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“Excellent! and your lot ?"
"Is in the hands of Brahma! Still, should we be able by any means to tame our fiercest foes, our own passions and inward lusts -should we, by the practice of virtue, by love of wisdom, by reyerence toward a higher being, improve our spirits, then we hope, when once this body, the miserable tabernacle of the human spirit, shall bo dissolved, to be newly united with Brahma, and to enjoy in his bosom an imperishable blessedness.”
“Enjoy it !” said Alexander. “I at least cheerfully wish you all this bliss and honor ; but allow me also the bliss after which I sigh, and tell me, am I still on tbe right way ?”
“As yet you are !”
“Seek for the monument of Bacchus, which stands one hundred miles farther on. Besides, you also profess to be his brother. May be you will learn things from him which he himself did not understand.”
Gladly would Alexander have learned yet other things from them ; but they remained stubbornly silent. The boste proceeded. New peoples were conquered and still more frightened. At length they arrived at the place, where the monument was said to have stood. A dense grove bid it. A certain reverential dread kept all the neighboring nations away from it. Alexander and his warriors, to whom fear was unknown, penetrated and first reached the wood. In tho middle of it they discovered a building. It could be seen that it was a temple-yea, a magnificent temple. True, at pres. ent it lay in ruins. The gates, still standing, of the most beautiful oriental marble, were excellently ornamented with images, but threatened every moment also to fall. The inner part of the temple appeared to be entirely desolated. Alexander ventured to draw as near to it as possible ; and to some of his warriors he gave the command to search completely through it all. They removed the rubbish out of the way, and instead of the monument which they sought, they found a grave-stone. It was built in the form of an altar. Here were seen tigers and lions sculptured in the most excellent style on all sides. Ivy, grape vines, and thyrsus-rods con. stituted the ornaments around the top. Gold and gems glittered everywhere. Overgrown with moss, and in the most ancient form of Greek letters, could still be read the following inscription :
"My courage and my hosts, it is true, overcame the whole earth, yet I found my own conqueror here. Not my conquests, not my crown, but only the good deeds I have done to my fellow-men; only the gifts of nature, and the pleasures which I taught them to know, comfort me in the last. moment of my departure. Greece builds altars to Bacchus as to a god: India saw him die while he sought the Fountain of Immortality. Whoever follows me, and sball read this, be wiser! Turn back, and enjoy your present blessedness, and await submissively the future !!!
To warn more earnestly than this was well nigh impossible; still Alexander, already deaf to so many other counsels, did not stop for
this. Enraged on account of his hopes thus turned to vanity, he commanded the grave stone of Bacchus to be wbolly demolished, and then went on in his journey. The fruitful portions of India vanisbed behind them; the country grew less inhabited; rougher became the road, and ever more stormy the heavens. They now came into a region of which the hermit had given them a few frag. mentary hints Dark caverds seemed to lead down into the middle of the earth. There were overhanging rocks, foggy air, and darkness that might be felt robbed the wanderer of the light of day. Alexander, prepared also for this emergency, remained un. moved, commanded an exceedingly large number of faggots to be lit, and they continued their march which seemed more like a fun. eral than the progress of an army.
After two days they came suddenly to a spot where a smooth wall of rock arose before them, while a way led forward along either side. A tablet of black slate, high up on the wall, attracted all eyes to wards itself. Upon it were seen the following words in faming characters :
“Foolbardy one, who hast ventured thus far, take the last warn. ing! Turn back! Turn back! If not, tben choose! Two ways are before you ; one of them, it is true, leads to the Fountain of Immortality. Yet which one? This you must yourself guess with. out any assistance. Know at the same time : you can guess only once. Should you miss, you are forced to return; for then every new attempt is immediate death. That it is not a powerless god who announces this to you, know from the fate of this tablet !"
Scarcely had Alexander, and those who stood near him, read the last of these words, when a streak of lightning demolished tablet and inscription. The earth trembled; all the faggots in the army, a single one excepted, were put out; all the warriors fell on their faces. Alexander, it is true, still kept himself erect, yet not with. out difficulty. His bravery also vanished. Only wben a few moments had passed was be able to give command that the faggots should be lit up again; when he saw that they caught fire and con. tinued to burn he took new courage, and began to examine more closely what was around him.
Of the two paths, one was broad enough to admit of the passage of an arıny; the other was similar to the gangway that leads out of a mine, hardly roomy enough for a single person to pass; no horse, much less a wagon could be admitted upon it. Alexander hesitated for a moment, compared the two, and selected at length (how could it be otherwise) the broadest way. All bis men fol. lowed. But soon the way became more and more obscure, un. certain, and difficult. The region before them became dry, sterile and desolate. Darkness, thick and heavy, settled down around them; and in the darkness breathed a fearful pestilence. Their blood lost its vitality, their muscles and nerves lost their power, and on their eyes fell the drowsiness of irresistible sleep. No sweet gurglings of the fabled fountain were heard to cheer the enfeebled hosts. The conqueror of the world was himself con.
quered. Oblivion, like the waves of a dark sea, rolled its merciless tide over all his pomp, and power, and plans. As a dream when one awaketh, so faded this last great hope of the conqueror's life, and the Fountain of Immortality flowed on in perennial freshness and glory, far beyond !
“THE GODDESS OF REASON.”
BY THE EDITOR.
