« ElőzőTovább »
able of the earth,” Isa. xxiii. 3. 8. By their Saviour's command, and their its wisdom and traffic it increased its anchor his sure word of promise and riches, and was "replenished, and made prophecy; there to wage war, not with very glorious in the midst of the seas. flesh and blood, but superstition, cruelty, In Ezekiel xxvii., we are presented and barbarism, to proclaim to the people with a full and graphic delineation of that sit in darkness and the shadow of the extent of its commerce and of the death, the good tidings of great joy wealth that by this means accrued to contained in the gospel of peace and the parent city. It was, no doubt, in salvation. consequence of his intercourse with
Some authors have characterized the Hiram, king of Tyre, that Solomon, alder as an ugly, melancholy tree, in whose reign the Jewish kingdom and too many pass it by unmindful, if attained its highest point of prosperity, not ignorant of its value and utility. was induced to build a
navy of ships But " in nature there is nothing melanin Ezion-geber ;” and this fleet, in choly," and with equal truth we may conjunction with that of the Tyrian add, nothing without utility. All are monarch, brought every three years gold, created to answer some appointed end, and silver, ivory, apes, and peacocks. and each without failure or fault disIn one year, we read, the weight of charges that duty. The scarcely visible gold brought to Solomon was six hun- grain of sand has its niche in that imdred and sixty-six talents; and after passable boundary, which, though the such a description of commercial energy waves of the sea are mighty and rage and prosperity, we are not surprised to fearfully, they cannot pass. The light find that in his days, silver was in and feathery pappus down, the sport Jerusalem as stones, and cedars as the of every wind, is the fleet and buoysycamore trees that are in the vale for ant
agent by which the seeds of abundance, 1 Kings x.
many of the most useful tribes of the The fishing boats of Galilee were vegetable kingdom are conveyed to honoured to be the pulpit and the distant spots, and fixed upon their desresting place of Emmanuel upon earth, tined sites. Even the casts thrown up whence he addressed the listening crowd, by the poor earth worm, tend to fersummoned from their watery abode tilize the ground and unlock its hard
fishes of the sea, and with a and frozen surface. The alder does wonder-working word stilled the roar not hang over the limpid stream or the ing of the waves and raging of the wind. reed-grown pond merely to derive from Within the “wooden walls of old Eng- them the sustenance it requires, cumland,” constructed in haste by an awe- bering without benefiting the spot. Its struck and defenceless people, a little numerous fibrous creeping roots serve band of noble hearts, bold in the cause to strengthen and support the bank on of their country and their Protestant which it grows, and some writers have religion, dared to await the attack of considered that it exhales properties an hostile armament far exceeding them which correct the unhealthy miasma in number, size, and maritime skill ; generally prevailing in low and marshy but "He (the Lord of heaven, and earth, grounds. On these accounts, the alder and sea,) blew with his winds and they is often planted, when not naturally were scattered ;" the invincible ar found in such spots, to form a remedy mada, blessed by the Roman pontiff, for the evils which attend them. Like and formed from the treasures of a a true and attached friend, it repays, rich and mighty kingdom, melted away according to its power, the benefit reas snow before the southern gale. And ceived ; and hence poets, both ancient in yet more recent days, by means of and modern, have adopted it as the emthese vehicles of the wave, have our blem of gratitude and devoted affection. daring countrymen trod the pathless
-There the alder, darkly green, ocean, and exchanged the arts and ma In such fix'd attitude doth fondly lean nufactures of their native land, for the
O'er the clear brook, as 'twould not lose one tone
Of its sweet parley as it journey'd on. valuable and spontaneous productions of And then, what time the soft winds gently stirr'd many a distant clime. Thus, too, have Its darkling leaves, it too would breathe some the heroes of Christian missions pene
Of answering kindness. Ah! in bye gone hours trated to earth's remotest bounds and When fancy, proud to try her new-born powers, the distant islands of the sea, their
thought, standard the cross, their watchword Oft has that tree some theme for musing brought.
