Imágenes de páginas
PDF

openings in the wall for a door and window. In the middle of the whispering-place are these verses:

Doubt not but God, who sits on high,

Thy secret prayers can hear,
"When a dead-wall thus cunningly

Conveys soft whispers to the ear.

About the choir are twelve chapels, dedicated to the Twelve Apostles. Under the church is the charnelhouse, in which are large quantities of bones piled np. Here, also, are four chapels, in the altar-places of which some pisciiue, or basins for the sacred water, are yet to be seen. Our Lady's Chapel, as it is called from the Virgin Mary, is the latest part of the church in date. It has been used for early morning prayers since the time of the seats being removed thither from the choir, when that was beautified. At the east end is a fine high altar; and a large window, of curiously-painted glass; but the figures are now effaced. This chapel is Raid to have been once richly and expensively adorned. The battlements which were upon it were destroyed during the disturbances of the Commonwealth. The lofty and elegant Tower, to which we have already alluded, has a peal of eight bells: it is stated iu a small but good account of the Cathedral, printed at Gloucester, that tlje chimes play to the following verses by Dr. Jeffries: if the poetry is humble, the sentiments at least are excellent.

Him! hark! how swift the minutes fly;

And we not yet prepared to die.

The chiming clocks repeat their sound,

To warn poor mortuls to the ground.

By day, by night, or in the morning,

Death strikes his dart, without a warning;

How quick, how quick, the dreary call'.

The moments fly, and we must fall.

Awake, awake, thou drowsy mon,

And haste to put thy garments on; _

Mringout thy team, while 1 fetch mine, ,

And cad up Doll to milk the kine.

Gee, Dobbin, gee, the clock strikes ei^ht,

And wc shall hear the chimes go straight

At eight, at one, again at five.

They warn us to repent and live!

If we repent, and love, and fear,
We're sure to find, our God is near:
O let us, then, do all we can,
For He will bless the husbandman.
Dangers attend us, from the womb.
And aching cares point to the tomb;
O then, it is but just and right,
To pray at morn, at noon, at night;
That, when we leave this world of sorrow,
We may be happy on the morrow.

The great Cloisters are well worthy of notice for their beauty and extent. On the south side are twenty seats, originally intended for the monks. Oliver Cromwell, when he inarched his army to Gloucester, disgraced this place, but himself and his memory still more, by making it a stable for his horses.

We will conclude this memoir with a list of several of the eminent persons who have been buried in Gloucester Cathedral; though with regard to a few of the first named, uncertain tradition can be the only authority for the statement.

Arvikaous, King of Britain, of whom it is said that lie was converted to Christianity by Joseph of Arimathea, and that he died and was buried at Gloucester, A.d. 74.

Lucius, the great grandson of the preceding, and king of Britain, who, A.d. 179, appointed a bishop at Gloucester. The original church of St. Peter's, Coruhill, London, is reported to have been founded by him, or at least in his reign, about 1653 years ago! Fuller, in his Church History, says that Lucius built a church at Gloucester.

Osrick, King of Northumberland (died 729); KynkBuro. his sister, first abbess; Kadhurg, and her sister, Evah, second and third abbesses); Prince Ethelred (died 903), and his wife, Elfleda, (920.) Abbot Serlo (1 104), chaplain to William the First. Abbot Aldred, who built the old church, (loia.) Robert Cukiiioise, Duko of

Normandy, eldest son of William the First: he died at Cardiff Castle, in 1134, after a confinement thereof twentysix years. His effigy, curiously carved in Irish oak, lying at length, cross-legged, remained perfect till 1641, when the parliamentary soldiers broke it in pieces. The pieces were, however, bought by Sir Humphry Tracy, and at the Restoration refitted and fresh painted. Near him lies his brother, Richard Curthoise. Humphrey Bohun, Earl of Hereford (1276), and his wife. King Edward the Second, (murdered 1327.) Abbot Seabroke (died 1457), and Parker, (last Abbot.) Bishop Miles Smith (died 1024), called, from his learning, particularly his vast knowledge of the Latin, Greek, and Eastern languages, "the Walkiii"Library." He was one of the persons appointed by KinoJames the First, to examine the new translation of the Bible. Ho also translated the four greater and the twelve lesser Prophets, and composed the preface which now appears before our Chureli Bibles. He was lamented by the poor, to whom ho had been a kind friend. General Crawford (killed at the siege of Hereford, 1649.) Judge Powell, praised by Swift for his good nature and wit, (died 1713.) The pious Bishop Benson (died 1752), who expended the greater part of his income in relieving the poor, aud to whose memory, on a fine marble monument, is a beautiful inscription, for which we regret we have not room. Dean Tucker, an eminent writer (died 1799.) The learned Bishop Warburton (died 1779.) &e.

