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contains. Euripides poetically designates | to pieces; and, at Syracuse, a fountain the ocean as the salt tears of Saturn. The lost its sweetness, and became salt. It sea is still the chief source of the salt would appear that the bishop was transwhich we use. There are one hundred lated to another sea, and, let us hope that and forty-five millions of square miles of he was benefited by translation. sea; each gallon of its water containing This salt, so widely spread over earth forty per cent of salt. The whole mass and sea, pervades also the whole animal therefore amounts to six thousand four and vegetable creation; " and indeed," hundred and forty-one billions of tons; so says the illustrious Zohar, “since the great that, if the sea were evaporated and the God makes nothing in vain, surely salt salt crystallised, the latter would form a must serve some great use.” But if sages layer seven hundred feet thick over the and physicians have glorified it as a panabottom of the sea, or two thousand feet cea, a modern knight-errant has assailed it thick over the solid land of the earth. But as a poison. Having heard the blast of we draw largely for our salt upon the their wide-mouthed trumpets, we may be masses deposited upon the earth in early diverted by the squeak of his shrill whistle. ages. These occupy various positions. Salt, according to the late Dr. Howard, is In one place salt is buried in cavernous the source of all our misery and all our mines, which its beauty glorifies; in woes. The salt-box is that vase of Pananother, it covers the surface of the land dora, from which sprang the cohorts of with a silvery efflorescence. The largest sin and disease. When man was placed and most celebrated salt-mine—that of in paradise, it was ordained, say the antiWielickza, in Gallicia, possesses a bed of salt philosophers, that he should feed on salt extending four hundred and sixty earth; yet only through the medium of miles, and has a thickness of one thousand the vegetable creation. It was the primal two hundred feet. Salt here too retains sin of Adam that he ate raw salt, passing its sacred relations. Cunigunda-pious over the plant through whose intermediaprincess-drew down the knowledge of the tion the earth converts its own substance locality of this mine by her prayers. A into a state fitted for the nourishment of ring which she threw into a salt spring in animated beings. Salt was the forbidden Hungary was found in these mines. The fruit: it cost man the loss of paradise : miracle attested her claim to their dis- since then it has been his earthly curse. covery. The accounts of the salt-plains of “The operation of this crude mineral subAbyssinia are shrouded in mystery. The stance, which has not been softened and heat there, is so great, that by day no rendered mild by passing through the mortal can endure it. During those hours vegetable state, is most certainly fatal to the merchants hide themselves beneath the combustion of the vital flame.” A sheltering rocks; when the moon rises and fertile source of disease, it is said, by these they come forth from the crevices, the authorities, to be denounced in hidden whole plain lies before them white with terms in the Bible. The eating swine-flesh salt, glistening like silver in the pale moon- an abomination so emphatically forbidden beams. They fill their sacks, but not with-in Isaiah, is swine-flesh and salt. It was out danger; for, says tradition, in the against pickled pork that the prophet difissures and cavities of the rocks lurk rected his denunciation; and this interdemons, who entice travellers to their pretation of the learned doctors proclaims destruction, calling them by name, and to the whole nation of Hebrews that they feigning to be old acquaintances. The may eat freely of pork-roasted, boiled, or sacred thirst for gold urges them on; and fried-so that they abstain from bacon and trembling, they traverse the plain, guided ham. by pillars of salt, spectral sign-posts, stand. No absurdity is so monstrous but that ing like tall white ghosts, left mourning in some throats have capacity to swallow it. the wilderness, like the wife of Lot. Salt- Even Dr. Howard had his followers. How springs such as we have at Droitwich and Pliny, and Plato, and Blaise de Vigeuères, Nantwich afford capital table-salt. Those would have held up hands of horror and of Sicily are celebrated; their origin is affright at this unholy heresy! The whole stated thus: In eleven hundred and sixty- experience of ages, and collective wisdom nine an earthquake rent the ground, des- of nations, stand opposed to the mad detroying fifteen thousand commoners and nunciation. So far is salt from being usea bishop. Towns and castles were shaken (less, that man and animals have from the earliest times sought it with incredible | pear to ward off low forms of fever. It pains and devoured it with marvellous deals death to parasite growth. So far is avidity, Its use has been held to be a it from being unholy, that, since the birth privilege essential to pleasure and to health: of revealed religion, its history has been its deprivation, a punishment productive bound up with the history of ceremonial of pain and disease. Its uses in the econ- rites, and as Elisha healed with it the omy are manifold and important. With waters of Jericho, so it found a place in out it there would be no assimilation of the modern rite of baptism. Sole, saith food, no formation of gastric juice. Nutri. the proverb, et sale nihil sanctius et utilius: tion would cease : life would languish, and Nothing is more holy or more useful than utterly waste. Salt, moreover, would ap- the sun and salt.
