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agreeable variety to the side crags. It is only one of to be the site of the station Blestium of Antoninus ; several others similar, which were standing many Camden, however, places that station at Old Castle
, years ago, insulated from the main wall of rock, which or Longtown, a small sequestered village on the have either fallen, or, more probably, have been banks of the Monnow, about three miles distant from destroyed by the remorseless lime-burners, who, Llanthony Abbey, where there are some remains of regardless of the beauties of the Wye, are ever em- a very ancient fortress. In corroboration of this ployed in supplying the ravenous lime-kiln, which opinion, it may be observed that no vestiges of the “in grim repose expects its evening prey.” The Romans, with the exception of some coins, have rock-pillar above alluded to, is said to have been been discovered either on the site, or in the immedenominated Bear Croft, from an eminent barrister, diate vicinity of Monmouth. The town was fortiwho used to attend the assizes at Monmouth.
fied at a very early period, and was surrounded by The scenery at New Weir is really magnificent:- walls and a moat, only small portions of which are lofty masses of rock on both sides of the river, (which now visible. Of the four gates, the ancient gateis wider than usual in this part,) rise almost perpen- house called the Monnow Gate, is the only one which dicularly from the water, clothed with an infinite remains entire ; and is remarkable not only from its variety of fine grown trees and pendant shrubs; the primitive style of construction, but from its position pale subdued colouring of the limestone crags finely in the centre of a bridge. The remains of the castle, harmonizing with the rich and ever-varying tints of once an important edifice, situated on the ridge of an the foliage, which in the autumn especially has a sin- eminence on the north bank of the Monnow, chiefly gularly exquisite effect. New Weir, which was con- consist of a ruined tower, In front of the Town structed for catching salmon, was removed some Hall, which stands in Agincourt-square, is a statue years ago, but the site of the Weir is marked by the of Henry the Fifth, who was born at Monmouth on impetuosity of the stream, which tumbles and roars the 9th of August, 1387. The magnificent and amid large masses of rock in its channel, that have graceful spire of the parish church of the blessed either been hurled by the violence of tempests from St. Mary, which rises to a height of 200 feet, disthe heights above, or swept down by the sudden tinguishes Monmouth as much as the “Heaven. irruption of a winter's flood. An iron forge, emitting directed spire" of Ross. It is the only relic of the clouds of smoke and sullen sounds, formerly stood ancient priory church, and contains a fine peal of here, and jarred with the associations of the scene; eight bells, which were brought from Calais by Henry but it is now a dilapidated ruin, and nothing disturbs the Fifth, who scems to have taken much interest in the deep tranquillity but the noise of the waters, and his birth place. The tourist ought not, therefore, to the sighing of the wind among the branches of the omit a visit to the steeple, and he will be further trees. We agree with Roscoe that “to view the rewarded by a view of great beauty from the parapet. scene to the best advantage, the tourist should de- The body of the ancient church was pulled down scend from the summit of Cymon's Yatt, by the and rebuilt in 1740, in a style, we are sorry to say, winding road traversed by the mules which brought utterly at variance with the design of the original coal from the forest when the works were used." structure. The organ is, perhaps, not surpassed in
