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has bound death to His own ascending chariot wheels—One who has despoiled, in His own dark dominions, the strong man armed-One whose voice, heard in the silent and numberless Necropoles of the world—the thickly populated cities of the dead, shall start the slumberers to life again. And just this is the significance of this joyful festival. The feelings of the disciples strike a responsive cord in our own hearts: “Then were the disciples glad when they saw the Lord.” Properly the reigning feeling of this occasion is gladness. Our hearts may well swell with glad and grateful emotions. Well may we sing:
He tells us,
In this one great benefit of “Love's redeeming work,” the whole race of Adam shares. The Lord Himself gives us to know this. “The hour is coming, in the which all that are in their graves shall hear His voice, and they shall come forth: they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil unto the resurrection of damnation.” And in his immortal 15th chapter of 1st Cor., St. Paul tells us that, “ As in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” The resurrection of the race was bound up in the resurrection of Christ. His death was a representative death; and His glorious resurrection has the same representative character. The first fruits of the harvest were consecrated to God in token that the whole harvest was His. The risen Jesus is called “the first fruits of them that slept,” i. e. He is the pledgesheaf of the mighty harvest of the resurrection.
But while all the dead, because of our Lord's resurrection shall come forth from their graves, the moral character of each and every one will determine the character of his or her resurrection, whether unto life or damnation. The sufferings, death and resurrection of Christ have atoning virtue and merit. But if this crucified and risen Redeemer be rejected, and a man dies in sin—dies with this sin of sins resting upon him-discarded mercy
and a rejected Saviour-he cannot have part in the first resurrection—the resurrection of the just made perfect. His will be, not a resurrection unto life, but a resurrection unto damnation. For only those “who sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him” in the great coronation day. “ Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection.”
Shall that blessedness, dear reader, be yours? Shall it? There can be no question that it may. If, now and here, you live by faith upon the Son of God, then "when Christ, who is our life, shall appear, you shall
: appear with Him in glory.” To be forever with the Lord, we must live and die in the Lord. The “Te Deum Laudamus” grandly says: “Thou art the King of Glory, O Christ: when Thou hadst overcome the sharpness of death, Thou didst open the kingdom of heaven to all believers. To all believers only, bear in mind. Are you a believer? Then, not only will Christ raise you up at the last day, but raise you up to life eternal.
Visibly our communion is broken to-day; not really, however. We miss the forms of some who were wont to stand with us here. Their bodies are absent, but their spirits are with us. They are with the “cloud of witnesses” now surrounding us. Unseen by us, yet the communion of the saints, which links together the Church triumphant and the Church militant in kindred fellowship around the eross and the tomb of our risen Saviour, makes us feel their presence.
“The saints on earth, and all the dead,
But one communion make,
And of His grace partake.”
every modern atlas, map or terrestrial globe extant, and you will fail to find it. In vain you will peruse the glowing pages of Humboldt, Des Varges or Stevens, for mention of its existence. Still it is there—has been from time immemorial-perhaps ever since the earliest moment of creation’s dawn; nestled away in its elevated eyrie, on the eastern slope of the everlasting Andes—the most mysterious, bewitching and beautiful body of water on the surface of the globe-Lake Thayandega; situated at the bottom of the superb valley of Icatamba, within the limits of what was once the realm of the mighty Incas—now on the outskirts of two South American Republics.
It is worthy of a more conspicuous place in the pages of history than the
pen of a fugitive sketch-writer can bestow; a more lasting position in the memory of millions, than the indifferent description of a vagabond wanderer can beget for it; this mysterious crystal fountain of light-magnificent mausoleum of a fading race. Nevertheless, with what of descriptive faculty I possess—with a strict adhesion to the integrity of facts, I shall endeavor to tell you of Thayandega, its belongings, surroundings and associations, as I saw and heard them.
I remember to have read somewhere, whether in this or some European country, I have no present remembrance, what purported to be travellers' descriptions of the singular fountain, and the people, almost as singular, whose habitations environ it; and I have only to observe in regard to those descriptions, exactly to-day, as I thought at the time of reading them—if those travellers drew their information from actual observation and auricular communications, they must have viewed the premises from a far different stand-point, gathered their traditions from a source differing entirely from that afforded to my friend and myself during a three weeks' sojourn among the Monicans—singular descendants of the ancient Incason the very verge of the mysterious fountain.
