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THE UNCERTAINTY OF LIFE.
an unexpected legacy is a very dangerous thing. Now, suppose that instead of being in straitened circumstances she had been in deep anxiety about her soul, and that instead of being informed of a legacy of eight hundred pounds, she had obtained an assurance of her acceptance with God, and that in consequence of such assurance joy had kept her awake for a fortnight, at the end of which she died, what would the world have said then I How rife would have been the imputations of extravagance and fanaticism! And why would the censure, withholden in the one case, be awarded in the other? Simply because in the first instance the facta are admitted, and in the second they are disbelieved. And such, in truth, amidst all the reverence which they pretend for religion, is the infidelity of a large portion of the unconverted.
THE UNCERTAINTY OF LIFE.
About six months since, as we were sailing on the broad expanse of the ocean, homewardbound, after having doubled Cape Horn, and surmounted the difficulties and dangers incident to such a voyage; having experienced bad weather and headwinds, we were welcomed with the south-east trades. Each heart was rejoiced at the thoughts of once more returning to his native shore, and receiving the embraces of those who were near and dear to him by the ties of nature; the brother to clasp the affectionate sister to his breast, and let the tear of joy fall on her bosom; the boy once more to behold his tender mother greet him with the welcome smile of joy; the husband to embrace with raptures of delight the partner he had chosen, and relate to her by the fireside the dangers he had overcome, the anxieties he had felt concerning her during the absence of a three years' voyage. Such was the scene on board the ship. It was a moonlight evening; each sail swelled its bosom to the breeze; the sea was smooth, and the vessel seemed to glide on the surface like some fairy form with nymph-like grace, now and then gently plunging her bows, as if in token of respect to the God of the sea. The moon was playing with the ripple on the waters, which added grandeur and solemnity to the scene.
Such was the scene on board the good ship when the awful catastrophe took place which I am about to relate. The King of Terrors with uplifted hands had overtaken us, and marked
out his victim from among the crew. The bell had just announced the hour. The watch were relieved, and each man to his duty. It was heard by all on board—some to retire and dream of their friends, and some to pace the deck and guard her from all dangers. There was one on board who heard that bell toll for the last time; it was hie funeral-dirge; it called him on deck for the last time. But was he aware that in leas than half an hour he would be called from time to eternity? No; his thoughts were on home; he had just indulged in the hope that in a stated period of days he should enjoy the society of that partner who was dear to him. But his days were all numbered; his glass was run out, and the King of Kings summoned him to appear before his tribunal to give an account of his stewardship. I had been conversing with him all the evening; he seemed cheerful and lively. Being a fine evening, I went forward, and was sitting on the bows conversing with one of the men, and watching the progress of the ship through the water, as she made the white foam exfend around her prow, when suddenly we saw a school of porpoises. We immediately shouted "Porpoises," as is customary on shipboard when any come around the ship, as they are very palatable after having subsisted on salt provisions for any length of time. In an instant all hands were on the forecastle of the ship, some with harpoons and some ready to haul. The unfortunate person who is the subject of this sad tale went out on the martingale with a harpoon in his hand, when the Captain, joking, said, " Why don't you fasten?" He replied, "I am waiting for a chance." That chance came; he fastened to the porpoise, when, losing his balance, he fell overboard into the briny deep in an instant I saw him fall, and immediately ran aft to clear away a boat. The man at the helm brought the ship to the wind; in an instant every sail was aback, and the gallant ship that but a moment before was sailing at the rate of five miles per hour, now lay dormant. The unfortunate man rose to the surface of the water and cried for help: he could not swim. The Captain threw a frame to him, but he regarded it not. In an instant two boats were in the water. He rose again and answered the Captain again, and again he answered; but lastly one loud shriek was heard, and all hushed. Oh! that shriek, it rings in my ears now. The sea closed over him for ever, and he now sleeps in the coral grave beneath the darkblue wave. No stone marks the spot, but the inhabitants of the deep pass by his watery grave.
