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Nevertheless, in outward aspect merely, the semblance of the Cherub seems to reproduce in balanced or nearly balanced proportions his four terrestrial types, with the exception of the Lion only: and perhaps the overwhelming volume of sound thundering from the flying wings of the Cherubim may not unlawfully recall to us the lion's roar, even while Ezekiel assimilates it with yet more tremendous phenomena. In the Book of Revelation we read of a mighty Angel, though of which order we know not, who cried with a loud voice as when a lion roareth; and at whose summons, it would seem, that seven thunders uttered their voices.
Loving thought has traced an analogy between each Gospel and its symbol. Whether the Man-Angel should be assigned to St. Matthew and the Lion to St. Mark, or whether a reverse collocation is preferable, remains, so far as I know, an open question: and having already touched upon this on St. Mark's Day, I will now leave it at rest; and do no more here than add a word or two supplementary to the former trains of thought, and based on the assumption that St. Mark retains his Lion.
St. Matthew, whose is the Man or Angel, is thought to have written his Gospel with particular reference to the nationality and view-point of the Jewish race: whose kinship to the Messiah he established by tracing the Sacred Genealogy up to their common forefather Abraham ; thus laying stress on the human tie of blood, and endearing (if so it might be) Abraham's Seed to each one among His brethren after the flesh.
St. Luke, whose is the sacrificial Ox, commences his inspired history with a priestly act under that elder dis
of the cross,
pensation which was even then ready to vanish away:traces the Sacred Genealogy long past David the king and Abraham that mighty prince among the nations, through the entire line of priest-patriarchs, through Adam, up to God the sole Consecrator and inheritance of Levi and of all whom Levi typifies :—and alone of all the four Evangelists has bequeathed to the ages for ever the word of priestly intercession uttered from the altar
Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do,”—and that other word of free and authoritative forgiveness which, beyond its inexhaustible consolation to all penitents, protested and prophesied the acceptableness of that Blood by which the great High Priest of our profession was even then entering for us once for all into the veritable Holy of Holies, “ Verily I say unto thee, to-day shalt thou be with Me in paradise.”
Nor does the sun-gazing Eagle less obviously symbolize St. John, pre-eminently the Evangelist of our Lord's Divinity and of the unsearchable mysteries of God.
Thus the Lion remains for St. Mark; and here again, as in the likeness of the Cherub, is perhaps less prominently recognisable than the other three. I know not whether there is much weight in such a suggestion as I remember to have met with, that this Gospel opens and closes as it were with the roar of a Lion :-“ The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make His paths straight:"_" He that believeth and is
baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.”
One salient point of similarity characterizes all these august symbols : each is an embodiment of strength. And thus viewed, Christ's Gospel set in array against the world seems that very power of which the prophet proclaims :
“ He that dasheth in pieces is come up before thy face."—Nahum ii. 1.
A few words may suffice to pourtray so familiar an animal as the Ox, an animal so familiar that much of our daily comfort and sustenance proceed from him and his : yet under his more superb aspects, in his unshackled vigour and unretrenched freedom, most of us have not seen him. He stands before us the impersonation of laborious strength and service : austere of countenance, of mighty horns, of massive neck and body; slow, sure, and formidable ; a potent and deliberate beast of draught or of burden. Thus in life. After death his hair, hide, fat, horns, his actual refuse, are utilized for our convenience : his flesh supplies our food, nourishment can be wrung from his bones, and even those exhausted bones are not without their purpose in art and science. The Cow is in great measure a nursing mother to mankind, yielding to our children and ourselves milk with all its capabilities and adaptabilities: her person is comely and motherly, ample, unhurried; her broad blunt nose bedewed with the moisture of grass-blades and flower cups; her eyes are lovely and her breath is sweet. The colours of our domestic cattle include, with black and white, red, brown, dun and strawberry; their coats exhibit stripes, spots, splotches, shadings, or remain without any pattern; their horns take various directions and a multitude of curves. What they and such as they appear, we see; what they are, we understand not fully :
“ Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the earth?”—Ecclesiastes iii. 21.
Concerning them, however, more than one practical counsel of justice or of mercy is plainly given us: as,
“ Thou shalt not muzzle the ox when he treadeth out the corn.”-- Deuteronomy xxv. 4.
“ A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast.”. Proverbs xii. io.
While in the respite of Nineveh God had regard not only to more than sixscore thousand little ones dwelling there, but also to much cattle.
But if grand in servitude, far grander or quainter in their native wilds roam multitudinous herds of these mighty creatures of many breeds and aspects: some much as we are accustomed to behold them; others humped, or maned, or draped in down-flowing hair, or graced with an ample dewlap or a long beard; some fragrant as of musk or violets, some coated with mud in which they revel and wallow; some comparatively mild and accessible, some swayed by impulses of overmastering fury. Of one the voice is rather a grunt than a bellow; another is reported to emit a groaning sound; a third possesses a muzzle adapted to shovel away the snow under which may lie pasture, and also an internal receptacle for storing water. While in scale the different species range between extremes of size vaguely describable as large and little, the entire tribe of Oxen is alike in chewing the cud; and (with scarcely any, if any, exception beyond certain domestic hornless varieties) is alike also in possessing horns which, instead of being shed periodically as are the antlers of deer, last for life. Combats to the death are frequently waged between bulls of one herd: even a tiger may fail to escape the goring horns of an enraged buffalo. Yet are these me bulls tender and generous to the feebler members of their own family, the females with their young oftentimes occupying a more secure station while their mighty mates engross the posts of danger.
Where no oxen are, the crib is clean: but much increase is by the strength of the ox.—Proverbs xiv. 4.
I was like a lamb or an ox that is brought to the slaughter.-Jeremiah xi. 19.
Unto you that fear My Name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in His wings; and ye forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.—Malachi iv. 2.
Self-postponement. ARIGOLDS, Mary-gold, or as we may amplify it, the “golden crown of Mary,”—Marigolds of one sort or another are found in bloom during most part of the year, includ
, ing the date of St. Luke's Festival: and as
this Evangelist stands specially connected with the Blessed Virgin Mother; for whether or not his pencil copied the features of her face, his pen transmits to us her calm and holy spiritual portrait,-it seems not amiss in this slight memorial of him that he who without so much as once naming himself exalts in his writings both