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RELIGION IN HEART AND LIFE.
Naturalists have remarked that the -sometimes gilded, sometimes black, eagle has a very quick, threatening eye, now with one head, and now with two,a little sunk in the head, and protected by deeds of rapine have been perpetrated a prominency in the forehead which a which have deluged the world with blood. little resembles an eyebrow. The tongue Truly “where the carcase is, thither are does not terminate in a point, like that of the eagles gathered together.” So was it other birds, but is cartilaginous, and with the Romans, one of whose chief almost square at the end ; and at its root standards was an eagle, when they came there are two hard points, like the iron point down on the decayed remnant of the
arrow. Its stomach corresponds Jewish nation, as prophesied by Him with the voracity which is one of its whose word is truth; (Matt. xxiv. 29 ;) characteristics; for, when thoroughly in- and so will all who oppose that word, flated, it is two inches in diameter. The and “neglect so great salvation,” be bones are very hard, and have little yet destroyed. (Luke xvii. 37; Rev. xix. marrow in them. Its blood is thick and 17, 18.) fibrous ; and the bill is sharp and corro- The Bible, from Genesis to the Aposive.
calypse, abounds with illustrations and The sharpness of eye which belongs to imagery derived from the structure and this bird is a quality it seems greatly to habits of this powerful race of birds. value. To preserve it, as soon as their That great Monarch, Nebuchadnezzar, is young begin to have strength, they turn referred to by the Prophet Ezekiel, (chap. them towards the sun, and make them fix
xvii. 3,) as
a great eagle, with great their eyes upon it. And if any of the wings, long-winged, full of feathers, which young cannot bear the sun's rays, it is had divers colours;" while Isaiah, alluding said that they chase them away from their to the same King of Assyria, prophesies nests, as if they judged them unworthy that “the stretching out of his wings of protection and assistance. But they shall fill the breadth of Thy land, O attach themselves to those who stand this Immanuel.” To “ mount up on wings test with a remarkable affection, even ex- as eagles" is imagery as poetical as it posing their own life for their preservation is powerful and true to nature. The mode in the time of danger. One reason why in which the eagle trains its Foung has they can gaze so steadfastly in the face of been described in Holy Writ by one who the sun, and support his severest rays, is had, doubtless, observed the eagles as he because they have two eyelids; one with fed the flocks of Jethro among the mounwhich they shut their eyes entirely; the tains of Arabia Job often refers to this other, which is thinner, they draw over bird and its habits. The Assyrians, 13 them on looking at a luminous body. their monuments show us, employed its
In some States, the eagle is the national head, claws, and wings, as emblems of emblem; and under its expanded form, strength, ferocity, and swiftness.
Religion iw Heart and Life.
RICHIARD BAXTER'S EARLY LIFE ity stood forth in their respective might.
AND FIRST PASTORATE. Names, overlooked amidst the sparkling (Concluded from page 29.)
and superficial literature of the present
age, were then symbols of intellectual The year 1638 commences a new and strength and great ideas. There were deeply - interesting period of Baxter's giants on the earth in those days. In history. The first Charles was in the the writings of Downham, Burgess, midst of his reign, and every day filled up Hooker, and others of kindred sentiment, & new chapter in the volume of God's Baxter had imbibed the spirit and principles designs. Great men contended for great of the powerful Conformist party. Interprinciples. Conformity and Nonconform- course with Walter Cradock, (a godly
RELIGION IN HEART AND LIFE.
against its Minister and his Curate,who were both alleged to be ignorant and profligate. This led to Baxter's acceptance of an invitation to labour there ; and in 1640, when twenty-five years of age, he commenced ministering in a town where he wrote many of his best books, and pursued with unwearying energy the duties of the pastoral office, the ultimate results of which will be seen above the disquietudes of time before the throne of God.
