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TACTS, HINTS, AND GEMS.
Poetit Selections. THEY WHO LABOUR for God, will VANITY OF HUMAN LIFE. never be neglected by God. He
Like to the falling of a star, will pay their wages, and not as man
Or as the flights of eagles are ; payeth, but in full and more.
Or like the fresh spring's gaudy hue, THE SOUL OF MAN can never |
Or silver drops of morning dew;
Or like a wind that chafes the flood, find any settled rest until it looks
Or bubbles which on water stood: to Christ and comes to him for! Even such is man, whose borrow'd light pardon and salvation. The truth
Is straight call'd in, and paid to-night.
The wind blows out, the bubble dies; of this thousands have proved, thou
The spring entom b'd in autumn lies. sands are proving, and thousands The dew dries up, the star is shot; will prove.
The flight is past, and man forgot. THE PROMISES OF God are silken cords to draw us gently to himself.
TO-MORROW. Faith yields to their influence, and
TO-MORROW, and to-morrow, and tothe soul is saved; but unbelief
morrow, snaps them, and then sinks into Creeps in this petty pace from day to day, perdition.
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools TAKE HEED LEST YE FALL. - To
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief fall into any trap of tbe enemy is a candle ! disgrace to the christian, especially Life's but a walking shadow; a poor player, when God has set up warning posts
That struts and frets his hour upon the
stage, on the way, like Cain, Noah, Lot's | And then is heard no more: it is a tale wife, Eli, David, Solomon, Peter, Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, and many more.
Signifying nothing THE GENTLE KINDNESS OF JESUS
LIRE UNCERTAIN. makes him just the very Saviour we poor guilty, timid, creatures LIKE crowded forest trees we stand,
And some are marked to fall; needed. Who need be afraid of
The axe will smite at God's command, coming to him? See how he re
And soon will smite us all. ceived sinners, and take heart. He
Green as the bay-tree, ever green will not cast thee out.
With its new foliage on; WOULD YOU KNOW. God?—Then The gay, the thoughtless, I have seen,
I passed-and they were gone! study the character and conduct of Jesus Christ. He that sees and No present health can health insure knows him, sees and knows the For yet an hour to come;
No medicine, though it often cure, Father. The Holy Spirit will help
Can always balk the tomb. you. CHEERFUL OBEDIENCE to God is
Read, ye that run, the solemn truth,
Taught by the sacred page; the fruit of faith in God. Until we
A worm is in the bud of youth, have full confidence in God, we And at the root of age. shall neither love him nor serve bim, so as to please him and profit BE WISE FOR ETERNITY. ourselves.
Be wise, my soul, be timely wise, The Most GLORIOUS Sight on Flee to the atoning sacrifice; this earth of ours, for so angels
The gospel promises embrace,
And trust thy all to Jesus' grace. esteem it, and they know all about it better than we, is to see a penitent
Thus seize the moments as they fly,
Learn well to live, and well to die; seeking to his God for pardon and
Long do they live, nor die too soon, grace by Jesus Christ. There is Who live till life's great work is done. joy in heaven over such a scene.
A Pious old Christian said that when he was a boy, he went with his fellowservants to hear methodist preaching. After some lime the master, who was not a religious man, sent for the whole of his ser. vants to appear before him in the parlour, every
one of them wondering. MAU
what was the matter. He then addressed them to
the following effect:-“I
11 understand that you have all gone to hear these methodist preachers, and that some of you regu. larly attend their meetings. I now inform you that I shall not allow any of my servants to become methodists; and unless you promise me, before you leave this room, that you will not attend another methodist meeting during your stay with me, I shall immediately pay you the wages which are due to you, and send you away to seek employment elsewhere." Most of them, with little or no hesitation, expressed their regret for having thus offended him, and promised never more to offend in this matter. The farmer called upon the shepherd boy last, asking, with a grave countenance and a stern manner, "Harry, what bast thou to say for thyself ?” Harry answered, “I am very happy in my place, and would be glad enongh to remain with you as your shepher
my soul is of more worth than the wages that I am hired for. I have received good under the preaching of these men, and I am determined to hear them, whatever may come of it. I will not act against my conscience, sir, for anybody.” On hearing this, the farmer, whose object it was merely to ascertain the real characters of his men, exclaimed, “Thou art an honest lad, Harry, and worthy to be trusted. As for these other fellows, every one of them would sell his soul for worldly benefit; and what confidence can one put in them ?" He then declared that he should retain Harry as his shepherd, and forth with dismissed every other servant as unworthy of his confidence. The venerable man who gave me this account was then about eighty years of age; and as the facts occurred in the early part of his life, nearly a century has now elapsed since his religious principles were thus severely tested.
The master in this case was, we think, too severe. In commending Harry he did well: but we think he went too far in turning the other men away, when a sharp reproof of them would have been enough. But we are not told that the master himself was a christian. Had he been one, he would have attended himself, and used his influence to persuade, but not force, bis servants to attend also. Christians should be wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.
