« PreviousContinue »
it should support itself on its limbs, like most vertebrate animals. But however incapable of walking, its frame is adınirably constructed for enabling it to hang by its limbs on the branches of trees. Amid the great intertangled forests of South America, stretching for hundreds of miles, it is by no means so slow in its movements, at least its motion is sufficiently quick to adınit of its gathering its sustenance. It has long, coarse, shaggy hair, to protect it from insects; it clings to the bough of the tree by its two hinder claws, and commonly also by one of the fore-limbs, and it employs its other arm in hooking in the foliage on which it browses. It can fling itself from one branch of a tree to another; and, in the more open parts of the forest, it can take advantage of windy weather to throw itself from the tree which it has stripped to another covered with rich and tempting foliage.—Such facts as these go to prove that it is our own ignorance and presumption which lead us to complain of the inconveniences of nature; and that a little more knowledge, and, better still, a little more humility and patience, would lead us to discover and acknowledge, that there are admirable wisdom and benevolence even in those parts of God's works which may seem to be useless, or even injurious.
THE BURIAL OF JACOB.
It is a solemn cavalcade, and slow,
To Goshen, swarthy chieftains with their That comes from Egypt; never had the troops land,
Of vassals from the Thebaid, gathering Save when a Pharaoh died, such pomp of
Of pilgrims from the populous towns, whose Beheld; never was bier by such a band
vast Of princely mourners followed, and the And massy piles loomed o'er them as they grand
passed. Gloom of that strange funereal armament Saddened the wondering cities as it went.
The hoary elders in their robes of state
Were there, and sceptred judges; and In Goshen he had died, that region fair
the sight Which stretches east from Nilus to the Of their pavilions pitched without the gate
Was pleasant: chariots with their trapOf the great Gulf; and since he could not pings bright bear
Stood round,—till all were met, and every To lay his ashes in an alien grave,
rite He charged his sons to bear them to the Was paid;-then at a signal the array cave
Moved with a heavy splendour on its way. Where rested all his kin, that from life's cares
Its very gloom was gorgeous, and the sound And weariness his dust might rest with
Of brazen chariots, and the measured theirs.
Of stately pacing steeds upon the ground,
A burden to that march of sorrow meet;
have come And in a spikenard-dripping shroud ar- Had Joseph wished,—'twas better they rayed
were dumb. The limbs ne'er delicately clad till now,The Twelve assembled to fulfil their vow.
In a long line the sable draperies waved
Far backward from the bier,--and as
The people of the cities he had saved
And prayers arose for him, and tears were High captains, chief estates, and lords shed,
And blessings called from Heaven upon his The prince, the priest, the warrior, and
Made haste to join in that sad pilgrimage. They pass by many a town then famed or
feared, By the green borders of the reedy Nile, But quite forgotten now; and over ground Where wades the ibis, and the lotus Then waste, on which in after time were droops,
reared The armèd horsemen ride in glittering Cities whose names were of familiar sound file
For centuries,-Bubastus, and renowned
Pelusium, whose glories in decay
Where oft, at eve, a visionary boy, Gorged the lean desert with a splendid He wandered on in innocence and joy.
Now in their eastward march the waste Now Jacob rests where all his kindred expands
are,— In front, and faring wearily, they reach The exile from the land in which of old That dread Serbonian lake amid the sands: His fathers lived and died, he comes from Oh, many are the bones which yet shall
To mix his ashes with their mortal mould. Among the rushes of that deadly beach, - There where he stood with Esau, in the Many the warriors who shall find a grave
cold In the false shallows of that perilous wave! | Dim passage of the vault, with holy trust
His sons lay down the venerable dust. For many a dreary league the treacherous swamp
They laid him close by Leah, where she Still lengthens on the left: the loose
sleeps blown sand
Far from her Syrian home, and never Beneath their steps, the vapours breathing
That Reuben kneels beside her feet and From the green marsh, annoy the strag
weeps, gling band;
Nor glance of kindly recognition throws But Joseph's thoughts none there may Upon her stately sons from that repose; understand,
His Rachel rests far-sundered from his side, His mind recalls the time when through Upon the way to Bethlehem, where she this wild
died. The merchants bore the unresisting child.
Sleep on, O weary saint! thy bed is bless'd; The way that then was watered with his Thou, with the pilgrim-staff of faith, hast tears
passed Is wet with them again; the tender Another Jordan into endless rest : thought
Well may they sleep who can serenely Of his fond father and his boyish years
cast Before his eye the hills of Canaan A look behind, while darkness closes fast brought,
Upon their path, and breathe thy parting He saw his childhood's tents, and many
word, a spot
“For thy Salvation I have waited, Lord!'
