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him also of his omnipotent power, of his that might be mentioned, are full of mysglory as seen in the creation, and asks, Who tery. Equally clear is the lesson taught hath prevented me that I should repay by Job's history, that God's ways, though him? whatsoever is under the whole heaven mysterious, are right. Purposes of his is mine, that is, Who hath laid me, or can infinite wisdom were subserved by the lay me, under any obligation? Do I need afflictions of his servant. Job himself was my creatures? How hast thou profited taught more of God and more of himself the infinite and all-sufficient God by aught than he could have learned in any other that thou hast done. Now comes the hour way. The knowledge he obtained, though of Job's triumph. He listens, appalled, purchased in the furnace of affliction, was abashed, overwhelmed. I have heard of cheaply purchased-was worth more than thee, he exclaims, by the hearing of the it cost. So he reckoned, when he came sea, but now mine eye seeth thee, that is, I forth like gold-when his afflictions were had some faint conceptions of thy charac-ended, and the remembrance thereof was ter, of thy majesty and power, but now the like a dream when one awaketh. Rejoiceye of my mind clearly perceives thee, and ing in the clear light of a noon-day sun, the same light that reveals the purity and what matters it that at early dawn it was all-sufficiency of thy nature discloses to enveloped in clouds! Or, the haven gainme mine own vileness and utter helpless- ed, the port entered, does not even the reness. Wherefore, he continues, I abhor membrance of the raging wind and the myself, and repent in dust and ashes. But roaring sea enhance the happiness of home, why should Job repent? and why this and call for louder pæans of exulting gratiloathing and self-abhorrence? In the tude? But not for himself alone did Job presence of a God of infinite purity and live, and suffer, and triumph. To his coof unsullied holiness, a God who cannot temporaries in that early age, and to suclook on sin, who chargeth his angels with ceeding generations, as they read or heard folly, in whose sight the heavens are not his story, were revealed by it great and clean, the dust is the only fitting place fundamental truths, of which, as we have even for him who has aimed to keep God's seen, the wisest were previously profoundly perfect law and to walk uprightly before ignorant. Job's history taught them that him. He that has any other feelings, that prosperity in this life is no certain evidence depends for a moment upon anything he of the favor of God; that adversity and has done or can do, knows little of himself, affliction here are no sign of his disapproand little of his God. The perfect and bation. It showed them that man in his upright Job exclaims, I abhor myself, and highest and holiest efforts merits nothing repent in dust and ashes. And this, I say, at the hand of God, and that all he is is the hour of Job's triumph. The days or hopes to be is by His sovereign grace. of his mourning are ended; the clouds are It afforded a practical demonstration of scattered; his captivity is turned, and the the evangelical truth that in this world Lord blessed the latter end of Job more God's children may expect tribulation, and than the beginning. taught them that the tempter's power is bounded by limits assigned by infinite wisdom and infinite love. It threw light, too, compared with what we have, indeed, mere twilight, but a sure precursor of the dawn and the noon-day, upon the grand central truth of all revelation, there is a days-man between worms of earth and the King of glory. And, finally, it taught them-and if it teach us, not in vain did Job suffer, nor in vain have we perused this outline of his history-that man's place is in the dust before God; that after all that we have done our only hope of deliverance and salvation is in utter self-abhorrence, in repentance as in dust and ashes.
Two or three general remarks will close the subject. And first, God's dealings with the children of men are frequently unfathomably mysterious. They were so to Job, still more so to his friends, and to all who, in his own day, were made acquainted with his history. Even to us, who are permitted to look down upon the man of Uz from the eminence on which we dwell, to read his history by the light of successive revelations, there is much that is dark and unfathomable. That the enemy should be allowed so severely to harass and afflict so good a man; that he should be left so long to grope in darkness; these things, and others
LOVERS OF NATURE.
