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driving the ends of their lances into the ground, they would spring from their mares, and fasten their halters to the still quivering weapons,
Seating themselves on the grass they related deeds of war and plunder, or speculated on the site of the tents of Sofuk, until the moon rose, when they vaulted into their saddles and took the way of the desert. The plain now glistened with innumerable fires. As the night advanced they vanished one by one, until the landscape was wrapped in darkness and in silence, only disturbed by the barking of the Arab dog.Layard.
WHICH IS BEST, PEACE OR WAR ? A Moravian Missionary writing from Genadendal, South Africa, relates the following interesting facts :
“Our new Governor, Sir Harry Smith, reached the Cape on the 1st of December 1847, and proceeded after a very short stay in Cape Town, to the frontier. On the 23rd of December, a great meeting was held at King William's Town. The number of Caffres present was computed at 2000; none of them were armed, nor was even an assagai seen in the hands of a Caffre, during any part of the day, a circumstance which is as the newspaper remarks perhaps without a parallel at any former period in the history of Caffreland. Among the assembled chiefs were Pato, and his brother Cabus, both of whom looked wretchedly haggard and dejected ; they were wrapped in soiled blankets, and it was evident, from their condition, that they had suffered many severe privations.
The manner in which is Excellency acted, when making peace with the Caffres, was very striking and effective. Two large staves were placed on each side of the Governor-one, surmounted by a round brass knob, was the emblem of Peace; the other, a common serjeant's halbert, signifying War. He offered them the choice either of war or peace, telling the chiefs to come forward, and in sincerity pledge themselves to one or the other. Sutee, the widow of Gaika, was requested to come forward; she stepped to the spot, and placed her hand upon the staff of peace, as did the rest of the assembled chiefs, one after the other, each being required to kiss his Excellency's foot in token of absolute submission and deep humiliation for their past aggression upon the colony. He told them that he was from that hour the • Inkosi Enkulu,' (the great chief); that from him, as the Queen of England's representative, they would hold their lands; that his word would be their law. Afterwards, his Excellency took a piece of paper, and holding it up in the sight of the assembled throng, tore it into shreds, and while scattering them to the winds, exclaimed with great energy, "There go your treaties!' The staff of war was then hurled by him with great force to the ground, his Excellency exclaiming, “There is an end of war!' Three loud and long cheers, in token of future peace, now rent the air, in which the assembled multitude, soldiers, Caffres, and spectators, united, with heartfelt satisfaction, at the happy termination of a contest of which all parties seemed to be equally tired. A great territory is now ceded to the colony, part of it being called Victoria, and considered a district of the Cape colony; the rest is styled British Caffraria, and divided into counties, with English names, as Yorkshire, Middlesex, &c. ; and one town called London.
“ The most important of all is the fact, that the Missionaries are called upon, in a proclamation, to return to their stations, being assured of the protection and favor of Government. This is indeed a cause of joy and thankfulness to every Christian who is taking a lively interest in the cause of the Lord, and in the extension of our Redeemer's blessed kingdom upon earth. To our Missions in particular the Lord has given an open door in Caffraria, and you will, I am sure, rejoice with us at the proposal of Government made to our Society, to establish a new station there."
NO ROOM FOR CHRIST? “There was no room for them in the inn.”--(Luke ii. 7.) The circumstances connected with the above words are so well known as to render a recapitulation of them here unnecessary. The period alluded to was, as the context informs us, that immediately preceding the birth of our Saviour, the persons thus excluded from an eastern house of entertainment for
travellers, were no others than the parents of the promised Messiah. An unusual influx of visitors, caused by the enrolment which the Roman Emperor had commanded, was the reason of the ordinary accommodations of the house falling so far short at this time, as to render some families glad of a covering and a retreat in a locality that was, in general, the habitation only of cattle. “ There was no room for them in the inn.” A stable was, therefore, the resting place of the humble carpenter and his espoused wife; and there it was that the Redeemer of mankind condescended to make his first appears ance in this world of ours. Oh! the riches of the love of God that could thus stoop so far!
We see here that from the first he was an Excluded Saviour; and how often is it so now!
He is excluded from our families,-he is neglected there, as we see by there being no altar raised to his praise : no morning and evening expressions of our gratitude to him, or acknowledgment of the mercies of which we are the daily and hourly recipients. We seek not by each act of our lives to glorify him: our walk and profession have little or no reference to him. No, he is excluded from them; we find room for other motives and considerations, but “no room” for Him.
