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THE DAY OF CHRIST.
THE DAY OF CHRIST.
BY JOHN TODD BRAME.
"How blessed are our eyes,
That see this heavenly light;
But died without the sight!"
truth?"" It might be supposed that at least in the land of Judea, the footsteps of truth might have been traced. Even thence she had fled in despair and disgust, at the blindness and prejudice of men. True, to the Jew the sacred page was unfolded; to his keeping were intrusted "the law and the testimony;" but their voice was hushed by the buzz of tradition, and the clamor of bigotry. The obvious import of Scripture was obscured and mystified and misapplied. The masters in Israel, instead of displaying truth, in her amiable character and fair habiliments, forged a system, exclusive, dark and bigoted, with scarce a trace of original purity and loveliness.
From this view of the state of the world, we may adopt the language of John the Divine and say, “No' man in heaven, nor in earth, nor under the earth, was able to open the Book" of truth, "nor to look thereon." And like the tender-hearted disciple, the lovers of wisdom and the friends of man, "wept much that no man was found worthy to open and to read the book." They lamented the imperfection of their knowledge, and the apparent impossibility of crossing that boundary on which they were standing, in sadness for the past, and despair for the future. How applicable to their condition the words of the poet
"O sacred Truth! thy triumphs ceased awhile,
UPON the world "the midnight deep of ignorance had brooded long," when, in the fullness of time, the eternal Son of God made his appearance among men. Darkness covered the earth, and gross darkness the minds of its inhabitants. For four thousand years men' had been groping their uncertain way in the gloomy dungeons of inquiry, doubt, and conjecture. In the expressive language of the prophet, "the people dwelt in darkness, and in the land of the shadow of death." Though the mind of man had received a degree of cultivation, and philosophy and science scattered their feeble rays, a pall was thrown over all spiritual subjects, and there prevailed an universal lack of knowledge with regard to the soul; its heavenly origin, immortal nature, and lofty destiny. The night, which enveloped in its sable robe the minds of men, was unpierced by a single ray; not a solitary star hung upon its black canopy; the gloom was complete and unlimited. The Jews formed no exception to this remark. They indeed had the means of instruction, but would not use them; they would not come to the light, which shone from the sacred oracles committed to their care; they had eyes, but they would not see. been determined in the Divine council that this gloom should last for ever-that this midnight should remain unbroken until the light of Eternity should dawn upon the ruins of Time. Malachi, the latest of the prophets, uttered the delightful promise, "Unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise, with healing in his wings." About four hundred years after this prediction, John the Baptist, like the morning star, arose upon the darkness of our world, to foretell the bright-nary! ness of the approaching "Day." In due time the "true Light" himself appeared, and salvation's brilliant beams, in noon-tide splendor, burst upon mankind. The day-spring from on high hath come down; the day-star has arisen in our hearts, and the true and living and fadeless Light now shines, which enlightens "every man that cometh into the world." Now may the Christian sing,
And Hope, thy sister, ceased with thee to smile!" Does darkness follow an eclipse of that sun, which enlightens and animates the natural world? How great, then, the gloom which shrouded mankind, when the glorious orb of Truth withdrew its rays, and disappearBut it had noted from the hemisphere of mortals-ascending far aloft and re-commingling its splendor with the fadeless effulgence of the eternal Throne! If we, in the meridian glory of the Gospel day, complain of a want of light, and of the limitedness of our vision, how keen must have been the regrets of those, who painfully conscious of their darkness, knew not the means of enlightenment, and upon whose doubtful path-way there twinkled but a faint glimmering at best of the far-off lumi
"My Light, my Life, my God is come,
As the natural day reveals objects in their true proportions, so the Day of Christ-it shows us truth.
