« AnteriorContinuar »
THE SURE WORD OF PROPHECY.
remain "willingly ignorant" of its claims. It is fearfully true, that "men love darkness rather than light." But while infidels reject the Bible, the Christian takes it as "the man of his counsel." With holy fervor he reads, prays, meditates; "compares spiritual things with
perfect law of liberty." While delighting in the law of God after the inner man, the light of truth and grace and love shines into his heart, and imparts "the knowledge of the glory of God, in the face of Jesus Christ." We have much encouragement to take heed unto the
place," illuminating the world, and saving them who believe, from ignorance, sin, and death eternal. Through it the devout Christian partakes of those spiritual comforts and graces which are the gift of the Holy Spirit. Thanks be to God, "the day-star from on high has visited us." Jesus, "the bright and morning Star," pours light upon our path-way, which will cause it to shine "brighter and brighter unto the perfect day." Jesus is "the way, the truth, and the life." He is "the light of the world," "the light of life," and having entered into his glory, has left to us the records of his will, and the promise of the Spirit, by which we may "travel all the length of the celestial road," until the light of glorious eternity shall break upon our raptured vision.
medanism, though it stands as a proof of the truth of Scripture prophecy, is itself unsupported by a single fulfilled prediction. The heathen oracles were celebrated for their equivocation and falsehood. Many were the instances in which they practiced fraud upon those who came to them for counsel. Some of the great he-spiritual," and with singleness of heart, "looks into the roes of antiquity were deceived by answers that might be differently interpreted. Cresus, when preparing to engage in a war with the Persians, inquired of an oracle respecting his success, and from the equivocal answer he received, he was induced to make an attack upon the Persians, which however proved unsuccess-word of prophecy. It is "a light shining in a dark ful. In a similar manner was Pyrrhus deceived in reference to a war with the Romans. Demosthenes charged the Delphic oracle with being "gained over to the interests of King Philip." During the wars between Constantine and Maxentius, the former gained two victories over the latter-one at Turin, the other at Verona. Maxentius, whose military resources were unexhausted, determined to hazard another battle, and upon consulting the Sybilline books, received answer that "the enemy of Rome was about to perish." Giving the response an interpretation favorable to himself, he proceeded to battle, but suffered a defeat. The difficulty of charging falsehood upon the oracle will at once be seen; for if the success of arms had turned out differently, it might have been maintained that Constantine, instead of Maxentius, was the enemy of Rome. In the sacred Scriptures, no such equivocation can be detected. It is true that some of its prophecies are obscure, and some of them profoundly mysterious. "Clouds and darkness" envelop them, so that in view of the limitation of human knowledge, we may with propriety adopt the language of Paul, "We know in part, and we prophesy in part." But while a degree of obscurity is thrown around some portions of the prophetic writings, we have other prophecies, that are sufficiently plain and clear, and their fulfillment has given most satisfactory proof that "prophecy came not by the will of man, but by the inspiration of the Holy Ghost."
The fulfillment of Scripture prophecy in the spread of the Gospel, is a subject which, by the Church of God, will ever be contemplated with delight. And we are called upon to bear our part in the great work, that heathen nations may become "the inheritance of Christ, and the uttermost parts of the earth his possession." The present state of things may discourage us, but the inspired prophecies assure us, that "he that is coming will come, and will not tarry." He will come to "avenge his elect, who cry unto him day and night." "He will suddenly come to his temple," and his worship will be established among all nations: "The mountain of the Lord's house shall be established in the top of the mountain, and shall be exalted above the hills, and all nations shall flow unto it." He will reign until he subdues all his enemies, and "bruises Satan under our feet." The prophetic writings have given most encouraging views of things that will shortly come to pass. They point us to "the stone cut out of the mountain," rolling majestically onward, until it becomes a mountain, "filling the whole earth." "The period is swiftly has
It is a source of great comfort to the Christian to know that his foundation stands sure. In reading the Scriptures, and in comparing their prophetic statements with the facts of history, he finds such an agreement that he can rely with entire confidence upon the truth of the Christian religion. And if infidels deny the authenticity of the holy Scriptures, and speak contemp-tening, when "the high praises of God," from the east tuously of the Christian system, the true believer remembers that the same apostle who exhorts us to "take heed unto the sure word of prophecy," admonishes us also, to "be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and the commandment of the Lord Jesus Christ. Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, and saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things remain as they were from the beginning of the creation." How many there are, who, notwithstanding their ability to examine and weigh the evidences of this religion,
and from the west, from the north and from the south, shall meet and commingle, and the rapturous song of salvation shall be chanted by the redeemed, both in earth and in heaven. In heaven, the voice will be heard, "Now is come salvation and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ; for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night." The Church militant will echo back, "Halleluiah! the Lord God omnipotent reigneth." In view of this glorious state of things, the Church should rejoice, knowing that her redemption is drawing nigh.
