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mysterious glories, the majesty and beauty of the temple of Solomon, the prophetic parables of Isaiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel, all appeal in the strongest way to the imagination.
It is, however, when we reach the actual manifestation of Christ that these features attain their climax. Each event in the Incarnate Life is a historic picture in which clearness of background, vivid beauty of incident, depth of pathos and interest, charm of poetic naturalness, are perfectly blended. The hearts of men stoop with homage before the rude manger of Bethlehem, and shudder at the stern loneliness of the desert conflict, and are stricken with wonder on the Mount of Transfiguration, and weep beneath the darkness and desolation of the cross. The joy of an everlasting hope breaks forth with the Easter dawning in the garden of Joseph, triumphs over the shadows of the opened sepulchre, gleams along the roadway to Emmaus, thrills in the amazed gladness of the Upper Chamber, and throws its brightening glow across the Galilean lake.
Christ's own method of teaching is always a direct appeal to the imagination. He spake the word to His hearers “
as they were able to hear it. But without a parable spake He not unto them.” When He taught even the highest truths of revelation He invariably used object lessons from nature and life, and His appeal was always through man's imagination to man's heart. The pictures are so familiar to us that we lose half their significance. But they show us Christ's method, and that method must be best. His perfect naturalness shines out in all His teaching. To Him there was nothing in nature or life, except sin, which was common or unclean. The .supernatural was wrapt up in and, as it were, half concealed in that which is most truly, most simply natural, as Christ Himself, the Incarnate Glory of God, lay wrapt in swaddling clothes and hidden among the beasts of the stall. The theology of the schools, the traditionalism of the Pharisees, the literalism of the scribes, pale into insignificance before the majesty of a doctrine which hallowed all the natural with a new spiritual meaning, and flung the glory and gladness of its own innocence over things most homely and most familiar. The chief centres of that teaching emphasise this feature of it as an appeal to the imagination. By the shore of the busy lake, in the thronged temple courts, or in the streets and surroundings of the capital, those words were spoken which are "apples of gold in pictures of silver," palaces of beauty resting on pillars of adamant, ships full freighted with the eternal treasure of heaven.
Let us take the first of these as our illustration. What added force, and richness, and homeliness, and beauty the words of Christ receive from the Galilean lake! Every nook along the sandy lake marge, where the oleanders stoop in full bloom towards the strand, every embosomed hollow where fig-tree and olive whose fruit is “sweet as the sound of a harp," cluster with walnut and vine in rich profusion, every sweet field just beyond the swelling flood carpeted with flowers or waving with golden bright corn, every village hidden away in the shadow of the hills, every heap of
ancient stones in whose crevices the prickly cactus creeps, every gorge down which the winds sweep to lash into sudden fury the lake below, is an object lesson of the sweetness and naturalness of Christ. The fragrant fields of sweet Gennesareth lying between the sunlit hills, and the restful heart of the encircled lake, the garden of princes
, the portion of Naphtali, are redolent with the sweetness of Him who drew lessons of seedtime and harvest from its ripening corn, and solemnly marked the bearded darnel thriving in the over wealthy soil and almost stifling the wheat. The miserable villages which stud the shore with their ruins are the monuments, till Christ shall come again, of the desolation which overtakes those whose privileges exalt them to heaven only that their unbelief may cast them down to hell. The mountain heights which form the casket, in whose recess the jewelled waters lie, are wrapt with the stillness and grandeur which belong to Christ's whole evangel of peace. The deep wadys, in whose rocks the myriad bright-winged pigeons rest, and on whose towering brows the eagle and vulture find their eyrie, still remind of One who came down that very road rejected from Nazareth, and told how the foxes had their holes and the birds of the air their nests, yet He Himself had not where to lay His head.” The shadowed hollows sweeping towards the lake on whose green carpet multitudes might sit down, seem still to echo across the quiet waters the invitation which has not lost its charm, though it has circled the world with blessing, “ Come unto Me, all ye that are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest."
