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5. Respect and Honour, 1 Kings xiv. 9. "And hast cast me behind thy back."Various methods of expressing respect and reverence have been practised, and, as may reasonably be supposed, some apparently opposite to each other have prevailed among different nations. In many instances to turn the back upon an equal or superior, has been intended to indicate the utmost contempt and indignation. So it is frequently mentioned in the Scriptures. 1 Sam. x. 9. Neh. ix. 26. Psalm xxi. 12. Jer. ii. 27. xxxii. 33. xlviii. 39. Ezekiel xxiii. 35.
But we find a remarkable case, in which it is actually reversed, and the back is turned towards the king, from the profound veneration which the people wish to manifest. "The passage of the viceroy took place the next morning, with great pomp: he crossed the river upon four boats lashed together, and rowed by two warboats. The troops lined the road where he landed, sitting with their backs towards him, as a mark of very great respect. Presents of rice, fish, and betel-nut were made to him."-Asiatic Journal, vol. xx. p. 267.
"Soon after day-light we were summoned to attend the Sultan of Bornou. He received us in an open space in front of the royal residence: we were kept at a considerable distance, while his people approached to within about one hundred yards, passing first on horseback; and, after dismounting and prostrating them selves before him, they took their places on the ground in front, but with their backs to the royal person, which is the custom of the country. He was seated in a sort of cage of cane or wood, near the door of his garden, on a seat, which, at the distance, appeared to be covered with silk or satin, and through the railing looked upon the assembly before him, who formed a sort of semicircle extending from his seat to nearly where we were waiting."-Denham and Clapperton's recent Discoveries in Africa, vol. i. p. 106.
6. Filial Reverence, Gen. xxxi. 35. "And she said to her father, Let it not displease my Lord, that I cannot rise up before thee."
Children in the Eastern countries culti vate and express for their parents the most profound respect. During this feast I remarked that the Amin-ad-douleh's son, Abdallah Khan, a man seemingly about thirty years old, the possessor of consider able wealth, and governor of Ispahan, but seldom appeared among the guests; and only seated himself, as one of the humblest, when invited by the words, or encouraged by the looks, of his father. This reserve,
however, was not caused by any ill-will or deficiency of kindness subsisting on either side; but arose from the filial respect, which, in every stage and condition of life, the Persians are thus taught to express. This respect is not the right of parental authority alone; it is generally extended to seniority among brothers."-Sir William Ouseley's Travels in the East, vol. iii. "After
7. Condescension, John xiii. 5. that, he poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples' feet."-This was an act of real humility in Jesus Christ. A great affectation of this virtue prevails in the Eastern countries. The following is a remarkable instance of it. "Notwithstanding the evident ill-humour of our receiver, he yet condescended, though one of the wealthiest merchants in the place, to fill and light our pipes himself, in conformity with the affected humility of Asiatic manners; and when coffee was prepared, to present it to us with his own hands."Buckingham's Travels among the Arab Tribes, p. 343.
SEVEN years had gone by since his capture, and he had given up all hopes of being restored to his country and friends, when, in 1519, there arrived one day at the village three Indians, natives of the small island of Cozumel, which lies a few leagues in the sea, opposite the eastern coast of Yucatan. They brought tidings of another visit of white and bearded men to their shores, and one of them delivered a letter to Aguilar, which, being entirely naked, he had concealed in the long tresses of his hair, which were bound round his head. Aguilar received the letter with wonder and delight, and read it in the presence of the cacique and his warriors. It proved to be from Fernando Cortes, who was at that time on his great expedition, which ended in the con quest of Mexico. He had been obliged by stress of weather to anchor at the island of Cozumel, where he learned from the natives that several white men were detained in captivity among the Indians on the neighbouring coast of Yucatan.
