« AnteriorContinuar »
THE NAME OF JESUS. TIE ZOOLOGY OF THE BIBLE.
Jesu, the hope of souls forlorn,
No tongue of mortal can express,
Abide with us, O Lord, to-day,
to the vilest and most worthless of His creatures. He giveth to the beast his food, and to the young ravens (which were unclean birds) when they ory. Can it be supposed, then, that He will starve His children? Can it be imagined that He will deny means to prolong this temporal life-so long as it shall be for their good to have it prolonged to those for whom, when this life is over, He hath prepared a kingdom, and glory, and immortality in heaven? 'Your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?'”
O doubting and feeble disciple of Jesus, art thou tempted to indulge this over-care about food, and raiment, and futurity ? Think of the fowls of the air, and learn a lesson of cheerful trust in thy heavenly Father's providence. They have no resources, yet see how happy they are! No anxious thought disturbs their little breasts. Whether perched on the twig of the hedgerow, or the branch of a tree, or skimming the air in joyous flights, their brisk movements and cheery notes all tell of light-heartedness and freedom from care. And are they not fed as plentifully and regularly as thyself? Do they not fly from the bush, and every morning find meat where they laid it not? Thy “heavenly Father feedeth them," and will He not feed thee? Where is the father who cares for his fowls, and would starve his children? “ Are ye not much better than they?”.
THE LEOPARD. Many of the animals belonging to the cat tribe are handsome ; but perhaps none more than “ The lively, shining leopard, speckled o'er With many a spot, the beauty of the waste."
In his native haunts, his movements are described as being in the highest degree easy and graceful, while his agility in bounding among rocks, and springing up trees, is quite amazing.
The spotted leopard seems widely distributed over Africa and Asia, and though the markings differ in different localities, it may be regarded as essentially a single species. By the Arabs of Syria, Arabia, and Nubia, this creature is called Nimr or el Nimr, which signifies the “spotted," or “ varied.” There is little doubt but this is the Namer of the Jews, and the Panthera of the ancients.
In the Bible, the leopard is frequently alluded to. From its fierceness, it is often associated with the lion; and, from the same character, emphasis is given to the description of the blessedness of the coming time by the declaration that even “ the leopard shall lie down with the kid." There are allusions to its lying in wait near towns, and beside the public ways, to surprise unwary travellers, as well as to the acuteness of the animal, and to its spots. Solomon speaks of “the mountains of the leopards," and just as Lebanon was
THE NAME OF JESUS. FROM THE LATIN OF ST. BERNARD.
“Unto you which believe He is precious." JESUS! the very thought is sweet! In that dear Name all heart-joys meet: But, O! than honey sweeter far The glimpses of His presence are.
No word is sung more sweet than this,
TIE ZOOLOGY OF THE BIBLE.
for hours, when near the protection of huts or people. They will spring on a grown person, when carrying a burden ; but make their attack always from behind. The flesh of a child, or a young kid, they devour ; but only suck the blood of any full-grown animal which may fall å prey to their ferocity. Although this fine cat has a considerable awe of man, and usually tries to avoid him, set, as he is a very active and furious animal, when brought to bay he becomes a formidable antagonist. Mr. Pringle gives more than one instance of such attacks, and their đanger. He relates that two African colonists, when returning to their farm from hunting antelopes, gave chase to & leopard, which they had roused in a mountain ravine. They here tried among the
"matted wood to tear The skulking panther from his hidden lair,"
tine, several names occur, which being formed from the name of the leopard, Nimr, appear to intimate that the localities indicated were the peculiar haunts of these animals. It is even not unlikely, that “the mighty hunter,” Nimrod, derived his name from this animal. In the prophets Hosea and Habakkuk, the leopard is alluded to; and in the last of the prophets, the vision of St. John, on Patmos, the beast which rose up out of the sea “ was like unto a leopard.” (Rev. xiii. 2.)
The leopard has the habit of scratching the trunks of trees; an action common to most of the species of the feline race, and which may be daily witnessed in houses where cats, not having been corrected in their kittenhood, have been allowed to scratch the legs of the chairs and tables. The traveller may often judge of the presence of a leopard in his neighbourhood by finding these incisions to be freshly made. Mr. Darwin was shown, on the banks of the Uruguay, in South America, certain trees selected by the jaguar for this purpose; the bark on these was worn smooth, and on each side there were deep scratches, or grooves, nearly a yard in length. The natives say that in this way these animals sharpen their claws; but is is clear that it must have quite an opposite effect.
