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these contributions with pleasure; they are from a poor and destitute people, whom God has honoured the churches of Britain to bless, and who now rejoice to do a little to help the great interests of the Society, in the name of Him who has so richly
loved them, and who, though so rich, for our sakes became poor."
We think some of our congregations at home may receive a lesson from those poor, and, until lately, savage islanders.
Notice of Books.
ON the banks of the Tigris, in that old, veh. He has been, for many years, an land of Mesopotamia, from which the enthusiastic traveller in the East. With human race have journeyed, and to which one or two friends, he has journeyed on all tradition points as the early cradle o. norseback through Palestine, Syria, Asia civilization, a few gigantic mounds have Minor, and Mesopotamia, He has disbeen pointed out, from age to age, as the pensed with dragomans and attendants, accumulated dust, and silent graves of and thrown himself upon Arab hospitality. the once great Nineveh. Each traveller With the sun he has risen, and with the sun who visited those distant spots, passed retired to rest. Onwards and onwards them by, or trod over them with almost he has wandered, with an undying and superstitious awe, as he recalled the insatiable love of knowing men and shadowy dream of Nineveh, and those manners, and a burning desire to peneearly kingdoms whose history is recorded trate some of the mystery which has in a few words by sacred and profane hung over the antiquities of the "morhistorians, or pictured in the tales and ning land." In 1844, he began his examifables of the Arabian story-teller. But nation of the ruins of Nineveh. Unaided no one ever traced a ruin, or discovered and uncared for by the British Governany sculpture, or found any monumental ment, with little means at his disposal, inscription, among those heaps of dust. he had, nevertheless, many advantages, Nothing more was seen than long un- which neither mere wealth, nor Governdulating mounds rising from the level ment influence, nor patronage, could plain; nothing more was known regard- find him. He possessed a thorough ing them, than that all tradition cor- knowledge of the people,-their language roborated the story of the wandering and manners. He was full of enthusiasm, Bedouin, that here once flourished the courage, and industry, combined with the great Nineveh. So unchanged were those acquirements of an accomplished scholar. old remains, during succeeding ages, that The results of his labours in excavating the spot can yet be easily recognized the mounds of Nineveh, have been pubwhere Xenophon encamped with the lished in a work of two 8vo. volumes, 10,000 Greeks, long before the Christian which we have read with intense interest, era; when the great historian described and which we recommend, as being, withit, even then, as "the site of an ancient out comparison, the most instructive and city." So utterly "waste" had Nineveh, exciting book of "the season." Not only and its not far distant neighbour Babylon, does Mr. Layard give an account of all become, that the remains of the one city, his remarkable discoveries in Nineveh, whose circumference was a three-day's connecting them with the history of journey-and of the other, which was "the Assyria; but he has also enriched his great Babylon, the hammer of the whole pages with fresh and racy descriptions of earth," were, four years ago only, "con- scenery, and Arab life; with deeply intained in a glass-case in the British teresting narratives of visits paid to museum!" the Nestorian Christians among the mountains of Kurdistan; and to that almost unknown, yet singular sect, the Yezede's, or "devil-worshippers." To select
Mr. Layard has, by his genius, industry, and perseverance, brought to light some of the wonders of ancient Nine
any extracts from a work where every page is worth selecting, is not easy; but we shall, in our next number, give one or two passages, in addition to what we now subjoin, as a description of
A VISIT TO THE MOUNDS.
