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The Indians have quite an original Kow is that perennial youth reigns idea of the cause of thunder and there. lightning. They believe in the exis- As
all heathen nations their tence of a sort of Brobdignagian bird conceptions of a Supreme Being excalled Soochwass, whose nest is on hibit Him in general in a penal some lofty mountain far above the attitude. In Stickeen river, which earth. It lives upon whales, and displays the grandest of all the subwhen one of tempting size makes its lime scenery of British Columbia, appearance on the surface of the there are two large granite pillars ocean this huge bird pounces upon it and several small ones; these stand with a fearful swoop; lightning is the in the middle of the stream, and a Dash of its enormous eye, and thunder tradition belonging to them is that the sound produced by the flapping of they form the remains of a great chief its wings,
with his family who was notorious in As to their belief about a future state, crime, especially for stealing berries the Songhie tribe holds the doctrine from the local tribes. With his wife of the transmigration of souls. They and children he was visited with the do not seem to connect any moral anger of the Great Spirit by being disposition manifested in this life with transformed into these blocks of stone, the perpetuation of that disposition in as a memorial to all generations of the another life as its natural reward or danger of disobeying the deity. punishment; but a great hunter takes In regard to modes of sepulture, the form of the deer which he once the natives living near Victoria now hunted, and the fisherman becomes bury their dead as the whites do; but the fish it was his occupation to catch. with those at a distance from civilizaSo with the future life of all others in tion this is not the usual practice. relation to the tastes they specially Some tribes as a rule burn their dead cultivated and the pursuits they fol- and preserve the ashes, and this is lowed. The natives in the north of done on religious grounds. They British Columbia believe in a state of believe in a vast and beautiful camphappiness hereafter which they call ing ground situated in some unde- . Keewuck (above), but from anything I fined country far west, where Indians have heard them say about it I should live together in uninterrupted ease think they deem it to be only of a and plenty. This shadowy kingdom material character. The spirits of is presided over by a powerful spirit the brave killed in battle go to Kee- of ineffable goodness; it is also part wuck-Kow (life above). To die peace
of their creed that there is an evil fully in one's bed is accounted dis- spirit who watches for every opporgraceful, and those who expire in this tunity to harm them, and whose manner are thought to be unfit for designs to keep them out of heaven it the joys of heaven, and have to is their duty to thwart. They take become refined by purgatorial dis- the heart to be immortal, and fancy cipline among the trees of the forest. that while the body is burning on the The intermediate state is desig- funeral pile, it leaps out; and that ir nated Seewuck-Kow (life in purga
they can divert the attention of the tory). The grand feature of Keewuck- evil spirit by noise or maneuvre of any kind, the heart escapes to the then advances and fires the pile. place of eternal safety. If, however, When the first curl of the smoke is the body is buried, the evil one keeps visible the discordant howlings of the constant guard over the grave, and women become appalling. The men when the heart would fly out it is stand sullen and quiet, while the captured by him and made use of to relatives, with poles in their hands, trouble surviving relatives. When begin a frantic dance round the burnthe corpse is prepared for burning, ing body, occasionally turning it over the knees are pressed toward the chin that it may consume more quickly, upon the breast, and the limbs and
and give the heart a better chance to body bound tightly together in the escape. With the waving of cloths smallest possible compass. It is then and hideous noises they try to throw wrapt in a blanket and placed on its the evil one off his guard. When the back upon the ground, with the face whole is consumed the ashes are exposed. Every sound is hushed, scraped together and a rude wreath of and both men and women sit in silent flowers is placed round them. A knots around the corpse for about portion of the ashes mixed with pitch twenty minutes, when all rise at once is spread on the faces of the relatives -the women to wail and beat their as a badge of mourning, which is breasts, and the men to build the allowed to remain till it wears
The nearest relative
THERE are no two words, if we except
“ Here I would for ever stay, the name of our Saviour, that so move
Weep and gaze my soul away;
Thou art heaven on earth to me, our hearts as Calvary” and the
Lovely, mournful Calvary.” “ Cross.” They are the signs of all that is holy and good. Our very heaven
But the three Marys could not say seems to be in them. But what were
this. As they then saw it and knew they on the day of Christ's death to it, it was only the scene of utterest Mary the mother of Jesus, to Mary shame and misery. His mother's sister, and to Mary
Of the cross we may say: Magdalene?
