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erally. The gospel proposes to elevate the individual and to invest him with the character of prophet; he may thus become a burning and a shining light in the kingdom of heaven. But here the want of character is an effectual barrier in his way, as it at once renders him powerless for good. Physician, heal thyself, is usually applied to such as attempt to labor in the vineyard of Christ, over whose hearts the gospel exerts no restraining influence.
But is there no substitute for a good name? Is there not something else that will give them that regard, or that influence, which is necessary to enable them to discharge their duties to the world, and thus to finish the work assigned them. Alas! nothing whatever. A good name is better than great riches, and loving favor than gold and silver. Men everywhere attempt to substitute fictitious for real merit, but everywhere, as time passes on, they are discovered and exposed, and the subsequent reaction to their prejudice is only so much the stronger.
Third. In the third place, a good name is valuable because it is something permanent, something that cannot be taken from us amidst the changes and losses of life. Riches take to the-m selves wings and fly away as the eagle to heaven. Pleasures grow old and insipid. Health fails and life soon hastens to its goal. But a well-earned fame nothing can destroy nor take away from us. Much has been said in poetic style of the sin of slander; of its power to ruin the fairest name. But is it so, that a truly good name can be filched away by the calumniator! By no means. Slander may open its hundred mouths and emit its venom; but it cannot prove that white is black, nor the reverse. There is always a reaction, and they who are abused or calumniated receive, sooner or later, ample justice. How vain have ever been the efforts of the wicked to blacken the fame of the righteous. The waves of the ocean, dash and foam as they may, cannot put out the light of the stars. The early Christians were grossly slandered; they were represented by heathen writers as a pestilential sect, because they did not worship idols, and live such impure lives as they did. The darkness of superstition, however, passed away, and the true light began to shine; and then they appeared as the excellent of the earth, as jewels in the crown of the King of Kings. A good name, if it be lost at all, is lost by our own fault. We lose that which entitles us to the confidence of our fellow men by our sinful conduct, and with it their respect and affection.
It may, indeed, so happen that the righteous, by a singular combination of circumstances, are made to endure dark sus
picions during their life-time, and that their sun sets behind a cloud. It is certain, however, that their motives and conduct appear in their proper light in heaven to the angels, and to the just made perfect. They have the consciousness even here, that they are approved and acquitted at the highest tribunal. At the day of judgment, when the secrets of all men shall be brought to light, and the character of every one read as in the light of day, the justification of the righteous shall be complete and overwhelming. In the presence of an assembled universe, the righteous shall rise and shine as stars in the firmament of heaven.
It is only the honor that comes from men that is so fleeting and evanescent. Of those that were raised to the skies by the adoring multitudes of their day, it may now be said of them, How are they fallen! It seems but yesterday that the air was rent with their praises, as they passed along in their chariots. But now their names have lost all their lustre, and they are rapidly sinking into neglect and oblivion. Who cares for the conquerors and the great captains who, in their day, shook the earth with their arms? As each day of light passes over the world they appear more and more as grim monsters, that are to be feared rather than loved. At the day of judgment, when all things shall be rectified, they will sink to the lowest degree of infamy and shame. Compared with these let us think of the memory of the righteous, which is blest. Amidst all the changes and commotions of time, the change of views and feelings in and out of the church, the names of the righteous continue ever green and flourishing. Their leaf shall never wither. Can revolutions of empires affect the honor that cleaves to the name of Paul, the apostle? Though the church were far more divided than it now is, he would continue to be a light in the firmament of heaven, and to gather around him the affections of the pious and good. It is so, though on a smaller scale, with the memories of all who sincerely serve their maker in their day, and cherish charity towards their fellow men. They are held in affectionate remembrance long after they die. Their names are whispered in tones of love in the assemblies of the righteous, and live in the hearts of the good. Like "odor from Araby the blest," their influence extends, and children's children inhale the blessing. Where no patrimony is divided among the members of the family, this becomes the rich legacy, of which all may partake, and from which they may derive sufficient stimulus to elevate them to posts of usefulness and honor.
