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A FAMILY AT THE DOMESTIC ALTAR. The Editor has great pleasure in presenting to his numerous friends the I of a series of Chinese Scenes,' under the care of the Rev. R. Milne, A.M., soi the late eminent Chinese Missionary. He has also many other original eng vings in progress, which he intends giving this year. They embrace a variet subjects connected with the Celestial Empire.' The extraordinary into which the Christian, the Merchant, the Philanthropist, the Politician, must in reference to China, arising from the happy cessation of hostilities, and opening of her ports, forms sufficient apology for substituting, just at press Chinese for Egyptian Scenes. He is anxious that the Sunday school commni should keep pace with the providence of God. May he request that this eti involving
an expense which the funds of the Magazine cannot well sust may be seconded by the efforts of his readers to extend the circulation of periodical.
Of China, with her three hundred and sixty-five millio of inhabitants, it may be emphatically said-She is join to idols.' Were we to credit the report of some travellers, t
rites of idol worship are but seldom witnessed there ; but if we consult the pages of her own historians, we read thus:
her Gods,' says Dr. Milne, “are in number like the sands of Hong River. She has Gods celestial, terrestrial, and subterraneous --Gods of the hills, of the valleys, of the woods, of the districts, of the family, of the shop, and of the kitchen !she adores the Gods who are supposed to preside over the thunder, the rain, the fire; over the grain, over births and deaths, and over the small pox: she worships the host of heaven, the sun, the moon, and the stars. She also worships the genii of the mountains, rivers, lakes, and seas, together with birds, beasts, and fishes. She addresses prayers, and offers sacrifices to the spirits of departed kings, sages, heroes, and parents, whether good or bad.
Her idols are gold and silver, wood, stone, and clay, carved or molten,—the work of men's hands. Her altars are on the high hills, in the groves,
green trees; she has set up her idols at the corners of the streets, on the sides of the highways, on the banks of canals, in boats and in ships.'
In addition to these every house has its altar, which is situated either before the door, or in the principal room. If in the front of the house, they are generally small alcoves on a projecting platform, furnished with a few idols, or more commonly with the written characters signifying God or superior Being: if within, there is not unfrequently, according to Mr. Abeel, in the residences of the wealthy, one room fitted up as a domestic chapel, in which wax tapers are lighted, and incense sticks burned, before a small idol, the tutelar Deity of the household. On the doors of their houses a figure is painted, which they call the God of the, door. His protection is deemed of incalculable importance to the family. Like other Heathens, the Chinese attend to the performance of these duties with daily regularity, believing that their safety depends greatly on their punctual attention to them. All the household must appear before their acknowledged God morning and evening; and even the infant, as is represented in the annexed cut, is taught by its mother to turn its eye to the carved block or gilded image placed on the altar, and to bow before it as his Lord and God! What a comment is this on the admonition of Solomon, -Train up a child in the way
he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it!-a lesson urgently pressed on the Chinese by Kanghe, one of their far-famed emperors, who said, — In youth to form
them is easy. The mental flower begins to unfold. If you wish them to be good, they will be good; if you wish them to be evil, they will be evil.'
What an admonitory spectacle is that before us! What lessons does it not furnish! What a memorial is it to every Christian parent and instructor, of their negligence, their indifference! What a stimulus to future diligence and fidelity! Christian Teachers ! let not Pagans shame you. Follow their example-surpass their devotedness. Lead, yea carry each scholar to the footstool of the Most High, and in His glorious presence engage him by all that is sacred and inviolable to His early service. Fix his eye on the cross. Turn his heart on the crucified one. Oh! win him early by your example, prayers, and entreaties to the feet of Emanuel, and Jesus stooping down to witness your untiring exertions for his immortal weal, to hear the breathings of your love for his salvation, shall bless and adopt the child.
The Editor very cheerfully here gives us a suitable appendix to the article above, the following letter from another friend, whose name he wishes he were
allowed to announce.
MY FIRST LETTER TO THE LITTLE FRIENDS OF GREAT CHINA.
You have often heard of China, and you perhaps know that England, after having been at war for a long time, has succeeded in bringing the Emperor and his great men to say they desire no more fighting, but peace. All good children like to hear of peace, for Jesus Christ, who was the Prince of Peace,' says blessed are the peacemakers ;' and this was spoken to nations that were at enmity, as well as to little children who are apt to quarrel.