NE evening last summer, happening
ing held in a meadow at some short distance from town, my attention was forcibly arrested by a wild-looking character who stood on the outer circle of the audience, and who was listening with much attention to what was going forward. A more perfect picture of destitution than this individual presented could not be readily imagined. He was a young man, apparently about twenty years of age. Though his sallow face was haggard and hungerworn, there was an expression of intelligence in his large dark lustrous eyes, which strangely contrasted with his mendicant attire. He wore a very dingy and tattered round canvas frock, through the rents of which appeared his olive-colored skin; a pair of ragged trowsers, which hung in shreds about his legs, and a dilapidated hat, somewhat fancifully garnished with oak-leaves. Shoes and stockings he had none. At his back, attached to a leathern strap, hung a basket amply filled with a variety of herbs; and a long staff on which he rested with both hands, added much to his picturesque and striking aspect.
I had stood near him for some minutes, watching and much pleased by his evident appreciation of the eloquent address which was being delivered, before I became aware that he had a companion no less worthy of observation than himself. This was a large and beautifully spotted snake, which was coiled round his left arm, and which, darting forth its forked and agile tongue, as it moved its head restlessly to and fro, appeared as if soliciting the sympathy of the spectator on behalf of his patron. It was perfectly harmless, having no fangs; and, saving a little boy, who clung to his father's side, while his countenance was puckered up into an expression of unmitigated terror, no one present seemed to be apprehensive of its manifesting any feeling of hostility.
milk, of which it was very fond; and when I asked him where he got the milk from, he told me that he went round to farm
might easily get it by dishonest meaus if he chose, as there were plenty of cows in the meadows through which he passed in his country rambles, from whom he could obtain it without fear of discovery, yet he assured me, with an artless earnestness which forbade my doubting his sincerity, that he had never stolen anything in his life, and that sometimes, in the winter months, not a morsel of food passed his lips for two days together.
With respect to himself, he gave me the following curious particulars; but there was evidently a love of the marvelous in his manner, which prevented me from attaching entire credence to every word he uttered. At the same time, there was nothing in his statements which were inconsistent with his extraordinary habits and mode of life. He observed that he had never known either father or mother. The first thing he could remember was being carried about by an old man in a forest; but where that forest was situate, he had no idea whatever. The old man used to gather mushrooms, which he sold to the salesmen in the different markets. In dry weather he and the old man always slept in the forest; but when it happened to be wet they removed to some brickfields, where they were allowed by the brick-makers to build themselves a kind of shelter with the straw mats used to cover the bricks when it rained. One night, on waking up, he found the old man was gone, and, looking about, discovered him lying dead on the rows of burning bricks, where he had apparently laid himself down for greater warmth, and fell into a slumber from which he never awoke. After the old man's death, he continued his employment of gathering mushrooms and plants of various kinds for the herbalists, and was getting a "decent" subsistence, when he was taken up for robbery, under somewhat peculiar circumstances.
As soon as the meeting had broken up, I spoke to the "snake charmer," as some A poor washerwoman, it appears, who people called him, and made inquiries as was taking home a basket of clothes in a to the habits of the reptile to which he hand-barrow, was attacked by a party of seemed so fondly attached. He told me ruffians, who ran off with the basket, havthat he had had it for some months, and ing first seated and bound the poor woman that it was quite "domesticated;" that it in the barrow from which her property was of no pecuniary value, being merely had been abstracted. One of the articles a common wood-snake. He fed it on so stolen was dropped on the road, and he
(the snake-charmer) happening to pick it up, was suddenly seized by a constable, and the evidence of his guilt being considered conclusive, he was tried and sentenced to six months' imprisonment with hard labor. This, the poor fellow said, with tears in his eyes, was the severest trial he ever had in his life. He had no friends to speak to his character; he was known to be an outcast, and was pronounced, almost as a matter of course, a thief. One advantage, however, which | he derived from his confinement was, that he learned to read-a practice in which he took much pleasure, as a wellthumbed Testament and some tracts which he carried about with him, and which had been given him on his discharge from prison, satisfactorily testified.
invariably died within a short time afterward.
