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Evangelicana.

A FLOATING CHURCH.

Mr. Editor, Ir may give much pleasure to your readers to be informed, that in one of those floating castles, which are considered the bulwark of our nation, there are some men to be found who are not only ready to defend us with their lives, but who also are employed in a better warfare; and exemplify, in the midst of their companions in arms, the powerful influence of grace in the heart. On board his Majesty's ship Zealous, of 74 guns, there is at this time what may be called A Floating Church; at least so far as circumstances will permit the means of grace to be attended to. The account I give you, is the language of one of them, in a letter to a friend, dated off Flushing, Sept. 11, 1811:2 'At present, there are 12 of us united in a society. We have service every evening, if we can get time; but we meet with persecution. Sometimes we are threatened in various ways; and we are told we may serve God privately, without meeting together; but with this we cannot comply, it is so directly contrary to the word of God. They have not yet, thank God, succeeded in separating us; for when they drive us from one part of the ship, we go to another. The boatswain has just given us leave to meet in a place under his care, nearly in the centre of the ship; which is convenient for the ship's company to hear the word of God.'

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In another letter, dated Oct. 22, he writes thus :-' For nearly a week past I have been greatly tempted; every thing has appeared to me as sin, and as a burden to my soul. O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from this body of sin and death? I thank God, thro' Jesus Christ our Lord, that he will deliver me! A general darkness prevails among us: God appears to have withdrawn the light of his countenance from us. Let me crave your prayers for us. We had a severe gale of wind a few days since. About 11 o'clock at night we were in great danger. A heavy sea struck the ship; and many thought we were going down. Many of the most wicked in the ship cried out, Lord, have mercy on us! -what shall we do?' &c. The sea had forced its way into some of the hammocks in the sick birth, where one of the society lay in the last stage of a consumption. From the violent motion of the ship, it was with diffi culty I could procure him dry bedding; but how different was his state from that of the people I had just before left: the distress of the present moment did not affect him he appeared perfectly satisfied and resigned to the will of God; and here I was reminded, that God will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on him.'

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Some friends having proposed to procure his discharge, a subsequent letter exhibits a struggle in his mind between duty and inclination. He says, Pray to God for me; for the will of God should be our rule in every thing. We should no longer consider ourselves our own, but his who bought us. I question if it be his will, that the crew of a man of war should be without a witness of his goodness and mercy; and if I should, in the least degree, be enabled to manifest the mercy of God in redeeming me from the power of sin, why should I seek to shun the cross?for in whatever state of life we are in, his grace is sufficient; and if I should leave the ship I may do wrong, and discourage others. Last week three men joined us, testifying the mercy of God to their souls. Two of them before were our most inveterate enemies.

Who can read the above without sentiments of gratitude to a gracious. God, and an anxious solicitude for the prosperity of this band of gracious men! Who can tell but there may be many more such cases in exist ence of which we have not yet heard! Might not this little company be

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made instrumental in conveying Bibles through this ship? Think of this, ve Members of the Bible Society; and pray for them, ye children of the living God. MICRON.

P. 5. Since writing the above, it appears that the ship is to be paid off, and this little band will be separated, by being drafted into other ships. Thus the seed may be extensively spread.

[We have heard of many similar instances of the power of divine grace on the hearts of seamen in other ships of war, and have received several letters on the subject, which, from want of room, it has been found impossible to admit.]

Sir,

CONGREGATIONAL LIBRARIES.

To the Editor.

HAVING some time since observed, with much pleasure, a valuable hint of one of your correspondents respecting the establishment of Free Circulating Libraries in different parts of the kingdom, as a mean of stimulating and keeping up the public opinion in such a praiseworthy object, I should be happy to see any other plans of your correspondents tending to promote such a fund of usefulness; and have taken the liberty of troubling you with the following observations for the same purpose; viz. That Gentlemen be excited to bequeath their Libraries, or a part of them, to some country congregation. — There are very few Gentlemen of evangelical sentiments who have not a partiality for the members of a religious assembly in some country town or village; and there are but few persons who are wellwishers to the prosperity of the Redeemer's kingdom, who have not the means in their power of doing good, by leaving their books, or a part of them, for the comfort and edification of their country friends. - I am not acquainted with the legal form that may be necessary to insert a clause in a will for such a purpose, so as to convey them with safety to the intended congregation, yet, the following plan having occupied my attention for a considerable time past, I shaff trouble you with it, together with a few rules for regulating the books among the respective members:

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Item, I give and bequeath unto the Trustees and Members of Chapel, or Meeting House, at in the county of

(which Cliapel, or Meeting House, was erected about the year of our Lord and invested in the names of and others) for the use of the Society of Christian Members meeting in that place, all my printed Books that are of a religious or moral tendency; and it is my wish and desire t that all my aforesaid printed Books be carefully packed up, and sent off, directed to some of the Trustees or Members (at the time being) of Chapel or Meeting House aforesaid, as soon as convenient after my decease.'

RULES FOR A CONGREGATIONAL FREE LIBRARY.