Below New Weir, scenery of the same character tone by any other in the kingdom, nor is the service continues to arrest the attention. The river here of our venerable church anywhere more admirably makes a curve, and the voyager floats swiftly past conducted. The remains of the priory, which was High Meadow Woods on the left, and the precipitous founded in the reign of Henry the First, by Wyherocky eminence of the Great Doward on the right. noe de Monmouth, for Benedictine monks, although At the end of this reach, a mass of rock covered with small, are of considerable interest. A richly ornashrubs and parasitical plants presents itself, the river mented projecting window is pointed out, (on doubtin front forming a pool, backed by the wild purple ful authority,) as that of the library of Geoffrey of summit of the Little Doward. A finer scene from Monmouth, the celebrated historian, who was created the water it is almost impossible to conceive. Further Bishop of St. Asaph in 1152, but afterwards became down, a detached cluster of rocks, called the “Three Abbot of Abingdon, where he died. He translated Sisters," skirt the shore, near which in a short reach, a history of Britain from the British, which presents there is a pool called Martin's, supposed to be nearly very dubious pretensions to veracity. The church of seventy feet deep; a greater depth than in any other St. Thomas, called “Over Monnow," is of great part of the river. At the extremity of the reach antiquity, and has one of the finest recessed doorfrom King Arthur's Vale, the castellated form which ways with zigzag mouldings, that we remember. It the Great Doward assumes at this point, again pre- will well repay inspection. The general style of the sents itself to view. The Leys House, the residence building is early Norman, but some parts are said to of Mr. Blakemore, M. P. for Wells, at the foot of the be British. The principal street of Monmouth is Little Doward, on the right, with a woody amphi- broad and well built ; and the town altogether is a theatre in front, terminates the scene. The river, very neat and pleasing one, and groups with a after passing this turn, gently meanders through a striking effect from every point of view. There are pleasant valley, “midst fields and pastures green, in two excellent inns,—the Beaufort Arms, and King's fiat, swell, and hollow,” and leaving the solitary Head. A very extensive new market is now in prochurch of Dixton on the right, at last reaches gress in a fine situation above the lofty bank of the “delightsome"
Monnow. Although the county town, we are not MONMOUTH, which is finely situated at the termi- aware that it possesses any species of manufacture nation of a gently undulating valley surrounded by deserving of mention. In the old time it was celelofty wooded hills, and nearly encircled by the rivers brated for its caps, which are wittily spoken of by Wye and Monnow, the latter uniting with her "peer- Shakspeare in his play of Henry the Fifth. It is less” sister a short distance below the town.
said that this trade was removed to Bewdley, in The British name of Monmouth was Monywy, Worcestershire, in consequence of a great pestilence evidently derived from its peninsular situation on the which swept away the inhabitants. The county goal! rivers Mon and Wye. The present English name is by the side of the Monnow, near the extremity of obvious—the mouth of the Mon or Monnow. It is the town, is a compact castellated building, erected at supposed by Horsley and other eminent antiquaries, the end of last century, on Mr. Howard's plan.
PRINCIPLES OF CLEANLINESS IN NATURE. I earthworm, inhabiting the soil itself, are without a
the snail is clean notwithstanding its adhesive Neatness or cleanliness of creation is one of the surface; the purity of the swan, in the midst of the most striking provisions in nature, as it is also one mud, is almost proverbial. In the birds, indeed, we which seems to have been nearly overlooked by see a necessity for neatness, while we find the innaturalists, or viewed as if it was confined to a few stincts as strong as the provisions are perfect. But animals. It will be seen, on the contrary, that it is in the terrestrial animals, there is no utility, nor one of the Creator's leading designs, and that careful does any inconvenience arise from the reverse; whence provisions have been made for it both in the animal we must conclude, that the Creator's intention was and vegetable department of life.