From Frazer's Magazine.
EDINBURGH DURING THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY.
THE Modern Athens must have been | And while in the streets of most large looking its very worst during Mr. Ten- towns there is no horizon save the closenyson's last visit, if we may judge from hemming one of darkened walls and some lines in a charming little poem-one chimney-tops, and one's only glimpse of of those appended to Maud—which con- nature must be had by looking right up vey a decidedly gloomy and unfavorable at the firmament overhead; in Edinburgh impression of that city during the plea- through every opening we can see that santest months of the year. Mr. Tenny- the works of man are sentinelled and son tells us that one solitary evening he overshadowed by those of nature; we found between the leaves of a book he have glimpses of bright blue sea surwas turning over, a flower which he had rounding the city on two sides, at the plucked in Italy; and the sight of it distance of only a mile or two; of the carried him away to the genial clime slopes of the Calton Hill and the Castle where it grew:
Rock, so intensely green; of the misty
hills of Fife and East Lothian away over And I forgot the clouded Forth,
the waters; and of the grim hill that The gloom that saddens heaven and earth : The bitter east, the misty summer,
watched Holyrood when its galleries were And gray metropolis of the North. gay with royalty and beauty, and has
witnessed its desertion and delay. No doubt there are summer days when As the days lengthen towards the close this description is as true as it is suggest-of May, and the foliage grows thicker in ive; but, on the whole, Edinburgh has the Princes street and Queen street garalways appeared to us as being in early dens, an unusual influx of black coats and summer one of the most cheerful-looking white neckcloths announces the season of British cities. Never was there a of the annual meeting of the Scottish great city where the country is so inter. Convocation, the supreme legislative and mingled with the town. Fresh green judicial court of the Kirk, the General gardens, of no stinted expanse or niggard Assembly of the Church of Scotland. growth, meet one everywhere, the bright The ecclesiastics of Scotland have chosen verdure of the young leaves looking the for their meeting literally the “season brighter for the contrast with the smoke- atween June and May,” twelve days diblackened branches they spring from. vided between the latest of May and the
earliest of June. It is a time of those tical matters; and as a court of justice, delightful long twilights which Scotland it has the power to inflict every degree of gains over the southern counties of Eng- punishment upon clergymen, from censure land, by some six or seven degrees of or temporary suspension from duty, up latitude farther towards the north. By to deposition from the office of the holy the twenty-fifth or twenty-sixth of May ministry, and deprivation of their benethe streets swarm with clergymen of every fices. Also in any case where the people possible diversity of appearance, and from of a parish bring forward objections to every corner of Scotland: old college the minister presented by the patron, friends, who had parted as striplings, meet the General Assembly decides in the last again as responsible fathers of families ; instance whether these objections have at the railway stations we are constantly been supported by sufficient evidence, being run against by men with white and whether they are such as ought to stocks and large portmanteaus; the lodg- prevent the induction of the presentee” ing-houses are crammed with them; not to the living. only does the General Assembly of the The General Assembly consists of Kirk meet at this time, but also that of about three hundred and sixty members, of the “Free Church,” which has closely whom rather more than two hundred are copied the organization of the national clergyman. It is a representative body, establishment: there are more clergymen, made up of lay and clerical delegates for the time, in Edinburgh than there are from each presbytery, and of delegates priests in Rome.
