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by the successive voices of prophets, prefigured by external rites and emblems, and engrafted on the Theocracy. A particular family, selected by Infinite Wisdom, trained in the severe school of adversity, rescued by supernatural interference, isolated from the surrounding idolatry, is to be the recipient of the divine oracles and institutions, and to perpetuate them till the advent of the Messiah.
An individual capable of heading such a movement, giving it the right impulse, and in the right direction, leaving his moral and intellectual impress on his own and all after-generations, seems an important prerequisite. He will need not only the preparatory discipline, but a clear and abiding conviction that God has indeed delegated to him this high mission. This conviction it was the evident design of the miracle we are contemplating to awaken and keep alive. His staff, probably his intimate companion for years, Moses was directed to cast upon the ground. On the instant it was instinct with life; eyes gleamed, scales glistened in the sun, a serpent
"bowed His turret crest and sleek enamel neck."
Whose agency, but God's, was adequate to so surprising a result? But the confidence which this miracle inspired must be perpetuated. There should be no harassing doubts in the presence of Pharaoh, nor by the sea, nor in the wilderness. Hence the serpent is retransformed into the staff. It is to go with its possessor, his divining-rod, through all his wonder-working career. That rod, itself a perpetual miracle, called down the mingled hail and thunder, and made fire to run along upon the ground. That rod summoned the portentous cloud of locusts,
"That o'er the realm of impious Pharaoh hung
That rod divided the sea on either hand, affording an exit to the Israelites, and drowning in its impetuous recoil the pursuing armies. That rod smote the rock at Rephidim, "turning the wilderness into a standing water." That rod rolled backward the tide of battle, bringing disaster on the fortunes of Amalek. In all these instances its presence and agency are asserted; in others, they are apparently inferred. One other instance, where the allusion, though possibly to the rod of Aaron, is most probably to that of Moses, is the last The "great and terrible wilderness" was crossed, and the Hebrews—now another generation—had arrived a second time at Kadesh, an the borders of Canaan, when, again, "there
was no water for the congregation." u Hear now, ye rebels: Can we bring you water out of this rock f" was the expression of that distrust which excluded Moses and Aaron for ever from the promised land.
Yet the rod—"his rod"—which Moses had taken from the Divine presence, and by the Divine command, had not lost its virtue. The twice-smitten rock "opened," and man and beast shared its refreshing etreams. 'Ain-el-Weibah, the most frequented watering-place in the valley of 'Arabah, is the probable site of Kadesh. In the back-ground tower the ragged aud purple summits of Hor, the burial-place of Aaron; and in the vale beneath still gush the unwearied waters.
The rod whose authentic history I have thus narrated, is famed both in Mohammedan and Jewish legends. They describe it as the growth of Paradise, transmitted through Enoch, Shem, and the Patriarchs, to Joseph ; from the palace of the Pharaohs transferred to Midian, where it became eventually the companion and property of Moses.
Of its ultimate disposition we are ignorant The expression in Numbers, "from before Jehovah," would eeem to intimate that, when not in use, it was laid up in the tabernacle, with Aaron's rod that budded. There it may long have survived the scenes in which it was so conspicuous an actor. Yet, as it is nowhere included among the revered relies of the sanctuary, we I might conclude, with the Arabic legend, that it accompanied its owner to his mysterious grave. Not unnatural nor unpleasing is the picture of Moses, now in his hundred and twentieth year— forty years in Egypt, forty in Midian, forty in the wilderness—climbing by its aid to the top of Pisgah, to survey the promised heritage of his people, and die on the threshold of Palestine.
BY MISS JANIK "• FLKET.
"0, Spirit-land! "the land of thought," thou art without limit and without boundary. Thought will wing its way back to the beautiful home of childhood, the loved friends of youth, and all endearing associations that cluster around one's early days. The heart may be cold to outward seeming; it may be ruled by ambition, hardened by the love of gold, or led on by the desire for i, fame; but however isolated man may be, how
ever unloving he may seem, there will still be one vital spark in the affections that will kindle when, in some lonely hour, the thought of his youthful days, like the music of a half-forgotten dream, sheds its radiance around him; and though the sensation may be evanescent, it will be so sweet that he will desire, were it possible, to break the bonds that bind him to earthly objects, and to grasp the visions of his youth, and revel in their pure light for ever; but he sighs to think that his happiest days are past, and must ever be to him likeaBtarthat has fallen, a happy dream that has passed away, or a romance that has died in the dark shadow of reality.
