Imatges de pÓgina
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sidered as a war-god, and represented holding in one band a lance, in the other a globe of silver; at his feet were the heads of men and of lions. Such too was Zolotaia Baba, or the golden woman, for such her name imports. Her worshippers considered her as the mother of the gods. In her arms, like the Isis of the Egyptians, and the Shing-moo of the Chinese, she held an infant. Her statue was gilded; and around was a band of musicians, who seldom left their post, and who strove to render their homage as noisy as possible. This goddess, too, was oracular; and it was forbidden to approach her without some offering: the poor, therefore, tore off part of their garment, or plucked out a lock of their hair, to lay before the feet of the divinity.

The Sclavi of Rugen had deities peculiar to themselves; the chief of which was Sviatovid, or Svetovid, known among the Saxons by the name of Suantovith. His figure was that of a man with four heads; and he was esteemed the god of the sun and of war. In the city of Acron, which was the capital of the isle of Rugen, was his principal temple, and thither resorted annually a great number of persons of both sexes to pay their devotions. The heads of his colossal statue were beardless, and the hair arranged in short curls; whereas the Saxons depicted him with long waving hair and four beards. He was attired in a short tunic, and held in his right hand a golden horn, in his left a bow; by his side hung a long sword, in a silver scabbard; and within reach lay a magnificent saddle and bridle. In the midst of the temple was a sanctuary screened by rich curtains; and within this was the enormous statue of the god. On days of solemn festival, the priest entered alone within these curtains, taking care to hold his breath a practice which, as we shall see, was continued among the Saxons, though there the whole temple was too sacred to breathe in on that day; and there does not appear to have been any peculiar sanctuary. The similarity between this Sclavonic ceremony and that which was commanded to be observed in the temple of the Most High at Jerusalem, when once in every year the high-priest alone was permitted to go within the veil, cannot fail to strike the attention of the reader, and to point out the source from which the Sclavi derived the rite. Once in every year the priest filled with wine the horn in the idol's hand. This was done with many ceremonies; and the wine remained in the horn till the next year brought round the time to renew it: when that day arrived, the chief-priest was obliged himself to cleanse and sweep the temple; and then, with solemn sacrifices, he took the horn from the hand of the god, and examined how much wine had been evaporated. If but little, he prognosticated an abundant year, and a good harvest the year ensuing; if much, but a small crop could be expected. The wine in the horn was then poured out at the feet of the image, and the horn filled afresh. The priest drank to the honour of the idol, and prayed on behalf of the people for abundance, riches, and victory. He then replaced the horn in the hand of the statue. As soon as this was done, the god was consulted as to the success of those military enterprises which were about to be undertaken; and the reply was expected to come from

the sacred horse-of which animal more will be said when we come to speak of the Saxon mythology. Lances were arranged according to a prescribed order, and at a certain height from the ground; the horse was then made to leap over them; and by his motions the result of the warlike enterprises for that year were judged.

But the ceremonies of the festival did not stop here. After this augury the sacrifices began; human victims, chosen from among the prisoners of war, were attired in their most magnificent arms, and mounted upon their best horses; the legs of each horse were tied to four posts, and thus fastened, the horse and his rider were surrounded with flames. At the end of this barbarous ceremony, a huge cake, made of flour and honey, was brought; so large, that the edges could be raised high enough to conceal a man. The priest was placed within it; and when he was quite invisible to those without, he addressed his prayers to the god, and besought him to manifest his presence among his people during the ensuing year. Then commenced the banquet itself, no unimportant part of the rites. The rest of the day was consumed in feasting; and it was considered a disgrace to continue sober.

In the temple of Svetovid were deposited one-third of all the spoils taken from enemies; and each year were devoted, to him three hundred horsemen taken in war. This temple was destroyed by the Danes when they took Acron; the statue was broken, and the fragments thrown into the fire. The Bohemians worshipped this god with the same veneration as the Rugians; and when they were converted to Christianity, their sovereign, Vytcheslaf, gave them St. Vitus as their patron-saint, called in their language Suantovit the same name by which they distinguished the ancient deity. Rugiivith was but the same god, and derived his name from the isle of Rugen. Porenuth and Porevith were other shapes and names under which he was adored. Schedius, indeed, says, that With was the original name of the god; and that Pore, Suanto, and Rugii, were merely additions to distinguish the place where, or the circumstances under which, the idol was worshipped just as the Romans had their Jupiter Stator, Jupiter Capitolinus, &c.

