Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

quest in America and the German Evangelical congregations found in the commercial towns of Asia, yes, even in the Greek cloisters of Mount Athos. Wherever new institutions have been established, and aid in teaching is required, wherever God-fearing families have needed a family tutor, application was made to Halle. If it must be acknowledged that there has been no other period, when Germany and the German Evangelical Church in particular, possessed so great a number of active ministers in the true faith, as about the middle of the eighteenth century, these were the fruit of the seed sown by A. H. Francke. Even the Roman Catholic Church of Germany and France looked with envious admiration

whom they, if he had belonged to them, would have promoted to the honors of canonization.

on this man,

MY FATHER MADE THEM ALL,

BY THE EDITOR.

Behold the grand and gorgeous sky-
The silent orbs that shine on high,
Like glittering gems profusely set
Upon night's sable coronet;
How sweetly falls their twinkling light
Down on the drowsy face of night;
While joy and peace, and holy love
Seem stooping from their thrones above:

Those lovely orbs-
My Father made them all.

The moon, with all her starry train,
Majestic sweeps the nightly plain,
But stoops to every stream, and laves
Her image in the playful waves ;
And sheds her mellowed twilight smiles
In glory out on ocean's isles.
On lakes and seas, on domes and spires,
Her beams reflect their golden fires :

The moon and stars
My Father made them all.

See

you the fleecy clouds that lie
At anchor in the evening, sky-
Or glide like minnie shallops through
The evening's deep empurpled blue;-
Or yonder dark portentous fold
Which thunder from its lair has rolled,
To bring the cool, refreshing rain,
To meadow, garden, field and plain ?

Those friendly clouds
My Father made them all.

From hill and field, from wood and vale
Comes perfume on the ladened gale,
Sent by ten thousand blushing flowers
From out their cool and freshened bowers;
Blest all the day with cheering light,
And fed by gentle dews at night,
They morning, noon, and eve impart
Their soothing charm to sense and heart:

The lovely flowers
My Father made them all.

Hark, how, along the wood-bound lea,
The birds pour out their songs of glee,
In thanks to Him who gave them birth
On such a green

and
sunny

earth.
From thousand varied voices rise
Wild anthems to the list’ning skies;
Let human hearts join as they sing,
And offer what they senseless bring:

Sweet singing birds

My Father made them all. Didst ever muse on ocean's shore, When angry billows

rage

and roar-
Or when the little joyous waves
At eve “play homeward to their caves ???
Didst see the sun paint on the spray
The purple tints of closing day,
And thoughtful smile and weep between
The touching and the pleasant scene:

Dost love these sights ?-
My Father made them all.

Hast ever dreamed of gems that lie
In ocean hid from mortal eye-
And beds of coral lone and deep,
Where poets say the Peri sleep?
What wealth and beauty yet untold
Must ocean's bed and caverns hold
Placed by the wise Creator's plan
Perhaps to mock the pride of man?

For some wise end

My Father made them all. .
To climb the scale, didst e'er begin,
From living dust to seraphim;
Didst think-as holy men suppose
Eternity will once disclose
That every twinkling star is rife
With happy hosts of sinless life,
Who live to love, and bless, and praise
The Ancient of eternal days?

Oh, sinless worlds !
My Father made them all.

Oh! heir of Heaven, didst ever climb
The hills beyond the shores of time-
That Zion on whose golden steep,
The saints their holy“ pastimes keep?"

Didst ever see, in visions bright,
The glories of that world of light,
Which once so sweetly could beguile
St. John on Patmos' lonely Isle ?

That happy world

My Father made it all. Mercersburg, Pa., 1841.

THE ALOE TREE.

HEB. Ahalim and Ahaloth.

Excoecaria Agallocha.-Linn.

BY I. K. L.