One of the most interesting monuments in the cathedral is that to the memory of Mrs.Morley, who died in childbirth, at sea, on her way from India to this country, aged 29. Besides the inscription recording the event, the following passage from the Revelation (xx. 13,) is placed on the upper part of the monument:—And the Sea gave up the dead which were in it."

Many might be mentioned besides, but our limits preclude us from doing more than alluding to two other memorials of the departed great and good. la the body of the Cathedral is a very beautiful monument to the late excellent Rev. R. Raikes, a native of Gloucester; as well as a fine statue to one of the noblest benefactors to his race that ever lived,— we mean Dr. Edward Jenner, "the discoverer of Vaccination," who died at Berkeley, his native place, January 26, 1823, and was buried in Glou> cester Cathedral.

A Profligate young fellow seeing an aged hermit go by him barefoot, "Father," says he, "you are in a very mise rablc condition if there is not another world." "True, Son," said the hermit, "but what is thy condition if there be?"

How gloomy would be the mansions of the dead to him, who did not know that he should never die; that what now acts shall continue its agency, and what now thinks shall think on for ever. Dr. Johnson,

Some months before his death. Sir Henry Wotton became retired and contemplative; in which time he was often visited by a friend, to whom upon an occasion he spake to this purpose: "I have, in my passage to my grave, met with most of those joys of which a discoursive soul is capable; and been entertained with more inferior pleasures than the sons of men are usually made partakers of: nevertheless, in this voyage I have not always floated on the calm sea of content; but have often met with cross winds and storms, and with many troubles of mind and temptations to evil. And yet, though I have been, and am a man compassed about with human frailties, Almighty God hath by his grace prevented me from making shipwreck of faith and a good conscience; the thought of which is now the joy of my heart, and I most humbly praise him for it: and I humbly acknowledge that it was not myself, but he that hath kept me to this great age, and let him tako the glory of his great mercy. And, my dear friend, I now see that I draw near my harbour of death; that harbour that will secure me from all the future storms and waves of this restless world; and I praise God I am willing to leave it, and expect a better; that world wherein dwellclh

righteousness: and I long for it 1" Walton's Life.

105—2

[merged small][graphic][merged small]

The country inhabited by the Koords is a district of central Asia, known by the name of Koordistan. It is situate on the confines of Persia and Turkey, and is bounded on the north by Armenia, on the west by the river Tigris, on the east by the plains of the Persian provinces, Irak and Aderbijan, and on the south by the Turkish territories of Bagdad. The tract comprised within these limits is Koordistan, properly so called; but scattered tribes of Koords are to be found dispersed over a much wider extent of country. The general face of the soil may be soon described. It is almost one immense cluster of small mountains, occasionally intersected by loftier ranges, on the summits of which, as in every other part of Asia, there are table-lands, which, from their extreme elevation, arc subject to intense cold.

The most remarkable feature in the character of this people is the savage independence which they have ever maintained, during the course of twenty-three centuries. In the time of Xenophon, who mentions them under the name of the Kardouchoi, "they were a warlike nation, and not subject to the king;" and the same description is equally applicable to them at the present day. Their mountain-chiefs have indeed'generally acknowledged the authority of a paramount lord; but his supremacy has never extended to the right of interference in the internal government of their country. As they form a frontier of separation between Turkey and Persia, their political allegiance is divided between the rulers of those empires. The southern and western districts profess to be subject to the Turkish government, while those that are situated more to the north and east, declare themselves to be under the protection of the king of Persia. .The Ottoman Sultan, being less able than the Persian monarch to coerce the payment of tribute, or to exact military service, is, therefore, favoured with by far the .larger share of this unproductive allegiance.