It will be necessary to speak of these deities as Saxon gods; for though there are but few traces of their worship among the Anglo-Saxons, they seem to have been extensively revered on the continent. After Svetovid came Prono, a god also worshipped by the Saxons. His statue was placed on a lofty oak; and around him were ranged a great number of idols, with two, three, or more faces. Seva was a goddess, whose altars flowed with human blood. She presided over the fertility of the earth; and as such she was represented under the figure of a beautiful young woman covered only by her floating hair, which reached as far as her knees.

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There were two other deities not universally wor shipped, but looked upon with great veneration by the more westerly of the Sclavi: these were the good genius Bely Bog, and the evil genius Tcherny Bog, corrupted by the Bohemians into Zernebock—a name which was long appropriated to the devil. Bely Bog was represented by a bloody statue covered with flies;

and it would seem that there was some connexion between this god and the Baal-zebub of the Syrians: his festivals were celebrated with banquets and dances, while Tcherny Bog was only addressed in the language of deprecation.

son Igor, died pagans; but it is said that the wife of the latter prince embraced the religion of Jesus, and continued in it until her death. She was canonised, and is still a very favourite saint of the Greek Church. It does not, however, appear that she ever attempted to introduce Christianity into Russia, though for at least ten years, viz. from 945 to 955, she governed that country in the name of her son Sviatoslaf: probably one reason might be, that the religion of his ancestors was vehemently supported by that prince, who continued a pagan all his life, and brought up his family in the same faith. Jaropolk, his son, seems to have shared his sentiments; but Vladimir I., who succeeded, entertained the missionaries of the Roman and Greek Churches, of the Mahometans, and it is even said of the Jews. He listened attentively to their arguments; and finally choosing ten men among the wisest of his counsellors, he sent them to examine the state and effects of those several creeds in the countries in which they were acknowledged. The ambassadors visited the lands required; and, struck with the splendour exhibited at Constantinople under the Greek empire, they unanimously gave their verdict in favour of the Greek Church. Vladimir bowed to their decision; but as he was determined not to ask any favour of the emperor, he raised an army, invaded the empire, and after devastating whole provinces and shedding the blood of tens of thousands of men, he carried away captive bishops, priests, and

That the Sclavi believed the immortality of the soul, and a future state of reward and punishment,

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-
ligious ceremonies with funeral rites.
The greater
part of these nations buried their dead. After having
placed the body, not without prayers and sacrifices, in
a ditch or grave, they heaped above it a mound of
earth; around this they assembled to celebrate the
trizna, or funeral feast.

humiliation of sending to Constantinople for in-
structors. Vladimir now openly embraced Chris-
tianity; Novogorod was raised to the rank of a
metropolis; and Michael was consecrated by the
Greek patriarch its first archbishop. The grand-
duke, for that was the title then borne by the Russian
sovereigns, received baptism himself, and his whole
court followed his example. He issued orders that
his subjects should comply with the same rite, on pain
of severe punishment, but none was necessary. The
change seems to have been wrought at once, and
universally. The image of Peroun at Kief was
broken from its pedestal, and dragged along at a
horse's tail to the river, beaten with rods all the way,
and finally cast into the water. At Novogorod, how-
ever, the god did not, it seems, yield so peaceably to
his fate; for when his statue there was cast into the
river, he rose again to the surface, and casting a staff
on the bridge threatened them that they should have
cause to repent this sacrilegious act. The memory of
this was long kept up by a day of humiliation, pre-
scribed by the Greek Church to avert the effects of
demoniacal indignation. After the reign of Vladimir,
idolatry never recovered; it may be said to have
had its death-blow in the conversion of that prince,
A.D. 988.

IV. Of the Rites and Auguries of the Sclavonic Nations.

The Sarmatians formed no exception to that general rule, that man is desirous, eagerly desirous, of looking into futurity. They had, as we have seen, their oracles; and they had also their auguries, The most common was that performed by casting up into the air circles called croujki: these were painted white on one side, and black on the other; if, when they descended, the white side lay uppermost, the omen was good; if, on the contrary, the black appeared, the reverse was the case. Sometimes two or more circles were thrown up at once; and as those which exhibited the white side exceeded in number those of which the black was presented, so the inquirers judged of the success of an undertaking. Some drew their auguries from the return of birds of passage; others from the undulations of the sacrificial smoke, the cries of animals, the men or beasts which they met with in their daily walks. The deportment of the captives about to be sacrificed to the gods were all matters far from indifferent, and all conveyed some prophetic lesson.

