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THE TREES OF THE BIBLE.
NO. V. CASSIA.
BY THE EDITOR.
The scented aloe, and each shrub that showers
THIS tree, called in Hebrew, KIDDAH, is three times referred to in the English Bible. It grows in oriental countries; but is said to be most common in Arabia and India. The bark of this tree is very fragrant, like sassafras and cinnamon. It was one of the ingredients used in making the holy oil of the sanctuary used in anointing the sacred vessels, as we learn from Ex. xxx. 24. It was procured by the ancients from Tyre; and is mentioned by the Prophet Ezekiel as an article of trade in that noted sea-port. The Psalmist, in that beautiful song to the praise of the Messiah, the anointed of the Lord, very appropriately says: "All thy garments smell of myrrh, and aloes, and cassia, out of the ivory palaces, whereby they have made thee glad." Ps. 45. 8.
NO. VI. CINNAMON.
The cinnamon, like the cassia, is an aromatic tree. It is a small tree about the height of the willow, and is valuable chiefly for its spicy and fragrant bark. The finest quality of it is at present procured from Ceylon. Anciently, according to Pliny, it grew in Syria. The Jews, it is supposed, procured it for sacred uses from Arabia. It is mentioned in Rev. 18. 13, as among the merchandise of mystic Babylon. It was used, like the cassia, in preparing the holy anointing oil, and generally as an article of perfumery. Prov. 7. 17: Cant. 4. 14: "I gave a sweet smell like cinnamon, says the author of Ecclesiasticus. Eccl. 24. 15. It is not easy to find a metaphor more appropriate and beautiful than that which sets forth a christian's influence as perfume.
This tree, or shrub, grows in the East Indies, and attains the height of from eight to ten feet. "At the head of it is a large bundle of leaves, thick and indented, broad at bottom, but narrowing towards the point, and about four feet in length." It bears a red blossom intermixed with yellow, and double like a pink; from this blossom comes fruit, or pod, which is oblong and triangular, with three apartments filled with seed.
It is said to be a very beautiful tree. It is regarded as sacred by the inhabitants, and they never fell it except with certain reli
gious ceremonies. They think it is one of the trees which grew in Paradise, and ought to be venerated on that account, as well as its many virtues and agreeable qualities.
The aloe tree is very fragrant, though it is bitter to the taste. "It contains under the bark three sorts of wood. The first is black, solid, and weighty; the second is of a tawny color, of a light, spongy texture, very porous, and filled with a resin extremely fragrant and agreeable; the third kind of wood, which is the heart, has a strong aromatic odor, and is esteemed in the East more precious than gold itself." It is used for perfuming habits and apartments, and is administered as a cordial in fainting and epileptic fits."
There are frequent allusions in Scripture to the perfume of the aloe. Ps. 45. 8. Prov. 7. 17. Cant. 4. 14.
The fragrance of the aloe is not confined to its wood, but delightful odors are also emitted from its flowers. A traveler refers to this fact thus: "This morning, like many of the foregoing ones, was delicious. The sun rose gloriously out of the sea, and all the air around was perfumed with the effluvia of the aloe, as its rays sucked up the dew from its leaves."
The aloe was used anciently in embalming bodies. Herodotus says that its virtues in this way were known to the Egyptians. We are told that Nicodemus "brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds weight," to embalm the body of Jesus. Joh. 19. 39. When we consider that this perfumery of aloes was more valuable than gold, and that there was in this mixture one hundred pound weight, we have a very touching exhibition of the fond affection which was entertained for his sacred body. This was right and highly appropriate. The richest odor and the sweetest perfume are but faint emblems to show forth the gracious influence of his death and resurrection upon the world. His name is fragrant to the unbeliever's heart-it is "like ointment poured forth." His burial has perfumed the grave of every saint; and he is to all who sleep in him a sweet savor of life unto life.
A SISTER'S INFLUENCE.