J. D. BURNS.
FALLEN is thy throne, O Israel !
Silence is o'er thy plains! Thy dwellings all lie desolate,
Thy children weep in chains.
On Etham's barren shore ?
Now lights thy path no more!
Till evil came and blighted
Thy long-loved olive-tree,
For other gods than Thee.
Lord, thou didst love Jerusalem;
Once she was all thine ownHer love thy fairest heritage,
Her power thy glory's throne;
Then sank the star of Solyma,
Then passed het glory's day,
The light wind whirls away.
Where once the mighty trod;
Where Baal reigned as God.
“Go,” said the Lord, “ye conquerors,
Steep in ber blood your swords; And raze to earth her battlements,
For they are not the Lord's. Tell Zion's mournful daughter
O'er kindred bones she'll tread, And Hinnom's vale of slaughter
Shall hide but half her dead."
But soon shall other pictured scenos
In brighter vision rise,
On all her mourners' eyes;
The messengers of peace;-
It is not strange that my first night on the Mount of Olives was sleepless. Though the preceding night had been spent in the saddle, and the preceding day in fatiguing travel, yet the vision of Jerusalem, which I had that day seen for the first time, remained so vivid before my mind's eye, that it banished all thought of sleep and all sense of fatigue. For hours I lay absorbed in the stirring memories of the distant past, which holy scenes had called up and invested with the charm of reality. Mount Zion,-Moriah, crowned of yore with the halo of the Shekinah glory,—Gethsemane, bedewed with the tears, and stained by the bloody sweat of the Son of man,—Olivet, where Jesus so often taught and prayed, they were all there, each with its wondrous story written as if in letters of light. Longing for the morning, I once and again rose from my bed and threw open the lattice. The stars hung out like diamond lamps from the black vault of heaven, shining with a sparkling lustre unknown in our hazy west, and revealing in dim outline the walls and towers of the Holy City sleeping peacefully
I was specially favoured during my first visit to Jerusalem. An old friend had rented a little tower high up on the western side of Olivet, commanding a noble view of the Holy City and the surrounding country from Bethlehem to Mizpeh. It was one of those square turrets which in recent, as in ancient times, proprietors sometimes built in their vineyards as residences for keepers and temporary store-houses for fruit. Here I took up my quarters, and from the open window or the terraced roof, at all hours, day and night, I gazed on that wondrous landscape. During the soft, ruddy morning twilight—at the full blaze of noon-day
in the dead stillness of night, when the moon shed her silvery rays on the white walls and roofs of the city, my eyes were upon it, -never wearying, never satisfied, but ever detecting some new beauty in tint or form, some fresh spot of sacred interest or historic renown. While I live I shall never forget that view of
JERUSALEM FROM THE MOUNT OF OLIVES.
Morning dawned ; and with my kind host, to whom every spot in and around Jerusalem was familiar, I ascended to the terraced roof. Behind Olivet, on the east, the sky was all aglow with red light, which shot slanting across the hill-tops and projecting cliffs, and upon the walls and prominent buildings of the city, throwing them up in bold relief from the deeply shaded glens. No time could have been more opportune, no spot better fitted for seeing and studying the general topography of the Holy City. The whole site was before us, distinct and full, like a vast and beautiful embossed picture. At our feet, along the base of Olivet, was the Kidron, a deep and narrow glen, coming down from an undulating plateau on the right, and disappearing round the shoulder of the hill on the left ; its banks terraced, and dotted here and there with little groves and single olive trees. Directly opposite us was Mount Moriah, its bare sides rising precipitously from the bottom of the Kidron to a height of some two hundred feet.
On its summit is a rectangular platform, about thirty acres in extent, and taking up fully one-half of the eastern side of the city. It is encompassed and supported by a massive wall, in some places nearly eighty feet high, and looking even higher where it impends over the ravine. This platform constitutes by far the most striking feature of the city. It is unique. There is nothing like it in the world. Its history, too, is wonderful. It has been a “holy place” for more than thirty centuries. Its Cyclopean walls were founded by Solomon. Upon it stood the Temple, in whose shrine the Glory of the Lord so often appeared, and in whose courts the Son of God so often taught. It is still to the Muslem “ the noble sanctuary,” and, next to Mecca, the most venerated sanctuary in the world. The platform itself-simple, massive, and grand