from the universities and royal burghs. * The tourist or visitor from the south, The delegates from each presbytery are who has sauntered along that unrivalled elected annually, one minister being sent Princes street, must have observed, high for every five parishes, and one lay elder up on the Castle Rock, a little way down for every two ministers. In presbyteries the slope towards Holyrood, a noble spire, where the clergy like attending the Asof, we believe, some two hundred and sembly, each minister has thus the opporfifty feet in height, and in its design not tunity of being a member of it only once unworthy of Pugin. That spire marks the in five years; but the same lay elders, position of " The Assembly Hall,” a hand- who are generally noblemen, or gentlesome Gothic building, which was erected men of good position, are sent every at a vast expense for the use of the Gene-year. The representatives of the univerral Assembly, and is so arranged as to be sities and burghs are also, for the most used as a church during the remainder of part, the same year after year. We have the year. It stands in the heart of the heard of one venerable and excellent Old Town, amid black houses of enor- elder who has been a member of every mous height. There would seem to be Assembly for the last fifty-eight years. some ecclesiastical gravitation to the spot, It may be easily supposed that members for we counted four or five places of wor- who are present every year, acquire an ship within thirty yards of the Assembly acquaintance with forms and proceedings Hall; a parish church, an episcopal cha- which enables them to take a much more pel, and a Free Kirk, the latter crowded prominent part in the affairs of the Asevery Sunday by the admirers of Dr. sembly than is possible for members who Guthrie. A little way down the High street come up only once in four or five years. stands the cathedral or High Church of The Queen is represented in the meetEdinburgh; and pursuing our way down ings of the Assembly by a High Comthe same street, which grows always dir- missioner,. almost always a Scotch nobletier and more odoriferous as we advance, man. He is addressed as “ Your Grace" we arrive at the palace of Holyrood, sur during his fortnight of vice-royalty; the rounded by numbers of the most wretch- national anthem is played wherever he ed abodes on the surface of the earth. goes, and the streets are pervaded by his
The General Assembly is the supreme footmen in royal liveries. The day before court of the Scottish Church. Its pow. that appointed for the meeting of the ers are something like those of the House General Assembly, he takes up his quarof Lords-at once legislative and judicial. ters at Holyrood, where he maintains some It legislates absolutely in all matters faint echo of its old royal times. He is alpurely spiritual. It possesses absolute lowed £2000 to defray the expenses of his power to order the clergy in all ecclesias- position, but it is well known that several Commissioners who did thingsin truly royal and champagne. On entering the picturestyle have spent some thousand pounds gallery we perceive the Commissioner, a additional during their few days of office. tall, bald old man, arrayed in uniform, atHeralds, pursuivants, beef-eaters, pages, tended by his chaplain and purse-bearer, and attendants without number, throng in court-dresses, and by a couple of pages, the courts of Holyrood and the precincts boys of twelve or thirteen, in red coats, of the Assembly Hall, and furnish a white breeches, cocked hats, and swords. cheap and highly-appreciated exhibition The demand for hair-powder on the part to the ragged urchins of the Canongate. of all the officials at Holyrood must cerIt is a curious position that the Commis- tainly tend to raise the price of that comsioner holds in the meetings of the Assem- modity. Each person who is presented bly. Representing his royal mistress, he is passes before his Grace, with a profound present to signify the protection and coun- bow of greater or less awkwardness; and tenance of the State afforded to the Church, it is amusing, after one has passed the orbut he is permitted to take no part in the deal, to notice the awe-stricken faces of deliberations of a church which acknow-some of the country ministers, in fearful ledges no temporal head. He is present, expectation of what lies before them. It but not in any way assisting in the pro- is recorded that a number of years since, ceedings ; observing, but not interfering. the University of Glasgow prepared an It is understood that under certain cir- address of congratulation to the Earl of cumstances he might interfere, but it Errol, the Commissioner of that day, and would be very difficult to define these intrusted the presentation of it to the circumstances. Once, in the stormy Principal. On entering the presence-room days before the secession of 1843, the the eye of that gentleman was unluckily Commissioner was appealed to, but he caught by a dazzling group of the magistook care to make a general reply, which trates of Edinburgh, presenting a most signified nothing whatever.
imposing array. The Bailie — was powLet us suppose that the day appointed dered and decorated above his fellows, for the meeting of the Assembly has come and the bewildered Principal at once felt at last. It is ushered in with a great that this must be the Commissioner, and ringing of bells, and his Grace the Lord approaching the Bailie with great reverHigh Commissioner-we give him all his ence, he proceeded to read his address. honors—holds his first levee. By ten The worthy magistrate was thunder-struck o'clock in the morning great crowds are beyond the power of speech, and it was thronging the usually quiet precincts of not till the Principal had made an end of Holyrood. Going with the crowd, we speaking that he became aware of his misare carried up stairs to the picture gallery, take. We understand that from eight a long and narrow chamber, of antique hundred to one thousand individuals are aspect, hung round with faded portraits. usually presented at the first levee, and