The Koords have never been united under one ruler, but the chief of each tribe exercises all the functions of a sovereign within his own territory. By far the most powerful of these feudatories is the Walt/, or Prince, of Ardelan, a large province of Persian Koordistan. "My country," to use his own words, when addressing Sir John Malcolm in 1810, " is above two hundred miles in length, and nearly as much in breadth. We owe and pay allegiance to the kings of Persia, but we are exempted from that severity of rule which often ruins our neighbours, who possess .rich plains and wealthy cities. Ardelan presents

little - temptation to an invader. It abounds in nothing," added he, smiling, "but brave men and hardy horses."

The habits of the Koords are those of other pastoral tribes in Asia. The mountains afford food for their flocks, in which their wealth mainly consists, and a secure abode for thenfselves and their families. They descend to the plains in the early spring to cultivate the land, and in summer to reap the harvest. The products of the soil are various; the valleys are highly fruitful, and, besides grain of various sorts, yield large crops of flax, cotton, tobacco, and manna, which is here the substitute for sugar.

But the grand distinguishing characteristic of the Koords, is their inordinate and determined spirit of plunder. With them plundering is a natural occupation; and every unhappy stranger, whom chance or curiosity throws in their way, they regard as their lawful prey. Should the unfortunate being happen to be poor and ragged, he is severely beaten for not having brought sufficient property to make him worth robbing. They are not only daring robbers, but skilful thieves; and their boldness is solely equalled by their address. Sir John Malcolm, on his mission to the Court of Persia in 1810, had scarcely set foot in their territory, when he was attacked, in spite of his imposing appearance, and his numerous attendants. Captain Keppel was closely watched for several miles, and narrowly escaped a similar visitation. Mr. Buckingham was less fortunate; a contribution of 2500 piastres (about 125'. sterling), was levied on the caravan by which he journeyed, before it was allowed to proceed.

The authority of the chiefs of Koordistan is exercised with mildness, and obeyed with cheerfulness. Its enforcement is, in all cases, attended by an extreme regard to the national customs and prejudices. A remarkable instance of this occurred when Sir John Malcolm visited Persia in 1810. "I was encamped," he says, "at a village called ZSghi, situated within twenty-five miles of Sennah, the capital of Ardelan. The officer who attended as Mehmandcir, or • entertainer,' to the mission, on the part of the Waly, informed mo, that a man of the tribe of Soorsoor (some families of which were encamped within a mile), had, the day before, murdered his father. He will, of course, be put to death," I observed. "I do not think he will," said the Mehmiindar; "he is himself heir, and there is no one to demand his blood." "Will not the prince of the country take care that this parricide does not escape?" "The Waly," he cooly replied, "cannot interfere in a case like this, unless appealed to; and, after all," said he, "if the affair be agitated, the murder will be compounded. Among Koords, who are always at war," he added, "the life of an active young man is much too valuable to be taken away on account of a dead old one!"

There are several cities in Koordistan, but the military tribes of that country seldom congregate in large encampments. The prince of Ardelan lives in great luxury and splendour in his capital, whose inhabitants mostly appear to enjoy affluence. Their condition presents a striking contrast with that of the neighbouring rude population, who glory in their wild freedom; and while they rejoice in the state and magnificence of the prince and chiefs to whom they owe hereditary allegiance, look down with pity and contempt on the less-warlike, but more civilized community, by whom their rulers are immediately surrounded. Knowledge they have ever despised, and religion is scarcely known among them. They profess, indeed, the faith of Mahomet, but are, in general, as regardless of its substance as of its ceremonies. Sir John Malcolm found forty families of Nestorian Christians residing in Sennah, the heads of which, with their pastor, visited him. "There were," says the Author of Sketches of Persia, "many of the same sect, the good priest informed us, in Koordistan, who had resided there ever since its separation from the Greek Church, a period of thirteen centuries; as for himself and his little Hock," he added, "they had a small church at Sennah, and were, as their fathers had been, not only tolerated, but protected by the princes of Ardelan."

The costume of the Koords is picturesque in the ext.vme. The lively and varied colours of their dresses, composed of cloth, silks, and velvets, far exceed the lombre hues of the Persian cottons and sheep-skins. Their persons are equally striking, especially in the countenance, which has an originality and ferociousness of air quite characteristic. Their general appearance may be fairly estimated from the illustration prefixed to this article, which contains the portraits of three of them that were sketched by Mr. Morier, who tells us, that the man with a spear in his hand was called Okous, "bull," on account of his great strength.