A Little way above Whampoa village, which is about fourteen miles below Canton, is a Chinese pagoda, said to be one df the highest in the province. It is situated on a little mound, which you pass very near in going up the river. It is nine stories in height, surrounded by a sort of balcony or look-out, which may be two hundred feet from the ground. It is built entirely of a gray-colored stone, of a circular form, each story aurrounded with a gallery, and regularly de. creasing in circumference as they rise from the lower one, which may be forty feet through. It bears marks of being of very ancient date, the stone being of a sort of dirty buff color, similar to old marble. Trees and shrubs are growing out from the nooks and crevices that abound all over the building, and from the top of the pagoda there are two or three pretty large trees growing out. From the bottom of the building, inside, you can look to the top, there being no stairway, and the only way of ascending it being by means of a small ladder, which you may drag up with you from story to story. The walls inside are covered with a sort of porcelain, painted rudely in figures of flying dragons and other fantastical and ludicrous Chinese devices. It has a magnificent and, at the same time, a desolate and melancholy appearance, built, as it must have been, at an immense expenditure of time and labor, and for some idolatrous purpose, rearing its lofty height far above every thing around it—a monument of wasted labor and misdirected skill, and strangely contrasting with the thousand scenes of misery and wretched suffering within view of it. Its base is surrounded few miserable hovels, the abode of
twenty or thirty half-starved wretches, in rags and filth, and all the horrors of a squalid penury. Such is a heathen temple, gray with age and crumbling to ruin—fit emblem of the degrading influence of idolatry.
Secrets Retween Husband And Win.—Thero should be no secrets between husband and wife; for since the wife has been taken into partnership, she, of course, has an equal interest in the "concern,'' and has a right to put auch questions to her husband in relation to the "standing affairs" as she desires; and if the husband is what he ought to be, satisfactory answers will be given. This is one of the principal causes why there is disunity and unpleasantness between husband and wife—the latter is kept from knowing that which she has a right to know. The husband who is not willing to make a confidant of a faithful and deserving wife, is not entitled to the name of husband. For who, more than she, is deserving of confidence? Did the husband more generally consult with his interested and care-taking companion, and ask her advice in matters pertaining to the management of a family, there is sufficient reason to believe that greater degree of prosperity and happiness would attend the married pair in their connubial journey.
It is necessary that there should be unity of feeling between husband and wife, and that there should be confidence reposed in each other, for the journey of life cannot otherwise be made pleasant and cheerful. Long years are passed by many in the connubial state who do not in reali189
*y know what the real, solid enjoyments of a wedded life are—do not know what they may be. And why I Because there seems to be a barrier between the two joined together, which neither will condescend to step over or break down; hence the common age of man is often lived out by many of our fellow-creatures without having experienced the sweets of domestic felicity.
Anecdote Of Frederick Thr Great.—The Amsterdam Gazette mentions the following fact:— "A soldier of Silesia, convicted of stealing certain offerings to the Virgin Mary, was doomed to death as a sacrilegious robber. He ileuied the theft, saying that the Virgin, from pity, presented, him with the offerings. The affair was brought before the King, who asked the Popish divines whether, according to their religion, the miracle was impossible. They replied that the
case was extraordinary, but not impossible. "Then," said the King, "the culprit cannot be put to death, because he denies the theft, and because the divines of his religion allow the present not to be impossible; but we strictly forbid him, under pain of death, to receive any present henceforward from the Virgin Mary, or any saint whatever."
Triumph Ok Art.—One of the most remarkable works of art ever accomplished, was done in this city on the day of the eclipse. Mr. Root, the wellknown daguerreotypist, assisted by Prof. Loomis of the University, and Mr. Campbell,(who has a fine observatory in Sixteenth street,) succeeded in making large and very accurate daguerreotype views of the different phases of the eclipse. These fine pictures—of course far more accurate than the very best of drawings—can be seen at Mr. Root's Gallery, No. 363 Broadway.
Egypt, Fast Asv Prjcsknt. By Rev. Jogeph P. Thompson. This elegant and finely-written volume, which we noticed I in advance of its publication, by inserting some of the engravings in the Miscellany of our May number, has been issued in a neat and attractive form. With the author's j graphic style of composition, his close observation, his faithful descriptions, together with the deep interest of the subject itself, and the beautiful illustrations which embellish its pages, it cannot fail to prove a most attractive work. So we have found it. The student of the Bible here finds new confirmations of divine truth, and the Sabbath-school teacher new subjects with which to Inter eft his class. John P. Jewett & Co.
Dtsnrnsv n* Amxrica. By Richard Hildreth. This volume takes the form of an inquiry into the nature, results, and legal Imsis of the slaveholding system in the United States. The book seems to be characterized by great candor and clear views of the subject. No one can read it without having juster convictions of moral right between man and man. It is admirably written, and calculated to interest both friends and foes of this great institution of servitude. John P. Jewett & Co.
Chira And Tils English. A very concise little book on the character and manners of the Chinese, as illustrated in the history of their intercourse with foreigners. It gives a vary succinct account of the war with the English some years ago. It is derived from the most reliable sources. It is adorned with many engravings, is got up in a neat style, and contains much valuable information that can be found nowhere else in so small a compass. R. T. Young.
Scriptcm Readings. By Rev. John Ctrmmmg, D, D, This volume is devoted chiefly to Sabbath morning readings on the Old Testament. It is on the book of Genesis-, highly diversified, engaging in style, and full of life and spirit. John P. Jewell & Co.
Baker's School Mrsto Boor. By B. F. Baker. A neat collection of chants, songs, and hymns, designed for juvenile classes, common schools, and seminaries. It is a complete system of elementary instruction, and, so far as we have been able to examine, it is most admirably adapted to the end. John P. Jewett & Co.
Daniel : a Model for Young Men. By Rev. W. A. Scott, I). D This volume is composed of a series of lectures by the author, on Sabbath evenings, to his own people. They are clear, persuasive, didactic, and well adapted to young men. They are full of pathos, and rich in historical illustrations. R. Carter & Brothers.
HtsrroRT Of California, from its Discovery to the Present Time. By E. S. Capron. California has attained, and is destined to occupy, a prominent place in the public mind. Its early history, therefore, cannot be too well understood. This book contains a full description of its climate, surface, soil, rivers, towns, beasts, birds, fishes, state of society, commerce, mines, &c. The subject is so divided as to give the cream of things in short space. It is accompanied by a valuable colored map. John P. Jewett ft Co.
The Test And The Altar, or, Sketches from Patriarchal Life. By Rev. John Cumming, D. D. A glance at the index of this book shows it to bs a highly devotional work,
Well calculated to instruct and cheer the Christian in his walk through life, holding up the examples of the ancient saints as lights to guide him. The gifted an nor goes deep into his subjects, and clothes them with precious and solemn thoughts. John P. Jewetl & Co.
Flower Of Thb Family: A Book for Girls. We have rarely read a more fascinating book, having such a fine moral effect, and teaching us thai religion is a gem that is worth possessing. It illustrates the power of simple piety in a young lady in a practical manner. No young lady can read it without wishing to be like her; and we might add, no school-girl can read it without being made better, and wiser, and happier, by it. A. D. F. Randolph.
Life Of Rev. J. Hallock. By Rev. Cyrus Yale. This book is oue of the excellent volumes of the Tract Society, and contains also a sketch of ihe life of Rev. Moses Hallock. We have here a vivid view of ihe laborers in the great revivals in the beginning of the present century. It would tend greatly to etevate the standard of piety among Christians, it ll could have as wide a circulation as some of the story books of the present day.
Work : or, Plenty to Do and How to Do It. By Margaret Maria Brewster. Thin book is a practical common sense effort. Ii ist a brief manual of every-day hints to those who commencing life in earnest may yet feel their need of a few plain words about work. A. D. F. Randolph.
Kkthxy's Mills: or, the Earnest Worker. A fine work for Sabbath-school teachers, coutaining much valuable instruction and many stories well related to illustrate facts. It is got up in good style and neatly bound. A. D. F. Randolph.
