« ForrigeFortsæt »
The sacred narrative informs us that Solomon "built the house of the Forest of Lebanon: the length thereof was one hundred cubits, and the breadth thereof fifty cubits, and the height thereof thirty cubits, upon four rows of cedar pillars, with cedar beams upon the pillars, and it was covered with cedar above upon the beams that lay on forty-five pillars, fifteen in a row; and windows, three rows; and light against light, three ranks; and all the doors and the posts square with the windows, and light against light in three ranks. And he made a porch of pillars; the length thereof thirty cubits, and the porch before them and the pillars and the thick beam before them.” (1 Kings vii. 2-6.)
Many points of resemblance can be traced between the structure described in these verses, and that represented in our cut. The number of pillars is in both uneven,—a circumstance of very rare occurrence in Egyptian buildings: the length is exactly twice the breadth, and the height, proportionate; the pillars are in three rows, and resting upon them in the Egyptian temple, we may observe as many courses of stones, analagous to the "cedar beams" in the house of the Forest of Lebanon. "Light is against light," and all the "posts" exactly square with each other. The fourth row of pillars mentioned in the first part of the scriptural account, formed, most probably, no part of the house itself, as the cedar roof appears to have only covered the "forty five pillars, fifteen in a row," which are afterwards referred to: it is therefore not unlikely that they answered to those constituting the porch in our cut. For although another "porch" is mentioned towards the close of our text, it seems tolerably clear from the measurements given, that it formed no part of the main building its length, "thirty cubits," being no aliquot part of that of the house, and consequently not of its subdivisions, so that neither its walls, if it had any, nor its "pillars," which are specially mentioned, would fall in with the arrangements observed in the principal structure. What is first called the "porch," indeed, seems to have had a porch of its own before it, with pillars, and the "thick beam," answering probably to the deep characteristic cornices of the temples of Egypt.
"TAKE HEED HOW YE HEAR."-MARK IV. 24.
MRS. HOWARD was sitting, one fine summer's evening, at her parlour-window, which opened on a beautiful garden; her two young daughters, Elizabeth and Charlotte, were seated near to her, and as they went on with their needle-work they entered into conversation.
"It is now nearly a year, mamma," said Elizabeth, "since Charlotte and I began to pay for Kate Baring's schooling, and she is very, very much improved; we examine her once, and sometimes twice a week; she can now read any part of the Bible quite fluently, and is by far the best writer in the school. But there is one thing we want to ask you, mamma," added Elizabeth, proceeding to consult her mother about the best way of carrying on this education, "for the young girl has shewn superior talents, and yet her station in life was very humble."
Mrs. Howard listened attentively to these inquiries, and was still answering questions upon the subject put to her by Elizabeth, when Charlotte abruptly called out-"O! mamma, do you know?"
"What is it? my dear," asked Mrs. Howard.
'Only think!" resumed Charlotte, "the Perkins's have got new bonnets; and, of all the colors under the sun, they are trimmed with bright yellow!"
Mrs. Howard made no answer. Charlotte did not observe that she changed countenance, and looked grave, or she would hardly have gone on as she did. Mr. Perkins himself bought the bonnets when he went to the fair on Monday," she added, "and do you know, he fell from his horse as he came back; he was not hurt, but they say, he would not have fallen if he had not been tipsy. Rogers was pasing by, and he helped him up. Rogers was going after his daughter to bring her home, for she has left her place-she is a saucy girl; I have found that out before now; when she used to come to the Sunday school, she had something to say of every body: even then, she told such tales of the governess, I am sure, if I had believed half of them, I never would have given any of my allowance to send Kate to her school. One thing, however, I must speak of-Mary Rogers told me, that one day—”
"Stop, stop, Charlotte," said Mrs. Howard; "we have had enough for the present. How often, how very, very often, have I begged that I may not hear any stories of this kind. I am not willing to be harsh with you, but, indeed, my dear, I cannot encourage this kind of discourse."
"Well, but mamma," replied Charlotte, with that sort of voice and look, which people have when they are resolved to try to make their own side good, "have not you always encouraged us to be open with you, and to tell you what is in our minds; you hear any thing which Elizabeth says; I never hear you reprove her, and I am sure she talks of things quite as trifling as I do. It was only yesterday that she was numbering all the dolls she ever remembered to have had, and told you their names, and you did not speak one word of reproof."
"Why should I have done so?” replied Mrs. Howard, “I do not expect either yourself or Elizabeth to be always talking gravely and wisely; there are times when I have no objection to a little playfulness which hurts no one, but I cannot say, Charlotte, that the sort of discourse of which you have just given a specimen is harmless; the very least that can be said of it is, that it is low.
