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TO THE EDITOR OF THE ORTHODOX CHURCHMAN'S
MAGAZINE. $IR, M O ST travellers, who have visited the eastern parts,
V I agree, that the present inhabitants are remarkably stupid and illiterate; and that ignorance has drawn her tenebrous mantle over the countries where formerly the lamp of wisdom shone with distinguished lustre. This observation, however true it may be in general, is not just with regard to every individual. There are still some persons whose minds are illuminated with the rays of science, and who study, and I dare say, practise too, the precepts of virtue and religion. Several of this kind I have seen in my travels; particularly an aged hermit, whom I fortunately met with when I visited the celebrated mountain of Lebanon, in 1776. It would be foreign froin the intention of this essay, to attempt a particular description of that famous mountain, from whence the cedars were brought for building the temple of Solomon, the most splendid structure the world ever saw; but time has strangely changed the face of this country. The extensive forests of Lebanon, which contained such multitudes of spreading cedars, are reduced to one single grove, of about a mile in circumference, containing about eighteen large cedars, a considerable number of small ones, and a few pines. While we were viewing the cedars, an aged herinit approached us; and, after making some remarks on these famous trees, conducted us to the convent of Cannobine, built on the declivity of Lebanon, in the most retired and, romantic situation that can possibly be conceived. It stands on the north side of a remarkable chasm or rupture of the mountain, at the bottom whereof runs a large current of water, which tumbles down the rocks in numerous cascades. The murmur of these falling streams, and the hollow sound of the wind among the trees, increase the solemnity of the place, and tend greatly to compose the mind, and inspire the soul with reflexions
worthy of its nature. Both sides of this chasm are remarkably steep, and covered with trees of the most beau. titul verdure, many of which, being of the aromatic kind, render the air delightfully fragrant. The church of this convent is a large grotto, and in one of the windows are three bells, which serve to call the monks to their deyotions; (a favour allowed them no where else in all the Turkish dominions.) The convent itself stands at the anouth of a large cave; and except two or three rooms, is whölly composed of subterraneous apartments.
After viewing every part of this sequestered retreat, the hermit conducted us to his cell, which stood on the margin of the same chasm, about a quarter of mile from the convent. Before the entrance of this homely mansion was a large spreading tree; and, on the right side a small stream, which had its rise at some distance above, in the side of the mountain, and here tụmbled into the . torrent at the bottom of the chasm. It is still the custom among the inhabitants of the east, to entertain their guests under a tree ; a circumstance the more pleasing to ine, as it resembled the practice of the ancient patriarchs, and filled my mind with the most pleasing ideas of ancieņt simplicity. After a short repast, we asked the hermit how long he had resided in that solitary habitation; and why he chose to seclude himself from society. To which he was pleased to answer, addressing himself to me: “I am a native of Scio, a famous island of the Archipelago, and not a stranger to the customs of Europe, having stydied seven years at Rome; and, after my return, lived many years in my native country; but, being desirous of retiring from the world, and spending the remainder of my days in solitude, I repaired to this mountain, where I have now lived above forty years, and experienced more real pleasure and satisfaction in this sequestered grotto, than in all the noise, the bustle, and the burry of this busy world. Curiosity, my son, doubtless, inspired thee with a desire of visiting this famous mountain; but that the journey may not be wholly in vain, attend to the ia. structions of the aged, and let the boary head teach thee wisdom. Weigh not the dispensations of heaven in the imperfect balance of human reason ; but be resigned to the finger of the Almighty. Murmur not at the seeming frowns of Providence, and the distribution of riches in this imperfect state, for they are continually. Auctuating like the waves of the ocean, and sooner dissipated thap the 3 H 2
morning mist. Remember, judgments are not sent in vain, nor mercies bestowed without commission. The actions of Omnipotence are directed by infinite wisdom, which cannot err. Repine not, therefore, at thy mortal lot, but always take the present and future state in connection.
