Page images
PDF
EPUB

remnants of former industry: but the Government, in allusion to the above fable, Minerva was represented 1835, had succeeded in draining the whole of the standing in a very graceful attitude, resting her neighbouring country, and the Olive-grove of Athens right hand upon her young Olive-tree. It was found was rapidly recovering from its losses by fire and water. in that island, and was in the possession of Signor

A volume might be written upon the historical Marco Zavd, an Ithacan merchant of noble family, associations of the Olive. It is frequently mentioned whose house is ever open to English travellers, and in the Bible both in its cultivated and wild state. as there is no hotel in the island, his hospitality is The promised land abounded with Olives, it was “a not infrequently taxed. The figure is an enlarged land of Oil, olive, and honey.” It was cultivated by representation of an impression from the seal. kings as well as by their subjects. David set officers over his “Olive-trees in the low plains," "and over the cellars of oil.” (1 Chron. xxvii. 28.) To be de. prived of it, was one of the temporal punishments of the disobedient Israelites. Thou shalt have Olivetrees throughout all thy coast, but thou shalt not anoint thyself with the oil: for thine Olive shall cast his fruit." (Deut. xxviii. 40.) And Samuel, speaking of the oppressions of a king, says,

“ He will take your Olive-yards, even the best of them, and give them to his servants.” (1 Sam. viii. 14.)

We can trace the custom of using Olive-oil in religious ceremonies to the highest antiquity._Jacob poured it upon the pillar that he set up in Beth-el. (Gen. xxviii. 18.) The holy anointing oil of the temple was Olive-oil, scented with myrrh, cinnamon, sweet calamus and cassia.

The Mount of Olives is consecrated to us by the As sacred history made the Olive emblemátic of holiest associations. At the foot of the Mount, over peace, so, from its great value to man, has it been the brook Cedron, is the Garden of Gethsemane, universally considered the symbol of plenty. As and according to Major Skinner, one of the latest such we find it on the coins of those countries of travellers in the East, it abounds at the present day which it is not a native ; our own Britannia holds with exceedingly old Olive-trees. To this garden, “ Je- in her right hand the Olive-branch of peace and plenty. sus ofttimes resorted with his disciples.” It was the

Scarcely an ancient custom existed in Greece scene of his prayer, of his agony, and betrayal. In one

with which we do not find this tree, in some way, of her beautiful sonnets, Mrs. Hemans has adverted associated. The wild Olive was never used on these to the awful circumstances connected with this spot. occasions, but there were plantations sacred to their

religious rites and festivities; and it was sacrilege to The palm- the vine—the cedar-each hath power To bid fair ental shapes glance by,

use them for any other purpose. A law existed, “ if And each quick glistening of the laurel bower

any one plucks up the sacred Olive-trees at Athens, Wafts Grecian images o'er fancy's eye:

beside the two yearly allowed at the public festivals But thou, pale Olive! in thy branches lie

and funerals, he shall pay one hundred drachms Far deeper spells than prophet-grove of old

(31. 48. 7d.,) for every one unlawfully pulled up, the Might e'er enshrine :- I could not hear thee sigh

tenth part of which fine shall be due to Minerva.” To the wind's faintest whisper, nor behold One shiver of thy leaves dim silvery green,

The victors at the Olympic games were crowned Without high thoughts and solemn, of that scene

with wreaths of a peculiar variety of the Olive, which When, in the Garden, the Redeemer prayed

was brought by Hercules (so fable will have it,) from When pale stars looked upon his fainting head, the Scythians, and planted near Olympia, where it And angels ministering in silent dread

flourished. It was called Callistephanos, that is, fit Trembled, perchance, within thy trembling shade.