In His subjects, as in His sphere of teaching, Christ appeals to imagination. The purple lilies of the vale of Esdraelon, the grass growing on the rounded slopes of Tabor, the ravens soaring wild above the Valley of Pigeons, the seed-plots on the rising ground just above the lake, the yellom. flowered mustard trees around ancient Capernauw
, among whose branches the linnets and inches sing, the white roofs of little Safed perched for above neighbouring heights distinct and clear above,
“a city set upon a hill, that cannot be hid,” the vineyards of the vale of Nazareth
, where the labourers still toil for their appointed wage, the ground of the rich man bringing forth at Cana plentifully still its wealth of fruits
, the sky glowing red at sunset on the heights of Nazareth, or lowering with coming storm at early dawn across the mountain brows of Gaulonitis
, the fishermen mending their nets on the beach
, the merchants returning home with their pearl shells, the sower going forth to sow, the slaves waiting for their lord's return at night, the housewife burying her leaven in the meal, the virgin companions of the bride ; these are some of the subjects of Christ's teaching, and in Jerusalem as in Galilee His method is just as illustrative and natural. That it was successful three passing allusions amongst many others show : " He taught them as One having authority and not as the scribes”; “ The common people heard Him gladly.” Is this
“Never man spake like this Man"; as true of the followers of Christ today as it might be?
T. A. GURNEY, M.A., LL.B.
WORMS AND ITS JEWISH LEGENDS.
BY THE REV. ISIDORE HARRIS, M.A.
THE TWO LIGHTS.
HE traveller in Rhineland who is proceeding hand wares are exposed for sale. Now that the
from Mayence to Heidelberg, or in the Jewish streets at Frankfort and Rome
reverse direction, might do worse than break demolished, it is one of the few truly historical his journey at the sleepy, old-time city of Worms. Judengassen left in Europe. Could this timeHe will find few places along his route richer in worn mass of bricks and mortar speak, what a historical interest. In the Middle Ages, Worms, piteous tale of anguish it could unfold! These as a free city, played no mean part in the struggles cobblestones which our feet tread to-day have for supremacy which were waged between prince, witnessed some of the most tragic events in the emperor,
pope. The Franconian kings, mediæval life of Jewry. Exposed to the license followed by Charlemagne and his successors, of brutal mobs, the Jews of Worms and other frequently resided at Worms. Throughout the Rhenish cities-Spiers, Mannheim, Mayence and vicissitudes of Henry IV. that unfortunate so forth-were the victims of tremendous cruelties. monarch whom Gregory vil. not merely excom- At every turn their lives and homes were in municated, but compelled to spend three days in danger. To such extremities were they often midwinter, barefooted, outside the Castle of reduced, that when deliverance came to them it Canossa, before he would revoke the edict he had was hailed as a miraculous interposition of Propronounced against him—the city took the side of vidence. The remembrance of these bitter times the king. As the traveller makes his way from has thus come to transcend the limits of sober the railway-station to the ancient Romanesque history, and to lose itself in the regions of the cathedral, the fine monument of Luther which he marvellous.
The delver among
the Jewish encounters in the Luther-Platz reminds him that
antiquities of Worms will be rewarded by the it was at Worms that Luther defended his discovery of some quaintly pathetic legends, telldoctrines before the Imperial Diet of Charles v. ing of the sufferings endured by this remarkable in 1521. Surrounded by his four precursors people. The three about to be related are among Huss, Savonarola, Wicklif, and Petrus Waldus — the most interesting of their kind. the Reformer is depicted, the very impersonation of sincerity and enthusiasm. Bible in hand, he looks upwards as if in the act of giving expression to those memorable words with which his name will Entering the ancient synagogue, which lies in a for ever be associated : “Here, I stand, I cannot small square off the Judengasse, one notices two act otherwise. God help me! Amen.” The lights ensconced against the eastern wall, on remains of the Bischofshof, on the north of the either side of the “ark," a chest in which are Cathedral, recalls the
deposited the scrolls of the law. They are kept greater vividness, for this is the exact spot on continually burning in memory of two martyrs which the event was enacted. Outside the city who are said to have sacrificed themselves in may be seen the very elm-tree under which the defence of the Jewish community of Worms. Reformer rested on his way to the Diet, and The story of their martyrdom is as follows : Some where he assured his friends who sought to hundreds of years ago, at the period of Easterdissuade him from continuing his perilous journey : always a time of danger for the Jews of yore--a “I will go to Worms, even though there were as religious procession was wending its way through many devils within its walls as there are tiles the streets of Worms. As it passed by the upon its houses."
Jewish quarter, an alarm was raised that the Jews But replete with interest as Worms is for the had insulted the Host. This was enough to fire student of the Reformation, it holds an even more the rabble with a thirst for vengeance. They important place in the annals of the Jewish race. demanded that the inhabitants of the Judengasse The Jewish settlement in Worms is the oldest in should produce the malefactors within seven days, Germany, dating as far back, it is conjectured, as or the lives of the entire community would stand 600 B.C.