At the Cape there is a variety of the leopard more slender in the body, and differing from that in North Africa and Syria in the forms of the spots. This species preys chiefly on such of the antelopes as he can master, on baboons, and the curious pachyderm, or das, & species of the same genus as the coney of Scripture. It is not uncommon in the Cape Colony, and very frequently puts the farmer on the alert at night, who knows, by the low, half-smothered growl in the neighbourhood of his outhouses, that this elegant spotted savage is near him, and looks for an opportunity of pouncing on his sheep. Thomas Pringle, in his .“ Narrative of a Residence in South Africa," mentions his having frequently heard the leopard's voice on such occasions. Major Denham relates that the panthers of Mandara, in Central Africa, are as insidious as they are cruel. They have been known to watch a child
and succeeded in forcing the beast to try to escape by clambering up & precipice. Being hotly pressed, and wounded by a ball, the leopard turned on his pursuers with frantic ferocity, and with one spring pulled the man who had fired at him to the ground, wounding his shoulder, and tearing his cheek severely at the same time. The companion of the farmer, in those lamentable circumstances, tried to shoot the leopard through the head, but unfortunately missed his aim. On this the leopard abandoned his prostrate victim, and pounced on his second antagonist with such rapidity, that before the Boor could draw his knife, the savage beast had struck him on the face with his claws, and, for the time, effectually blinded him. Notwithstanding this the hunter grappled with the leopard, and, while struggling, they both fell down a steep bank. The man who was first attacked, hastily reloaded his gun, and rushed forward to save his friend. The leopard, however, had seized his second victim by the throat, and mangled him in such a manner that death was inevitable; and the comrade, although himself severely wounded, had only the melancholy satisfaction of killing the ferocious cat, which was already nearly exhausted with the loss of blood from the wounds he had received.
DEATH IN SLEEP. *
guns," as they say; and many expected You must all have heard of that sudden every moment that the enormous pile of and awful calamity which lately filled building, eighty feet high, would topple Edinburgh with gloom, and which was over, and bury in death those who were God's voice speaking in a striking way attempting to rescue any who might still to the whole community. “The lion be living; and there was little hope of hath roared, who will not fear?” When, life now, since all were found dead who bending his shaggy neck, with his mouth had been dug out after six o'clock in laid close to the ground, and eyes on fire, the morning, and it was now past four in the king of the forest gives forth his roar; the afternoon. How touching and imthat voice, as it rolls along the ground, pressive was the scene before me! It and reverberates from the mountains, is was an awful thing to see, in the fading followed by the deepest silence. All light of day, and on the walls, four, five, other creatures are struck dumb with six stories high, the dresses hanging terror, and such is the stillness, that a which had been thrown off by the inwithered leaf might be heard dropping habitants before they retired to rest; and from a tree. Now, when God speaketh, the building sunk, that carried men, —and never spake He to my ear in pro- women, and children-sleeping, waking, vidence as He has spoken now,—who sinning, praying, however they were enshould not attend, and fear, and learn the gaged-down into one grave, in an solemn lesson?
instant of time. In consequence of the We were all surprised and shocked, on floors giving way, and carrying the doors going into church on Sabbath morning, with them, the wardrobes stood exposed to be told that a house had fallen, between on the walls; and it was a horrid thing John Knox's house and the North Bridge, to look up there and see three or four on the north side of the High-street; and gowns shaking, and moving, and waving that a number of people were killed: ghastly-like in the wind of night, and buried in the ruins. I could not go then, think that, right down below, those that but I went at the close of the service in had put them off some hours before, in the afternoon; and here was that spacious, perfect health, were now lying, begrimed, lofty, noble street, crowded with people, and mangled, and blackened corpses. I thick as swarming bees. Knowing some of was struck with a staff that was hanging the officers of police, I got through the high up on the rent wall, and which its dense throng on to the pavement opposite owner had hung there, little thinking where this house had been, and there saw that that staff was never to be in his a most frightful and shocking spectacle. hands again! It appeared to me to say The whole front wall had fallen, leaving that life's journey was ended, and that the the east and west gables standing, and pilgrim had laid by his staff. Would to the north wall. The workmen had God we knew that that man's pilgrimage already dug out some twelve or fourteen had ended in the rest that remaineth for dead bodies, and it was not considered the people of God! Looking-glasses, safe for them to work any longer. They where woman had admired her beauty had begun at two o'clock in the morning, and attired herself, hung here and there and now it was four o'clock in the after on the shattered walls, flickering in the noon, and they were afraid to work evening twilight. Two dumb clocks, longer: first, because darkness was coming still fixed on the ruins, about sixty feet on; and second, because the storm was high, told the hour the catastrophe had rising. The wind was soon blowing “ great happened. They seemed emblems of their
owners, who lay below, and in whom • The Substance of a Speech delivered by death had stopped life's pendulum. The Thomas Guthrie, D.D., at Cupar-Angus, two days finger of one pointed to half-past, that of after the calamity to which it refers had taken
the other to five-and-twenty minutes past, place.
