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of consideration is the declaration, "By thy words shalt thou be justified, and by thy words shalt thou be condemned." And how solemn the words of Him who spoke as never man did, "I say unto you that for every idle word men shall speak, they shall give an account thereof in the day of judgment."
Zeno, a Greek, said, "Men have two ears and but one tongue, therefore they should hear much and speak little." Prattling nonsense breaks in full volleys, but words fitly spoken have power. They are like apples of gold in pictures of silver."
With base cavilers, mean tricksters on moral and religious subjects, and with bold blasphemers, it may often be most effectual to maintain complete silence. King Hezekiah had a blasphemous message from Sennacherib. He said nothing, but went to God with it. The prophet Daniel was misrepresented and aroused, and he fled to his chamber and on his knees committed his cause to his God. The Saviour at some things said by Pilate, "answered nothing," or as a poet has it, "deigned him no reply."
"So speak ye, and so do as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty." Wrong words leave a terrible sting. Too much talk, especially on matters that amount to nothing, prevents proper thinking, besides leaving the mind empty and causing it to be weak.
VARIOUS estimates have been made of the probable height of Goliath and Og. The uncertain element is the cubit used. Goliath's height, six cubits and a span (1 Sam. xvii. 4), has generally been concluded to be from nine feet six inches to twelve feet. Og is commonly supposed to have been rather taller, but the estimate is based on the length of his bedstead, nine cubits (Deut. iii. 11). On this it is quite hazardous to depend. A giant king might pride himself on his stature, and wish to keep up the idea of it by a specially large bedstead of iron. It seems probable that Goliath was more gigantic than the warriors mentioned as "the sons of the giants," of great stature, and the like. Supposing the shekel of brass to be the same as a shekel of iron, Goliath's spear was twice the weight of that of Ishbibenob. In modern days soldiers of ten feet in height would not be specially valued. Frederick William's army of giants was a matter of ridicule rather than of awe. Let us see how far the giants of old differed from them. We now lay no great stress on a few inches in height. Frederick William had some enormous men found for him by the Czar, but we may safely fix his limit at ten feet, a
height of which we have few men recorded during the last two thousand years. His guards, however, were individual specimens, in most cases men who from some exceptional cause grew wonderfully, in short, they were overgrown men. The giants in Scripture were a race, and the difference is very great. It is uncommon to find a man with a stock of vital energy differing greatly from his fellows; that is, those of his race. Consequently, a very tall man is generally rather feeble. In some cases a very well-made man may have his arteries and limbs so formed that the work of the heart in pumping the blood to the extremities is less felt than might be supposed. Still, men that have shown extraordinary energy (we are not now speaking of single efforts of strength), very active leaders in war, for example, have, on the whole, been remarkable rather as being short than tall. Napoleon was very short, perhaps five feet four inches. Nelson was very small. Wellington, we believe, hardly five feet eight inches. Peter the Great was short rather than tall. As far as we can learn, Gustavus Adolphus is almost the only leader that was decidedly tall. Marlborough was a handsome man, but there seems no record of his being actually tall. It may well have been with him as with Louis XIV., of whom we hear, that when stripped of his high heels and wig, and laid in his coffin, his attendants could hardly believe that they saw in the little human frame before them the body of "Le Grand Monarque." And William III. was undersized; and his extraordinary opponent, Luxembourg, was a dwarf. Claverhouse was small; so, we believe, was Cromwell. As, however, there is considerable difficulty in obtaining reliable evidence on such points, we pass at once to what we believe to be the fair conclusion. To judge if a man is overgrown or not,—and on this depends his real fitness for severe work,—we must know not only his own height, but that of his race generally. An Englishman of the upper classes of five feet ten inches in height need by no means be an overgrown man, but we should suspect a Frenchman of the same stature. To English ears the incident sounds strange of General Bonaparte walking up to a knot of discontented French officers in Egypt, and informing one that his "five feet ten inches" would not prevent his being hanged for mutiny. A race of giants, then, men who naturally grew to a height of ten feet with vital powers in proportion, would be indeed terrible in the species of war waged between Israel and the Philistines. No wonder if the spies crept past them, feeling they were grasshoppers in their own sight, and in that of the giants also. Hence we cannot wonder that God chose individual men to show that under the greatest disadvantages the battle was still the Lord's.—Sunday Magazine.
GIANT TREES IN CALIFORNIA.
GIANT TREES IN CALIFORNIA.
Ir has been supposed that the Sierra sequoias, or big trees of California, were confined to a few small and isolated groves, like those known to tourists by the name of Calaveras, Tuolumne, Merced, and Mariposa, scattered at considerable intervals along the western slope of the mountains for a distance of sixty miles. It was known that a collection of big trees, larger than any of those in the Mariposa and Calaveras regions, exists in Fresno county, where Thomas's mill has for several years been sawing this red wood of the Sierra to supply the market of Visalia; but it was discovered last summer that this body of big-tree timber is not properly a grove, but a forest extending for not less than seventy miles in a north-west and south-eastward direction, with a width in some places of ten miles, and interrupted only by the deep canons which cut across the general course of the forest, and reduce the level to an elevation below that at which the tree is found in a wild condition, although when cultivated it thrives in all our valleys.