Its present synagogue is probably not forfeited. Inquiries were set on foot by the Jews, older than the oldest part of the cathedral, i.e., but no one had witnessed the outrage. When the about 800 years, but it enshrines some of the last day of grace arrived without discovering any most pathetic memories of suffering to be met trace of the supposed culprits, the Jewish quarter with in Jewish history. The Judengasse, or was plunged in despair. This happened to be the Jewish quarter, is on the visitor's way after he seventh day of the feast of Passover. As on all has passed Luther's monument, the cathedral and festivals, Jewish and Christian, the gates of the the market-place, and proceeded up the Käm- Judengasse were locked. The beadle of the mererstrasse, of which it is the terminus. It is a congregation went his usual rounds in the early narrow street consisting of antiquated, squalid morning to rouse the faithful to prayer, when he tenements, in the windows of which cheap, second- heard à loud knocking at the gates.
strangers presented themselves, asserting that they were Jews, and requesting to be admitted. The beadle informed them of the danger they were incurring by entering the Judengasse at such a time. “ We know of it,” they replied, “and are here to save our brethren.” They were admitted.
Presently the streets of Worms resound with riotous noise. An infuriated populace, on vengeance intent, are making their way to the Jewish quarter. This time the knocking at the gates is menacing as thunder. They sway to and fro against the pressure of the surging crowd, and the doom of the unoffending community is imminent. Then the newly-admitted strangers step forward. With perfect self-possession they exclaim," Imbrue not your hands in innocent blood. We, and we alone, are the authors of the deed !” The gates are opened, and the crowd pass in. In the
square which fronts the synagogue, a funeral pyre is raised, in the flames of which the strangers answer for their self-accusation with their lives. Suddenly every eye is directed above, for from the crackling flames two doves emerge, and flying upwards, are lost in the immensity of space. Whence the martyrs who wrought this noteworthy deliverance for the Jews of Worms hailed, or who they were, was never known.
The story has a legendary setting, but its essential truth is attested by the two lights which have ever since been kindled in the synagogue in their memory.
but as sure as my name is Godfrey of Bouillon thou shalt and must satisfy my anxiety. Only tell me the truth, and on the honour of a knight I assure thee thou and thy community sball be secure from all harm, be the purport of thy prog. nostication what it may, while I will right royally reward thee if thou foretellest success. ... What! dost thou still remain silent? Speak! or, by my Lady, I will ope thy mouth with my sword !"
The Rabbi answered : “Noble sire, neither am I allowed to practise divination nor to deceive my fellow-men. Both are forbidden by the Law of Moses, which I dare not trangress even to save my life. I will, however, endeavour to comply with thy request by declaring what I think, but whether my anticipation will be confirmed by events, God alone can tell, Thy undertaking will only in part be successful. Of thy immense host but three men and a horse's head will return to Worms."
With blanched face, Godfrey of Bouillon turned to go, exclaiming as he withdrew: “Woe to thee, Jew, if I return, and thy prediction be not verified.”
The enterprise proved victorious. Jerusalem was taken on July 15th, 1099, after a five-weeks
' siege, and Godfrey of Bouillon was proclaimed king. But presently the tide of fortune changed. Numerous defeats, aided by the spread of disease, thinned the ranks of his followers. As he made his way back through Europe, their numbers fast diminished, till but four horsemen-himself and three others—remained. In this plight be ap proached the city of Worms. As its fortifications came in sight, he remarked to his comrades : “ The Jew has come near the truth, but has missed it. By my Lady, he shall answer for his failure with his life !"
The four knights rode up to the gates and demanded admittance. The portcullis lifted, but scarcely had three of them entered when its heary spikes fell down cutting the fourth horse in twain. The head had already passed in, but the bar and its rider remained without.
Filled with consternation, Godfrey demanded to see the Rabbi whose prognostications had been so accurately fulfilled. But the great teacher had long since left Worms and returned to his native Troyes, where he died in 1105, later than the hero of the First Crusade.
some five years
Adjoining the synagogue is a square, vaulted chamber, of evident antiquity, which bears the name of Rashi's Chapel. Rashi was an eminent Jewish teacher of the French school of Rabbis, and the prince of Biblical and Talmudical commentators. Born at Troyes in 1040, he left his native country and migrated to Worms, where he lectured to crowds of students attracted from all parts of Europe by the fame of his learning. It was in this chapel that he taught ; and his professorial seat—a rude cutting in the centre of one of the stone walls-is still shown. The legend runs that the great man was one day discoursing to his scholars when a knight in full panoply rode up, and thus addressed him :
Rabbi, the renown of thy wisdom having reached me, I have come to inquire of thee what the future holds in store for me.