When I remonstrated with the snakecharmer on his wandering mode of life, and advised him to quit it for some more settled calling, he shook his head, and remarked that he had been in prison once, and that he never wished to lose his liberty again. I saw it was futile to argue longer with a mind so singularly constituted, and so I left him, having first given him a few tracts, for which he thanked me in terms of becoming civility.
Somewhat similar in point of genius, though widely different in all other respects, is the worthy man, who for a long period has been the chosen hair-dresser of myself and family. He has one of the finest aviaries of any person in his line of business that I am acquainted with. His shop is fitted up with cages containing a choice collection of canaries, linnets, bullfinches, starlings, and other vocal performers of that kind. These are the joy of his life.
They wake him in the morning with their cheerful harmony; they solace him as he weaves intricate fronts or curls, and rebellious wigs; and they afford him inexhaustible matter for conversation with his inquisitive customers.
No small portion of the poor outcast's knowledge, however, had been obtained by his attending camp - meetings, and listening to the itinerant lecturers whom he had met with in traveling from one place to another. This singular being had notions as strange as himself of natural phenomena; but there was a poetic coloring about his views, which distinguished them from the chimeras of a weak or vulgar intellect. He believed, he said, that the stars were inhabited, and he had sometimes laid awake all night in the forest watching them; and when he saw one fallening of his nerves, which have always from the sky, he fancied he could hear a sound like the distant wail of despair upon the wind, as if it were the empire of some lost spirit which had been conquered by a mightier power, and cast into darkness for evermore.
Though his pronunciation was bad, his diction was much superior to what might have been expected from one who had enjoyed such limited opportunities for book study. There was also an innocent pleasantry about him, which deepened the sympathy which his squalid habiliments alone were calculated to inspire. A person standing by asked him if he had ever caught a weasel, at which he smiled, and answered in the negative, assigning as a reason that they could only be caught asleep, and adding quaintly, that they always rose earlier than he did. His acqaintance with the habits of insects generally was very minute and instructive. He told me that he had been stung repeatedly by wasps, but that the wasp, when it had left its sting in the wound,
Last summer I met him down at Newport, whither he had gone for the strength
been somewhat infirm, for he is a most amiable and soft-hearted creature, and would not, I really believe, inadvertently brush down a cobweb without an apology and a pang of remorse. On asking him how he liked that fashionable wateringplace, he shook his head and smiled faintly. He had been there only two days, and said that he missed the society of his birds; he could not sleep at night for fear of anything happening to them, or his apprentice forgetting to feed them during his absence. And then, when he awoke of a morning, instead of the house ringing with the carols of his little pets, there was nothing to be heard but the sullen surging of the sea; and if he looked out of his window, he only saw an expanse of ocean with a solitary sea-gull floating on it, or vast pieces of pasture land without a shrub large enough for the support of a titlark.
"Yet birds, sir," said he in reply to my comments on his favorite pursuit; "birds delight me because they seem so happy;
so comparatively exempt from sorrow and pain. All animals which tread upon the earth partake more or less of the misery which is inseparable from it; but the lark, which rises above us, seems also to rise above the infirmities which are the inheritance of our fallen nature."
"Yet birds mope," I replied; "a captive even in a golden cage pines for the freedom of its native woods."
"That is true," said the hair-dresser ; "but then you see, sir, he suffers from the unkindness of those who deprive him of his freedom. In his natural state, I fancy the life of a song-bird is one of joy-pure joy."
"If those are your sentiments, my friend, I am surprised that you don't emancipate all your slaves at once."
"Well, sir," returned he, with a contracted brow and a sigh, "I have often thought it was cruel in me to keep them confined, but I couldn't part with them now; and, another thing, if they were to be turned loose in the world, every one of them, poor creatures! would be killed by their brethren, who don't know what civilization is."
