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is to beat down the dominion of the outward, and exalt that of the inward; to rescue man from the educating power and control of sense, and hold him under the tuition of spirit. The fetters of the one should be loosened by the gospel, and the freedom of the other secured. The pomp, and display, and imposing circumstance of an artistic ritual are sensuous, pre-eminently, in their appeal and results. Touching things spiritual, unseen and eternal, all these may become but their gilded tomb. We must conclude, then, both from theory and fact, that there is no tendency in a liturgized Christianity to purge man from his sin and shame, but rather do we see in it an embroidered drapery to hide them from view.
Many other deductions of a highly practical character might be drawn from the matter now présented, but we stay not to note them.
One thing has a right to be said : Let us stand by our simple, manly, Puritan worship; let us learn, year by year, to prize it more highly. There it stands in the New Testainent, if anything does. Christ and the apostles left the “rig” of Aaron at the typical altar. The gospel is manly, spiritual, simple. It has the vigor of truth, the purity of virtue, the beauty of holiness, the sublimity of faith. Upon these characters, God has ever put the seal of approbation. If our worship seems unpretending in the presence of the Scarlet Lady, or the rustling robes of her daughters, let us not turn pagan to rival her. If the trappings of tawdry show and an unchastened taste have not bedecked the Puritan altars, let us be content that manly thought has ever dwelt there, and a jealous deference to the glory of God, not elsewhere recorded. The Puritan ministry have always been able to make their own prayers and write their own sermons Let them stand in that attitude as their just commendation. If they are ashamed of anything, let it not be that they have no phylacteries, no priests; but that the descendants of a noble ancestry should ever so far degenerate as to apostatize from the simplicity and spirituality of the primitive worship, and be willing to wear the badges of their own shame.
ATHENS: THE GRAND EXPERIMENT.
During a recent tour in Greece, we were deeply impressed with the idea that the ancient Athenians could read instructive lessons to modern Christendom. No people, unaided by the Bible, ever enjoyed greater facilities for a full development in the right direction. It is proposed, in the present article, to illustrate this position, as set forth by a national experiment, in order to show the results.
The plain of Attica, in which Athens holds a prominent position, is bounded on the north by the Parnes mountains, which separate it from Bæotia, and on whose southern slope rises the west branch of the Cephissus; on the northeast is Pentelicus, the deposit of the Pentelic marble, also giving rise to the east branch of the Cephissus. Southeast is Hymettus, in which are the sources of the Ilissus, and where also was found the classic honey, which still supplies the market in its pristine purity. The Ilissus, after passing near the site of the ancient wall on the east side of Athens, unites with the Cephissus, southwest of the city. South and west of the plain is the Saronic gulf. On the northwest is the Ægaleus, a spur of the Parnes. In the centre of the plain rises a short range of hills, whose highest peak, about one thousand feet, is Lycabettus, which boldly overlooks the modern city, lying in a depression between Lycabettus on the north and the Acropolis on the south; though ancient Athens extended still farther to the west and south, and enclosed the Acropolis on all sides.
Viewed from the summit of Lycabettus, as well as from several other points, the scenery around Athens, to be appreciated, must be seen. Mountain and valley, field and city, sea and islands, all taken in at a glance, constitute a picture of which one never tires; but the enchantment increases as the view continues. Added to the aspect, around and below, the
soft blue sky, surpassing anything, perhaps, in any part of the world, completes the blended impression, and seems to leave nothing to be added which could heighten the effect. It is the home of bright visions, the native place of poetry, of song.
The climate and productions were, every way, fitted to foster a people such as the Athenians became. In latitude about thirtyeight degrees, or nearly that of Richmond, Virginia, it is ever mild yet never enervating. Added to this felicity of latitude, the climate is rendered stable by proximity to the sea, which tones down the heat of summer and modifies the chills of winter, so that the inhabitants require neither the highlyseasoned condiment of the tropics, which unduly inflames the passions, nor the peculiar protection against the influence of the northern regions, which incline to stupor. Pentelicus is a mountain of the best marble for architecture and statuary. In some cardinal qualities it surpasses even the Parian. Being of firmer grain, and more compact, it admits of a surface more delicately wrought, and is of a pure white whose freshness it retains for a much longer time. Hymettus dripped with honey, while the sunny hill-sides furnished wine and milk in abund. ance; and what of more substantial food was not supplied by the plain of Attica, formerly very productive, was brought in from ruder portions of Greece in exchange for such articles as the commercial metropolis could readily supply. The government of Athens early took a democratic tendency, and for several centuries the Athenians enjoyed, substantially, a vigorons Republic. Cecrops, dispossessing the owls, took possession of the rocky heights of the Acropolis at an early day.
