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may be thought that it is not likely that so wicked a man, of no conscience, could get any to stand by him. But this is a mistake, as all experience proves. There were those like him hanging round the outskirts of the church of Ephesus. Here he would meet an ignorant, vicious wretch, as devoid of conscience as himself; here some blubbering drunkard or rotten debauchee whose lusts and sins Paul had reproved. These he would easily gather round him, and they would sing the song just as he would sing it to them, until all together they would give forth one long, loud, lusty cry, “Away with Paul!” but long live Alexander, the coppersmith!
True, it would be a hard company; and yet there were thousands in Ephesus with whom such characters would have more influence than Paul himself. These they would easily enlist to black-tongue Paul and his little company of saints.
True, they could not make Paul a bad man by their pesterings; neither could they change the eternal truths which he proclaimed; yet they could curtail his influence, defame his character, and embitter his life.
If the Jews, on one occasion, could get forty persons to bind themselves by an oath that they would not eat until they had killed the Apostle Paul, it must have been easy for the coppersmith to collect a formidable party against Paul and his church, from among the offscourings and hard cases that lingered around the outskirts of Ephesus.
We must not close this sketch of the coppersmith without drawing some lessons from it.
1. We see how a small man can injure, for the time, a man far above him. A man of no conscience can embitter the life of an apostle, and greatly hinder his work and his usefulness. “A swine can throw mud upon an elephant.” A fly can sit upon the nose of a king. A contemptible rowdy can smite the Saviour's cheek! 2. We see to what extremes pride and stubbornness will lead a
The coppersmith would not have made shipwreck of faith had he been a modest and humble man. It was his love of preeminence which proved his downfall and disgraced his life. Like Milton's Satan, he would rather “reign in hell than serve in heaven.' Rather than be useful in his place as a member of the church, he would lead a party of the lowest sinners.
3. We learn from this sketch thåt when anything good is opposed, it is our duty to consider the moral character of those who oppose it. Lord Rochester has said of a certain class of persons,
· He counts their censure fame." It is the highest recommendation of a cause that bad men oppose it.
4. We see how a good man's character and cause is proof against final dishonor. In his time the apostle suffered, but after him be
has the sympathy and honor of all. Paul's character emerges unsoiled from the cloud of malice which was beat up against him, while every good man regards with pity and contempt the character and doings of Alexander, the coppersmith.
WICKED PARENTS WHO HAVE INFANTS IN HEAVEN. HAVE
of you lost children who are not yourselves pious ? The mind of each of those children has been unfolding in heaven, and has probably grown faster than if on earth. It has been made acquainted with its relation to you, and perhaps it watches every soul that comes up from earth to heaven, to greet its father or mother. Soon you must appear at the bar of God. You may there have an interview with your child ; and suppose that you are there separated from that spirit who has been growing in the knowledge of God and of the universe, anticipating the delightful employment of telling you about heaven, and leading you among its glorified society, and along its celestial plains !
Perhaps you have a little family there, expecting your arrival. Can you bear the thought of being separated from them in eternity?
Are you an impenitent parent? and have you impenitent children who are growing up without religion? and has God taken away one or more of your children in infancy or early life? Perhaps it was because He saw that your example or neglect would ruin all the family, if they lived to grow up, and He has therefore rescued some of them from destruction by an early death.
But let the joy of meeting those that have gone to heaven excite you to save your own soul and the souls of your surviving children. . Then, though you mourn over their early graves, you shall not sorrow as they that have no hope. “Them that sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him." Their early death may prove, if you are saved, a source of the richest joy and of praise !
A SHORT SERMON ON MANLINESS. LEARN from the earliest days to insure your principles against the peril of ridicule. You can no more exercise your reason if you live in constant dread of laughter, than you can enjoy your life if you are in the constant terror of death. If you think it right to differ from the times, and to make a point of morals, do it, however rustic, however antiquated, however pedantic it may appear; do it, not for insolence, but seriously and grandly, as a man who wore a soul of his own in his bosom, and did not wait till it was breathed into him by the breath of fashion.-Sydney Smith.
BY PROF. W. M. NEVIN.
The bat, he à summer bird,
And he sleeps the winter through, And he does not care to come abroad
Till the leaves are fresh and new;
For his eyes are somewhat small,
Till the night begins to fall.
He staid in a hollow tree,
Where nobody could see ;
In his safe and dark retreat ;
But he hanged from his binder feet.
All night to be wide awake,
A bird and no mistake;
To sit in the woods alone,
And the fun is going on.
The sporter as soon as he sees,
“And I'll give you some bread and cheese." And sure enough, with a downward sweep,
He grazes the urchin's hair,
He's abroad and everywhere.
