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acre, and that they were “ cooking it up a little.” This cookery consisted in planting a few young trees, the choicest growth of a far distant forest as divisional lines and marks. The cook proved to be a confederate land. speculator, and a ci-devant congress-man. The colonel added, that from the nature of the soil, and unpropitious situation of the land, a colony of English farmers could not make it worth a shilling.
• The new state of Kentucky is more extravagantly described and ertolled than
of the United States. From the accounts I have collected from such as have explored that country, the land is certainly of a superior quality to some of the states, and well watered by large rivers.
It has increased much in population since the peace of 1783, but that it does not equally allure all who visit it to settle there, is certain. Many have returned, after struggling against the numerous difficulties of subsisting in a new country, one, two, and three years before they could make their daily bread. A new settler should have what is here termed 's
s plenty of force ;" that is, he should not attempt the planting and farming business without about a dozen laborers. This assistance, with two or three hundred pounds, may in a few years complete the clearing of a few hundred acres of land, the erecting of log-houses, and other necessary work. This land, thus cleared, will
produce tobacco, hemp, wheat, barley, oats, clover, and most European fruits and vegetables. But, while we mention the quality of the land, another question naturally arises ; namely, how is the super. fluous produce to be carried to market? It is at present above a thousand miles to export produce from the extreme parts of Kentucky, Ohio, and Tenessee, by water to the commercial cities in the United States, and a great many hundred by land! We find none of these difficulties fairly de. monstrated by the writers and compilers of American voyages, history, and travels. The corn of these states could not, without great loss, be sold in Philadelphia, at the rate of the grain grown in its vicinity."
This last sentence, we are confident, is incorrect.
Mr. J.'s language is neat and perspicuous, the typography of the book is elegant, the pages have more than the very fashionable allowance of letter-press, and there are a number of delineations of interesting subjects, in aquatinta, several of which deserve great praise in the article of perspective. Art. II. Lectures on the whole Book of Rut?: to which are added Dis.
courses on the Condition and Duty of Unconverted Sinners, on the Sovereignty of Grace in the Conversion of Sinners, and on the Means to be used in the Conversion of our Neighbours. By the Rev. George Lawson, Minister of the Associate Congregation in Selkirk. 12mo. Pp.
410. Price 48. Ogle, Edin. Williams, London. 1805. WE had occasion in our first volume (p. 684,) to introduce
Mr. * Lawson to the acquaintance of our readers, and to bear testimony to his excellence, as an expositor of Scripture. It affords us much pleasure to find him again appearing in this capacity, and possessing an equal claim to our approbation. We covsidered the Book of Esther as a subject which did not
* Since, Dr. Lawson ; this degree, conferred on a Seceder by tlie Mares chal College, Aberdeen, is particularly honourable to both parties....R:
apparently furnish much scope for an expositor, but, on that very account, as affording a better opportunity for the display of Dr. Lawson's talents. The same remark, will apply, perhaps with greater force, to the book of Ruth ; it affords a less remarkable display of Divine Providence, than the other, contains less extraordinary events, and exhibits no such varieties of action and character. He who can make either of these portions of scripture more interesting by a commentary, to the generality of readers, without any Hights of fancy, or particular beauties of composition, must be no ordinary man.
This volume presents the same marked peculiarities with the discourses on Esther, and confirms the author's title to the commendation we bestowed. So marked, indeed, and so equal is the author's manner, that, if no name had been prefixed to either volume, any attentive person might have known them both as the production of the same pen. A large fund of sentiment naturally drawn from the subject and happily applied, language perfectly unadorned, but sufficiently expressive, earnestness to produce the best impressions, and to turn every thing to practical use, appear in every page. Dr. L. enters fully into the spirit of the subjects which he discusses, and appears susceptible of all that tenderness and unaffected benevolence, which this beautiful portion of history so admirably describes, • What distinguishes this book from other sacred books,' says the author in bis introduction, is the charming picture it gives us of domestic felicity in the lowest rank of life, and in persons deprived of those friends to whom, men or women use to look for felicity. Naomi was bereaved, by the king of terrors, of her husband and of all her children. Ruth was bereaved of the husband of her youth, and was left childless. They both felt their griefs like women of tender sensibility; yet they were neither discontented nor unhappy.” An expression here, which deviates from the Doctor's general simplicity, we notice by way of caution to him.
