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A PICTURE OF INGRATITUDE,
À CERTAIN great person was of so noble and generous A a disposition, that he delighted to communicate happiness to all around him; among those whom his bounty raised, we will distinguish one by the name of Orlando. This man he took from a condition low as the mire in the streets, clothed him and fed him,placed him in a convenient habitation and be. ftowed on him an ample provision to support life with comfort and satisfaction; and as he lived in a country where assaults and many accidents were frequent, this kind benefactor used often to send a party of his own servants (for he kept a vast number in his retinue) to guard him, particularly when he went on any dangerous expedition. When he was sick, or in any affliction, he never failed to visit him, to administer relief and comfort to him; there was not a day, in short, in which he did not confer upon him some new obligation, and as if all this was too little, he faithfully promised him that if he did not make an ill use of the favours he had already received, he would, after trying him a while in his present circumstances, bestow on him a much greater estate, situated in a most delightful country, where he should live in an eleganceand splendor he had then no conception of: and in return for all these mighty obligations, his patron only expected that he should pay him frequent visits, sometimes in publick, along with other company, who attended his levee, but more frequently in private ; that he should behave himself in a sober orderly manner, neither hurting himself by being guilty of any excelles, nor setting an ill example to others. He also made him steward of some small part of his revenue, which he ordered him to distribute according to his own discretion among a set of his lower dependents, and assured him that if he discharged this office with diligence and humanity, he should look on it as a favour done to himself.
And now would one think it possible that Orlando should in a little time grow negligent and forgetful of this noble friend? That when he was absent from him he should engross but little of his thoughts, and still less of his conversation ; that if by chance he was led to talk of him he should presently fly off from the subject, as if he was alhamed to mention the
person person to whom he owed his all. Nay, could one believe that he would even liften with a patient ear while others spoke disrespectfully of him, and found fault with his acts of bounty, because they were not distributed exactly in that manner which they thought best? He visited him sometimes it is true, but his vifits were short and nut frequent, and his behaviour such as plainly shewed that he went because it was expected from him or out of custom, more than from any real veneration or love to his benefactor. If he asked a favour either for himself or any one else, he did it with such a careless air as if he did not much trouble his head whether it was granted or not; soinetimes he would make professions of gratitude, but with so much coolness and indifference as showed he was very little sensible of the obligation he had received. All who attended on publick days were expected to behave with great decorum and gravity, for on those occasions the leait degree of levity was looked upon as a breach of respect to their patron ; but Orlando was so far from observing these rules, that he used frequently to be talking and laughing with some of the company, and even in the middle of an address to his friend he would break off to take notice of somebody's new suit of clothes, or any other such trifle that happened to catch his eye. But there was one part of his behaviour more unpardonable than any of the rest, which was his neglect of those person's whom his generous benefactor had entrusted to his care, he seldom visited them, never troubled his head to enquire into their wants, nay, would hardly grant them a small favour when they solicited him.
After going on for some time in this manner, if either the admonitions of a friend, or the consciousness of his own mind, awakened him to a sense of his ingratitude, he would then vouchsafe to make some acknowled, ments, and to ask his patron's pardon in a fupplicating manner; when this inimitable friend, not to be tired out with any provocations, would receive him with open arms, and assure him that if he would be more careful to please him for the future, all that was passed should be buried in oblivion ; but that if he per. lifted to abuse his kindness, he would (if he did not withdraw his present bounty) yet certainly disinherit him of the noble estate he had in reversion, which was not to be given him till he had undergone a severe operation, which had so much of fancied terror in it as made him very willing to keep what he then enjoyed, without looking out for any thing better; but this was not permitted him, for at the expiration
of of a certain term of years, he was either to be put in possession of the promised inheritance, or else to be punished for not having deserved it.
Again and again he offended, and yet such was the forgiving goodness of his benefactor that upon his huinbling himself he as often received him to favour, till at last he sent his grim messenger to acquaint him that the appointed hour was come, the lease of his house was expired, and he must prepare to enter a new habitation; though at first he expressed some reluctance, yet the sentence was immediately executed: but whether he arrived at the delightful country that was promised, or whether he suffered for the folly and carelessness of his past life, is a question yet unresolved; however thus much is certain, that when he was just going to make trial of so great a change, he heartily wished he had made it the business of every day of his life to please his noble friend.
ON THE CROWN OF THORNS.
TO THE EDITOR OF THE ORTHODOX CHURCHMAN'S
A S every thing which relates to the Scriptures is of conA féquence, I beg leave to offer you the following observations. In reading the account of our Saviour's sufferings, it struck me that, notwithstanding what has been painted and written on the subject, “ the crown of thorns” was not of that kind as to give pain. First, because in the prophetical enumeration of the Messiah's sufferings, this is not mentioned, and again, because the soldiers of themselves could have no power to inflict so severe a punishment as this must necessarily be, tho' they might be suffered in allusion to what he had declared of himself, to endeavour to turn him into ridicule by this mock adoration. The original expressions you will recollect are sέφανον εξ ακανθων and άκανθινον σέφανον, which if I had not seen the translation, “a crown of thorns” I should have imagined to have been a crown or fillet of the acanthus, which Vol. xiv.
from Chm. Mag. Jan. 1808.
from its adorning or crowning the chapiters of pillars, , would naturally occur to the Roman soldiers.*
The soldiers are represented as whížavles, weaving or plat. ting this crown, which if the materials had contained very strong and sharp thorns could hardly have been effected. When this was done, ime Annæv, they placed it upon his head, which expression could hardly imply that kind of force, which if it had been in reality a crown of thorns would have been necessary, in order to have lacerated the membranes.
If you think these observations, though trifling, of sufficient consequence to occupy a corner in your excellent magazine, you will very much oblige
Your obedient Servant,
THE CURATE OF IR-TER.
* The translation proposed by our correspondent is not new, but we think the original will hardly bear it, for if a crown of acan. thus be meant, the original would assuredly have been ole parou oĚ anay Is and not anardww. However the subject is curious and not trifling, and we shall be glad to receive further communications thereon. ED.
METHODISM IN AMERICA.
TO THE EDITOR OF THE ORTHODOX CHURCHMAN'S
MAGAZINE. SIR, DY way of supplement to the state of religion in Ameri:
D ca, given in your number for June 1807, page 464, the following extract of a journal kept in Maryland, during a tour in that country in 1805, may be acceptable to many of your readers.
ós I have been,” says the journalist“ to the Methodist chapel in Reister's town in the morning ; to a seminary where a Mr. Armstrong preached in the afternoon, and again to the chapel in Reister's town at night. It was a watch-night. Three or four elders exhorted in turns, and from the accom
paniment of sighs, groans, gesticulations, and ejaculations, I am at a loss for a comparison, to give my English friends any idea of it. No public h use, or cven Bedlam, can equal the noise, nonsense, and extravagancies I heard and saw exhibited. Ten years ago I was in the Methodist chapel at Baltimore, on a watch night,* and there were two converfions; however, they had not proceeded far, before I was literally frightened away ; but it was nothing to what I now saw exhibited. I thought, in the general uproar, that I heard distinctly the words “hark forward, hark forward !” from a ruddy old man in a night cap, probably an old foxhunting sinner. A young woman soon after began to feel the spirit of conversion, and then a young man, whom I had observed in the fore part of the day to be in strange convulsions. The tunes to the hymns would suit jigs and reels, and the congregation worked themselves into such a phrenzy by fing. ing and stamping, that at last, they literally danced, taking hold of each other's hands. The young woman, who could not have had a better opportunity of thewing her attractions at the opera, was at last totally exhausted, but a little rest enabled her to rejoin the dance and fandango. Gracious God! said I to myself, do not these people thus qualify themselves for Bedlam ? I believe this is oftener the case than at first sight one should be apt to think. The conversion is the most dangerous crisis to women, but that got over, they are perfečtly at ease respecting their salvation.
* These watch nights were first instituted by Mr. Wesley, at Kingswood, and were afterwards extended through the whole of his cunnection, being then held once a month, but since his death only once a quarter. The service is opened with singing and prayer, and then a long harangue is delivered by the senior preacher, who is fo’lowed by another and another, with alternate singing and prayer, till the feelings of the people are so excited as to break out in violent expressions of grief or joy. Amongst the general uproar, the preachers and leaders of classes are seen going from pew to pew, encouraging, exhorting, or endeavouring to calm down the confusion they have themselves occasioned. These watchnights, however, so disgraceful to the Christian character, and dangerous to the virtue of youth, are said not to be very common in the metropolis, but are frequent in Manchester, Bristol, Liverpool, Macclesfield, and other large towns. Some fix upon these seasons as the era of their conversion to Methodism, and many, it is to be feared, may assign their ruin to the same midnight mcet. ings of spiritual revelling and disorder,