From all she saw or heard stole some sweet
o the flying
If harsh of mood, too hardly would she deem two men, who responded to each other
in measures of eight strokes each. Its image in the glassy stream enshrined. This is remarkable, as the number eight Anon, repenting of a thought so rude,
occurs oftentimes in western music; 'Twould seem to her the type of gratitude, Shading the brook that fed it, lest the sun many airs have eight measures in each In mid career should gaze too fierce thereon; strain ; and in the minuet and other And then, a softer image it supplied,
kindred exercises there are eight evoFor ever bending o'er that crystal tide, For ever listening to its liquid chime,
lutions in each series of movements. Though all the sights and sounds of summer
When the sun or moon suffers an eclipse,
these gongs are beaten without inter-
flaming scrolls are committed to the
L. A. TWAMLEY. deep with a most unsparing hand. By And thus should the eye of the Chris
a vulgar error, a dragon is supposed to tian be ever “ looking unto Jesus," the swallow either of those orbs during a
total eclipse, and these ceremonies are source whence alone his hope, and strength, and peace are derived.' But performed with the view of making him alas ! the fiery glow of the furnace of disgorge his morsel. The dragon was affliction, the engrossing cares of time, perhaps used as an emblem of that and even the blessings which surround in their circuits ; but tradition mistook
which keeps the heavenly bodies his path, too often draw away his re
the emblem for the thing itself. A gards from his Saviour; and thus lessen the supply of spiritual life which he ink is, fé lung tsae teen,
common phrase on the cakes of Indian can only receive out of this fulness, and
dragon is in heaven.” Chinese astrocause his graces to droop and wither. It is only as drinking daily and hourly with the mathematicians from the west,
nomers, long before their acquaintance from the brook of living water flowing explained the nature of an eclipse ;
but forth from the smitten rock, that he the superstitious crowd chose to have can lift up his head, extend his shel- the matter their own way. The inhatering shade, and perform the duties bitants on shore are very punctual in allotted to his station. Thus planted their devotions at night and morning, by the Divine Husbandman in the house if any observance in honour of these of the Lord, the church of the living things, which in the language of the God, and founded on Christ, the sure and Old Testament are called the “ vanities tried foundation stone, he shall flourish of the nations,” merits a term so sigand bring forth fruit abundantly, and even in declining days be fat and well nificant. A bundle of incense sticks is liking, proving the faithfulness of the lighted, and perhaps two or three wax Lord’his strength, until transplanted the niche wherein his imaginary presence
candles, and placed before an idol on into the paradise above.
is supposed to reside.
The act is performed very frequently by one of the
junior branches of the family, either SUPERSTITIOUS RITES IN CHINA.
because he has the greatest share of When the crew of a Chinese vessel leisure, or the smallest accumulation of are about to weigh anchor, they, in guilt. At times, a large tray is set conformity with authorized custom, deem before the niche with offerings of boiled it right to commend themselves to the rice, fowl, fish, and different kinds of care of the unseen deities, and to pro- vegetables. The best of their kinds are pitiate their prospering favour by an selected for the occasion ; for a Chinese, act of worship. One of the crew lights amid the deep ignorance and confusion a bundle of gilded paper, bows, and of his mind, is on one point more conthrows it while blazing into the water; sistent than some nominal Christians, another takes the loud sounding gong, who propose to give the best of their and beats a pealing strain upon it, days* to sin, and reserve only the regenerally with very little regard to fuse and leavings of life for their Maker. measure or rhythm. A similar rite is When one of the natives, while busily performed at sunset every day while in occupied in a sacrifice of this sort, was harbour or at sea. The writer was questioned as to the motive by which present when two gongs were beaten he was influenced, he replied in broken in cadence, in a sort of rivalry between * Optima quæque dies, Virg. Georg. iii.
