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The double night of ages, and of her,
Alas! the lofty city! and alas !
THE JEWS AND THE SCRIPTURES. The Jews were instrumentally the means of conveying to us our pure religion, as we owe to them the Bible, which is the repository of its historical facts and teachings. This wonderful book is the great auto-biography of human nature, from its infancy to its perfection. Whatever man has seen, and felt, and done in the great theatre of the world, is therein expressed with the simplicity and vividness of personal consciousness, in the happiest moments of inspiration which have fallen upon our race during the lapse of sixteen centuries. This volume stations us on a spot well selected as a watch-tower, from which we may overlook the history of the world,-an angle of coast between the ancient continents of Asia and Africa, subtended by the newer line of European civilization. There we have a neighbouring view of every form of human life, and every variety of human character. The solitary shepherd on the plains of Assyria, watching the changing heavens until he worships them ;-the patriarch pitching his tent on the nearer plain of Mamre ;—the Arab or Ishmaelite, half-merchant and halfrobber, hurrying his fleet dromedaries across the sunny desert; the Phænician commerce, gladdening the Mediterranean with its sails, or, on its way from India, spreading its wares on the streets of Jerusalem ;--the sacerdotal grandeur of Egypt, and the vast magnificence of Nineveh the Great, and Babylon the Great-are all spread beneath our eye in vivid colours and quick transition ;all agents on this stage of providence, and all partaking in the trials and triumphs of humanity. If we inquire who were the men that have recorded its truths, vindicated its rights, and illustrated the excellence of its scheme-from the depth of ages comes forth the answer—the Patriarch, the Prophet, the Apostle, and Martyr. If we regard the literature of the Bible, we find
words of Fenelon—that it surpasses the Greek classics in native simplicity, loveliness and grandeur. Homer himself never reached the sublimity of the Song of Moses, or of the book of Job and the prophecies of Isaiah. The passages describing the majesty and government of God, are unequalled in any language or in any age. No ode, either Greek or Latin, ever came up to the loftiness of some of the Psalms. What can be compared to the Lamentations of Jeremiah in pathos, or to the sweetness of those passages of Isaiah, in which he draws such a smiling image of Peace? Did space permit, we might also enumerate the peculiar excellencies of the other writers of Scripture, and especially those of the New Testament. The deep interest_attaching to the wide and various scenes described, and to the momentous truths inculcated,-gradually gathers itself to a single point-towards which all the conveying lines meet, and that is the Saviour. He indeed is the great central object, around which all the ages and events of the Bible are but an outlying circumference.-J. MARTINEAU, adap.
Fallen is thy throne, O Israel !
Silence is o'er thy plains !
Thy children weep in chains.
On Etham's barren shore?
Now lights that path no more!
Once she was all thine own;
Her power thy glory's throne;
Thy long-loved olive-tree,
For other gods than thee.
Then passed her glory's day,
The light wind whirls away.
Where once the mighty trode;
Where Baal reigned as God.
Steep in her blood your swords,
For they are not the Lord's.
Tell Zion's mournful daughter
O'er kindred bones she'll tread,
Shall hide but half her dead.”
In brighter vision rise,
On all her mourner's eyes;
The messengers of peace;
They shout and never cease.-MOORE.
MODERN CIVILIZATION FOUNDED ON THE ANCIENT.
Our present mental light, like that of nature, is composed of distinct rays of various colours; and for each we are indebted to some one of past civilizations. Three of these stand out prominently from the rest, with regard to the mighty influence they have exercised over modern society; and each had a distinct mission assigned it by Providence. To the Greeks it has been given to develope the beautiful in art and literature, and the true in science and philosophy; to the Romans, jurisprudence and the municipal rule; but to the Jews it was assigned to teach the holiness of God and the salvation of man; or in the sublime words of one of their great poet-prophets, -announcing the mission of Sion to a world enslaved by sense, self and passion :
“Behold darkness covereth the earth,
Prospective Review, adap.
KING WITLAF'S DRINKING-HORN.
Ere yet his last he breathed,
His drinking-horn bequeathed, -
And drank from the golden bowl,
And breathe a prayer for his soul.
And bade the goblet pass ;
Like dew-drops on the grass.
They drank to the soul of Witlaf,
They drank to Christ the Lord, And to each of the Twelve Apostles,
Who had preached his holy word. They drank to the Saints and Martyrs
of the dismal days of yore, And as soon as the horn was empty
They remembered one Saint more. And the reader droned from the pulpit,
Like the murmur of many bees,
And Saint Basil's homilies;
From their prison in the tower,
Proclaimed the midnight hour.
And the Abbot bowed his head,
But the Abbot was stark and dead.
He clutched the golden bowl, In which, like a pearl dissolving,
Had sunk and dissolved his soul. But not for this their revels
The jovial Monks forbore. For they cried, " Fill high the goblet ! We must drink to one Saint more!"-LONGFELLOW.
THE CURFEW BELL.
And yet a deeper woe
THE NORMAN BARON.
In his chamber, weak and dying,
And the castle-turret shook.
Written in the Doomsday Book.
From the missal on his knee;
Rang for the Nativity.
Sang the minstrels and the waits.
Knocking at the castle gates.