doubts, and satisfy their curiosity. He rises as he hears our approach; and if we wish to escape the embrace of a very hurry into the trenches. We descend dirty stranger, we had better at once about 20 feet, and suddenly find ourselves between a pair of colossal lions, winged, and human-headed, forming a portal. I have already described my feelings when gazing, for the first time, upon these gigantic figures. Those of the readers would probably be the same, particularly if caused by the reflection, that before these wonderful forms, Ezekiel, Jonah, and others of the prophets, stood, and Sennacherib bowed,-that even the patriarch Abraham himself may have looked upon them. In the subterraneous labyrinth which we have reached, all is bustle and confusion. Arabs are running about in different directions. Some bearing baskets filled with earth, others carrying the water-jars to their companions. The Chaldeans, or Tyari, in their striped dresses, and curious conical caps, are digaging with picks into the tenacious carth, raising a cloud of fine dust at every stroke. The wild strains of Kurdish music may be heard occasionally issuing from some distant part of the ruins; and if they are caught by the parties at work, the Arabs join their voices in chorus, raise the warcry, and labour with renewed energy. Leaving behind us a small chamber, in which the sculptures are distinguished by a want of finish in the execution, and considerable rudeness in the design of the ornaments, we issue from between the winged lions, and enter the remains of the principal hall. On both sides of us are sculptured gigantic-winged figures, some with the heads of eagles, others entirely human, and carrying mysterious symbols in their hands. To the left is another portal, also formed by winged lions. One of them has, however, fallen across the entrance, and there is just room to creep beneath it. Beyond this portal is a winged figure, and two slabs with bas-reliefs; but they have been so much injured, that we can scarcely trace the subject upon them. Farther on, there are no traces of wall, although a deep trench has been opened. The opposite side of the wall has also disappeared, and we only see a high wall of earth. On examining it attentively, we can detect the marks of masonry, and we soon find that it is a solid structure, built of bricks and unbaked clay, now of the saine colour as the surrounding soil, and scarcely to be distinguished from it. The slabs of alabaster, fallen from their original position, have, however, been raised; and we
"Let us imagine ourselves issuing from my tent, near the village on the plain. On approaching the mounds, not a trace of a building can be perceived, except a small mud hut, covered with reeds, erected for the accommodation of my Chaldean workmen. We ascend the artificial hill; but still see no ruins, nor a stone protruding from the soil. There is only a broad level platform before us, perhaps covered with a luxurious crop of barley, or, may be, yellow and parched, -without a blade of vegetation, except, perhaps, here and there a scanty tuft of camelthorn. Low bleak heaps, surmounted by brushwood and dried grass, a thin column of smoke issuing from the midst of them, may be seen here and there. These are the tents of the Arabs, and few miserable old "women are groping about them, picking up camel's dung and dried twigs. One or two girls, with firm step and erect carriage, are perceived just reaching the top of the mound, with the water-jar on their shoulders, or a bundle of brushwood on their heads. On all sides of us, apparently issuing from under ground, are long lines of wild-looking beings, with dishevelled hair, their limbs only half-concealed by a short wove shirt: some jumping and capering, and all hurrying to and fro, shouting like madmen. Each one carries a basket; and as he reaches the edge of the mound, or some convenient spot, he empties its contents, raising, at the same time, a cloud of dust. He then returns at the top of his speed, dancing and yelling as before, and flourishing his basket over his head; again he suddenly disappears in the bowels of the earth, from whence he emerged. These are the workmen employed in removing the rubbish from the ruins. We will descend into the principal trench by a flight of steps, rudely cut, into the earth, near the western face of the mound. As we approach it, we find a party of Arabs bending on their knees, and intently gazing at something beneath them. Each holds his long spear, tufted with ostrich feathers, in one hand, and in the other, the halter of his mare, which stands patiently behind him. The party consists of a Bedouin Sheik from the desert and his followers, who, having heard strange reports of the wonders of Nimrod, have made several days' journeys to remove
tread in the midst of a range of small bas-reliefs, representing chariots, horsemen, battles, and sieges! Perhaps the workmen are about to raise a slab for the first time; and we watch with eager curiosity what new event of Assyrian history, or what unknown custom, or religious ceremony, may be illustrated by the sculpture beneath. Having walked about one hundred feet among these scattered monuments of ancient history and art, we reach another door-way, formed of gigantic winged bulls in yellow limestone. One is still entire; but its companion has fallen, and is broken into several pieces, the great human head is at our feet. We pass on without turning into the part of the building to which this portal leads. Beyond it, we see another winged figure, holding a graceful flower in its hand, and apparently presenting it as an offering to the winged bull. Adjoining this sculpture, we find eight fine bas-reliefs. There is the king hunting, and triumphing over the lion and wild bull; and the siege of the castle with the battering-ram.
