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the spirit-world: it, at least, always speaks with a solemn and a wise reserve upon the subject. It would not be difficult to present figures of angels, or of seraphim, from the descriptions which inspiration gives of them; but in regard to Satan's form, all is silent as the grave. No figures here ; no emblems; no appalling delineation: and we must copy its wisdom, if we would possess sound opinions or salutary convictions regarding him, his agents, his subtlety, or his power.
Yet upon this subject the scriptural disclosures, with all their wise reserve, are peculiarly explicit, Satan's nature, his fellow-agents, his work, his plans, his success, his discomfiture, and his eternal doom, are all depicted with heavenly wisdom, and with great precision. In the first place, we are told of an “innumerable company” of sinless beings who are before the throne of God. They are referred to as holding different ranks on high, and these portions of inspiration lead us, generally, into the knowledge of beings which are elsewhere described as “all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation.” A race of holy creatures superior to man, and yet in some way his appointed benefactors, are thus clearly made known. Even little children have their “angel” in the presence of the Great King; and though this whole subject is confessedly mysterious, though we have no detailed account of the creation, or of the attributes, of angels, such as curiosity might crave, or superstition invent, we are distinctly informed as to their functions regarding our race. Had men not indulged in unbridled fancies regarding these spiritual beings, the truth would have been more generally edifying than perhaps it is,—there might have been one snare less in the heavenward path, and one joy more in the believer's portion here below. .
On the other hand, we read of "spiritual wickednesses," which are the
deadly antagonists of man: not beings of flesh and blood, but subtle and impalpable, resistless by mortal strength, and requiring “the whole armour of God," if men would cope with them, and triumph. They are " the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation.” They are the sinful creatures whom God did not "spare, but cast them down to hell.” They are “the devil and his angels," whom the Judge of all describes, “the devils" who “believe, and tremble: ” and had the gorgeous poetry of Milton not over-coloured this subject, or had daring men less boldly denied the truth; or had ingenious men not tried to explain it by explaining it away,-it would have been more easy to have arrived at exact and simple conclusions regarding it. An apostle warns us that “a novice being lifted up with pride," may “fall into the condemnation of the devil ;" and is there not reason to fear that many disregard the warning ? Judging from these words of St. Paul, it seems to have been pride that ruined the powerful creature whom the Bible makes known as the arch-enemy of man. But whatever was the occasion or cause of his fall, the result is clear : an enemy to God and our world appeared with whom nothing but Omnipotence could successfully cope. Even more significantly than when the words were first employed, his name is “Legion;" and man's salvation much depends on his being aware of the fact.
THE BIBLE A REVEALER. It is wonderful what power there is in the Word of God. I was reminded of this but lately, by the remark of a youth, who, although he had been reared in infidelity, was nevertheless outwardly moral. “I feel almost afraid to go to church,” said he, " for the Minister seems always preaching right at me."
both a delineation and a malediction. Let the mind only come to the light, and its deeds will surely be reproved. The Word is ever with power. No mind can escape its assaults, unless reaching that fearful point in human destiny when it is "given up to believe a lie.”
One, it is said, went to Cromwell, the Protector, complaining of a court Preacher for parading his sins; and he would have had him banished for his boldness. But Cromwell saw at a glance his guilt, and, with a pungency terrible as satire, replied, “Ah, Sir, the Word of the Lord has found you out, has it?”
The Word of God had found out his sin. Conscience was quickened by the plainest setting forth of truth. The sanctuary, so dull to others, ever brought some word to bear upon him which was in conflict with his life, and he felt himself unwillingly weighed in the balance, and found wanting. Indeed, there are many minds who, sinning through the week, go on the Sunday to the sanctuary, and are startled that in the chapters read, or the text chosen, there is a revealing of their own offences. It seems to them, as if in some mysterious way, the Preacher had learned their thoughts, observed their secret transgressions, and was now rebuking them before the entire congregation.
