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struction of that building itself was soon to follow. But the spiritual nature of God's kingdom, now shorn of its material ordinances, would supersede the necessity for such outward splendours-He, who was greater than the temple, was to be their all in all.
“Although I have cast them far off among the heathen, “ And although I have scattered them among the countries, “ Yet will I be to them as a little sanctuary in the countries where
they shall come, “And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within
you" And I will take the stony heart out of your flesh, and will give
them an heart of flesh."
True, the temple would be rebuilt: but here was a comfortable assurance that nothing material, limited, or local, was essential to the right worship of Jehovah. By the rivers of Babylon, the poor captives might find a Holy of Holies in the heart of their relenting father.
During the siege of Jerusalem, Ezekiel prophesied against Egypt, Tyre, and other neighbouring nations. Calmet infers that he lived in great retirement, as he does not appear to have heard of the taking of Jerusalem till six months after it had occurred.
His subsequent prophecies were of a more cheering character, almost radiant at times with the full glory of the gospel. His vision in the valley of dry bones is vividly graphic of the resurrection, and alone sufficient to rebut the often refuted assertion, that the Old Testament Scriptures are not clear on the subject of a future state. In its original relation it must have been full of strong consolation to those who waited for the redemption of Israel.
Jerome is of opinion that Jeremiah and Ezekiel arranged an interchange of their respective prophecies ; but this is mere conjecture.
The term of Ezekiel's prophetical career extended over about twenty-two years. The time, circumstances, and place of his death and burial are uncertain, though it is supposed that his remains were buried on the banks of the Euphrates. Benjamin of Tudela says, that his tomb existed until his day“ behind the synagogue, between that river and the Chebar;" but those who know any thing of this romancist, will not be very ready to credit his assertion.
WHAT MAY BE, WHAT MUST BE, AND WHAT IS.
Mr. Black was a gentleman of considerable eminence in his own sphere—not merely as a respectable tradesman, but as a man of superior talents for his station—of some learning, of more reading and observation, and of consummate industry. He was an excellent neighbour, a moderate but well-informed politician, and a corresponding member of two or three philosophical societies. One admirable property made him rather remarkable. He was scrupulously exact in all his doings, whether in business or out of it. If a hyacinth budded in his parlour, or a snow-drop peeped out in his little garden-if he purchased a bargain, or hired a servant—if he sent out an account, or posted a letter-he “made a note of it.”—Every book in his library, every object of vertu, every lusus nature in his drawing-room was labelled with its origin, history, birth, parentage, or education. These little points made him a valuable man. his mind, no less than in his house, he had “a place for every thing, and every thing in its place.” The commonest object about him became part of his history-interesting from its associations, and useful as a datum for the conduct of his household arrangements. He had a wife, like-minded with himself, and a family almost all grown up. His two eldest sons were in the business, and one of them inherited his father's tastes and habits so completely that they were almost always associated in matters of literary or scientific research.
The incident, to which we are about to call attention, occurred during a short stay at one of our Kentish watering places not long since. Mr. Black and his son were seated in a small dull room at the back of the house in which they lodged, with pen, ink, and paper before them, evidently engaged in the consideration of some important topic. We might easily have gathered what this was by the conversation in which they occasionally indulged, and the accessories of their little room.
It was evidently a deep problem in science, involving a fund of various knowledge and reading, and no little thought; for the table was covered with books, and both father and son were occasionally silent and plunged in cogitation. It was a sultry day in summer, and the French windows of the room which opened into a little paved balcony were thrown back, the wind toying as it came into the room with the fringes of the muslin curtains on each side. In this cool shady balcony, in a glass vessel covered with wet cloths, and standing in what our friends called a salt-bath, was a small wedge of ice. On such a burning day, the sight would have been refreshing if we could only have seen it, but so carefully was it swathed in its wet drapery, that none but those entrusted with the secret knew of its existence. In London we had only to walk to the nearest fishmonger's on the hottest of our dog-days to see ice in any quantity; but to meet with it under the circumstances in which this fragment was found, at such a time, in such a place, was singularly significant and suggestive.
