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by all the family then at home, by the servants in the house, and by persons called in to witness for themselves; but the cause has never been discovered.
John Wesley had a pious mother and a good clever father, though in some respects eccentric. His mother took particular care properly to impress him and all her children with divine truths, and train them up in the fear of the Lord. She was accustomed once a week to talk with each child separately on the subject of religion. She says: “I take such a portion of time as I can spare every night to discourse with each child apart. On Monday I talk with Molly; on Tuesday with Hetty ; Wednesday with Nancy; Thursday with Jacky; Friday with Patty; Saturday with Charles; and with Emily and Sukey together on Sunday." Well done, good Mrs. Wesley ! that was the way to bring them up in the fear and admonition of the Lord. Oh, that mothers and fathers generally adopted the same habits! If they did, we should have holier and happier families than we have.
When John was only eight years old he was under a very gracious influence, and resolving to give himself to God, he was admitted to the sacrament, and received the sacred memorials of the Saviour's death.
At the age of eleven he was placed in the Charter-House School, and was noticed for his diligence and progress in learning. When he was seventeen he was sent to Oxford University, and soon obtained the character of being “a young man of the finest classical taste, of the most liberal and manly sentiments." Yet at that time he was not truly converted to God.
When he had passed his twenty-first year, he was roused from the carelessness into which he bad sunk at college, and he resolved to prepare himself for the ministry. He read good books, and had stated times for prayer. He and his brother Charles, with Mr. Hervey and Mr. Whitfield, and a few other young men, used to meet together to read the Greek Testament, to converse on religion, and to pray with and for one another. They used also to visit the prisoners in Oxford Gaol, to teach them the way of salvation. Yet still they understood not clearly the simple way of salvation themselves, though they sought it earnestly. About this time John was ordained as a minister, and in acknowledgment of his learning he received the distinction of Master of Arts, and was elected “Fellow of Lincoln College.”
In the year 1735, when he was thirty-three years of age, he went out as a missionary to Georgia, in America; but not being himself happy in the love of God and the liberty of his children, he did not succeed, and returned to England after a period of two years, uttering this lamentation : “I, who went to America to convert the Indians, find that I myself need conversion.”
Soon after his return to England he met with Peter Bohler, a pious Moravian minister, and in a conversation with him he learned the true way of salvation by faith; and not long afterwards, when at worship with a small society in Aldersgate, London, he found by happy experience that great blessing. He now openly proclaimed this evangelical truth everywhere-in churches while he had access to them, and when they were closed against him he preached to thousands in the open air. His brother Charles and George Whitefield did the same, and the nation became aroused. Persecutions now arose, the good men were mocked, insulted, beaten, covered with mud, pelted with stones and rotten eggs, and at times their lives were in great danger; but God preserved them, and abundantly blessed their labours. Many who went to mock were stricken down by the Word of God, and sought and found mercy on the spot. Thousands upon thousands were converted : Methodist chapels were built, and the cause of religion grew until, at the time of Wesley's death in 1791, the Methodists in Great Britain, Ireland, and America numbered 134,589 members, and öll preachers, besides thousands of local preachers, leaders, and other useful labourers. Methodism has been growing ever since, and even with greater rapidity; and now the parent body, and its several offshoots in various parts of the world, may be counted by willions. Methodism, indeed, is now spread over the world, and if we include all those who are under Mothodist teaching in our congregations and Sabbath schools, they amount to about twelve millions of souls, besides millions more in the world of glory. This mighty result has flowed from the labour of the Wesleys, though it is hardly 130 years since the work began. This is indeed the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes.
John Wesley was remarkable in several particulars, which may thus be summed up in a few words :
1. In his rescue from perishing in the flames when a child of only six years old.
2. In his early religious convictions, intelligently receiving the sacrament of the Lord's Supper when only eight years old.
3. In his literary attainments; for besides having a competent knowledge of Greek, Latin, and Hebrew, he had soine knowledge of Arabic, and could translate beautiful hymns from the German and Spanish languages.
4. In his economy of time. It was his constant habit to rise at four o'clock in the morning, and go to rest at ten at night, and be usefully employed all the day, allowing but a short time for his meals, finding his recreation in duty, and never losing an hour in the day.
5. In his abundant labours. Rising at four, it was his constant practice to preach at five; to preach again twice, and sometimes thrice, in the other parts of the day; besides travelling, writing, and visiting his societies, or individuals who, in affliction, poverty, and distress, might need his counsel, prayers, and benevolent help. It was his habit to go through Great Britain and Ireland once in
two years, travelling, when there were no railways and few coaches, between four and tive thousand miles every year, even up to and beyond the age of eighty years. Amidst all these activities, he found time to conduct a Magazine, to abridge massive works on philosophy and literature, extending to fifty volumes, to translate hymns, and to write his voluminous journal. Besides all these labours, he conducted a very extensive correspondence, and promoted the erection of chapels in various parts of the kingdom, raising money to meet their liabilities, and yet keeping all his accounts with the utmost regularity and exactness.
6. In his benevolence. When he had an income of only £30, he lived on £28, and gave away £2; when he had an income of £60, he still lived on £28, and gave away £32; when he had £120, he still lived on £28, and gave to the poor £92. In a similar ratio he went on to the end of life, and as he had, at times, much coming in from the sale of his works, it is stated that in the course of fifty years he acquired and gave away between twenty and thirty thousand pounds. In his gifts he was quite impartial, as well as generous, dispensing to his fellow-men of all persuasions, being only desirous to glorify God by the use of all that he had to give. With him, time, property, influerce, life, were all one continuous cheerful, happy sacrifice to God.