Few banquets among the Sclavi were equal in magnificence to these trizna. Hydromel or mead was consumed in so great a quantity, that the guests rarely left the tomb in a state of sobriety; while at the death of a prince cruelty was added to drunkenness, and captives were sacrificed, to be useful to the departed in another world. Those who burned their dead instead of burying them, commenced by the celebration of the trizna; after which they carefully gathered the ashes and bones which were not entirely consumed, placed them in urns, and set those urns on pillars near their cities.

The funeral ceremonies even yet in use among the Russians are plainly derived from the trizna. The body to this day is carefully dressed in the richest apparel that belonged to the deceased; the hair is elaborately curled; and the body is then placed upon a painted bier, with the hands covered by white gloves, and holding a cross and a bouquet of flowers. Women 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

THE LIVING WATER:

A Sermon,

BY THE REV. R. L. COTTON, D.D.

Provost of Worcester College; and Vicar of Denchworth.

JOHN, iv. 10.

the pleasant interest and refreshment enjoyed in studying the word of God; the serenity and illumination derived from the holy communion;-could you have a lively apprehension of all the spiritual blessedness which the gift of God bestows upon men, even in this life, you would indeed earnestly pray for it to that heavenly Father, who will give the Holy Spirit unto them that ask him. How much more if you could know the blessings which flow from it in the life to come; if you could know the misery, the pain, the anguish, both of mind and body, amidst the never-dying worms and everlasting flames of hell, from which it can save you; if you could know the sweet, the delightful, the triumphant nature of the angelic joys, the "pleasures at God's right hand for evermore,' the everlasting delight of living in the presence of God, in the presence of Christ, among pure and righteous and glorified beings, angels and archangels, cherubim and seraphim, and triumphant saints; could you know the nature and extent of the felicity and glory of those things which "eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man," but which "God hath laid up for them that love him;"-could you form but the faintest idea of one-thousandth part of them, you would not surely pass them by with neglect, as if they were not worth seeking; you would pant for them, you would long for them, you would seek them with all your heart and mind and soul.

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"Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith unto thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water." WE find here a woman in the presence of the Saviour of the world, but unacquainted with him, and with the great and glorious things which he was able and willing to do for her. Jesus having been in his lowly manner journeying on foot, fatigued with the toil of it, in humble simplicity sat down on the woodwork, or some part of the machinery, of a well, which was called Jacob's well. He had perhaps directed his steps especially to this place, because he knew that a woman was there, who, though hitherto ignorant and sinful, was blest with an honest and ingenuous heart, ready to receive and follow instruction; and that intercourse with her would lead to the edification of many others. The blessed Jesus, ever intent upon carrying on his work of love, was not to be restrained by the fatigue under which he was labouring, from exercising his affectionate interest in the salvation of man. He sat by the woman; he began to speak to her; he said, "Give me to drink." She, little thinking that the lowly man with whom she was sitting was the blessed Son of God, the Saviour of mankind, asked him how he, being a Jew, could beg a favour of a Sa- Again, the blessed Saviour might say, maritan, since the Jews and the Samaritans Could you know who it is that speaketh to were enemies. The gracious Jesus takes no thee; could you, my people, know what notice of what she had said: he took no part manner of person that is who saith to you, în enmities and quarrels; his holy mind was Come unto me;" who promiseth, "him occupied with another and a better subject. that cometh unto me I will in no wise cast He knew the sad state into which her dark-out;" could you know his meekness and genness and iniquity had brought her; and he knew the salvation which he could work for her. He addressed her to this effect: "Could you but know who I am, and what I could do for you, you would long for the great blessings which I am able to impart to you." His compassionate heart felt that it was a pity that there should be such grand blessings ready for the woman, while she was losing the enjoyment of them, because she did not know what they were, and therefore could not seek them. Therefore he saith, "If thou knewest the gift of God."

And to how many might he thus speak at the present day! If you could know the nature of that unspeakable gift which the blessed God offers you in the Gospel of his Son; if you could know the soothing consolation of pardon and reconciliation with God; the comfort of love, and all other heavenly graces; the sweet satisfaction found in prayer;

