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hand is power and might; and in thine hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all. Now, therefore, our God, we thank thee, and praise thy glorious name,” 1 Chron. xxix. 11—13.
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Ay, this looks like a palace indeed, with its wings, cupolas, pillars, courts, and terraces! And there are long rows of pensioners seated on the benches, talking together, and gazing at the ships and steam-boats on the river. There are, I am told, at the present time, more than two thousand seven hundred of these furrow-faced, quiet looking old sojourners snugly nestled in the hospital. About seven hundred of these are maimed, and the infirmities of age must now be creeping, or rather leaping on the remainder; but there is a shadowy side to every thing, and Isuppose this is the shadowy side of Greenwich Hospital. If wisdom and grey hairs of necessity went together, this princely pile would be approached with reverence; but we must not expect too much of these “men of many years,” for the sea is but an indifferent school for the mind and manners. The warring elements, and the rage of battle, may teach a man many things, but they are not the best instructors in the fear of the Lord, or in the humanities that should be practised among mankind.
“When looking,” says one, “on the faces and forms of the soldiers and sailors of Chelsea and Greenwich, you would hardly regard them as the thunderbolts of war ;, for age robs the eye of its fire, and the body of its strength, and habits of ease impart an appearance of quietude altogether opposed to the fierceness of the stormy fight; but for all this, these are the men who have fought England’s battles, and home the fury of desolating war."
William and Mary founded Greenwich Hospital for the reception of three hundred seamen, aged and maimed; and the tablets at the entrance of the hall show that liberal hearts and hands have not been wanted to support this British institution. Little less than sixty thousand pounds have beeri presented by private people. The sum is large, but the expense of such an institution must be great.
This is a changing world, and time is not only a puller down, but also a builder up of palaces. Where the hospital now stands, the old palace, in which Edward vr. died, once stood. Report says that there is not a more beautiful modern building in Europe used for a benevolent purpose than the hospital. Christopher Wren was the designer, but 'he only saw one wing of it completed. _
Well-dressed visitors are walking on the terraces, and many of a humbler cast are looking around them with wonder. The faces of the young are full of holiday. While I am regarding the different groups, some of them are regarding me; thus it is that old and young furnish entertainment for each other.
This splendid building is in five parts, king Charles’s, queen Anne’s, king William’s, queen Mary’s, and the Asylum, or Royal Hospital schools; and this grand square, in which I now stand, with the statue of George 11. in the centre, must be between two and three hundred feet wide.
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I have seen the old men at dinner in. the hall, and
never before saw such a varied cluster of aged heads and wrinkled brows together. I could have sat down with the “ancient mariners," and talked with them for an hour. How different the stormy scenes in which they have acted a part, to the quietude of the life they now lead! I have visited their cabins, for each has one to himself, and seen pictures of sea fights, and old admirals, and family portraits, and models of ships, and shells, and sharks’ teeth, and curiosities of other kinds. Now and then a thumb-marked Bible was visible, but more frequently a jest book and boasting ballad. Most of the pensioners must be treading on the brink of an eternal world; but I fear, without being severe in my judgment, that not many of them are prepared to say, in the valley of the shadow of death, “ 0 death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law; but thanks be to God, who giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ," 1 Cor. xv. 55—57.
I have passed through the Chapel, and listened to the description given me of its statues, its pillars, and its paintings. I have admired the Great Hall, with the costly productions of the pencil of sir James Thornhill, and of other celebrated artists. I have glanced at the schools, upper and lower, and mentally given my blessing to the boys and girls who are there instructed, and I am now gazing on Flamstead House, or the Royal Observatory. This place is the meridian whence English astronomers make their calculations, and it contains some of the best astronomical instruments in Europe. Groups of children are running down the adjoining hill. Bless their young and happy hearts! I could almost join them in their sport. May the Father of mercies satisfy them early with his mercy, and give them to rejoice and be glad all their days I
This park is indeed a famous place to ramble in, with its broad plains, romantic hills, antlered herd, and beautiful view of the river. What glorious trees are spreading out their wide branches, and what gigantic stems, in oodly avenues, intercept the view of distant objects! Seried under them, on the benches, are visitors of all ages. Childhood and youth, manhood and old age are there; and the clusters of grey-headed veterans, weatherbeaten old tars, diversify the scene. Yonder sits one alone, beneath a spreading chestnut, idly pushing aside with his stick the dry leaves and prickly chestnut balls that lie at his feet. “ Man of years, what are thy musings? Does the stormy fight of Copenhagen or Trafalgar—the battle of the Nile or of Navarino, occupy thy thoughts 2—Come, come, thou art a grey-headed and very old man, and it is high time for thee and for me to be thinking of different things. ‘ Is there not an appointed time to man upon earth?’ ‘ The day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night.’ ‘ We shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. Every one of us shall give account of himself to God.’ ‘ The wicked shall go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into life eternal.’ ”
I have had my ramble from the park entrance to Blackheath, talked with the old pensioners and the young children, peeped through the telescopes, gazed on the deer, mused beneath the trees, and enjoyed the bright heavens above me, and the fair prospect around ; and now I quit the place, with groups of old pensioners and cheerful parties of all ages around me, the language of my heart is, “ Young men and maidens, old men and children, praise the name of the Lord: for his name alone is excellent ; his glory is above the earth and heaven. Praise ye the Lord," Psa. cxlviii. 12—14.
THE DIORAMA, AND COSMORAMA.
Tm; SHRINE or 'rrna NATIVITY.—Th8 panoramas which are exhibited, from time to time, are on a much more extended scale, and the cosmoramas present a greater variety of views to the eye than the dioramas; but the latter are far more arresting than either of the former. The peculiarity of the style in which they are painted, the varied lights cast upon them, and the changes they exhibit, give them a decided advantage over every other exhibition of paintings, so far as an approach to reality is concerned. The illusion, indeed, after gazing’ for a short time, is so complete, that an effort of the mind is required to convince the spectator that he is not gazing on tangible things, but only on a shadowy resemblance of them.
Perhaps, of all the dioramas hitherto exhibited in London, that of the Shrine of the Nativity at Bethlehem is the most successful in its influence over the spectator. It is true, that the scene it presents is not at all likely, of itself, to carry back our associations to that lowly stable at Bethlehem, where the holy Child Jesus was born. The commonest woodcut of the manger and the oxen, that ever yet was appended to the