Ah! he is : but not with the mean personality they at times conjecture. It is only the Spirit driving the nail in a sure place. It is only the twoedged sword of the Word detecting " the thoughts and intents of the heart.” It is only the perfect law held up as a mirror, in which each one is made to discern the spirit he bears. It is only the power of Divine truth taking hold of the individual conscience, and saying distinctly, directly, “ Thou art the man!” Under just such revealings do some minds find the convictions which lead them to an embrace of mercy. Others, in the very sharpness of truth, find a stumbling stone, and a rock of offence. Proud and resolute, they will not sit to be a mark for the Preacher's arrows. They turn away like those hearers whose deceitfulness of heart our Lord so disclosed with a commandment.
Take the Word of God into your closet. It is no more the Preacher, but your own heart, so prone to look on pleasing lines, that is now the reader, Yet if a sin, or a neglect is on the conscience, the Word will weigh, and sift, and burn into the soul. It may be Genesis or Romans, the Revelation of John or Exodus. You will not read many lines ere your sin will find
POSTHUMOUS INFLUENCE. It was a striking remark of a dying man, whose life had been, alas! but poorly spent: “ ( that my influence could be gathered up and buried with me!” It could not be. That man's influence survives him. It still lives, is still working on, and will live and work for centuries to come. He could not, when he came to die, and perceived how sad and deleterious his influence had been, put forth his dying hands and arrest that influence. It was too late. He had put in motion an agency which he was altogether powerless to arrest. His body could be shrouded and coffined, and buried out of sight; but not his influence. For that, alas! corrupt and deadly as it is, there is no shroud, no burial. It walks the earth like a pestilence, like the angel of death, and will walk till the hand of God arrests and chains it.
Let us be careful what influence we leave behind us. For good or evil, we shall and must live and act, on earth, after our bodies have returned to dust. The grave, even so far as the world is concerned, is not the end of us. In the nature of things, it cannot be. We are, every one of us, doing that every day, every hour, which will
272 THE CHANGED CROSS.—THE ZOOLOGY OF THE BIBLE. survive us, and which will affect, Then speaking thus, He led me far for good or for evil, those who come above, after us. There is nothing we are And there, beneath a canopy of love, more prone to forget or disregard, than
Crosses of divers shape and size were our influence upon others, yet there
seen, are few things we should more dread.
Larger and smaller than mine own had
And one there was most beauteous to THE CHANGED CROSS.
behold, It was a time of sadness; and my heart,
A little one, with jewels set in gold; Although it knew and loved the better
Ah, this, methought, I can with comfort
wear, part, Felt wearied with the conflict and the
For it will be an easy one to bear. strife,
And so the little cross I quickly took, And all the needful discipline of life. But all at once my frame beneath it
shook; And while I thought on these, as given The sparkling jewels fair were they to to me,
see, My trial-tests of faith and love to be, But far too heavy was their weight for me. It seem'd as if I never could be sure
This may not be, I cried; and look'd That faithful to the end I should endure.
To see if any there could ease my pain; And thus no longer trusting to His might,
But, one by one, I pass'd them slowly by, Who says, “ We walk by faith, and not by
Till on a lovely one I cast my eye. sight," Doubting, and almost yielding to despair. Fair flowers around its sculptured form The thought arose, My cross I cannot
entwined, bear !
And grace and beauty seem'd in it
combined; Far heavier its weight must surely be Wondering I gazed, and still I wonder'd Than those of others which I daily see ; 0, if I might another burden choose,
To think so many should have pass'd it Methinks, I should not fear my crown to
But, О that form, so beautiful to see, A solemn silence reign'd on all around,
Soon made its hidden sorrows known to E'en nature's voices utter'd not a sound,
me; The evening shadows seem'd of peace to Thorns lay beneath those flowers and tell,
colours fair; And sleep upon my weary spirit fell. Sorrowing I said, This cross I cannot
bear. A moment's pause; and then a heavenly And so it was with each and all around, light
Not one to suit my need could there be Beam'd full upon my wandering, raptured
Weeping I laid each heavy burden down, Angels on silvery wings seem'd every. As my Guide gently said, “ No cross_10 where,
crown.” And angels' music thrill'd the balmy air.