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tleness, his righteousness and justice, his wisdom and prudence, his mercy and love; could you know all the beauty of his holiness, sweetened and softened as it is by his gracious tenderness, compassion, and condescension; could you know the glory and greatness of his divine majesty, as it appeared when the seraphim "cried to one another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God of hosts, the whole earth is full of his glory;" or, as it will appear when "he shall come in his glory, and all his holy angels with him, and shall sit on the throne of his glory, and before him shall be gathered all nations," even all the thousands of all generations which have lived since the world began; or as he will for ever appear in "the light which no man can at present approach unto, King of kings and Lord of lords," with the vast hosts of the holy angels "standing round about him, and falling before the throne on

their faces, and worshipping God, saying, | me with favourable regard, with gracious acceptance? Do I receive with joy and gratitude every sign and expression of his love, which I find in the comfort vouchsafed to me in prayer, and in the study of the Scriptures, and in the holy communion, in the spiritual consolation which at any time pervades my heart? Or is it the case, that I care for none of these things-that I hear of all the offers and promises of the Gospel, and see nothing engaging or attractive in them; that I hear again and again of the righteousness, and love, and glory of the Saviour, and "see no beauty in him, that I should desire him?"

Amen; blessing, and glory, and wisdom,
and thanksgiving, and honour, and power,
and might, be unto our God for ever and
ever;" could you know that he "is the
brightness of the glory of God, and the ex-
press image of his person;" could you hear
the Father himself, God Almighty, saying
unto him, "Thy throne, O God, is for ever
and ever; a sceptre of righteousness is the
sceptre of thy kingdom: and, Thou, Lord, in
the beginning hast laid the foundation of
the earth, and the heavens are the work of
thy hands;" could you see the "wonderful
Counsellor, the mighty God, the everlasting
Father, the Prince of peace;" had you an
enlightened knowledge of Christ in all the
loveliness of his beautiful character as man,
"fairer than the children of men," and in all
his divine attributes and glorious majesty as
God; could you know all the goodness and
the greatness and the glory of the blessed
Son of God, the Saviour of the world, who
invites you to
come unto him, that you may
have life," that you may "have it abund-
antly,"-life in all the abundance of living;
life, with every thing that can fill the living
being with joy and peace; life, blessed with
the perfect exercise of reason, righteousness,
and love-angelic, heavenly life; could you
know the gift of God, and who it is that
speaketh unto you,—you would surely ask of
him, and you would surely pray to him, with
all the eagerness and earnestness of your
hearts, beseeching him to give to you that
which he offers to you.

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Surely there must be some sad disease infecting that heart that finds nothing lovely, nothing desirable, in the blessed Saviour and his heavenly gifts. Surely they that possess such a heart must be "dead in trespasses and sins." The darkness of the grave must have overspread their minds, preventing them from seeing the glorious light which shines over them. "The god of this world hath blinded the eyes of them that believe not, lest the light of the glorious Gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.” The cold hand of death must have been laid upon their heart, chilling all its feelings, and freezing all its affections. How otherwise could people hear of the ever-blessed Son of God, and his inestimable gifts, without any interest, or concern, or admiration, or desire? How will they wonder at their wretched blindness and stupidity, when they "see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory;" when they see the bright saints shining in the brilliancy of their glory, and the heavenly light streaming from the blessed heaven, manifesting to them the radiant glory of the kingdom of God! What will be the anguish of their self-accusing hearts, when they find themselves driven. away, and "punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;" while his blessed saints are, with joy and triumph, glorifying him and admiring him! Then there will be "weeping and gnashing of teeth, when they shall see others in the kingdom of God, and they themselves shut out.'

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Surely, brethren, if you knew the gift of God, and who it is that speaketh unto you, you would ask of him, and he would give you the living water. But what is this living water? We find that the Samaritan woman could not understand what the blessed Jesus meant by the living water; and perhaps such words, expressive and beautifully significant as they are, may convey no idea to manythey may be to them a mere empty sound. They may not perhaps know, after all, what that gift of God is which is offered them, and

But if you have no knowledge of the blessed nature of that "living water," or of the heavenly glory and happiness for which it will prepare you, or of the beauty and majesty of that divine Saviour, who offers these grand spiritual and eternal blessings, you will not long for the living water; you will not anxiously desire the enjoyment of heaven; your soul will not be "athirst for God, even for the living God;" you will not be eager to "appear in the presence of God."