for crowns ; and it was forbidden, under a great This tree was a great favourite with the ancient penalty, to cut it for any other use. Games, similar Greeks. They held it in such esteem, that the Athe. to these were revived at Athens in 1835, and Otho, nians imagined that Minerva, the patron goddess of the amiable young King of Greece, crowned the their city, created it peculiarly for them :-a super- victors with wreaths of Olives. stition which arose from the crafty policy so eminently In all festivals in which Minerva was concerned, characteristic of their nation. In the time of The- we find the Olive used as believed to be most acceptmistocles, some of the nobles, for the purpose of able to her. At the lesser Panathenæa, an Athenian opposing his views, which were directed towards festival in honour of her, the conqueror at the games making them a maritime and warlike nation, and to i then held, was rewarded with a vessel of Olive-oil, induce the ignorant multitude to turn their attention which he was permitted to dispose of how and where more to agriculture, invented the fable of a conten- he pleased, whereas it was unlawful for any other to tion between Minerva and Neptune for the honour transport that commodity : further, he received a of protecting the city of Athens. The assembly of crown of those Olives which grew in the Academy the gods promised the preference to whichever of and were sacred to Minerva. the two gave the most necessary and useful present At their marriages every part of the bridegroom s to the inhabitants of the earth. Neptune, upon this, house, and more particularly the door, was decorated struck the ground with his trident, and immediately with flowers and boughs upon the nuptial day. Plua horse issued from the earth. Minerva produced tarch says that the Olive was more particularly used the Olive, and obtained the victory by the unanimous for this purpose. The same custom is seen, at the voice of the gods, who observed, that the Olive, present day, both in private and public rejoicings. which is the emblem of peace, is far preferable to When the king of Bavaria, the father of Otho the the horse, which is the symbol of war and blood- First, paid a visit to his son, there was scarcely a doorshed. When in the island of Teaki, the ancient post in the streets of Athens through which he passed Ithaca, the writer saw an antique seal upon which, in that was not covered with myrtle and Olive-boughs.

[graphic]

At the ancient funerals the body, after being washed | EASY LESSONS ON CHRISTIAN EVIDENCES, was anointed with Olive-oil; cups of oil, together

No. XIV. with incense, were thrown upon the burning pile,

MODERN JEWS. PART II. and the priests at the end of the ceremony ............dipped an Olive-branch in holy dew,

It is likely that when Jerusalem and its Temple Which thrice he sprinkled round; and thrice aloud were destroyed, several of the Jews who had till then Invoked the dead, and then dismissed the crowd.

rejected the Gospel, may have been at length conIt was a privilege of the citizens to use the oil in verted, by the strong additional evidence which was the schools of exercise, for one of the laws relating thus afforded. They saw the heavy judgment that to these schools was, that “ no slave shall presume fell on their nation; and that it was such as to make to anoint.” In the ancient baths there was a room the observance of their law impossible. They saw, for the purpose of anointing with oil, to close the also, that the event agreed with what Jesus had prepores of the body after the use of the hot baths, and dicted forty years before. And they saw, too, that to prevent the skin from becoming rough after the those of his followers who had been living in Jeruwater was dried off. Pliny says that, at the time of salem, had been enabled to escape destruction by fol. the Trojan war, they had no better unguent than lowing his directions, and fleeing to the mountains common olive oil perfumed with odoriferous herbs, as soon as they saw Jerusalem encompassed by an especially roses. It was considered effeminate for

army. It is, therefore, likely that several may have the men to use even this, and, at a much later period, been led by this additional evidence to embrace the the Greek virgins were not allowed to anoint them- Christian faith. But of this we have no records; as selves with any odorous unguent, but used simple the book of Acts takes in only an earlier period. olive oil. Minerva and Diana are represented as And in that book we have no particulars of the numrejecting perfumed oils. Solon made a law that “no bers of those Jews who were converted; though it man shall sell perfumes;" but Socrates was of opinion appears they must have amounted to many thouthat it was decent enough for women to smell of sands, indeed, many myriads; that is, tens of thouperfumed unguents, but that men should rather smell sands; as is said in the original Greek of Acts xxi. 20. of oil, an opinion which the modern Greeks seem But still these made but a small portion only of that very generally to have retained, and actual contact is great nation. And as the Jewish Christians would unnecessary to detect their partiality for it.

soon become mingled with the Gentile Christians, The Olive-tree was scarcely less a favourite with the and cease to be a separate people, hence, all those Romans, although it was not held in the same sacred who are known as Jews at this day, are the descendlight as amongst the Greeks; the ivy and the vine ants of those who rejected the Gospel. in some measure superseding its use. Their garden- They are computed to amount, at the present time, god, however, was adorned with it; this god, usually notwithstanding the prodigious slaughter of them, at cut out of the trunk of some old tree, was crowned the taking of their city, and on several other occasions, with various wreaths peculiar to each season.