The name Aloes occurs four times and lign-aloes once in our English version-the wood being evidently spoken of in Psalms xlv. 8, and Prov. vii. 17, and the Aloe trees in Numb. xxiv. 6, and Song iv. 14, while their juice or gum is mentioned in John xix. 39. From the fact that the Aloe is not expressly mentioned as a tree in Psalms and Proverbs, some translators have inferred that the Aloes there spoken of was the product of an herb of that name. Pliny indeed describes a low and very bitter herb, yielding a juice called aloe, which constitutes a drug met with in the shops. This is the Aloe perfoliata, growing abundantly in Egypt, Africa and Arabia, and highly prized for the various uses to which it can be put. It contains valuable medicinal properties, and its leaves are made by the natives into ropes, bow-strings, hammocks, &c. Pliny also mentions a tree yielding a gum called aloes, which seems to be the Aloe of the Bible.

The true Aloe of Scripture is a native of Arabia, China, the spice-producing Molucca Islands, and the lowlands of India, * where it is called garo. Some writers think that it is not found growing in Arabia, but is brought thither from India, and thence carried to Europe. “Whatever other countries may produce this wood, India, by the confession of all, yields the best.” To the Arabians, however, belongs the honor of first bringing it to the knowledge of Europe by their medical and botanical works.ř By the Greeks it was called Agallochon, but, after the time of Ætius, a medical writer of the sixth century, Xylaloe. In modern times it has been known by the name of Paradise wood-lignum paradisi, and lignum aquilæ—Eagle-wood, the eagle being called by the Greeks the

* Quod in depressioribus Indiæ tractibus nascitur.-An ancient Arabian Geographer, speaking of India, says: “The aromatics which are found in this climate are Caryophylla, Sandalum, Camphora, and Lignum Aloes, none of which is found in other lands, but only in this, where even night and day are of similar temperature, and equal in the number of hours.”—Cels. Heirob. Ahalim.

† Among other beneficial effects derived from its use, an old author gives the following: “Aloe wood constantly chewed purifies the breath,”—a desirable substitute for the quid of our day, which is the cause of many impurities and countless annoyances.

[ocr errors]

ruler and king of birds, by the Romans the queen of birds, and by the Arabians the lord of birds. So," continues Čelsius, “there is an admirable tree of excellent fragrance and great rarity in East India, which the inhabitants in their own tongue call the Eagle. The Hebrew has Ahalim and Aholoth, in the plural Aloe trees or Aloewood. It is the Excoecaria Agallocha of Linnæus.

Of the character and appearance of this tree we have been able to learn comparitively little. It reaches a height of ten to fifteen feet. Its trunk is knotty and crooked. Its wood is resinous, of a blackish color on the outside, and dark within, interwoven with irregular, gray, ash-colored veins. It is brittle, of bitter taste, sappy, hard and heavy. Its sap is of a pale white, milky color, of very acrid taste, which, as the tree grows

old hardens into a fragrant resin. That is the best which sinks in water. The wood has little fragrance until it becomes dry, when, its inner or central part being burnt, it sends forth a very grateful aromatic odor. Held to the fire, this wood is said to soften so that letters can be sealed with it as with wax. The drier it becomes the more sweetly it smells. Its leaves resemble those of the peach. Its fruit is a berry, resembling pepper, but somewhat smaller, of a light yellow color, and of the excellent fragrance of the wood. Three varieties of Aloes reach the markets of this country; that of the Cape of Good Hope, the Socotrine, and the Hepatic. Of these the Socotrine Aloes most nearly resembles the Aloe of the Bible; it has even been asserted that both were identical. Of the Socotrine Aloes, growing in Socotora, an Island in the Indian Ocean, we have full accounts, a brief sketch of which we furnish, that the reader may observe its points of resemblance to the Aloe tree of the Bible. “It is a small tree about ten feet high; at its top is a large bunch of long, thick and indented leaves, broad at the bottom, and tapering to the top.

Its blossoms are very fragrant, of a red color, mixed with yellow, and double like a pink. Its fruit is an oblong, triangular pod, divided into three apartments, filled with seed. Its wood is of three sorts. The first, or outer wood, is black, solid, and heavy; the second is of a tawny color, spongy, porous, resinous, and agreeably fragrant. The third, or heart, is strongly aromatic and esteemed in the East more precious than gold. It is used for perfuming garments and rooms, and contains valuable medicinal properties, used in fainting and epileptic fits.”