Gratitude.—A Swedish Colonel, by an accidental fire which consumed his house, lost the whole of his property. Some time after, a lottery was set on foot by his friends, to reimburse him. In the opening of this business, a letter arrived from Pomerania, enclosing one hundred and fifty rix-dollars, without the name of any donor, but with a short note, requesting that the Colonel would remember "the broken punch-bowl." It was a long time before he could unravel this mystery; but at last, he recollected that many years before, being in a tavern where there was a great concourse of people and much rejoicing, a female servant dropped from her hands a large China punch-bowl full of punch. Her mistress, in violent anger, threatened her with instant dismissal, and that she should be sent tu prison if she did not make*good the loss: upon which the Colonel interceded in behalf of the poor girl, and himself paid for the damage which had been sustained. This curious anecdote becoming the subject of conversation in Stockholm, at length reached the ears of the King. Gustavo* the Fourth was much pleased with it, and sent a present of one thousand rix-dollars, with this message: "I am aware that the Colonel's friends have instituted a lottery upon his account. It is prohibited by the laws, to undertake any lottery without previous permission from the master of the police. Tell the Colonel I know that officer; that he is an humane and polite man, not likely to refuse a reasonable request; it is my wish that the Colonel should ask his permission for the lottery, that I may be enabled to bear a part in it." Dr. E. D. Clarke.

He that sins against men may fear discovery, but he who sins against God is sure of it.——J Ones ofNayland.

When Dr. Johnson had been detained in the isle of Sky by the state of the weather, he was suddenly roused, at being told that the wind was fair, and the vessel in which he was to embark, ready to sail. He immediately, with composure and solemnity, repeated the observation of Epietetus, that, " as man has the voyage of death before him, whatever may be his employment, he should be ready at the master's call; and an old man should never be far from the shore, lest he should not be able to get himself ready."

FELIX NEFF,

PASTOR OF THE HIGH ALPS.

We lately* gave some account of the zealous and indefatigable Oberlin. To that account it may not be an unsuitable supplement, if we now add a short memoir of one who professed to consider Oberlin as "bis delight and his model." This was Felix Neff, Pastor of the High Alps, in Dauphinc. But it may render his history more intelligible, and, perhaps, more interesting, if we first say a few words, both of the people among whom he exercised his ministry, and of the local circumstances of the region where his lot was cast.

Our readers, then, must carry themselves in fancy to the lofty Alps that separate France from Italy. In the descent from these mountains, on either side, there lie embosomed deep and secluded valleys, in which, it appears, there have existed, from very early ages of the Gospel, generations of Christians, who have professed the faith of Christ as they received it from the mouth of their first instructors, and uncontaminated by the later corruptions of the church of Rome. Of these Alpine professors of primitive Christianity, the inhabitants of the valleys on the Italian side have been the more notorious, both from the long and severe persecutions to which they were once subjected, and also from some interesting and popular works which, from time to time have been written concerning them. They are well known under the name of the Vaudois; although it is still a common mistake, in respect to this people, to adopt the calumnious statement of their adversaries, that they are a sect which took its rise from Peter Waldo, of Lyons, in 1172 j whereas, the truth is, they never submitted to the authority of Rome, they never recognised her unscriptural principles and practices, but have constantly and strenuously resisted them, whenever any attempt has been made to impose so grievous a yoke upon their necks.

The Alpines of the French side of the mountains, although professing mainly the same principles with their brethren of Piedmont, and equally a race of primitive Christians, have, however, been less celebrated. It is not that they have not had their persecutions; for, from early times of the papal ascendency until 1786, the ecclesiastical sword was perpetually whetted against them. Their want of celebrity must principally be attributed to the forbidding nature of the country which they inhabited. The valleys of Piedmont are fertile and smiling in comparison; and, compared with any thing that ire are accustomed to see,—compared even with the Ban de la Roche of Oberlin, the region of Neff's ministry —is, beyond measure, savage and appalling. The higher parts are covered with perpetual snows. In descending, the traveller sees naked rocks towering to the skies, and hears the torrent thundering in the deep abyss beneath; even where the valleys become more broad and open, the few sterile fields hang over precipices, and arc encumbered with enormous blocks of granite rolled down from the cliffs above; and the pasturages are, many of them, inaccessible to cattle, and scarcely safe for sheep. In this wild region the natives are poor and uncultivated; their manners rude; their persons and their habitations squalid; and every accommodation and comfort, rendered almost necessary to the inhabitants of polished countries, is entirely unknown. It cannot be a matter of surprise, that these poor mountaineers have had few strangers to visit them,—few historians to search their annals, and to commemorate their virtues. And to the Rev. W. S. Gilly, who has, of