In

to no less a number than 4,800,000, scattered through spring, it was decorated with flowers, with corn in various parts of the world; everywhere mixing summer, with the vine in autumn, and with the Olive and trading with other nations; but everywhere in winter, the most appropriate season for it, as at any kept distinct from them by their peculiar faith and other period either the flowers or fruit would be religious observances. And everywhere they preserve destroyed. In a poem ascribed to Catullus, this and read with the utmost reverence their sacred rustic god is represented as saying

books which foretell the coming of the Messiah, or Soon as the vernal season smiles,

Christ, at a time which (by their own computations) I'm gaily crowned with flowery spoils ;

is long since past, namely, about the time when Jesus But yellow wreaths of ripened corn,

did af pear. Their books foretell, also, such judgments Mid summer heat, my brows adorn ; The luscious vine's thick branches spread

as their nation is suffering; and foretell, too, what is In blushing autumn round my head;

most remarkable, that notwithstanding all this they And, when cold blows the wintry winds,

shall still remain a separate people, unmixed with the My temples pale-green Olive binds.

other nations. The Romans, ever superstitious, were in notning You should observe, too, that these prophecies are more so than the uses to which they religiously applied such as no one would ever have made by guess. certain woods, some of which they called “fortunate," Nothing could have been more unlikely than the others "unfortunate.” When they burnt anything bad events which have befallen the Jewish nation. Nothing or ill-omened, they made use of such unfortunate like them has ever been foretold of any other nation; trees that were under the protection of the infernal or has ever happened to any other. There are, ingods, as the holly and all kinds of thorny shrubs; on deed, many cases recorded in history, of one nation the other hand, the Olive, fig, pear, and apple trees, conquering another, and either driving them out of and the vine, and many other trees, that were valuable the country, or keeping them in subjection. But in for their productions, they used on joyous and all these cases, the conquered people who have lost fortunate events. The wild Olive, as being unpro

their country, either settle themselves in some other ductive and useless, was classed with the former, and land, or if they are wholly dispersed, generally the cultivated with the latter.

become gradually mixed and blended with other The oil was more used in their toilet than in that nations; as, for example, the Britons and Saxons, and of the Greeks. Catullus, accusing some luxurious Latin Danes and Normans, have been mixed up into one youth of effeminacy, says, that his couch was "fragrant people in England. with chaplets of flowers and perfumed with the Syrian The only people who at all resemble the Jews in Olive oil.” Any one would suppose that oil of a having been widely dispersed and yet remaining dissuperior quality was, at that period, an article of tinct, are the people commonly called Gipsies, and commerce between Syria and Italy; but any rich whose proper name is Zinganies, Jinganies. It has odour was termed Syrian with the Romans, and in been made out that they are an East-Indian nation, this case with great propriety, as the Olive came speaking a Hindoo dialect. And they are widely originally from that part of Asia.

scattered through the world, keeping up their language and some customs of their own, in all the countries

through which they wander. They are certainly a of those books, are quite different, and, indeed, oppovery remarkable people, and if there had been any site to what might have been expected from impostors prophecy (which there was not) of their being thus or enthusiasts. dispersed, we might well have believed that such a And lastly, you have seen that many of the diffiprophecy must have come from inspiration.

culties that have been brought as objections against But in some remarkable points their condition Christianity, turn out, on careful inquiry, to be an differs from that of the Jews, and is less unaccount- additional evidence of its truth. able.

Among others, this is remarkably the case with the First, they do not (like the Jews) live in towns difficulties relating to the history and condition of the among other men, and in houses; but dwell in tents, Jewish nation. Though you may not be able fully to by the road-sides, and on commons; leading the life explain all the circumstances relating to that won: of strolling tinkers, pedlars, and fortune-tellers. This derful People, you may learn from them, what they roaming lite, of course, tends to keep them separate refuse to learn from themselves, a strong proof of from the people of the countries in which they are the truth both of their Scriptures, and of the Gospel found.

which they obstinately reject. It is so ordered by But the chief difference is, that the Gipsies are Providence that even that very obstinacy is made to always ready, when required, to profess the religion furnish an additional proof of Christianity; by setting of the country, whether Christian or Mohammedan, them forth before all the world as a monument of

ny other; seeming to have no religion of their fulfilled prophecy. own, and to be quite indifferent on the subject. The There are several other instructions and warnings, Jews, on the contrary, always, when they are allowed, also, which you may learn from attentively reflecting settle in towns along with other men; and are kept on the case of the Jews: and I will conclude by distinct from them by their religion, and by nothing shortly mentioning a few of these. else. They are the only people who are everywhere First, you should remember that when you see the separated from the people of the country in which Jews, both formerly, and now, obstinately keeping to they live, entirely by their peculiar faith and religious the faith of their forefathers, merely because it is observances; and that, too, though their religion is what they were brought up in, and refusing to listen such (which is the strongest point of all) that the to any reasoning on the subject of religion, a Christian most important part of its ordinances,—the sacrifices has no right to wonder at, or to blame, them, if he ordained in their law,-cannot be observed by them. does the same thing himself; that is, if he is satisfied