THE DESTRUCTION OF JERUSALEM. In the day when Jesus gazed upon the magnificent spectacle of the Jewish capital, the powerful protection of Rome was extended over it, and all was peace. How great was the change ere that generation had passed away! The children of those daughters of Jerusalem who bewailed him on his way to crucifixion, were but in their prime when the Romans were seen investing the city in warlike array. The Roman army commanded by Titus consisted of sixty thousand men; and one of his three encampments was pitched on that very mountain from which Jesus predicted the destruction of the capital, and bewailed its doom. In fifteen days after its investment the outer wall was carried; and after nine days more, the second was taken, lost, and regained by the besieging army. Batteries were now raised for the attack of the innermost wall, but were speedily destroyed. More vigorous measures were then adopted; and all terms having been declined by the infatuated Jews, Titus determined to construct a wall of circumyallation around the whole city, that he might attack it to more advantage, and might prevent all escape from within and all succours from without; and this, though taking a circuit of nearly five miles, and flanked by thirteen towers, was completed in the space of three days. Thus literally was the prediction verified, “ Thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side.”
Then, when the people were hemmed in on every side, they experienced that unparalleled distress of which prophecy had given such appalling descriptions. Within a city adapted for the residence of only six hundred thousand inhabitants, five times that number are supposed to have been enclosed; multitudes having come to the passover, and many having fled thither from their unprotected habitations in the provinces. To render the distress more aggravated, the resources of the people had been destroyed before the approach of the Romans, and the city itself wasted by civil strife. Three factions had maintained as many distinct stations within the walls; and, among other mad exploits, had consumed with fire store-houses filled with corn and other provisions, that would have sufficed the whole population during a protracted siege. When the enemy was actually investing the city, two factions, headed by Simon and John, continued to strive in deadly conflict; both
THE DESTRUCTION OF JERUSALEM.
uniting, however, in preventing the citizens from opening their gates to the Romans, and in desperate sallies and attacks on the besiegers. These factions exercised a tyranny far more malignant than that of Rome; wantonly slaughtering the people, wresting from them whatever they possessed, and even appropriating the sacred treasures of the temple. Under the influence of these zealots all accommodation was hopeless; and every overture having been met with contempt and ribald jests, the Romans were beyond measure incensed. Many of the people attempted to escape from the city, and were taken by the besiegers, who, hoping to terrify the rest into submission, treated them with the utmost severity. The hands of some were lopped off, and they were sent back, dismembered, into the city. Multitudes, to the amount of five hundred a day, were crucified within sight of the walls, “ till room was wanting for the crosses, and crosses for the bodies.” One fugitive having been known to swallow gold, two thousand men were slain in one night, and their bodies dissected, in the hope of finding gold within them. The carnage within the city was still more appalling. The only burial afforded to the great majority was to carry them out of the gates and cast them into the city ditch; and above six hundred thousand men were thus cast out. When they were no longer able to carry the dead out at the gates, they filled large houses with their carcasses, and closing the doors, left them to fester in the midst of the city. In the meanwhile, famine raged so fearfully that men, swollen as in dropsy, or shrunk as in wasting disease, staggered and expired in the streets; or, driven to desperation, they violently assaulted one another in the streets, or forced their way into their neighbours' houses, in hope of suatching a morsel of concealed food. They preyed, moreover, in their distress, on the veriest garbage. But there was one fact which produced a measure of horror, both among Jews and Romans, beyond everything else. A woman of some rank, Mary of Bethezob, having been spoiled of all she possessed, famishing herself, and seeing her infant son famishing at her bosom, seized upon the babe in an agony of despair, and addressed him to this purport: “O thou miserable infant! for what shall I preserve thee? As a victim of famine-or of Roman slavery-or of these factions, more cruel tban either? Come, be thou my food; and be thou a fury to these factions, and a by-word to the world, and so complete the calamities of our nation.” She then slew her infani, deliberately roasted
THE DESTRUCTION OF JERUSALEM.
his flesh, ate the half at a meal, and put by the residue for a second repast. So precise was the fulfilment of Moses' prophecy respecting the delicate woman! So just was the exclamation of Jesus, “Woe unto them that give suck in those days!”
After this, what need I to speak of prodigies? Yet prodigies were foretold in the prophecies of this event, and are recorded by its historians. Fearful sights were seen in the heavens; the concussion of earthquake was experienced; the ponderous gate of the temple-court is said to have burst open at midnight of its own accord; the priests officiating at Pentecost, within the temple, are reported to have felt a shaking and heard a rushing, when these words were pronounced, as if by the retiring Deity, “Let us remove hence.” A further relation is given by the Jewish historian, which wears the air of unquestioned authenticity. A rustic, coming to the feast of tabernacles, seven years before the siege, suddenly elevated his voice, and exclaimed, “A voice from the four winds — a voice against Jerusalem and the temple!” And ever afterwards he went about the streets of Jerusalem, vociferating, “Woe, woe, woe!” This cry he continued day and night, month after month, and year after year. They scourged him, but at every stroke he exclaimed, “Woe, woe to Jerusalem !” He continued to reiterate this dismal cry during the progress of the siege, till one day towards its close, taking his station on the wall, he added to his usual exclamation, “Woe to myself!” immediately upon which he fell dead, smitten by a missile discharged from the Roman engines. .
We hasten to the catastrophe. The prediction of Jesus, in which he foretold the utter destruction of the city and temple, was fully verified. Titus would fain have spared both, especially the latter; but the Jewish zealots rejected, in their infatuation, every overture, till the Roman soldiers became exasperated beyond all control. The temple was the citadel in which the zealots defended themselves; and when the tower of Antonia was taken, they themselves, to cut off the communi. cation, fired the cloisters adjoining it. The battering-ram and scaling-ladders were now applied to the western gate of the inner court; fire at length forced a passage, and another portion of the cloisters was consumed. Titus, solicitous to preserve at least the sanctuary itself, and fearing lest the flames should reach it, commanded them to be quenched; but, instead