« السابقةمتابعة »
sader and Saracen, have lifted their banners heavy with the thick dews of Hermon. Here are to be Zechariah's lamentations in Esdraelon, and here is to be fought the prophetic battle of the Armageddon.
Upon Tabor the SAVIOUR led up His chosen three. He had foretold His advent in judgment; His coming passion: His reward for His faithful, and added that there were with Him standing those who should not taste of death, till they should see the Son of Man coming in His Kingdom. Six days after those memorable words He displayed before them the glory of the future resurrection. As He prayed, His face did shine as the sun: His raiment was white as the light. The fashion of His countenance was altered, and His raiment was glistering. He with-drew the veil that concealed His majesty, before the eyes of His first apostolic martyr; the loving Peter, who made the good confession that He was the CHRIST; and the last survivor of the Twelve, who afterwards was caught up to see Him in the Revelation. A bright cloud overshadowed the SAVIOUR, and the twain that talked with Him, even in that excellent glory, of His decease which He should accomplish at Jerusalem; Moses who talked with Him on the Mount, and Elias translated into His Kingdom. Blessed they who shall tabernacle with Him, and see the King in His beauty, in the land that is very far off; shall behold His presence in righteousness, and awake up after His likeness, with bodies changed to be like unto His glorious Body, according to the mighty working, whereby He is able to subdue all things unto Himself; when they see Him as He is.
The SAVIOUR had been confessed by the Voice from heaven: Moses from Hades, Elias from Paradise, and Apostles on earth: but the death He spake of He was yet to fulfil. There is a name consecrated in the soul of
every Christian; its very mention fills it with awe, and sorrow, and devotion. It is CALVARY, the hill of Shame. To win that height, armies, vaster than Persia ever led forth in the fulness of ambition, have watered Palestine with their blood, for the abundance of their love; and East and West lavished their treasures to enrich the sepulchre of the Crucified, Who died thereon. Up that steep, whereon tradition said the father of men lay asleep, the second Adam toiled: like another Isaac, bearing the wood of sacrifice, Himself the Lamb: He, Who would there build the ark of salvation; and thence behold a new creation spread before Him, the new and spiritual Israel: the Son of David; scoffed, mocked, reviled, and scourged. The noonday darkness fell on the earth, the temple-veil shivered, the earth rocked, the redeemed saints burst out from their tombs, as in the majesty of compassion, with His brow rent with thorns, His side pierced and riven by the spear, His head drooping, His limbs faint, amid the tears of horror-stricken believers, the curses and taunts of enemies, with parched lips, He bade the mourner weep not for Him; bequeathed His mother to His beloved disciple, and prayed for pardon on them who slew Him; without a murmur enduring the anguish of soul and body, which no eye ever saw, nor ear heard, nor heart of man conceived, the Eternal CHRIST gave up the ghost; and as He passed into the place of the departed, bore with Him the spirit of the pardoned felon into Paradise.
Overlooking all Jerusalem is the magnificent hill of OLIVET; the garden of Agony, the mount of the Cross, the place of the Tomb, all appear distinct from its summit. No view on earth so grand, so impressive, so solemn. Not a spot below but has been hallowed by the touch of the blessed Feet or the words of the holy
Lips of JESUS. From it Alexander, the heroic conqueror of Macedon, beheld the white-robed multitude and the companies of Priests approach, and at the sight worshipped the great GOD Who led him thither. From it Titus lamented the approaching fall of that temple whose destruction the SAVIOUR predicted on that very place,that city over which He wept there seventy years before. There He stood, with the prints in His hands, His feet, and His side; there He took His last farewell of Zion, as the Man of Sorrows; there, perhaps, He will descend, as the terrible Judge of the impenitent and the Ransom of saints. There, forty days after the Angel sat on the sealed but vacant tomb, He stood amid His disciples, telling of a Comforter to come, speaking of His newborn Church and all her wondrous gifts, and the blessing of His presence, even till time should be no more. And then, calm and slow, He rose up in His Ascension: amid the clouds the eyes of His Apostles beheld on high His form dissolved in its own radiant glory; the angelmultitudes were girding their returning King; and voices bade His faithful ascend in heart to Him; and already the everlasting gates were closing behind the entrance of Him, Who had endured the sharpness of death to open the kingdom of heaven to all believers.
M. E. C. W.
LEGEND OF S. PHILOFTEA.
IN one of the wildest and most beautiful of the mountain districts of Moldavia, stands the noble monastery of Kurte d'Ardjish; the church belonging to which would
be sufficient to distinguish it among the numerous monastic buildings to be found in this country. This beautiful church was built by the pious Prince Nagee Bessaraba, to whom his subjects were also indebted for the blessing of the Holy Gospel, printed in their native language. It is built of a fine sandstone, and so profusely covered with sculpture, that it would be difficult to find a plain space the size of one's hand all over the extensive surface. Cupolas are mingled with towers, two of which last are in the spiral form, thus combining variety with elegance. The whole is in such perfect taste and proportion, that it is not till you approach it closely, that you become aware of the immense size and strength of the building. It has been the pride and boast of the Moldavians for upwards of three hundred years, little as the lightness and airiness of its general appearance from a distance seems to promise such durability.
Among the many tombs in this church, is one of peculiar sanctity, which is shown with much religious pride by the monks, whose boast is that the sacred relics reposing therein, refused to be interred in any spot but the church of Kurte d'Ardjish. Much surprised that the corpse of any saint, however holy, could express a wish concerning its own burial, we questioned our guide on the subject, and he related to us the following legend of S. Philoftea.
In a remote valley among the Carpathian mountains lived a family consisting of a man, his wife, and one child, a daughter of twelve years of age, named Philoftea. They were above want, though in humble circumstances, but the mother, when exasperated at the unreasonable appetite of her husband, often declared that the food he required far exceeded what his work would earn. She did not dare stint him however, as he was a man of
violent temper, and easily aroused to fury by opposition. She therefore daily sent him by the hands of her little daughter Philoftea as much food as would be enough to keep a whole family; and was both astonished and perplexed to hear his almost daily complaints of the insufficiency of her supplies: in vain did she affirm that it was impossible he could eat the quantity she constantly sent out to him in the fields where he worked. He persisted that that quantity would barely suffice for her own wants, and would therefore ill satisfy a hard-working man like himself. She appealed to Philoftea to confirm her statements, and her daughter did not hesitate to add her testimony that her basket was always well supplied by her mother. She smiled as she spoke, and her father, whose attention had been drawn to her at the moment, instantly adopted a suspicion that she had appropriated a part of what had been entrusted to her care, to her own use.
This conclusion was most unworthy of the character of his daughter, for already had her fame been spread abroad, and for piety and charity the youthful Philoftea had not her equal for many miles around her native valley. He resolved however to watch her, and the following day, stationed himself within view of his cottage at the time when his noon-day meal was usually despatched to him. He was surprised to see several miserable looking women and children coming from different quarters towards a spot not far from where he was concealed, arrived at which they stopped and waited, apparently expecting the approach of some one from the direction in which lay the cottage of Philoftea, for their looks were bent that way with an expression of eager anticipation. The girl soon made her appearance, laden with her basket as usual, and her father saw as she passed the tree which concealed him, that the contents