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Angelo, and again passed the barrier as we had entered it seven nights before, and stole away up the hills, and out of sight of the lamps of Rome.
DOGS BEFORE MEN.
T the old feasts of when men
Frederic Barbarossa went to
A walked in grand procession, dogs be crowned by the Pope in Italy, tn,
walked first, and it was not unnatural that they should be received as household deities, who were set up by the priests as symbols of the supreme power, watching over people in their homes and driving evil from their thresholds. For a like reason the ancient Romans dressed the images of their Lares, or household gods, in dog-skin. In the present day even the very smallest dogs are to be found cherished as household deities.
Gunar, a Swedish tyrant, once upon a time, to inflict shame on his subjects, set a dog over them to be their king, and gave the dog bad ministers, in order that the public might be well plagued in his name. It also happened that when the people of Drontheim had slain the son of Oisten, Prince of Upland, Oisten bade them choose whether they would have for their king his slave Taxe, or his dog Saer. The Drontheimers chose to be ruled by Saer the First, because they hoped to make a good dog of him, and to enjoy much liberty under his chain. Saer had not long been seated on the throne before he was enchanted by his subjects, and became the wisest monarch of his time, having, it is recorded, as much wisdom as three sages. He also became able to talk, in every three words of a sentence, barking two and speaking one, very distinctly.
ders, by the emperor. To carry a dog for a certain distance was, in the time of Otto the First, and after it, one of the severest punishments inflicted on unruly princes. Nobles of lower rank carried, instead of the dog, a chair; peasants, a plow-wheel.
This story ought not to be doubted. For was not the famous shepherd's dog, of Weissenfels, taught by a boy who pinched his throat and put fingers into his mouth until he had learned to speak words like a man, and did not an Austrian travel through Holland in the year 1718, who could say his, or rather our, alphabet, except only the letters, L, M, N? Read Drechsler on the Speech of Brutes.
Among the old Franks, Suabians, and Saxons, a dog was held in small esteem; nevertheless, and, indeed, for that cause, he was not seldom set over the highest nobles of the land. If a great dignitary had, by broken faith, disturbed peace in the realm, a dog was put upon his shoul
when upon his way, found that there was murderous strife between Hermann, Count Palatine of the Rhine, and the Archbishop Arnold of Mayence. By this quarrel the banks of the Rhine were stained with much blood. After his return, therefore, Barbarossa called a Diet at Worms, before which he cited both the disputants. They appeared, each expecting that his adversary was to be discomfited. The emperor, having heard the case, ordered the Count Palatine and ten counts, his allies, to march over the border, each with a dog upon his back; the other nobles concerned in the quarrel were to take the same march of a German mile, carrying stools, and the peasantry to go after with plow-wheels. The clergy were condemned to suffer a like punishment; but, saving their reverence, it was allowed to be performed for them by proxy. Soon after the year twelve hundred, Gerhard, a lord in Querfurt, had, with other nobles, fallen upon a pious man, Deacon of Magdeburg cathedral, as he journeyed on the highway, and deprived him of his eyes. Emperor Philip fined this Gerhard very heavily, and made him walk at the head of five hundred of his knights from the spot on which the outrage was committed to the gate of Magdeburg cathedral, each man with a dog upon his shoulders.
The ancient Persians symbolized Ormazd, their god, in the form of a dog; for, to a nomad race, there is no animal sc dear, no type of a Divine watchfulness so true, as the protector of the herd. A thousand lashes was the punishment for maiming any able dog, and it was capital offense to kill one. The sight of a dog by dying men was said to comfort them with bodings of the conquest of all evil and of their immortal peace. In later times the Persians held it to be a good token for the dead if a dog approached the corpse and ate from between the lips a bit of bread that had been placed 'there; but, if no dog would approach the body, that was hel to a sign of evil for the soul.
In tubs set by the cottage-door; While ducks and geese, with happy joys, Plunge in the yard-pond brimming o'er.
And dame oft stops her buzzing wheel, To hear the robin's note once more, Who tootles while he pecks his meal From sweet-briar hips beside the door.