Again, he is excluded from our conversation, too much and too often. How endless are the themes we find to expatiate upon with glowing hearts and eloquent tongues, and what varied phases do these assume, diversified as they are and made ever new by the taste and ingenuity of man. We wander through the rocky earth with the geologist, and pursue our scientific course with the naturalist or the botanist, in their separate spheres: we enter into their studies, and with delight dwell upon the interesting details they unfold to us; but we too often forget, amid the wonders they disclose, the traces of the hand of our God,—of Him who says, “ When there were no depths I was brought forth; and when there were no fountains abounding with water; before the mountains were settled; before the hills was I brought forth. Then was I by him as one brought up with him; and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him.” Is this Saviour excluded, too, from our hearts ? Other objects have their shrines there ; but is there a hallowed spot for him who humbled himself for us? He has implanted in us strong affections, that they may cling to him above all earthly things; but, oh! is it so ? Reader, ask yourself the question, and let conscience fairly answer it. The heart has tendrils, to unclasp which from those to whom they cling, would be to break and sever them; but, is it to the Cross that they cleave most firmly? Are not too many of us allowing trifles to take the place that this Saviour should occupy, and amid numberless earthly attachments and earthly loves, denying entrance to him from whom we derive them all ?
Perhaps some who peruse this paper, may never have thought on this subject, nor have considered, that the babe of Bethlehem, even he who was denied a place in the inn, claims and requires the paramount place in our families, our conversation, our hearts and affections. How long, then, shall he be denied his due ? How long shall we be regardless of his rights, and turn a deaf ear to his entreaties ? Let us spurn not the day of grace: our time for decision may be short. Which of us knows whether the fiat may have have gone forth against himself, “ This year thou shalt die ?” Reader, delay no longer; close in now with the offers of mercy, and let him who for your sake was despised and rejected of men be no longer slighted by you; take him to yourself, he will then be to you a present Saviour, and your eternal great reward.
HOW TO MAKE PAPISTS. Ax instructive illustration of the temporizing character of popery occurs in the following narrative from Layard's “Nineveh.”
“I rode up to the small Chaldean village of Bebozi, standing on the summit of a high mountain. The people of Bebozi are amongst those Chaldeans who have very recently become Catholics, and are but a too common instance of the mode in which such proselytes are made. In the church I saw a few miserable prints, dressed up in all the honors of red, yellow, and blue, miracles of saints and of the blessed virgin, and a hideous infant in swaddling clothes, under which was written
'T Iddio, bambino.' They had recently been stuck up against the bare walls.
“Can you understand these pictures?" I asked. ."No," was the reply, “we did not place them here; when our priest, (a Nestorian) died a short time ago, Mutran Yusuf, the catholic bishop, came to us. He put up these pictures and told us that we were to adore them; we pulled them down again, but for doing so, our Kiayahs (heads of the village) were bastinadoed by Mahmoud Agha, and we got our heads broken. We now therefore leave them where they are. And as the Kurds have been bribed not to allow a Nestorian priest to come to the village, we are compelled to hear the catholic priest whom Mutran Yusuf occasionally sends us."
On the altar and reading desk were a few books, forms of prayer, rituals and the Scriptures used by the Chaldeans. They had not been changed, only the name of Nestorius had been carefully blotted out with a pen, and the Sunday worship of the new proselytes, with the exception of a few prostrations to the pictures, remained as it was before their conversion.
LIFE AND DEATH. - Are life and death at thy choice? Why, then, what hinders but that thou shouldst be happy! Nothing doth or can hinder, but thine own wilful neglect or refusal. It was the remark of the eunuch to Philip : “ See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptised ?” So I may say to thee, “See, here is Christ, here is mercy, pardon, life; what hinders but that thou shouldst be pardoned and saved ? ”.
One of the martyrs, as he was praying at the stake, had his pardon set by him in a box, which, indeed, he refused rightly, because upon unworthy terms; but here, the terms are most honorable and easy. Oh, sinner, wilt thou burn with thy pardon by thee? Do but forthwith give up thyself to Christ, renounce thy sins, deny thyself, take up the yoke and the cross, and thou carriest the day-Christ is thine-pardon, peace, life, blessedness, are all thine..
And is not this an offer worth embracing? Why shouldst thou hesitate or doubtfully dispute about the case ? Is it no