* Saturday Magaiin*, Vol. III., p. 246.

late years, taken so active a part in his researches among the Vaudois, we are under an additional obligation for having, also, made us familiarly acquainted with the French Protestants of Dauphine, Provence, and Languedoc.

To undertake the charge of such a field must have required no ordinary measure of zeal; but such was the zeal possessed by Felix NelF. This extraordinary man was born of humble parents, in the neighbourhood of Geneva, in the year 1798. His first employment was that of a gardener; he afterwards entered into the military service, and attained the rank of a Serjeant of artillery; but he soon resolved to dedicate himself to the Christian ministry. For this he prepared himself by study, reflection, and prayer; and it is probable, that his inbred love for the. wilder scenes of nature co-operated with his anxiety for a field of extensive usefulness, in causing him to exult with joy, on receiving the appointment to the spiritual care of the Protestant villages of the section of Arvieux, in the High Alps. This was in the year 1823, in the 26th year of his age.

We have already given some general notion of the region where Ncff was placed; but there were some peculiar difficulties attached to his situation that should not be unnoticed. Some dozen oi fourteen villages were subjected to his pastoral care, but these crept up the banks of the various streams that descended from the mountains; and so widely were they scattered, that, from the house provided for the pastor at La Chalp, he had to travel 12 miles to the west, CO to the cast, 20 to the south, and 33 to the north, when his services were required by the people at the extremity of his parish. These journeys Neff generally performed on foot, with his staff In his hand and his wallet on • his shoulder, and over roads the most rugged, precipitous, and unsafe. In particular, he had often to traverse the Pass of the Guil, one of the most sublime, as also one of the most dangerous, of the Alpine defiles, where several travellers are known to lose their lives every year. On his arrival at any of his villages, after these fatiguing journeys, he was, indeed, received with enthusiastic welcome by the simple inhabitants; but the fare and accommodation that awaited him were of the meanest kind. For the various ministerial offices which he wished to perform, but few of his villages could afford a church. After long exposure to the keen blasts of the mountains, he often had to endure the suffocating heat of a stable, where he was obliged to assemble his congregation;—a table being placed for the minister, some forms or chairs were brought for the rest, all sitting, with a thick carpet of manure under their feet, while two or three lamps, suspended on strings, threw their light on the plainfeatured and plainly-attired group, and showed the cattle ranged in the manger behind.

Yet, amid all these discouragements, Ncff pursued his course with indefatigable diligence, and also with consummate prudence. Like Oberlin, he felt the importance of improving the temporal condition of these forlorn people. He taught them better modes of gardening and tillage, and amended some of their domestic and personal habits. Like Oberlin, he, also, had prejudices to encounter; and he achieved no easy victory when, after much contradiction, he persuaded his people to try a new process of irrigating their meadows. Neff, too, found it necessary to labour with his own hands; and, on the occasions of his building, first a church at Violens, and afterwards a school-house at Dormilleuse, he was seen, not only superintending and directing the operations of smiths, and carpenters, and ihasons,

but working in person in levelling the ground, wielding the line and plummet, and even carrying on his shoulders large stones to be used in the erection of the building.

