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which, doubtless, much had been said among those things future as though they were present, had inwho travelled from distant countries to keep the festi- formed the Jewish Church of what was to take place val there. It was a question of two disciples, on their in after-times; and he especially spake of the death way to Emmaus, put to the risen Saviour, who ap- of Christ, and the glory that should follow. Philip, no peared to them in the form of an ordinary traveller, doubt, at once shewed clearly that this Scripture * Art thou only a stranger in Jerusalem, and knowest which he had been reading was a prediction concernnot the things that are come to pass there in these ing that very person who had lately been crucified at days? And Jesus said, What things? And they said Jerusalem, and concerning which crucifixion he must unto him, Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a have in some sort heard ; that this Jesus of Nazareth prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all was mighty in deeds and words before God and all the the people ; and how the chief priests and our rulers people; that he is the very Christ, the true Messiah delivered him to be condemned to death, and have that was promised to the patriarchs, and that his work crucified him” (Luke, xxiv, 13-20).
for the redemption of mankind was shewn forth in the We may suppose this person had heard of these various ceremonies and sacrifices of the Jewish people; things when at Jerusalem ; but perhaps, as it now that Jesus of Nazareth, concerning whom the chiefhappens, except we look a little out from our own priests had instigated the people to cry out, “ Let him circle and our own party, we may remain entirely be crucified,” was “ the sent of God to be the Saviour ignorant of the good or the evil that is doing else- of sinners," and that no other Saviour is to be exwhere. Truths are often suppressed, facts are con- pected ; that he is the very Lamb of God, who died to cealed, or extenuated, or exaggerated, according as a take away the sin of the world, of which the annual party spirit prevails among men: so that it is quite passover-lamb was a significant emblem; that “ he did possible, and not very improbable, that this lord high- no sin, nor was guile found in his mouth; and that treasurer, moving much at Jerusalem with the highest when he was reviled, he reviled not again;"-" he of its Jewish population, had received very perverted, opened not his mouth” in execrations on his enemies, or at least very indistinct, notions respecting the in- or even in self-justification; insomuch that Pilate teresting tragedy which had lately taken place there. marvelled. “ In his humiliation his judgment was
The Spirit of the Lord might move this inquiring taken away." Because of his poverty and lowliness, man to take with him in his chariot an accredited he was oppressed and unjustly dealt with, and did not, Jewish book. It would be profitable to themselves, as he might have done, manifest his proper dignity and useful to their often long-waiting servants, if the and power in the demand of justice. Pilate thought so riders in chariots and other carriages kept in the meanly of him, as that, though he believed him to be, pockets of them a few instructive books and religious and declared that he was, a just and innocent person, periodicals, on account of the short, and plain, and and though he confessed he had power to release him, varied pieces of Christian instruction of which most of he yet thought it was not worth while to oppose the them are composed. Whether he bought this book at Jews in ordering his liberation. " Who can describe Jerusalem on this visit, or had it as the habitual or declare his generation ?" whose Father is the eternal attendant in his carriage, we know not — there it was. God, whose nature is divine, who is the beginning and And the Holy Spirit directed him to a prophecy con- the end, the first and the last, although, as to his cerning Jesus of Nazareth and his crucitixion, a pre- humanity, he suffered patiently such agonies in the diction known and read 700 years before Christ was garden of Gethsemane, and on the cross on Calvary ! born! He might be reading a Hebrew copy of the And who can declare the number of those that have prophecies of Isaiah, or, what is more likely, the been and shall be born of his Spirit, from Adam to Jewish translation of it into Greek by the order of the last believer that shall live on earth-Christians Ptolemy, 285 years before the Christian era.
