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THE DENIAL OF ST. PETER.

AFTER AN ORIGINAL PAINTING BY DAVID TENIERS.

Though all the world should lack their duty to you,
And throw it from their soul : though perils did
Abound, as thick as thought could make them, and
Appear in forms more horrid : yet my duty,
As doth a rock against the chiding flood,
Should the approach of this wild vision break,
And stand unshaken yours.-SHAKSPEARE.

A PROFANE writer, but one who understood human nature, and had a perfect mastery of language, has given us in the precedent quotation a very paraphrase of Peter's promises of fidelity to his blessed Master. But this coincidence between inspired and natural descriptions of the passions and feelings of the heart, in this instance at least, should not excite any surprise, for, it is not intended to conceal the weakness of those instruments which the Almighty selected for the introduction and establishment of the Christian dispensation as the fulfilment of the Mosaic.-On the contrary, it appears to have pleased God to adopt into that convention of holy men, whose lives were to be devoted to works of charity, toil, and suffering, for Christ's sake, those who, by their marked and characteristic human infirmities, would, in mere human service, have failed in performance. Some of our Lord's disciples were unable to work miracles, because their faith was not perfect : others, who might have fulfilled their protestations of affection and attachment for their meek and guiltless Lord, had they only had the usual proportion of courage that falls to the lot of the majority of their kind, fled like cowards, or timid women, on the approach of public officers to arrest their Master. What could possibly have demonstrated with more convincing evidence, the imbecility of their minds, their complete and entire inability to lead, instruct, and govern the obstinate Israelitish community, than such pusillanimity? Yet, such were the agents chosen by the Most High to accomplish the actual uprooting of idolatry amongst the heathen, and prove to a perverse generation, bigoted to an old and divine system of rites, that those were now to be laid aside, and a new dispensation accepted. Since then, these coadjutors of the Redeemer in unveiling the light of the Gospel, and causing its beams to illuminate the dark parts of the earth, were not only mere mortals, but of the weakest description amongst their species, -and since the great task was actually accomplished, and those sceds sown by them which have since grown up and yielded an abundant harvest, all the glory, and honour, and praise, for that prosperity, belongs solely to their blessed Employer. From his strength their weakness found support,-from his wisdom their foolishness found correction,—from his benevolence their narrow-minds drew charity which they exercised towards their fellow-creatures.

NO, XII,

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St. Peter's natural character is one that is daily witnessed in our passage through life,—his sacred one is separate, and connected with the holy ministry to which he was called by the Saviour of the universe, and inspired by the Holy Ghost;—and the infirmity under which he laboured, and would finally have sunk and perished, had not the spirit of the Lord sustained him, is daily witnessed amongst men, and will continue to degrade us in our own estimation, while the present order of creation shall be permitted to be that by which all things move onwards.

Peter was sanguine, affectionate, and confident ;--the last of these qualities, selfsufficiency, occasioned what history calls the Apostle's Fall : for, how can character sink below the shame of violating friendship, proving disloyal to a Master, and wholly forsaking truth! When Christ had even warned his Apostle that the spirit was willing but the flesh weak, his over-confidence completely blinded his judgment, and he presumed to think he could perform whatever he promised. What can any of us do of ourselves, or by ourselves ?— but, the day of repentance and correction was not far distant; and the fall of Peter is a great scriptural monument, to which the vain and self-conceited should turn their outward eyes, and afterwards the eyes of their soul. If Peter had not learned from such an example to be true to his trust, to retain that deposit of love, which his sacred Master laid in his heart, how can those so removed in time and circumstances, so surrounded with all the allurements of conimerce, and of joyous association, hope to escape from the sin of which, in a luckless hour, he was guilty ?

We need not quote the passages of Scripture which record the fall of the chief Apostle; we shall only advert to the circumstances, that no fact in the admirable design which accompanies these remarks, may lose the attention to which it is entitled. When the soldiers came to take Jesus, Peter exhibited the most laudable courage, and generous attachment to his Master; and, unable to endure the sight of his Lord's arrest, drew his sword and cut off Malchus's ear. But our Lord checked his forwardness, and healed the wound,-in which we cannot but observe the immaculate character of the Prince of Peace. He was falsely accused, ignominiously arrested : his disciples possibly might have rescued him; yet, that no one might suffer, but be saved through Him, he would not allow Peter to risk his life by defending him, and he healed the wounds of his heartless enemies. These are the precepts of the Kingdom of Heaven practically taught on earth. But Peter's human nature, in all its imperfection, now overshadowed and overthrew him ; for he fled with the rest, and forsook the Master to whom he had vowed fidelity. Remorse checked his flight sooner than that of his brethren; and, returning to the hall of trial, not of justice assuredly, he mingled with the crowd, desirous to ascertain the proceedings against his Master, but totally divested of firmness enough to come forward and give evidence of his spotless purity. Through the influence of John, who was known to the officers, and who had returned to see how he could secretly assist his beloved Lord, Peter was admitted into the hall, where soldiers, and constables, and strangers, and idlers of every description, may be sup