The little sneers of infidels, against this portion of the scriptures, are as inconsistent with good taste, as with piety: He who can read the book of Ruth, without being charmed with the delightful picture of virtue in distress, of genuine sensibility, and inriolable attachment, which it displays, must be as incapable of relishing the simplicity of nature, as of perceiving the majesty of revelation. The reading of the book is sufficient to convince us," says Dr. L. p. 1.) that it was written to furnish us with the most useful instructions in righteousness. It gives us a beautiful picture of female virtue, first shining in the midst of poverty, and then crowned with felicity. Let all women read this book, and learn those virtues which will adorn them with honour and beauty. Let poor and afflicted women read this book, and learn to bear their troubles with a becoming sense of the Divine agency in their trials, with patience, with meekness, with all those gracious tempers which will endear them to their friends and furnish them with agreeable reflections at the end of their distresses. But why should we speak at present of all these precious advantages which may be gained from this book? Every part of it is rich in instruction, and the instruction is conveyed to us in a story, which never failed to interest any reader, who was not utterly destitute of human sensibilities, We agree also in the assertion, that, ' If young and old, rich and poor,
masters and servants, do not find useful instruction in this book, the fault is their own ;' especially, we would add, when they have the benefit of the author's illustrations.
We shall give an extract or two from this part of the work.
• When we consider how firmly Ruth had resolved to cleave to Naomi p. 50. and to the God of Israel, ought we not to consider, whether we, who enjoy so vastly superior advantages to Ruth, are determined with equal firmness to continue in the faith, in the profession, and in the practice of our religion? Ruth was instructed only by one, or a very few private Israelites, in the knowledge of religion. She never had enjoyed an opportunity of attending upon any of the public ministrations of the priests or Levites. If she had ever seen the Bible, and learned to read it, that Bible consisted only of seven at most of the many books of Scripture which are put into our hands ; yet she sacrifices all the pleasures, all the friendships of her youth, all the hopes of better days in her own country, to that holy religion which she professed. What may be expected of us who have so long enjoyed the benefit of the church administrations which Christ hath appointed for the conversion of sinners, and the establishment of saints, and who, from children, have been accustomed to read the Scriptures? We are under no necessity of leaving our native country and our friends, to enjoy the institutions of the gospel, or the fullest liberty of worshipping God in a manner agreeable to his own direction. If we are unsettled in our religious principles and practice, we cannot make the excuses that many might have made, who nevertheless were far from taking advantage of them, to excuse a conduct that would admit of no excuse ; for what excuse can be made for postponing the care of our souls to any thing in this world? Iften thousand deaths, or if circumstances of misery worse than
any kind of death, were to be suffered by us for our religion, would it consist with true wisdom to purchase an exemption from such temporary sufferings, at the price of everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord? Yet still more inexcusable are we, if, without the temptations of any extraordinary inconveniences in this world, we prove unfaithful to our religious profession.
of heart to the Lord, it is necessary that our hearts be renewed by the grace of God; for never will we be true followers of them who left all and followed Christ, unless we are delivered from the remaining power of that attachment to the things of the present world, which renders so many professors of religion unstable in all their way. If God put his fear into our hearts, we will not depart from him,
(That we may
Jer. xxxii. 40. If we are left to the natural impulse of our own hearts, however amiable our natural dispositions may be, we will follow the example, not of Ruth, but of Orpah, who kissed and left Naomi, Heb. xiii. 9.
Perhaps some may alledge that Ruth, with all her firmness to her rea ligious principles, forgat a part of that duty which the light of nature taught her. Why did she not shew some attachment to her own mother, as well as to her mother in law? Why did she leave her parents with an intention never to return, that she might go to a land which she knew not? The answer is easy. She saw that she could not return to her mother without exposing herself to very dangerous temptations. She could not, perhaps, have lived in her mother's house, without seeing daily homage paid to false Gods, and meeting with daily solicitations, and more than solicitations, to join in the practice of abominable idolatries. She might soon have been given in marriage to a worshipper of Chemosh ; and it may easily be judged how little such a convert as Ruth was prepared to encounter the temptations to which she might have been exposed in the house either of a mother or a husband. She therefore forgat her mother's house and her own people. With a disinterested spirit, she embraced and held fast that religion which she had been taught, not only by her mother in law, but by the spirit of God. Unless she had been drawn by that Divine power, which alone can change the hearts of men, she would not have come to the Lord's land, and to God himself as her exceeding joy. We are not called, in the literal sense of the words, to “ forsake our father's house and our own people ;" yet, in the spiritual sense, it is absolutely necessary We mast be ready to part with every thing for Christ, if we desire to be Christ's disciples ; for if any man come to him, " and hate not father and mother, and brothers and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be one of his disciples.”