We have now reached
the end of the hall, and find before us an elaborate and beautiful sculpture, representing two kings standing beneath the emblem of the Supreme Deity, and attended by winged figures. Between them is the sacred tree. In front of this basrelief, is the great stone pillar upon which, in days of old, may have been placed the throne of the Assyrian monarch, where he received his captive enemies, or his courtiers. To the left of us is a fourth outlet from the hall, formed by another pair of lions. We issue from between them, and find ourselves on the edge of a deep ravine, to the north of which lies, high above us, the lofty pyramid. Figures of captives bearing objects of tribute, earrings, bracelets, and monkeys, may be seen on walls near the ravine; and two enormous bulls, and two winged figures, above fourteen feet high, are lying on its very edge. As the ravine bounds the ruins on this side, we must return to the yellow bulls. Passing through the entrance formed by them, we enter a large chamber, surrounded by eagle-headed figures. At one end of it is a doorway; guarded by two priests, or divinities; and in the centre, another portal, with winged bulls. Whichever way we turn, we find ourselves in the midst of a nest of rooms; and without an acquaintance with the intricacies of the place, we should soon lose ourselves in this labyrinth. The accumulated rubbish being generally left in the centre of the chambers, the whole excavation consists of a number of narrow
passages, panelled on one side with slabs of alabaster, and shut in on the other by a high wall of earth, half-buried, in which may here and there be seen a broken vase, or a brick painted with brilliant colours. We may wander through these galleries for an hour or two, examining the marvellous sculptures, or the numerous inscriptions that surround us. Here we meet long rows of kings, attended by their eunuchs and priests-three lines of winged figures, carrying fir-cones and religious emblems, and seemingly in adoration before the mystic tree. Other entrances, formed by winged lions and bulls, lead us into new chambers. In every one of them are fresh objects of curiosity and surprise. At length, wearied, we issue from the buried edifice by a trench, on the opposite side to that by which we entered, and find ourselves again upon the naked platform. We look around in vain for any traces of the wonderful remains we have just seen, and are halfinclined to believe that we have dreamed a dream, or have been listening to some tale of eastern romance. Some who may hereafter tread on the spot where the grass again grows over the ruins of the Assyrian palaces, may indeed suspect that I have been relating a vision.”(Vol. ii., p. 114.)
The Evidences of the Genuineness of the Gospels. By ANDREWS NORTON, late Professor of Sacred History, Howard University. In two vols., Second Edition. London: John Chapman, Newgate Street. 1847. Vol. I., pp. 357. Vol. II., pp.
Or all the numerous works which have recently appeared in vindication of the Genuineness of the Gospels, there is, perhaps, no one of more substantial worth than that of Professor Norton. It is characterized throughout by a profound scholarship and truth-loving disposition. Strauss and his abettors find in the American divine, a man who is fully able to cope with them in the use of their own favourite weapons of historical and critical investigation. Though Professor Norton is a Socinian, his dogmatic heterodoxy does not essentially interfere with the value of his treatise, seeing that it is not in reference to the interpretation, but the criticism of the Gospels, that he writes. In addition to the two volumes which have already appeared, the author intends
to give out a third, containing the Internal Evidence of the Genuineness of the Gospels, with a new translation, and explanatory notes. Meanwhile, the first volume, especially, of what has already appeared, may be perused with very great advantage.
Dre symbolischen Bücher der evangelischlutherischen Kirche, deutsch und lateinisch. Neue sorgfältig durchgeschene Ausgabe, . 8. w. Besorgt von J. T. MULLER, evangel.-lutherischem Pfarrer in Immelsdorf. Stuttgart: Verlag von Samuel G. Liesching, 1848. 8vo. pp. 1147. [The Symbolical Books of the Evangelical-Lutheran Church, in German and Latin. A new edition, carefully revised, &c. By J. T. MULLER, Evangelical-Lutheran minister at Immelsdorf.] Turs is, beyond all controversy, the best edition of the Lutheran Symbols that has
ever appeared. The introduction, of 116 pages in length, gives very full and excellent information concerning "Symbols, and Symbolical Books in general," and "the constituent parts of the Lutheran Confession." The German and Latin texts are to be found on the same page in parallel columns; the various readings are carefully collected, and distinctly indicated; the testimonies of the fathers are correctly and conveniently exhibited; the names of the subscribers of the original documents are given at length; and very copious indexes of passages of Scripture, and the various doctrines treated of, are subjoined. The work manifests throughout very great accuracy and industry, and will be found, in no small degree, serviceable for the study of Symbolical Theology, and the history of the Reformation.