"Well then, mamma,” replied Charlotte pettishly, "you shall be troubled with no more of it; I shall keep what I happen to hear to myself in future."
Mrs. Howard colored a little; she was grieved and ashamed for her daughter, but she did not speak till she felt that her self-possession was restored; she then said, “Charlotte, my dear, I will try to think that you did not mean to be impertinent just now. I have been considering what you said, when you proposed to keep what you hear to yourself in future. Suppose now that I add an amendment to your proposal; you know that I love to take advantage of passing events, to instruct you in the principles of truth?”
Charlotte still looked saucily, and was not in the temper to ask an explanation; Mrs. Howard therefore, addressed herself particularly to Elizabeth. "How often, my dear children," she said, "do we say of a person who is going wrong, 'that man is blind;' though we do not mean, that he does not possess the power of seeing natural things, but that he wants the capacity of discerning
spiritual and heavenly things. An incapacity for hearing," she continued, " is also used in a somewhat similar figurative sense in Scripture. When our Lord, for example, said of the pharisees, "they have ears and hear not'-he did not mean, that the men of whom he spoke, could not hear natural sounds, but that they could not receive spiritual ideas through the medium of the hearing. As all men are spiritually blind by nature, so are all men spiritually deaf; for God only who formed the natural eye, and planted the natural ear, can give spiritual eyesight and spiritual hearing."
"You mean to say," interposed Elizabeth, "that we cannot by nature understand heavenly things, though we can those which are earthly; and that it is God only who can make us see and understand heavenly things, by giving us light from above, and opening our ears to receive instruction ?"
"But if God only can do this," remarked Charlotte, still under the influence of her ill-temper, 'we can't do it; and there is no use in our trying; is there, mamma? If I cannot understand holy things when I hear them, and cannot help understanding what you have often called tittle-tattle, how can I help it?" Mrs. Howard looked sad, for this was not the first time by that she had seen the obstinacy of her child; but God gave her grace to be patient.
"My dear Charlotte,” she replied gently, “although we cannot change our hearts, and give new and heavenly powers to ourselves, yet we must feel our ability to do many things, so long as we have our natural faculties. You will not tell me, for instance, that you could not hinder yourself from going into the kitchen and offices, and talking with the servants, and hearing and asking them questions, besides taking advantage, or I should say, disadvantage, of many other means of listening to, and enquiring into idle tales? What I say to you, my dear child, is this, 'Take heed what you hear,' for out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaketh. I do not enjoin you to keep silence before your mother and sister, but I pray that grace may be given you to be kept from hearing such things as should not be repeated, and that henceforward you may be deaf to all things which are unprofitable."
The only immediate effect of this discourse was, to make
Charlotte very sullen, and she shewed this sullenness by silence, scarcely uttering ten words during the rest of the evening.
Kate Baring was living with a very aged and half-blind grandmother, in a small cottage, not far from Mrs. Howard's garden-gate; the poor woman had a small income, which, with great care, kept her and her grand-daughter decently; so that a little help made them very comfortable.
On the morning following this conversation, Charlotte went before breakfast to the cottage, to take some work for Kate to do at school: it was a hot morning, and the house-door was open. As she came near the door, she heard the old woman and the girl talking, and it would have been well for her, if she had remembered the injunction quoted by her mother, “Take heed what you hear!" But nothing was farther from her mind at the moment: she stopped and listened; they were talking of herself, and her sister, and she heard Kate say, "the ladies are both kind, grandmother, but, it does not signify, I love Miss Elizabeth best, she is the sweetest young lady that ever lived; Miss Charlotte is often so cross that one cannot please her."
Charlotte walked back, and took her work home with her. She was again so silent at breakfast, that Mrs. Howard saw she was not in a good humour, but she thought it best not to notice it.
"We must look up our money, Charlotte," said Elizabeth, when they were left together after breakfast; "we owe four shillings for four weeks of Kate's schooling, and it should be paid to-day."
"There are my shillings," replied Charlotte; "but I am not going to pay for Kate any longer."
“Not pay any longer,” asked Elizabeth. 'Why not?"
“Because,” replied Charlotte, "I have made up my mind that I will not."
"But what is your reason, Charlotte?"
"It is of no consequence to you what it is," replied Char
“Have you heard any harm of poor Kate?" said Elizabeth.
I thought mamma told me not to tell what I hear.
you have me disobey mamma ?"
"But if you have heard any thing, perhaps it may be of consequence, and what I ought to know."