of all ages and climes? Who can appreciate the inThe place of the prophecy which he read is found numerable company, numerous as the drops of dew, in the 53d chapter of Isaiah ; and may the good Lord countless as the sand, of all peoples, nations, and give to every reader of it, as he did to Philip, a right tongues, that will, through his death and intercession, judgment concerning it! "The place of the Scripture be assembled before him, clothed with white robes, which he read was this: He was led as a sheep to and palms in their hands, and singing the song of the slaughter, and like a lambdumb before his the heavenly Zion, Worthy is the Lamb that was shearers, opened he not his mouth ; in his humilia- slain to receive honour, and power, and might, and tion his judgment was taken away, and who shall de- dominion, for having redeemed us to God by his clare his generation ? for his life is taken from the blood” (Rev, v. 9-12) ? earth" (Is. liii. 7, 8). "And the eunuch answered Philip might further discourse on this prophecy, Philip, and said, Of whom spake the prophet this; of that he was the Prince of life, whom the Jews had himself, or of some other man? Then Philip opened lately, by wicked hands, crucified and slain; and that his mouth, and began at the same Scripture to preach they had thus put an end to a long series of bodily unto him Jesus."
cures and gracious soul-comforting discourses, which, Ministers of God's word have many advantages in humanly speaking, had his life not been taken away, visiting their flock, and especially such of them that he would have gone on administering. Philip shewed ere sick, when those they visit are ready to propound the eunucli, no doubt, that the death of this holy persome portion of holy Scripture they wish explained, or son would be the occasion of eternal blessings to mansome case of conscience they wish to be resolved, or kind; that, through it, would be preached the forgivesome doubts they desire to be removed on Scripture ness of sins, and the opening of the kingdonı of heaven principles, or some truths they wish to have corrobo- to all believers; and that there is salvation from the rated or confirmed. When they have the text to find punishment which man’s transgressions of God's holy as well as the comment, and fear often that they may law have deserved, in no other way than through faith adopt a less useful topic than they might have done, in the atonement and righteousness of Him whose cruthe result of the interview is not so encouraging. In cifixion the Jews at Jerusalem had incited Pilate to the case before us no time was lost-the eunuch at order. once furnished the text, and Philip gave the comment No doubt Philip spake with much energy of the upon it. These things, we may suppose, formed the triumphant entry of Jesus into Jerusalem, his wonchief topics of the discourse of the evangelist " in derful miracles of healing, and his gracious and inpreaching Jesus” from the prophecy before them. structive discourses, his apprehension by the soldiers
The prophet Isaiah, by the teaching of Him who of the high-priest, his arraignment before Pilate, his knows all things from the beginning to the end meek and gentle conduct when accused as a maleof time, and who with one omniscient glance sees factor, and a robber preferred before him in the annual
act of liberating a prisoner,-his agony in the garden, | forgiven my sins, and made a new creature, and be his cruel death, his glorious resurrection and ascent blessed of God, and enjoy liis favour, and attain to into heaven, to where he was before,—and his ordain- eternal life? What hinders that I should not this ing apostles to go and to disciple men of all nations, day join myself to the Lord by a perpetual covenant? to teach them, and to baptise them in the name of the Why should not I pray in secret, and constantly attend undivided Trinity; these things were, doubtless, the Sabbath-ordinances, and bring to remembrance a Sasubjects of Philip's instructions; and, beside these, viour's love to man, in a serious reception of the Lord's most probably he took up other parts of the prophecy supper? What hinders that I should not enter into which the eunuch was reading concerning Jesus of the enjoyments of religion, and walk in its holy ways, Nazareth, “that he was wounded for our transgres- and find rest to my soul, and possess a like scripsions, and bruised for our iniquities; that the chastise- tural hope, that many appear to possess?” The main, ment needful to procure our peace, who are by original and the only real hinderance, where hinderance there and actual guilt at enmity with God, was upon him, is, is in a man's own breast and bosom. It is an evil was exacted from him; and that by the stripes he en- heart of unbelief that occasions the soul's departures dured, our souls, diseased by sin, can alone be healed ; from God. It is the carnal mind that is enmity with -in fine, that this very Jesus of Nazareth, lately God; it is a fondness for the evil ways and habits crucified, of whom the prophet wrote, made a full, forbidden of God; it is allowed ignorance, hardness perfect, and sufficient atoneinent on behalf of all that of heart, and contempt of God's holy will and comrepent and forsake their sins, and seek redemption mandment. “This,” the blessed Jesus said, who knows through his blood.