Well, do you know, when I heard of peace with China, I was so delighted that I said in my heart—"Oh, how I wish that I could tell all the dear Sabbath school children this glorious news ; for you must know I love you very much, and we always like to tell what has made us happy to those we love don't we?' But perhaps you say what is there to make me happy. Let us think.
The queen, and the nobles who govern our country were glad when they heard it, and they ordered the guns of the great Tower of London to be fired, and the flags to be unfurled, and I hear that there is to be a national holiday, because they said, “We have conquered China ;' and the merchants and manufacturers heard it with joy, because they saw that five new ports were opened for their merchan
dise; and the poor people in the factories, and all over Great Britain were joyful, because they saw a prospect of more employment, and better wages in these hard times ;-you see these had all a good reason for rejoicing, but what reason have you to be glad ? I will tell
You know that in China there are about 365,000,000 of people--men and women and little children—and that they are very ignorant, and worship idols, and do not know about the great God who lives in heaven, and Jesus Christ, who died for sinners and for them. Now, I want you to rejoice that there is peace with China, so that we may send bibles, and tracts, and missionaries there, that the glad tidings of salvation
be sounded all over this great empire. I was quite sure you would like to think of the victory if it prepared the way for the 'good news,' though it was a sad thing indeed that so many hundreds of these poor heathens were killed, and that their houses and cities should have been destroyed ;--but then, I thought, how can I tell the dear children of our Sabbath schools, and get them interested? And so, after thinking for a little while, I found out a way, and indeed the only way—for what a many years it would take, if I were to set out on a journey to the towns, and cities, and little straggling villages, visiting each school, and telling the children about Chinaand suppose I were to say I would write a letter to each little boy and girl-why, I should never have done writing; so neither of these ways would do. Well, now you see how I have managed it; and I dare say you think what a nice little friend this magazine is. You are quite right, for it can do more than we can—it lets us talk together just as if we could see each other, and, like a good little postman, it carries away my letter to all the many schools it visits every month. Well, now that I have found out
I shall try to make use of it sometimes, and I want to begin now, I want to talk a little bit to your hearts--will you let me? if you will, I think I can lead you to feel interested for these poor and yet rich-wise, and yet ignorant, people. But perhaps you say
-How can a man be rich and poor too? I will tell you. The Chinese have plenty of money, and fine houses and palaces, and they are very learned and ingenious, but they are so ignorant that they worship idols made of gold, and silver, and stone, and so foolish as to believe that their prayers are heard by those false gods. So we call them poor because we pity them, and because they have not the 'trea
sure' of greatest value. Do you pity them? Do your hearts feel for them? Would you like to do something to help them to know about that dear Saviour you so often hear of, and whom I hope you love? Will you try and find out some way to do them good, and begin now ? once heard of a little girl who said that she could do nothing but pray. This was the best thing; but she found out another way by which she could help to buy bibles and tracts to send to the heathen. Would you like to know how she did it? I will tell
my next letter. Meanwhile, do not forget to pray that God would turn the hearts of the ignorant Chinese to love and fear him, instead of continuing to be lovers of idols and sin. Good bye. * ONE WHO LOVED CHINA WHEN HE WAS
A VERY LITTLE BOY.' London, Dec. 3, 1842.
NATURAL THEOLOGY. Introductory to a Series of Engravings illustrative of the wisdom and goodness
of God in the world of nature. The first will be given in February. The great end for which all knowledge is given to man, is, to teach him the wisdom, the power, and the goodness of God; and if it fail to accomplish this purpose-if we do not rise from the survey of the works of creation to the contemplation of the great first cause of all things; and if, as every new discovery in science opens to our views fresh manifestations of his benevolence, we do not bend before him in humble, fervent, and devout adoration, while our bosoms glow with ardent gratitude, then is our knowledge comparatively worthless, our inquiries have been misdirected, our energies misapplied, our time wasted, and our talents abused. While, then, the science of Natural Theology (which seeks arguments for the being of a God in the works of nature), is one calculated to excite interest and command attention from the very nature and importance of the subjects of which it treats, it is one which we must to some extent pursue, if we would rightly improve and properly direct our other knowledge.
Nor can we point to a study more likely to expand the mental powers or elevate the moral feelings, to impart a fresher zest to all our intellectual enjoyments, and to engender that spirit of habitual reverence which it is the duty of dependent creatures to cherish. Its materials are drawn from every part of nature: it presses into its service every fact of science, every truth of philosophy : there is no creature so humble,