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Like the Jewish Goetæ, who pretended that they could expel evil spirits from possessed persons, by means of incantations, derived from King Solomon, so these sons of Sceva are, in their pretensions, not a whit behind certain vagabond Jews.'
“ How to expel evil spirits from man or beast. “Thou arch sorcerous spirit, thou hast assaulted N. N. Let the evil spirit come out of him, and enter into thy marrow and bone. I adjure thee, for the sake of the five wounds of J. C. Thou wicked spirit, I exorcise thee, for the sake of the five wounds of J. to leave the flesh, the marrow and the bones of N. N. this very hour. Restore him to his wonted health, in the name of ***.
Many of the Germans believed in these things, in common with some of the English. Doctor Witt, of Germantown, who came from England in 1704, had gained a broad fame as a conjuror and astrologer. He had faith in the “signs of the zodiac" and sunlucky days,” in which many now believe. The “ Hundred Jaehrige Kallender," which had been a common text-book for several centuries, has lately been reprinted in German and translated into English, and will do "heaven-meriting service” in reviving and perpetuating the most superstitious absurdities ever believed. One or more quotations may suffice.*
“Saturn is a manly, melancholic, earthly and bad planet, which is adverse and dangerous to human nature, and slow in its oper&tions. Saturn is the protector of woods, aged people, farmers, and all those whose thoughts are of importance.
* " This planet conveys prisons, long sickness and secret enemies." p. 23.
“Jupiter.-In the life of man, this planet reigns over the lungs, liver and bones, the pulse and organs of generation. The lands under its protection are Portugal, Sicily, Calabria, Normandy, Lybia, Pamphilia, Spain, Dalmatia, Hungary, Arabia,” &c. p. 34.
“ Venus.—In the human body it governs the mother, kidneys, seed, breast, throat, loins, liver and smelt. To this planet the following countries are belonging, viz: Austria, Alsacia, Livonia, Lorraine, Ireland, Switzerland, Franconia,” &c. p. 57.
“The Moon.-It creates people restless, they like to travel and lead a life of dissipation; it indicates queens, widows, mothers, married women, the common rabble.”
“It governs the
* These quotations are literally from the first revised American edition, a translation from the German, entered according to an act of Congress, 1849, by Hail. man & Wianebrenner.
left eye in men and the right eye in women, the stomach, body and bowels, the liver of women, &c. Lands belonging to it, Burgundy, Holland, Zealand, Prussia,” &c. P:
72.* Abruptly as it may appear the question is asked, how long will these curious arts be practiced, and men believe in the nonsense published by these “benefactors ?" Who will venture to say?
That some sort of superstition has ever troubled the wavering, the fanatical and unbelieving, history proves conclusively. And it ever will, so long as fanaticism and unbelief exist. Extremes, as they may seem, fanaticism and unbelief are the supports of superstition. Fanatics and infidels may disavow; but the facts in the case are stubbornly against them and such disavowal.
page 83 is a catalogue of “unhappy days contained in every month.” TO introduce them here, is not deemed safe, lest one should be liable to a suit for infringing upon the copy-right. “Compilers” and authors, as well as other men, are sensitive on this subject. Past experience interposes plea ding, "act cautiously.”
SELFISHNESS UNCHRISTIAN. LIVE for some purpose in the world. Fill up the measure of duty to others. Conduct yourself so that you shall be missed with sorrow when you are gone. Multitudes of our species are living in such a selfish manner that they are not likely to be remembered after their disappearance. They leave behind them scarcely any traces of their existence, but are forgotten almost as though had never been. They are, while they live, like one pebble unobserved among a million on the shore, and when they die they are like that same pebble thrown into the sea, which just ruffles the surface, and is forgotten without being missed from the beach. They are neither regretted by the rich, wanted by the poor, nor celebrated by the learned. Who has been better for their life? Whose tears have they dried up? Whose miseries have they healed? Whose wants supplied ? Who would unbar the gates of life to re-admit them to existence, or what face would greet them back to our world with a smile ? Wretched, unproductive mode of existence! Selfishness is its own curse; it is a starving vice. The man who does no good, gets none.
He is like the heath in the desert, neither yielding fruit nor seeing when good cometh ; & stunted, dwarfish, miserable shrub.
KNOWLEDGE may slumber in the memory, but it never dies; it is like the dormouse in the ivied tower, that sleeps while winter lasts, but awakes with the warm breath of spring.
0! learn that it is only by the lowly
That paths of peace are trod;
Walk humbly with thy God.
Is in God's sight a fool ;
Site highest in Christ's school.
As his abiding rest;
Wheo kings bad no such guest.