"I was drunk once," said a young man to us, the other day, "and I never shall forget it. In company with several jovial fellows, I was induced to drink pretty freely, and by the time I got home, I scarcely knew where I was or what I was doing. I was put to bed, and how long I laid there I do not know; but when I awoke, my sister was sitting beside the bed, engaged in sewing. The moment her eyes fell on my face, she burst into a flood of tears, and wept as if her heart would break. Overwhelmed with shame for my conduct, I then formed a resolution that I would never get drunk again; I have adhered to it for some years, and I mean it.'
THE INVENTOR OF RAILROADS.
We hear the question asked, who was the inventor of the railway? and have never heard it satisfactorily answered; and we believe there are very few persons in this country who know any thing on the subject. Some few years ago, Howitt, of the "People's Journal," gave a somewhat lengthy sketch of the alleged inventor, who, up to May, 1836, had been neglected in England. While thousands had been enriched by his brilliant scheme, he had remained forgotten-forced by poverty to sell glass on commission for a living. How many of the railway projectors, agitators, stockholders, etc., have heard of the subject of these remarks?
"About half a century ago-the exact year is not known-there was born in Leeds, England, a man named Thomas Gray. Scarcely any thing is known of his early history. He was, we believe, a poor collier; and being very ingenious, he conceived the idea of facilitating the transportation of coal from the middle-town colliery of Leeds, a distance of three miles, by means of a sort of a railway which he constructed of wood. Upon this his cars moved at the rate of three and a half miles an hour, to the great merriment of a wise and discriminating public, who laughed at the idea of a railway as something very visionary, and as the mere suggestion of laziness. Poor Gray thought otherwise. Magnificent visions of future railways, such as are now stupendous realities, loomed up before him, and he began to talk in public of a general system of iron railroads. He was, of course, laughed at, and declared a visionary, moon-struck fool. But the more Gray contemplated his little railway for coal, the more firmly did he believe in the practicability and immense usefulness of his scheme. He saw in it all that is now realized, and he resolved, in spite of the ridicule, the sneers, and rebuffs, that were heaped upon him, to prosecute his undertaking. He petitioned the British Parliament, and sought interviews with all the great men of the kingdom; but all this had no effect but to bring down upon him, wherever he went, the loud sneers and ridicule of all classes. Still he persevered, and at length engaged the attention of men of intelligence and influence, who finally embraced his views, urged his plans, and the result is now before the world. Thomas Gray, the inventor of railroads, who, no longer than 1820, was laughed at for even mentioning the idea, still lives in Exeter, England, in the full realization of his grand and noble railroad schemes, for which he was declared insane. How much has the world been benefited by his insanity?"
NOBLE REPLY." Boy, what will you take to tell a lie for me?" asked a mate of the cabin-boy. "Not all the gold of California," was the prompt answer of the lad.
THE rich cardinal Beaufort said: And must I die? Will not all my riches save me? I could purchase the kingdom if that would prolong my life. Alas! there is no bribing death.
An English nobleman said: I have a splendid passage to the grave, die in state, and languish under a gilded canopy; I am expiring on soft and downy pillows, and am respectably attended by my servants and physicians; my dependants sigh; my sisters weep; my father bends beneath a load of grief and years; my lovely wife, pale and silent, conceals her inmost anguish; my friend, who was as my own soul, suppresses his sighs, and leaves me, to hide his secret grief. But, oh! which of them will bail me from the arrest of death? Who can descend into the dark prison of the grave with me? Here they all leave me, after having paid a few idle ceremonies to the breathless clay which may lie reposed in state, while my soul, my only conscious part, may stand trembling before my Judge.
The celebrated Talleyrand on his death-bed was visited by Louis Phillippe, king of the French. "How do you feel?" said the king; the answer was, "Sire, I am suffering the pangs of the damned."
Sir Thomas Scott said: Until this moment, I believed that there was neither a God nor a hell. Now I know and feel that there are both, and I am doomed to perdition by the just judgment of the Almighty.