It is impossible to appreciate the labours of Baxter during his first two years' residence at Kidderminster, without considering the circumstances of the period. To such a man, every event would be an element in the aggregate of life. Nothing is little in God's sight. To trace event after event in the chain of human affairs is but to trace the workings of an almighty and all-wise Hand :
Minister, who, a year before, had been driven from his church on account of his Puritanism,) and with Mr. Simons, (who “preached strange things for toleration and liberty for all men to worship God according to their conscience,"') let a flood of light into his mind, in the brightness of which he was led to inquire “ if such were the men to condemn whom the voice of Bishops was raised in thundrous energy." In this state of mental transition he was ordained by the Bishop of Worcester, accepted a situation as headmaster of a school at Dudley, and preached his first sermon in the upper church of that town. Thus he entered the ministry in which he acted so important a part during a lengthened and stirring period of English history. Here, prayerfully and intensely, he examined the various questions agitating the public mind. The perusal of Ames's “ Fresh Suit against Human Ceremonies" greatly modified his views on some of the observances of the Church. From Dudley he removed to Bridgnorth, in Shropshire; where he entered heartily into the struggle for liberty which was then progressing with unprecedented acceleration. About this time a Convocation, held in London, passed certain canons, in which was the following extraordinary clause :-"Nor will I ever give my counsel to alter the government of the Church by Archbishops, Bishops, Deans, Archdeacons, et cetera, as it stands now established, and as it ought to stand ;” and which was henceforth designated the “Et Cetera Oath.” It may be well for us in these days
to remember, that our beloved British * Isle was, at that time, the platform of a conflict in which to resist the powers swaying the sceptre of authority, was to secure opposition, persecution, probably death. Baxter now stood forth, and fearlessly resisted the irrational enactment. A combination of circumstances led to the march of a Scotch army into England, and hastened those civil commotions which so long afflicted the country. The Long Parliament now excited attention; and their resistance to many prevalent abominations led to the presentation of numerous petitions against what was called “the tyranny and immorality of the Clergy." Kidderminster presented one
"A spark is a molecule of matter, yet may it
kindle the world : Vast is the mighty ocean ; drops have made it
vast. Despise not thou a small thing either for evil
or for good; Commit thy trifles unto God, for to Him .
nothing is trivial. It is but the littleness of men that seeth no
greatness in trifles. All things are infinite in parts, and the moral
is as the material. Neither is anything vast but it is compacted
of atoms, A thing is great or little only, to a mortal
thinking, And happy and wise is the man to whose
thought existeth not a trifle.” The Reformation, though not so complete in England as in Scotland, accomplished a great work; and the seed of Divine truth, scattered broadcast over the land, bad taken root in many hearts, and produced precious fruit. At the period of Baxter's birth the number of Nonconformists was small, and their increase was occasioned by the treatment they received from those in authority. Longing for spiritual food, they sought it wherever it was to be found, and in their own houses sung praises to the God of heaven. Persecution followed. The cry of the rabble rent the air, “Down with the Roundheads." Daily, many took refuge in the citadels of the Parliament, and thus became soldiers. The general discontent increases; events thicken. Baxter is seen moving, step by
step, to a great stand-point. The calling party which most secured the welfare of up of the northern army; the imposition the nation; and I thought it was a great of a guard upon the Commons; the passion sin for men that were able to defend their of the King on entering Parliament to country to be neuters.” seize the five Members; the conduct of Here the lofty heroism of Baxter Lord Digby, and others, all hastened the appears. The qualities of decision, issue. Now, by force of arms the two firmness, perseverance, and self-denial he parties prepare to settle the controversy. exercised fearlessly, for human good, in On the side of the King were the nobility, times of increasing difficulty and danger. many Members of the House of Commons, In the face of power and flattery; of Knights, and men of family and influence, want, persecution, and death; he defended representatives of power, wealth, and the principles which he deemed to be learning. On the side of the Parliament those of truth and freedom,-principles were the inferior gentlemen of the under whose reign alone man can pursue country; merchants, freeholders, and the task assigned him by his Maker. In tradesmen. The passions were excited. 1642 the county of Worcester devoted The spirit of controversy raged. The itself to the King; "the commission of kingdom rocked in a terrible crisis. array" was set on foot; and, amid the Brother met brother in deadly conflict, gathering cloud, and the war-cry waxing and the soil of England was dyed with louder and louder, he withdrew for a the blood of its sons, shed in those period from the sphere of his beloved toil, memorable contentions. Baxter now rather than support the cause in which avowed his sentiments, and took his he had been trained, but which, now, he stand as the friend of the Parliament.
had well nigh abandoned : “I thought,” he wrote, “whoever was
“ Give me the dauntless man, faulty, the people's liberties and safety
Who flinches not from labour or fatigue, should not be forfeited. I thought that
But moves right on upon the path of duty. all the subjects were not guilty of all the God will stand by the man who boldly stands faults of King or Parliament, when they By God's command; will give him energy defended them; yea, that if both their causes
And courage now, and afterwards success." had been bad as against each other, yet
J. F. M. that the subjects should adhere to that
BEGIN THE DAY WITH GOD. Mount up, away, and linger not,
Thy goal is yonder ies.