Is the knowledge of God now limited to a small portion of mankind? Prophecy tells us that "the earth shall be full of the knowledge of God, as the waters cover the sea." Does "the prince of darkness" now "work in the children of disobedience," and so darken their minds and blind the eyes of their understanding, that they cannot see the "light of the glorious Gospel?" Prophecy informs us that the reign of spiritual darkness shall cease, and that the light of divine revelation shall shine in those dreary regions upon which "the O! where are they who once in beauty pass'd, shadow of death" is now resting. Does Satan now, Like a bright dream, too pure, too blest to last? as "a roaring lion," prowl through the earth, seeking Who revel'd in the hall of joy and mirth, his prey among the fallen sons of men? Prophecy And seem'd too fair, too beautiful for earth; assures us, that a messenger from the court of heaven Whose step was heard amid the festal throng, shall be commissioned with authority to chain him in Whose lute like voices mingled in the song? the bottomless pit. Do we now discover the fierce con- Their last farewell is now to memory dear; flicts of malignant passions, creating wars, and spread-Their accents sweet still linger on my ear! ing desolation among the nations? Prophecy holds But shall I hear those gentle tones no more? out the pleasing prospect of universal peace. "Jeho- Is love's bright dream for ever, ever o'er? vah shall make wars to cease unto the ends of the Ye stars, that revel "round the midnight throne," earth; he will break the bow and cut the spear in sun- Say, do they make your pure, bright climes their own? der: he will burn the chariot in the fire." "He will At eve's sweet hour they often loved to gaze judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many peo-Far, far away, and picture in your rays ple, until they shall beat their swords into plough-shares, A brighter clime than this, a land of rest, and their spears into pruning-hooks: until nation shall Where earth's lone pilgrims are for ever bless'd! not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn O! tell us, if in your bright home above, war any more;" and until "they shall not hurt nor | Our loved and lost ones sing redeeming love; destroy in all God's holy mountain." Does "darkness || And strike their harps of gold in concerts sweet, now cover the earth, and gross darkness the people?" And cast bright crowns before a Savior's feet? Through the light of prophecy, we see the infernal But we shall meet them yet! O yes! a ray shades fleeing away, and "Satan, like lightning, falling Of comfort glimmers through life's darksome way; The star of promise, with its heavenly light, Hath risen and dispell'd the shades of night; A hope immortal through the gloom appears, To soothe our woes and wipe away our tears! Yes! when these scenes shall all have pass'd away, When time shall cease o'er earth to hold his sway, We too shall meet on that immortal shore, Where tempests dire shall vex and rage no more!
L. D. H.
ENCOURAGEMENT IN DESPONDENCY.
"Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? Hope thou in God, for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance and my God."
THE GREEK CLASSICS.
ny. The Pythian priestess in reply, directed him "to
THE GREEK CLASSICS.-NO. III. shun the grove of Nemean Jupiter, since there death
BY GEO. WATERMAN, JR.