Finding it impossible to approach the main land with his ships, he prevailed upon three of the islanders, by means of gifts and promises, to venture upon an embassy among their cannibal neighbours, and to convey a letter to the captive white men. Two of the smallest caravels of the squadron
ESCAPE OF JERONIMO DE AGUILAR.
were sent under the command of Diego de Ordas, who was ordered to land the three messengers at the point of Cotoche, and to wait there eight days for their return. The letter brought by these envoys informed the Christian captives of the force and destination of the squadron of Cortes, and of his having sent the caravels to wait for them at the point of Cotoche, with a ransom for their deliverance, inviting them to hasten and join him at Cozumel.
The transport of Aguilar, on first reading the letter, was moderated when he reflected on the obstacles that might prevent him from profiting by this chance of deliverance. He had made himself too useful to the cacique to hope that he would readily give him his liberty, and he knew the jealousy and irritable nature of the savages too well not to fear that even an application for leave to depart might draw upon him the severest treatment. He endeavoured, there fore, to operate upon the cacique through his apprehensions. To this end he informed him, that the piece of paper which he held in his hand brought him a full account of the mighty armament that had arrived on the coast. He described the number of the ships, and various particulars concerning the squadron, all which were amply corroborated by the testimony of the messengers. The cacique and his warriors were astonished at this strange mode of conveying intelligence from a distance, and regarded the letter as something mysterious and supernatural. Aguilar went on to relate the tremendous and superhuman powers of the people in these ships, who, armed with thunder and lightening, wreaked destruction on all who displeased them, while they dispensed inestimable gifts and benefits on such as proved themselves their friends. He, at the same time, spread before the cacique various presents brought by the messengers, as specimens of the blessings to be expected from the friendship of the strangers.
The intimation was effectual. The cacique was filled with awe at the recital of the terrific powers of the white men, and his eyes were dazzled by the glittering trinkets displayed before him. He entreated Aguilar, therefore, to act as his ambassador and mediator, and to secure him the amity of the strangers. Aguilar saw with transport the prospect of a speedy deliverance. In this moment of exultation, he bethought himself of the only surviving comrade of his past fortunes, Gonsalo Guerrero, and, sending the letter of Cortes to him, invited him to accompany him in his escape. The sturdy seaman was at this time a great chief
in his province, and his Indian bride had borne him a numerous progeny. His heart, however, yearned after his native country, and he might have been tempted to leave his honours and dignities, his infidel wife, and half-savage offspring, behind him, but an insuperable, though somewhat ludicrous, obstacle presented itself to his wishes.
Having long since given over all expectation of a return to civilized life, he had conformed to the customs of the country, and had adopted the external signs and decora tions that marked him as a warrior and a man of rank. His face and hands were indelibly painted or tattooed; his ears and lips were slit to admit huge Indian ornaments, and his nose was drawn down almost to his mouth by a massy ring of gold and a dangling jewel. Thus curiously garbled and disfigured, the honest seaman felt that, however he might be admired in Yucatan, he should be apt to have a hooting rabble at his heels in Spain. He made up his mind, therefore, to remain a great man among the savages, rather than run the risk of being shown as a man-monster at home.
Finding that he declined accompanying him, Jeronimo de Aguilar set off for the point of Cotoche, escorted by three Indians. The time he had lost in waiting for Guerrero had nearly proved fatal to his hopes, for when he arrived at the point, the caravels sent by Cortes had departed, though several crosses of reeds set up in different places gave tokens of the recent presence of Christians. The only hope which remained was, that the squadron of Cortes might yet linger at the opposite island of Cozumel. How was he to get there? While wandering disconsolately along the shore, he found a canoe, half buried in sand and water, and with one side in a state of decay; with the assistance of the Indians he cleaned it, and set it afloat; and on looking further, he found the stave of a hogshead which might serve for a paddle. It was a frail embarkation, in which to cross an arm of the sea several leagues wide; but there was no alternative. Prevailing on the Indians to accompany him, he launched forth in the canoe, and coasted the main land until he came to the narrowest part of the strait, where it was but four leagues across; here he stood directly for Cozumel, contending as well as he was able with a strong current, and at length succeeded in reaching the island.