what is in man,—“ this is the hinderance and the Some of the blessed invitations which had been condemnation, that men love darkness rather than given by Jesus of Nazareth himself were, perhaps, light, because their deeds are evil.” A defect of will adverted to while riding in the chariot toward Gaza; is the grand hinderance: “Ye will not come unto
" Come unto me, all ye that are weary and me, that ye may have life." Nothing but the acting heavy laden, and I will give you rest:" " Take my towards God's teaching in his holy Scriptures as if it yoke upon you, and learn of me ; for I am meek and were not his teaching, and the willing and habitual lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest to your souls ; indulgence of some sin or many sins, will hinder any for my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Philip man, whether old or young, poor or rich, from walking perhaps mentioned the prediction which Jesus gave in the way of salvation. God the Father gave his Son, of his own death in his conversation with Nicodemus and Christ gave himself, to redeem all that believe in (John, iii.) : “ As Moses lifted up the serpent in the his truth, and love, and power; and the Holy Spirit wilderness, even so must the Son of mau be lifted up, proceeds from the Father and the Son to warn the that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but sinner of the error of his ways, and to tell him, that have everlasting life.” In that conversation with the whosoever repenteth and forsaketh his sins shall find ruler of Israel, Jesus had also said, “ Except a man mercy. be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter T'hus we see that every hinderance is cleared away into the kingdom of heaven." And to encourage this on the part of God; who is not willing that any should grandee of Ethiopia, he might have told him of the perish, but that all should come to repentance, and extensive commission, which Jesus had given to his who will be more glorified, if we may so speak, by apostles, before he was received up into heaven, to holy saints in heaven than by wicked reprobates in where he was before—" Go ye into all the world, and hell; so that nothing binders but men's own allowed preach the Gospel to every creature ; he that be- unbelief and consequent wickedness, i. e. the treating lieveth, and is baptised, shall be saved ; and he that the faithful and true sayings of God, in the way of believeth not shall be condemned."
salutary precepts, and most benevolent promises, as And as they went on their way, they came to a cer- if they were fabulous and false. tain water, some river, or pond, or reservoir, where Every minister may say to every serious inquiring travellers and their cattle stopped for refreshment; hearer respecting his salvation, as Philip replied to and the eunuch said, " See, here is water ; what doth the question of the Ethiopian concerning his baptism, hinder me to be baptised ?"
“ Ifihou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest In preaching Jesus, the initiatory ordinance of bap- be saved.” Religion is an affair of the affections, and tism, as we have hinted, was probably adverted to by not of mere notions : " With the heart man believeth Philip; and that the apostles, and their assistants unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is and successors, were to baptise, not Jews only, but made to salvation.” The subject-matter of this inGentiles also-truly serious persons of all nations, and quiring man's belief is found in his reply to Philip ; their households. It was an encouragement, there- " I believe," said he, “ that Jesus Christ is the Son fore, to this swarthy, inquiring, seriously disposed son of God." This confession of faithi was very short, but of Ethiopia, to be told that he was interested in the it was comprehensive, and enough for the then times covenant of grace and redemption; and thus encou- and circumstances. The evangelist was assured of its raged, he asks, with earnestness, " What doth hin- sincerity; he was at least bound to consider it sincere. der ne - why may not I enjoy this appointed ordi- It was sufficient to entitle the eunuch to the initiatory nance, and avouch myself a disciple of Jesus; and ordinance of baptism ; that he might enjoy all the shew you, and the servants that are with me, by this benefits and blessings of a professed disciple of Christ. palpable sign, that this day I take Jesus for my It was a confession, like the answer to a question Lord and Saviour, and that I will from henceforth be put by Christ, “ Dost thou believe on the name of his disciple? What doth hinder me from receiving the Son of God ? and he said, Lord, I believe ; and and enjoying all those spiritual benefits, all those he worshipped him" (John, ix. 35). Philip was conblessings, for the regeneration, sanctification, and sal- vinced that this professor of his faith in the fulfilment vation of my soul, which, you tell me, Jesus declares of Isaiah's prediction, would, upon all needful occahe will communicate to those who partake of that sions, take up the cross, and deny himself, and follow ordinance in obedience to his gracious command ?" his Saviour- follow him as an atonement for his nu
The general promises, and precepts, and proposals merous sins, and a pattern for his daily conduct; and of the Gospel, must be accepted and acted upon by that, through the influences of the Holy Spirit on individuals, before they ought to hope to be savingly his mind, of which baptism, rightly received, is a benefited by them. When any one begins to hear pledge and assurance, he would believe all the articles with seriousness, that God the Father so loved the of the Christian faith as they were made known to world as to give his Son to die for it, he may say, him, and walk in God's holy will and commandments “What hindereth it in my case, that I should not be all the days of his life. The evangelist would not