Having left Potosi—the world's store house of silver, a month previously—my friend and fellow vagabond-Don Manuel Iturbide and I, with two peon servants, three Indian guides, and a mule train of ten animals, hampered with specimens, botanical, entomologieal, ornithological and mineral, together with our instruments—astronomical and mathematical, and our stock of dried meats and provender, we had followed due north the course of that most singular of all streams upon the surface of the globe; the unaccountable river Deseguedero, which, having its source in a eurious bubbling fountain in the parallel of 20 degrees South latitude, takes a course in almost a right line, to the northward, along the very crest of the towering Andes, running with a strong current along a bed that looks always to the eye an ascending grade, increasing in volume at every furlong without the accession of a single stream in its entire course--laid along there like a vast liquid serpent, at an elevation of more than 11,000 feet above the ocean level; and finally, after a course of 130 miles, pouring its volume of water, that for the last ten miles would float the navies of the world, into the great Lake Titicaca, a body of water almost as singularly mysterious as itself.
Our original plan had been to turn to the eastward around the southern spurs of Titicaca, ascend Mount Illimani, the towering head of which overlooks all the neighboring peaks; and after having made our observations from that lofty look-out, visit and explore the extinct crater of Sorata, after which we would bend our course again to the northward and westward towards Cuzco, where we intended to remain two months, continuing our researches among the extensive ruins of the Incas' mighty temple, reared to their Sun deity; which we had somewhat abruptly abandoned fifteen months previously.
An incident of no special importance, but, in itself certainly a trifle singular, changed our programme of vagabondism somewhat, and introduced me to a miniature world, well worth the traversing the width of this wide world to make the acquaintance of.
We had completed our observations from the summit of Illimani, and were descending its northern side by a desultory, zig-zag course, pausing frequently as specimen hunters, bug gatherers, and often hum-bugs are wont to do, investigating as we went. We had dropped down, perhaps 1500 feet, and came to a little platteau, where, for some purpase that I do not now recollect, Don Manuel had thrust down his Jacob staff, that served him also as an
Alpin Stock," and crowned it with a beautiful miniature circumferentor. At the distance of fifty yards from the instruments, I had planted my tripod surmounted by a pocket theodolite. Don Manuel and myself were sitting on the ground near my station, writing down some field memoranda, our two attendants were stretched out at full length in the sun, a few yards from us, when suddenly there was a sweeping, rushing sound in the air above our heads, and there came swooping down one of those strange Andean vultures, called by the natives Givate, and popularly believed by them to subsist exclusively on gold.
Whatever foundation there might be for such a superstition, it was evident that our visitor had a decided proclivity for brass; for swooping down
upon Don Manuel's circumferentor, the great bird snatched it in an instant from the staff, and grasping it in his talons, darted away down the mountain side, cutting the air with his immense sword-like wings, swift
let us go
almost as an arrow's flight, down—far down, into the valley between Illimani and Sorata, bearing away, however, a good ways to the eastward of a right line between the two peaks.
I was following with my glass the descending flight of the Givate, which I could distinctly trace by the bright gleam of the sun's rays glancing from the brass rim of the instrument, when suddenly the line of vision fell upon a microscopic picture, far down below the feathered plunderer, so vividly distinct in all details of imagery, that, gazing for a few moments in mute wonder, I turned to my companion, who had his glass fixed upon the magnificent valley vision, and inquired:
“Santissima! Don Manuel-What is that, down yonder ?”
"Pshaw-no—the beautiful picture there in the bottom of the valley."
“Ah! yes—amizo mio,” and Don Manuel levelled his glass again, and took another long, earnest look at the magnificent diorama. Then he resumed: “Yes, Don Carlos, that is the Lake of Thayandega, and the village surrounding it is that of the Monicans, the last of the Incas. I have a brother and intimate friend, who some years since, visited the place, but as neither of them were of an inquiring turn, or very communicative, it was little, I think, that they learned down yonder, and certainly next to nothing that I gathered from them, but enough to excite in me a desire to visit the strange place and people. And now, Senor, that we are so
“Yes, certainly, Don Manuel. Why not? We have nothing to hurry us; so, as you propose, let us go down.”