Cast every weight aside !
Do battle with each sin; To Him address thy lay.
Fight with the faithless world without, Sing a new song at morn!
The faithless heart within.
He is thy heavenly food;
Feed with and on Him; He with thee Not to thy fellow-man ;
Will feast in brotherhood. Not to the creatures of His hand,
Take thy first walk with God! But to the glorious One.
Let Him go forth with thee; Awake, cold lips, and sing !
By stream, or sea, or mountain-path, Arise, dull knees, and pray;
Seek still His company. Lift up, 0 man, thy heart and eyes; Thy first transaction be Brush slothfulness away.
With God Himself above; Look up, beyond these clouds !
So shall thy business prosper well, Thither thy pathway lies ;
And all the day be love.
THE BANKS OF THE TAVY. on our way towards Peter Tavy. I say
we; for I was one of a snug party : a “Mysterious Dartmoor
quartette it might be called ; for we were -again
four pleasantly-harmonized souls, having I seek thy solitudes profound, in this
bodies properly set and arranged in what Thy hour of deep tranquillity, when rests The sunbeam on thee, and thy desert seems
is commonly called a double-bodied gig. To sleep in the unclouded brightness ; calia,
My kind host undertook the responsibility But stern.
of managing the whip and reins, and was - I love to tread
agreeably supported in his office by the Thy central wastes, when not a sound intrudes lady whose smile gave joy to his home. Upon the ear, but rush of wing, or leap It was my honour to be seated behind them, Of the hoarse waterfall. And, 0, 'tis sweet
in companionship with a tall, accomplished, To list the music of thy torrent streams!"
and devout descendant, in the female line, The morning had not opened very
from the Welsh house of Owen Tudor. brightly. Some suspicious-looking clouds I have sometimes found it difficult to still hung over the hills, and there was rid oneself of a disagreeable intuitive kind uncertainty about the wind. Not even
of faith in omens. " All nonsense !" some an oracle of the moorland border, weather- may say. Perhaps so; but there are a few wise as the old man claimed to be, could sorts of nonsense which stick to human give us a comfortable assurance.
nature in such a way as to favour the in all such doubtful cases, a patent mode of belief that they properly belong to it. guarding his own credit; a mode which For my part, I have a little liking for a he took to be an improvement on the thing or two, here and there, which worn-out plan of almanac-makers, like people of uncommon sense find it most Moore; and which, indeed, was quito easy to define as “nonsense." Well, ono equal to many an oracle of earlier and of my oddities, in the way of unaccountamore classic times. “Well," was his ble attachments, is a fondness for the queer response to the anxious tourist's question notion that, any day which begins with a about the day's prospect, “Well, well, mishap, must witness three disasters. well, according to the haspects of the Perhaps this is one of the manifestations kelements we shall have a change, or some of a curious faculty for finding mystical of the same.” It struck me that there allusions to a trinity everywhere and in might be a little prophetic friend in the everything. Some people must have a garden, from whom something more “thirdly” in every discourse : and even decided might be learnt respecting the men in their cups, will sustain a popular next twelve hours. Yes, and there, toast with three rounds of cheering; or, verily, I found the tiny but truthful in some cases, with three times three. I diviner, the Anagallis arvensis ; my favour- must leave others to explain all this. For ite Pimpernel, sometimes called the “shep- myself, I was nover sufficiently learned herd's weather-glass.” If there is to be to merit a “degree:" nor, as yet, am I rain, said I to myself, the dear little enough of a philosopher to get one thing will have its flowers carefully folded without merit; never having been able fully against the impending danger. But there to understand all modes and ways of men was hope at once, as my eye fell upon its and things : all I know about the matters beautiful scarlet corolla, all expanded and in question is, that some of them are ready for the sunlight; while, true to its among the real antiquities of our name, its sweet violet-tinted mouth was But to return to our pilgrimage on the laughingly open, as if it courted balmy Tavy. My fair companion, on the back salutes from the bright hours that were seat, started under the shadow of a miscoming. All was right now. I never fortune, that of having lost her keys, so knew Pimpernel to be false.