He had scarcely landed, when a party of Spaniards, who had been lying in wait, rushed forth from their concealment, sword in hand. The three Indians would have
fled, but Aguilar pacified them, and, calling out to the Spaniards in their own language, assured them that he was a Christian. Then, throwing himself upon his knees, and raising his eyes streaming with tears to heaven, he gave thanks to God for having restored him to his countrymen.
The Spaniards gazed at him with astonishment: from his language he was evidently a Castilian, but to all appearance he was an Indian. He was perfectly naked, I wore his hair braided round his head in the manner of the country, and his complexion was burnt by the sun to a tawny colour. He had a bow in his hand, a quiver at his shoulder, and a net-work pouch at his side, in which he carried his provisions. The Spaniards proved to be a reconnoitering party, sent out by Cortes to watch the approach of the canoe, which had been descried coming from Yucatan. Cortes had given up all hopes of being joined by the captives, the caravel having awaited the allotted time, and returned without news of them. He had in fact made sail to prosecute his voyage, but fortunately one of his ships had sprung a leak, which obliged him to return to the island.
When Jeronimo de Aguilar and his companions arrived in the presence of Cortes, who was surrounded by his officers, they made a profound reverence, squatted on the ground, laid their bows and arrows beside them, and, touching their right hands, wet with spittle, on the ground, rubbed them about the region of the heart, such being their sign of the most devoted submission. Cortes greeted Aguilar with a hearty welcome, and, raising him from the earth, took from his person a large yellow mantle lined with crimson, and threw it over his shoulders. The latter, however, had for so long a time gone entirely naked, that even this scanty covering was at first almost insupportable, and he had become so accustomed to the diet of the natives, that he found it difficult to reconcile his stomach to the meat and drink set before him.
..When he had sufficiently recovered from the agitation of his arrival among Christians, Cortes drew from him the particulars of his story, and found that he was related to one of his own friends, the licentiate, Marcos de Aguilar. He treated him, therefore, with additional kindness and respect, and retained him about his person, to aid him as an interpreter in his great Mexican expedition. The happiness of Jeronimo at once more being restored to his countrymen, was doomed to suffer some alloy from the disasters that had happened in his family.
Peter Martyr records a touching anecdote of the effect that had been produced upon his mother by the tidings of his misfortune.
A vague report had reached her in Spain, that her son had fallen into the hands of cannibals. All the horrible tales that circulated in Spain concerning the treatment of these savages to their prisoners rushed to her imagination, and she went distracted. Whenever she beheld roasted meat, or flesh upon the spit, she would fill the house with her outcries. "Oh, wretched mother! oh, most miserable of women!" would she exclaim; "behold the limbs of thy murdered son!" It is to be hoped that the tidings of his deliverance had a favourable effect upon her intellects, and that she lived to rejoice at his after-fortunes. He served Fernando Cortes with great courage and ability throughout his Mexican conquests, acting sometimes as a soldier, sometimes as interpreter and ambassador to the Indians, and, in reward for his fidelity and services, was appointed regidor, or civil governor, of the city of Mexico.- Washington Irving: Family Library.
The vessel gaily bounded o'er the tide,
The vessel drifted on the dismal bank,
A few in prayer with solemn fervour kneel,
To have the howling winds one's funeral knell,
Then sudden death shall sudden glory be,
HAIL, venerable pile! thy fabric stands
Rather than yield her just and holy cause
And life is but a vision fading fast,
Made up of smiles, and sighs, and misery's blast.
M. F. G.
"EVERY THING IS BEAUTIFUL IN ITS SEASON."-Eccles. iii.
OH! there is beauty in the morn's first ray,
And sways her sceptre o'er the sleeping earth.
J. H. CUZNER.
WHAT though the storms of affliction may low'r,
Oh strong is the sword, and mighty the wielder,
To pass off its poison in vessels of gold.