HESIOD AND ARCHILOCHUS.
awaited him." Hesiod, supposing that she referred to
In the times of the early Greek poets, literature of every kind was in its infancy. Few nations possessed the means of preserving their rude attempts at poetry, the first species of literary composition, otherwise than by traditions; and those few made but comparatively little use of their superior advantages. Except the Hebrew Pentateuch, and two or three other books of the Old Testament Scriptures, and the imperishable in-sea. scriptions upon the Pyramids of Egypt, (if indeed these last may properly be called written,) we know of no specimen of written composition anterior to the time of Homer. The works of that poet constitute the foundation of all the literature of the world, which is not strictly sacred. His influence and example awakened a new spirit among his countrymen, and eventually among mankind. After him, poet followed poet, and historian orator, until Greece became the seat of learning for the world. After Homer, whose works have already been noticed, the next in order of time is
This poet was probably a contemporary of Homer, or at most, but a little subsequent to him; although it is perhaps impossible at this late period to determine exactly the time of his birth or death. It is generally thought that he was born at Cume or Cyme, in Æolis, and at an early age was brought to Ascra in Bæotia. His father had removed from the former place in consequence of his poverty, and remained until his death a resident of Ascra-although it seems he did not obtain the right of citizenship. His residence here, it would seem, had been profitable to him in a pecuniary point of view; for at his death he left a considerable amount of property to his two sons, Hesiod and Perses, of whom Hesiod was the elder. The two brothers divided the inheritance between them. But Perses, by bribing the judges, obtained the means of defrauding his brother, and of obtaining his portion of the estate. This base ness of the Ascrean judges may account for the severe epithets which he afterwards applied to the inhabitants of that village.
The works of Hesiod which remain are, 1. "The Works and Days;" 2. "The Theogony;" and 3. A fragment entitled the "Shield of Hercules." The first, the "Works and Days," is a pastoral addressed by Hesiod to his brother Perses, giving advice concerning agriculture, and the general conduct of life. It was most probably written while he was engaged as a shepherd on Mount Helicon, and before the death of his father and subsequent conduct of his brother. The first part of the poem refers to agriculture, in which he advises his brother to seek wealth by labor rather than by other means. Interspersed are proverbs, mythical narratives, descriptions, &c., which are ingeniously wrought into the poem, and all of which are intended to enforce the general subject upon which he is treating. The second part relates to navigation, which is treated of in equal detail. As the work is generally intended for the guidance of life, the poet proceeds to speak of marriage, the time when it should be entered into, and what rules should guide a man in his selection of a companion. Sundry moral precepts referring to the worship of the gods, the government of the tongue, the days on which certain things should be commenced, &c., make up the principal remaining part of the poem. "One thing," says Professor Anthon, "must be very evident to all who read the Works and Days,' that in its present state it shows a want of purpose and of unity too great to be accounted for, otherwise than upon the supposition of its fragmentary nature."
It is probable that he was a shepherd, and tended his flocks upon the sides of Mount Helicon-although Pausanias makes him a priest of the Muses at that place. His poetry evidently shows that he was accustomed to rural pursuits. The beauty of the scenery, the salubrity of the air, and all the associations of that spot, rendered famous by the supposed residence of the Muses upon its summit, together with the rural quiet| The "Theogony," as its name indicates, consists of of a shepherd's life-all these conspired to awaken an account of the origin of the world, including the within his soul those emotions which give life to the birth of the gods. It contains a great many personifiimaginations of the poet, and vigor to every thing with-cations. It is particularly interesting, inasmuch as it in the range of his thought.
is the most ancient monument of the Greek Mythology
Of his death we have the following account. On a which time has spared us. "When we consider it as certain occasion he is said to have consulted the oracle || a poem, we find no composition of ancient times so of Apollo at Delphi, with reference to his future desti- stamped with a rude simplicity of character. It is with
THE GREEK CLASSICS.
out luminous order of arrangement, abounds with dry || as second to none, not even Homer. He is generally Anand insipid details, and only by snatches, as it were, acknowledged as the inventor of the Iambic verse. rises to any extraordinary elevation of fancy. It ex- cient writers attribute the invention of several other hibits that crude irregularity, and that mixture of mean-kinds to him also. But the proof is wanting. The ness and grandeur, which characterize a strong but un- Iambic verse was well adapted for rapid and vehement cultivated genius."
