« ForrigeFortsett »
Are we among those, in whose to an earnest desire, by the assist. heart the good seed is choked by the ance of God, to reform and to pleasures and the cares of life change it. Here is another stage of growth, and Are we among those who in an another enemy to contend with. honest and good heart, having heard Men wish to serve God; but they the word of God, keep it, and bring wish to serve the world also. But, forth fruit with patience ? Here says our Lord, and truly does he say we cannot but observe another strikit,, Ye cannot serve both God and ing similitude between the parable Mammon. For a time indeed the and our own condition. We are not plants may grow up and flourish to, to expect, that in one night, the good gether; but soon the thorns and the seed shall spring up and come to its Thistles will overpower the tenderer harvest. He that would bear good growth of the heavenly plant. The fruit, must wait with patience for the thorns and thistles-the pleasures time of its perfection. He must go and cares of this world are active, on, day by day, and year by year, present, and pressing in their pro- increasing in every Christian grace gress. The seeds of these are and virtue ; watching with constant sown in our youth; they are encou care, and watering with God's hea. raged just at the season when they venly grace his goodly plant: he should be checked, and then we must guard it from a thousand enewonder that they grow and strengthen mies who would scatter thorns and in rank luxuriance, to the exclusion thistles in his ground. They that of
every other, every better plant, sow in tears shall reap in joy. He Early, therefore, let the mind be that goeth on his way weeping, and cleared of these noxious weeds ; for bringelh forth good fruit, shall thorns and thistles they are in ano- surely come again with joy, and ther sense, they are hostile to the ing his sheaves with him. hand that would remove then. In all these four cases, which the Those, in whose souls the riches, parable presents to our view, the the cares, and the pleasures of life heart is the source of the good or have taken a deep and a dangerous the evil. The seed is the word of root, are ever most fretful, irritable God, and that we know endureih and forbidding, when their growth is the same for ever; but if the soil be observed or remarked. They are hard, as in the first, if it be shallow conscious of the wild and weedy and dry, as in the second, if it be state of their hearts; but either weedy and foul as in the third, no from selfishness or indolence, they fruit can come to perfection. Let hate the eye that would observe it, us keep our heart then with all difiand the hand that would reform it. gence; for therein are the issues of Most true it is, that the operation of good and evil. rooting out in later life, these thorns May the Almighty grant that this and thistles from the mind, can be parable may so teach us the mysteno very pleasant one. But pleasant ries of the kingdom of God on the or not, it must be done, and quickly one hand, and the mysteries of our done; otherwise the harvest of im- hearts on the other, that seeing and mortality will fail, Happy will it knowing the various dangers which be for those, in whom these cares, attend the heavenly plant in this these riches, or these pleasures of precarious world, we may, by the the world have taken so deep a root, assistance of Christ, so guard and as to stifle the Word of God, if by protect it, that it may bereafter such a parable as this, they are bring forth a rich þarvest unto life brought to some serious reflections and glory, upon their own real condition, and
(Continued.) Illustrations from Natural History. near them were placed two basons LIONS,
of gold, filled with water for drink.
Next to the lions stood an elephant Judges xiv. 5.
with a keeper on his back. As the « Then weot Samson down and his father and his inother to Tininath, and came
ambassador passed, both the lion's to the vineyards of Timpath, and bebold a
couched, and the elephant, bent his young lion roared against him,"
fore knee at a word pronounced by
the keepers.-Bell's Travels, Vol. i. Jeremiah 1. 44. “ Behold be shall come up like a lion Both sides of the Jordan are borfrom the swelling of Jordan unto the ha- dered by a forest of tufted trees, bitation of the strong."
which grow so closely in some parts, The part of Arabia, joining upon that they are impenetrable to the Asia breeds vast multitudes of ex rays of the sun. This forest, like ceeding great wild beasts; for the that in the neighbourhood of Lake lions and leopards here are far more Samochon, is the retreat of tigers, in number and larger and stronger , which sometimes carry desolation to than in Africa, to which may be the surrounding country. I was told added those they call the Babylo- that there were a great many lions nian tigers.--Diod. Siculus, B. 2. here; but I am convinced that this ch. 4.
is a mistake. It is true that they The lake Macon, which we left abounded here in the time of Jereon our left hand, is occasioned by mjah, but there is every reason to the abundance of waters that flow suppose that they have since retired down from Mount Libanus, about to some places more commodious the beginning of the spring, when for them.-Mariti's Travels, Vol. ii. the warm west-wind thaws it; and p. 365. yet this same mountain in the sum Again, (Vol. iii. p. 117) Mariti mer time is scorched up by the sun. adds upon this subject. Near tlie Because of the overflowing of the desert of Tekoa lay that of Bethwaters, there grow here abuodance lehem, which was an immense wil. of reeds; trees, thorns, &c. that derness, abounding with wild beasts, make an echoing wood, where the “ The desert of Bethlehem,” says bears, lions, and other beasts of Adricomius, “was a vast wilderuess, prey, find both food and shelter; frequented by lions, bears, and other and here they say the king uses to wild beasts. I have already rehunt. At these waters it is, accord- marked, that no lions are to be met ing to Joshua, xi. 1. that Jabin with at present in Palestine. They king of Hasor, with many of his must therefore have been driven contederate princes, met, where from that country, since St. Jerome Joshua attacked and the Lord de- and other writers give us clearly to livered them into his hand. Travels understand that they were formerly of Martin Baumgarten, Churchill's found there in great plenty. Coll. Vol. i. p. 475.