The poet, when seeking a theme for hie loftiest verse, will turn with affection and pride to his early home, where first he felt the divine inspiration of poetic fire; where first he roamed the wild-wood, or listened to the warbler's note, gleaning something round which he might weave, with God-given power, his glowing fancies; and as he traces their pure imaginings, he feels that life is full of poetry and thought. Every breeze that trembles, every flower that lifts its chalice to the sun, and every bird that warbles its gladsome lay, wafts a cup of incense to the shrine of poetry; yet all the brilliant tissues that a loving heart could weave would still bow to early associations as the source from which the inspiring power had flown.
It matters not if the home be lowly, love aud poetry will find sweet musio in the babbling rivulet—affection within the cottage walls—rest on the green earth, and sublime beauty iu the frowning precipice. It will find a calm delight in the hour of eunset, when the king of day is slowly sinking behind the western hills, pouring an unclouded blaze of light on all surrounding objects; and as its beams rest upon the hushed deep, gilding the green billows, and again reflecting back to earth with increased radiance, forming the paradise described in the glowing language of the poet, it will crown with laurels his anxious brow, and send a eoothing whisper to his fainting heart.
The sunset hour is a fitting moment for reflection. Even like the sun, must all mankind sink into their last resting-place, perhaps when in the same meridian of glory as this brilliant orb. It would seem as though the evening hour should be a peaceful one; such lovely harmony and quiet pervade all nature, that mankind should then bid adieu to the turmoils of the day; but it is not thus. The sun moves onward, still on
ward in its appointed course, through the beautiful, unfathomable depths of blue, yet seldom leaves the hearts of men at peace. Let us for a moment look into their various pursuits. ThB first scene presented to view is one of fe'icity: no cankering care intrudes; and should tib» glance into life rest here, the echo would be happiness; but our thoughts cannot always linger where are woven the most beautiful threads in the "web of life." We pass on to those who entered the gay world with a loving heart; no sorrow darkened the beautiful brow; no care saddened the joyous spirit; yet contact with tha world and its hypocrisy has bowed low the beautiful brow once crowned with the halo of merriment, and has crushed the joyous spirit from which no sound but sweetest music once whispered; or perhaps those who are blessed with a spirit to brook the falsehoods of the world have lost that which they most prized, have been eilent watchers at the death-bed of those they devotedly loved, and have seen the pure spirit wend its way to the Author of its being, and have said, in the sorrow of the heart—The lifestream is loosened, the "golden bowl broken," and I am alone.
Then, too, the ambitious wealth-seeker, who has closed the door of his heart against every kindly feeling; has checked every heartfelt impulse, to bend his whole soul to the one purposa of attaining wealth; has seen his hoard of glittering gold increase day by day: his coffers swell with their added contents; gems of costly dye, and pearls that well might deck a throne, flash before his eye; in his possession are the costly fabries of other lands; at his command are tha long rent-rolls, and servitors in jewelled armor, as in the olden days of chivalry; yet he wakes as from a dream, and says—I am not happy. His guiding star has fallen; no longer does the fascination exist to lure him on to the acquisition of wealth which he has bartered his soul to obtain. The waters of life close over him; his gold has not conferred happiness upon him in life, etill less in death; his gold cannot procure his ransom from his God.
Death enters all homes, of the rich and of tha poor, of the high and of the low. It has paralyzed the efforts of age, and frustrated the schemes of manhood; it has dispelled the happy visions of youth by taking the fuirest and brightest from the social group; it has clouded the bright dreams, and placed its signet on the laughing brow of childhood; and as the requiem of
departed hopes is still sounding in mournful murmurs of the fading joy of earthly pursuits, we are led to exclaim:
H Oh! if no other boon were given,
To keep our hearts from wrong and stain,
FEAR OP THE ANGELS.