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posed to have been collected, to ascertain the result of so impious and unfounded an accusation. Although he expected that his effrontery in mixing with the bitterest enemies of Jesus would have disarmed suspicion, he was mistaken ; for he was recognised, and, upon being charged with the crime of an accessory,

he denied “ with an oath.” The degraded sense of his situation appears to have suggested itself to him almost immediately, and led him from the presence of those before whom he had forsworn himself; and, withdrawing to a more silent spot, he heard the cock crow. Peter now found that although he had changed his place he had not relieved his conscience ; he could not escape from himself; and being dipped in sin and falsehood, he returned to the hall, determined, most probably, not to be influenced by any superstitious timidity. Scarcely had he re-entered, when a damsel accosted him with a confidence the product of truth, declaring him to have been with our Lord and Saviour. On the verge of a precipice, sustained by the breathing of the gentlest breeze, -an instant might save, an instant sink him ; presence of lind foi ok him,-h ecame giddy,- tottered and fell into the depths of sin below him. He answered with repeated oaths that he “knew not the man. And now it was that the cock crowed the second time; the prophecy of the Lord was fulfilled, and Peter was conscience-stricken. He looked towards Him whom he had denied, as if to receive the punishment of his falsehood; but “ Jesus turned and looked on Peter.” Can the human imagination conceive any contrast so immensely opposite, as the features of the all-forgiving Redeemer, and the sensations that wrung the breaking heart of the fallen Apostle ! One was the light of Heaven; the other, the darkness of

Teniers, a powerful painter of humble life, has endeavoured in this admirable work to exhibit the versatility of his genius, by portraying the sublime truths of Scripture. But he has not, nevertheless, departed from his accustomed manner of representing domestic scenes ; the interior of the hall, and the characters supposed to be assembled there during our Lord's examination, being such as the artist had made his pencil most familiar with. Never did this inimitable delineator of social life exceed in any of his efforts the colouring and grouping which he here exhibits. Every part of the composition is finished with delicacy of expression; and truth has been strictly observed in the narrative. Our Saviour is properly the principal object, both from the character he has given to his figure and the place he occupies in the scene; the commanding officer is only the second personage in importance. This figure is distinguished by his dress, and also by his peculiar attitude; he is evidently attending to the conversation between Peter and the female servant who has undertaken to identify him, in order to gather the purport of her questions, and of the answers that may be given to them. However the costumes and armour, which are not of the age when Pilate lived, may be objected to, the drawing and arrangement are those of master in the art ; and the subject, the Denial of Christ by St. Peter,-is represented with the utmost fidelity to the events communicated in the Holy Scriptures.

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THE WHALE-KING.

A CHANT.*

Oh! the Whale, the Whale,

The rare old Whale ! Careers, with boisterous glee ;

He dashes away,

Through the glistening spray, Afar on the billowy sea !

He laughs at the blast,

As it whirleth past,
To rest in its stormy home ;

He blows, as he plays

In the sun's bright rays, And lashes the white sea foam!

Oh! the Whale, tho Whale,

The rare old Whale !
Is King of the boundless sea !

He blows, as he plays

In the sun's bright rays,
The King of the billowy sea !

II.

Oh! the rare old Whale,

On the swelling gale, Careereth merrilie!

He goeth to rest

On the ocean's breast,
The King of the boundless sea !-

And still in the light

Of the spell-bound sight, His form doth whirl and gleam !

As he boundeth away

In the twilight gray,
Or basks in the gay sun beam !

Oh! the Whale, the Whale,

The brave old Whale !
Is King of the billowy sea !

As he boundeth away,

In the twilight gray,
The King of the open sea !

III.

Oh ! the Whale-King rides

O'er the swelling tides,
And mounts on their foamy crest;

While his sides shine bright

In the pale moonlight,
That beams on the ocean's breast.

He boundeth free
O'er the caves of the sea,

* Set to music, by W. Smellie, Esq.

Or hides in their shadowy bome;

May'st hear his moan,

Like the night-wind's groan,
As it sweeps with hollow sound on.

Oh! the Whale, the Whale,

The rare old Whale !
Is King of the boundless sea !

May'st hear his moan,

Like the night-wind's groan,
As it sweeps o'er the billowy sea !

J. H.

A GOSSIP ON MUSIC.

BY GEO. R. TWINN, AUTHOR OF “IS IT PEACE ?” ETC. ETC.

To enter into an erudite (and also recondite) disquisition of the nature and properties of music would be unsuited to the pages of a magazine of the present class: it would prove, instead of a means of gratification, a fund of ridicule to our young readers; it would be usurping that right peculiarly belonging to works devoted exclusively to the subject, and, consequently, tinged with presumption: to notice the origin or antiquity, the powers and strong sway, or action, of music upon the mind, is our allotted task for a short time.

It is not the language of arrogance or of a false philosophy, but the result of mature deliberation, that induces us to ascribe the origin of music to God himself: we are fully prepared to combat the point if any should doubt or deny the assertion. We will take a cursory glance of the subject. When the Creator had ended his glorious occupation, and had given a proof of his triune nature by saying, “let us make man in our image," he gifted him with speech; the congratulatory outpourings of the blissful Eden sung to welcome him lord of the created world, amidst the general and soft tremblings of the murmuring rills—the solemn and plaintive cadence of the breeze, as the trees gracefully and triumphantly waved-the songs of birds making melody amongst the blooming shrubs and flowers; the blithe harmony of insects in the sunlight, and the many different and distinct noises of animals, each one having its peculiar tone ;-amid all these, I say, is very clearly discerned the first grand principle and true fundamental basis of music, emanating, as it were, directly and immediately from God. What sounds so delightful as the soft cooing of the amorous dove, or the glad lay of the speckled lark soaring to Heaven's Gate ? as the gentle bass of the trickling brooks singing to the flowers on their banks? and why so beautiful ? because of their simplicity and genuineness; because of their direct procedure from Hiin whose power and goodness created them, gifted with such sounds, such harmony ! The morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy;" and,

« Shaded fountains sent their streams
With joyous music in their flow."

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