simply neatness, order, cleanliness; a virtue to which The contrivance for this purpose in plants, consists we are willing to give a place, in words at least, in the nature of the surfaces, most remarkable in among the minor ones, as we term them. the leaves, where this object is sometimes attained by In these, and in the birds, the essential provision a high polish and great density, at others by a waxy is similar to that in plants, consisting in the strucsecretion, at others again, by a minute texture of the ture and superficial texture of hair and feathers. surface, resembling that of hairs and feathers, or by Popular prejudices term these animal substances less means of actual down or hairs; as, in the flowers, cleanly than vegetable ones; the facts are the direct the globular velvety surface, which enhances the reverse, as common experience in our own clothing colours by dispersive reflection, serves for this end should show. They do not absorb water, and, like also. These prevent the lodgment of water, which plants, they repel the adhesion of what is dry. Thus is itself injurious, and, with that, of all liquid matters do the quadrupeds keep themselves clean with very which might soil them; while the dust which might little effort, as the birds do, under that preening have adhered in a dry state, is easily dislodged by which they have been commanded to delight in. In the first shower. How effectual the provisions are,
insects the provisions are much more striking. The is evident; since a dirty plant (to use an expressive most naked larvæ are always clean, like the earthterm) is scarcely ever seen, peculiarly exposed as worms, inhabit where they may. In others a pecuthey are to the adhesion of soil: and thus does the liar texture of the surface, like that of hair, produces vegetable world present that universal look of clean the same effects; and thus do we find down, or liness and neatness, which is as striking as if there hairs, as in the bee, the butterfly, and the caterpillars, was a hand perpetually employed in no other office; preventing all adhesion of the several substances to preserving an order that we cannot maintain in our which they are exposed; but, as if to satisfy us of possessions, without constant labour. If all the dead the Creator's decided intention on this subject, we portions, in leaves and flowers, with little exception, find some of these animals provided with the very detach themselves, the effect is the same, and so, utensils of cleanliness which we construct for ourperhaps, was the purpose; while we know how dis- selves ; furnished with brushes, together with that agreeable the appearance is, when, by housing them, attached instinct of neatness which we daily see in we here interfere with the proceedings of nature. use in the house-fly, while it would be easy to add But if we overlook the contrivance as well as the much more to the same purpose from the records of intention, considering the effect, like all else, as a natural history. matter of course, so do we also, not merely forget to There is yet more provided for the same end, if in note another provision for maintaining the neatness a very different manner, though in these cases, seeing of the vegetable creation, but neglect the very fact that provision is made for the salubrity of the atmoitself, as if this also could not be otherwise. Yet the sphere and the waters, and for the feeding of animals, least reflection will show that the result would be in- we easily overlook the second, if not secondary purcredible but for experience. The simple power of pose. Dead fishes are rendered luminous, that they vitality, maintaining the circulation, is not only suffi- may be discovered and consumed before they become cient to retain the feeble petal in its place against the offensive. On the land, the consumption of carpower of the storm, but to maintain all the most casses is provided for by the instincts given to several delicate and tender flowers in perfect shape, rigidity, beasts and birds of prey, and, beyond all, by the apand order, during the time that they were ordained pointment of the different larvæ, which are destined to to last. We cannot imitate these objects, without this food; while, to make that expedient availing, such much stronger materials, and ligatures, and gums; is the produce, and such the rapidity of growth, as yet the cistus, with its almost cobweb petals of a few to have made naturalists remark, that the progeny
of hours, is a structure of perfect strength, retaining the three or four flies is sufficient to consume a horse. elegant form assigned to it, till the term of its life And assuredly, for the same end, has there been imhas arrived.
planted in almost every animal that instinct, through The same cleanliness, with the same decided inten- which they seek concealment when about to die; tion to produce it, pervades the animal creation, and while how effectual this is we know, since with, I under many more forms than it is convenient or believe, the sole exception of the shrew mouse often proper to notice. To man, it has been permitted to choosing a gravel walk for this purpose, we scarcely do what he pleases; and he is not slow in disobeying ever meet the dead body of a wild animal. the universal command, which the other animals [MACCULLOCH's Proofs and Illustrations of the Attributes of God.] have received through instincts for this purpose, and through provisions for rendering neatness attainable He that enlarges his curiosity after the works of nature, by them: as thus also has he contrived to make some
demonstrably multiplies the inlets to happiness; therefore of his followers what he too often is himself. And
we should cherish ardour in the pursuit of useful knowledge, if we forget to note this also, we should certainly have and remember that a blighted spring makes a barren year, found it a very difficult problem, to devise the means and that the vernal flowers, however beautiful and gay, are of keeping all this multitudinous world of animals only intended by nature as prepar ves to autumnal fruits.