* At four this morning we parted Bell, in his account of Persia, from the bank which was op the makes frequent mention of lions. Chaldæan side, the people being At the Court of Ispahan, when ap- afraid of stopping on the Mesopoproaching to the ball of audience, tamian side, on account of tigers he saw two chained to the ground, and lions, which many people in this one on each side of the passage ; vessel declared to have seeu often,
and related several fatal accidents tament there is no allusion to their which had happened to persons who existence. They are stated by Mac. had remained on shore after it was gill, in his Travels in Turkey, Vol. dark, or moored their vessels to the i. p. 63. 82. to have been occasion. banks at night. I did not wonder ally seen in the neighbourhood of to hear of tigers, as they are com. Smyrna. mon in Asia ; but as I never until now had heard of their having lions, SERPENTS CHARMED, I seemed surprized, which the Turks
Deut. xyiii, 10, 11. observing, many of the most cre
66 Threre shall not be found among you dible declared they had frequently
a charmer." seen them come down to the
Psalm lviii, 4, 5. banks of the river, and as they described a lion accurately, I have
“ Their poison is like the poison of a no doubt of the truth. They relate serpent; they are like the deaf adder, that that they are more frequent on the stoppeth her ear, which will not hearken
to the voice of the charmers, charming banks of the Tigris tban on this
never so wisely." river; and that they are only in
Jeremiah viü. 17. Mesopotamia, as they have never been seen on the Persian side of the " For, behold, I will send serpents, Tigris, nor on the Chaldæan side of cockatrices, ainong yoll, which will not be the Euphrates.”—Parsons' Travels charmed, and they shall bite you, saith the
Lord." in Asia and Africa. Mr. Parsons is probably wrong
Lucian describes a charmer of respecting the tiger, as the royal or serpents, on the authority of a perlarge tiger is rarely met with in son nanied lom,—who says, early any other part than the plains of one morning I saw a Chaldæan walk Hindostan. The small hunting tiger thrice round a certain place, and and leopard may have occasioned after purifying it with torches and the mistake. The statement here sulphur, prouounce seven holy words given of the lion is confirmed by out of an ancient book, which imTournefort and Mr. Bell, who at the mediately drove out all the serpents same time acknowledge that it is that were within that circle: drawn seldom to be met with west of the by his incautation, there came about Euphrates; their accounts, how- him innumerable asps, vipers, and ever, all tend to prove its existence snakes of all descriptions. One old in the neighbourhood, if not actually serpent, indeed, stạid behind ; the in Palestine, and the objection there- magician however sent the youngest fure to its present non-existence is serpent after him, and when he had in a manner set aside,
We have gathered them all together, the Bas frequent instances of the scarcity of bylonian blew upon them, and they many animals in countries where were all consumed. once they were known to be numer. Conjurors are common in Egypt,
The stork and the wolf are They are peasants from the country, now no longer to be met with in who come to Cairo to earn money England, though formerly abun. this way, I saw one who was esdant. The sanje diligence exerted pert enough, and in dexterity equalin the destruction of the former in led those we have in Europe; but our own country, may have had a the Egyptians can do one thing the similar effect in a country once so Europeans are not able to imitatepopulous as Canaan. In proof of pamely, fascinate serpents. They this, it is to be observed that it is take the most poisonous vipers with only in the early periods of the Old their bare hands, play with them, Testament that we hear of them as put them in their bosoms, and use patives of the spil, lạ the New Tes- a great many more tricks with them,
as I have often seen. The person body, and put them into the place I saw on the above day had only a destined for their grave. She had small viper ; but I have frequently taken these serpents in the field, seen them handle those that were with the same ease she handled them three or four feet long, and of the before us. Doubtless, this woman inost horrid sort. I enquired and had some unknown art which enexamined whether they had cut out abled her to handle those creatures. the viper's poisonons teeth ; but I It was impossible to get any inforhave with my own eyes seen they mation froin her, for on this subject do not; we may therefore con she would not open her lips. The clude that there are to this day art of fascinating serpents is a secret Psylli in Egypt; but what are their amongst the Egyptiaus. It is woruse is not easily known. Some thy the endeavours of all naturalists, people are very superstitious, and and the attention of every traveller, the generality believe this to be done to learn something decisive relative by some supernatural art, which to this affair. How ancient this art they obtain from invisible beings. is among the Africans may be conI do not know whether their power cluded from the ancient Marii and is to be ascribed to good or evil, Psylli, who were from Africa, and but I am persuaded that those who daily shewed proofs of it at Rome. undertake it use many superstitions. It is very remarkable that this should