" Whilst we consider the steadfastness of Ruth's religious principles, we cannot refrain from admiring, likewise, her fervent love to Naomi, and contemplating the happiness which both of them enjoyed in their mutual friendship. If earthly felicity seems a proper subject of envy, who would not
envy this happy pair of friends, rather than Haman in all his grandeur, or Solomon in all his glory? And yet who were ever poorer than Naomi and Ruth?
Live in love and peace with all men if you can, especially with all Christians, and with none more than with those of your own house. But if you desire to enjoy the sweets of such domestic friendship, imitate the piety, the modesty, the gentleness, the patience, the meekness of these good women. Be careful, especially, of your tempers in the time of amiction. There are some who seem at times to overlow with good will and kindness to their friends, but at other times, especially times of affliction, they are such sons or daughters of Belial, that it is almost impossible ta live in friendship with them. Such was not Naomi. She was always disposed to take the heaviest share of her family afflictions, and to make them as light to her friends as possible. When her heart was wrung by sorrowful reflections, she spake kindly to them, and shewed a warm regard to their interest. The law of kindness was ever on her tongue ; and the complaints that were extorted from her were not of that sullen kind which provoke indignation, but expressive of that resignation, and that tenderness of heart, which excite compassion mingled with esteem.'
*The following comments are judicious :
• Why did not the good man rather make her a present at once out of his floor and wine press, than order handfuls of barley to be dropt for her gleaning. He delighted to behold her industry, and wished to encorrage it. Charity wisely directed, will not tempt the poor to be idle. Habitual idleness is not consistent either with virtue or happiness.
6 " Leave handfuls on purpose for her.” The servants of Boaz could not have left handfuls to be gleaned by the poorest person in the country, without dishunesty, unless their master had commanded them. When they received commandment, it would have been dishonest not to have done it. 'The Lord, who hates robbery for burnt-offering, will not allow servants in great houses to give away what is not their's to the poor. They must have the permission of their masters or mistresses to do good to the poor, unless they do it at their own expence'; and, having received this permission, it would be injurious both to the. poor and to their masters, to withhold what is allotted to those who need.
“And rebuke her not.” Boaz was very careful to prevent any insult from being offered to the virtuous stranger. He no doubt knew, that masters were in some degree accountable for the conduct of their servants, and that they shared in the guilt of those faults which they did not care to prevent or to correct.' pp. 103, 110. ; We regard the author's mode of expounding Scripture, as highly instructive, and, on those passages particularly which require little explication, as an excellent model. We are aware, however, that it is not a model which every one will be able to copy successfully. It will require no inconsidera, ble portion of ingenuity, guided by a sound judgement, to discover such a fund of valuable practical remarks, where so little, sometimes, is obviously presented. There is great danger of being too fanciful, or of fatiguing by continual same. ness. Even Dr. Lawson's remarks occasionally discover too great an uniformity, which, indeed, nothing but the conciseness of his style, and the rapidity of succession in his sentiments, could preserve from forcing itself very disagreeably on the notice of the reader. But he is not one of those authors, who exact so much attention to a fine thought, when by good fortune they meet with one, that it becomes disgusting familiarity.
The remainder of the volume consists of discourses on the condition and duty of unconverted sinners, on the sovereignty of grace in the conversión of sinners, and on the means to be used for the conversion of our neighbours. These subjects are evidently connected with each other, and were suggested, we believe, by a circumstance which happened some years ago. The author published a sermou, on the joy of parents in pious children, in which, as an encouragement to the religious education of yout!, he represented those children to be in a more hopeful condition, who have been made early acquainted with the principles of religion, and accustomed to