English, “ Chinaman fashion :” another the destiny of the inquirer, which he was bold in alleging his reasons, for interprets by the scantling of his own when ridiculed for worshipping a few hopes or fears. A native, who had gay, emblems, he said his forefathers often affected to slight the superstitious and himself had always done so, and practices of his countrymen, and had had thereby obtained many a large described in some classic verses the phidraught of fish and a safe return to lanthropy of the Son of God, in dying their homes after a voyage. A similar to rescue his people, was not proof defence was made by the women who against the enchantment which a vipoured out drink offerings and made sionary hope excites in an over curious cakes for the queen of heaven in the mind; so one morning he comes not time of Jeremiah : see Jer. xliv. 17— at the appointed hour, but at length 19.
makes his appearance with these "reThe lintels of a Chinese house are sponses” in his hand. As the writer often adorned with red paper, gilded had given the man credit for knowing and cut in checquered spaces, and an better, he supposed that these had been inscription is fastened over the door, brought for his instruction, and could which contains a short prayer, that hardly be persuaded that his friend happiness or some special favour may thought there was any truth in things descend and enter the dwelling. A couched in words so dark and mysbundle of plants, consisting of the cactus i terious. and a few common denizens of the In spring and autumn it is cusgarden, are hung up over the door, as tomary for all the natives to repair the averter of evil influences. Every and decorate the graves of their anhouse has a cell in the upper side or cestors. There would be little to blame frontispiece, in which the character for in such an act of respect for those of shin is written in large dimensions. their forefathers, whom death had This word may be translated “spirit,” mingled with the dust ; but they do as it is applied to the intellectual part not stop here, but present offerings of of man, which, according to their phi- fowls, pigs, rice, vegetables, tea, etc., losophy, resides in the heart during with libations of wine or spirit. Tapers life, and ascends to heaven at death. of wax and incense sticks are kindled Before this cell, a vase for incense is and placed in front of the gravestone placed, with perhaps an urn or a candle- or monumental tablet. While these stick upon each side upon the table, are shedding their light and their frawhich fulfils the office of an altar. grance, the worshipper, who is often The wall on each side of the cell is hired for the occasion, with his assistsometimes adorned with a pretty scroll, ants kneel upon a mat spread for that suggesting some moral sentiment in purpose, pours out the wine and recites harmony with its fellow. The Tanker a form of prayer. Whether they do boats which convey the passengers from this as an act of homage merely, or Canton to the island of Honan, very believe that the shades of the departed often present a niche or cell of this derive some refreshment from these kind, though instead of the word shin, oblations, it is not easy to say. When the representation of the deity is set a native thus employed, was asked wheup. Before this niche the members ther“ he did not think that the dead of the household kneel and bow, es must be very hungry, seeing they got pecially on any joyous or festive oc- only one or at the most two meals in casion,
the course of the year ?" instead of a The Chinese are nationally charac- reply, he abused the stranger for asking terized by their excessive fondness for him such an impertinent question. The inquiring into futurity. Hence they minds of his countrymen are not clear often repair to temples, and after a upon the subject, as they grope in darkprayer that they may be rightly di at noonday; a definite answer, rected, proceed to draw lots, by taking therefore, was more than we could ex. a slip of bamboo out of a number pect from him. which are contained in a cylindrical The priests are not numerous when vessel. The slip is marked with a compared with the population of the certain sign which corresponds with one country. Temples are frequent, and so inscribed upon a scroll setting forth indicate that there is a superstitious in very poetic and ambiguous terms zeal among the majority of the people.
The larger kinds provide an accommo the pa kwa of fuh he, the author or dation for the priests within their en authors of civil polity, embroidered upon closure. Here they live in a state of its back; and they are seen walking in idleness, chatting with their companions, procession with drums and clarionets, and counting their beads, or sitting in an a portable altar to pay the dues of obunmeaning fit of dreaming contem servance to the different gods of the plation. At day fall a drum is beaten, country. 3. The philosophical, or rather and the inmates of the temple assemble the ethical system of worship, which
These are recited with commands the adoration of progenitors, hands folded and in a chanting voice, and of the sages who have reformed while a small bell by its tinkling serves mankind. This is founded upon a conas an accompaniment and a guide at sideration of that debt which mankind the same time.
