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THE SLAVE BOYS ÁT ROME.
(See Opposite page.) FOURTÉEN hundred years ago ! What a long time it seems; and what changes have passed over the earth during that time! Empires and kingdoms have fallen, and others risen. Continents have been discovered ; America has been peopled ; Africa and Asia have been explored ; and Christianity has spread over the whole face of the globe. England has risen from a small semibarbarous state to her present proud position: while Rome has faller from her high position as conqueror of the world, to a small and ill-governed state, remarkable only as the centre of the few remaining relics of the once mighty Roman Catholic religion.
But our story belongs to the earlier period, when Rome was mighty and England weak ; and we must therefore be content to sweep back through the fourteen intervening centuries, and place ourselves in the midst of the bustle and hurry within the ramparted city of Rome.
The Romans at this time were holders of slaves, as the Americans are at the present time, except that the former were holders of white as well as coloured slaves. And it is in the slave-market of the city that we must now take our stand. Here all is life. Men are eagerly bargaining-purchasing and selling their fellow-creatures. Amongst the latest arrivals of slaves are some boys, whose open and intelligent countenances, and fair auburn hair, attract the notice of a priest who is passing through the market-place. This is Gregory, soon after Pope of Rome, He stops and asks who the boys are, and is told that they are called Angles.
Angles," he replied; “if they were but Christians they would be angels.'
Upon further inquiry he was informed that they came from a province in the North of Britain, called Deira, and that their king's name was Ælla.
“Then let them,” he said, "be delivered de ird Dei (from
THE SLAVE BOYS AT ROMB.
the wrath or anger of God) and be called to the mercy of Christ."
This was but a trifling incident in the life of Gregory, but it was of great importance to our land. It was the means, in a measure, of introducing Christianity to the Saxons, and wholly changing the phase of Christianity over the whole country. Gregory did not allow his interest for the young Angles to pass away in good wishes merely. He proposed himself to come to England as missionary to the inhabitants, but soon afterwards becoming Pope, he was obliged to forego this intention. He, however, sent Augustine in his place, who is supposed to be the first missionary to the Saxons.
The Britons themselves had been instructed in Christianity by the Romans, while the latter occupied the island, and they still had their priests and forms of worship. But on the departure of the Romans, and the subsequent conquest of the island by the Saxons, the Britons had been content to settle down, preaching their own religion in peace ; leaving the Saxons to follow theirs, without making any attempt to carry Christianity to them. So that when Augustine came, he found amongst the Saxons but little knowledge of the Gospel. He was, however, well received by the Saxon king, and he found the Saxons willing and eager to accept his teaching. But when he travelled further inland, he met with considerable opposition at the hands of the British priests. He was for introducing new forms of worship that were obnoxious to them. They were for retaining their old forms. Augustine treated them with much of the baughty characteristic overbearing of the Romans, while they looked upon him with the naturally antagonistic feelings of a conquered race. So there arose between them a long conflict, sad alike to both parties. Augustine endeavoured to win them over to himself by all means in his power, and failing to do so, at length threatened violent measures. At last the British, being the weakest, were compelled to give way. The result was that inuch of the independent spirit in the old religion of the Britons was destroyed, and
TDE GARDEN OF GETH SEMANE.
Roman influences and tendencies established; while on the other hand a great impetus was given to Christianity, which was spread to all corners of the country.
In the fourteen centuries that have elapsed since then, the Christian Church has fought many battles, and suffered many and great trials ; but she has come out of them all unscathed, until now she stands, free and unfettered in spirit, sending forth her missionaries to all quarters of the globe, and gradually but surely overcoming all errors and superstitions. May God speed and bless his own work.
THE GARDEN OF GETHSEMANE.
A TRAVELLER lately visited this solemn place. How often we have thought we should like to see it. Perhaps, reader, you have thought so too. It would be very interesting to see this sacred, solemn spot; but far more blessed is it to see and know Him who prayed and suffered there. All who know the Saviour will read with interest the following account of the good man's visit :
“At the western base of the Mount of Olives is a pleasantly sheltered spot that invites repose. I doubt if there is a place the wide world over that the thoughtful person would sooner choose for retirement and meditation. Around it are the mountains that encircle Jeru. salem : the Mounts of Offence and Evil Counsel, Acra, Bezetha, Zion, and Moriah, and the range on the east known as Olivet. A little lower down the valley is the bed of Kedron; directly west rises the somewhat precipitous ridge of Moriah, and in the wall that encircles its top is a closed gate, still called the Beautiful. Beyond and more commanding is the mosque-crowned top of Zion. To the left a jutting ridge from the southern base 108
THE GARDEN OF GETHSEMANE.
of Olivet shuts out from tiew the little village once the home of Mary and Martha, whilst to the right the valley of Jehoshaphat meets abruptly the elevated plateau which stretches from the northern part of the city, and which is on the line of water shed between the Mediterranean and the Dead Sea.
“ Here there is no interruption: no écho from the city above us breaks the silence the waters of Kedron have ceased to flow i no passers-by on the road below that leads to Bethany distract the attention: the capacious tombs of Hezekiah and James the Just, cut in the solid rock, look dark, gloomy, and silent: that of Absalom, nearer and more picturesque, still suggests seclusion and solitude: while the many slabs of marble tell of the countless Jews who have been borne here to die.
“ It was one beautiful sunny morning that we left the city and sought admittante. It was early, and we feared we should not gain an entrance; but upon knocking twice, the bolts of the low and narrow door were drawn, and a deep voice bade us enter. Stooping and passing under, we stood within the Garden of Gethsemane. Is this narrow spot of ground-only some 200 feet square, enclosed by a rude wall, yet gloriously surrounded on all sides by mountains, with just above us Zion, and on the other side Olivet, with its beautiful parterres of flowers, blossoming so beautifully in the warm spring sun and sending their rich fragrance up to heaven, with those gigantic olive-trees, gnarled and twisted, with their long thick branches throwing deep shadows against the wall, trees that have stood the shock of more than twenty centuries, yet as firm to-day as the mountains-Gethsemane?
“ Here was enacted one of the final scenes in the great act of redemption. Most other places connected with
THE HEATHEN MOTHER.
that great act are undefined, unauthenticated, obscure ; this is real, substantial. We cannot doubt that under one of these gigantic sentinels of the past once rested the form of the Son of God; that here took place the dreadful struggle, that fearful prayer-'If it be possible, let this cup pass from me.' Can we doubt that all the mighty concourse of angels in heaven, one of whom descended to strengthen bim, looked down in awe and wonder at the sight, and that the Eternal God himself was watching over, helping and supporting his suffering Son? Can we imagine, or do we dare to contemplate, as we stand here, what fearful associations cluster about this place ? If, from the vision at Bethel, Jacob could say, 'How dreadful is this place ; this is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven,' with how much more truth could he say it who stood upon the spot where the Saviour of men endured that dreadful ågony, that exceeding sorrow unto death, the night be. fore he suffered po
Go to dark Gethsemane,
THE HEATHEN MOTHER. “WHEN I was at Dhoae," writes a missionary's wife, “ my husband opened the new chapel, which holds 150 people. 65 persons were baptized ; among the rest several women. I proposed meeting them alone on the Tuesday evening. One very nice-looking woman had a sweet-looking girl at her side, about ten years old. I said · Amah, would you like me to teach your daughter?'