BT. UB.s. MAHI4. 0. TRACT.
"iFKAanot iodic," said an eminent saint, "and heaven to" the vision of my faith is beautiful and glorious ; yet to my spirit there clings a dread of the angelic pretence. I shrink from the prospect of communion with those who, possessing moral freedom, maintained their integrity, anil have never like myself needed forgiveness from our common Father and Creator.''
Yes, the dark night of brooding fear and gloomy doubt is gone,
And on my long-enshrouded soul hath broke the morning dawn;
By virtue of that precious blood for sinners freely shed, Sweet peace and joy, in roseate hues, are round my pathway spread.
Yet, even now, my trembling soul admits one shadowy fear;
Can I, on earth a sinner vile, with confidence appear Before the shining angel-throngs, and there with comfort stand,
Nor hlufih, remembering what I was, among that seraph handf
Will not my spirit, self-abased, retire from their embrace? Can I, unveiled and uncon fused, e'er meet them face to face?
Must I not shrink, ashamed, abashed, as rests the piercing eye
Of scathless purity on one long stained with sin's deep dye?
Among the* blood-washed, ransomed throng I would not fear to stand,
Nor blench to meet their ardent gaze, as, with my harp in
hand, x I'd join me sweet ecstatic song, the loud and'swelling
To Him who for us one and all was erst on Calvary slain.
Nay, e'en before the Holy Throne my spirit Would not quail 1
The precious all atoning blood should there for me prevail; grateful to my forgiving God, I'd lowly bow me down, And, with my sweetest hymns of praise, lay at his feet rny crown.
The pardoned child fears not to meet his father's smiling face,
But turni with higher, sweeter joy to seek his loved embrace;
While from the righteous, "elder son" who shares that faUier's love,
Unconscious spirit, self-accused, shrinks like a timid dove.
And thus, before the silvery-winged, ethereal throng to stand,
Who, pure and loyal, ne'er had need of pardon from His hand,
Erect in conscious d ignity, in lofty sinless pride,— How will my spirit, memory-stirred, serene with them abide?
Ah, timorous soul! thy infant faith hath but begun to know
The measure of that wondrous Love that wrought for thes below,
The mystery of that blessed word, "Thy sins are covered o'er,
And from remembrance, like a cloud, are swept for evermore I"
Deem not that pharisaic robes invest that seraph throng That move, immaculate and bright, the heavenly spheres among;
Conscious that by He power they stood when rebel spirits fell,
Like !.,ee they humbly sing his praise and of his goodness tell.
No, not like thee! They by his arm secure in virtue stood,
Sustained, preserved;—but thou redeemed; thy ransom paid with blood; j The richest, costliest sacrifice for thee was freely given, So thou in glory shalt eclipse those radiant stars of heaven.
The babe for whom the mother scaled the dizzy, towering height,
And bared her breast to death's embrace, as, with an arm of m ght,
Forth from the eagle-talons fierce the captive prey she bore,—
Stirred in that mother's breast a fount, unfathomed ne'er before!
So from the "roaring lion's" t eth that o'er thee raging stood,
Thou by a mighty One wert saved, with groans and tears and blooa;
For ifiee the crimsoned wine press trod, the wrath divine he bore,
And on his heart with matchless love he bears thee evermore 1
He died for thee 1 but not for those from angel ranks who fell,
And sank from loftiest heights of bliss down to the depths of hell;
The God incarnate died for thee! thy name for ever stands Like a fair jewel in his crown, and graven on his hands I
iVo, not like thee 1 Thy glittering robes with wonder they shall view,
And rapt shall listen to the notes their harp strings never knew;
With coronal of clustering gems shall thy fair bruw l>e crowned,
And hovering glory, winged with light, pavilion tlice around!