Thus was a visit to the Lake Thayandega, and the village of the Monicans decided
upon, and we went down, not by a direct route. That were an impossibility, unless we had the appliances of the vagabond vulture, or were equal to a plunge down a sheer precipice of a thousand feet at a single step. So, after descending to the level of the average Andean line, and forming a junction with our three servants and the mules, who had made the semi-circuit of the peak by its eastern base, we began the descent of the mountain for more than 10,000 feet below, and at least fifteen miles distant from us in a direct line—by the route we were obliged to follow, more than four times fifteen.
So tedious and devious was our downward clambering, that though we were ten times in full view of the brilliant miniature lake and its circlet of white Monican dwellings, gleaming like Parian marble in the distance, it was not until near sunset on the third day after we began our descent, that at the distance of a league from the village, and almost on a level with it, we were met and welcomed by a delegation composed of five of their castos, or chief
who conducted us to the village, and through it to a sort of temple standing on the very border of the beautiful lake, we had so frequently looked down upon and admired from the mountain side; now slumbering in silence and darkness---for by the time we had reached our destination, the brief twilight had given place to night.
The temple, which the castos informed us had been prepared for us more than twenty-four hours, they having so early discovered us wending our way down the mountain side, and anticipated a visit, was neat and even elegant in its peculiar architectural beauty. The principal material
was adobe, laid so as to form tiers of light delicate arches, exactly in the Elizabethean Gothic style, perforating the walls like windows, and diminishing in size towards the ceiling, which was lofty, and of a fancifully woven fret work of bamboo, so that the upper arches were not above a foot in height, and five inches wide. The open spaces of all these arches were woven like the ceiling in fine lattice work of split cane, wrought artistically into beautiful patterns of birds, beasts and flowers.
There was prepared for us a tempting repast of broiled fish, dried mutton, and steaks of the lama kid, with nice brown cakes of beaten maize, and vessels of new milk and delicious coco; all served in earthen dishes of native manufacture. There were also tempting couches of the fragrant leaf of the cayaso, elastic as curled hair, and soft as eider down; huge earthen vessels filled with pure water for bathing, and in an adjoining apartment, all requisite appointments for the comfort of our servants.
Thus provided for, our castos guides again bade us welcome, and withdrew. Not a single individual had we seen in passing through the village, not the slightest sound broke the silence of the night after we entered the temple. Such, we subsequently learned, was their manner of welcoming and showing respect for strangers visiting them.
It was considerably beyond my usual hour of going abroad when I awoke on the following morning, and leaving Don Manuel still slumbering profoundly, I thought to have a morning look out upon the beautiful lake, and passing through an arch into a hall which had an opening towards the water, I passed along, my eyes down at my feet, admiring the beautiful marquetry of the floor, laid in brilliantly colored pebbles, equalling in effect the most perfect shell-work.
Thus occupied, I did not raise my eyes until I had passed out into an open verandah; and when I did so, there was before, and on either side of me, a scene so infinitely sublime, so bewilderingly glorious, that I was mute with mingled awe and admiration.
All along the beach of the lake, which was composed of the same beautiful pebbles as those composing the floors of the temple, knelt the assembled population of Monica, in family groups, all in garments of spotless white-old and young, male and female, kneeling there with clasped hands, faces turned towards the centre of the lake, and all tongues chanting some beautiful hymn of praise in the language of the Incas, of which I understood only here and there a word. Such earnest, devout, worship, I had nowhere else on earth, ever listened to or looked upon. If it was idolatry, it was beautiful, and in its simplicity, sublime. I, too, was almost persuaded to become an idolater, and seized upon by the influence-mesmeric, magical, or what you will—I fell upon my knees, and failing in the Inca chant, which somehow, I think I at first essayed, I grew eloquent in Christian thanksgiving, in my utmost of sincerity. I thanked the Giver of all good for his infinite mercies-remembering nothing that my matin worship was offered among a multitude of kneeling idolaters.
It is little wonder that these simple, pure-hearted barbarians, inhabiting an isolated world that no breath of our Christian religion had ever reached, should worship their idol deity, with all the enthusiasm of devotion they exhibited.
From the centre of the crystal lake, which was as regularly circular as if wrought by art of man, and six hundred yards perhaps in diameter, rose