Imagens da página
PDF
ePub

GARDEN OF GETHSEMANE.

Lieut. Lynch, of the United States navy, was, in 1848, deputed to take command of the United States exploring Expedition to the River Jordan and the Dead Sea. The object of the expedition was to discover and explain the peculiar features of this mysterious sea, to the end that science might be advanced, and the curiosity of the world put at rest regarding a sea that knows no ebb and flow, and in whose God-accursed waters no living thing exists. Having faithfully performed the object of his mission, be bent his steps to Jerusalem, and there visited all the “ holy ! places” for which this city is so famous. He visited the ! Garden of Gethsemane in May, and thus speaks of that sacred spot :

“The clover upon the ground was in bloom, and the garden, in its aspects and associations, was better calcu

1 ated than any place I know, to soothe a troubled spirit. Eight venerable trees, isolated from the smaller and less imposing ones which skirt the path of the Mount of Olives, form a consecrated grove. High above, on either hand, i towers a lofty mountain, with the deep, yawning chasm of Jehoshaphat between them. Crowning one of them is 1 a living city ; on the slope of the other is the great Jewish Cemetery City of the Dead. Each tree in this grore, I cankered and gnarled, and furrowed by age, yet beautifal and impressive in its decay, is a living monument of the affecting scenes that have taken place beneath and around it. The olive perpetuates itself; from the root of the dying parent stem the tree springs into existence. These are accounted one thousand years old. Under those of the preceding growth, therefore, the Saviour was wont to 1 rest; and one of the present may mark the very spot where he knelt, and prayed, and wept. No cavilling doubt can find entrance here. The geographical boundaries are too distinct and clear for an instant's hesitation. Here the Christian, forgetful of the present, and absorbed in the past, can resign himself to sad yet soothing meditation. The few purple and crimson flowers growing about

the roots of the tree will give him ample food for contemplation, for they tell of the suffering and ensanguined death of the Redeemer.

SELF-GOVERNMENT. Govern the temper. Angry words win nothing but contempt. Have you ever chanced to catch a glance at yourself in a mirror when in a violent rage? Did you not make a ridiculous picture ? The distortion anger occasions to the features of the face, renders it a striking exponent of mental character. The lines become fixed in time, and, alas ! so does the habit, until we hear people complain that they cannot restrain their temper. They did not begin soon enough. Even as a matter of policy, a young man should gain control over his temper; for what abiding influence can he exercise over others, if he be no master over himself? “If a young man intended to go headlong to his ruin, not only without sympathy, but amid the sporting and merriment of others, he could not pursue a course more certain for the accomplishment of his purpose than by allowing his emotions to be worked into a state of exasperation. A person who has acquired, no matter by what means, this unhappy temperament, is always at the mercy of others. He is incapable of being a master in the useful and honourable sense of the word ; and, as a servant, he is not trustworthy, even with every desire to be honest and faithful in the execution of that which is committed to his care. In short, if a person wishes to be as useless and cut as miserable a figure in the world as he possibly can, he should by all means acquire the exacerbations of temper, but otherwise he should by every means avoid them.” Govern the appetites. The nearest approach to a brute that man can make, is to become a mere creature of appetite-a feeder, a toper. So long as he is well fed, or rather crammed, a glutton is a stupid, harmless lump, but deny him his provinder, and he becomes a roaring lion. Since his highest aim is to gourmandize upon the delicious, can anything worthy of manly dignity be expected of him? But the only effectual mode of self-government is to seek a renewed heart.

POETRY. DON'T TELL ME OF TO-MORROW. Don't tell me of to-morrow!

Give me the man who'll say, Whene'er a good deed's to be done,

“ Let's do the deed to-day." We may all command the present,

If we act and never wait ; But repentance is the phantom

Of the past that comes too late.

Don't tell me of to-morrow!

There is much to do to-day, That can never be accomplish'd,

If we throw the hours away.

Every moment has its duty :

Who the future can foretell ? Then why put off till to-morrow,

What to-day can do as well ?

Don't tell me of to-morrow ?

If we look upon the past,
How much that we have left to do,

We cannot do at last.
To-day ! it is the only time

For all on this frail earth;
It takes an age to form a life,

A moment gives it birth.

[merged small][graphic][ocr errors]

“ The Inhabitants (says a French writer) were asleep, when suddenly an impetuous wind arose, and detaching a portion of the cinders which covered the summit of Vesuvius, hurried them in whirlwinds through the air, and within a quarter of an hour entirely overwhelmed Herculaneum, Sorento, Pompeii, and the elder Pliny ! Imprudent men ! Why did you build Pompeii, at the foot of Vesuvius, on its lava, and on its ashes? The roofs of the City became fields and orchards ; and one day, while the peasants were digging, something was found to resist. It was a city! It was Pompeii !"

The first indications of its site were observed so early as 1689, but it was not till 1755 that any effectual attempts were made to explore its remains. Few works are more exciting than this disinterment of a buried city. The upper stories of the houses, which appear to have consisted chiefly of wood, were either burned by the red-hot stones ejected from Vesuvius, or broken down by the weight of matter collected on their roofs and floors. With this exception, we see a flourishing city in the very way in which it existed nearly eighteen centuries ago; the buildings as they were originally designed ; the paintings undimmed by the leaden torch of Time ; household furniture left in the confusion of use; articles of intrinsic value, abandoned in the burry of escape ; and, in some instances, the bones of the inhabitants, bearing sad testimony to the suddenness and completeness of the calamity which overwhelmed them.

One interesting instance of this suddenness is thus pointed out: "I noticed a striking memorial of this mighty interruption in the Forum, opposite the Temple of Jupiter. A new altar of white marble, exquisitely beautiful, and apparently just out of the hands of the sculptor, had been erected there ; an enclosure was building all round ; the mortar, just dashed against the side of the wall, was but half spread out; you saw the long sliding stroke of the trowel about to return and obliterate its own tract--but it never did return: the hand of the workmen were suddenly arrested ; and after the lapse of eighteen hundred years, the whole looks so fresh and new, that you would almost think the mason was only gone to his dinner, and about to come back immediately to smooth the roughness."

Pompeii was not completely buried by a single eruption. Eight successive layers have been traced above its ruins. In the intervals the inhabitants must have returned to secure their more valuable property. Sir William Gell mentions that a skeleton of a Pompeian was found, " who

apparently for the sake of sixty coins, a small plate, and a i saucepan of silver, had remained in his house till the street

was already half filled with volcanic matter.” The posi

« AnteriorContinuar »