hinder such a person from being baptised on the spot, Observe further, when Philip and the eunuch“were and especially in the circumstances of the case. If come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught he had then been denied that holy rite, he might not away Philip,* that the eunuch saw him no more.” find another opportunity of receiving it from an ac- The design of the interview was now accomplished. credited minister of the Gospel. The evangelist knew It was good for the evangelist to proceed to other serfull well that the command of Jesus was to baptise vices, and for the Ethiopian to look beyond the teachmen of all nations; that it was very comprehensive, ing of man to that of the Holy Ghost. It pleased God and to be interpreted liberally, as an ordinance, not greatly to confirm the eunuch's faith in all that Philip for proficients in the faith, but for initiation or intro- had taught, and the writings of Isaiah, which he had duction into the Christian Church, and to be admi- declared to be inspired of the Holy Ghost, and on nistered, not to fathers, but to babes in Christ. which he had commented, by a wonderful miracle
With these views, and in that early age of the wrought at the moment and in his immediate preChurch, and from the transitory nature of the interview between the disciple and teacher, this simple and Philip became perhaps invisible; or was visibly, sincere declaration, “ I believe that Jesus is the Son suddenly, and rapidly raised up, and carried away of God," was deemed sufficient and acceptable. Philip from his sight, through the air. This baptised man assented to the proposal of the eunuch; the chariot might then exclaim, “ Now I know that thou art a was stopped in which they were. The lord high-trea- man of God, and that the word in thy mouth is truth." surer credited the spiritual authority to baptise of the He had still Isaiah for his companion, and he was stranger, who had preached Jesus to him in a way so promised that the Lord would still further enlighten congenial to his wants, and feelings, and desires. By his mind by his own divine and gracious suggestions. his discourse, and its effects on his heart, he knew that “ The path of the just is as the light, shining clearer Philip was “a man of God." “So they went down both and brighter to the perfect day." We shall soon see into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he our teachers no more; let us 'value their godly inbaptised him” in the name of the Father, and of the structions while we have them, and follow them as Son, and of the Holy Ghost.
they follow Christ. Then shall we, as they, be taken Our Church considers immersion as one proper by angels into Abraham's bosom. But though our mode of baptism. The ancient fonts that remain teachers do not live for ever on earth, our great Highin our churches were made of sufficient capacity to priest abideth ever, and hath an unchangeable priestadmit of the dipping of infants. But the divine Ori- hood. May we
go on our way rejoicing," as this ginator of the ordinance did not see fit to enjoin any grandee of Ethiopia did! He had given himself to especial mode as essential to our obedience to his will, the Lord in baptism, and the Lord had graciously and as exclusive of all other modes. The Gospel was accepted him as a disciple; he rejoiced in Christ to be preached, and this ordinance was to be adminis-Jesus, and had no confidence in the flesh ; he had, intered, to persons of all ages and constitutions, and to deed, lost Philip, but through Philip he had found those labouring under the greatest infirmities; and Christ. He would see his face no more, but Puilip had as well to those dwelling among the frozen rocks of commended him to God, and to the word of his grace, Labrador, as to those found on the burning sands of which was able to build bim up, and to give him an Arabia. Diverse modes are therefore aliowable, to inheritance among them that are perfectly taught and meet the diverse circumstances of mankind, so that sanctified. He became a preacher of Christ and salthe spirit of the ordinance be maintained, and all vation to his own countrymen most probably, and things be done decently and in order. In hot coun- through him did “Ethiopia stretch out her hands unto tries, bathings and general ablutions were so common, God.” that the immersions of baptism were neither incon- While the sanhedrim at Jerusalem were persecuting venient nor insalubrious; but in colder climates the all that called on the name of Christ, and were pining case is not so; and we are at liberty to apply the rule with rage that the city was filling with their doctrine, which the loving-kindness of God has given us, “ I this heir of salvation is going homeward full of joy and will have mercy, and not sacrifice." The universal peace in believing; carrying with him the glad tidings Church has always considered that sprinkling the of salvation to his own nation; and although the subject with water is valid and sufficient baptism, eunuch departed for Ethiopia, and Philip was soon when solemnly administered in the name of the found at Azotus, yet are they, we doubt not, both Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost; and there are found in that world where everlasting joy is with instances in Scripture wherein it should seem that im- them, and where they are by the river of the water of mersion or dipping was next to impossible-such as in life, to part no more. the case of whole households being baptised, and even in the night (Acts, xvi. 15, 33).