as to be prevented from replenishing her was soon in order; and, once more, we were purse for the journey. That was trouble
Number two was perfected. As we went over Harford Bridge, the disturbing force of an unfortunate jerk brought me into collision with my Welsh friend's parasol, and proved fatal to its delicate constitution. What the third disaster of the day was to be, who could predict? Let nobody laugh : surely I may have my “thirdly," if other people have theirs. But see: we are again at Peter Tavy; and now once more pass through Cudlip-Town, where we turn and descend towards the river. Down we go, rumbling and jerking over the stony road to Hill Bridge : not to pass over it quickly, that cannot be. No, Hill Bridge has too powerful a spell for the lovers of primitive art in its happiest fellowship with the most free and unrestrained forms of nature. There it was, in pure simplicity, embracing the laughing waters, and beautifully associated with the wild charms of the valley through which the young Tavy was sportively passing from its open mountain-home to the verdurous and pensive scenes which smile on the calmer movements of its later course. On the other side of the bridge our upward way was steep and rugged. The road barely allowed a passage for our double-bodied machine, which brushed, here and there, as it ascended, on this side and on that, by luxuriant ferns, or bending hazel-boughs. We were merciful to our beast, of course. The quartette dismounted, and fell into a kind of procession; the driver taking the lead at the head of his horse, occasionally giving it a friendly tap on the shoulder, by way of cheering it under its tug and toil. The other three, in strolling or straggling style, came in the rear; now and then offering a pleasant tribute to each other's taste by presenting some botanical rarity or beauty from the richlydecorated hedges. On reaching the top of the hill, the wild grandeur of old Dartmoor began to reveal itself. The nearer presence of the great uplifted billowy-looking desert, inspired strangelymingled feelings of expansion and awe. “Is this the road to Wilsworthy?" we inquired of a moor-man, with a weatherbeaten face. “Ees; right vore," (before you,)“ that's Wils-o-ry that yiu zee away there by th' rookry." The fow trees
which were thus distinguished by the title of "rookery" were the lone remnants of what probably once formed the woody fringes of the ancient hunting-grounds; whether they afforded shelter to any lingering relics of a former rook-population was not clear; they served, however, to mark the utmost limit of cultivation, and the farthest outpost of human life on that side of the pathless waste. Wilsworthy was an outlying homestead, granite-built, and venerable, wearing many a token of its long forbearance with merciless times and storms. The farmer and his lad appeared to have scented their dinner, and were hopefully lounging by the open hearth; while two daughters of the house were fulfilling the duty of preparation with quiet briskness. Mother there
She had been called from her moorland-home to the land of promise. And the husband of her youth was left to feel as if the sympathetic moans of the night-wind from the wilderness sometimes deepened the loneliness of his lone chamber. We soon found, however, that the retired dwelling, far away as it was from all the sympathies and aid of Christian and neighbourly associations, had its domestic trials divinely balanced by the joys and hopes of true godliness. It was a pious home. The mere appearance of the family-group had struck me from the first, and enlisted my best feelings. A calm and settled goodness quietly made itself apparent in the farmer's face beneath the sparkle and play of his native shrewdness and cautious temper. The girls were interesting specimens of rural attractive
One of them, especially, had the beauties which are distinctive of her race so finely combined in her person, that I could willingly have crowned her with heath-bells and forget-me-nots, as the queen of the moorlands. The brightest charms of the house, after all, were in the transparent kindness, the natural, hearty, politeness, and the simplicity of its inmates; their free and cheerful readiness to minister to the comfort of strangers. We must needs spend some time over the
for a journey of research was before us, and by no means an easy and gentle
There was a wide sweep of heathland between Wilsworthy and our point of destination, Tavy Cleave; and one craggy