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serpent described under the term 770-seraph, in the Hebrew Scriptures. The word signifies to burn; and according to Parkhurst, these reptiles may have derived their name either “from the heat and burning pain occasioned by their bite, or from their vivid fiery colour,” both of which points, it will be noticed, are peculiarly applicable to the darting serpent of Sumatra. The epithet used in connection with these seraphs, and translated “flying," in Isaiah xiv. 29, and xxx. 6, signifies literally, to move with a swift vibratory motion, which is precisely the action described by Mr. Ward.
The serpents mentioned in the foregoing communication, though new, as relates to the country where they were found, have been noticed and described in nearly similar terms by other modern writers, especially Niebuhr, and Admiral Anson, as may be seen in Calmet, and Parkhurst, (sub voce y.) The ancients also repeatedly speak of them. Herodotus who may almost always be implicitly relied on when writing from ocular demonstration, says, that at a place in Arabia, near the city Butos, he saw a prodigious quantity of the bones and ribs of the Aying serpent, placed in heaps of different heights. This information is exceedingly in. teresting when viewed in connection with the prophecy of Isaiah, (xxx. 6.) which it will be remembered, refers either to Arabia or some country immediately adjacent.
A moment we may wish,
When worlds want wealth to purchase, “I am very anxious to convince you, my dear James,” said Mrs. Hendrick to her son, “ of the importance of promptitude; for I perceive that, in general, you are too much disposed to yield to a disposition to delay, and to defer that to a future period, which ought to be done instantly."
“ Mamma,” replied James, “I have often heard you say that we must take time, and consider well, before we act.”
“Certainly, my dear boy, there are cases which assume a doubtful character, and then it becomes us to pause, and not rush headlong into evil. Rashness is as much to be avoided, as unnecessary delay. There are several instances in which you discover a want of promptitude, where deliberation is not required. One regards
your preparing your tasks and exercises for school; and when I remind you of it, you say, that you have plenty of time, and that you shall be quite ready. Another is, on the Lord's day, when you ought to be ready to go to public worship, I am often obliged to wait for you, and almost tired with the oft-repeated cry of come, James, and the constant sameness of your answer,'almost ready, mother.' A little attention on your part would rectify this evil. Commencing early, you would have your school duties performed with the greatest ease, and avoid many a reproof from your master, arising from carelessness in preparing your lessons; and instead of being always in haste and confusion when we are going to church, you would be able to sit down, and cultivate serious reflection, on the privilege of worshipping God, and the disposition necessary for hearing his word profitably."
“Well, dear mamma, I hope I shall attend to what you say, and in future be more prompt in attending to the duties which you have pointed out."
“I hope so too; but you must remember, that resolution is required, and prayer is necessary, to overcome this disposition to delay. Do you remember the passage in the Roman history, respecting Cæsar's passing the Rubicon?"
“Yes, very well; shall I read it ?" “ Do, my dear,"
James, reads.—“Pompey having obtained from the senate, an order, that Cæsar should disband his army, Cæsar refused to comply, so long as Pompey remained at the head of his troops. The senate forthwith deprived Cæsar of his office of governor of Gaul; and intrusted Pompey with the defence of the republic against him. Cæsar immediately marched towards Rome. Having arrived at the Rubicon, a small river, which formed the boundary of Italy, the thought of the calamities he was about to bring upon his country, made him hesitate to pass the river. The reflection, however, that his own safety depended on his going forward, determined him ; and exclaiming, the die is cast!' he threw himself into the river, and was followed by his troops. He then pushed forward to Rome; and Pompey, finding himself unable to oppose him, embarked with his army for Dyrrachium."
“Now, my dear James, you have here a striking instance of deliberation and promptitude. The moment Cæsar saw his way
clear and his duty evident, he lost no time but dashed into the Rubicon."
“ Cæsar was a very wonderful man, mamma."
“He was; and you will observe that, under providence, his success is in a great measure, to be attributed to his promptitude.”
“ I think I have heard the same of Alexander the Great, and Bonaparte.”
“ They were both celebrated warriors, and I remember it is said of the former that when asked, "how he had obtained so many victories ? he replied, by not delaying.'”.
“ But Bonaparte made a great mistake at Moscow ?"
“ That, my dear, is easily explained. He was prompt indeed, but, in that instance, he did not deliberate sufficiently. Ambition and vain-glory blinded his better judgment. You see a great difference between Cæsar's passing the Rubicon, and Bonaparte's invasion of Russia. Had he considered the climate and the season, they would have presented insurmountable obstacles and checked the impetuosity of his ambition. He was prompt without caution, and not calculating the probable evils of his attempts, he failed, and was eventually ruined. His was a case that demanded deliberation, your's requires no deliberation; for it is the path of prescribed and palpable duty that you must follow: diligence as a scholar, and early and regular attendance at the house of God.”.
“I know what you mean, mamma; I should think before I make up my mind, and then as you say "be prompt to do what I ought.”
"I am glad to hear you say so; the proof of the reality of conviction, is action; for as you have often heard, 'actions speak louder than words,'-'if ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.' As we are on the subject of promptitude, did you ever reflect, my dear James, upon its application to the affairs of the
“I have often heard our minister speak about it from the pulpit, and tell the congregation to seek God now.”
“Do you allude particularly to his discourse on the words «Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near.'”.
“Yes, mamma, I remember many of his remarks in that sermon, especially when he told young persons and children to give their hearts unto God. Perhaps, you will ask,' said he, 'when?' I answer, 'now. I thought he looked at me when he repeated the lines,
•Give me thy heart, nor linger more,
And make the Lord your shield.'” “Well, my dear, and did you implore His grace, and have you given your heart to God ?"
“I tried to pray, certainly, but-".
“Now, here, my dear son, you see the necessity of promptitude, from which, not danger but safety will be the blessed result. Here, no deliberation is necessary, for the command of God requires instant obedience; “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with all thy mnight.' The Scriptures urge this upon you, and upon all. Abundant arguments might be adduced to enforce this, drawn from the uncertainty of life, the death of many young persons, the happiness connected with religion, the danger of neglecting it, the awful condition of those who come short of heaven. Do you remember one particular verse in the Divine Songs for children, on the advantages of early piety, which I frequently urged upon your attention when a lisping child ?” “You mean this,
"Twill save us from a thousand snares, • To mind religion young;
Grace will preserve our following years,
And make our virtue strong.'”. “The very verse. Experience and observation, my dear boy, confirm the assertions. Religion is the best preservative against vice and dissipation, and the enticements of evil company ; it forbids nothing but what would injure the mind, and enjoins nothing, but what tends to give it force and vigour. It is the only remedy against sin, the best philosophy of the wise, the comfort of the afflicted, the strength of the weak, the riches of the poor, and the support of the dying. That which is so excellent, ought to be sought immediately, and with a resolution never to desist
until it is possessed. Do you remember the persevering spirit of Columbus?"
“Perfectly, mamma. Nothing seemed to frighten him. He seemed to be quite bent upon his purpose, and always got the better of all difficulties and opposition.”
“Then, imitate the conduct of Columbus. He sought after an earthly, temporal good; you a heavenly, eternal good ; he sought a country to be gained; you, a country gained already, and which you are invited to possess and enjoy. But you must be prompt, for every thing says, ' Arise and depart!'
Hasten, O singer, to be wise,
The harder is she to be won.'" The tears rolled down the cheeks of James Hendrick, as his mother took his hand, and asked him tenderly, “Are you convinced of the necessity of being prompt ?" To which he replied in a subdued tone, “ quite, mother.” And he proved it, for he sought God with his whole heart, and “delayed not to keep his commandments,” and devote himself to his service. May the reader go and do likewise!
R. C. Penryn.
GETTING ON TOO FAST. A RESPECTABLE man, who had become interested in the subject of religion, and who had begun with some earnestness to search the Scriptures, had read but a few chapters when he became greatly perplexed with some of those passages which an inspired apostle has declared to be “hard to be understood.” In this state of mind he repaired to an aged African preacher, lately deceased, for instruction and help, and found him at noon, on a sultry day in summer, laboriously engaged hoeing his corn. As the man approached, the preacher, with patriarchal simplicity, leant upon the handle of his hoe, and listened to his story.
“Uncle Jack," said he, “I have discovered lately that I am a great sinner, and I have commenced reading the Bible, that I may learn what I must do to be saved. But I have met with a passage here,” holding up his Bible, “which I know not what to