Though the eunuch was an adult, and could not be baptised into the Christian faith sooner than he
MYTHOLOGY.-THE SCLAVONIC. was, yet ar infants, in virtue of the faith of their BY TIE Rev. HENRY CHRISTMAS, F.S.A. parents, proper subjects for Christian baptism, as the
Author of " Universal Mythology." early commencement of a course of Christian instruc
(Continued from Number CLXXXV.) tion, by imploring the Divine blessing, through the medium of a divinely appointed ordinance. And
III. Of the Gods worshipped by particular Tribes only though in this case the eunuch was immersed, sprinkling of water on the child or the adult has been deemed
of the Sclavi. sufficient, where no conscientious scruples have inter- Hitherto we have seen those deities only which fered, by the judgment of the whole Church, except were worshipped by all the Sarmatian tribes; but among a very small sect of Christians, and that exclu
there were some which, though not universally adored, sive opinion divulged only a few centuries ago. Our Nicene Creed wisely declares, there is "
were yet held the chief gods among those people who baptism for the remission of sins,” without defining did receive them : there were others which maintained its outward mode. The spirit of the ordinance may
a secondary rank among certain nations, but are, be enjoyed, and the blessing of Christ may be expected, however, too important to be overlooked. Such was with equal certainty, whenever it is sought with equal the god silny Bog, or Krepki Bog, who was confervency, under either form of its administration. This is one of the liberties of the Gospel, which the Church does well to maintain,
• Instances of this kind are recorded in 1 Kings, xylii, 2; 2 Kings, ii. 16; and Ezek, lli. 14.
sidered as a war-god, and represented holding in one the sacred horse-of which animal more will be said band a lance, in the other a globe of silver ; at his when we come to speak of the Saxon mythology. feet were the heads of men and of lions. Such too Lances were arranged according to a prescribed was Zolotaia Baba, or the golden woman, for such order, and at a certain height from the ground; the her name imports. Her worshippers considered her horse was then made to leap over them; and by his as the mother of the gods. In her arms, like the Isis motions the result of the warlike enterprises for that of the Egyptians, and the Shing-moo of the Chinese, year were judged. she held an infant. Her statue was gilded; and But the ceremonies of the festival did not stop around was a band of musicians, who seldom left their here. After this augury the sacrifices began; human post, and who strove to render their homage as noisy | victims, chosen from among the prisoners of war, as possible. This goddess, too, was oracular; and it were attired in their most magnificent arms, and was forbidden to approach her without some offering: mounted upon their best horses ; the legs of each the poor, therefore, tore off part of their garment, or horse were tied to four posts, and thus fastened, the plucked out a lock of their hair, to lay before the feet horse and his rider were surrounded with flames. At of the divinity.
