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stories, and making stories to reach the summit more easily. Both continents afford numerous
examples of these hills, divided into terraces, and supported by walls of brick or stone. The pyramids appear to me to be merely artificial hills, raised in the midst of a plain, and intended to serve as a basis to the altars. What is more sublime and awful than a sacrifice that is ofiered in the sight of an assembled nation !"
The Pyramid of Tapautla was by chance discovered some years ago by some Spanish hunters; for the Indians carefully conceal from the whites whatever was an object of ancient veneration. The form of this pyramid, which had six, perhaps seven stories, is more tapering than any other monument of this kind. It it built entirely of hewn stones of an extraordinary size, and very beautifully and regularly shaped. Three staircases lead to the top. The covering of its steps is decorated with hieroglyphical sculpture, and small niches, which are arranged with great symmetry. The number of these niches seems to allude to the 318 simple and compound signs of the days of the civil calendar of the Tolbecks.
The researches of Humboldt gave, as might have been expected, a new impetus to the study of American antiquities. Among travellers who have made explorations, Mark Beaufoy, a British officer, published, in 1828, a work entitled “Mexican Illustrations.” He thus describes a visit to a group of pyramids much less noted than those of Cholula :-"
:-" The most curious, and from various circumstances which connect them with the first colonization of America, by far the most interesting monuments in the Mexican territory are the Pyramids of Otumba. So little had I been led to expect from report, that these ancient edifices would be found more worthy of attention than the three ruinous pyramids of Cholula, that I had neglected, to provide myself with the means of measuring them, or to make such arrangements as might have enabled me more thoroughly to investigate the extraordinary scene I was about to visit.
“ The two pyramids of Otumba have their sides and
shape perfectly distinct, facing the four cardinal points of the compass, with an inclination to the summit of about 45 degrees, and those summits appearing at a short distance to end in a peak. They are placed at half a mile from each other. Each has two stages about three feet wide, at regular distances up the sides, and running quite round the building. On the summit of each is a small platform, once apparently covered with cement, and probably surmounted by a temple; but a few modern ruins show clearly that the Spanish conquerors had erected chapels on the sites of the Mexican edifices. In no point could I discover anything resembling an entrance ; but several large holes which had been dug into their sides, either from curiosity or avarice, gave me the opportunity of ascertaining that neither layers of brick, nor adobas : (unburnt), were used in the construction ; common volcanic stones, with which the surrounding plain is strewed, appear to have been agglomerated into the pyramidal mass, by means of a cement composed of water, earth, and mortar ; and the faces of the four inclined planes afterwards smoothed and perfected as to their shape and proportions. The latter operation has been effected with so
much care, and the fissures so well closed, that the small | bushes now growing on them have scarcely proved injuri
ous to the workmanship. The group of primitive remains which surround these remarkable structures are no less wonderful. Between the two pyramids, arranged in regular order, and forming a kind of street, are a vast number of small mounds or tumuli of volcanic stones; varying in height from five to twenty and thirty feet : these did not seem to have had their sides smoothed, but wore the appearance of heaps raised to commemorate the dead. To the right hand of the Pyramid of the Moon, stands the head of an immense idol, carved in a hard species of porphyry; and in another place a stone altar extremely well fashioned, which I measured as well as I could with my pocket-handkerchief, and then compared with my own height: this rude mode gave eleven feet long (for it had been thrown down), four wide, and four thick. The
ground further to the right, outside of the tumuli, was thickly scattered with small earthenware heads, and grotesque faces of men.”
1 PETER ii. 4. On referring to the different portions of the inspired writings of the four Evangelists, which contain the life and sufferings of our Saviour, we shall observe an example set forth which does, when viewed in every aspect and under every light, surpass and shine pre-eminently beautiful and lovely above all others that have ever been exhibited by the many followers of God. Their examples are all when closely examined, found in a greater or less degree to be attended with imperfections. But this of
our blessed Saviour, who was "the express image of the Father," is in all points “perfect” and without “ spot or wrinkle,” therefore, however much it is scrutinized, it does not lose any of its splendour, but shines the more brightly and appears the more glorious.
The Saviour himself in effect says, “ I have given you an example that ye should do as I have done ;" let us then by the help of God's Holy Spirit look at this pattern, and examine one or more of its beautiful features.
In the first place, we find that his whole life from earliest youth is dedicated to the search of knowledge—in the pursuit of all that is good and spent in the practice of the most exalted virtue. See Him when only " twelve years of age”
” whilst returning from the passover at Jerusalem, he tarries behind and takes a seat in the school of the temple there amongst the learned “ doctors” and teachers, with the greatest attention he listens to themproposes many questions, and to the astonishment of all present gives many and wise answers. Soon afterwards at the desire of His parents He meekly returns to the town of Nazareth, and is “subject unto them;" continues to dwell with and work for them in the occupation of a carpenter. Further we learn that he “increased in wisdom and in favour with God and man.” From these remarks we may draw an example of early piety-zeal for learning -and of obedience to our parents.
When afterwards He set out upon His public ministry, He spent His time and used the Almighty power which accompanied Him in “doing good,” such as “preaching the Gospel,” “teaching in the synagogue," and "healing all manner of sickness and disease.” See Him as He is on His last journey to Jerusalem, after having been in many towns and villages and performed many wonderful works. He is met by two blind men who, upon hearing that Jesus passed by, cry out, “ Have mercy upon us. At their cry the multitude surrounding Him seem offended, they think that He will not stop to consider the cry of two poor blind beggars, and they tell them to “hold their peace.” But in spite of every attempt that is made to stop their
importunity," they cry out the more a great deal," " Have mercy upon us !” The voices are heard by Jesus, and he being moved with their entreaties bids them to be brought to Him. But Bartimeus (one of them) eager to get to Jesus does not lose a moment, but casting off his upper garment, which might have impeded his progress, he hastens through the crowd to the voice that calleth. Jesus upon learning that his request was that he “ might receive his sight,” said unto him, “Go thy way, thy faith hath ; made thee whole.” They both received their sight and “ followed him in the way." Let us learn an example from this, and never despise the poor and afflicted, but do all that lies in our power to help them.
Soon afterwards, during his absence at Bethabara, his much loved friend “ Lazarus ” fell sick, died, and was buried. The little family now are suffering much affliction, and their once happy home is looking sad and desolate. Many of their friends and neighbours endeavour to comfort them concerning their bereaved brother, but all to no purpose. Shortly, Jesus returns, he finds Mary and those which accompany, “weeping.” This causes him to “ feel much troubled, and He groans within himself.” He asks, having previously heard that he is dead, “ Where bare ye laid him ?” They reply, “Lord, come and see.” But he can hardly bear the sight, and lle begins to weep also. Well might the attendants exclaim, “Behold, he loved him!” The sorrowful procession move onward to the grave, amongst them Jesus with the tear of sympathy upon his cheek. At length they approach the place where the dead is laid. “It is a cave.” To their great surprise He bids them“ take away the stone that lay upon it," and after having given thanks to the Father, cries with a loud voice, “ Lazarus, come forth !" and he that was dead came forth and returned once more to his home. Truly He was “afflicted in the afllictions of his people.”
As an example of prayerfulness and self-denial we find His custom was that “in the morning He rose up a great while before day, went out and departed into a solitary place and there prayed ;" also, that often as evening ap