While they, " 0 holy, holy, Lord I" with awful reverence cry,
And veil their faces to adore the Eternal Majesty,
■ The Lamb who bled and died for me!" shall be ihy
wondrous song, While countless tongues and vaulted heavens the rapturous
strain prolong I
Then fear thou not the angel band thy birthright will despise:
Since thou art precious in His sight, how glorious in their eyes!
With glowing zeal they guard thy steps through all thy pilgrim way, /
And joyful to their heavenly home will bear thy soul away 1
e m t/%* m >
THE FEATHERED DABBLER.
BT JULIA WEST.
A Spirit of ncglectfulneas, but Dot forgetfulness, has been upon me; and I have eat me down, as in days of yore, to write it off. What queer creatures we are! We live and breathe—sometimes we are happy, and sometimes we suffer; and every heart alone knoweth its own tenants. We entertain in its chambers a multiplicity of occupants. Sometimes little winged angels gain admittance, giving us a foreehadowing of that happiness for which we all so long; and sometimes, alas! little blue-dyed devils, after much knocking, are, in a spirit of reckless vexation, invited in. Thus we live; at one time, as Willis says, "believing the world all good ;'' and again, but not with him, believing it " a place accursed and given to devils," we feel that it is not all bedutiful, and that, far above its proudest pinnacles, there is yet another world, a "place where the angels dwell;:' and if we are faithful, and the poor heart battles on, enduring crosses for the sake of the crown, that we shall "go there too," and join in the "song of rejoicing," and be like the angels, white-robed and whitewinged.
We can suffer here; we can have taken from our arms idols that we cling to; we can have the head to throb, and the heart to ache; we can bear all these, in the looking forward to the recompense. For what is it I A crown, a harp' a robe, and a palm? Ah! not only these—which were enough—but companionship with "Him that sitteth upon the throne,'' with the Lamb that died on Calvary, with the treasures that here we resigned, and with the blood-washed throng, the myriad hosts of heaven.
We read here, and dream, too, of this wonderrobed future, until the brain gets dizzy, and thought is lost in magnificent bewilderment. God has thrown over all things a mystery that
the world cannot fathom. He has made the soul, that which is God-like, invisible to its own mortal-veiled eye. Those that we love die, and we stand by and watch them till the latest breath; but do we see that which is not of earth, breaking loose from the clayey casket I Can we hear the rushing of the soul's wings, in its flight f Can we see its departure from this world, and its entrance into one brighter I Can we hear its welcome? Have we any inlooking into this God-robed mystery f Ah ! no, the poor, loved, soulless body, is all that is before us; and with the eye of faith only can we see the former.
It is useless to enumerate further the world's mysteries. From the fresh young flower whose birth is from its earthy bosom, to the stars "that, nun-like, walk the holy aisles of heaven," all is mystery. From the tiny firefly, that floats upon the evening breeze, to the great broad sun, that giveth light to a world, all is mystery. From the warbling bird, to whom God giveth s nest, to him whom he has made "a little lower than the angele," all is mystery. Let us leave, then, a theme so incomprehensible, trusting that, with all His amazing diviuities, we shall one day know God "as he is;" for "now wesee through a glass, darkly, but then we shall see face to foce."
I do not propose, with my "feathers," dear reader, to lay before you "leaves from my lifebook;" but only hope, with a little sense and a little nonsense, with a dip into this and a dabble in that, to offer you, now and then, a few vagrant thoughts.
Iu the first place, I am no "rari avis," no sweet-throated warbler, nor a nightingale, but merely a dabbler, sometimes dipping into the ocean of thought, and, finding on my pen nothing more than perplexity, sometimes catching at the down floating from the broad wing of Fancy —but, alas! some unkind breeze wafts it from me. I go back into the past—the buried past— and ah! what do I gather? With the pale mourner, Memory, my constant companion in this reliving, I find here a sunny spot, beautiful with smiles and flowers, and there a faded wreath, and a tombstone where to weep—while yonder in the distance slumbers my happy childhood. The evergreen grows upon its young grave, and aa I pass the beautiful mound of girlish hopes, there falls from my heart dew upon the buds that promised to be blossoms.
