Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

tuneful Hosannah or Hallelujah; but rather a yell of approbation, united with a kind of hissing applause. I was at a loss how to account for this latter noise, until I was directed to notice the women, who emitted a sound like that of whistling, with the lips circular and the tongue vibrating, as if a serpent would speak by their organs, uttering human sounds.

The throne of the idol was placed on a stupendous car or tower about sixty feet in height, resting on wheels which indented the ground deeply, as they turned slowly under the ponderous machine. Attached to it were six cables, of the size and length of a ship’s cable, by which the people drew it along. Upon the tower were the priests and satellites of the idol, surrounding his throne. The idol is a block of wood, having a frightful visage painted black, with a distended mouth of a bloody color. His arms are of gold, and he is dressed in gorgeous apparel. The other two idols are of a white and yellow color. Five elephants preceded the three towers, bearing towering flags, dressed in crimson caparisons, and having bells hanging to their caparisons, which sounded musically as they proceeded.

I went on in the procession, close by the tower of Moloch, which, as it was drawn with difficulty, grated on its massy wheels harsh thunder. After a few minutes it stopped; and now the worship of the god began. A high priest mounted the car in front of the idol, and pronounced his obscene stanzas in the ears of the people, who responded at intervals in the same strain. These songs,' said he, “are the delight of the god. His car can only move when he is pleased with the song. The car moved on a little way, and then stopped. A boy of about twelve years of age was then brought forth to attempt something yet more lascivious, if peradventure the god would move. The child perfected the praise of the idol with such ardent expression and gesture, that the god was pleased, and the multitude, emitting a sensual yell of delight, urged the car along. After a few minutes it stopped again. An aged minister of the idol then stood up, and with a long rod in his hand, which he moved with indecent action, completed the variety of this disgusting exhibition. I felt å consciousness of doing wrong in witnessing it. I was also somewhat appalled at the magnitude and horror of the spectacle; I felt like a guilty person, on whom all eyes are fixed, and I was about to withdraw. But a scene of a different kind was now to be presented. The characteristics of Moloch's worship are obscenity and blood. We have seen the former. Now comes the blood.

After the tower had proceeded some way, a pilgrim announced that he was ready to offer himself a sacrifice to the idol. He laid himself down in the road before the tower as it was moving along, lying on his face, with his arms stretched forwards. The multitude passed round him, leaving the space clear, and he was crushed to death by the wheels of the tower. A shout of joy was raised to the god. He is said to smile when the libation of the blood is made. The people threw cowries, or small money, on the body of the victim, in approbation of the deed. He was left to view a considerable time, and was then carried by the Hurries to the Golgotha, where I have just been viewing his remains.

CHRIST'S KINGDOM NOT OF

THIS WORLD.

BOSSUET.

I shall not dwell upon the mistaken notion which even the apostles affixed to the character of the Messiah, but shall endeavour to explain the sentiments which the holy Jesus entertained upon that subject. I cannot observe without an emotion of astonishment, the conduct of the Son of God in this particular; I see him through the course of his ministry displaying, even with parade, the lowliness of his condition; and when the hour approaches which is to terminate in his death, the word glory dwells on his lips, and he discourses with his disciples of nothing but his great

ness.

On the eve of his ignominious death, when the traitor Judas þad just gone from him, big with his execrable intention, it was then the Saviour of the world cried out with a divine ardor, Now is the Son of Man glorified!' Tell me in what manner is he going to be glorified ? what means the emphatic word now? Is he to rise above the clouds, and from thence to launch vengeance on his foes ? or is the angelic hierarchy, seraphs, dominations, principalities, and powers to descend from on high and pay him instant adoration? Ah, no! he is going to be degraded, to submit to excruciating pain, and to expire with malefactors. This is what he denominates his glory; this is what he esteems his triumph. Behold him as he makes his entrance into Jerusalem, riding on an ass. Ah, Christians, let us not be ashamed of our heavenly king ; let the sceptic, the deist, deride, if they please, this humble appearance of the Son of God; but I will tell human arrogance, that this lowly exhibition was worthy of the king who came into this world in order to degrade, to crush beneath his feet all terrestrial grandeur! I do not mean, however, to call your attention to this point. Behold! behold! what a concourse of people of all ages, of all conditions, precede his entrance into Jerusalem, with branches of palm trees in their hands, in the act of exultation! How the air resounds with these acclamations; 'Hosanna to the Son of David! blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; hosanna in the highest!' Whence is this sudden change, so opposite to his former conduct? Whence is it that he now courts applause, whom we see, in another part of the Gospel, retiring to the summit of a solitary mountain, to escape from the solicitations of the multitude, who assembled from all the neighbouring cities and villages, for the purpose of electing him their king ? He now listens with complacency to the people, who accost him with that title. The jealous Pharisees endeavour to impose silence on the multitude; but our Saviour replies, 'If these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out.' Let me again repeat, whence is this abrupt conduct? He approves of what he lately abhorred; he accepts what he lately rejected. The last time he entered Jerusalem, it was in order to die; and in consonance with the sentiments of the Messiah, to die is to reign. How dignified was his conduct through the whole process of his passion! How august his deportment at the tribunal of Pilate! Did he not humble the majesty of the Roman by the dignity of silence? Let Pilate return into the judgment hall, for the purpose of interrogating our Saviour ; he will make no reply, but to one question; the Roman presi

« AnteriorContinuar »