the end of this barbarous ceremony, a huge cake, made The Sclavi of Rugen had deities peculiar to them- of flour and honey, was brought; so large, that the selves; the chief of which was Sviatovid, or Svetovid, edges could be raised high enough to conceal a man. known among the Saxons by the name of Suantovith. The priest was placed within it; and when he was His figure was that of a man with four heads; and he quite invisible to those without, he addressed his was esteemed the god of the sun and of war. In the prayers to the god, and besought him to manifest his city of Acron, which was the capital of the isle of presence among his people during the ensuing year. Rugen, was his principal temple, and thither resorted Then commenced the banquet itself, no unimportant annually a great number of persons of both sexes to part of the rites. The rest of the day was consumed pay their devotions. The heads of his colossal statue
and it was considered a disgrace to conwere beardless, and the hair arranged in short curls ; tinue sober. whereas the Saxons depicted him with long waving In the temple of Svetovid were deposited one-third hair and four beards. He was attired in a short tunic, of all the spoils taken from enemies; and each year and beld in his right hand a golden horn, in his left a
ted, to him three hundred horsemen taken bow; by his side bung a long sword, in a silver scab- in war. This temple was destroyed by the Danes bard; and within reach lay a magnificent saddle and when they took Acron; the statue was broken, and bridle. In the midst of the temple was a sanctuary the fragments thrown into the fire. The Bohemians screened by rich curtains; and within this was the worshipped this god with the same veneration as the enormous statue of the god. On days of solemn fes-Rugians; and when they were converted to Christival, the priest entered alone within these curtains, tianity, their sovereign, Vytcheslaf, gave them St. Vitus taking care to hold his breath
a practice which, as their patron-saint, called in their language Suanas we shall see, was continued among the Saxons, tovit-- the same name by which they distinguished though there the whole temple was too sacred the ancient deity. Rugiivith was but the same god, to breathe in on that day; and there does not and derived his name from the isle of Rugen. Poreappear to have been any peculiar sanctuary. The nuth and Porevith were other shapes and names under similarity between this Sclavonic ceremony and which he was adored. Schedius, indeed, says, that that which was commanded to be observed in the With was the original name of the god; and that Pore, temple of the Most High at Jerusalem, when once Suanto, and Rugii, were merely additions to distinin every year the high-priest alone was permitted guish the place where, or the circumstances under to go within the veil, cannot fail to strike the at- which, the idol was worshipped — just as the Romans tention of the reader, and to point out the source had their Jupiter Stator, Jupiter Capitolinus, &c. from which the Sclavi derived the rite. Once in It will be necessary to speak of these deities as every year the priest filled with wine the born in Saxon gods; for though there are but few traces of the idol's hand. This was done with many cere- their worship among the Anglo-Saxons, they seem to monies; and the wine remained in the horn till the have been extensively revered on the continent. After next year brought round the time to renew it: when Svetovid came Prono, a god also worshipped by the that day arrived, the chief-priest was obliged himself Saxons. His statue was placed on a lofty oak; and to cleanse and sweep the temple; and then, with around him were ranged a great number of idols, with solemn sacrifices, he took the horn, from the hand of two, three, or more faces. Seva was a goddess, whose the god, and examined how much wine had been eva- altars flowed with human blood. She presided over porated. If but little, he prognosticated an abundant the fertility of the earth; and as such she was repreyear, and a good harvest the year ensuing; if much, sented under the figure of a beautiful young woman but a small crop could be expected. The wine in the covered only by her floating hair, which reached as horn was then poured out at the feet of the image, and far as her knees. the horn filled afresh. The priest drank to the honour There were two other deities not universally worof the idol, and prayed on behalf of the people for shipped, but looked upon with great veneration by abundance, riches, and victory. He then replaced the more westerly of the Sclavi : these were the good the horn in the hand of the statue. As soon as this genius Bely Bog, and the evil genius Tcherny Bog, was done, the god was consulted as to the success of corrupted by the Bohemians into Zernebock-a name those military enterprises which were about to be un- which was long appropriated to the devil. Bely Bog dertaken; and the reply was expected to come from was represented by a bloody statue covered with fies;
and it would seem that there was some connexion son Igor, died pagans; but it is said that the wife of between this god and the Baal-zebub of the Syrians : the latter prince embraced the religion of Jesus, and his festivals were celebrated with banquets and dances, continued in it until her death. She was canonised, while Tcherny Bog was only addressed in the lan- and is still a very favourite saint of the Greek Church. guage of deprecation.
