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mingham; the Bull Stake, at Darlaston; and the High Bullen, at Wednesbury, which was a chief temple of the sport,

So we might go on enumerating series after series of topics. It is, however, in connection with the Methodist church that we shall find some of the most ample materials. Excepting, perhaps, London, Bristol, and Newcastle, no part of the country possesses more interesting associations. In the vicinity of Wednesbury, on the Holloway Bank, Wesley preached his first sermon in Staffordshire. That service was followed by others, and all with success ; and success aroused persecution, the most fierce and brutal. They were good old times, when Wesley narrowly escaped martyrdom in Walsall, and which have given this and the adjacent towns an unenviable notoriety wherever the life of that great man is known, or the history of Methodism read. And with this history is also identified much concerning the Established and Dissenting churches and their leaders--the clergy and pastors of the time-of an interesting character.

Turning from the various churches as a whole, what a series of pictures do we find, of earnest living and holy dying. Individual characters brought out so strongly, with all their manly strivings, and simple faith, and child-like love. Men, whose deeds were done with hands of iron in gloves of silk. What place is there that possesses no such memories ? Possessing, too, amidst all their diversity, a resemblance; a resemblance rather of spirit, than of manner of thinking and acting. Not patterned off, like a company of infantry, with chins shaved, heads up, eyes right, each man as his neighbour; or like Shem, Ham, and Japhet, in German Noah's arks, of which you would think the originals twins.

Amongst them we should find one John Brettall, with his tall, thin figure, and long black hair, and serious face, who was the means of the conversion of one Adam Clark, since very

famous. Or, seated listening to the prayers at the parish church at West Bromwich; or speaking burning words in the Methodist bandmeeting at Wednesbury, might be seen Francis Asbury. Asbury! Bishop Asbury, who, as first Bishop of the Methodist church in America, traversed that vast continent, north and south, and east and west, preaching and teaching everywhere! Asbury! who preached some seventeen thousand sermons; ordained two thousand ministers, founded many churches, schools and colleges; and who travelled on horseback and foot, through dismal swamps and primeval forests, over mountains capped with eternal snow and crowned with cloud wreaths, distances that seem incredible even in these days of steam.

There are many other names we might mention, but to do so would be usurping a task we urge on all. There are histories of individuals, of trades, of religion, of peace-making, of strifes, everywhere. Of men with lives full of incidents, and characters boldly carved, as with the chisel of a master sculptor. Every place has its own traditions and memories. Year by year they are becoming fainter-fading as rainbows do.

There are many such, which love should have cherished and memory embalmed, that time has obliterated. Treasured up, sought out, and well preserved, they would afford many profitable lessons of warning and encouragement to us, and beyond this, we should have much pleasure, pure and true, as we watched the unfoldings of the past, saw how difficulties shut up the pathways of men, and how such obstacles were surmounted.

We should feel that we inherit from a well-fought past pri. vileges to enjoy, and duties to perform, and think, too, that our lives are writing the history of the present, and upon us will depend the future.

Let us, then, note the fragments as they pass; fix, in enduring words, the memories of the old time, ever remembering, that

“We may build more splendid habitations ;
Fill our rooms with paintings and with sculptures;
But we cannot buy with gold the old associations."


The Mummy Hand.

SOME years ago, while residing in a large town, I had occasion to remain for two or three hours in the neighbourhood of an extensive museum. Having no other means of occupying the spare time, and prompted by feelings of curiosity, I stepped into the building, and commenced leisurely surveying the innumerable curiosities by which I was surrounded. After inspecting objects of natural history, brought from every quarter of the globe; and specimens of the dress, manufactures, and arts of many countries; I entered a room containing a large collection of antiquities. Here were tesselated pavements of Roman origin, bricks from Nineveh, curious carvings and sculptures from Egypt, and stone spear-heads and earthen vases from Saxon England. One part of the room was occupied by several mummies, brought from the land of the pyramids.

Some of the sarcophagi were entire, just as they had been laid in their quiet resting-places, covered with grotesque paintings and elaborate carved work. The upper part, or lid of the coffin, had been removed from others, showing the body within, so wrapped up in the embalming cloths, that it was an almost shapeless mass. In others, the cloths were partially removed, so as to show the manner in which they were wound round the body in innumerable bandages. And in one case they had been entirely taken off the upper part of the body, with the exception of one thin bandage next the skin, which fitting tight and close, permitted every lineament and feature to be seen with the most perfect distinctness. It was the body of a young female, who must, at one time, have been possessed of no small share of personal attractions. Very solemn was the feeling which arose in the mind, thus to gaze upon that form, which nearly three thousand years ago was clothed with life and beauty, which no doubt excited in some breast feelings of love and affection, whose premature death had caused an aching void, and a vacant seat in some family; and yet, by a wonderful art, preserved from corruption and decay. It now formed an object of curiosity, and perhaps disgust, to the pleasure seeker in a far-off maritime town!