The remaining work is but a fragment of a poem, written in celebration of the heroines of antiquity, and those who have become the mothers of gods and demigods. It derives its name, "" The Shield of Hercules," from a lengthy description of the shield of that warrior which it contains.
thought, and hence well suited for satire-the kind of writing in which Archilochus especially excelled. The keenness of his sarcasm was unequaled. The misfortunes of his life produced no other effect than to sour a temper naturally ardent. Believing all mankind his enemies, he made them so by the bitterness with which he assailed them in his writings. As an illustration, ancient writers relate the following anecdote, which,
As a writer, Hesiod has been variously estimated. Some parts of his productions are wearisome and in-perhaps, is as worthy of credit as most of those times. sipid; while others are full of the genuine spirit of While he resided at Paros the charms of Neobule, the poetry. Quintilian places him at the head of writers beautiful daughter of Lycambes, won his affections. of the second class. Virgil has acknowledged that in A more wealthy citizen of the place was also a suitor. the composition of his Georgics he followed the "Works Interested motives, and perhaps also the advice of her and Days," as a model of pastoral poetry-thus indi- father, led her to break her plighted faith to the poet. rectly giving it the highest eulogium in his power. In Thenceforth she became the object of his most relentthis poem are found many passages which are remarka-less hatred and bitterest satire. "He loaded her with ble for their sweetness and beauty. Speaking of the charges the most opprobrious to her sex, and pursued description of the battle of the gods, which is perhaps both her and her parent with such merciless invective, one of the finest passages from the pen of Hesiod, El- that they were happy to find a refuge in suicide from ton, in his edition of his works, says: "Milton has bor- the scorn and infamy to which they were exposed by rowed some images from these descriptions; and the the vengeance of their unrelenting persecutor." Otharming of the Messiah for battle is obviously imitated ||ers were alike made to feel the keenness of the viper's from the magnificent picture of Jupiter summoning tooth, which he carried with him wherever he went; all the terrors of his omnipotence for the extirpation of but not with the same fatal consequences. the Titans."
We now come to a writer of very different character from the last. Archilochus was a native of Paros, an island in the Egean sea. His father, Telesicles, was one of the most influential men of the island; but his mother, whose name was Enipo, was a slave. His father, while Archilochus was a youth, in obedience to a Delphic oracle, led a colony from Paros to Thasos, another island of the Ægean, about 250 miles north of the former. This expedition Archilochus accompanied. Here he probably remained several years. In a battle between the Thasians and Thracians, the former were defeated; and in a disgraceful flight, Archilochus, to save himself, threw away his shield. For this act, so despicable in the eyes of every true Greek, he was never forgiven. In a subsequent visit to Sparta, he was ordered by the magistrates to quit the city immediately, they not being able to endure the presence of any one so weak and cowardly. His whole life seems one continued scene of misfortune; or if at any time the cup of bliss was presented to his lips, the next hour dashed it from them, and left him in the bitterness of disappointment and mortification.
The situation of things at Thasos becoming desperate, it would seem that he left that island and returned to his native Paros. Of his subsequent history we know nothing certainly, except that he lost his life in a war between the Parians and the inhabitants of the neighboring island of Naxos.
His poetry, besides being thus marked by satire, was often also extremely licentious. So much was this the case, that the authorities of Sparta, on a certain occasion, forbade it being introduced into their city, lest it should corrupt the youth, and thus unfit them for the toils and hardships of a military life!
While as a man he was despised, as a poet he was, by many, held in high estimation. Those productions of his which were not liable to censure from the last mentioned reason, were generally commended. He wrote one piece, a hymn in honor of Hercules, and entitled Kallinikos, (Kaxxos,) which he himself recited at the Olympic games, and for which he obtained the highest prize. This piece, after his death, was solemnly recited every year at these games, in honor of the victorious champion.
Only a few fragments of this poet have escaped the destroying hand of Time. Almost all his works have perished in the general wreck of ancient literature. But whether the world has lost any thing really valuable in their destruction, is a question which we are not prepared to answer.
If the weakness of the head were an admissible excuse for the malevolence of the heart, the one half of mankind would be occupied in aggression, and the other half in forgiveness; but the interests of society peremptorily demand that things should not be so; for a fool is often as dangerous to deal with as a knave, and al
As a writer, Archilochus was esteemed by the Greeks ways more incorrigible.
