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times mentioned in the Sacred Scriptures, under the Hebrew name, Yansuh. Moses mentions it in Leviticus and Deuteronomy among unclean birds, where it is translated “great owl.” Isaiah also mentions it in the thirty-fourth chapter, where it is translated owl, and rarked among water-birds, where the owl would seem out of place. The Lxx. have, in two of these places, rendered this word Ibis.
In asmuch as this bird was held sacredin the Egyptian idolatry, it is natural to suppose that Moses would not omit to rank it among those birds which they should regard unclean and an abomination.
The Ibis is a bird very much resembling the stork, but larger it has been called “the black stork.” It is about forty inches in lengih. Its color is a kind of reddish white, mostly inclining to red on the back and wings. Its bill is about seven inches long, Blightly curved, and ending in a somewhat blunt point. Its neck is a good length, pretty thick, and curved like that of a goose. Its legs are rather long, and very stiff.
This bird is known, in one or other of its species, in various parts of the world; but it is especially numerous in Egypt, along the Nile. It figures largely in the history and mythology of that country. It feeds principally on serpents, and on this account it was anciently of great use to the inhabitants. It did not only reduco the number of venomous reptiles, and thus abate these dangerous nuisances, but vast numbers of these birds appeared after the waters of the overflowing Nile retired, to devour the vermin left behind, and thus to rid the country of the unwholesome and unpleasant odor which their decaying carcasses would otherwise have produced. In consideration of the advantage which they thus rendered, they were protected by law, and it was a capital crime to kill one. Pictures of them may still be scen occupying honorable and conspicuous places among the hieroglyphics of Egypt.
It was, no doubt, their use which suggested their sacredness. They were not only held in the highest reverence by the ancient Egyptians, but were even worshipped by them. They were not only admitted into their temples, but were encouraged to dwell there, and the worshippers took great pleasure in their presence. This bird was also frequently found in the sepulchres, among
the mummies, as guardians of the dead. As already suggested, this affords sufficient reason for their being prohibited as unclean in the law of Moses.
The enemies of Egypt, knowing the sacred veneration of the people for the Ibis, sometimes took advantage of this to their injury. Thus, on one occasion, when Cambyses, King of Persia, was about to besiege Damietta, he placed some of these birds before his army; and the Egyptians, not daring to shoot against them, in fear and reverence for their sacred birds, suffered the town to fall into the hands of their enemies.
There is a species of this bird also known in the southern part of the United States, and in various parts of South America. It is called the “wood-ibis.” The neck and body of this species are white, and its bill is about nine inches long. Mr. Bertram gives us a beautiful description of this interesting fowl. “This solitary bird does not associate in flocks, but is generally seen alone, commonly near the banks of great rivers, in marshes or meadows, especially such as are covered by inundations, and also in vast deserted rice plantations. He stands alone, on the topmost limb of tall dead cypress trees, his neck contracted or drawn in upon his shoulders, and his beak resting like a long scythe upon his breast. In this pensive posture and solitary situation, they look extremely grave, sorrowful, and melancholy, as if in the deepest thought. They are never seen on the sea-coast, and yet are never found at a great distance from it. They feed on serpents, young alligators, frogs, and other reptiles.”
There is also a species of scarlet Ibis. It is common in most parts of America within the tropics, and in almost all the West India Islands. It is said to be a very beautiful bird, and has been frequently domesticated. In its general habits it is like the other species; only it is said to be less solitary, and great numbers are sometimes seen to perch together in flocks upon trees. They hatch upon the ground; and their young are said to change their color several times as they advance towards maturity-being first black, then gray, then white, and at the end of the third year their plumage is beautifully scarlet.
The ancient Egyptians worshipped the Ibis because it was useful to them. We may smile at their superstition, or pity their ignorance; but let us see that their devotion does not condemn us. There are thousands in Christian lands who do not manifest any feelings of devotion towards the giver of all good, even for the selfish reason that he benefits them by his gifts. Who will
that this is not worse than heathen? Those had some grateful feelings, though they were misdirected—these have none at all. Those worshipped a bird for one benefit—these will not worship a God for a thousand. Wo unto you, ye baptized pagans! Wo unto you, ye heathen in the shadow of the Cross !
GEMS FROM HERMAN AND DOROTHEA.- The sight of the giver is as pleasant as the gift. A man in the choice of a bride shows what kind of a spirit he has, and whether he is conscious of his own worth.
He who is disposed to waver in a time of wavering, multiplies the evil and spreads it further and further; but he who perseveres in a steadfast will, forms the world around him.
A WORM IN THE BUD.
BI TO EDITOR.
Yes,-misery in the family, strife in the marriage relation, may well be called a worm in the bud. No flowers of hope, no buds of prom se, no fruits of peace and bliss shall ever be gathered there. The fearful fact that unhappy marriages are on the increase is attracting the attention of serious minds and earnest hearts everywhere. Men are beginning to inquire diligently into the causes, and seeking after a remedy. The Guardian has not ceased to raise its voice, feeble as it may bave been, against the prevailing recklessness in the formation of these most solemn, most holy ties. We commend to our readers the following true words on this point, which we translate from a late German work :
If things are to grow better, we must cease to look to general and great movements and begin at that which is single and small. When one wishes to see at night be does not tire himself by an effort to hang a moon in the sky, but he lights his own lamp near him. Do we wish things to grow better, we must begin in the circle over which God has placed us. As man and wife are at the head of the family, bound together in holy oneness, from them must flow forth the influence which is to renovate the inner circles of society.