A good name, then, is something truly valuable. It is an object worthy of our aspirations. Our usefulness in the world, as well as our happiness and comfort in our Christian profession, depend, to a great extent, upon it. How foolish, then, the course of those who throw it to the wind for the pleasures of sin, which are only for a season. Every act of sin or transgression affects our characters, and degrades us in the scale of intelligent creatures. All evil thoughts and impure imaginations, that men roll as a sweet morsel upon their tongues, act as rust to corrode the soul, and to sink it lower and lower in the scale of infamy. The very appearance of evil is sin, and this has often sullied many a fair name, and blotted many a bright page of human existence.
Our great enemy succeeds well in undermining the fabric of our prosperity when he succeeds in destroying within us the feeling of self-respect and makes us unconcerned about the opinions of others, especially the good. Having accomplished this he can soon crush every other noble aspiration of the heart, and incline us to succumb to this disgraceful bondage. To retreat from such a position is ever found to be of all things the most difficult, as the soul has lost one of the springs of its activity, and every effort which it makes to recover itself seems to be clogged with the weight of a mountain.
Let us also remember, that religion alone can elevate us to honor. Without this our feelings will run out into blind ambition, and render us a curse instead of a blessing to others. She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her, says the wise man. Exalt her, says he, and she shall promote thee. Length of days is in her right hand; and in her left, riches and honor. A.
BY PROF. T. C. PORTER.
COLD dews gather
Shroud her grave;
Round her grave-
Of her grave.
THE FUTURE LIFE.
BY WM. C. BRYANT.
How shall I know thee in the sphere which keeps
For I shall feel the sting of ceaseless pain
Will not thy own meek heart demand me there?
Shall it be banished from thy tongue in heaven?
Wilt thou forget the love that joined us here?
A happier lot than mine, and larger light,
Await thee there; for thou hast bowed thy will In cheerful homage to the rule of right,
And lovest all, and renderest good for ill.
For me the sordid cares in which I dwell
Shrink and consume the heart, as heat the scroll;
Yet, though thou wear'st thy glory of the sky,
Shalt thou not teach me in that calmer home,
THE AGES OF MAN.
YOUTH, fond youth! to thee in life's gay morning,
Conquers all things; all things yield to love.
Time, swift time, from years their motion stealing,
Truth, her pure and humble forms revealing,
THE BIRDS OF THE BIBLE.
THE Ostrich is to be considered the largest of birds, and the connecting link between quadrupeds and fowls. Its head and bill somewhat resemble those of a duck; and the neck may be compared to that of a swan, but that it is much longer. The legs and thighs resemble those of a hen, but are very fleshy and large. The end of the foot is cloven, and has two very large toes, which, like the leg, are covered with scales. These toes are of unequal sizes; the largest, which is on the inside, being seven inches long including the claw, which is near three-fourths of an inch in length, and almost as broad; the other toe is but four inches long, and is without a claw. The height of the ostrich is usually seven feet, from the head to the ground; but from the back it is only four: so that the head and the neck are above three feet long. From the head to the end of the tail, when the neck is stretched in a right line, it is seven feet long. The plumage is generally white and black, though some of them are said to be gray. There are no feathers on the sides of the thighs, nor under the wings. The lower half of the neck is covered with smaller feathers than those on the belly and back, and the head and upper part of the neck are covered with hair. At the end of each wing there is a kind of spur, resembling the quill of a porcupine, about an inch long, and about a foot lower down the wing is another of the same description, but something smaller.
The ostrich has not, like most other birds, feathers of various kinds; they are all bearded with detached hairs or filaments, without consistence and reciprocal adherence. The consequence is, that they cannot oppose to the air a suitable resistance, and therefore are of no utility in flying or in directing the flight. Besides the peculiar structure of her wings, the ostrich is rendered incapable of flight by her enormous size, weighing seventyfive or eighty pounds; a weight which would require an immense power of wing to elevate into the air.
The ostrich is a native only of the torrid regions of Africa and Arabia, and has furnished the sacred writers with some of their most beautiful imagery. The following descriptions and illustrations are chiefly selected from Professor Paxton and Dr. Harris.
The ostrich was aptly called by the ancients a lover of deserts.
*We take this article on this interesting Bird of the Bible, from an English work by WM. CARPENTER, on "Scripture Natural History."