'July 3. Now was the time to be kept a secret for more than 2000 catch all sorts of snakes to be met years, being knowu only to a few, with in Egypt, the great heats bring- when we have seen how many other ing forth these vermin—I therefore secrets have within that time been made preparation to get as many as revealed. The circumstances relatI could, and at once received four ing to the fascination of serpents, different sorts, which I have de- related to me, were principally, 1. scribed and preserved in aqua vitæ. That the art is only
own to cerThese were the common viper, the tain fainilies, who propagate it to Cerastes of Alpin, Jaculus and an their offspring. 2. The person who Anguis Marinus. They were brought knows how to fascinate serpents, me by a Psylli, who put me, toge- never meddles with other poisonous ther with the French Consul Liron- animals, such as scorpions, lizards, court and all the French nation pre- &c. There are different persons sent in consternation: They ga. who know how to fascinate these thered about us to see how she hau, animals, and they again never meddled the inost poisonous and dread- dle with serpents. 3. Those that ful creatures, alive and brisk, with. fascinate serpents, eat them botti out their doing, or even offering to raw and boiled, and even make broth do her the least harm. When she of them, (this indeed is common put them into the bottle, where they enough in Europe, viper broth bewere to be preserved, she took them ing considered as a remedy for conwith her bare hands, and handied suniptive diseases) which they eat them as our ladies do their laces. very commonly amongst them, but She had no difficulty with any but in particular they eat such a dish the Vipera Officinales, which were wlien they go out to catch them. not fond of their lodging. They 4. After they have eat their soup, found means to creep out before the they procure a blessing from their bottle could be corked. They crept scheik (priest or lawyer) who uses over the hands and bare arms of some superstitious ceremonies, and the woman, without occasioning the amongst others, spits on them seleast fear in her.
She with great
veral times with certain gestures. calmness took the spakes from her This manner of getting a blessing
from the priest is pure superstition, after and got hold of it in the midand certainly cannot in the least dle with his naked hand, when it help to fascinate serpents ;- but turned round and bit him between they believe, or will at least per- the forefinger and thumb, so that suade others, that the power of fas. the blood appeared. He seemed not cinating serpents depends upon this to mind it at all, and only rubbed circumstance. We see by this that it with a little common earth: nor they kpow how to make use of the was it followed by any bad consesame means used by other nations, quences. Had be really taken out namely, to hide under the cloak of the fangs and the bladder containsuperstition, what may be easily ing the poison, the animals which and naturally explained, especially were bit by the same viper immewhen they cannot or will not explain diately afterwards would not have the natural reason. I have been died so suddenly. Several fowls told of a plant with which they and a cat were afterwards bitten by anoiut or rub themselves before it, and died immediately. I have they touch the serpents. Note, Mr. seen several little boys that could Jacquin, in a letter to Sir Charles do the same. When Baron Tott Linnæus, says, that the Indians in was at Cairo, some of the Euro. the West Indies charm serpents with peans residing there, speaking of it, ihe Aristolochia Anguiceda, and the made him very curious to see it. A late Mr. Forshohl, on bis Travels to little boy happened just then to be the East, likewise informed Dr. Lin. passing along the street, who often næus, that the Egyptians use a spe. used to come a begging, and, as we cies of Aristolochia (Berthwort), but knew he was one of that class, we does not determine which species it offered him some paras, if he would is.- Hasselquist's Travels, p. 60— get some scorpions, and shew us 63.
what he could do. The boy, who In Japan, there are also charmers had not one rag of clothes about of serpents, similar to the above. him, except a little red cap on bis
Being so long resident at Grand head, went immediately to some Cairo as to have had frequent oppor- old garden walls, and came back in tunities of observing these people a short time empty handed. We who possess the secret of fascinato asked him where he had his scoring serpents ; 1 have often met them pions? He took off his little cap, in the street, hung all around with under which he had five very large serpents, some wrapped around their ones, which he threw upon the necks, others in their bosom, and ground, and began to play with all of them alive, which at first ap- them before us; they frequently peared not a little alarming. When stung him, but he seemed not 10 Mr. Bruce was at Cairo, he wished mind it at all. I myself grew very likewise to see it. He lodged with suspicious that he might have taken a French merchant, Mr. Rose, a away their sting, and therefore friend of mine, who sent for one of stooped to examine them very closethese people to exhibit before us. ly; but he warned me not to come When he entered the house, he was too near, and to convince me of the asked where he had his serpents ? contrary, he took some of them up he put bis hand in his bosom, and with his fingers, and shewed me the brought out a large horned viper, sting. I then asked him how he (the Coluber Cerastes) and threw it came to it, to be able to do what on the ground; the animal, rather some of his companions could not enraged at such rough treatment, not do? He answered, my father made towards Mr. Rose ; fearful gave me something to drink, and that it might bite him, the man ran the sheik or priest made me swallow