It does not, however, appear that she ever attempted
to introduce Christianity into Russia, though for at IV. Of the Rites and Auguries of the Sclavonic Nations.
least ten years, viz. from 945 to 955, she governed The Sarmatians formed no exception to that general that country in the name of her son Sviatoslaf: prorule, that man is desirous, eagerly desirous, of looking bably one reason might be, that the religion of his into futurity. They had, as we liave seen, their oracles; ancestors was vehemently supported by that prince, and they had also their auguries. The most common who continued a pagan all his life, and brought up his was that performed by casting up into the air circles family in the same faith. Jaropolk, his son, seems called croujki: these were painted white on one side, to have shared his sentiments; but Vladimir I., who and black on the other; if, when they descended, the succeeded, entertained the missionaries of the Roman white side lay uppermost, the omen was good; if, on and Greek Churches, of the Mahometans, and it is the contrary, the black appeared, the reverse was the even said of the Jews. He listened attentively to
Sometimes two or more circles were thrown up their arguments; and finally choosing ten men among at once; and as those which exhibited the white side the wisest of his counsellors, he sent them to examine exceeded in number those of which the black was the state and effects of those several creeds in the presented, so the inquirers judged of the success of countries in which they were acknowledged. The an undertaking. Some drew their auguries from the ambassadors visited the lands required; and, struck return of birds of passage ; others from the undula- with the splendour exhibited at Constantinople under tions of the sacrificial smoke, the cries of animals, the the Greek empire, they unanimously gave their verdict men or beasts which they met with in their daily in favour of the Greek Church. Vladimir bowed to walks. The deportment of the captives about to be their decision; but as he was determined not to ask sacrificed to the gods were all matters far from indif- any favour of the emperor, he raised an army, inferent, and all conveyed some prophetic lesson. vaded the empire, and after devastating whole pro
That the Sclavi believed the immortality of the vinces and shedding the blood of tens of thousands of soul, and a future state of reward and punishment, men, he carried away captive bishops, priests, and is evident, not only from the identity of their my- deacons, and thus avoided what he considered the thology with that of Greece, but by the union of re- humiliation of sending to Constantinople for in. ligious ceremonies with funeral rites.
structors. Vladiınir now openly embraced Chrispart of these nations buried their dead. After having
tianity; Novogorod was raised to the rank of a placed the body, not without prayers and sacrifices, in metropolis ; and Michael was consecrated by the a ditch or grave, they heaped above it a mound of Greek patriarch its first archbishop. The grandearth ; around this they assembled to celebrate the duke, for that was the title then borne by the Russian trizna, or funeral feast.
sovereigns, received baptism himself, and his whole Few banquets among the Sclavi were equal in mag- court followed his example. He issued orders that nificence to these trizna. Hydromel or mead was his subjects should comply with the same rite, on pain consumed in so great a quantity, that the guests rarely of severe punishment, but none was necessary. The left the tomb in a state of sobriety; while at the change seems to have been wrought at once, and death of a prince cruelty was added to drunkenness, universally. The image of Peroun at Kief was and captives were sacrificed, to be useful to the de
broken from its pedestal, and dragged along at a parted in another world. Those who burned their horse's tail to the river, beaten with rods all the way, dead instead of burying them, commenced by the and finally cast into the water. At Novogorod, howcelebration of the trizna ; after which they carefully
ever, the god did not, seems, yield so peaceably to gathered the ashes and bones which were not entirely his fate; for when his statue there was cast into the consumed, placed them in urns, and set those urns river, he rose again to the surface, and casting a staff on pillars near their cities.
on the bridge threatened them that they should have The funeral ceremonies even yet in use among the cause to repent this sacrilegious act. The memory of Russians are plainly derived from the trizna. The this was long kept up by a day of humiliation, prebody to this day is carefully dressed in the richest scribed by the Greek Church to avert the effects of apparel that belonged to the deceased; the hair is demoniacal indignation. After the reign of Vladimir, elaborately curled; and the body is then placed upon idolatry never recovered; it may be said to have a painted bier, with the hands covered by white gloves, had its death-blow in the conversion of that prince, and holding a cross and a bouquet of flowers. Women A.D, 988. are dressed in new robes. Then the friends of the deceased meet, and drink around the body; while refreshments are plentifully distributed to those without.
V. Of the Decline and Fall of the Sclavonic Religion.
Scarcely was Russia established as a separate monarchy under Rurick, than Christianity began to be preached. Rurick himself, his kinsman Oleg, and his