one; the fatal moment when the crash came, and the mighty mass, seven stories high, sunk to the ground as if it had been rocked by an earthquake.
Next day, as early as possible, I returned to the scene of the calamity. It was a hideous spectacle. The three walls, though rent and shaken to their foundations, and severely tried by the storm that roared and raved all Sunday night, were still standing. The clothes of the dead still hung on them; bright tinned vessels were glancing in the light; children's playthings were there; cupboards, with the crockery-ware neatly arranged, stood gaping open; kettles sat on cold grates, where the fires continued to burn for hours after the hands that kindled them were cold and stiff in death; and, besides these, there were many other indications showing that the people as shall be at the Lord's coming, and like those before the flood-never dreamed of the calamity, and had made all the arrangements for “to-morrow." Having seen the building, I was asked to go and see the bodies; and went, not to gratify a vulgar curiosity, but for the sake of its salutary impressions. I have seen many dead, I have seen no fewer than forty dead bodies laid out in a dissecting room, and a very shocking sight it was,but then they had each died a “fair strae death;" with forms wasted, their faces pale, and their features pinched, they bore the usual marks of death upon them. But of all the sights I over saw, the most ghastly and most affecting was those twenty corpses in the Police-Office, laid out on the floor in their night-dresses : two children in each other's arms ; husband and wife laid side by side; the dead babe resting on a dead mother's bosom; old age and infancy; youth and manhood in its prime,-all stiff and cold. These, dug out of the ruins of their homes, some of them ten, twelve, or fourteen feet below that mass of rubbish,-bore evidence that death in not a few instances was the work of a moment. Some, with a few moments for prayer, had been suffocated.
There was one woman whose face bore all the evidence of a slow and very pain. ful death ; but the sight, although horrible to behold, was accompanied by this consolation, that that poor sufferer, in her
dying moments, may have prayed for the.mercy she needed; and He, who denied it not to the dying thief, may have heard her cry. Another, ere she was swallowed up, had forecast what was to happen. I have seen countenances of the damned in paintings intended to represent the horrors of hell; but her face, in its expression more terrible than these, I shall never forget. She seemed to have waked from sleep to see the gulf on which she stood, and that in another moment she would be in eternity. The eyes, the mouth, the whole face had assumed an expression of unutterable horror; and when that horror was on her, death instantaneous fixed the features ; forming a ghastly spectacle! There was a wife lying beside her husband, a powerfully built man, in full flesh and form, a perfect athlete in appearance. There he lay as if he still slumbered, and might have sat up to ask what all this was about. He had no mark of pain or any suffering on his face; and stretched beside him-as they had lain living and lain loving, in one couch together-was his poor, cold, dead wife ; and so sudden had been her death, that she yet lay with her arm bent, and her hand resting on her cheek. She had died without time to utter a cry, stir a limb, or move a finger. Happy for her, I thought, if these poor limbs had bent that night at the throne of grace, if these mute lips had poured forth earnest prayers for mercy! It was an affecting, and likewise a very instructive, sight. I have heard many a sermon on death, but never one so solemn as that which came from the dumb and livid lips of the corpses round me. It seemed as if the very voice of God was saying, “ Be ye also ready!” “Make your calling and election sure !” “Now is the accepted time, and now is the day of salvation !”
You think, no doubt, you will rise tomorrow. There are those I now address who have their work planned for another day; they have this place to go to, and that person to see. They are calculating on the morrow. Nevertheless I would betray my trust, and be false to your souls, if I were to leave the place in which I am standing without reminding you that you may never see