“In the cross of Christ I glory, Calvary, in the language of the Towering o'er the wrecks of time; Romans; Golgotha, in the language
All the light of sacred story
Gathers round its head sublime.” of the Hebrews; interpreted in our language, “the place of a skull” — But what was it to those who clung was so called because it was the place to it on the dark day of the Saviour's where public executions took place, death? We all know, and are often and as such it was infamous in the reminded of it, that death by the cross eyes of the people. We may say in was the punishment inflicted on slaves the words of Montgomery:
and malefactors of the worst class.
But we are not in a position to appre- know nothing but that she was, though ciate the feeling of loathing and ab- bearing the same name, the sister of horrence with which it was regarded the mother of Jesus, that she was the by the Romans and by the nations mother of James the less and Joses, over which the Romans ruled. The and that she had already shown her painfulness and agony of death by the love to Jesus by ministering to Him cross were greater far than of death of her substance, * by any other means. But the shame of Of Mary Magdalene, or Mary of it distinguished it more than its pain. Magdala in Galilee, we know that she fulness and agony. To die by the sword was indebted to the Lord Jesus for of the axeman was an honour rather deliverance from seven evil spirits, than a disgrace. To die by the mouth which had entered into her. (Mark of the lion in the amphitheatre, though xvi. 9.) The term Magdalene has a terrible death, was scarcely a dis- acquired a peculiar meaning, through grace. But the cross-in that was an unfortunate misunderstanding of concentrated all ideas at once of shame the gospel history.
There is no and of suffering. And this was the ground whatsoever for confounding death the enemies of Jesus demanded Mary Magdalene with the woman that that He should die. If there were was a sinner, and who anointed the two things more repulsive than all feet of the Saviour in the house of the others to the dwellers in Jerusalem, Pharisee. We cannot find a single and to these Marys among the rest,
link of connection between the one they were Calvary and the Cross. story and the other. Yea more, the How great then must have been the facts of the one are incompatible with attraction of Jesus to the hearts of the facts of the other. Mary of Magthese women, when, notwithstanding dala was possessed of seven devils. the repulsion which would have driven That was a calamity, an affliction, not them thence, they stood by the cross
And we have no reason to all the long hours that He was dying believe that they who were thus
afflicted were sinners above all others Let us see who they were, and what who were not thus afflicted. The mind their presence there indicated. woman who anointed the feet of Jesus Mary, the mother of Jesus, we know. was simply a person well known in the The history of her motherhood we city in which she dwelt for her wicked know; and how she pondered in her
life. When she came into the Pharisee's heart time after time things that she house, it was evidently her first introdid not fully understand, and which duction to Jesus. (Luke vii. 39.) And could be understood only in the light she is not brought as a demoniac to of the future history of her son. How
have devils cast out of her, but as a she was honoured and obeyed as a penitent to avow her penitence and mother we know, although she was
her love to Him whose words of mercy not permitted to interfere with the work for which her son was born, and in which neither friend nor mother
* Our Lord's “Mother's sister," and
“Mary, the wife of Cleophas” (or “Clopas” could have any share.
rather), are regarded by some as not the Of Mary, the wife of Cleophas, we same, but different persons.
to publicans and sinners had opened them standing afar off, beholding what for her a door of hope.
