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THE SISTINE FRESCOES.
calamities at two fires. The two deputies were rewarded, amid the cheers of the assemblage, by the Civil Cross of the second class. The two members of the Belgian Parliament were followed by two workmen, one of whom, a slater, Wagemans, had rushed into a burning house to rescue a sick man and woman, and was assisted by a printer named Dacos. Both men were much burnt, and the slater had a first-class medal awarded, the other the second. Then came Colonel Poiteirs, of Garde Civique, of Molenbeck St. Jean, who plunged into the water in his clothes to save a man who had fallen into a canal. The Colonel was awarded the first-class medal. Among the other heroes in civil life decorated for saving life, were a student, aged sixteen, who received the first-class medal for saving a man from drowning; the Abbot Thoman, of Ostend, who received the same for a like act of devotion; a religieuse named Justin Morelle, for saving a child carried away by a current; and officers and pilots of Antwerp were rewarded, their acts of devotion being in connection with the fire and the paraffin loaded American ship Westmoreland. On one of the brave fellows being called, it was announced that he had met his death by drowning in the river Scheldt. There were many other presentations of a like character."
THE SISTINE FRESCOES.
THE story of the frescoes in the Sistine Chapel, as it is called, is a long and interesting one. "To paint the vault of the chapel," such was the order which the fiery Julius imposed upon him. The task was not thoroughly to his mind; and, moreover, he insisted that he had never done anything in colours. However, he was forced to give way, and stipulated to perform the whole work for three thousand crowns.
Having completed the cartoons, the artist locked himself in the chapel, and began to paint. It is worth remembering that the subject of the "Deluge" was the first picture on which he made a trial of his skill in frescoe painting. Foregoing any description of the pictures themselves, which, in truth, is hardly necessary, we can here only present a brief outline of their history. The first part of the vault of the chapel was completed and made public November 1, 1509. Some time between 1512 and 1513, the second half of the paintings were terminated, and soon after exhibited to the public. The upper portion of the vault is decorated with nine subjects, in eight tableaux, all taken from the book of Genesis. These are: 1. God the Father upborne by
Angels. 2. The Creation of Light. 3. The Creation of Man (in this scene the portrait of a human body is unsurpassed). 4. The Creation of Woman (and again, the most beautiful picture of a woman that art has produced). 5. The Temptation, and the Expulsion. 6. The Sacrifice of Noah. 7. The Deluge. 8. The Intoxication of Noah.
In the twelve compartments between the windows were painted twelve immense figures-Zachariah, Jeremiah, Joel, Daniel, Isaiah, Ezekial, and Jonah; the five sibyls-the Persian, the Libyan, the Delphic, the Erythræan, and the Cumaan. In the four corners of the chapel-the dome forms four triangles-are the compositions representing the death of Goliath, the serpent in the wilderness, the punishment of Haman, and Judith and Holoferenes. Numerous other scenes are shown on either side of the windows, in the archi-vaults, etc.
On this immense decoration Michel Angelo had worked desperately. One of his sonnets describes in a burlesque manner his condition-how he lay day after day on his back, and the colours dropped down on his face. His eye had become so accustomed to looking up, that for a long while afterwards he was obliged to hold up anything written that he might read it with his head bent back. A little while before All Saints' Day he informs his father by letter that the work is done, and the Pope is pleased with it; but money is scarce, and the times are against art. In his own words: "Once more the times are not in our favour; so take care of your health, and don't let gray hairs grow." Michel Angelo already foresaw the storm that was brewing.
WORK AND BE HAPPY.
SPEND thou not life's precious moments
To find pleasure without labour,
Then thy heart shall thrill with pleasure;
Dost thou love the blessed Saviour?
When life's conflicts all are ended,
And the cross thou hast laid down, Then, from earth, thou'lt rise to heaven, And receive thy waiting crown.
ANECDOTES AND SELECTIONS.
Anecdotes and Selections.