Then One, more fair than all the rest to
The Foology of the Bible.
One, to whom all the others bow'd the
knee, Came gently to me as I trembling lay, “ And follow Me,” He said, “I am the
THE RAVEN. This bird is distinguished from all the feathered race by his sable plumage, and his harsh, lugubrious note. But the black colour is not equally intense on every
THE ZOOLOGY OF THE BIBLE.
express the wish that one might be sent equally acceptable, rises on its banks, away from the comforts of civil society, to he might by that phrase merely intend encounter the wants and sufferings of the ravens which prefer such situssolitary exile; to suffer an ignominious tions. death; to be deprived of burial, and Bochart conjectures, that the valley become a banquet to the birds of prey, alluded to was Tophet, in the neighbourThe sable plumage and harsh discordant hood of Jerusalem, which the prophet voice of that bird, serve to aggravate the Jeremiah calls the valley of the dead horrors of desolation.* In the prophecies bodies; because the dead bodies of of Isaiah, it is accordingly foretold, that criminals were cast into it, where they the raven, with other birds of similar remained without burial, till they were dispositions, should fix his abode in the devoured by flocks of ravens, which coldesolate houses of Edom: - “ The lected for that purpose from the circumcormorant and the bittern shall possess jacent country. If this conjecture be it; the owl also and the raven shall right, the meaning will be this: dwell in it: and He shall stretch out upon “He who is guilty of so great & crime, it the line of confusion, and the stones of shall be subjected to an infamous emptiness.” (Isai. xxxiv. 11.) The Prophet punishment; und shall be cast into the Zephaniah, in like manner, makes the valley of dead bodies, and shall find no raven, as seen in our woodcut, croak over grave, but the devouring maw of the the perpetual desolations of Nineveh :- impure and voracious raven.” It was a “Both the cormorant and the bittern,” (in common punishment in the East, and the Septuagint and other versions, “the one which the Orientals dreaded above all cormorant and the raven,"') “shall lodge in others,) to expose in the open fields the the upper lintels of it; their voice shall bodies of evil-doers, that had sutered sing in the windows; desolation shall be by the laws of their offended country, in the thresholds: for He shall uncover to be devoured by the beasts of the field, the cedar work.” (Zeph. ii. 14.) In those and the fowls of heaven. He insplendid palaces, where the voice of joy and sinuates, that the raven makes his first gladness was heard, and every sound which and keenest attack on the eye; which could ravish the ear and subdue the perfectly corresponds with his habits, for heart, silence was, for the wickedness of he always begins his banquet with that their inhabitants, to hold her reign for part of the body, as is well known to ever, interrupted only by the scream of shepherds, whose lambs and weakly sheep the cormorant, and the croaking of the he often attacks, making his first onset raven.
by picking out their eyes. The writer in Prov. xxx. 17, appears to Every species of food is acceptable to give a distinct character to some of the the raven; but he prefers the flesh of ravens in Palestine, when he says, animals. A vile and disgusting bird, he “ The eye that mocketh at his father, and hovers near the field of battle, in expectdespiseth to obey his mother, the ravens ·ation of gorging himself with the slain ; of the valley shall pick it out, and the he attends at the place of execution, to young eagles shall eat it." He may, in feed upon the bodies of malefactors; he this passage, allude to a species of raven watches the habitations of disease and which prefers the valley for her habita- infection, to riot on the putrid carcase; tion to the clefts of the rock; or he may, and when these resources fail, he marks perhaps, refer to some sequestered valley the lamb and other weak defenceless in the land of Promise, much frequented animals, and preys on living flesh. It is by these birds, which derived its name pretended that he will even attack larger from that circumstance; or, as the rocky animals with success; and, supplying precipice, where the raven loves to build what is deficient in strength, by cunning her nest, often overhangs the torrent, and activity, will fasten upon the backs (which the original word nahal also of wild cattle, and eat them alive and in signifies,) and the lofty tree, which is detail, after having picked out their eyes.
What renders his ferocity more odious, is, • Buffon's Natural History, vol, iii., p. 13. that it is not in him, as in some other