It was quite true that the staple of our little watering-place was fish-fish of all kinds, and nothing but fish. equally true that this fish, perishable as fish always is upon a railway, had to travel nearly a hundred miles to its destination, and was consequently not unfrequently packed in ice. It was therefore more than probable that ice was to be had somewhere in the neighbourhood; but all these considerations were infinitely below notice by such philosophers as Mr. Black the elder, or his worthy assistant, in this questio vexata, Mr. Black
It appears that during a stroll on the sea-beach that very morning these learned gentlemen, in company with some friends who were sojourning in the same house, had picked up this fragment of ice upon the very margin of the wide waters spread before them. The tide, as it came tumbling in, seemed to have laid it at their very feet as if in homage to the high scientific attainments of these worthy men. Had the poor little derelict been conscious of admiration, and desirous of figuring in print, it could not have thrown itself into better hands. After turning it over with his foot once or twice to satisfy himself that it was no counterfeit in the shape of a precocious medusa, or a fragment of sea-blubber, Mr. Black seized the treasure, and with proper precaution arranged for its conveyance to his lodgings. But long before he reached them, he had hazarded half a dozen conjectures as to its appearance in the position and under the circumstances in which he had found it. A fragment of ice thrown up by the waves in such a place, at such a time—where could it have come from, or how could it have travelled so far as it seemed to have done in its original state? Yet he had heard of icebergs, or fragments of icebergs, in warm latitudes of stones transported by them and lodged on our own coast,-of seals caught napping on them, and waking up to sing and coo beneath a burning sun, and wonder how they got there-of herds of such fish-like creatures, left under southern skies without a resting-place, by the melting of their treacherous raft, and swimming in due order across the loud Atlantic to the wonder of the too credulous sailor, who mistook their long trail for the veritable sea-serpent of awful memory. But he had only heard of such things. He had now however ocular demonstration of a kindred fact, and he would not have exchanged that fragment of ice for the finest brilliant in the wide world. There it stood in its little shady nook apparently undergoing a thorough course of hydropathic treatment, whilst his son, equally eager in the pursuit of knowledge, was from time to time sketching the various phases of its visible history as it wasted away
under the sure but slow process of hereditary consumption.
There seemed to be little congeniality of feeling amongst the company who occupied the room adjoining that in which our friends were seated. The social meal was not long over,
and bursts of merriment-hearty but not boisterous—were heard from time to time as Captain Midwinter and his circle gave vent to an expression of wonder or of pleasantry touching the studious researches of these two savans.
At length the theory was perfectly elaborated, and each clause discussed seriatim by Mr. Black and his precocious son. "It might be,” suggested the father, " it might be all that remains,' as our epitaphs say, of some defunct iceberg. The polar seasons had been early, and ours as a natural consequence had been late. Bleak northerly winds had prevailed till the very commencement of our summer months. The ice, as it broke up, had drifted southward, bringing cold and blight with it, and generating a wintry atmosphere whose density would naturally cause it to flow towards the lighter air of the tropics, and thus keep up that succession of northern gales which had proved so disastrous to our shipping on the Scotch and Irish coasts. It might be a fragment of some polar iceberg."
“ It might be ? father," said Mr. Black the younger,"it must be."
“Young men,” as Wesley says,“ are always positive.” And for that reason, we might add, are generally wrong. But on this subject the young gentleman was thoroughly in earnest. Perhaps a little sense of filial reverence may have been mixed up with this dogmatical assertion, and if so, we should be sorry to disturb it.
“Well then, Charles," said the elder philosopher,-- it must beno doubt it was.”
The fact itself was of no vast consequence, but the inferences were tremendous. Here was a little bit of ice actually regulating the coal-merchant's bills in every family in all the cities, towns, villages, and hamlets of the United Kingdom! Climate, wind, weather-all rested on this slippery foundation. And yet it must be-it was-sound; perfectly sound. Mr. Black the younger said so, and Mr. Black the elder acquiesced
The paper was finished, the accompanying sketches wanted but a few more touches, and it was arranged what scientific journal should be honored with this interesting communication, when the two philosophers adjourned to the front parlor in order to submit it to the admiring and astonished party there assembled. The reading of it was interrupted by the frequent applause of the company, interspersed with what would be called in parliamentary language a few “ironical cheers" from Midwinter, as warm and hearty a fellow as ever bore that untoward name; and it was not till the delighted Mr. Black had actually commenced the superscription of the envelope“To the Editor of the Meteorological and Climatial Journal,”that a loud laugh called off the attention of the party to the Captain's true narrative of this phenomenon.
“ You should tell them, Black," said he, “ the whole of this extraordinary case. I can give you information more valuable