LORD, Thou hast made us for Thyself, and our heart is disquieted till it finds rest in Thee.-Augustine.
Assuredly it is better not to be, than to be without Jesus; it is better not to live, than to live without life.-Augustine. Good works are the way to heaven; but not the cause of our admission.Bernard.
I find everywhere in the revelation of God's Word, the same great law that I find in the revelation of God by creation, everywhere present a revealing and concealing God, who manifests Himself only unto those who, with upright heart, seek after Him.- Neander.
I affectionately love my fatherland; but I hate no other nation. Civilization, wealth, power, and glory, are different in different countries; but, in all, there are spirits to be found who obey the great vocation of man, to love, to compassionate, and to succour.-Silvio Pellico.
to believe and love. It is hard to convince people that nothing short of this can be true Christian faith.
A loving spirit finds it difficult to prefer truth to love; unlike God, who sees the end from the beginning, and allows His children to suffer, to work out their final good.
In thinking what we are to do for our friends, we are not to look merely or mainly at the manner in which their feelings will be affected, but their good, as far as we can see it.-Hare's Guesses of Truth.
That which we know, and do not love, we soon, I think, cease to know.-Arnold.
A man of knowledge, without energy, is like a house furnished, but not inhabited;-a man without energy, but no knowledge, a house dwelt in, but not fur. nished.—Sterling.
How different are Summer storms from Winter ones! In Winter, they rush The Cross of Calvary, no less than the over the earth with all their violence; tree in the garden of Eden, is the tree of and if any poor remnants of foliage or the knowledge of good and evil. flowers have lingered behind, these are The devils believe and tremble, -we are swept along at one gust. Nothing is left
but desolation; and, long after the rain has ceased, pools of water and mud bear tokens of what has been. But when the clouds have poured out their torrents in Summer; when the winds have spent their fury, and the sun breaks forth again in glory, all things seem to rise with renewed loveliness from their refreshing bath. The flowers, glistening with rainbows, smell sweeter than before; the grass seems to have gained another brighter shade of green; and the young plants, which had hardly come into sight, have taken their place among their fellows in the borders; so quickly have they sprung up among the showers. The air, too, which may previously have been oppressive, is become clear, and soft, and fresh. Such, too, is the difference when the storms of affliction fall on hearts unrenewed by Christian faith, and on those who abide in Christ. In the former, they bring out the dreariness and desolation,
which may before have been unapparent. The gloom is not relieved by the prospect of any cheering ray to follow it; of any flowers or fruits to shew its beneficence. But in the truly Christian soul, "though weeping may endure for a night, joy cometh in the morning." A sweet smile of hope and love follows every tear; and tribulation itself is turned into the chief of blessings!
Never put much confidence in such as A man put no confidence in others. prone to suspect evil, is mostly looking in his neighbour for what he sees in himself. As in the pure, all things are pure ; even so to the impure, all things are impure.
How deeply rooted must unbelief be in our hearts, when we are surprised to find our prayers answered, instead of feeling sure that they will be so, if they are only offered up in faith, and are in accord with the will of God!-Hare.
HYMN TO THE HOLY SPIRIT.
PRAISE be Thine, Most Holy Spirit;
By Thy hand, in secret working,
Clothe their barrenness for Thy praise.
We should sleep; but Thou awakest :
Seen and lost as earth winds blow;
Thou dost set the mute world speaking,
Thou to spirits humbly seeking,
Happier souls,-like fruit-trees budding,
As an island in a river,
Vexed with endless rave and roar,
Keeps an inner silence ever
On its consecrated shore :
Flowered with flowers, and green with grasses So the poor through Thee abide;
Every outer care that passes,
Deepening more the peace inside.
When our heart is faint, Thou warmest,
And our wisdom shapest right;
Gracious Spirit, Spirit Holy!
Take our spirits unto Thee; Fain we would be happy, lowly; Make us as we fain would be!
If we praise, or if we sue, 'Tis Thine own kind Spirit moves us, For 'tis Thine to will and do.