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fidered of fo much importance that, from the period of their firft regular establishment, a new era of reckoning time was conftituted, just as we reckon from the birth of Jefus Chrift. Each Olympiad confifted of four years; hence they dated events from the firft, fecond, third, or fourth year of any particular Olympiad. The firft Olympiad commenced 776 years before the Christian era. These exercises confifted of five different kinds, viz. boxing, wrestling, leaping, the quoit, and racing. We confine ourselves to the illuftration of the latter. The celebration of the running match excited great intereft. Hence the preparation for these feftivals was very great. No man could become a candidate for the prize unless he bore a good character, and regularly exercised himself ten months previously, according to the rules prescribed.

The rules were very fevere; a ftrict regimen had to be obferved, unpalateable food to be eaten, abftinence from all luxuries, exercises were to be continued through all weathers, and we know not what befides. And now the grand day has arrived; the judge is appointed, having been previously fworn to deal impartially-the racecourfe is cleared, the place of starting fixed; the judge takes his feat at the goal, or end of the raceground, and holds in his hand the crown of olive, or of laurel, deftined to grace the victor's brow; officers are appointed to keep order. The city is emptied of its inhabitants, all the principal men are there. The candidates make their appearance ;

every eye is fixed upon them; every heart is in motion. Divested of all needlefs clothing, fometimes naked, they await the fignal,-'tis givenoff they start. Not a whisper is heard among all that multitude; with intense interest they watch the runners as they pass along. A shout is heard. The victor returns, like a triumphant conqueror, drawn in a chariot of four, wearing the crown of victory, and is everywhere greeted with the acclamations of the people.

Religion is compared to a race. The stadium, or race-ground, is the path of piety leading through this world to the next; the runners are those who profess religion; the officers appointed to keep order, the minifters of the gospel; the fpectators, men and angels; the judge, the Lord Jefus Chrift; the reward, a crown of righteouf

nefs.

Let us imagine a company of young perfons juft commencing the Christian race. They fet off together. The directions are given to all; they are four in number: 1. Be sure to lay afide every weight; 2. Relinquish the besetting fin; 3. Exercife patience; 4. Look to Jefus. They go along pretty well for awhile. Soon one is

He

seen lagging behind. What is the matter? has too much weight about him. Another drops off; his besetting fin has prevailed. A third is miffing; what ails him? O, he is out of patience -with God, himself, and everybody befides. Some follow the directions, perfevere to the end, and obtain the prize. But mark of those who

run in the Grecian games, one only could receive the prize. In the Chriftian race, all may run fo as to obtain. The judge there was fometimes partial; the Chriftian's umpire is the "Righteous Judge." The fucceffful candidate, after all his labours, obtained only a garland of withering flowers; the Chriftian receives a glorious "crown of righteousness that fadeth not away."

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"In God is my falvation and my glory; the rock of my ftrength, and my refuge, is in God."-Ps. lxii. 7.

SALVATION.

Lo! where amid appalling dangers dread,
The rock undaunted lifts its welcome head;
The fhip of commerce gaily fail'd along,
All hands were merry with their evening fong;
When lo! they fcud before a fudden blaft,
The fails are fhiver'd, broken is the maft;
The fhip is wreck'd, the ftorm rolls wildly round,
The finking failors have no footing found.

In drowning plight, ftunn'd by the wave's rude shock,
The lightning kindly points them to the rock;
The Rock they grafp, and raise themselves on high,
In confcious fafety bid the ftorm pafs by.

So when mankind were wreck'd on Eden's fhore,
Loud was the tempeft, loud the thunder's roar,
Earth, fea, and fkies affrighted were, and toff'd,
Tumultuous all. Shall man be faved, or loft?
In that wild ocean of defpair and dread,
The ROCK OF AGES lifts his lofty head.

The finner, finking, stunn'd by Sinai's fhock,
By Sinai's lightning, now beholds the Rock;
With glad furprise, more clear his moral fight,
He fees befides, a crofs of heavenly light
The Rock he clambers, to the cross he clings,
And faved from danger, of Salvation fings.

A SHORT time fince, and that veffel was failing calmly and fecurely over the soft blue wave. The voice of fong arose, and mingled its melodies with the light air around. Home, fweet home, was the theme which gladdened every heart. But ah! thou treacherous fea! Thou deceitful wind! How changed the scene! The voice of fong is departed; joy and gladness are no more. Inftead of the mufic of foft symphonies, are heard the clamours of despair, the thunder's mighty roar, old ocean's harfh founds, and the howling of the storm. The fhip is driven fiercely before the gale, fails are rent, one of the mafts is gone by the board, ruin fteers the ill-fated fhip; fhe ftrikes upon a reef, the billows roll over her, the crew are washed overboard. Night thickens around with his ftormy horrors; manfully the drowning wretches buffet the waves; the lightning flings its lurid glare around, and fhows them their awful condition; again it lightens, and they descry a rock, lifting its head above the billows, and promifing a place of safety. Hope revives-they fwim for the rock, foon "they make it." See, they have got upon it. Now they are fafe.

The veffel, failing joyfully and fecurely before the gale began, may represent the safe and happy

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