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finished reprobate is never formed in a day. Bad and powerful pas sions, and confirmed habits of vice, are the full-grown thorns, the seeds and shoots of which were to be seen in childhood itself. It is the part of vigilant husbandry to see the thorns the moment they appear above ground, to tear them up by the roots, and thereby preserve the crop; and it belongs to a skilful and religious education to watch the workings of human depravity, and to destroy its shoots and its buds the moment they make their appearance. It is for this end that the modern Scottish schools are provided with play-grounds; and the plan appears to be founded upon a just principle. The master is present in them, as well as in the school, for the purpose of observing what passes, and improving it for the good of his charge. The playground is the little world of the children, where each pursues his own end, in his own way; and here the qualities of the human heart, whether good or bad, are as sure to display themselves as in the great world around us. The thorns which are afterward to choke the good seed, to wound and injure our brethren, and to render ourselves fuel for the fire, are to be seen in the play-ground, as surely as the fruits of summer and the blossoms of spring are to be seen by the gardener in the very depth of winter. The especial advantage of seeing them there is, that they are not then too strong to be dealt with, but are so weak as to be easily removed. At this period of life the human mind is willing to be taught, and evil is often blighted and destroyed by a timely information. The human heart, bad as it is, can only be allured to damnation step by step; and few would venture upon a life of sin if they distinctly saw the end at the beginning. Let men be convinced in childhood, beyond all possibility of doubt, that the elements of utter reprobation are actually living and working in themselves, let them fully understand to what these must ultimately lead, and then they may be induced to cast out the incipient mischief, by eradicating the thorns, instead of suffering them to remain until they have choked the good seed.
But why should this process end, as it commonly does among us, at the age of ten, twelve, or fourteen years? Why should not our youth remain subject to the same discipline until they are twenty, or even married and settled in life? It will be said, they are then too old and big for schools, and cannot be detained any longer. Methodism can hold no person against his will, whether child or adult. Yet it finds the ways and means of attaching large multitudes to itself, and that by bonds which remain unbroken through a life of change and sorrow. Young persons between the ages of ten and twenty are as easily attached to Methodism as any others; and just upon the same principle, namely, by being treated with kindness according to what they really are: many such are now members of the society. These, in various degrees, mind the things of the Spirit; for they have been awakened to an apprehension of spiritual and eternal realities, and hence enjoy our class meetings and the other means of grace; and, treating them according to what they really are, we admit them fully, and at once, to "the communion of saints," in which society they find themselves perfectly at home. But there are others who, not having been so awakened, do not relish our class meetings; perhaps dislike them, and cannot make up their minds at present to assume the VOL. X.-Oct., 1839.
decided profession of religion. Yet many of these are willing to meet with others in the same circumstances, have no objection to be told of their faults, and even wish to become wiser and better. Why then should we not meet them on their own ground, and give them that portion of good which they wait to accept at our hands? The serious, thoughtful, and well-disposed part of our youth are folded, and placed under proper shepherds; while the thoughtless and wayward, who are ready to show their courage by playing with the wolf, we leave to act as they please, and take care of themselves. What Abraham did under one divine warrant, we venture to do in flat opposition to another. We give the inheritance to Isaac, and send Ishmael into the wilderness. Some of these have wandered to a frightful distance, and are now in "a far country," from which they are not likely to return. When an inquiry concerning them shall be made by our common Father, we shall not be able to end the matter by saying, "Am I my brother's keeper?" for we shall find (perhaps to our cost) that all souls are his; and that even for the Cains, the Esaus, the prodigals, and other supposed reprobates, the shepherds must give an account to him. Our obvious duty therefore is forthwith to make arrangements for infolding these wandering sheep, and subjecting them to such a course of discipline as they are able to bear, in order that for every one of them we may be able to give "some good account at last."