The Jews, therefore, in their present condition, are to take upon trust whatever he may have been told, a kind of standing miracle; being a monument of and is resolved neither to seek nor to listen to any the wonderful fulfilment of the most extraordinary arguments that may enable him "to give a reason of prophecies that were ever delivered ; which prophecies the hope that is in him." And the same may be they themselves preserve and bear witness to, though said of Mohammedans and Pagans, as well as of they shut their eyes to the fulfilment of them. No Jews. Though the Christian happens to have a other account than this of the present state and past religion that is right, he is not more right than they, history of the Jews ever has been, or can be given, if he goes on the same plan that they do. At least, that is not open to objections greater than all the he is right only by chance, if he holds a faith that is objections put together that have ever been brought true, not because it is true, but merely because it is against Christianity.

that of his forefathers,

Secondly,—You should remember that we are apt This, then, as well as several other difficulties in to make much less allowance for the unbelieving our religion, such as have been formerly mentioned, Jews than for Christians who lead an unchristian life; will be found, on examination, to be,-even when and that we ought to do just the contrary. you cannot fully explain them,—not so much ob- It is difficult for us, of these days, to understand jections against the truth of your religion, as con- and fully enter into the great difficulty which the firmations of it.

Jews had (and still have), in overcoming all the And when you do meet with any objection which prejudices they had been brought up in, and which you are at a loss to answer, you should remember, were so flattering to their own nation, as God's (as has been above said,) that there are many things favoured People. It was a hard task for them to wean which all men must believe, in spite of real difficulties themselves from all the hopes and expectations of which they cannot explain, when there are much temporal glory and distinction to that nation ; hopes greater difficulties on the opposite side, and when which they and their ancestors had cherished for so sufficient proof has been offered.

many ages. No doubt it was a grievous sin in them And in the present case, you have seen that it is to give way to those prejudices, and to reject the not only difficult, but impossible, to account for the Christ as they did. But it is a greater sin to acknowrise and prevalence of the Christian religion, suppos- ledge Him, as some Christians do, as their Lord and ing it not to have come from God. It certainly was Master, and to "believe that lie shall come to be our introduced and propagated (which no other religion judge," and at the same time, to take no care to obey ever was) by an appeal to the evidence of miracles. his precepts, and copy the pattern of his life. This is Nothing but the display of supernatural powers could more truly impiety than that with which an infidel is have gained even a hearing for the Apostles; sur-chargeable. For suppose two men each received a rounded as they were by adversaries prejudiced against letter from his father, giving directions for his chiltheir religion by their early education and habits of dren's conduct; and that one of these sons, hastily, thought, and inclinations, and hopes. And these su

and without any good grounds, pronounced the letter pernatural powers were, as you have seen, acknow

a forgery, and refused to take any notice of it; while ledged at the time by those adversaries; who were the other acknowledged it to be genuine, and laid it driven to attribute the Christian miracles to

nagic up with great reverence, and then acted without the arts.

least regard to the advice and commands contained And you have seen, too, that the religion itself, in the letter : you would say that both of these men and the character of Jesus Christ as drawn in the indeed were very wrong; but the latter was much the Christian Scriptures, and the whole of the narrative more undutiful son of the two.

B

K

с

[ocr errors]

F

Now this is the case of a disobedient Christian, as drawing, so that it shall exactly cut some particular compared with infidels. He does not, like them, point in the design, for instance, the corner of the pronounce his father's letter a forgery; that is, deny eye. Note which of the twenty-four divisions on the the truth of the Christian revelation; but he sets at moveable index is opposite to it, and, at the same time, defiance in his life, that which he acknowledges to be which of the divisions on the circular index is cut by the Divine command.