THE TRIPLE CROWN.-Ministers and missionaries are winning crowns; but so are faithful men and women who serve Christ in even the obscurest walks. Father, mother, there is a crown to be won in your family. Your children have to be led to Jesus, and daily trained for Him. Oh! what precious, living, immortal gems! Shall they be wanting in your crown of service? Will you, by indolence or cowardice, delegate the work of saving your children to others, and let others wear your crown? Reader, do you teach the poor and young? then, Sabbath school teacher, there is a most precious, a rich-gemmed crown to be won in your class. Oh! seek patiently, prayerfully, wisely, to lead each one of these little ones to Christ, and bright shall be your crown in the day of Him who said, "Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not, for of such is the kingdom of heaven." Hearken, also, ye who do visit, or who should visit the sick, the ignorant, and the poor. There are gems of immortal worth hidden in the streets and alleys around you. Go and search out these human jewels that Jesus Christ shed His blood to save. Go, instruct the ignorant, feed the hungry, clothe the naked, comfort the fatherless, the childless also, and the widows in their affliction. Every tear of true sympathy you shed will crystallize into a gem for your crown; every act of love you do will be a jewel to reflect the Sun of universal love. Every hour you spend in prayer is polishing your gems for the weddingfeast of the Lamb, and every act of self-denying service will add to the brilliancy and weight of your crown.-Rev. John Graham.
DR. GUTHRIE'S PULPIT POWER.-Numerous anecdotes have been put into circulation of the effect of this. Some are probably exaggerations, but the two which follow may be relied on. A friend who, when a medical student in Edinburgh, used often, with some others of his class, to attend Free St. John's, remembers how, one Sunday afternoon, he was borne irresistibly onwards along the passage until within a few yards of the foot of the pulpit. There stood immediately in front of him a rough; short set man past middle life, who, if one might judge by the plaid, odorous of peat smoke, which crossed his broad back, and his whole appearance, seemed a Highland cattle-drover-a stranger manifestly both to the metropolis and to Dr. Guthrie. From the very
first the drover was riveted-a pinch of snuff every now and again evincing his inward satisfaction. Towards the end of the sermon, and just as the preacher was commencing a prolonged illustration, the stranger applied to his horn-mull. Arrested, however, he stood motionless, his hand raised with the snuff between his fingers, his head thrown back, his eyes and mouth both wide open. The instant that the passage was completed, and ere the audience had time to gather their breath for a space, the drover applied the snuff with gusto to his nostrils, and, forgetting in his excitement, alike the place and the occasion,
ANECDOTES AND SELECTIONS.
turned his head to the crowd behind, exclaiming quite audibly, "Na, eirs! but I never heard the like o' that." The following is in the words of an eye-witness, the Rev. George Hay, for many years missionary in the congregation. During one of Dr. Guthrie's powerful appeals to the unbeliever to close with the free offer of salvation through Jesus Christ, he described a shipwreck, and the launching of the life-boat to save the perishing crew, in such vivid colours that the dreadful scene appeared actually to take place before our eyes. Captain C, a young naval officer, who was sitting in a front seat in the gallery, was so electrified that he seemed to lose all consciousness of what was around him. I saw him spring to his feet, and take off his coat, when his mother took hold of him and pulled him down. It was some time before he could realize where he was. He told me, a few days after, in his mother's house, that he became oblivious to everything else; that the scene described appeared so real that he was entirely carried away, and rose to cast off his coat and try to man the life-boat.-Life of Dr. Guthrie.