These labours were, however, altogether subservient to his great purpose of promoting the spiritual improvement of his people, and were undertaken only as he could spare time from his pastoral occupations of preaching, of catechizing, and of visiting from hamlet to hamlet, and from house to house. Neff dealt but little in controversy; and there is a pleasing account of his journeying for some time with a Roman Catholic clergyman, and producing a strong impression upon his mind, without exciting the least suspicion in his companion, that he had been conversing with an opponent in religious principles. But, if his theology was not controversial, it was eminently spiritual. He had declined to receive ordination in his native state of Geneva, on account of the departure of that Church from the ancient principles of the Gospel, and of its tendency even to deny the Divinity of Jesus Christ. In this, as in all the peculiar and distinctive doctrines of the Christian Religion, Neff w'as most decided and strenuous in his belief: and it was with the view to imprint the same principles on the mind of his parishioners, that he undertook his incessant and exhausting labours. In order to accommodate his instructions to each particular case, he made himself acquainted with individuals, with their dispositions, their tastes, and their habits. With a view to keep alive in their minds the flame of piety, he promoted among them associations for prayer and for reading the Bible, an arrangement which, although often of a very questionable nature, was, perhaps, rendered advisable by the peculiar circumstances of his flock, which could so seldom receive the visits of its pastor. With the same view, he gave encouragement to the practice of sacred music; and he established small depots of the Bible and of religious books, especially Nardin's Sermons, for circulation and sale among his people.

We have already seen, with what readiness, on his arrival at any of the hamlets, he preached the word of God, in the church, if the place afforded one, or, as the want of a church more frequently made necessary, in any room that could be used for the purpose. It was, also, his practice to form classes of young persons, whom, in the course of his progresses, he might catechize and instruct, according to their proficiency, making lists of those who had not yet appeared at the Lord's tabic, and preparing them for that solemn ordinance. Indeed, it was his first and principal care, to form the rising generation; for which purpose, knowing the utter impossibility of giving instruction by his own individual labour to so many, he was particularly anxious to train up a number of schoolmasters and mistresses, whom he might plant in the several villages within his verge. Nor, perhaps, can the characteristic energy of Neff be better exemplified, than by an account of the measures taken by him, for this purpose, in the hamlet of Dormilleuse.

Dormilleuse was the highest of his mountainvillages, a spot almost inaccessible, and of unparalleled sterility and savageness. Yet, in this place, after having built a school-house, he induced twentyfour young men to pass a winter of severe privation and rigid confinement, for the purpose of receiving his instructions. They were walled up with ice and Buow. Their fare consisted of a store of salted meat, and rye bread, which had been baked in the autumn, and, when they came to eat it, was so hard, that it required to be chopped, up with hatchets, and. to be moistened with hot water. They studied fourteen hours in the day, for five months; and their only recreations were to • pass from instructions ia reading, writing, arithmetic, grammar and geometry, to lectures in geography and music. For the purpose of forming this school of future teachers, Neff suspended all his other occupations and purraits; and prosecuted his work with a patience, humility, good humour and perseverance, which were beyond all praise, but which had their reward in the improvement and in the gratitude of his volunteer scholars.

It is, however, painful to add, that to this enterprise Neff may almost be said, to have sacrificed his life. His constitution, which was never strong, and had been enfeebled by his incessant toils, seems to have sunk under this effort. The spring and summer of 1826, were cold and ungenial; and in avoiding the danger of an avalanche, or fall of a mass of snow, he slipped down, and received a severe sprain in his knee. He again attempted, in the following winter, to resume the labours of his adult school at Dormilleuse. But the effort was too much for him; and on the 17th of April, 1827, amid the tears of his simple and attached Alpines, he took his leave of them, in the hope of recruiting his health, but, as the event proved, for ever. He tried the effects of a milder climate, and some of the warm baths of Switzerland; but the tone of his stomach, £iid his powers of digestion, were entirely gone: and after long sufferings, which he endured with a jctience and resignation the most exemplary, he expired at Geneva, on the 12th of April, 1829, in the thirty-second year of his age.

In comparing Neff with Oberlin, we perceive in both, the same disinterestedness, the same benevolence, the same ardour of mind, the same personal piety, and devoted zeal to the glory of God. Yet we cannot but be struck with the different fate of the two men. The career of the Alpine pastor, in all its outward circumstances, was dreary and cheerless. The picture of his life is not embellished by the neat manse and the cultivated garden. We see no father surrounded by a blooming family, prolonging his existence in health and peace, to an extreme old age, and at length carried to the grave, amid the blessings of a grateful population. The abode of Neff, when it received him, was cheered by no domestic comforts, no family endearments. His short ministry, was almost entirely migratory; and, sinking under the fatigue of his incessant and laborious routine of duty, he breathed his last at an early age, far removed from the objects of his fond love and tamest solicitude. The decrees of Divine Providence assign to different individuals, a varying measure of success and prosperity in this life. Yet the example of Neff, happy and animated, even in the midst of his severest toils, by the recollection of the holy cause in which he was engaged, can hardly be without its effect, in stimulating every soldier and servant of Christ to like zeal and devotion. And we humbly trust, that he, himself, has now experienced the truth of the last words, which his dying hand was able to trace:—" I ascend to our Father in entire peace! Victory! victory! victory! through Jesus Christ! Felix Neff."