was being done on the cross and If we attempt to join the two stories around it. Probably they could not into one, we are at once met with the at first come near because of the question, when were the devils cast crowd and its turbulence. But they out of her ? Not when she came into gradually urged their way till they the house of the Pharisee. There stood by the cross, within hearing of was no miracle performed there. She the words of the loved one who was comes before Jesus, not maddened by dying upon it. And their standing seven devils, but in full self-possession there we accept as the fruit and sign of all her faculties. If the miracle of their love and devotion to Christ. was performed some time before, are And herein they have left us an we to suppose that she gave herself example. up to wicked courses after being The love and devotion of the first healed ? But we need not follow these of them may be supposed to be acinquiries. The narrative itself should counted for sufficiently by the fact have prevented all confounding of the that she was His mother. A mother's
66 And he said to the love is stronger than death. But woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go even a mother might be forgiven, or in peace. And it came to
after- held guiltless, if she had fled from ward, that he went throughout every that scene, seeing her presence might city and village, preaching and shew- only aggravate the sufferings of the ing the glad tidings of the kingdom of dying one. But Mary knew Jesus God: and the twelve were with him, to be not only her son, but her Lord. and certain women, which had been As David recognised the Christ by the healed of evil spirits and infirmities, prophetic spirit to be both his son and Mary called Magdalene, out of whom his Lord, so did Mary. The circumwent seven devils, and Joanna the stances of His birth, and the intimawife of Chuza Herod's steward, and tions which accompanied it, with His Susanna, and many others, which after-teaching and working, ministered unto him of their sub- placed His relation to her beyond stance." (Luke vii. 50; Luke viii. dispute. And her love to Him now 1, 2, 3.) There is nothing in the was much more than a mother's love. description of the women who fol- The love of the second Mary was lowed Jesus that includes the woman certainly not the mere love of a that was a sinner. On the contrary, mother's sister, for a prophet has they are plainly distinguished from often least honour in his own country her. She had been bidden to go in and among his own kindred. And peace, not invited to follow. And fit we know that at a time when He had it was that, though loving much and many followers and disciples, His own fully forgiven, she should retire into brethren did not believe in Him. The the utmost privacy, and not take a wife of Cleophas must have been drawn place before the public eye in the to Him by spiritual affinities. She train of Jesus.
knew more and saw and felt more of These three Marys stood by the His true character than flesh and blood cross of Jesus. At first we read of could have revealed to her.
That the third Mary should love gazing upon Him, we may say that Him and devote herself to Him is not they were crucified with Him. The to be wondered at. She had been saying of Simeon to the mother of delivered from seven devils. And yet Jesus was now fulfilled in its utmost it might have been so without any force—"A sword shall pierce through fruit of love and devotion to Christ. thine own soul also.” The sword did 56 Were there not ten cleansed, but now pierce that mother's soul through where are the nine ?” But Mary's and through. And her sufferings were heart was opened to receive Him who only less than those of the loved one had delivered her from the seven who was nailed to the accursed tree. demons, to be the very Lord of her And yet by the foot of the cross she soul and her life. And her love to would stand — her love to Jesus Him became intense and constant. strengthened her and the other
To estimate the devotion of these Marys to bear all. women to Christ, there are several And especially must we take into things we must take into account; as account the fact that they did not for example, The too familiar fact of understand at this time the higher the failure of friendship in the time meanings of that cross.
They did of adversity. The proverbs of every not understand whereunto all this age speak to us of summer friendships, would grow. Jesus had distinctly and how they perish in the frosts of forewarned them of His death, and winter. It was no common winter, had said, “Except a corn of wheat no common storm, that now tested fall into the ground and die, it abideth the friendship of these women for alone : but if it die, it bringeth forth Jesus.
The boldest of Christ's disci- much fruit” (John xii. 24). But ples said," Though allmen should deny this, and much more, they did not thee, yet will not I.” But his courage understand. They had hoped that failed him when the hour of trial came. this was He who should have redeemed These women were truer to their Lord Israel; but this death of Christ was than was Peter. They were prepared almost the death of their hopes. to share His danger and His shame. They could only hope against hope. They now loved Him and gave them- And, that in these circumstances they selves to Him with as much constancy should still cling to Him was no small as when the multitude, a few days proof of their love and devotion. before, had exclaimed, “Hosanna ; Nothing, not even the cross, could blessed is he that cometh in the name change the judgment they had formed of the Lord.” Summerand wintermade of Him, on the strength of His chano difference to them. Bright noon racter and works, that this was the and dark midnight were alike to them. Son of the living God. Nothing, not
A second thing which we must take even the cross, could blot out the into account, if we would duly estimate impression which His character had their love and devotion to Christ, is made on their hearts. And therefore the pain it gave them to stand there by the cross they would stand, spite and witness His sufferings. They of all the perplexity and bewilderment could not deliver Him, they could not into which His dying threw them. help Him; but, standing there and And verily they had their reward.