Here the question occurs, "How is this to be done?" It doubtless admits of a satisfactory answer, whether we are able to give it or not. It is in the hope that even a foolish proposition may lead to amendment of our present system, that we venture to answer:-By forming all the youth belonging to our societies and congregations, who choose to leave our schools, and refuse to take a society ticket into some sort of Bible classes, and placing each of them under the care of a suitable person, whose business should be to watch over the morals of those committed to his care, and instruct them more fully, by means of suitable books, in the knowledge of the Holy Scriptures. These classes should be accessible to all who choose to join them; and few or none be excluded except by themselves. The effect of such an arrangement would be, that those who are now wrong would be preserved from going further astray; fading impressions would be revived and deepened; forgotten truths recalled, and personal salvation more generally secured. Additional seed would be sown; and farmers know that there are cases in which, while the first sowing has proved a failure, the second has yielded a harvest. The thorns of bad passions and habits would more fully "spring up," and farther opportunities be afforded to detect and destroy them. The harvest would become more abundant and general, and the sowers and reapers rejoice together.
Perhaps it will be said, that this is impossible, as the Methodists have already more work than they can do. In the history and experience of our community agents and money have been forthcoming when they were urgently called for, and but seldom before. If we resolve to cultivate this vineyard, that will be an advertisement for laborers; and if God approve of the project, there will be no lack. A willingness to work for Christ is the first and great qualification which is possessed by many members of our society; and the requisite addi
tional instruction can surely be obtained: for those who engage in this work should have some especial training in Biblical knowledge in order that they may command attention and success. If these classes were periodically met by the preachers, either separately or together, and addressed on subjects connected with their spiritual and temporal well-being, the general effect must be to restrain and withdraw them from evil, and allure them to Christ; while many of these stray sheep would be
"Gather'd into his fold,
With his people to live and to die."
Methodism has done wonders both at home and abroad. This, under God, has been mainly owing to its organization. Should the same system, and combination, and vigor be brought fully to bear upon the religious education of our youth, we shall see greater things yet. Our infant schools will then be multiplied a thousandfold, and young children placed under the rays of the light of life from their tenderest years. Our Sunday schools will be greatly augmented in number, improved in character, and rendered more eminently than ever the nurseries of enlightened religion. Our week-day schools will impart the same celestial instruction day by day, with the addition of some very valuable secular knowledge. Our Bible classes will further instruct and preserve those young persons who have ceased to attend our schools; among whom will be our apprentices and maid-servants, as well as the youthful members of more wealthy families. Solomon says, "In all labor there is profit;" and the more this field is cultivated, the less it will contain of wayside, of rock, and of thorns; and the more of that "good ground" which will prove abundantly fruitful. What are called "revivals," to which, thank God, our churches are no strangers, will become showers of rain, falling upon ground tilled and full of seed; and we can scarcely fail to "reap in due time."
The influence of all this upon our societies and congregations generally can scarcely fail to be salutary; since its tendency must be more and more to render Methodism "fair as the sun, clear as the moon, and terrible as an army with banners;" for such a large body of mingled light and love will be sure both to give pleasure to all the wise and the good, and to make a deep and wide impression upon that vast mass of ignorance and sin with which we are still surrounded.
From the Edinburgh Review, or Critical Journal, for January, 1839.
1. An Attempt to Develop the Law of Storms by means of Facts, arranged according to Place and Time; and hence, to point out a cause for the variable Winds, with the view to practical use in Navigation. By Lieut. Colonel REID, C. B., of the Royal Engineers. 8vo. London: 1838. With an Atlas of nine Charts.
2. Remarks on the prevailing Storms of the Atlantic Coast of the North American States. By WILLIAM C. REDFIELD, of the City of New-York. (Silliman's Journal, Vol. XX.)
3. Hurricane of August, 1831. By W. C. REDFIELD. (Silliman's Journal, Vol. XXI.)
4. Observations on the Hurricanes and Storms of the West Indies, and the Coast of the United States. By W. C. REDFIELD. (Blunt's American Coast Pilot. 12th Edition, pp. 626-629.)