owe to their forefathers for birth and The drum, first mentioned, resembles nurture, and to moral instructors, for a cask, and rests upon a stand in some their invaluable lessons, by which the convenient part of the temple. A large multitude was led to organize itself into bell often occupies a similar situation, a civil community, and exchanged the and is struck with a hammer as a pre- | life of a wild animal for that of a man. lude to the rites of service. A band / When survivors are anxious that a of music is, on particular occasions, spirit should wend its way, in safety called upon to bear a art in the cere to the hills, the abodes of the genii, a monies of worship, and to fill up Taou priest is called, who, as he stands the interludes by melodies of a sad and at the feet of the dead, chants a prayer, plaintive character. It is the opinion rings a little bell, and sprinkles the of the writer, that when the budhistic body with wine to frighten away all evil doctrines were introduced into China spirits. If souls are supposed to be in from India, some compromise was made purgatory, a company of budhist priests as to the rites of worship; for they seem are sent for, who chant, beat a drum, to be indigenous. The rites performed sound a cymbal, and ring a bell. But by the Chinese to their ancestors, the if, at the anniversary of some sage, the worthies of their country, or to any offering of a swine, a sheep, and a large of the native gods, are childish perhaps, table garnished with every sort of viand
never offensive. When the within ordinary reach, is to be accomnew sect about 65 B.C., propagated their panied by certain sacrificial rites, perviews in China, they were obliged, it sons of official rank in their
proper appears, to adopt many forms then in garments attend and perform those rites. use, and to lay aside everything of A Taou priest is seen perchance, but a revolting character which they he takes no part in the ceremony; he might have learned in that infatuated acts only as the superintendent of the country from whence they came. By preliminary arrangements, or warden of way of synopsis we may state, that the temple. In practice, there seems there are three religions in China, or per to be little or no competition between haps to speak with more accuracy, there these three aspects or modifications of the are three aspects under which super- Chinese religion ; but each has its time stition may be viewed. 1. The budhistic and its influence, by a tacit permission modification, which enjoins celibacy of the other two. upon its votaries, renunciation of the If the reader knows the worth of world, perpetual abstraction, and the prayer, the writer earnestly entreats worship of the three budhs with a rabble that China may have a prominent of reputed saints. This is extraneous, place among those intercessions which and not the growth of the country. 2. made for the salvation of the The Taou system or modification, which world. The movements now in proseems to have been derived from the gress may humble the power by which ancient superstitions of the Chinese so many millions are kept in bondage, nation. The priests of this religion and then the missionary will have free wear their hair wreathed into a tuft on course in his endeavours to contrast the the crown of the head after the original supreme excellences of the gospel with fashion : they are clad in a long scarlet the useless," beggarly," and absurd cererobe, which has the emblems of Chinese monies of idolatry. philosophy, or the yin and yang and
G. T. L.
THE MOUNTAIN PHEASANT OF
Mountain Pheasant of Australia. Now or Ngow-vo.
When pursued, it will frequently run AUSTRALIA.
its head into a bush, and is then easily THE mountain pheasant (Now or taken. In its actions and manners, it Ngow-00) is closely allied to the species is very like the domestic fowl. Its food described in our last number; it is, how. generally consists of seeds and berries. ever, more gracefully formed, the head It has a mournful note, very like that and neck are thickly clothed with fea- of a pigeon, but with a more inward thers, and the colouring of the plumage tone. is beautifully variegated.
“The eggs are placed in a mound Mr. Gould gives the subjoined com of sand, the formation of which is the munication respecting the habits of this work of both sexes. The natives say bird from Mr. J. Gilbert.
they scratch up the sand for many “ The following account, says Mr. yards around, forming a mound of about Gilbert, “of the habits, manners, and three feet in height, the inside being nidification of the present species, has constructed of dried leaves, grasses, etc., been detailed to me by G. Moore, Esq., among which the eggs are deposited, to Advocate General ; Mr. Armstrong, ab- the number of twelve and upwards, and original interpreter; and some of the covered up by the birds as laid ; or, as more intelligent natives of western Aus- the natives express it, the countenances tralia. Mr. Moore saw a great many of the eggs are never visible. of these birds about sixty miles north “ The bird never sits upon of Perth ; but its most favourite country but when she has laid her number, the appears to be the barren sandy plains whole are covered up, after which the of the interior 1,011 miles north and mound of sand resembles an ants' nest. east of York.
The eggs are hatched by the heat of “It is a ground bird, never taking the sun's rays, the vegetable lining of to a tree unless when closely hunted. the hillock retaining sufficient warmth