Different persons have traced the forest from the basin of the Tule river, latitude 36 deg. 20 m., across those of the Kaweah and Kings to that of San Joaquin. The elevation has not been carefully measured, but it is supposed to vary from 4000 to 6000 feet. At one point, and one only, this forest is accessible by a wagon road, and that is at Thomas's mill, forty-eight miles from Visalia. Unlike the groves further north, this forest consists mainly, and in some places almost exclusively, of the big trees; and there are also a multitude of small ones in all the ages of growth, some just sprouting, and others saplings only two or three feet through. The largest standing tree as yet measured is forty feet in diameter; a charred stump-the tree itself having disappeared-measured forty-one feet across. A tree twenty-four feet in diameter four feet above ground is precisely the same thickness sixty feet higher. A fallen trunk is hollow throughout, and the hole is large enough to drive a horse and buggy seventy-two feet in it as in a tunnel.
This forest is so extensive, the timber is so abundant and excellent in quality, and the demand for it is so great in the bare valley at the foot of the mountain, that it cannot be withheld from the axe and the saw-mill. The wood is similar in general character to the coast sequoia, or common red wood, straight in grain, splitting freely, even enough in grain for furniture, and far superior to oak in its keeping qualities in positions exposed to alterations of moisture. The Sierra sequoia does not through up sprouts from
its stump as the red wood, and can therefore be felled out more readily. It was wise in Congress to make a reservation for pleasure purposes of the Mariposa grove, which is near Yosemite, small, and conveniently accessible to tourists by the present routes of travel; but the Tulare-Fresno forest-it is all in those two counties-cannot be converted into a public reservation. Numerous saw-mills will be built on its line, and flumes will carry the lumber down to the consumers. Wagon roads will ascend from the railroad turns to the California Alps, passing through the forest and receiving great attractions from it.
THE oldest religious poetry that we have-by "the prophet David," Moses, and others—is all inspired with this one glorious theme: "The world may seem against us, wicked men may seem to triumph, God's people may cry for a time, 'My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?' but a reversal of this disorder is sure one day to come. There is One who sits serene above all this turmoil of waves and storms. And goodness, order, reason -we cannot prove it, but we know it, we feel it, we dogmatically assert it shall ultimately prevail." The oppressor may seem to flourish. The Syrian empire, or the Roman, may seem to be carrying all before them. But there is looming behind the veil another and a higher order. It only awaits God's time to be revealed, for history is subject to God's laws, and is no matter of caprice or chance. Man, too, will find that the little eddy of his own misused freewill was being borne along the majestic, slowpaced tide that issues in the sea. And they who have believed, who have gone out from an idolatrous world not knowing whither they went, who have trusted to the higher order and not the lower, who have lived by the ideal, not the real, will find at last that they were not deceived; that Christ, not Antichrist, rules the universe; that reason and not unreason, order and not chaos, God and not the devil, are supreme, and must in the end be triumphant.
This is what the Bible sums up in the single word Faith. It bids us shape our character and guide our conduct amid the mazes of life rather by the conscience than by the intellect of the senses; it tells us that the natural law, written on our hearts by the finger of God, is as true and indelible as the physical laws written by the sunbeams on the sky; it encourages us, therefore, to uplift our
eyes confidently to that ideal of a perfect humanity which has been presented in Christ; it tells us that the ingrained sense of the stability of justice, of the godlike majesty of goodness, are really a revelation of the truth, woven by our Maker's hand into the very texture of our being: and that a faith which risks all-nay, sacrifices all for that, will not find itself disappointed at last. It also warns us that in details we are very likely to be, not indeed disappointed, but entirely mistaken. It narrates for us how thoroughly unlike, yet how infinitely surpassing all their previous anticipations, was the Messiah of the Jews. It shows how a series of Apocalyptic efforts to sketch out the future triumphs of God's kingdom over the world empires, signally failing in time, in place, in circumstance, yet more signally came true in the barbaric overthrow of the Roman empire and the establishment of modern Christendom. And it thereby encourages the belief that not in any expected way, but in some totally unexpected and unimagined way and time and place-its teachings and the teachings of our heart's deepest instincts will on the larger scale come true; that we shall somehow survive our death; that we shall see once more those whom we have loved and lost; that Christ will in some shape return; that the victory of truth and righteousness and wisdom will one day be assured; and that children of wisdom will share it.-Edinburgh Review.
SWEET Wind, fair wind, where have you been?
Sweet rain, soft rain, what are you doing?
I'm helping the lily to fashion its bells;
I'm swelling the torrent and brimming the wells;
Redbreast, red breast, what have you done?
"I've been watching the nest where my fledglings lie;