"In vain," says a fine writer, "had generation after generation of men asked, in its way to oblivion, What is truth?' The devotee had urged the inquiry at the shrine of his god; the priest at his altar of sacrifice; the sage had repeated it as he walked amid the works and wonders of creation; but nothing was heard in reply, save the faint and bewildering echo, What is
But divine truth was not to remain for ever a sealed mystery. Though priests and philosophers, and
"Old gray-haired sages, who had spent
Their lives, sequestered in some lonely grot," had confessed their incapacity, and been struck dumb, like the magicians of Babylon when they looked upon the hand-writing on the palace walls of Belshazzar; yet conclude not thence that there was no one to be found worthy to open and to read the book of truth. "The Lion of the tribe of Judah hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof." The vail has been removed; doubt has been put to flight; the mystery has been solved; the question of Pilate, so oft and so vainly repeated, "What is truth?" has been triumphantly answered. For this purpose came the divine Instructor into the world, that he might bear witness unto the truth, that he might open the glowing pages of the truthful record to the inquiring eye of man. The Lord Jesus Christ spoke as never man spake.
The tastes and pursuits of married persons must also, it is evident, be mutually of much importance. In these, similarity is, in some respects, desirable; suitability almost essential. Taste, in its extensive sense, bears on almost every particular of conduct. It has so much to do with the minutiae of life, that, where tastes are wholly dissimilar, they must perpetually be offending one another.
Never before were truth and error so nicely separated, || the heat of one which is irritable; and if the easiness and so exactly defined. He touched no subject with- of the former borders on carelessness or indolence, it out pouring upon it a blaze of light; to every objection may be rendered more alert and scrupulous by the senhe gave an immediate answer; with every difficulty,sitiveness with which it is associated. there came a simultaneous solution; no inquirer approached him in vain for instruction. The Jews were astonished at the extent of his information, the profundity of his wisdom, the boldness of his conceptions, the novelty of his discoveries, and the dignity of his language. Hence they inquired, "Whence hath this man letters, having never learned?" The great Teacher needed not the tuition of man; he approached not the schools of human instruction; he lingered not with the sons of science in the groves of the Academy; he turned from the halls of philosophy, and partook of the tree of knowledge, and drank at the living fountain of eter-sons so little capable of sympathy. Perhaps it will be nal Truth. And of the exhaustless stores of his hoarded and inherent wisdom, hath he imparted to us "to make us wise unto salvation."
We who stand in the full-orbed radiance of this glorious Sun, and are permitted to sit at the feet of this illustrious Instructor, are inducted into the kingdom of spiritual light and knowledge. Spiritual subjects are brought within the range of our comprehension, and we are enabled to understand "those things which belong to our peace." In a word, truth is taught-pure, unmixed, unalloyed truth-truth without a blemish, without a scar, without a wrinkle, without a spottruth, which neither the rage of demons, nor the lapse of revolving years can falsify or deface; to which ages in their flight are but as triumphal cars, bearing it onward to its vindication and its victory; which shall stand unmoved and unhurt amid the "wreck of matter and the crush of worlds,” and be attested by the approving seal of the final Judge!
Pittsborough, N. C., July, 1841.
DIFFERENCES of opinion, and taste, and infirmities of temper, ought, in some measure, to be anticipated; and the duties of the married state to be entered upon with the expectation that they will require concession and sacrifice.
Temper, while it has a very material bearing on the complexion of domestic life, is perhaps the most difficult point of any to ascertain. It is not always the apparently good-humored, who have the most agreeable temper; neither the seemingly severe who are always the most hard to please. Not unfrequently the latter are, to those they love, the most uniformly tender; and are less subject to caprice, than others who appear more indulgent.
A mutual preference seems, itself, a guaranty for similarity in taste. Still, it is sometimes difficult to conjecture what attraction can have drawn together per
said that such pairs are happier than might be expected. But if some license be allowed for dissimilarity in matters of taste, if the coalition may even be, to an extent, mutually beneficial, so that the fastidious become less critical, the over-refined more simple, the exclusive more liberal, by association with a counteracting bias, the difference should be in measure, rather than in kind; or, at least, there should be no jarring, even in the disagreement.
A certain diversity in married persons is intended by nature, and is favorable to mutual improvement. The sedentary student will be agreeably enlivened by his vivacious partner, if her vivacity be the expression of an intelligent mind; and the woman of elegant accomplishment will receive from the superior sense and more valuable attainments of her husband, a higher tone, and will herself be stimulated to advance by her desire of assimilating herself to him. And here it may be observed, that similarity of pursuit, may possibly bring together persons otherwise unsuitable. There is a peculiar fascination in sympathy; and, in ordinary social intercourse, if we find we have a point exclusively in common with any individual, the attraction has a peculiar force. It has not unfrequently been the basis of an attachment which should have rested upon general grounds. For it is not because voices may blend well in a duet, or the flute harmonize with the piano-forte, because the cottage or the school may be visited with mutual interest, that there is a promise of harmony for life, or an assurance of congeniality on points involving daily interests. Inquiry, therefore, should be directed far more to accordance of character, than to similarity upon special points.