"That is hardly consistent with the 'pure joy' which you fancy belongs to the feathered tribe in their wild state eh ?"
My worthy barber looked rather puzzled for a moment; but presently a smile lighted up his pallid countenance, and announced that the solution of the mystery was near at hand.
"It does at first sight," he observed, appear rather at variance with their gentle natures, and yet, I have no doubt it is a merciful provision, if we only knew all a bird that has been once thoroughly domesticated would never again be able to bear the hardships which those endure with ease who have always lived in forests; it would perish, as you or I would do, sir, if we were turned out of our comfortable dwellings, and were clothed and fed as scantily as the earliest inhabitants of this country were; so it may be a humane feeling which prompts wild birds to kill those who have been caged, and who would inevitably die a lingering and painful death if left to provide shelter and food for themselves."
My worthy friend has in his collection one or two birds of remarkable talent. There is a goldfinch who will at the word
of command stand on the right leg, then on the left, then tuck his head under his wing as if playing at bo-peep, and then lay on the table as if completely exhausted or even dead. Another, a linnet, draws water from a well in a thimble, in a most workmanlike manner. Then there is a magpie, who, when at home, resides in a wicker cage, but who is much more frequently found hopping about the door-way and chattering for the amusement of little boys, without either rhyme or reason.
My friend, in addition to cutting hair and making bird-cages, is a kind of Hullah among his feathered songsters; he teaches them their notes, and gives to a canary the vocal accomplishments of a nightingale, by which its value is greatly enhanced. He has also written a little work on song-birds, and is often consulted by his lady customers, when their favorites are laboring under any temporary indisposition. He told me that he was called up one cold night in December to go and see the pet parrot of an old lady, supposed to be suffering from some mortal ailment, which had caused its kind owner much anxiety and alarm; and although he could do nothing but assure her that there was no ground for any serious apprehension, the old lady made him accept a fee for his professional attendance and opinion.
What he most dreads is a thunderstorm. I was in his shop one day, and was much surprised at the concern which he exhibited lest any of his birds should suffer from fear of the lightning. The operation of hair-cutting was entirely suspended; | pocket-handkerchiefs were carefully put over the cages; and I really believe, if the storm had lasted much longer, that he would have put up his shutters and discontinued business for the day.
It is said, "one touch of nature makes the whole world kin." In like manner, all lovers of nature, however high in social position, will recognize in the characters which I have described, that congeniality of taste and feeling, by virtue of which, however humble they may be, they are made worthy to associate with the most distinguished naturalists of their class. Such powers of appreciating the works of the great and good Creator as are thus often detected in persons occupying the humblest stations in society, should teach us never to despise those who seem to be beneath us.
I HAVE here only made a nosegay of culled flowers, and have brought nothing of my own but the string that ties them.MONTAIGNE,
RAMBLING through the ever-accumulating beauties and sweets of literature we pluck flowers, and with them, now and then, fruit. They come, like the denizens of the conservatory, from various and widely-separated habitats; but most of them are hardy, and all may be acclimated in the reader's mind. We begin, as apropos to the thoughts suggested, and to the sources of our bouquet, with DE POREE's description of
A LIBRARY ARMY.