A VISIT TO WYOMING MONUMENT.
FEW weeks since, while on my way home from the coal-regions of central Pennsylvania, I left the Wyoming dépôt to view the ground where the celebrated battle of Wyoming was fought. It was with peculiar feelings that I approached the monument erected to commemorate that interesting incident in our Revolutionary struggle. While there is nothing very picturesque in the granite pile before you, it refers one back to the time when this beautiful valley, where nature comes forth in all her loveliness to cheer the weary traveler, was running with human gore; when a combined British Tory and Indian force was slaughtering our patriotic countrymen, spreading devastation and waste on all sides.
Upon the slabs placed in the right and eft sides were the names of the slain, of which there were two officers, ten captains, ten lieutenants, and six ensigns. I did not count the number of privates, for the shrill sound of the whistle was borne to me by the gentle zephyrs, announcing that the train was approaching; so I left in haste, arrived at the dépôt in time to get comfortably seated, and was swiftly borne from the beautiful valley of Wyoming.
BIOGRAPHY OF THE BIBLE.
ABRAHAM, THE FATHER OF THE FAITHFUL. T is said of Abraham, in the epistle to the Romans, that he believed God, and it, that is, his belief, was counted unto him for righteousness. The apostle quotes from the book of Genesis, thereby evincing not only that the New Testament teaching is the same as that of the Old, but that the cardinal doctrine of salvation by faith was no novelty even in the time of Moses. He tells us, not that Abraham merited anything by his obedience, by his diligence, or even by his love, but that he believed, and that his belief was counted to him for righteousness.
To a delineation of his character and to his personal history the sacred writer devotes more space than he has occupied with all who preceded him; and, throughout the Bible, frequent reference is made to his faith and his obedience. He is styled the father of the faithful and the friend of God.
Abraham was by birth a Chaldean, but the precise location of Ur, his birthplace, is unknown. It is supposed to have been in a district which lies above the confluence of the Tigris and the Euphrates, which afterward became the seat of the great Babylonian monarchy. The inhabitants were idolaters, and worshiped the stars of heaven. To these Chaldean stargazers is traced the origin of astronomical science, and among them Sabianism, or the worship of the heavenly bodies, and other idolatries, had already greatly perverted the simple forms of the patriarchal religion, and obscured the great design of its typical ceremonies. It is probable that Abraham, in the early part of his life, was himself an idolater, for although that fact is not distinctly stated, it is said that his fathers served other gods.
He is first introduced to us when he had already reached his seventy-fifth year, and of his early life and of his conversion to the true religion we have no account upon which any dependence can be placed. The Jews fill up this space in the life of their great progenitor with many ingenious fictions. One of these, accounting for his conversion, I shall here subjoin as a specimen of their traditions :
As Abraham was walking by night from the grotto where he was born to the city of Babylon, so runs the story, he gazed on the stars of heaven, and among them on the beautiful planet Venus. Behold, said he within himself, the God and Lord of the universe. But the star set and disappeared, and Abraham felt that the Lord of the universe could not thus be liable to change. Shortly after, he beheld the moon at the full. Lo, he cried, the Divine Creator, the manifest Deity! but the moon sunk below the horizon, and Abraham made the same reflection as at the setting of the evening star. All the rest of the night he passed in profound rumination; at sunrise he stood before the gates of Babylon, and saw the whole people prostrate in adoration before the great luminary of day. Wondrous orb, he exclaimed, thou surely art the Creator and Ruler of all nature! but thou, too, hastest, like the rest, to thy setting! neither then art thou my Creator, my Lord, or my God.
While Abraham dwelt in Ur, the sacred writer tells us that the God of glory appeared to him, in what manner we are not informed, but certainly in a way that was satisfactory to Abraham, and said unto him, Get thee out from thy country and from thy kindred, and go into the land which I shall show thee. In unhesitating obedience Abraham went out, not knowing whither he went. He was accompanied by his wife Sarah, Terah his father, his brother Nahor, and Lot, his nephew, a circumstance which seems to indicate that they also had abandoned idolatry, and were now worshipers of the true God They pitched their tents, at first, in Haran or Charran, in Mesopotamia, an extensive tract of country, so called from its lying between the great rivers, the Euphrates and the Tigris, and after remaining there a few years his father Terah died, at the age of two hundred and five years.