Falls in the valleys free;
But barren sand the sea.
Which charms the general wood,
Its anseen neighborhood.
Fumes with a fire abhorred;
A blessing from the Lord.
A sweet, unconscious grace,
The brightness on his face.
Such guerdon Meekness knows;
Her saintly way she goes.
With sandels on her feet;
Their sister fair to greet.
And guard her from annoy;
Of calm, celestial joy.
With which she walked on earth.
He knows her heavenly birth.
On all whom He redeems,
On every brow it gleams.
Their state all meekly wear;
That evor they came there.
THE NUMBER OF THE DEAD.
« Earth has hosts, but thou canst show
Many myriads for her one !" CROLY. The mind sinks under the number, almost numberless, of those who have been successively the inhabitants of this world, and have bowed, in their turns, to the common sentence. Scarce one in many, many thousands, has left more than the briefest record of his name; yet of each it is true that,
“ He was whatever thou hast been,
He is wbat thou shalt be." The present population of the earth is estimated, with seeming probability, at a thousand millions. Almost six thousand years are numbered since the creation. The first two thousand years embraced about eighteen generations, before the life of man had its present limits. During the later four thousand years, three generations have lived within each century. The succession of generations may therefore be computed at a hundred and forty. Of the population of the earth before the flood, not even the most conjectural calculation can be ventured; but probably the prevalence of violence and crime may have prevented that vast increase, which, in so long a space, and when the frame so defied disease, might else have overspread the globe. After the flood, the Eastern lands, Egypt, Assyria, India, China, were soon the seats of mighty empires; of which some were for a time, and others have been to this day, obeyed by the most compact and multitudinous populations. The remoter lands were more gradually and more thinly peopled, and the history of many generations is covered with impenetrable darkness; but except among the wildest barbarians, the population supposed before accurate knowledge could be obtained has commonly been less than that which actually appeared after better inquiry. It will not be an extravagant, although an uncertain computation, if the average number of each generation be reckoned at one-fifth of the present; and then the entire number would be twenty-eight thousands of millions. To admit such a number into the imagination, we can conceive that twentyeight of the chief empires of the earth contained each a hundred provinces, and that each of these provinces contained five cities of the magnitude of London. These fourteen thousand Londons could perhaps embrace the armies of the dead.
The city of Nineveh must have been inhabited, through several ages, by more than five hundred thousand persons; and probably ts mounds look down upon what remains of six or seven m lions. A still vaster multitude is covered by the desolate plain of Babylon. Not less than fifteen milliens of bodies must, in the space of twenty-five centuries, have been mingled with the dust of Christian and Pagan Rome. At least half as many more must sleep under the new Rome of Constantine. Some of those great capitals of the remote East bury several millions in a century. But, in truth, the bones of hosts more numerous than ever stood living on one spot have been laid beneath many a fair town whose inhabitants may scarce ever have thought how the progress of ages had made their home so prodigious a sepulchre. Two millions of skulls are arranged in the catacombs of Paris. The ten thousand parishes of England contain ten thousand churchyards; and the clay of every churchyard contains a part of thousands of frames, once warm and buoyant. It is enough to make the simple comparison between the present population of any old district or town, and its collective population in all the past; and the mind will grasp the superior number of the dead beyond the living.
All that tread
That slumber in its bosom." The surface of the earth, so far as it is dry land, is estimated at nearly forty millions of square miles. If twenty-eight thousands of millions of inhabitants have sojourned upon it, and could once more be distributed
over it, every square mile would receive seven hundred persons. The average population of England is about two hundred and sixty for a square mile, that of the whole territory of the United States less than eight. Could the dead live again upon the earth, they would make every spot almost three times as populous as the British isles, and almost a hundred fold more than the American Republic.
On individuals so numberless the decree that sends man to his dust has already passed into execution. The dead exceed five-fold the minutes since the creation; and in the last hour more than three thousand bodies must have fallen. Every year, one individual amongst twenty-seven dies in Russia and in the city of New York: one amongst thirty in Greece: one amongst thirty-two in Sicily: one amongst thirty-six in Prussia : one amongst thirtynine in France and Holland: one amongst forty-two in Philadelphia : one amongst forty-three in Belgium : one amongst fifty-three in England. Till the end of time this mighty train must be swelled by all who shall live : the extent of the procession can be known only when it has completely passed. So immeasurable has been the triumph of the last enemy of man, while but those two exceptions forbid us to name it universal. One was “translated that he should not see death; the other “went up by a whirlwind into heaven," with a chariot of fire, and horses of fire;' that what, in the last day, shall be seen in millions, might already have been recorded of more than one.