7, Mr. Wesley lived to a remarkable age, dying in his eightyeighth year, and as he lived so he died. Among his last words
The clouds drop fatness;” and his last words of all were, • The Lord is with us. The God of Jacob is our refuge.”
DR. SAUNDERSON. DR. SAUNDERSON was born in 1682, and when a twelvemonth old lost by the small-pox, not only his sight, but his eyes also, which came away in abscess ; yet he was master of the works of Euclid, Archimedes, and Diophantes, from hearing them read in their original Greek; he would quote the most beautiful passages of Virgil and Horace in conversation with propriety. He was well versed in the writings of Cicero, and dictated Latin in a familiar and elegant style.
When a boy, he showed his propensity to mathematical studies : he could perform the most difficult arithmetical problems, and make long calculations by his memory, and form in his mind new theorems for their more ready solution.
At the age of twenty-five, he went to the University of Cambridge, not as a scholar, but as a master. A young man without sight, fortune, or friends, and untaught himself, sets up for a teacher of philosophy in a university where it then reigned in the greatest perfection; yet his lecture was crowded as soon open, and the “Principia” of Sir Isaac Newton, his “Optics,” and "Arithmetica. Universalis," were explained and illustrated by Mr.
Saunderson in such a manner as made him universally admired: in a word, the nature of light and colours, the theory of vision, the effects of glasses, the phenomena of the rainbow, and other objects of sight, were treated in the lectures of this blind man, with a perspicuity which has seldom been equalled and never surpassed.
His merit got him the friendship and respect of the greatest mathematicians of his time; among his friends the prince of philosophers, Sir Isaac Newton, was the chief, whose candour and generosity were equal to his genius. By his interest chiefly Mr. Saunderson was chosen Lucasian Professor of Mathematics, in the room of Mr. Whiston in 1721 ; and in 1728, when George II. visited the University, he desired to see this remarkable person, who waited on him, and was created Doctor of Laws by his royal favour. He died in 1739.
He had the sense of feeling in the most acute perfection; he could observe the least difference of rough and smooth in a surface, or the least defect of polish, and actually distinguished, in a set of Roman medals, the genuine from the false, though they had been counterfeited so as to deceive the eye of a connoisseur; but the Professor, who had no eye to trust to, could feel a roughness in the new cast sufficient to distinguish them by. He could feel the least alteration in the atmosphere, and knew when a cloud passed over the sun: he could tell when anything was held near his face, or when he passed by a tree, if the air was calm.
He had a board with holes bored at half an inch from each other; in these pins were fixed, and by drawing a piece of twine round their heads, he could delineate all rectilinear figures used in geometry, sooner than any man could with a pen. He had another board with holes made in right lines for pins of different sizes, by the help of which he could calculate and set down the sums, products, or quotients in numbers as readily as others could by writing.
He had a refined ear, a vast genius for music, and could distinguish to the fifth part of a note : by this sense he knew any person whom he had ever once conversed with. He could judge of the size of any room into which he was introduced, of the distance he was from the wall; and if ever he had walked over any pavement in courts, piazzas, &c., which reflected sound, and was afterwards conducted thither again, he could exactly tell whereabouts in the walk he was placed, merely by the note it sounded.
By the strength of his memory he could multiply, divide, and extract the square or cube root to many places of figures ; could go along with any calculator in working algebraical problems, infinite series, &c., and correct immediately the slips of the pen, either in signs or numbers. In the knowledge of the mathematics he was equal to any, and in his address as a teacher he was perhaps superior to all.
THE chief secret of comfort lies in not suffering trifles to vex one, and in prudently cultivating an undergrowth of small pleasures, since very few great ones are let on long leases.
In Australia, the country where this peculiar animal is found, it has well been said, there are many curious things which seem quite the opposite to what we are accustomed to. While it is day with us it is night with them, and while we are celebrating our Christmas festivities amid the rigours of winter, they are holding theirs under the sweltering skies of summer. Never can the little Australian children sing the nursery rhyme which is such a favourite with us
“ The north wind doth blow,
And we shall have snow,
Poor thing?" For their north wind is hot, and the south wind cold. With us all the rivers run towards the sea, but they have rivers which run from the sea, and empty themselves into morasses in the interior of the country. They have birds without wings, and with hair on their bodies instead of feathers; they have black swans and white eagles ; and amongst the trees and animals there are many other things very curious, and very different from those which we see in this country. But perhaps the most curious of all is the Duckbilled Platypus. This little animal, which is somewhat larger than a rat, has a bill like a duck, and fur like an otter; it burrows under the ground like a mole, and is said to lay eggs like a fowl, from which it hatches its young, and afterwards it nourishes them with milk like other mammals. It receives the name platypus from its webbed feet, which when spread out appear very broad; and by these, as well as the close fur with which it is covered, it is well adapted to its aquatic and burrowing habits. It makes its nest by the side of quiet ponds and lakes, burrowing into the bank as far as from twenty to forty feet. In this operation it is assisted by the claws of its fore-feet, which are very strong, as well as by its bill. As a burrower it is very expert, one having been known to burrow two feet through a hard, gravelly soil in the space of ten minutes. In the water it is quite at home, swimming about with great ease, while on land it is said to be equally active. For the most part during the day it remains asleep in its nest, coming out to seek for food in the dusk of the evening and dawn of the morning. Its food, which consists of worms and water-insects and small shell-fish, is gathered by the duck-like bill, and deposited in pouches with which the cheeks are furnished; and when these are