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days before it pleased the Saviour to call him back again to life. Again, when Jesus bowed his head and died, it is said, "And the earth did quake, and the rocks rent, and the graves were opened, and many bodies of the saints which slept arose and came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many," Matt. xxvii, 52. Lastly, Christ himself arose, according to the terms of his own prediction, of which the saying of St. Peter is an explanation, "It was not possible that he should be holden of the pains of death," of which, in short, the precaution of the scribes, the falsehood of the guards, and the testimony sealed by the blood of the disciples, are all so many irrefragable proofs.
What shall we say more? Here is evidence enough to assure the faith of the most fearful mind. The dead in Christ shall rise. He hath the power; he hath given the promise; of that power he has afforded the proof; of that promise he hath furnished the pledge. How blissful the prospect! How glorious the hope! The groans of created nature shall cease, "for the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God." Follower of the crucified, when thy heart and thy flesh fail, think, even then, that God is thy portion for ever.
Not to recur to the point already touched, namely, the consolation which this subject furnishes to those who mourn their bereavements, your Friend hath departed for a season, but he shall abide with you for ever. The theme is one well calculated to reconcile the believer to death. "Fear not," said the Almighty to Jacob, "to go down into Egypt, for I will bring thee up again." Fear not, we say, to go down into the grave, for your flesh also shall rest in hope; nay, more,
it shall rise in glory. When Naaman, the Syrian, went down to Jordan, his body was leprous and diseased. He dipped seven times, and his flesh came upon him like the flesh of a child. Be of good cheer, follower of Christ, in the near prospect of dissolution. The Master is come, and calleth for thee. You shall leave all the vileness of this mortal body in the river of death, and you shall enter Canaan pure and without spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing. But O, how unspeakably awful is the prospect of the impenitent sinner! He has neither lot nor portion in all this inheritance. His conversation is not in heaven; it is in hell. He is earthly, sensual, devilish. He is worldly-minded, a stranger to faith, to forgiveness, and to Christian hope! Awake to righteousness, and sin not, by sleeping in broad daylight. Some have not the knowledge of God. I speak this to your shame. That this shame may not be everlasting, now turn and live, at the entreaty of your Saviour, O turn and live!
VISIT TO THE ORKNEY ISLANDS.*
In the preceding pages will be found a very interesting. account of a journey to the Shetland Isles, undertaken for the purpose of ascertaining the practicability of establishing a mission in those distant regions. From authentic sources we learn that a mission was soon after established, which, while under the superintendence of the late Dr. A. Clarke, greatly prospered, and still continues to prosper. The same spirit which actuated the pioneers in that enterprise has influenced others to make a similar attempt in the Orkneys; an account of which, we make no doubt, will be pleasing to the reader.-EDS.
[From the London Wesleyan Methodist Magazine.]
THE last conference directed the preachers stationed in Shetland to visit the Orkney islands in the course of the present year, for the purpose, especially, of ascertaining the state of the people in regard to religious instruction. In compliance with this direction the Rev. Messrs. Catton and Breare, of the Lerwick circuit, repaired to those islands in February last. The follow
Orkneys, or Orkney Islands, the ancient Orcades, a cluster of islands north of Scotland, from which they are separated by the Pentland Frith. They lie between 57 deg. 35 min. and 49 deg. 16 min. N. lat., and they are upward of thirty in number, the principal of which is called Pomona, and is sometimes known by the appellation of Mainland. The currents and tides which flow between these islands are rapid and dangerous; and near the small isle of Swinna are two whirlpools, very dangerous to mariners, especially in a calm. The seacoast swarms with seals and otters, and is visited by
ing is an extract from a letter addressed to the president of the conference, relating the particulars of their visit:
TO THE REV. JOSEPH TAYLOR.
Lerwick, March 24th, 1835. Soon after I wrote my last, an opportunity offered for visiting Orkney. On the 28th of January a steamer arrived in Bressay Sound, (the second of the kind ever seen here,) for the purpose of carrying the. poll-books from Shetland to Orkney. It remained until the 6th of February. The sheriff kindly gave us a note to the captain to give us a passage, to which he consented. We left Lerwick harbour at ten P. M., with the expectation of a fine passage; but we were
whales, cod, ling, haddocks, and herrings; and on the shores are found oysters, muscles, cockles, &c. The islands are visited by eagles, falcons, wild geese, ducks, in great variety, herons, hawks, gulls, &c. The heath on the mountains shelters grouse, plovers, snipes, &c.; and there are great numbers of small sheep and cattle. The coasts afford numerous bays and harbours for the fisheries; and the chief exports are linen, and woollen yarn, stockings, butter, dried fish, herrings, oil, feathers, skins of various kinds, and kelp. The inhabitants have the general character of being frugal, sagacious, circumspect, religious, and hospitable. The islands of Orkney and Shetland constitute one of the counties of Scotland. The climate in summer is moist and cold, but in winter there is very little snow, and that lies only a short time. Preceding the autumnal equinox, dreadful storms of wind, rain, and thunder occur. For about three weeks in midsummer these islands enjoy the rays of the sun almost without intermission; but for the same space in winter that luminary hardly rises above the horizon, and is commonly obscured by clouds and mists. In this gloomy season the absence of day is supplied partly by moonlight and partly by the radiance of the aurora borealis, which here gives a light nearly equal to that of a full moon.
disappointed, as, shortly after we started, the wind blew a gale from the south-west right ahead. The paddles worked very irregularly, and sometimes not at all; and during the greater part of the voyage the sea broke over the vessel, and swept the decks; so that we were twenty-two hours in going one hundred and fifteen miles. We cast anchor at eight the next evening, in Kirkwall roads; but as there was no boat at hand, we did not get on shore to an inn till ten.
Sunday, Feb. 8th, was such a cold, stormy day, that we could do nothing in the open air, and there appeared to be no open door. I requested the use of the Independent chapel for the week night; but the minister could not let us have it without consulting the trustees, to do which would take some days. In the morning we attended the cathedral of St. Magnus, the most perfect relic of episcopacy in the whole of Scotland, the east end of which is used as a parish kirk. The congregation was large, and a stranger preached a plain, evangelical sermon. There are three other places of worship, that of the Antiburgers, the United Secession, and the Independents.
Finding that little could be done in Kirkwall, especially as it was the time of chairing the parliamentary candidate, on Tuesday, the 10th, we strove to get a boat for Stronsay, one of the north isles, about twenty miles from Kirkwall. We met a gentleman on the quay, who told us a sloop was going for Stronsay with the voters. We went on board about five o'clock P.M., and shortly after weighed anchor. We had a fine run for about three hours and a half, when we anchored in Linga Sound. We found a small inn near the shore, the master of which came with us in the sloop. Here we took up our abode for the night.