5. On the Gales and Hurricanes of the Western Atlantic. By W. C. REDFIELD, (United States Naval Magazine.)
IT is mortifying to the pride of science, and a reproach to every civilized government, that we know so little of meteorology-of the laws and perturbations of that aerial fluid which exists within and around us--which constitutes the pabulum of life; and in which we should instantly perish, were it either polluted or scantily supplied. Considering the earth's atmosphere merely in its chimical and statistical relations, our knowledge of its properties is at once extensive and profound. We have decomposed the gaseous mass into its elements, and ascertained their separate agencies in sustaining and destroying life. Its weight, its variable density, its altitude, its action upon light, its electrical and magnetical phenomena, its varying temperature, whether we ascend from the earth, or move to different points on its surface, have all been investigated with an accuracy of result honorable to the industry and genius of philosophers. But, however great be the knowledge which we have acquired of our aerial domains, when in a state of serenity and peace, we must confess our utter ignorance of them in a state of tumult and excitement. When the paroxysms of heat and cold smite the organizations of animal and vegetable life-when the swollen cloud pours down its liquid charge, and menaces us with a second deluge-when the raging tempest sweeps over the earth with desolating fury, driving beneath the surge, or whirling into the air, the floating or the fixed dwellings of man-when the electric fires, liberated from their gaseous prison, shiver the fabrics of human power, and rend even the solid pavement of the globe-when the powers of the air are thus marshalled against him, man trembles upon his own hearth, the slave of terrors which he cannot foresee, the sport of elements which he cannot restrain, and the victim of desolation from which he knows not how to escape.
But though the profoundest wisdom has been hitherto of no avail in emergencies like these, it would be at variance with the whole history of scientific research to suppose that effectual means may never be obtained for protecting life and property when thus endangered, or at least for diminishing the hazards to which they are exposed. The philosopher in his closet has already done some
thing to protect as well as to forewarn. The electric conductor, when skillfully applied, has performed some function of mercy in guarding our houses and our ships; and the indications of the barometer and sympiesometer have doubtless warned the mariner to reef his topsails, and prepare for the struggle of the elements. But, paltry as these auxiliaries are, they are almost the only ones which unaided science can supply. It belonged to the governments of Europe and America, and pre-eminently to ours, whose royal and commercial marine almost covers the ocean, to encourage, by suitable appointments and high rewards every inquiry that could throw light upon the origin and nature of those dire catastrophes by which, in one day, hundreds of vessels have been wrecked-thousands of lives sacrificed, and millions of property consigned to the deep. But, alas! they have done nothing. Ours, at least, has no national institution to which they could intrust such an inquiry; and the cause of universal humanity, involving the interests of every existing people, and of every future generation, is left, as all such causes are, to the feeble and isolated exertions of individual zeal.
It is fortunate, however, for our species, that the high interests of humanity and knowledge are not confided to the cares of ephemeral legislation. He who rides on the whirlwind has provided for the alleviation of the physical as well as the moral evils which are the instruments of his government; and in the last few years two or three individuals have devoted themselves to the study of the gales and hurricanes that desolate the tropical seas, with a zeal and success which the most sanguine could never have anticipated. They have not, indeed, yet succeeded in discovering the origin of these scourges of the ocean; but they have determined their general nature and character; and have thus been able to deduce infallible rules, if not to disarm their fury, at least to withdraw us from their power and if so much has been done by the successive labors of two living individuals in the brief period of only six years, what may we not expect to achieve when meteorological inquiries shall be set on foot at suitable stations, and the science of Europe brought to bear on the observations which may be registered?
Before the attention of philosophers was directed to the investigation of individual tempests and hurricanes, it was generally believed that a gale differed from a breeze only in the velocity of the air which was put in motion; and a hurricane was supposed to be well explained when it was described as a wind moving in a rectilineal direction at the rate of 100 or 120 miles an hour.
The first person who seems to have opposed himself to this vulgar error was the late Colonel Capper, of the East India Company's service, who published, in 1801, a work "on the Winds and Monsoons." After studying all the circumstances of the hurricanes which occurred at Pondicherry and Madras in 1760 and 1773, this intelligent writer remarks, that these circumstances, when properly considered, positively prove that the hurricanes were whirlwinds whose diameter could not be more than 120 miles. Colonel Capper was also aware of the remarkable fact, that these whirlwinds had sometimes a progressive motion; and he not only states that ships might escape beyond their influence by taking advantage of the wind which blows from the land; but he refers to the practicability