If any one pretend that he is warranted by the superiority of his religious attainments, or the spirituality of Ins character, to be negligent in attending the outward ordinances of religion, let him learn better things from Ins Saviour, who was obedient unto the law, and submitted to fulfil all righteousness:" and so let him be admonished, whilst the higher duties of religion are done by him, not U> leave the others undone. Bishop Mant.

THE IDOLS OF THE SAXONS.
V. Thor.

1 Horrifl king, besmeared with blood

Of human sacrifice, and parents' tears. MlT/row.

The Saxons appear to have engrafted much of the ancient Roman idolatry upon their own; a circumstance which probably arose from the influence of Roman arts and arms in Germany, during the government of some of the Caesars. Not that the deities-were the same, or borrowed by one country from the other, but that the more savage people conformed themselves, in many respects, to the more powerful and refined, ascribing the character and attributes of the Roman idols to their own. This produced great confusion: Woden was sometimes called Mercury, while the temper and offices assigned to him, were those of Mars; and Thor, the son of Woden, was changed into Jupiter. Indeed, tremendous as we showed Woden to have been in the eyes of the Saxons, his son Thor, the subject of our present paper, seems, like Jupiter, to have had a place of honour assigned to him in some of the Northern nations higher than that belonging to his father. Among them was a temple richly adorned with gold, in which were exposed to view the three idols, Woden, Thor, and Friga. The chief of these was Thor, who sat on a couch, with a crown on his head and a sceptre in his. hand, having the other two, one on each side, but at such a distance, that the couch appeared especially intended for him. As the best service of devotion which they thought they could offer to Thor, these misguided creatures sacrificed human beings at his shrine!

How awful is it to reflect, that in the idolatrous worship of certain regions, even in the present days, scenes are presented, as senseless and appalling as ever disgraced the periods of ancient darkness! In that valuable work, the Rev. Dr. Buchanan's Christian Researches in Asia, in 1806, we meet with a description of the idol called Juggernaut, or Jagganatha, the nature of whose worship does not yield in wickedness and folly to Woden or to Thor. It rather surpasses it. There arc, indeed, some striking points of resemblance between the representation given of the false Indian deity, and that of the Saxon Thor.

Dr. Buchanan writes: "I have seen Juggernaut. No record of ancient or modern history can give, I think, an adequate idea of this valley of death; it may truly be compared with the ' valley of Hinnom.' The idol Juggernaut has been considered as the Moloch of the present age; and ho is justly so named, for the sacrifices offered up to him by self-devotement, are not less criminal, perhaps not less numerous, than those recorded of the Moloch of Canaan. This morning I viewed the temple*; a stupendous fabric, and truly commensurate with the extensive sway of ' the horrid king.'"

These considerations on the darkness and sins of paganism, awaken our gratitude at being born in a Christian and Protestant land, in which we may worship God in spirit and in truth. At the same time, they lead us to look forward to that promised time, when the Redeemer's kingdom shall have come, and the light of Christianity be every -where diffused:

And sullen Moloch, fled,
llalli left in shadows dread,

His bnrnins idol all of blackest hue;
Tn vain with cymbals' ring,
They call the grisly kinp.

In dismal dance about the furnace blue:
The brutish gods of Nile as last,
Isis, and Orus, and the dog Anubis haste.

Not is Osiris seen

In .Memphian grove or green,

Trampling the unshowered grass, with lowings loud:
Nor can he be at rest
Within hissacred chest;

Nought but profouudest hell can be his shroud;
In vain with timbrell'd anthems dark.
The sable-stoled sorcerers bear his worshipp'd ark.
• Sec Saturday Magazine, Vol. I., p. 4.

« AnteriorContinuar »