But alas! it is just here that the fountain of evil exists. The source of good is turned into a source of evil! Those joined in holy marriage, ought in Christ Jesus to have one faith, one heart, one will, and one object in view; but how many families are there where there are not only two wills, but where these wills are directly opposed to each other, and meet each other in cold and harsh conflict !
Let us not cover the truth, or go softly and silently out of its way, but speak it out as it really is. Nearly one-half of marriages are shattered unions! The officers of our government complain, that with nothing are they more troubled, than with applications for divorces. In the city of Liepzig alone from eighty to one hundred applications are made for divorces every year; and this by families of the city. I have been here but little more than six months, and yet of those whom I have in this time joined at the altar, two pair have already sought for divorce ! Among every four couple that come to be married, there is in an average one man or woman that bas been divorced !
Do you ask what are the principal causes of these separations ? I will tell you what it is that drives the majority of these eighty to one hundred pair to sue for divorce. Here they are : strong drink -idleness—unbridled tongues and novels. Romances are read until the head and heart are filled with splendid lying visions, and these are expected to be realized! But instead of this happy path
these are expected to be realized! But instead of this happy path of flowers come sin with its fruits-the cares, labors, and wants of life. Wormwood and thorns grow where nothing was expected but roses, lilies, and forget-me-nots.
How unexpected is all this ! Now begin bitter complaints : “I have been robbed of my beautiful ideal; the lovely dream of my life has vanished !" Ah! who told thee to dream? Why did you Dot keep the sure word of God before you? This would have dispersed both before you and others, your angel dreams: this would have shown you that both you and your chosen one are sinners. This would have told you truth, instead of cheating you with fancies and dreams. If you will complain and weep now, do so over your own sins and follies--they have wrought your misery-and if you mourn after a godly sort, all will get grow better. But instead of this, you dream on, and the tendrils that join you grow colder and weaker. Murmuring grows into strife, and the state of happy marriage becomes a state of bitter sorrow. Then divorce is sought!
Still these are only the coarsest exhibitions of married misery. How much, less open and public, is covered and hidden in unhappy homes, and which only reaches the public ear in faint whispers ! How much of matrimonial woe is pent up in the bosom of families for shame, and fear of social disgrace! Fires that burn in the heart so much the fiercer, the more carefully they are covered !
Do we now ask for the principal cause of this misery in the marriage relation? It is easily pointed out. There is here no faithChrist the Lord is forgotten. He does not dwell in the family—the word of God is neglected-prayer has died out—the silent family worship, the daily joining anew of the holy ties of marriage in the presence of God, has no place. The church, the princess of peace, has not been seen for years by those joined so holily at her altar; and the holy sacrament, the bond of all sacred bonds, has not for a still longer time been celebrated. That which forms the very life of happy and enduring ties is coldly set aside! Where, in such circumstances, shall peace
and bliss come from? Those who are not true to their Saviour, the source of heavenly love, how shall they be true to each other? All love in the marriage relation must be the reflection of His holy love; but it is, alas! in these instances, but the vaporing of natural and fleshly love! The light of this love is not from on high! Yes, married misery has reached its height. We must seek for
Where shall we seek but at the fountain, the dear word of God. If marriage were what it was by God designed to be, all this trouble and sorrow would not exist. May God make this tenderest of all unions more holy, that it may be more happy.
Do nothing by halves; if it be right, do it boldly; if wrong, leave it undone.
BIOGRAPHY OF RICHARD BAXTER.
RICHARD BAXTER was born on the 12th of November, 1615, at Rowton, in Shropshire, England. Here he spent, with his grandfather, the first ten years of his life. His father was a freeholder, and possessed of a moderate estate; but having been addicted to gaming in his youth, his property became so deeply involved, that much care and frugality were required to disencumber it at a future period of his life. He became a pious man about the time of the birth of Richard. To him the lad was indebted for his first religious instructions. There must have been in Richard, when a child, some striking indications of religious feeling, for his father remarked to Dr. Bates, that he would even then reprove the improper conduct of other children, to the astonishment of those who heard him. Baxter's early impressions and convictions, though often like the morning cloud and early dew, were never entirely dissipated, but at last fully established themselves in a permanent influence on his character. His early education was very imperfectly conducted. From six to ten years of age, he was under the four successive curates of the parish, two of whom never preached, and the two, who had the most learning of the four, drank themselves to beggary, and then left the place. At the age of ten, he was removed to his father's house, where Sir William Rogers, a blind old man, was parson. One of his curates, who had succeeded a person who was driven away on being discovered to have officiated under forged orders, was Baxter's principal schoolmaster. This man had been a lawyer's clerk, but hard drinking drove him from that profession, and he turned curate for a piece of bread. He preached only once in Baxter's time, and then was drunk! From such men, what instruction could be expected! How wretched must the state of the country have been, when they could be tolerated either as teachers or ministers! His next instructor, who loved him much, he tells us was a grave and eminent man, and expected to be made a bishop. He also, however, disappointed him ; for during no less than two years, he never instructed him one hour; but spent his time, for the most part, in talking against the Puritans. In his study, he remembered to have seen no Greek book but the New Testament; the only father was Augustine de Civitate Dei; there were a few common modern English works, and for the most of the year, the priest studied Bishop Andrews' Sermons. Of Mr. John Owen, master of the free school at Wroxeter, he speaks more respectfully. To him he was chiefly indebted for his classical instruction. He seems to have been a respectable man, and under him, Baxter had for his schoool-fellows the two sons of Sir Richard Newport, (one of whom became Lord Newport,) and Dr. Richard Allestree, who afterwards was Regius professor of divinity at Oxford, and provost