« AnteriorContinuar »
cipation from the puerile superstitions of his popish, as well as from the deeper and more dreadful darkness of his pagan ancestors.
Before the introduction of the Gospel to this happy country, the heathen Saxons held at this season of the year a festival in honour of the sun. This luminary, under the name of Huli, was the object of their worship; and they celebrated his re-ascension from the winter solstice with vast burnings and illuminations, as expressive of their gratitude for his returning light and heat. Large logs of wood, conveyed by horses to their dwellings, with much superstitious ceremony, continued blazing during the days employed in these idolatrous festivities, wherein were offered many sacrifices to the idol, to whom they impiously transferred those honours which were only due to the Eternal God.
The blessed dawn of Christianity dispersed this midnight gloom. No longer was the sun regarded as the object of religious reverence; but superstition, readily adopting many of the customs of idolatry, retained the ceremonies practised at this season, grafting them upon a purer faith.
That light which shone not on the heathen, and which but dimly gleamed through the corrupted mists of popish error, now darts on Britain the full splendour of its beams. The feast which celebrates the rising of the Sun of Righteousness on a benighted world, should therefore be observed with temperate and holy gratitude; which, while it thankfully ac
enDESCRIPTION OF THE MATTE.
* The Yule-log, the Yule-coal, &c., with which Christmas is still ushered in, in the northern parts of the kingdom, are the remains of these heathen customs.
knowledges the greatest boon that heaven in its redundant bounty could confer upon the world, forgets not that its exultation should be chastened by the humbling recollection, that the restoration of man's fallen nature could be no otherwise accomplished than by the INCARNATION OF THE SON OF GOD. A. B.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PLANT CALLED MATTÉ,
AND OF THE USE TO WHICH IT IS APPLIED, IN BRAZIL.
(From Mr. Luccock's “ Notes on Rio de Janeiro.") In Brazil, this plant is commonly called Cangunha, or Congonha; which is probably a corruption of Caancunha, the woman's leaf. It grows, not in the province of Parana alone, but more or less over the whole table-land. It is the produce of a low shrub, so much like the tea-plant of China, that two gentlemen, who had been in the East, first led me par. ticularly to notice it, as a species of wild tea. Being curious to discover whether there was any other similarity, besides the appearance, they gathered some of the leaves, dried them on hot stones, and produced a beverage of an agreeable bitter taste, not unlike Bohea. In the common preparation of Matté, the collected leaves are laid in large heaps upon hides, and placed between two fires, so as to be thoroughly dried. They are then broken small, and, though more yellow, form a substance much resembling what is called the dust of tea. To prepare it for use, it is infused in water, generally in the half of a cocoanut shell, variously ornamented; and not poured into cups, but sucked through a pipe, which has a strainer at the lower end, to prevent the herb from entering the tube. In taking it, the vessel is commonly passed round to a whole company; and whatever disgust may arise from the sight of some of the mouths receiving the pipe in their turn, it would be deemed the height of ill-breeding to decline a share of the Matté.
THE SICK NEGRO BOY. Mr. Luccock, in his “Notes on Rio de Janeiro, &c." tells us, that in a building on a rock in the harbour of Rio, lately assigned to the British for an hospital, but formerly appropriated to persons labouring under elephantiasis, (leprosy,) he had an opportunity of seeing a case of that singular malady, the Guinea-worm. He gives the following account of it.
“The patient was a Negro-boy, about fourteen years of age, among whose countrymen the disease chiefly prevails. The animal, if so it may be called, appeared coiled up beneath the skin ; after some time, what was said to be the head protruded itself; this was seized with a small forceps, and the worm drawn out to the length of two inches ; the extracted part was then wound about a small stick to prevent its return. In a few hours after, another portion was drawn out, and secured in the same way. By a similar process, the greatest care being always used not to break it, the whole was extracted, and then appeared like a thin dried thread of catgut, several feet in length. The boy had these worms in every part of his body, had been treated for them in his own country, and was deemed incurable, and, on that account, had been sold by his parents for two yards of checked linen. He remained in the hospital about three weeks, was placed, I believe, in a complete state
THE SICK NEGRO BOY.
of salivation, and then discharged cured. In five years afterwards, during almost every day of which I saw him, he remained free from the complaint, and proved an excellent servant, often expressing his gratitude to his master in warm and simple terms. My father in Africa,' he would say, sold me; you are my father, I love you best!' I have pleasure in adding that I met with the lad in Paris in October, 1819, and that he continued perfectly well; I believe, he is now, June 21, 1820, at Buxton."
We have copied the preceding account into this Miscellany, not merely because it relates to an extraordinary and very distressing disease, the description of which, we are sure, will excite in our young friends the liveliest gratitude for their own exemption from such painful maladies--the sad fruits of sin, “by which came death into the world, and all our woe," but also, as an impressive specimen of the shocking want even of 6 natural affection” in many parts of the Pagan world. This hapless Negro Boy, being diseased, and deemed incurable, was thereupon sold by his own parents into slavery; and his price was two yards of Checked Linen! Hear this, ye Christian Children and Youth ; and be thankful that you were born in Britain, a land in which the benign and humanizing influences of the blessed Gospel have so extensive an operation on the feelings and habits of society, and not in those dark places of the earth, which Bibles and Missionaries have not yet visited, and which are full of the habitations of cruelty. Pity, from your hearts, the wretched slaves of superstition and barba. rism; pray for the conversion of the Heathen; and, to prove the sincerity of your pity and of your prayers, join yourselves, without delay, as Subscribers and as Col. Vol. VI.
lectors, to some of the Juvenile Missionary Societies in your respective neighbourhoods. “With such sacrifices, God is well-pleased.”
A SISTER'S TALES.
INTRODUCTION. JANE L was the eldest of six children.--I shall leave my young readers to fancy what sort of faces and forms they had ; and as to their tempers, minds, and manners, they will be sufficiently displayed in future Papers, and, therefore, need not be described here. JANE had serious, intelligent, and kind parents; and she very much resembled them; as much as a pencilled outline does the engraving from which it is taken. She had her mother's smile, and her father's forehead; and what is of much more consequence,
her mother's sweetness, and her father's sense.
MR.and Mrs. L- had educated their children entirely at home, and their style of living was perhaps rather homely: but it was suited to their circumstances; for AGUR's desire had been granted to them; they had “neither poverty nor riches," bụt were 66 fed with food convenient for them."
The old family-house was situated at a long distance from any town, and a still longer one from London. A small village of scattered houses was within a mile of them; but its inhabitants were very poor, and there was not a family among them with whom the L-'s could associate, but for the purposes of kindness and benevolence. Their only friends were the clergyman of the parish, and his large little family ; but they lived