A rich man when dying, was informed by his physician that he should prepare for the worst. "Cannot I live for a week?" "No, said the doctor, "you will continue but a little while." "Say not so," said the dying man. "I will give you a hundred thousand dollars if you will prolong my life three days," but in less than an hour he was dead.
THE LITTLE DEAF AND DUMB BOY.-At the examination of a deaf and dumb institution some time since, a little boy was asked in writing, "Who made the world?" He took the chalk and wrote underneath, "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth."
The question was then asked, "Why did Jesus come into the world? A smile of gratitude overspread the face of the little fellow as he wrote, "This is a faithful saying, and worthy of acceptation, that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners."
He was then asked the trying question, "Why are you born deaf and dumb, when I can both hear and speak?" "Never," said an eye-witness, "shall I forget the look of sweet resignation and peace as he again took up the chalk and wrote, Even so, Father, for it seemed good in thy sight.""
Our Monthly Retrospect.
THE UNITED STATES.
THE LIQUOR LAW.-A very important act has passed the Legislature of Pennsylvania, which was approved by Governor Pollock on the 14th ult. It is entitled "an act to restrain the sale of intoxicating liquors," and will, if duly enforced, completely break up the retail liquor traffic and all public drinking houses, besides greatly restricting and guarding the sale by measure. As the provisions of this law will have an important bearing upon the morals of this Commonwealth, as well as the business interests of a large class of citizens, we will be pardoned for devoting a considerable space in this number of the Retrospect to a consideration of its provisions and the duty of all good citizens in relation thereto.
First, it must be borne in mind that this is not "a prohibitory liquor law," such as was voted against by a small majority of the people last fall on the abstract issue. It probably goes as far in legislating upon this subject as the legislature would have been justified in going under the circumstances-and that they were justified in going just so far as they did does not admit of a reasonable doubt. The very large vote polled for a prohibitory law, understood to include the search and seizure clause, so objectionable to many even friendly to temperance, demanded some very stringent legislation at the hands of the present legislature: and they could scarcely have done less than they did to accomplish any good at all.
The most prominent feature of this new law is that it forbids the issuing of any license to sell any kinds of intoxicating liquors or admixtures thereof, as a beverage, by less measure than & quart, after the first day of July; and after that date, no license to sell by any measure or without measure, can be granted to the keeper of any hotel, inn, tavern, restaurant, eating house, oyster house or cellar, theatre, or other place of entertainment, refreshment or amusement. Those who procured licenses before the 14th day of April can sell until the expiration of said licenses,
and all procured since that date and before the fourth day of July authorize the sale until the first of October, for which the price of a year's license must be paid. After the first of July the courts can grant licenses, in their discretion, to citizens of the United States, to sell by not less measure than a quart, provided it is not drank on the premises, but under severe restrictions. They must advertise their applications as under existing laws, omitting the certificate of applicant and the necessity of the house, giving bond in sufficient security for $1000, with judgment confessed, for the faithful observance of all laws relating to the sale of liquors in this State. The sureties on these bonds are liable at any time to have them forfeited upon the principal violating the law and failing to give legal satisfaction therefor. When it is borne in mind that the act of May 8, 1854, making it a misdemeanor to sell or give liquor to intemperate persons, drunkards, or minors, and the Sunday liquor law of 1855, are unrepealed by the new law, the effects of this provision will be to keep irresponsible and reckless men out of the traffic, as few men will be found willing to go on a bond where so much risk of its forfeiture is involved.
This law does not prohibit the sale of cider or domestic wines in quantities of not less than five gallons, and it will not therefore interfere with the farmer in the making and selling of cider of his own manufacture. Importers, distillers, brewers, and auctioneers are also allowed to sell in the same quantities, and the druggist is not prohibited from selling "admixtures of intoxicating liquors as medicines." This section has been thought by some to be a loop-hole for evading the law, but that clear headed and able jurist, Judge Pearson, of Dauphin, declares that "the druggist has no general license to traffic, but merely to use liquors for the purpose of preparing medicines for the sick, and should he under cover of that authority, sell for an ordinary beverage, and not in good faith for the administration of medicine, he would come