To enter a bright saloon,
As he would, to get out so soon.
For she fears, with his leathern wing,
The Dasty, ugly thing!
Yet seek it into the hall ?
Or sport with the youngsters all ?
He is seeking a juicier game;
Like fools, around the flame.
For them it had better been
Nor danced in its liquid sheer;
Let loose from his darksome den,
As Be elzebub to men.
THE BIRDS OF THE BIBLE
NO. XIX.-THE VULTURE.
BY TEE EDITOR.
“ Abominable harpies ! spare the dead.
You slay the living, we but strip the slain." THE Vulture abounds in Arabia, Egypt, and in many parts of Africa and Asia; and is known also, in one or other of its species, in our own country. What is known in the Middle and Southern States as the turkey-buzzard, is a species of vulture. The different kinds of vultures, though they vary considerably, both in size and color, are nevertheless very similar in their dispositions and habits.
The Vulture is as large as the largest eagle, measuring two feet and a half in length, and more than twice that much in the expanse of its wings. Jackson says that, excepting the ostrich, the vulture is the largest bird in Africa. Its head is bare, and the greater part of its head and neck are of the color of raw flesh, without down or feathers. "The throat is covered with blackish hairs, and the lower part of the neck behind with a kind of a ruff of crisped and curled feathers of the same color, within which the bird withdraws his head while in a state of repose, especially after feeding; an attitude which is common to most of the vultures. The whole under surface is white, with an occasional tinge of flesh color. The back and tail coverts are of a bright fawn, which becomes lighter and lighter as the bird advances in age; and the quill-feathers of the wings and tail, together with the large coverts: of the former, are glossy black.”
Mr. Gould gives us a description of the habits of the vulture from Le Valliant. “This is a bird of the mountains; the sheltered retreats formed by their caves and fissures constituting its proper habitation. In them it passes the night, and reposes after it has sated its appetite during the day. At sunrise, large bands are seen perched on the rocks at the entrance of their abodes, and sometimes a continued chain of mountain exhibits them dispersed throughout the greater part of its extent. Their tails are always worn down by friction against the stones between which they thrust themselves, or on which they perch.'
Though when they are on the ground, especially when they are gorged with food, they find considerable difficulty in rising; yet when they are once fairly in the air, they exhibit a sublime and magnificent flight, rising by circles, till they become mere specksto the eye, and at length disappear entirely from sight.
In their food they are exceedingly filthy, feeding on carcasses.
Goldsmith remarks: “In Egypt this bird seems to be of singular service. There are great flocks of them in the neighborhood of Grand Cairo, which no person is permitted to destroy. The service they render the inhabitants is the devouring all the carrion and filth of that great city, which might otherwise corrupt and putrefy the air. They are commonly seen with the wild dogs of the country, tearing a carcass, very deliberately, together. This odd association produces no quarrels; the birds and quadrupeds seem to live amicably, and nothing but harmony subsists between them. The wonder is still the greater, as both are extremely rapacious, and both lean and bony to a very great degree.” In our own country, in the Southern States, the American vulture is also protected by a law, which imposes a fine upon those who wilfully kill it.
The vulture is a harmless and peaceable bird, never laying hold of any living prey; on this account, as well as by reason of their usefulness, there is very little disposition to harm or disturb them. Nor are they shy, like the hawk or the eagle. Farmers in the Middle States, who reside in the shadow of mountains, going forth to their labor early on a summer morning, frequently see, very near them, large flocks of the American vulture, sitting upon the dry limbs of large trees, spreading out their glossy wings to the rising sun.
They are gluttons to an extent that is truly astonishing. “When once they have found a carcass, if not molested, they will remain in the place till the whole is devoured. At such times they eat so immoderately, that frequently they are incapable of rising, and may be caught without difficulty.' But even in this condition it is not safe to attempt their capture. They have a strong defence, to which they readily resort; it is to disgorge the offensive odor, of which no one can endure!
We need no further reason why, in the Mosaic law, it is placed among birds prohibited and unclean:
"The vulture, void of delicace and feare,
Who spareth not the pale dede man to teare." This last line alludes to the belief of the ancients, that vultures are exceedingly fond of human flesh; and that hence they sometimes disinter buried bodies to devour them. For this reason also, they were regarded as birds of ill-omen.
The ancients represent that vultures were especially fond of the human liver. Homer tells us that Tityus the giant, as a punishishment for a crime, had two vultures feeding upon his liver while alive, which was reproduced as fast as it was devoured!
“There also Tityus on the ground I saw