1. That the Members do choose from among themselves three persons to act as Stewards of the Books, and keep a list or catalogue of them, and to lend them, from time to time, to any member of the congregation, or others, for the mutual edification and instruction.

2. That one of the Stewards insert in a book, kept for that purpose, the name of every person supplied with a book, and the title of such book; and that no person be allowed to have more than two books at One time.

3. That the Stewards do take as much care as they possibly can that the books are not wilfully lost, damaged, or destroyed.

4. That when the books are not in use they be deposited in some convenient place in the Chapel, or Meeting House (if possible) or in any other convenient place that may be agreed upon by the Stewards so nominated to take care of them. I remain, Sir,

Your obedient humble Servant,

TESTATOR.

FANCIES OF THE LEARNED.

Ir has been remarked, that there is nothing so fanciful and ridicul ous, in opinions and theory, which some or other of the learned have not adopted. It is a humiliating circumstance to the boasted powers of the human mind, and calculated to teach mankind many useful lessons of instruction. It should teach the learned a modest diffidence of their sup posed attainments; and the less intelligent a thankful contentment in the use of their inferior mental improvement. Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom; but let him that glorieth, glory in this, that he under standeth and knoweth the Lord.' The following specimens of learned Fancies may, perhaps, be entertaining to your readers:

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Gerard Croes, a Dutchman, in a book entitled 'Oungos Elgaros (the Hebrew Homer) printed at Dort, in 1704, endeavours to prove, that the subjects of Homer's two poems are taken from the Scriptures; that the action of the Odyssey in particular, is nothing else but the adventures of the Israelites till the death of Moses; and that the Odyssey was composed before the Iliad, the subject of which is the taking of Jericho *.' The learned Dr. Bentley wrote a dissertation to prove, That Solomon, king of Israel, was the author of the Iliad and Odyssey; and that he wrote these poems after his apostacy from God.' The dissertation was never printed; but is said to exist in manuscript in the British Museum t.'

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The identification of Homer and Solomon is also ascribed to the learned Joshua Barnes, who published an edition of Homer, with Notes .

In the year 1789, a work was published, entitled The Revelations translated and explained throughout, with Keys, Illustrations,' &c. by W. Cooke, Greek Professor in the University of Cambridge; in which the author considers both the Iliad and Odyssey to be founded on a deep and mystical moral; that the Iliad is but the Jewish church in fact, a wrath awakened and appeased only by blood; and the Odyssey but Christianity, and the recovery, under a providential grace, of a lost bride and kingdom. He considers the very name of Odyssey (Oduga) importing as much (Odos con) the safe way. Not only have learned classical scholars had their strange fancies; but philosophers have also published some singular and contradictory notions. The ingenious Mr. King, in his Morsels of Criticism, supposes the sun to be the heaven, where the righteous are happy after death, Some of the antients were of this opinion, from Psalm xix. 4 (He has set his tabernacle in the sun') as the original has been rendered. On the contrary, the Rev. Tobias Swinden, in his Enquiry into the Nature and Place of Hell,' endeavours to prove that it is seated in the sun; chiefly pleading, that this is the grand repository of fire; that its horrible face, viewed by a telescope, suits the description given of the burning lake; and that being in the center of the system, it night be properly said, that wicked men were cast down into it! Dr. Herschell thinks the sun not a luminous and igneous body, but opaque; and that there are reasons sufficient to believe it is a most magnificent habitable world. The strangest of all modern discoveries, however, seems to be that of Palmer's Heliography, noticed in the Monthly Review for June, 1799, who considers the sun to be a body of ice!

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The following lines of Dr. Young may be a suitable accompaniment to the above sample of learned Fancies; and have a particular reference to some of them:

'I quite mistook my road,

Born in an age more curious than devout,
More foud to fix the place of Heav'n or Hell,
Than studious this to shun, or that secure,
'Tis not the curious, but the pious pạth

* Chambers's Cyclopedia, under Odyssey. vol. iv. p. 125.

+ Clark's Bibliographical Dict Wooll's Memoirs of Dr. Wharton, P, 353,

That leads me to my point. Lorenzo, know
Without or star or angel for their guide,

Who worship God shall find him.

Humble Love,

And not proud Reason, keeps the door of Heav'n:
Love finds admission where proud Science fails.
Man's science is the culture of his heart;
And not to lose his plummet in the depths
Of Nature, or the more profound of God.
Either to know, is an attempt that sets
The wisest on a level with the fool!'

GALFRIDIUS4

JUVENILE DEPARTMENT.

AN AFFECTIONATE ADDRESS TO YOUTH.