JOHNSON in that state of neatness, in which we find it some difficulty to preserve ourselves, peculiarly exposed as
It is a shame for a man to desire honour because of his they are to soil. Yet a dirty animal, like a dirty noble progenitors, and not to deserve it by his own virtue, plant, is scarcely to be found : the very mole and the -ST. CHRYSOSTOM,
ILLUSTRATIONS OF THE BIBLE FROM THE MONUMENTS OF ANTIQUITY. No. XIX.
from the monuments, that “altars on high places" ALTARS, or special places for offering sacrifices to were common in Egypt, though there are some traces the Deity, and, after corruption spread over the earth, of worship in groves; but among the Canaanites to the false gods of the heathen, were used from the and the heathen nations surrounding Palestine, this most remote antiquity. Cain and Abel erected altars abominable form of idolatry prevailed, and its tenwhen they presented the first sacrifices of which we dency to gratify the worst passions of man's nature, have any record after the Fall, and Noah's first care too frequently led the chosen people of God to forwas to build an altar after the deluge had subsided. sake his pure and simple worship, to throw off their Altars, therefore, were used before temples were allegiance to their Almighty benefactor, and to sink erected; they were built sometimes in groves, some- themselves below the level of the beasts of the field. times on the highways, and sometimes upon the tops But this form of idolatry was not only condemned of mountains. The most ancient form of idolatry by Holy Writ, it was prohibited by the most enlightwas elementary, that is, the object of worship was ened of the heathen themselves; for we find, in some power or principle of nature,—the sun, the Grecian history, that the introduction of the worship earth, the powers of production and destruction of Bacchus into Europe was strenuously resisted by With such a form of worship notions of gloomy several monarchs of Thrace, Thessaly, and Thebes ; sublimity were associated, and hence the dark recesses and that the Bacchanalian rites were watched with of groves and the sterile tops of lofty mountains, anxious jealousy by the statesmen of the Grecian were chosen for the altars of the oldest nations. So republics. The Bacchanalian howlings, revelries
, prevalent was the custom, that the phrase "worship- and debaucheries, practised on the tops of mountains
, ping on high places,” is frequently used to signify | were clearly borrowed from the Asiatic worship on idolatry in the Old Testament, and we find that the high places; indeed, all the legends respecting early Persians in the East, and the Druids of England | Bacchus are so decidedly Oriental and even Indian and Ireland in the West, were equally remarkable for in their character, that the Asiatic origin of the erecting their altars in groves and mountains. The worship cannot be doubted for a moment. As civiliworshipping on high places was strictly forbidden to zation advanced in Greece, the Bacchanalian rites the Jews; not merely because the custom had a ten- were discouraged, but an attempt was made to introdency to produce idolatry, but also, because the ele. duce them into Italy, where they produced so much mentary form of idolatry was the worst, the most licentiousness and depravity, that the Roman Senate cruel, and the most debasing. It was before these forbade them to be practised under pain of death. altars in groves and mountains, that human sacrifices The strict rules prescribed for the construction of the were most frequently offered, that parents whose altars which the Israelites were to use, afford a natural affections were blighted and destroyed by remarkable proof of the Divine inspiration of the dark superstitions, made their children pass through Pentateuch, because several of those rules were the fire to Moloch; and it was in such places that designed not only to guard against the corruptions licentiousness and depravity were systematically made of the Egyptians, with which
we may suppose Moses a part of public worship.