If the union be not congenial, no motive of an extrinsic nature should persuade to it. For, as it is the part of woman to adapt herself to her husband, let her ascertain, while still she is at liberty, that such conformSimilar tempers are not always the most suitable. ity will be easy to her; that his opinions are generally On the contrary, as attachment often springs up be- of the same tone with hers; that his temper is suitable tween persons of dissimilar dispositions, so the points to hers; that his pursuits are not distasteful to her, and in which they differ at times, appear to suit them spe- above all, that his affection is for herself-having the cially to each other. The sanguine is chastened by the permanency of a principle, rather than the transitorisober; and again, the hopeful spirit cheers the anxiousness of a passion, based upon acquaintance with her and desponding. A temper not easily disturbed, allays character, and upon suitable qualities in his own. For
THE GREEK CLASSICS.
such attachment, when really conceived, a woman can scarcely be too grateful. It is the offering of a virtuous heart-a tribute willingly rendered to the object of its preference; it is the link appointed by the Author of all good, to bind together the twin souls which he has formed for union. Surely it may be said that such sympathy is one of the choicest gifts of Heaven-an influence which, when it does bless the upward journey, is as an emanation from the fountain of bliss, and is a promise of a holier bond, when love will be perfected. Lady of Refinement.
THE GREEK CLASSICS.-NO. I.
Of Attica but little is known prior to the reign of Cecrops, who gathered the people together into one body, but not, however, into one city, and became their king. This probably took place, according to the best chronology of those times, about two hundred years after the deluge, or 2150 before Christ. At this time the regal and sacerdotal office were generally united. Cecrops divided the people into four tribes, and laid the foundation of a city which afterwards became the capital of the state, and "the eye of Greece."
After Cecrops, followed a succession of thirty kings, who ruled Athens for a period of 794 years. Codrus, the last of this line, was a brave and patriotic man. During his reign Attica was attacked by the Spartans, a neighboring kingdom. The oracle being consulted, returned answer that the invaders would be successful if they did not kill the Athenian king-"whereupon, Codrus, preferring his country's safety to his own life, BEFORE entering upon a review of the classic wri- disguised himself in the habit of a peasant, and went ters of Greece, a brief outline of the history of that to a place not far from the enemy's camp, where, pickcountry may not be deemed inappropriate, by the read-ing a quarrel with some of them, he obtained the death ers of the Repository.
BY GEORGE WATERMAN, JR.
which he so much desired. The Athenians, being advertised of what had happened, sent a herald to the enemy to demand the body of their king, who were so
immediately broke up their camp, and left off their enterprise, without striking another blow."
From the 2d verse of the 10th chapter of Genesis, we find that the fourth son of Japheth was Javan; and from the 5th verse we learn that "by these (i. e., the || much dishearted by this unexpected accident, that they sons of Javan) were the isles of the Gentiles divided in their lands." The tradition is a very ancient one, that the isles here spoken of were the Grecian isles; The Athenians fearing that they should never have and that the Grecians derived their name of Ionians another king so worthy, out of respect to his memory (or Javanim) from their great progenitor, Javan. abolished the regal office, and instituted a republican This tradition is not without support from the sacred form of government, which, for many years, was adwritings. In Dan. viii, 21; x, 20; and xi, 2, we find ministered by ten individuals, annually appointed, and the king, prince, and realm of Grecia (Hebrew, JAVAN) styled the decenial archons. Solon, an archon and legmentioned. In Joel iii, 6, the Grecians are called Ja-islator, about the year 593, B. C., introduced a new vanim, or descendants of Javan; and again in Zech. state constitution, which was adopted by the people, and ix, 13, their country is called Javan, or Greece. From continued, with little alteration, the law of the land so these facts it seems evident that this country was orig-long as Athens maintained her liberties. inally settled by the descendants of this son of Japheth. The Athenians, however, give a very different account of their origin. They claim to have been as old as the soil on which they lived. On this account they called themselves Autochthentes, (Avtoxetes,) which means persons produced out of the soil they inhabit; alluding to an idea, prevalent in ancient times, that all animated nature sprung from a common source the earth. In allusion to the same idea, they sometimes called themselves Tettiges, (Terres,) or grasshoppers. "And some of them wore grasshoppers of gold, binding them their hair, as badges of honor, and marks to distinguish them from others of later duration, and less noble extraction, because those insects were believed to be generated out of the ground."