Arab writers, like true Mohammedans, ever strongly inclined to date the origin of every thing they admire from remote antiquity-from Adam, Paradise, or the Prophets-affirm that lign-aloes sprung up when Adam mourned his sin, or, according to another account, when he deplored with tears, the violent death of his son Abel. Accordingly, too, oriental tradition teaches—and the name lignum paradisi favors the tradition—that Aloe trees grew at first only in Paradise, but were carried to other lands by the rivers flowing from it, and caught up by the fishermen—a favorite idea, this, among the Jewish Rabbins. Asiatic poets, who are born, and live and die among aromatics, delight especially in comparing the fragrance of the Aloe with the pleasures of Paradise.*

We have no reason to believe that the Aloe grew in the Holy Land.

* See Celsius—a master in Rabbinical lore, to whose Latin Translation in his Hierobotanicon we are here and elsewhere indebted for the information we give from Jewish Rabbins and Arab authors.

*

Live Aloes may have been imported by Solomon, who for a time might have succeeded in delighting his eyes with its growth, Song iv. 14; but its mention by Balaam, David and Solomon does not prove, that it was indigenous in Palestine; for Moses in the Law, and Solomon in his Song, also mentions cinnamon and frankincense which were brought from other lands. By means of commerce its excellence became known to the Jews, who in all ages deserve the palm for perfumes. Even in the East the Aloe is rare—especially that kind found in China, which is never exported, and is of so great rarity in India as to be worth its weight in gold. The Princes of India, to reserve it all for their own use, forbade its exportation under pain of death, “lest it might be carried to some other one than themselves.” It used to pass between kings as a valuable royal present. Modern travellers to the East tell us, that it is still an important article of luxury in that region. Sir John Maundeville, says that the Emperor of Tartary's chariot was made of a wood “that comes out of the terrestrial paradise, which they call lignum aloes. It is full well smelling because of the wood it is made of.

The fatness of the wood increases its value. The temple of Mohammed at Mecca, is said to have been supported by three columns of Aloe wood, of a man's height. Among the Jews great quantities of this wood were consumed in religious worship and the pomp of funerals. In connection with myrrh and other aromatics, it was used to perfume the garments of Princes and Priests. “All thy garments smell of Aloes,” says the sweet singer of Israel (Ps. xlv. 8), as he celebrates the excellency and dignity of the Messiah:

“With cassia, aloes and myrrh,

Thy royal robes abound;
Which, from the stately wardrobe brought,
Spread grateful odors round.

Even so the glorious garments of our great High Priest and King diffuse the sweet savor of His heavenly graces. His Palace, the Church-beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth—is filled with the odor of His beloved name, and the sanctifying presence of the Holy Spirit. The attractive character of the Church is elsewhere exhibited under the image of a garden, in which "aloes, with all the chief spices flourish,” Song iv. 14. The rich and luxurious employed aloes to perfume their beds: “I have perfumed my bed with aloes,” Prov. vii. 17. It was customary to treat garments of the rich in the same way. When the Patriarch Isaac blessed Jacob, “he smelled the smell of his raiment, and blessed him, and said, See, the smell of my son is as the smell of a field which the Lord hath blessed,” Gen. xxvii. 27. Some of the Orientals perfume their bodies after meals and the bath, as well as their houses, the Arabians perfuming even the beard of their guests, and the head, and the inner part of the turban, covering the head.

The Lign-aloe occurs only once in the Scriptures: in the prediction of Balaam concerning the happiness of Israel, recorded in Numb. xxiv.

How goodly are thy tents, O Jacob! and thy tabernacles, O Israel! As the valleys are they spread forth, as gardens by the river's side, as the trees

* It does not seem to have much depreciated in value in more recent times. The Turks still pay “Magnas in hoc lignum impensas."--Tavernier in Cels.

« AnteriorContinuar »