Wherefore, beloved friends, I beseech you, "consider your ways." Ask yourselves this question: Do I value most highly that living water, do I thirst for it, do I long for it, do I pray for it? Do I look forward, with eager desire and hope, to the attainment of a place in the glorious heaven? Do I seek the Lord? Do I seek an enlightened knowledge of Christ? Do I eagerly desire to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge? Do I anxiously cultivate the knowledge of him, by reading of him, and hearing of him, and thinking of him, and imitating him? Do I seek his face, and the light of his countenance, eagerly desiring that he may look upon

undefiled" by sin. Do we, then, find that we abominate sin; and are we utterly ashamed of ourselves because we have been guilty of it, and because of the badness of our hearts, so prone to evil, so wanting in piety and love? Do we find that we are ever seeking the pardon of our sins in prayer, with grace to give us power to master our sinful nature, and excite in us good affections? Are we ever maintaining a struggle with our vile passions and all our tendency to sin? and do we really keep the command over them? Are we ever endeavouring to cherish every good feeling, to cultivate every good disposition, to seek the improvement of the whole frame of our mind and heart? and do we find, as a matter of fact, that we are really devoted to the service of the Lord-that we are really" in the fear of the Lord all the day long," endeavouring to please him by all that we say and do-that we are really given to prayer and the study of the Scriptures, and attending the Lord's house and his holy table? Do we find that

really feel for our fellow-creatures-that we weep with those that weep, and rejoice with those that rejoice—and that we not only feel, but act upon our feelings, exerting ourselves, and enduring loss, that we may afford every assistance, and consolation, and relief to our distressed, and afflicted, and needy neighbour? Do we find that "our affections are set upon things above, and not on things on the earth"-that we are not "carnally minded, which is death, but spiritually minded, which is life and peace?"

for which they may ask in prayer. Let us
hear, then, some further explanation of it
from Jesus himself. "Whosoever shall drink
of the water that I shall give him, shall never
thirst; but the water that I shall give him, shall
be in him a well of water, springing up unto
everlasting life." The living water, then,
means something which, having been im-
parted to us, becomes to us the means of our
attaining eternal life. What can this living
water be, then, but the Holy Spirit? That
blessed Spirit poured into the heart of man,
by the goodness of the gracious God, causes
good principles and holy dispositions to arise
in it. The fear of God, trembling before his
justice and holiness; faith in God, resting
upon his divine mercy and promises, and the
merits of his blessed Son; the love of God,
admiring his divine perfections, and feeling
grateful for all his goodness and all his bless-
ings; charity, filling the heart with kind
affections, and exciting it to active and zeal-
ous efforts to comfort, relieve, assist, benefit
a neighbour;-these, and other good princi-we
ples and dispositions appearing in our heart,
moving us to lead a righteous and godly life,
to be diligent and persevering in acts of piety
and charity, testify that the well of living
water is really in the soul, and is "springing
up unto everlasting life." For the presence
of the Spirit is known by its fruits. "But
the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-
suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meek-
ness, temperance." And to such signs of the
presence of the Spirit we must look, if we
wish really to discover whether we are fa-
voured with the effectual enjoyment of that
inestimable blessing. We must watch the
feelings, and affections, and dispositions of
our heart; we must continually look into,
and observe, and examine the ways of our
life; if we would, indeed, discover whether
the living water is springing up in us to ever-
lasting life. What, if there should appear
in us adultery, fornication, hatred, variance,
envying, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and
such like? Could we hope that the blessed
Spirit is a fountain of life to us in such case?
The Holy Spirit would not send forth a stream
befouled with filthy ways, and perverted by
devilish tempers. The Spirit of Christ would
dispose us to follow the example of the blessed
Jesus in his holy way, and engender in us his
lovely dispositions. He "went about doing
good." In him was "the Spirit of wisdom
and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and
might, the Spirit of knowledge and of the
fear of the Lord;" and "righteousness was
the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness was the
girdle of his reins." He "loved righteous-
ness, and hated iniquity." He " fulfilled all
righteousness," and was "holy, harmless, and |

These are no vain, or impertinent, or needlessly curious questions. They are of the deepest concern to us. For if such a stream of holiness is really proceeding from our hearts, it testifies to us that the fountain of life is there, the "living water." And this pure and holy stream, derived from that sacred fountain, tends in its course to the ocean of everlasting life. Such is the tenour of our Lord's promise: "It shall be in him a well of water, springing up unto everlasting life." Happy and thankful may those blessed children of God be, who find that, notwithstanding the dreadful flood of iniquity which seems to be overflowing the world and overwhelming mankind in misery and ruin, in them appears a stream, though far from the purity which they desire to see in it, yet running in the right course, the course of honesty and truth, the course of chastity and sobriety, the course of piety and charity,-a course spiritual, not earthly-tending to heaven, not to hell. To find the heart set heavenwards, seriously, earnestly, constantly "hungering and thirsting after righteousness" to find the life directed heavenwards, running through a channel of good and religious ways towards

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