In an adjoining case, however, was an object which at once arrested my attention. It was a mummy hand, broken off at the wrist from some body which had been uncovered. An inscription on the sarcophagus stated that a priestess of the temple of Isis lay there.

The hand, through age, and the influence of the gums used in embalming, had become stained a dark brown, and the skin appeared shrivelled and wrinkled, yet still it bore the impress of beauty. The delicately-tapered and beautifully-rounded fingers were still almost life-like in their calm repose. A plain gold signet ring ornamented the little finger, while the fore-finger was enriched with a ring of twisted gold

wire, secured on the back of the finger with an oblong stone, about three-fourths of an inch long, and one-eighth of an inch square; the upper part terminating in a pyramid, forming a minute model of one of those foursided-obelisks, which form so characteristic a portion of ancient



Egyptian architecture. Very suggestive of thought was that mummy hand.

It was eloquent in its mute silence, for it spoke of death and the grave. Like the enchanter's wand, it seemed to possess a spell by which it could call up the images of the long-past, and array its doing in startling vividness before the mind's eye. A crowd of strange thoughts hurried across my imagination, and even as I gazed, the present seemed to fade away, dim and indistinct, and another very different scene arose.

I was standing beside the far-famed Nile, whose waters spread fertility and verdure throughout the land of Egypt. Before me, in all its colossal magnitude, rose a city, the wonders of which have never yet been told. Palaces, temples, obelisks, sphynxes, stood around in almost wild profusion, reflecting the golden rays of the morning sun. Strange flowers of a thousand hues loaded the air with their perfume, while a delicious coolness was diffused by the sparkling spray of innumerable fountains. The roads and avenues were thronged with crowds of curiouslydressed Egyptians, whose profusion of ornaments and jewels formed a striking contrast to the groups of half-naked slaves, who hurried to and fro with their burdens. Here and there, too, might be seen, the noble countenance and dark flashing eyes of some descendant of Israel, whose dejected looks however, expressed but too plainly that they were not yet delivered from their “house of bondage.”

And now, a crowd of elegantly-arrayed officers issue from the gate of Pharaoh's palace. Their garments glitter with gold and jewels, and the magnificent chariots in which they ride are thickly encased with the precious metal. As they pass along the crowded avenues of the city, every head is bowed before them, for they have come from the immediate presence of Pharaob himself.

At length, they approach the entrance to a temple, which almost surpasses all the other temples in beauty and symmetry of construction. Sphynxes and obelisks form a stupendous portico, at the outside of which the king's officers dismount, and enter the precincts of the temple on foot. Ascending a flight of marble steps, and crossing a wide corridor, they stand within the sacred fane. A colossal figure of the goddess was placed at one extremity of the building, and a golden altar of vast dimensions stands near the centre, upon which the sacred fire is ever kept burning, Numbers of vestals are moving to and fro, attending to their various allotted duties in the temple, but near the altar stands one of surpassing loveliness. She is arrayed in robes of


purest white ; around her head is a chaplet of jewels, giving a regal appearance to her classical features; and upon the forefinger of her right hand, is the mysterious divination ring, which it was sacrilege for any but herself to wear, or even to touch. The officers of Pharaoh's household, who had received the homage of their fellow-citizens as their right, now bent in deepest reverence before the representative of the Egyptian's favorite goddess, the priestess of Isis.

They had come with an important message from the king, who was now in deep perplexity about the numerous down-trodden Israelites, who were too useful and profitable, for him to relinquish his hold upon them. Nine times had Moses, commissioned from God, demanded their deliverance. Nine times had grievous plagues descended upon the people; and now once more had a worse threat been pronounced, and Pharaoh, in perplexity and terror, sought the council of the priestess of Isis.

Her answer was brief and significant. “Tell my lord, the king, thy master, thus saith the goddess Isis, the ruler of the earth, A stubborn people shall be destroyed, and a troubled people delivered."


It is midnight. Throughout the whole of that sleeping city, in its humblest dwellings and most gorgeous palaces, is heard a cry, a wail of anguish, for death has visited every house. And in the temple of İsis is heard the shriek of despair, for beside the altar, lies the first-born, the pride of her father's house. The angel of death has swept through the land on the midnight blast, and the priestess of Isis has fallen a victim to the avenging sword.


The stubborn people were destroyed, and the troubled people delivered!


Ages rolled on. The temple of Isis has crumbled into ruins; the palaces of the Pharaohs are swept away; the land of Egypt has become desolate; silence reigns, where once the choicest music and the voice of laughter was heard, yet still that mummy hand survives the wreck of ages, and tells to far-off generations the tale of the priestess of Isis, and the deliverance of God's people from the thraldom of Egyptian bondage.

“Whoso is wise, and will observe these things, even they shall understand the loving-kindness of the Lord."


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