to have been acquainted, but in a still greater degree The idolatry into which the Jews so frequently to prevent them from adopting the abominations of lapsed while they were governed by judges, was a the Canaanites, into whose land Moses had never compound of cruelty and lust, and hence the severe entered. visitations to which they were exposed by the righ- Altars were at first made only of turf, but they teous indignation of Jehovah. It does not appear were afterwards made of marble, of wood, and even
of horns, like that of Apollo at Delos. The altars so many years servitude under Laban; and there is used by the patriarchs were of stone, and were gene- reason to believe that it had not been removed during rally of rude construction ; thus, the altar which the centuries that elapsed between that event and the Jacob set up at Bethel, was simply the stone which conquest of Canaan by Joshua. The undoubted had served him for a pillow, and the altar of Gideon preservation of the Kaaba, notwithstanding the conwas a stone before his house. Although little credit quest of Mecca by the Karmatians, and the Jewish is due to the Arabian tradition that Abraham visited legends respecting the altars of Adam and of Enoch, Mecca, and erected there an altar to the true God, are sufficient to explain the long preservation of there can be no reasonable doubt that the religion Jacob's altar at Bethel, which might otherwise appear which Ishmael established among his descendants unaccountable. was purely patriarchal; and therefore, the Kaaba, or The shape of altars varied in different ages and sacred stone, so enthusiastically venerated by Mus-countries; they were probably at first of a square or sulmans, and which was regarded as holy long before rectangular form, sometimes rude, and sometimes the age of Mohammed, might have been the primitive fashioned with great care. Most of the ancient altar established by the founder of the Arab race. Greek altars were of a cubical form; and hence, when The traditions respecting the Kaaba are probably the oracle of Apollo commanded that a new altar mixed with the legends respecting an altar erected should be prepared exactly double the size of that by Adam, which we find in the Jewish Talmud, and which already stood in the temple, a problem was among the early fathers of the Christian church in given surpassing the powers of science in those days, Syria. They also speak of an altar erected by which is well known to mathematicians under the Enoch, which they believe to have escaped from the name of “the duplication of the cube." devastation of the deluge ; and though such tradi- In the illustration at the head of this article, it tions have no foundation in fact, they are valuable so will be seen that the mountain-altars were generally far as they illustrate what we so frequently find in made of rough stones, and this is especially remarkScripture, the veneration shown to places where altars able in the Druidical structures preserved in various were erected.
parts of Britain; but when temples began to be This is particularly remarkable in the history of erected and decorated with all the beauty of archiJacob; the place on which he laid himself down to tecture, ornaments were added to the altars; and, as in sleep had no peculiar mark or sanctity; the stone the engraving on the next page, they were sculptured which he chose for his pillow was probably a block with some scene from the fabulous history of the that, but for subsequent events, would have remained gods, or some emblem of the deity to whom they undistinguished for ever; but when he erected it as were dedicated. Were such a custom sanctioned an altar, and consecrated it with oil, the stone became among the Jews, their reverence for the emblem sacred for all who passed near it, and the place where would soon have degenerated into idolatry, as in the it was raised continued to be called Bethel, or the case of the brazen serpent which Hezekiah caused to house of God, through a long series of ages. Jacob be destroyed, on account of its having become an found, it would appear, that the altar remained in its object of superstitious veneration. God therefore place when he was returning back to Canaan, after strictly prohibited any carvings on the altar.
An altar of earth thou shalt make unto me, and shalt quity was punished by a drought and famine, which sacrifice thereon thy burnt offerings, and thy peace offerings, endured several years; at length Elijah was sent to thy sheep, and thine oxen: in all places where I record Ahab, and induced him to assemble all the prophets if thou wilt make me an altar of stone, thou shalt not build of Baal, on Mount Carmel, in the presence of the it of hewn stone: for if thou lift up thy tool upon it, thou congregation of Israel. hast polluted it. (Exod. xx. 24, 25.)
And Elijah came unto all the people and said, How long Solomon appears to have enclosed the altar of un- halt ye between two opinions ? if the Lord be God, fellow hewn stones in a grating of brass, which he overlaid him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people anwith gold; and this custom was followed in the build-swered him not a word. Then said Elijah unto the people,
I, even I only, remain a prophet of the Lord; but Baal's ing of the second temple after the return of the Jews prophets are four hundred and fifty men. Let them therefrom the Babylonish captivity. In consequence of fore give us two bullocks; and let them choose one bullock the superior value of the covering of the altar, we for themselves, and cut it in pieces, and lay it on wood, and find that the ignorant and superstitious Jews in our put no fire under : and I will dress the other bullock, and Saviour's time reverenced it more highly than the lay it on wood, and put no fire under: and call ye on the altar itself, and this is one of the many instances of name of your gods, and I will call on the name of the Lord :
and the God that answereth by fire, let him be God. And their homage to external appearances for which they all the people answered and said, it is well spoken. (1 Kings were reprehended by our blessed Redeemer.