Beautiful, beautiful childhood! who does not love iti for like "stars, the poetry of heaven," and "flowers, the poetry of earth,"' children are the poetry of life. And here again we can look
over the vista of our girlhood, when, in all the sincerity of a echool-lassie'e heart, we wished we were but " out''—once a young lady, and then, as we vainly imagined, an "end to trouble." Ah! this was the climax to our young hopes, the highest top-stone of our longing ambition. Poor girls I thus we are discontented in every station, and know not its value till gone—the young looking forward to womanhood, as the summit of all happiness, and yet, when at its top, gazing wistfully back, and "would they were but girls again."
It is better so; for could the heart be all happy here, it would sigh for no other home. Thus in every thing do we, as children, see the wisdom of our Father. How beautiful is this nursery-place he has given us! Its broadspreading bosom is the yard in which we gambol; the woods, the birds, and the flowers, are our playthings; and when we weary and would real, our sheltering is of fretted star-work, inlaid with moonbeams. Oh! can the spirit be grateful enough for so much goodness—for such a dwelling-place I And yet, though this great mansion is so transcendently beautiful, it has its rugged places, its "Sloughs of Despond."
When we live on, treading over its flowers only, when those that we love are around us, when the foot falls upon no thorn, then it is that we deem it a fit world in which to be happy always. But let the flowers fade, let our household idols be taken away, let there come thorns to lacerate the already bleeding heart, and then it is that nothing seems beautiful but heaven. Griefs must come to all of us, and aye the bitterest, methinks, of all, is to see the lambs of our fold all soulless and lifeless in our midst. We look upon the form that was for years wont to pass in and out before us, and it moveB not. There are eyes that always looked love, but they see Us not; there are the lips that our own have so often pressed, and whose utterance was ever eweetness,'but they speak not. Oh! is not this enough to break down the spirits, and make the poor, sad heart long to die I Have you never felt, dear reader, when one of your loved lay still in death, that you cpuld throw yourself upon the chilled bosom, and weep the heart away! Ah! there comes to me, in all its agony, a time when this full heart could have broken forth in wailings to be gone—to lie down in the grave with the little cold form it still so loved. God wanted another harper in his white-robed throng, and,sending down his angels, they gathered up our darling, and bore him away on their white wings.
But we will tear us from these sad pages in the book of life, which we must all, sooner or later, ponder over. And now, kind reader, "a few words more," as the preachers say, and we will tip the end of this our introductory feather.
In our next shedding, we shall have our thoughts, we trust, more concentrated—for this we design only as a preface to our Feathers. We shall dabble, hereafter, in a little of any thing and nothing, hoping, with our humble efforts, to interest at least a few of the many readers of our prized companion.
Before concluding, let me say to you, kind reader, that I am again, after years of absence, at my old home. Perchance it is this alone that has awakened the wish to dabble again in ink. While here, I have read of the death of "Lizzie Newton," known to me only by the soul-communion gathered monthly from these pages. Peace to her beautiful spirit! And while here, I have stood by the bedside of " The Unknown." We have read her last production. We can have no more, in this world, a lay from her harp-strings. The next strain they breathe will be in heaven. God, the Father, is taking her to himself.
Thus have we lost from these pages two of our sweetest sisters—the one, taken from a field of usefulness into which she had but entered; theother, leaving behind her monuments in young hearts that will think of her "but to bless." Ah! it is sad to die young) But, in the language of "Amelia," another "star gone down"—
"Oh! why should death be linked with fear?
Clergymen.—-St.me people talk a great deal about ministers, and the cost of keeping them, paying their house-rente, table expenses, and the other expenses of salary. Did such croakers ever think that it costs thirty-five million dollars to pay the salaries of American lawyers; that twelve millions of dollars are paid out annually to keep our criminals, and ten millions of dollars to keep the dogs in the midst of us alive, while only six millions of dollars are spent annually to keep six thousand preachers in the United States f These are facts, and statistics will show them to be facts. No one thing exerts such a mighty influence in keeping this mighty republic from falling to pieces as the Bible and its ministers.