Of the early history of the Grecian states, with the exception of Attica, of which Athens was the capital, we know but little. They were generally, at least in in their early history, independent of each other, and acted independently, except in times of public danger, or to avenge a public injury, when (as in the case of the war with Troy) they acted in a confederate capacity.
In the year 504, before Christ, some Grecian colonies in Asia Minor rebelled against the government of Darius, King of Persia. In this rebellion they were assisted by their brethren of European Greece, and particularly by Athens. This conduct greatly enraged the Persian monarch, and he determined to punish such arrogance in a summary manner. With an army of half a million, under Datis and Artaphernes, two of his most experienced generals, he invaded Greece. Having made some few conquests, which were well secured by strong garrisons, he proceeded with 100,000 infantry and a proportionate number of cavalry, towards Athens, and landed on the shores of Marathon. Here, under the prudent guidance of Miltiades, with an army of only 10,000 freemen and as many armed slaves, the Athenians and their allies met and completely vanquished them. The marble which the self-confident Persians had brought with them for the erection of a monument in honor of their anticipated conquest, was taken from them, and upon it the victorious Athenians inscribed the memento of their own preservation!
The intelligence of this event only served to exasperate still more the already enraged spirit of the Per
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sian government. Internal commotions, however, de- || This state of things did not long continue. Sparta, layed a second invasion for more than ten years. At as soon as she found herself without a rival, began to the expiration of that period, Xerxes, who, by the death manifest her haughty spirit towards all her dependenof Darius, had succeeded to the throne of the Persian cies by severe exactions of money and troops. These empire, having subdued all insurrectionary movements exactions were endured for a time until forbearance among his subjects, turned his attention towards Greece, ceased to be a virtue. Then rebellion followed revolt and determined to inflict upon her a severe punishment in quick succession, by which Athens and several other for her former conduct. With an army of 2,000,000 states recovered their former independence. During disciplined troops, and a still greater number of attend- these civil commotions Thebes arose to the height of ants, amounting in all to nearly 5,000,000, he crossed power and glory. Under the guiding hand of the virthe Hellespont to execute his bloody purpose upon his tuous and energetic Epaminondas, she, in the course devoted victims. Against this formidable invader the of a very few years, became the rival of both Athens confederated states raised an effective force of 60,000 and Sparta. The haughty spirit of the latter, unbroken freemen and a larger number of armed slaves. A de- by the successful rebellion of Athens and other states, tachment of about 18,000 were sent to guard the straits sought to crush the rising power of her youthful rival. of Thermopyle, the chief entrance from Thessaly-But in the fatal battle of Leuctra she was stript of all through which it was supposed the enemy would seek to enter. Here the invaders were met, and a severer battle, or one which reflected greater glory upon the Grecian arms, was never fought. Had not the allied forces been most treacherously betrayed by professed friends, Xerxes, with his proud army, could never have affected an entrance. Although defeated, they achieved a glory for patriotic Greece which will never fade while the love of liberty shall swell a single human breast; and the name of Leonidas, associated as it ever must be with his little band of three hundred faithful follow-confederacy, and consequently entitled to a representaers, will be honored and revered while the narrow straits of Thermopyla exist, or tongue be found to tell the story of Spartan bravery! This battle was only the presage of still greater disasters which befell the haughty invader. Defeated, both by land and sea, he at length returned home in disgrace, leaving his general, Mardonius, to do what he found himself inadequate to perform. At the battle of Plataea, which concluded this bloody tragedy, he also was completely defeated, and of an army of 200,000, left under his command, not 2,000 escaped.
her glory, and made to drink to the dregs that cup which she had so often mingled for others. Thus the whole country exhibited a scene of civil discord, which most successfully prepared the way for the encroachment of Philip of Macedon, and the final overthrow of Grecian liberty.