I have assembled a mighty host for the purpose of delivering Jerusalem from the Turk, but before placing myself at their head, fain would I know whether my enterprise will succeed."
The teacher was perplexed, and looked at the warrior in mute astonishment.
“ Answer me at once," demanded the knight, unsheathing his sword the while ; “my time is short."
“ Forgive me,” pleaded the scholar meekly, “ if I am unable to comply with thy request. My religion forbids me to attempt to read the future. God alone can pierce the mystic veil.”
“ Rabbi, thou triflest with me, for indeed thou canst read the future. I will admit of no refusal,
THE ENCHANTED BIRD.
In 1343 Europe was being devastated by the Black Plague. Popular suspicion pointed to the Jews whose disciplined habits of living secured them comparative immunity from the outbreak; as its authors. They were commonly accused of poisoning the wells, out of hatred to the Christians.
At the same time the cities of Germany were the scene of a strange religious spectacle which helped still further to fan the frames of fanaticism.
A host of mad enthusiasts, yelept Flagellants, roamed the streets, scourging their naked bodies in expiation of the sins of Chris. tendom. As if to render their austerities the more effectual, wherever they went they de
nounced the Jews as the authors of the plague. Jew-baiting thus became the order of the day. Many a Jew was forced to find shelter from the populace in the house of some kind-hearted Christian, for even in those days not every Christian was deaf to the voice of reason and humanity. But the efforts of the enlightened few to save the unfortunate people from the malice of their persecutors would often be thwarted by a supernatural sign. The whereabouts of a hunted Jew would be betrayed by an enchanted bird which, strangely enough, flew to the top of any building in which the miscreant had secreted himself.
A prelate of Worms, so runs the legend, greatly commiserated the sufferings of these people, and tried hard, but with small success, to eradicate the superstition from the minds of his flock. As the credulous crowd would give no heed to his appeals,
he had recourse to a stratagem. One day he concealed a Jew in his church, and, mounting his pulpit, he declaimed against religious intolerance. With might and main he assailed the silly notion of the enchanted bird. “Suppose,” said he, “this flying monster in which you all so devoutly believe were to alight upon our church. You would nevertheless be sure that no Jew could be concealed in this building. And look, now—who knows but what, while I am addressing you, the wonderful bird may be hovering above our heads ?" And so it was. The astonished multitude looked up at the church tower, and there, according to the tradition, was the bird that they had seen so often before. Thus the bishop is said to have saved the man, while combating the
popular belief. The story is characteristic of times now happily past.
A STORY OF OLD HOLLAND.
BY D. ALCOCK, AUTHOR OF "THE SPANISH BROTHERS," "CRUSHED, YET CONQUERING," ETC
busy wife and mother, immersed in toils and cares CHAPTER XXX.—MET AT LAST.
which would already have taken the light out of HE day was soft and bright: it was winter her eyes, and left wrinkles upon her forehead.
still, but winter half awakened from her There was light enough, that day, in the eyes
sleep by the whispered promises of spring. of Marie Pernet for her to have spared some to The calm broad waters of the Scheldt were alive her less favoured sisters. Those bright dark eyes, with shipping, sails of many hues and of all shapes radiant with inward happiness, were fixed upon and sizes dotted them everywhere. One white- the low green shores past which the ship was sailed merchant ship, hailing from Leyden, turned gliding. Not that she saw anything of exceptional from the wide Eastern Scheldt into the narrowing interest there, a stray windmill or
a group of river, passed the forts of Lillo and Lifkenshook cottages, usually in ruins, was mostly all. Still (their dreaded thunders silent now) and glided the long stretch of pure and vivid green, with the onwards towards the great city, already seen or blue water between and the clear winter sunshine guessed in the distance.
above, seemed to Marie as fair a scene as she had A lady sat upon the deck, clad warmly and ever looked upon, for trulycomfortably in fur-lined cloak and hood of quilted silk, like a substantial burgher's wife or sister.
“ We receive but what we give; She would now be called a young lady ; but in
And in our life alone doth Nature live." those days a woman of five-and-twenty, or thereabouts, was not called young ; she was usually a Every vanished windmill and hamlet meant only