With this allusion to the natural facilities which conduced to the future eminence of the Athenians, the reader is invited to a ramble about the city, whose remains of antiquity now in ruins, speak eloquently of the past. Through these he will gain some acquaintance with their authors, and learn where some of the distinguished men of Athens did their work and achieved their characters. By these it will better appear what improvement of their privileges the people made.
On the southeastern border of Athens, just over the Ilissus
is the Stadium, which was founded by the orator Lycurgus, about three hundred and thirty years before the Christian era. This race-course of the ancients has been recently laid open by the excavators. Commencing at the river's bank, where a bridge crossed the Ilissus, it recedes into a depression of the rising ground for a quarter of a mile; then turning by a semicircular arc, returns again to the bank of the river. The excavation shows that the entire course was finished up on each side by a wall, or balustrade, of Pentelic marble, exquisitely wrought. The hill on each side of the course was sloped gradually down from the height of thirty or forty feet to the marble finish, and was fitted up with elegant seats of marble. Hither the fun-loving Athenians of both sexes and all ages repaired, in crowds, to witness, in the contests, the exhibitions of speed and skill. Ranged quite round upon the marble seats, they clapped and shouted, cheering on the competitors as they passed. On one side, abont mid way, is a tunnel through the adjacent hill, where, it is supposed, those who failed in the course turned out from the view of the spectators. We hope never to see at home such magnificence in a race-course, either for men or animals. Yet this Stadium, founded more than three centuries before the Christian era, shows what taste and finish the Athenians, at that early period, had wrought into their play-grounds. Recrossing the Ilissus, which scarcely trickles with water in May, and in mid-summer is entirely dry, one follows down along its bank for half a mile, where the bed of the river breaks suddenly down over a ledge of hard rock, making a fall of ten or fifteen feet. Here are large, mortar-like holes in the firm rock, showing that there is a powerful action of water in the rainy season. Below this fall, at a pool, are to be found, early and late, sundry characters in female form. Judging from the position they occupy, they ought to be water nymphs; yet anticipation is suddenly humiliated when one sees only degraded washerwomen, using the pool in the bed of the river as a wash-tub, and the stones as a scrubbing-board. Leaving the margin of the Ilissus, a short distance to the northwest brings one to the area of the Temple of Jupitur Olympus,
which was three hundred and seventy-five feet in length and one hundred and eighty-five in width. The temple was peristyle, with one hundred and twenty Corinthian columns, sixty-six feet in height and seven feet in diameter. The colonnade contained a double row of columns on the sides and a triple row on the ends, fifteen of which are now standing, with massive fragments of architraves resting on their capitals. One lies prostrate, having been blown down in a storm several years since; and, while the standing columns discover no signs of joints in the shaft, yet the prostrate column, so far from being a monolith, is in nineteen sections, the capital alone being in two pieces. This fact, together with the gorgeous finish, shows that the edifice, though commenced at an early period, was not completed until after the decline of Grecian architecture. Still the ruins are splendid, and whoever regards magnificent churches as evidence of a warm and vigorous piety in the builders, will find the worshipers of Jupiter outdoing everything which has yet been attempted in Christian America.
The musical scale was familiar to the people of Athens for centuries before the Christian era. All the tones and semitones entered into their musical compositions; two odeons furnished accommodations for musical exhibitions. At the southeast angle of the Acropolis one finds conclusive evidence, that children could sing long before the era of modern Sabbath schools with “Golden Chains.” Just at the base of the hill, below the odeon, which has gone to ruins, is a beautiful monument twenty-two feet in height, with Corinthian half-columns, erected to the memory of Lysicrates, who bore away the prize in a inusical contest with a chorus of boys. This monument, from its form, is called the lantern of Demosthenes, and has stood more than twenty-two centuries, to illustrate the Athenian appreciation of music in that remote period. Passing on a few rods towards the west, under the brow of the Acropolis, one comes to the theatre of Dionysus (Bacchus), which was laid open in 1862, as report says, under the direction of the Crown Prince of Prussia, who, surveying the ruins, discovered