All minds in the world's past history find their focalpoint in a library. This is that pinnacle from which we might see all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them. I keep Egypt and the Holy Land in the closet next the window. On this side of them is Athens and the empire of Rome. Never was such an army mustered as a library army. No general ever had such soldiers as I have. Let the military world call its roll, and I will call mine. The privates in my army would have made even the staff-officers of Aloxander's army seem insignificant. Only think of a platoon of such good literary and philosophical yeomen as will answer my roll-call. "Plato!" "Here." A sturdy and noble soldier. "Aristotle!" "Here." A host in himself. Then I can call Demosthenes, Cicero, Horace, Cæsar, Tacitus, Pliny, and of the famous Alexandrian school, Porphyry, Iamblicus, Plotinus, and others, all worthy fellows every one of them, fully armed and equipped, and looking as fresh as if they had received the gift of youth and immortality. Modest men all; they never speak unless spoken to. Bountiful men all; they never refuse the asker. I have my doubts whether, if they were alive, I could keep the peace of my domains. But now they dwell together in unity, and all of the train in one company, and work for the world's good, each in his special way, but all contribute. I have also in a corner the numerous band of Christian Fathers-Justin Martyr, Tertullian, Origen, Augustine, St. Ambrose, and others, with their opponents, Fronto, the rhetorican, Crescens, the cynic philosopher, Celsus, Marcus Aurelius, and Julian the Apostate. They now He peacefully together, without the shade of repugnance or anger. It is surprising how these men have changed. Not only are they here without quarreling or disputing, without ambition or selfishness, but how calmly do they sit, though you pluck their opinions by the beard! Ages have wrought, generations grown, and all the blossoms are cast down here. It is the garden of immortal fruits, without dog or dragon. No such garden was Eden, in the past. It is the Eden to which the race is coming, that is to see the true Adam and the true Eve.
FLOWERS UPON THE TOMB.
THEY have a custom in Continental Europe of visiting, annually, the graves of departed loved ones, and laying upon them wreaths of flowers. The brave general, Pellisier, followed the remains of his coadjutor, Lord Raglan, to the grave, and many an English
eye was dimmed as the gallant Frenchman placed, reverently, upon the bier a wreath of immortelles. In referring to this simple fact, and to the sneering remark that it is a popish custom, a traveler asks, pertinently:
Would it be very popish to see your little daughter rise on a shining summer's morning, and hear her say she will go to granma's grave that day, and lay a bright yellow immortelle upon it? It is only a few dried flowers bound together in a wreath, and bearing mottoes of "Hope," and "Love," and "Regret." O, you would be glad to see your child (ay, you would) follow the popish custom, and lay that child's wreath over the honored clay; and you would be yourself refined in seeing her.
SIMPLICITY AND SUBLIMITY OF THE SCRIPTURES.
ALBERT BARNES, in a discourse "on the Influence of the Gospel on Imagination,” describing the style of the sacred writers, gives utterance to thoughts which have occurred, perhaps, to almost every earnest searcher of the Scriptures:
While Christianity is based on facts, and while those facts are stated with the most accurate precision, and will bear the application of the severest laws of criticism, yet the form in which they are presented is just as if it were intended to make the most that is possible to be made of the imagination. Truth and holiness are the broad basis on which all is to rest; but there is obscurity, there is grandeur, there is vastness, there is infinitude on which the mind may range forever. Take the sufferings of Christ in the garden of Gethsemane and on the cross. The narrative is simple and unaffected, as if written by a child. There is no mere rhetoric. There is not a word of astonishment; there is not an attempt to excite the passions or to picture the scene. The circumstances of the narrativo are so accurate and so minute that it seems almost as if there were an effort to give a mere dry detail, and as if the writers meant to anticipate every objection, and to prevent the possibility of a suspicion that the account was forged, and yet the whole account seems just as if it were designed to have as much for the imagination to supply as possible. Fewer words could not have been used in the description. And how the Saviour looked; what was the aspect of the heavens; what was the effect on the minds of those who witnessed the scenes; who is there that has not been disposed to ask of some one who knew? The resurrection of Jesus-the most solemn and grand event that has occurred in the world-entering into all the hopes of man and shedding new light around the grave-how simple and short the account, and what a degree of obscurity rests upon it where the imagination may roam! The final resurrection of the just and the unjust; the bursting of the graves, and the sea giving up its dead; a world on fire, and all the dead mounting up to meet their final judge; how simple the details in the Scriptures; how almost tantalizing the statements; and yet what a field of glory! How sublime! How obscure!
WHAT IS FAITH?
AN exceedingly simple question, but one to which answers almost innumerable have been given. DR. JELF, in a recent sermon