The levee is very numerously attended. about three hundred of these, selected at Members of Assembly, magistrates, judges the discretion of the purse-bearer, receive and barristers, military men, — in short, invitations to dinner at the Palace in the every person of the least standing in Ed- evening. The Commissioner has a large inburgh and its neighborhood—all go to dinner-party every day, but the party on pay their devoirs to the representative of the first day of the Assembly is much the royalty. Court-dresses are rarely seen. most numerous. The Commissioner at the recent Assembly The levee being over, the Commissioner was Lord Belhaven, who has been sent goes in state to attend divine service in by the Whig Governments for a number the High Church of Edinburgh, the scene of years. The late Marquis of Bute was of Jenny Geddes' exploits. The procesSir Robert Peel's Commissioner; and the sion is really an imposing one. The route Earl of Mansfield was Lord Derby's. Both taken is varied year by year: this year it these noblemen made their arrangements was the direct line up the Canongate and on a scale of truly royal magnificence, High street. Unluckily, the day was a and fond traditions are preserved among very rainy one, and the effect of the prothe members of the Assembly of the mul- cession was a good deal diminished by the titude of their carriages and horses, the circumstance. Still, all the usual arrangegorgeousness of their liveries, and the in-ments were carried out. The streets were comparable quality of their turtle, claret, I lined with cavalry; and as we looked at
the really fine animals which most of the our English friends (who had not heard troopers bestrode, we could not but “own him preach before, and were unprepared a wish to bite our nails, to think such for his oddities of accent) when he gave out horses ate their tails." A tremendous his text, “He that is unjust let him be crowd occupied the foot-pavement; and unjust stull ; and he that is fulthy, let him every window of the tall black houses be fulthy stull.” Service being concluded along the line was crammed with human in the High Church, there is a great rush faces. The sheriffs, bailies, and judges, to the Assembly Hall, which is within all arrayed in their robes, occupied the three hundred yards; and every corner of foremost carriages ; the Commissioner it is speedily thronged. By the interest came last, in a carriage drawn by six of a friend who was a member of Assemhorses, preceded by a troop of cavalry. bly, we were admitted to that part of the All the heraldic resources of Scotland house which is allotted to members, and were of course employed to add dignity whence the best view of the proceedings to the affair; and as the parade swept is obtained. Entering by a door under slowly past, amid the jubilant strains of the tall spire already alluded to, we find two fine military bands, it was evident that ourselves in a handsome vaulted lobby. the sight afforded unmingled satisfaction Long tables placed on either side are to the thousands who witnessed it. Ar-covered with letters addressed to various rived at the High Church, his Grace was members of Assembly : the letters on the received by the Sheriff of Mid-lothian, and left being invitations to dine with the Comconducted to a throne erected under a missioner, and those on the right to breakmassive canopy, in the front of the gallery fast with the Moderator. Passing through facing the pulpit. The front pews of the this lobby, we proceed along a large tuntwo side-galleries were occupied by the nel-like passage, requiring artificial light magistrates and judges, and by some of even by day, on either side of which are the clerical officials of the Assembly. The many committee-rooms and other official service on this occasion is always conduct-chambers. At the end of this tunnel, we ed by the Moderator or President of the ascend a short wide staircase; and passing previous General Assembly: this year Dr. through a door guarded by two or three Bell, minister of Linlithgow, a clergyman beadles, and covered by curtains of crimwhose dignity of appearance and manner son cloth, we find ourselves in the Assemwell fit him for such a position. The Mo- bly Hall. Its first aspect is extremely derator is always a minister of long stand- imposing. It is a gothic building, with a ing in the church. Dr. Bell's ordination very handsome groined roof, which somedates from 1822. Like some of our high-what offends the eye by its over-flatness. er dignitaries in England, the Moderators The intention in this deviation from the are seldom very popular preachers: they canons of Gothic architecture, was to renare selected rather for their tact, judg- der voices speaking from any point in the ment, and aptitude for business, than for hall more easily heard. All the benches their power of drawing crowded congre- are of massive oak, and have crimson gations.* Whoever goes to the High cushions. The place allotted to the altar Church on the opening day of the Assem- in England is occupied by a dais, elevated bly, will certainly hear a sermon charac- about six feet above the floor of the house, terized by good sense, good taste, and and enclosed by a massive railing of oak. great affection for the Kirk, but will sel. In the centre of this platform stands the dom find any thing very striking, either throne, surmounted by a canopy of richlyin matter or manner. There are excep- carved oak. In this throne sits the Com. tional cases now and then, when such a missioner, his purse-bearer on his right, man as Chalmers, a great preacher as well and his chaplain on his left, and surroundas politician, is the ex-Moderator. We ed not only by pages, yeomen, and heralds, remember well the eloquent discourse he but by an array of the beauty, rank, and preached in that capacity; and likewise fashion of the neighborhood. A little inthe astonishment he excited in some of terest with the purse-bearer (who is a
much greater man than the Commission
| er,) will procure an order of admission to * It is right to say that this remark does not apply that
ply the Throne-Gallery, which can accommoto Dr. Bell, who is one of the most acceptable ministers, as well as of the most amiable gentlemen, in date forty or fifty persons. And on those the Church of Scotland.
I days when an interesting debate is expect