That designing prince, by intrigue, first gained the good will of Athens and Thebes, which latter was at that time in the meridian of her glory. Through her influence Macedon became a member of the Grecian
tion in the Amphyctionic Council, a body composed of delegates from each state, and which met at stated periods to regulate every thing throughout the land connected with religion and the worship of the gods. Soon after her admission, this council, at the instigation of some of the emissaries of Philip, denounced the vengeance of Heaven against the Locrians-the inhabitants of one of the smaller states-for cultivating certain portions of territory previously dedicated to sacred purposes. Immediate war was consequently declared against the sacraligious nation. The emissaries of Philip succeeded in obtaining for him the chief command of the united forces. Under his guidance the guilty participators were defeated, and their cities taken. But the appointment of Philip as general of the Amphyctions only prepared the way more completely for the consummation of his own designs. Demosthenes, alarmed at the continual encroachments of the Macedonian power, urged his countrymen, with all the strength of patriotic eloquence, to banish their inactivity, and arise to the rescue of their liberties-assuring them that if they would, even then, act with vigor, they might successfuly check their powerful and insidious enemy, but if they remained inactive only a little longer, the most vigorous efforts would then prove unavailing. His eloquence and his patriotism partially succeeded. An army was raised, consisting of Athenians and a small number of allies from the different states. Unan
Thus disgracefully ended an invasion which threatened a complete destruction to all the Grecian name. The glory of the victory was claimed by Athens and Sparta, as they had taken the lead in all the trials and dangers, being assisted by the other states only as allies. Being thus claimed, it was turned by each of these ambitious republics to her own private benefit. The spirit of rivalry, which had formerly been cherished between them, and laid aside only in time of mutual danger, now, when that danger was removed, manifested itself with increased virulence. Athens claimed and for many years maintained the proud title of "Mistress of the seas," and by the size of her navy, and the skill of her mariners, was enabled to extend her dominions on every side; while the arms of Sparta were everywhere crowned with success. This spirit of rivalry and jealousy was carried on until, by its insolence, it involved the whole of Peloponessus in a civil war of twenty-imity of feeling and action, however, nowhere existed, seven years' duration, which eventuated in the entire except among their enemies. A final battle was fought subversion, for a time, of the Athenian democracy, and at Cheronaea, in which the confederates were defeated, the suppression of free principles throughout the Gre- and a common sepulchre contained the slain of Cherocian territories. naea and the liberties of Greece!
It is not our purpose at this time to institute an inquiry into the true causes which operated in bringing about this melancholy issue. There was one, however, which doubtless exerted a great but silent and almost imperceptible influence, and which, in concluding this sketch, we may be permitted to mention. It is to be found in the domestic institutions of the family. During the heroic ages of Greece woman was the beloved and cherished companion of man. When the duties of the field called him away from the domestic fireside he parted with painful feelings from the faithful participant of his joys and sorrows, and the time of his return was anticipated with emotions of unmingled pleasTheir children, too, were taught by precept, by example, and by the fear of the gods, to love and venerate each with equal ardor. As the heroic institutions gradually gave way to others, perhaps more refined in appearance, but often less pure in principle, woman lost her high but appropriate place in society. Throughout the Grecian republics female character was degraded, and her influence despised. Her husband ceased to regard her as a companion, and viewed her only as an inferior, competent for nothing but the menial duties of the household. The son, taught by the precept and example of the father, early learned to despise the authority and influence of that being who watched over his helpless infancy, and with maternal fondness anticipated every want of his youthful days. To ascertain the consequence which must ensue from such a course of conduct let us apply the same principles of action to our country. Let the wife and mother here lose her present standing in society-a standing guarantied to her only by THE BIBLE-let her be reduced to all the degradation and misery incident to a debasing superstition-let her children despise her, her husband oppress her, and let her seek in vain for any redress from the laws and institutions of her country-let all these take place, and how long should we enjoy the present happy system of government under which we live? long would it be before anarchy and misrule, like an overflowing stream, would sweep us away, leaving no other epitaph than that inscribed upon broken colonades and stupendous ruins? Let the history of the world answer this question, while the destruction of Grecian liberty shall echo the reply!