Still there is One, who will ever protect us;
Still there is One, who is mighty to save:
Still He is nigh, to guide and direct us;
He will lead us in comfort through death and the grave.
REVIEW.-The Work of the Holy Spirit in Conversion, considered in its relation to the Condition of Man, and the Ways of God, &c. By John Howard Hinton, A. M. 12mo. pp. 414. Holdsworth and Ball, London. 1830.
THIS work displays a considerable share of acuteness, and of theological talent. The author, however, is not a disciple of the necessitarian school, and will no doubt be branded as heretical, for refusing to admit "the good old doctrine of election and reprobation," or the more modern refinements of sovereignty and preterition. For his dissent from these dogmas, he will certainly be placed on the black book, if his name is not already inscribed on its awful pages.
His former heresies, it would appear, had exposed him to the charge of having advanced sentiments "derogatory to the character and office of the Holy Spirit, if not inconsistent with any belief of his influence." This volume is, therefore, sent into the world to repel the above charge, to avow his convictions respecting this momentous doctrine, and to prove that its admission is indispensably necessary to conversion, and is perfectly consistent with what he had previously asserted. In favour of each of these topics, Mr. Hinton has adduced many very powerful arguments, which his opponents will find more easy to ridicule than to refute.
The volume consists of three parts. First, "Of the work of the Holy Spirit in conversion:" secondly, "The work of the Holy Spirit in conversion, considered in relation to the condition of man:" thirdly, "The aspect of the Spirit's work in relation to the ways of God." These parts comprise twenty-two chapters, in which we find much judicious reasoning, perspicuous in itself, and leading to conclusions which will require no small portion of ingenious sophistry to pervert or conceal.
In his fifth chapter, Mr. Hinton inquires "Whether the possession of power is not involved in the praise and blame-worthiness
"To deserve blame or commendation, several conditions are required; but the only one necessary to be now noticed is, the possession of power to have acted otherwise. This is uniformly and absolutely essential. If, for example, a man is praised that he did not go to a gaming-house, and it is found that the reason of his not going was bis confinement in a prison, the only ground of the praise awarded him is taken away. That which renders a person praiseworthy in the doing of good actions is, his doing them voluntarily, that is, under the impulse of his own feelings, and no other; and when, therefore, he might have done otherwise. In like manner, it is essential to
blameworthiness, that a man should have power to avoid the action, as well as to perform it. If
your servant, for instance, has injured your property, you hold him criminal because of the apparent voluntary nature of the act; but if it could be satisfactorily proved to you that it was involuntarily, and not through carelessness merely, but by some external force which he had not power to resist, you would immediately alter your opinion, and clear him from censure. Every man feels that when a fault is charged upon him, he makes a good and irrefragable defence, if he can truly say, "I could not help it-I did all I had power to do." A person who should persist in attaching blame when this was clearly proved, would infallibly be considered as blinded by passion; and such a censure would soon become light to those who might have to bear it, in as much as it would be consciously and manifestly undeserved."—p. 90.
In the next paragraph, the author follows out his argument, in the syllogistic form, to this conclusion, that the possession of power to do right, is essential to the very possibility of doing wrong; and that if a man does not possess it, he can be guilty of no sin. This leading idea indeed runs through the whole chapter, and the conclusion is established on a foundation that cannot be easily shaken.
The sixth chapter pursues the inquiry"Whether the possession of power is not implied in the divine command?" The seventh contends that "the possession of power is included in the distribution of rewards and punishments," and also “in human responsibility."
From these, and
other sources of argument, the author has raised round his theory strong fortifications, which none but a formidable assailant will be able to storm.
In his preface, Mr. Hinton quotes many passages from various catechisms, respecting the inability of man to repent, without the divine aid. These expressions he pointedly condemns, and rather wonders that no catechism-maker has happened to insert this question, "Why does God hold you accountable?" and expresses himself at a loss to know what answer they would provide for it. The only one he can devise is this, "Because I am not able to regulate my own conduct!" the import and application of which, every one must perceive to be ridiculous.