Vara: or, the Child of Adoption. This is the second edition of this popular book, neatly got up. Its excellent spirit is an antidote to all sour tempers and irritable dispositions. It is a boon that may be profitably read by all. R. Carter & Brothers.
Thk Modern Horss Doctor. By Geo. H. Dadd, M. D. This is a very ingenious, well-arranged work, with a copious index, plamiy directing the reader to any part of the diseased horse, and [Hunting out the remedy ; so that anybody who knows as little about horse doctoring as ourselves may form as high an opinion of the book as we have from a cursory examination. It contains many just observations on the nature, causes, and treatment of disease and lameness in horses, wiUi illustrations. John P. Jewetl k Co.
Voices Ok Thb Dead. By John Cumnimg, D. D. The speaking dead are recorded in the eleventh chapter of the Hebrews. The voices from ancient days chiefly constitute the volume. They are stirring appeals to the Church Militant. The study of these is a real communion of saints —a pure picture gallery of apostolic portraits, and of holy men of old. This book is a lively illustration of this glorious subject. John P. Jewetl & Co.
History Of The Protestant Chckch In Hungary. This work has been translated by Rev. J. J. Craig, D. D., with
an introduction by Merle D'Anbigne. The deep sympathies recently awakened in this country in behalf of down trod den Hungary render the appearance of this book peculiarly opportune. It extends from the beginning of the Reformation to 1850, and is written in that graphic yet matter-of-fact style so well suited to the subject. It has special reference to Transylvania. It contains 550 pages, and gives us a very clear view of the cause of Protestantism in Hungary. It should be in the hands of every pastor. Boston : Phillips, Sampson k Co. New-York : James C. Derby.
Lyrics By Thb Letter H.—Poems full of melody, fancy, and sentiment, embodying the thoughts and feelings of one full of poetic fire. It is the work of no ordinary mind. It bears the stamp of genius and talent The songs are graceful, easy, and natural. J. C. Derby.
Parish Side.—We have received from Mason Brothers a copy of this book. It strikes us that it is not equal in interest to the Shady Side or Sunny Side. It is a description of a united country parish, and the business part seems to be the leading idea.
Wk have received from Horace Waters, 333 Broadway, Publisher, the following choice and rare pieces of fresh music:
1. Sweet Alice. Song. By G. Ormagn. Beautiful Lithograph Vignette.
2. The Modern Belle Song. By the Hutchinson Family.
3. Cockade City Quickstep. By Charles C. Converse.
4. Tournament Gallop. By L. M. Goitschalk.
5. The Past. Fantasie. By Henry Murali.
6. Park Waltzes. By John Fletcher.
We have just received from Hall & Son, 239 Broadway, the following mosl excellent pieces of music for review:
1. Village Belle. Song. Poetry by Geo. P. Morris, Ksq.; Music by Jane Sloman.
2. Florida Polka Redowa. By Joseph Ascher.
3. Absent Friends. Song. By George Washbourn Morgan.
4. The Crescent Turkish Military Polka. By. Wm. Iucho.
We would call the attention of all lovers of music to the following pieces of music, recently published by Berry k Gordon, 279 Broadway:
1. The Pine Hill Gallopade. By Win. C. Wright.
2. The Magic Bell Polka. By Francis H. Brown.
3. The Moonbeam Schoitisch. By Francis H. Brown.
4. The Star of My Home. Song. Words by Eliss Cook; Music by Win. C. Wright.
5. I'll Pray for Thee. Song. By C. Jarvis.
A New And Beautiful Map Of Europb has just been published by Ensign, Bridgman k Fanning, 156 William street. It is about two feet square, very accurate, beautifully engraved and colored, and is exceedingly rich and full. It is by far the best map that we have seen for constant reference to the seat of war, and the great struggle in Europe. Price, mounted, 75 cts. Sent to order in pockst form, post-paid, on the publishers receiving 50 cts.