the edge of the straight index. Place the straight 3. Lastly, you should remember that no argument edge in the same position on the circle which carries you can bring against unbelievers, will have greater the blank paper. weight with most of them, than a Christian life ; and If the angle of the eye in the original design is nothing again, will be more likely to increase and opposite the ten on the moveable index, make a dot on confirm their unbelief, than to see Christians living in the paper opposite the same number of the moveable opposition to the precepts and spirit of the Gospel ; | index of the circle on which the blank paper is placed, and especially to see them indulging bitter and unkind and it will show the place of the angle of the eye in and hostile and uncharitable feelings towards their the reduced copy. In this manner find as many fellow-creatures, and even their fellow-Christians. points as you think necessary for your guidance. If

The objection thence raised against the Christian the copy is to be one-fourth the size of the original, religion, is indeed (as has been above said) not a real use the index in which the twenty-four divisions and sound one; but still it will be raised : and there occupy one-fourth of its length, and so on. fore, you cannot too carefully consider how much you will have to answer for, if you contribute to bring an A carpenter having a piece of mahogany of a triill name on your Christian faith ; and if you do not, angular form, see fig. 3, wished to know how he could on the contrary, endeavour to the utmost, “to adorn cut it up to the best advantage. His first idea was to the doctrine of God our Saviour, in all things." make an oblong-square table of it, but he found that,

if he did so, the waste of the wood would be very great; after consideration, he discovered that the most eco

nomical method of using his wood would be to form AMUSEMENTS IN SCIENCE.

it into an oval. - To make this oval contain as much No. VI.

wood as possible, he proceeded in
GEOMETRY.-Part 4.

the following manner : Let B GD
be the triangular piece of wood;

Fig. 3, To reduce or enlarge a drawing by means of a simple take g'u, one-half of the base, instrument. Form two flat circles of wood, or of thick and divide the triangle by drawpasteboard, of sufficient size to receive the paper on ing a line from a to B; take G H which we are about to make an enlarged copy, or the in the compasses, and set it off original, if you intend to make a reduced one. on one of the sides from G to E,

draw the line E F, and the point Fig. 1.

Fig. 2

I will be the centre of the
oval; draw K L, parallel to E F,
and at the same distance from the centre as the
base G D

The points A and c are found by dividing the line from E to k, and drawing. A c, or by drawing the dotted lines D A and g c through the centre at i, These points being found, the oval must be completed by the eye of the draughtsman.

In the Saturday Magazine, Vol. X., p. 220, in describing the mode of

forming Let the outer edge of each of these two circles be twenty triangular sides,

a figure of divided into any corresponding number of equal parts, with a small hole in the centre of each board to receive engraving; two of the tri

an error occurred in the a pin, on which a thin piece of brass revolves; this angles forming the sides

Fig 4. piece of brass is divided, say into twenty-four parts, being omitted. Fig. 4 is a corrected outline. beginning at the centre, and reaching as far as the inner line of the index on the margin of the circular board. The other circle is furnished with several There is hardly a circumstance connected with our existsimilar pieces of metal having also twenty-four equal not yield abundant evidence of the wisdom and beneficence

ence, which, when examined with a little attention, does divisions, beginning from the centre; in one case

which preside over the universe. We have only to turn up one-half of the distance from the centre to the outer the soil at our feet, to find in it innumerable seeds useful index contains the whole of the twenty-four divisions, to man; we have only to look around us upon the surface in another one-fourth contains the same number, and of the earth, to see it stocked with a variety of animals, in another two-thirds.

conducive not only to our subsistence, but to our conveniIn order to use this instrument, place the original ence and recreation. The sea also, and the air

, have their design on the circle first described, and place the vestigate the laws by which the whole system of vegetable

population at our command; and the more deeply we inindex in its place, the pin, of course, piercing the and animal life is governed, the more clearly we shall centre of the paper.

perceive their complete and exclusive adaptation to the We are supposing now that the drawing is to be planet on which they carry on their operations.—Quarterly reduced, say to one-half its breadth and length. Place

Review. a piece of paper sufficiently large on the other circle, and the brass index, on which the twenty-four divisions

LONDON: occupy one-half of its length, in its place on the second JOHN WILLIAM PARKER, WEST STRAND. circle. Suppose the object to be reduced is a head:

PUBLISHED IN WEEKLY NUMBERS, PRICE ONE PENNY, AND IN MONTHLY Paari place the index on the circle which holds the original Sold by all Booksellers and Newstenders in the Kingdom..

[graphic]

H н

D

[graphic]

PRICE SIXPENCE.

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][graphic][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][graphic][ocr errors][ocr errors][subsumed][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]
« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »