« ZurückWeiter »
same people, of painting on the walls near the entrance, the picture of a huge dog, with the words“ Cave, cave canem!” written over it; and our cut this month furnishes proof of a similar practice.
On entering “ the house of the tragic poet,” at Pompeii, discovered in 1824, “ the first object which presents itself is a black dog spotted with white, represented on the pavement in mosaic, collared and chained, and in the attitude of barking. The collar is of red leather. Below the animal is inscribed, in very legible characters, ‘Cave Canem.'”.
As Philippi was a Roman colony, it is extremely probable that Paul alludes to this singular custom, with which the readers of his epistle were necessarily conversant.
THE CHRISTIAN TRIUMPH.
“Wisdom is justified of all her children." Two years had elapsed since Mary and Janet Macpherson, who have already been introduced to our readers, took up their abode at their uncle's. The mixture with a large, gay family, was certainly not favorable to their growth in grace, but they were trees of the Lord's planting, and he preserved them, not only alive, but flourishing. Arrived at the age of fourteen and twelve, they were lovely specimens of what the early grace of God can do.
Such was their state of soul-prosperity ; but with respect to the body, Mary was far from flourishing. An attack of influenza had gone through the family; and, under cover of this complaint, serious disease was insidiously creeping over her. Still she made so little fuss about herself; her cough, though continued, was so trifling; and her sense of duty so often overcame the feeling of languor, that her indisposition proceeded almost unobserved. Caroline, at present, was by no means recovered, a circumstance which rendered deception more easy; so it was merely thought the influenza had left Mary delicate, and the unfortunate east winds kept renewing her cold. About the time, too, that her state would probably have attracted Dr. Wilmot’s notice, he, with her aunt and Caroline, went for a little excursion : being able to procure professional help, their absence was prolonged to six or seven weeks. .
During these weeks Anna and her elder brother, (the latter at least between the hours of study,) were left to take care of themselves, while the younger children were left under the care of the governess. With Miss Robarts, prejudiced as she was against religion, Mary had never been a favourite; it was not likely, therefore, that she should watch her with any peculiar interest; indeed she had been rather pleased than otherwise, at having an occasional opportunity for reproof, on account of some unwonted negligence.
On the evening of her friends' return she was not particularly noticed, there being many to share attention, and the slight flush occasioned by seeing them, once more concealed the work that was going on. The next morning at breakfast, Mrs. Wilmot enquired, “ I hope, Miss Robarts, you can give a good account of your pupils ?”
“A very good one,” replied the governess; “Mary was not quite so attentive as when you are at home; but I have nothing to complain of in any."
Caroline turned towards Mary, and the words were just rising on her lips, “Why, Mary, I expected you would have been the monitress of the party,” when she was forcibly struck by her pallid cheek and languid eye, combined with a considerable loss of flesh.
“ You are not well, dear,” she exclaimed. “Papa, do take Mary in hand; I am sure she is not well.”
“Come to me, my love,” said Dr. Wilmot; and he placed his finger on her wrist. Mary was not looking at him, for her eye just then happened to be cast down; but those who were, saw at once all which at that moment rushed over his mind. 'The mere act of moving had quickened the pulse, and produced a slight cough. From that moment Mary found herself the object of intense care and anxiety, but consumption had already gained a point, from which its progress is often rapid and appalling.
Mary felt no little surprise at the warmth of affection that flowed in to her from all sides : but had this circumstance failed of arresting her notice, poor Janet's frequent tears would have revealed the truth. They flowed afresh with every changing symptom; and in vain she strove to repress them. Mary often tried to soothe her fears, assuring her that they overstepped the occasion. The flattering nature of the complaint enabled her to do this with some sincerity : her friends almost persuaded themselves at times that she would recover ; even Dr. Wilmot little expected so speedy a termination of the conflict.
Still the quiet invalid could not be otherwise than aware of her very precarious state; but her soul having obtained peace through the blood of the Cross, death had lost its terror and its sting. She could contemplate the probability with holy calmness, realizing the words of the apostle, “To me to live is Christ, and to die gain.” And though strength decreased, it was almost imperceptibly, for she had little need of exertion ; being able to enjoy air without fatigue in the carriage or pleasure-boat.
From the first moment of apprehended danger Caroline was unremitting in her love and care; and her tenderness received a seven-fold reward. While watching over Mary, she became familiar with her character, and the principles by which it was governed ; and often did a fervent wish rise in her heart to be made a partaker of the same salvation. When Mr. or Mrs. Milman visited the sick room they generally found Caroline or Janet with their young friend, and the precious truths primarily intended for her, fell on their hearts like seed on a prepared soil. The portions of scripture, hymns, and profitable books which Mary delighted to hear, were also a source of much benefit to Caroline; so that while she neither felt comfort in herself, nor courage to open her heart to any one, she had really passed from death unto life.
One morning, when her cousin felt particularly ill, the servant informed them that Mr. Milman was below: “0, let him come up,” said Mary; but as the door closed, the weakness which had before oppressed her increased, and she suddenly fainted. When their pastor entered, Caroline was kneeling beside the sofa, bathing her temples, and too much engrossed at that moment even to notice Mr. Milman.
Mary at length opened her eyes, while Caroline gently kissed her; and putting a smile on her countenance, from which every particle of colour had fled, said, tenderly, “ There, dear love, you are better now. I am so inexperienced, I was almost afraid you were going to leave us : what should I do without you?”
“ Why, I am sure," replied Mary, “I should be no loss to
any one; but I am getting over it, and if I had not, I trust it would have been well with me; and we shall soon meet again, for I know, dear Caroline, you will cleave to our blessed Saviour."
“I do indeed desire to say,” rejoined Caroline, with deep emotion, “ Thy people shall be my people, and thy God, my God. But it seems to me as if I could neither be safe nor happy unless I might add, 'Where thou diest I will die, and there will I be buried.'”
“O, no, cousin : I trust many a year of happiness and usefulness is before you."
Mr. Milman now came forward, and putting out his hand cordially to Caroline, observed, “You are but now enlisting, my dear Miss Wilmot; you must not therefore, at present, long for a discharge. Your feelings will, I am sure, make you willing to live to Him, who, I trust, died for you.”
“ If I could live to Him, but ” and a flood of tears came to the relief of her recent agitation, and her spiritual feelings. Mr. Milman, as if finishing her sentence, added
“ So many foes the passage throng,
How can my soul be cheerful?
“ But when I think of Him whose power,
And place on Him reliance :
I bid them all defiance!”
Then, addressing himself to Mary in sweet and simple language, he dwelt on the unsearchable riches, the unspeakable blessings of the gospel of peace. And having suited his instruction to each of his young friends, and to Janet, who soon joined them, he offered up a prayer, which seemed to embody all the desires of their hearts.
One prominent but unexpressed desire remained on Mary's mind. It was to see her brother Theodore. With respect to her dear mamma, she knew that any intercourse was impossible. They had twice been home during Theodore's vacations, and their parent was able to recognize and welcome them; but their
presence being soon found to increase her bewilderment and agitation, only a short visit was allowed. Yet it had been fondly hoped, that when Mary's education was finished, her constant attendance might have proved highly beneficial; a hope so dear to her affectionate heart, that its disappointment was the only thing for which she ever wept in the prospect of her early removal. But though no meeting could be effected between mother and child, a visit from her brother was what she earnestly longed for. He was now fulfilling an engagement of long standing, as the companion of a young nobleman in his tour on the continent. September had been fixed for his return, that he might spend the last month of his vacation with his afflicted mother. Therefore, as no immediate danger was apprehended, they had written as favorably as possible of Mary, that they might not distress him ; only expressing a wish that as soon as he returned he would come and see her.
It was now the latter end of August, and Mary, fearful of grieving her kind friends, still made the best of herself. An opportunity however occurred at this time of making known her real feelings. Dr. Wilmot, in making one of his frequent visits to her room, observed the pale countenances of Caroline and Janet, and insisted on their walking with the rest of the family ; having done this, he sat down himself beside his niece. Mary immediately took advantage of their absence.
“ Uncle," said she, “ do you think I shall continue long? I sometimes feel as if death were very near.” She then described her symptoms without reserve, and added, with a look of earnest enquiry,—"Now, dear uncle, tell me your opinion faithfully.”
“I fear, my child,” he replied, “ that you are sinking rapidly.”
“ Then would it be unreasonable to hasten Theodore ? I should so like to see him again in this world : but should our heavenly Father order otherwise, I am abundantly content."
“ I will write to him immediately, dear. I will write now," said Dr. Wilmot, “ and insert any message you like.”
The letter was accordingly written and despatched, and Mary's mind was now in perfect peace.
On the night immediately following this occurrence, Caroline, who had of late slept lightly, thought she heard her father