61. (') Luke xix. 41. Ps. cxxvi. 5, 6.
Acts XX. 19
2 Cor. xi. 4. () 2 Cor. iv, a.
(a) Mark xii. : 3–17. Mat. X. 16. * “ Him that cometh unto me, I will in nowise cast out.” Jolin vi. 37. 十 All that the Father givethi me shall come unto me.” Julen vi. 37