THE RICHES OF CHRIST.-O my soul, dignified with God's image, redeemed by Christ's blood, betrothed by faith, enriched by the Spirit. adorned with grace, ranked with angels, love Him by whom thou art so much beloved! Be intent on Him who is intent on thee; seek Him who seeketh thee; love Him who loveth thee-whose love anticipates thine, and is its cause! He has all the merit, He is thy reward! He is the vision, and the end! Be earnest with the earnest, pure with the pure, holy with the holy! What thou shouldst appear before God, that should God appear to thee He who is kind and gentle and of great compassion, requires the meek, the humble, and compassionate. Love Him who drew thee from the lake of misery and from the miry clay. Choose Him for thy Friend above all friends who, when thou art bereft of all things, can alone remain to thee. In the day of thy burial, when every friend is gone, He will not forsake thee, but will defend thee from devouring foes, lead thee through an unknown region, bring thee to the streets of the heavenly Zion, and place thee with angels in the presence of His Majesty, where thou shalt hear the angelic melody, Holy, holy, holy! There is the chant of gladness; there the voice of exultation and salvation, of thanksgiving and praise, and perpetual hallelujahs! There is accumulated bliss, and super-eminent glory! -Augustine,
LIFE'S TRAGEDY.-Sublimer in this world know I nothing than a peasant saint, could such now anywhere be met with. Such a one will take thee back to Nazareth itself; thou wilt see the splendour of heaven spring forth from the humblest depths of the earth, like a light shining in great darkness. It is not because of his toils that I lament for the poor. We must all toil, or steal (howsoever we name our stealing), which is worse. No faithful workman finds his task a pastime. The poor is hungry and athirst, but for him also there is food and drink; he is heavy-laden and weary, but for him also the heavens send sleep, and of the deepest. In his smoky cribs, a clear dewy
ANECDOTES AND SELECTIONS.
heaven of rest envelopes him, and fitful glitterings of cloud-skirted dreams. But what I do mourn over is that the lamp of his soul should go out; that no ray of heavenly or even of earth y knowledge should visit him; but only, in the haggard darkness, like two spectres, fear and indignation. Alas! while the body stands so broad and brawny, must the soul lie blinded, dwarfed, stupefied, almost annihilated? Alas? was this, too, a breath of God; bestowed in heaven, but on earth never to be unfolded? That there should one man die ignorant who had capacity for knowledge, this I call a tragedy, were it to happen more than twenty times in the minutes, as by some computations it does.-Carlyle.
A BELL STORY.-The great bell (Kaiserglocke, or Emperor Bell) for Cologne Cathedral has been cast for the third time in Berlin. Its final preparation and cooking must have been a tremendous business. The furnace wherein the French guns (of which the hell is made) were cooked, consumed ten tons of coal, and burned furiously for twelve hours, melting down and artistically stewing twenty-two cannon, some of which were field pieces of the Louis XIV. period, and were taken from the French royal forces during their campaign in the Palatinate. Disembarrassed of its "mantle," the dimensions of the bell are as follows: twelve feet in height. eleven feet in diameter, thirtythree feet in circumference; its weight is twenty-five tons, and its clapper weighs sixteen hundred weight. All the other bells of Cologne Cathedral put together do not weigh as much as this monster, to ring which thirty men will be required. The inscription is chased in a handsome arabesque, above which stands St. Peter, while beneath it is depicted the escutcheon of the German realm. The Kaiserglocke will be hung up in the old belfry, under the present peal, until the Cathedral shall be finished, when all the five bells composing the complete peal will be definitely suspended at an elevation of two hundred feet above the Cathedral Square.
DEATH IN LIFE.-There is a sort of death in life when we have no faith, no hope, no love; when the world seems empty and the heart dead. This is death. We are then, as the Scripture says, dead while we live. We are of no use to others or to ourselves. This is the only real death there is, the death of the soul in torpor. This dead soul has no knowledge of any realities. It is blind to the beauty of Nature, blind to the grandeur of duty, blind to the providence of God. If life in the soul is the light of man, so death in the soul is the darkness of man. The doctrine of the New Testament is that selfishness is death, and that love is life. Whenever we love, we live; whenever we cease to love, we die. "We know," says the apostle, "that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren."
THE CRAFTY ARCHITECT.-It is recorded of an architect of the name of Cnidins that having built a watch-to ver for the king of Egypt, to warn mariners from certain dangerous rocks, he caused his own name to be engraved on a certain stone in the wall, and then having covered it with plaster, he inscribed on the outside, in golden letters, the name