Soon after this God again appeared to Abraham, and annexed to the command for his farther removal the promise that he should become the father of a great nation, and that in him should all the families of the earth be blessed. That the latter part of this declaration had reference to the Messiah, the promised seed of the woman, there can be no doubt. Your father Abraham, said Jesus to the Jews, rejoiced to see my day, and he saw it and was glad. How did he see the day of Christ? I answer, he saw it by faith in God's promise; he saw it, indeed, afar off as respects time, but, believing in the word of Jehovah, he was enabled to roll back the curtain of the future, and to rejoice in things to come as though they were already present.
In obedience to this second call, Abraham departed with his wife and nephew into Palestine, then inhabited by the descendants of Ham, and called Canaan. Unto thy seed, says the Almighty, will I give this land, and there, as in every other place where Abraham sojourned, he built an altar unto the Lord; that is, he avowed publicly his belief in the true God. He did this in the midst of idolatry and superstition, and is in this respect an exemplar of the wise man's injunction, In all thy ways acknowledge God, and he shall direct thy paths. It is comparatively an easy matter to appear religious in the presence of those who fear God, but, alas! how many act as if ashamed of their profession, ashamed of their Redeemer when thrown into the company of the scorner and the skeptic.
While dwelling in Canaan Abraham's faith was put to a severe test. The first famine of which history gives any account occurred in that land so renowned for its remarkable fertility; a famine sent by Heaven as a punishment for the wickedness of the inhabitants; as says the Psalmist. He turneth rivers into a wilderness, and the water springs into dry ground; a fruitful land into barrenness, for the wickedness of them that dwell therein. It was, says Moses, a grievous famine; and a less lively faith than Abraham's would have been staggered at this unexpected event, and driven him back to his native land.
During the prevalence of this famine Abraham retired with his possessions, for a season, into Egypt; and while there,
knowing the dissolute character of the Egyptians, he directed Sarah to call herself his sister, which assertion, although literally true, she being the daughter of Terah by another mother, was in fact and reality designed to make a false impression, and consequently partook of the essence and the guilt of an untruth. His conduct in this respect is not, of course, held up for imitation; and it is remarkable that by the very act he fell into the danger which he had hoped thereby to avoid. As appears from the history, if he had told the whole truth in the first instance, he would have escaped that danger into which both himself and his wife were plunged by his unmanly prevarication. The sacred writer relates the simple fact, with its consequences, leaving us to deduce from it a practical lesson for our own guidance; that lesson is that, in addition to the guilt of prevarication in the sight of God, it is always accompanied by danger more or less to all who indulge it. Truth is a straight line, a plain path; he who walks therein is safe, for God is there, while he who wanders from this path, by direct falsehood, by equivocation, or by the suppression of essential facts, entangles himself in a labyrinth wherein he may not hope for the protection or the blessing of the Almighty. Indeed, to leave out of the question the retributions of eternity; to say nothing even of peace of conscience, or the approbation of God, the plain truth is always most easy, most safe, most honorable.
Soon after the famine to which we have adverted Abraham returned to Canaan, where he again seeks and obtains the favor of God. He pitches his tent at Bethel, a city at that time called Luz, which word signifies an almond. It was so called, probably, from the number of almond-trees which grew in those parts. We shall see hereafter why the name was changed to Bethel. And there, says the sacred writer, where he had built an altar at first, he again calls upon the name of the Lord. Himself and his nephew Lot, for they still continued together, being blessed in their temporal affairs, and having become rich in the possession of flocks and herds a quarrel arose between their respective herdsmen. In this matter the character of Abraham appears in an amiable and instructive light. Let there, says he, be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee, and between