Yes, my dear young friends, it is most certainly true, that Time is at once a precious and an infinitely important talent; every thing depends upon its right improvement, as the appointed opportunity of sowing that seed of genuine piety which shall spring up to everlasting happiness. Our months and years are gliding away, to return no more for ever. But it is a serious consideration that when passed the bounds of mortal recollection, they still exist in the presence of the great Omniscient, as the faithful narrators of what has transpired in the hearts and circumstances of men. But, alas! how little solicitude is occasioned by the irresistible flight of Time. Man in his natural condition adjusts his little monitor to the revolving hours, without discerning his interest in that eternity to which they transport him. In the vigour of health and prosperity the invitations and warnings of a gracious Ğod are heard with listless indifference; or, should an impression be made upon his mind, how soon it is effaced in the rapid torrent of dissipation! There are other characters, in the mass of human kind, who admitting, in some degree, the value and shortnes of time, yet, fail of employing it to the only wise purpose. Their hearts are not perhaps intoxicated with the pleasures of life; but, being overwhelmed with its cares, the one thing needful' is neglected for a more convenient season.' If you reason with them upon the immediate nécessity of personal religion, they suspect you of enthusiasm, and plead the mercy of the Creator, till at length, grown old in the service of the world, and more than ever disinclined for higher pursuits, the hand of death snaps the fatal delusion, and they are constrained with anguish to exclaim What shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul? Such, my dear young friends, are the awful stratagems which Satan employs to keep the soul in a state of alienation from God, and in ignorance of that peace which surpasses all understanding.' May you so perceive his designs as to avoid the snare. Commence

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then, a life of piety betimes; let the morning of your days be devoted to the service of him who made you, and who has thus tenderly claimed a preference in your esteem, saying, My son, give me thy heart.' At present you are not exercised with the engagements of commerce, or intruded upon by a multiplicity of domestic avocations, but participate the privileges of health and leisure. To you I would add, 'Now is the accepted time, now is the day of salvation: ere long this favourable period will have terminated, and you may have reason vainly to recall it. Surely, if you knew the charms of true religion, you would apply unto it as the sacred spring of interminable felicity, and constant strength in every extremity. Indeed, my dear young friends, all the prospects of happiness which do not originate with the grace of God in Christ Jesus, and refer to him as their common centre, will issue in disappointment.

It is by virtue of faith in the precious Saviour, that you can withstand the temptations, bear the trials, and finally overcome the world, the flesh, and the devil. O look unto him and be saved!' remembering at all times this consolatory promise, Those who seek me early shall find

me.'

ELIZA

Obituary.

The Conversion of S. H-,

A PENITENT DEIST.

It was well observed by a Christian Poet, that Men may live fools, yet fools they cannot die.'The awfulness of the closing scene frequently enforces serious reflection; and a few moments of dispassionate investigation are gene. rally sufficient, at that solemn hour, to convince even the most hardened, that as it is appointed for all men once to die, so after death followeth the judgment. It must, however, be acknowledged, that this position does not hold universally true. Those who have long resisted the truth, and stifled the voice of conscience, are sometimes given over to judicial blindness and impenitency at last; and we have heard of a French philosopher who died in apparent calmness, admiring the works of nature, whose God he had insulted, and who had trampled under foot the gospel of his grace. While, therefore, we must acknowledge, on the one hand, that many die without giving any evidence that they are convinced of the folly of their ways, we may pronounce, on the other, that, with the majority of mankind, death gives the lie to the boasts of false philosophy, confounds the sophisms of the Deist, and proclaims the sovereignty of the Deity, and the excellence of Christianity. The truth of this statement, receives strong confirm ation from the instance exhibited in the following narrative; for the truth of which the writer pledges himself:

The parish in which S. Hresided, was distinguished, in the late rebellion *, by opposition to legitimate authority, enmity to the government of the country, and perversion of the gospel of Christ. The main spring of this factious spirit was a society which held a weekly meeing, in which every thing held sacred by their pious

forefathers was derided, the most seditious and infidel productions read with avidity, the Bible burnt in scorn as a forgery, and the adorable Redeemer, as it is confidently asserted, crucified in effigy. The leading person in this society was S. H, the subject of the following account, whose ingenuity in maintaining his own opinions, and in vilifying those of his adversaries, rendered him the boast and bulwark of his own party, and an object of terror to the friends of religion.

But short is the triumph of infidelity! The enemies of the Lord Jesus shall not prosper; their end is bitterness. The Almighty is never at a loss for means to accomplish his own designs. • His thoughts are not our thoughts ; ‣ nor our ways his ways Little did the thief think, when perpetrating the detestable crime for which he suffered, that he was afterwards to be exhibited as a spectacle to angels and to men, in order to exalt the riches of divine grace in pardoning one of the most abandoned wretches in existence. In this case, as well as in every other, the Lord acts as a Sovereign, distributing his favours when, and to whom he pleaseth.

In the midst of his mad career, it pleased God to afflict S. H. with so severe an attack of the palsy, that for two years he was confined to his house, and for the last three months of that time to his bed, so as to be incapable of the least exertion. Behold him on the bed of languishing, a burden to himself and friends. Incapable of the least motion, he appeared a living sepulchre: his hands, lately uplifted in the support of faction, now lie powerless at his sides; his lips which had uttered so many horrid blasphemies, are now silent as the grave; his eyes alone which retained their expression, shewed that the imprisoned spirit still pos sessed its pristine vigour. He had been above a mouth in this dread

* In Ireland,

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