Lead is soft, flexible, inelastic, ductile and mallable to a considerable extent. In tenacity it is inferior to all ductile metals, and fuses at about 612° Fah. Its peculiar qualities admirably adapt it for the uses of man in his domestic and economical operations. By means of
LEAD, which was known to the ancients, rarely occurs in its native state; and when it does, its crystals are regular octahedrons, but its more ordinary forms are delicate membranes, and small globular masses. This species has been found in small quantities on the Au-tubes made of it, he avoids incurring the immense cost glaise river, in Michigan, forming thin filaments in the joints of galena. The sulphuret of lead, or as it is commonly called, galena, supplies all the lead of commerce. Its primary crystalized form is the cube; it also puts on a variety of reticulated, tabular, and other imitative shapes, and is massive and granular in its structure. Streak and color pure gray, fracture flat subconchoidal. When pure, it contains sulphur 13.34, lead 86.66. When before the blow-pipe it decripitates, unless heated cautiously, when it fuses, gives off sulphur, and leaves a globule of lead.
and labor which the ancients were at, in constructing their mighty aqueducts for the conveyance of water; and of it are formed combinations with other metals, which are highly useful in the arts. To it, as well as to iron, copper, silver, and other metals, the medical art is much indebted for the valuable aid it affords, while to the painter it yields an important pigment, under the name of white lead.
Copper was well known in ancient times. It occurs native, and in combinations with a great variety of substances, of which the sulphuret is the most common form. It is distinguished from all other metals, except titanium, by its red color; it takes a considerable lustre by polishing; its density when fused is 8.895, and is increased by hammering. It is both ductile and mallable, and in tenacity is inferior only to iron. Its hard
Throughout Europe and America galena occurs in beds and veins, both in primitive and secondary rocks. At Freyburg, in Saxony, it occupies veins in gneiss; at Clausthal and Neudorf in the Hartz, and at Przimbram in Bohemia, it traverses similar veins in clay slate; at Sala in Sweden, it forms veins in primitive lime-ness and elasticity confer on it the property of sonorousstone; through the graywake of Lead-hills, and the killas, or slate-rocks of Cornwall, are disseminated veins of this ore; and in transition or mountain lime-stone, are found the rich repositories of Derbyshire, Cumberland, and the northern districts of England, as also those of Bleiberg and the neighboring localities in Carinthia. The most extensive deposits of this ore in the United States, and probably in the whole world, are found on the banks of the Mississippi river, from the Arkansas to Prairie du Chien. The ore occurs in limestone, and is also disseminated in clay. The following is a description of the mines as they appear at Potosi: "The shafts descend perpendicularly through a tenacious clay, intermixed with masses of sulphate of barytes, and sulphuret of lead; a soft gray rock of calcareous particles (termed by the miners a sand-stone) succeeds, which with a very uneven surface lies horizontally, and has numerous drusy cavities, lined with minute crystals of quartz, and is traversed by veins in which these crystals occur, intermixed with barytes and galena. It is succeeded by red clay, barytes, &c., similar to the former; and near its surface, and sometimes in it, and sometimes in the red clay, the largest quanti-discoveries of mines of copper ores are exceedingly ties of lead have been found."
The lead is so very abundant that large shafts are seldom excavated; but if mining becomes difficult, new locations are selected where less labor is required. The mines of this extensive region furnished from the year 1821 to 1833 inclusive, 63,845,740 lbs.; since which period it has very much increased. Galena is also found in Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York, most of the New England states, Virginia,
Continued from vol. ii, p. 82.
ness; hence in combination with tin, it is extensively used in the manufacture of bells. Copper occurs in beds and veins accompanying its various ores, and sometimes associated with iron. It also is frequently found in loose masses imbedded in the soil. It abounds in Norway, Sweden, Hungary, England, the Uralian mountains, Siberia, Chinese Tartary, and Japan. Several islands between Kamtschatka and America produce masses of the native metal; it seems, indeed, common to all countries in a zone of 45° of latitude around the north pole. But it is found also on the other side, over all the south of Africa, from Congo to the Cape of Good Hope, in Madagascar, the southern extremity of America, and Brazil. This metal has been found native throughout the red sand-stone region of the United States, particularly in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and more abundantly in New Jersey, where it has been found in different places in fine crystaline masses. A magnificent mass was found near Lake Superior; and Mr. Schoolcraft describes one on the Ontanawgan river, which in 1821 weighed about 2200 lbs. A survey of the shores of this lake has recently been made, and the
gratifying. They have been traced for more than one
Tin was known to the ancients, and was by them