It is known that in 1793, when the elements which wrought the French Revolution had reached their culmination of Atheism and blasphemy, they placed upon a throne, in the Camp de Mars, a female (nearly in a state of nudity,) and hailed her as the Goddess of Reason and Liberty. This shameless woman was the famous The. roigne de Mericourt. In the “Guardian” of February 1858, the reader will find some account of her after life and death. In a Paris paper of Aug. 15, 1857, there is found among the obituary notices the following:
“Died, within these few days, in the Hospital of Lunatics of Salt. petriere, where she had lived unpitied and unknown for many years, the famous Theroigne de Mericourt, the Goddess of Reason, the most remarkable beroine of the Revolution." · This was beyond doubt the Goddess of Reason. But there were others, who were placed for similar purposes upon the altars of the churches in those times of terror and madness. These were also called Goddesses of Reason. It was no doubt one of these whose death is lately announced, under the title of Death of the Goddess of Reason.” The “Reformirte Kirchenzeitung,” of Chambersburg, has the following: “It is known from history that during the French Revolution, when the leaders had set aside God, Christian. ity, and the Bible, they paid homage to a frivolous woman in a church of Paris as the Goddess of Reason. A paper from Alsace, in France, now brings us the intelligence that this woman died on the 30th of September, 1863, aged ninety years. It adds that she was blind, had been for a long time insane and for many years a beggar! Every one will make his own reflections." .
This was no doubt one among those shameless women who were from time to time exalted in the place of God, in the temples of Paris. How much is her fate like that ofthe one, whose death was noticed in the “Guardian” of February, 1858. She too "was for the last twenty years of her miserable life, the subject of the greatest of buman calamities—the loss of her reason !" It is said "she repentod severely of her horrible crimes, and her few lucid intervals were filled up by the most heart-rending lamentations.” She died at the age of fifty-seven.
What a retribution! The Goddesses of Reason are found without reason, poor and miserable lunatics! Wbat a commentary on sin and infidelity! Yet this is only one illustration among thousands of a similar character, which show how sin surely runs itself out in sorrow. The relation between sin and misery is fixed. Sin is prophecy, sorrow its fulfilment. Sin is cause, sorrow effect. "Be not deceived: God is not mocked; whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap !"
Thus speaks the Word of God, and the same language speaks all experience, and all history. Foolishly, men will not believe it, and bence they go on to taste it. Though thousands have gone before them and proved it by their experience, yet they must needs try it for themselves. Thus one follows the other to the slaughter-one fool treads upon the heel of another, as they go down to the pit!
ALL EQUAL HERE.-It is related of the Duke of Wellington, that once when he remained to take the sacrament at his parish church, a very poor old man went up the opposite aisle, and reaching the communion table, knelt down close by the side of the duke. Some one, (probably a pew owner,) came and touched the poor man on the shoulder, and whispered to him to move further away, or to rise and wait until the duke had received the bread and wine. But the eagle eye, and the quick ear of the great commander caught the meaning of that touch and that whisper. He clasped the old man's hand, and held him, to prevent his rising, and in a reverential undertone, but most distinctly, said, “Do not move-we are all equal here.”
A HISTORY OF CHRISTIAN DOCTRINE. By W.G. T.Shedd, D. D. In two vol
umes. New York. Charles Scribner, 124 Grand st., 1863. This is a good book, full of interesting matter, compactly and clearly presented. The history of doctrines is traced from the beginning of the Church down to our time, through all the phases of their development. Pastors will find this an excellent work for constant reference. As the History of Doctrines lies between Church History and Dogmatic Theology, its study is well adapted to refresh the memory in both directions. There is, therefore, no better way of reviewing Church History and Theology, than by the study of the History of Doctrines. The work before us is remarkably free from the individual views of the author, his endeavor of stating the doctrines in their objective historical features being very successful. Hence, the book is perhaps as fair and honest as it could well be made. Mr Scribner has gotten up the work in a very beautiful style. The type are large, and the paper good, so that it is a true pleasure to look over these pages. We cannot review the work here. This belongs to Reviews. But we can safely commend it as worthy of the favorable notice which has been taken of it by the press generally.
VOL. XV...- APRIL 1864.... No. 4.
THE GOSPEL IN PARADISE.
BY THE EDITOR.
Beautifully, as the light of the natural sun upon the primeval world, dawns upon the darkness of the fallen world of man, the light of the First Promise. In redeeming love, as well as in creating love, God said, "let there be light, and there was light," and this light immediately began to divide the light from the darkness in the hearts of our first parents, and to enter upon its course of life and glory in the world. “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed : it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” This is the germ of the glorious gospel of tbe blessed God-the gospel of Paradise.
Even the Old Testament prophets set forth our Saviour as the desire of all nations; and the New Testament still more clearly recog. nizes the fact, that there was in heathenism, an unconscious seeking after Christ that there was an earnest longing after that which would give rest and peace to their hearts and that this is all, and only, found in Him, who is the desire of all nations.” In these sighs of heathenism we bave the faintest and feeblest intimations of Him who should come.
If now we pass over into Judaism, we shall find the light becoming brighter and clearer. In Paganism it was a revelation in man -a mere projection of human want; but in Judaism we have a rev. elation to man-a positive divine revelation. The desire of the nations becomes the hope of Israel.
We must not, however, suppose that the Jews from the first had a full apprehension of the Messiah. The Sun of Righteousness did not at once burst full-orbed upon the world: there was first only a faint glimmering in the gloom, then the dawning, then the bright