xviii. 21—24.) Woe unto you, ye blind guides, which say, Whosoever
The priests of Baal accepted this extraordinary shall swear by the temple, it is nothing ; but whosoever shall swear by the gold of the temple, he is a debtor! Ye challenge; they quickly erected an altar and prepared fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gold, or the a sacrifice, but their summons to their idol for a temple that sanctifieth the gold? And, Whosoever sball manifestation of his power proved fruitless. “They swear by the altar, it is nothing ; but whosoever sweareth called upon Baal from morning even until noon, but by the gift that is upon it, he is guilty. Ye fools and there was neither voice nor anything that regarded.” blind : for whether is greater, the gift
, or the altar that Elijah' waited until the time for offering the evensanctifieth the gift? Whoso therefore shall swear by the altar, sweareth by it, and by all things thereon. And whose ing sacrifice had arrived; the altar required by the shall swear by the temple, sweareth by it, and by him that divine law was one which could easily be prepared; he dwelleth therein. (Matt. xxiii. 16-21.)
Took twelve stones, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, unto whom the word of the Lord came, saying, Israel shall be thy name: and with the stones he built an altar in the name of the Lord : and he made a trench about the altar, as great as would contain two measures of seed. (1 Kings xviii. 31, 32.)
The stupendous miracle by which Jehovah proved to the people that he was the Lord of heaven above and the earth beneath, is sufficiently known. But it deserves to be remarked that the simplicity of the worship ordained by the true God greatly enhanced this triumph; for Elijah in this contest stood alone, and had not the altar been one which could be easily constructed by a single person, he would scarcely have been able to compete with the four hundred and fifty priests of Baal.
The reverence for altars was very great among the ancients; no greater insult could be offered to a conquered nation than to throw down its altars or pollute them, and hence Ezekiel dwells very forcibly on this circumstance, in his denunciation of divine vengeance
against the idolatry of Israel : The ease with which such an altar was prepared, Ye mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord God; elucidates another important part of Scripture,—the
thus saith the Lord God to the mountains, and to the hills, contest between Elijah, the single prophet of the
to the rivers, and to the vallies; behold, I, even I, will Lord, and the four hundred and fifty prophets of And your altars shall be desolate, and your images shall be
bring a sword upon you, and I will destroy your high places. Baal, in the reign of Ahab.
broken: and I will cast down your slain men before your When the ten tribes of Israel separated from the idols. And I will lay the dead carcases of the children of kingdom of Judah, Jeroboam, in order to prevent Israel before their idols; and I will scatter your bones the annual pilgrimage of his subjects to Jerusalem, round about your altars. In all your dwelling places the erected two golden calves as national sanctuaries at desolate ; that your altars may be laid waste and made
cities shall be laid waste, and the high places shall be Bethel and at Dan. He selected those places, not desolate, and your idols may be broken and cease, and your because they were the most convenient, but because images may be cut down, and your works may be abolished. they were already reverenced by his subjects. Bethel, And the slain shall fall in the midst of you, and ye shall as we have already said, was the place where Jacob know that I am the Lord. (Ezek. vi. 3—7.) erected an altar after his miraculous vision; and in This feeling was common also to European nations, Dan idolatry had commenced by setting up the idols and hence the motto “ Pro aris et focis," that is, stolen from Micah, not long after the death of Joshua. “for altars and firesides," was assumed when a nation But all Israel did not follow the idolatry of its sove- was engaged in defensive war for the protection of reigns; and the kings of the ten tribes erected for religious worship and family comforts; that is, all tresses on their frontiers to intercept the pilgrims which man holds dear to him. The phrase was first going up to Jerusalem. In the reign of Ahab, the used by the Romans, whose veneration for their abominable rites of the Sidonian idolatry were in altars appears, from the monuments at Herculaneum troduced by Jezebel, a Sidonian princess, and she and Pompeii, to have been equal to that of any nation persecuted, or rather caused her weak and wicked of antiquity. The engraving in the preceding page husband to persecute all who refused to worship illustrates not only the Roman altar, but the account we Baal, the national deity of the Sidonians. This ini- I gave of sacrifices in our former article on this subject.