“ Consider this world is not the whole of existence; and though thou mayest want thy share of wealth on this side the grave, comfort thyself with this pleasing, this animating thought, that, if thou art really pious, thou shalt have large possessions in the regions that lie beyond it. These reflections, my son, will unravel the intricacies of Providence, and solve the perplexing riddles of life. Consider thine adversities will shortly terminate, and the most poig. nant afflictions soon reach their period. The clouds of adversity, darkness, and ignorance, that now spread a gloom over all the regions of thy breast, will retire at the appearance of the torch of wisdom ; and when the sun of religion arises in his srength, they will vanish and be seen no more. If, while thy little bark rides on the ocean of this world, rough storms and contrary blasts alarm thy fears; yet, remember that the voyage is short, and the danger will soon be over: and, though the skies may darken, and the lowering aspect of the heavens terrify and surprize thee; yet, be assured, that brighter scenes will soon chear thy sight, and more serene prospects ravish and delight thy soul; though the waves may roar, and the billows appear as mountains, yet winds, storms, confusions, and disorders, nay, even death itself, shall all conspire to waft thee to the empyrean shore. Let the consideration of the uncertainty of life be a continual memento of thy fluctuating condition ; acquaint thyself with the monuments of death, and contract a familiarity with the king of terrors. Remember'the omniscient eye of Heaven observes all thy actions, and let not death surprize thee in an unguarded hour. Accumulate not riches to thyself, neither be thou covetous of large possessions. Let thy request to Heaven be, like that of Agür, give me neither poverty nor riches." Delivered from the difficulties and hardships of the one, and unembarrassed with the incumbrance and perplexities of the other, thou wilt live in comfort and satisfaction, and thy days will glide on in a pleasing serenity. Never imagine temporal things to be permanent, let thine own mind limit their duration : vicissitudes unexpected may turn back the wheels of prosperity; and changes, sudden as the
whirlwinds of the desert, destroy all thy pleasing hopes of a long continued succession of delights. Place vot, therefore, thy felicity on fleeting objects, nor stretch out thy hands to grasp at shadows. Build not thy joys on an aerial foundation, nor place thy hopes on the phantoms of a waking dream. Prepare for misfortunes, and keep thyself always ready to war with adversity. Everything in nature may be justly considered as an instructive lesson of our own mortality. Life has its spring, its summer, its autumn, and its winter. Many find a passage from the first to the grave; but those who survive both the summer and the autumn, must inevitably fall beneath the chilling blasts of winter; and the frozen hand of death will open for them the dreary portals of the tomb. Remember, iny son, we are all bound in a voyage to eternity, and that the passage is difficult and full of dangers ; let us therefore be remarkably careful, lest the current of prosperity should carry our little barks into the eddies of pleasure, and they be swallowed up by the whirlpools of vice, or beaten to pieces on the rocks of despair. The merchant, animated with the hopes of riches, traverses the burning sands of the Arabian wastes, to fetch the choice productions of the east; but what are all the golden treasures of Hindostan, the pearls of Ormus, or the diamonds of Golconda, when compared with the permanent riches, which crown the toils and sufferings of a Christian? What person, therefore, would neglect such glorious prospects, because a few boisterous winds and adverse blasts may attend his passage ? Surely he is undeserving of such glorious treasures, who is afraid to hazard a few momentary and perishing trifles, for joys of such intrinsic value and eternal duration. Pursue 'now, iny son, thy journey in peace; and, when by the favour of the Almighty, thou hast reached the land of thy nativity, and sittest at ease in the habitation of thy fathers, engrave these precepts on the tablet of thy memory, and make them the constant subject of thy thoughts; for then shalt thou securely i read the paths of virtue, and desire, rather than fear, the approach of the king of terrors. Thou shalt smile at misfortunes, and under the weighty hand of adversity, remember with pleasure the aged inhabitant of Lebanon."
Dr. HEY ON HIS LECTURES.
TO THE EDITOR OF THE ORTHODOX CHURCHMAN'S
SIR, I THINK myself so much honoured by your correspondlent, who writes in your Miscellany for October 1805, under the signature of X, Y. Z. that I cannot forbear requesting the favour of you to insert my acknowledgments in some other Number. I must confess, that the commendation which he is pleased to confer upon me, is gratifying in a high degree. It reminds me of what that great naval commander, Lord Howe, once condescended to say to some of his friends, concerning a compliment, which I presumed to pay him in a Fast Sermon, preached at Whitehall chapel. That noble-minded man, as I was credibly informed (and his behaviour always confirmed the information,) had the candour to express himself to this effect:-“ such praise is what I wish to deserve." Praise may be disgusting, or even mortifying, if it rests upon what the person praised does not approve, or what he does not particularly value; or if it, according to Mr. Pope,
“ Plays round the head, but comes not near the heart;" i si voinut but when it gives a man encouragement to believe that he has, in some competent degree, attained to such Sentiments, and such Conduct, as he has been particularly desirous of attaining to; such as he thinks most truly estimable, it is one of the best rewards of industry that human nature is capable of receiving. And I can with sincerity and gratitude say this with regard to the praise bestowed upon me by X. Y. Z.
But he may think that my thankfulness would be best shewn by my answering the difficulty which he proposes. Yet I am not now in the situation in which I was, when I gave Lectures in the University of Cambridge. About twelve years ago I delivered to young men, meaning to take Orders, and to such others as chose to attend, what seemed to me, on the matter in question, according to the best judgment I was able to form, the Truth; but, since that time, I have been otherwise employed. I know not that I have ever read, with due attention, either the whole,