U/AYNESTATD UNIV ERSITYLIBRARY
* WAYNE STATE UNIVERSITY J
j : Presented by
i i ....................George Mv _Gaston u
*• Place, then, the .instructive volume of useful and religious knowledge upon the evening table. Gather round parents and children to look at its pictures, and listen to its well told facts, and that good humor, which, like Cowper’s tea, ‘ will cheer but not inebriate,’ and you will keep them from the haunts of vice. The engravings allure, the historical anecdotes entertain, and awaken a thirst for knowledge, fence their minds from the solicitations of evil, and store the memory with pleasant thoughts to occupy the soul, when in the hours of labor the, body may be busy. Soon they will demand more, and you may then lead, them on farther and farther in the ways of wisdom.”—Rev. G. W. Bethune.
J. S. REDFIELD, Clinton Hall.—PHILADELPHIA, GROVES & Co., 65 South Thibd St. SOLD BY F. S. SAXTON (Late Saxton & Kelt), 118 Washington Street, BOSTON.—D. M. DEWEY, ROCHESTER.—GEORGE CONCLIN, CINCINNATI.—NAFIS & CORNISH, ST. LOUIS.—J. C. MORGAN, NEW ORLEANS.—And by Booksellers and News-Agents generally, throughout the United States, and British North American Provinces.
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1848,
By ROBERT SEARS, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States, in and for the Southern District of New York.
HE present volume is designed as a valuable and cheap present for parents and teachers to place in the hands of young people. Particular attention has been paid to the character of the articles ; inserting only those that were best calculated to be permanently useful, rather than the light and frivolous creations of fancy.* In preparing the Pictorial Family Annual it has been the aim of the compiler to render it a work
* Novel-Reading wastes and exhausts the sympathies of the heart. The theatre and the wine-cup have been justly charged with entailing sorrow on many a hitherto happy family ; but it is the solemn conviction of the writer that the novel comes in for its full share of pernicious influence. Follow that young- man, who has been lolling over the fictitious tale, behind the counter, or at his desk, to the domestic circle, and see whether he meets the glad steps of his sister as in the days of his childhood he was wont; or whether lie returns the welcome of his mother with that ingenuous smile which most gladdens a mother’s heart. Mark the husband who has sought recreation from the pages of romance, and see whether he enters the home of his wife and children with a lighter heart or kindlier greeting. Watch the mother who has been forced to descend from the ideal world to the prosaic employments of the needle, and see whether her heart seems in the work. Look at the daughter who is accustomed to trim the midnight lamp that she may pursue her waking dreams ; why sits she so languidly by her mother's side ? where is the glad voice that-would have made labor light, or the willing hand to assist in that lal>or ? Alas ! the thoughts, and affections, and sympathies, which should have been consecrated to making a happy home, have been wasted on imaginary sufferings and ideal beauty. How many a wife owes the averted eye, and heed less manner, and discourteous reply, that chill her confiding heart, to the fnlse send-
universally acceptable to all denominations of Christians. The engravings introduced, we trust, will do something more than merely illustrate — we believe they may be made to cultivate the mind, chasten the imagination, develop taste, and improve the heart. This idea is thus alluded to by a popular lecturer: “ Their importance as a great engine, if rightly applied, on the mind and heart of man, in aid of religion, government, moral and social order, and the well-being and happiness of the human race is incalculable. To wean man from vice, win him to virtue, elevate him to religion, or arouse him, like the sound of a trumpet, to deeds of valor, patriotism, or self-devotion; by efforts such as these, Art becomes the proud ally of History and Poetry, and takes its lofty station among the noblest productions of the human intellect — for the good of mankind, the honor of their country, and the glory of G-od.” A picture, or sensible representation, is remembered long after the description is forgotten ; pictorial works, therefore, convey the most lasting impressions, not only to the educated, but to the youthful and unlettered. It was to Bible Prints that the infant Doddridge was indebted for the rudiments of that knowledge which is developed in his works ; and the story of his education conveys a powerful moral, and a beautiful example of maternal solicitude. Shall the teachers of vice find engravings an. important aid in accomplishing unworthy ends — in vitiating the taste and imagination ? and shall the teachers and professors of a Holy Religion neglect to turn them to a good account, in the promotion of Useful Knowledge, and the best interests of man-hindl Most of the articles in this volume are of such a length, as to be well adapted for Family and Social Reading, the benefits of which are manifold. Pleasures shared with others are increased by the partnership. A book is tenfold a book when read in the company of beloved friends by the ruddy fire on a wintry evening. It makes our homes doubly attractive and lovely, when our intellectual pleasures are bathed in domestic affection. The subjects embraced in this single volume are interesting to all, and as it is not in the least sectarian or denominational, it cannot fail to be desirable for all, whether professedly religious or not. It is
ments and impressions which her husband has gathered from the page of romance ! The wife of his youth is no longer young. Disease, and perchance affliction, have blanched her cheek, and thinned and silvered her locks ; her step is no longer elastic, nor her form erect. True, her heart beats with an affection, if not as romantic, yet more deep and abiding than when she first listened to his early vows, but the fountains of his love have so often (lowed out toward the creations of fancy that they have been exhausted and are dried up.
designed to be a standard and permanent family book—suitable for all ages, classes, and seasons.
Greece, Italy, and Spain, have afforded materials for many of the finest illustrated works we possess ; but neither of the above countries, rich as they are in historical associations, and the remains of departed grandeur, appeals to such deep or general feelings, as Palestine. Our engravings are principally illustrative of the dresses, official and private, the ornaments, implements, household and agricultural, corn-fields, granaries, temporary huts, permanent habitations, meals, funeral .rites, in short, of everything of which the tooth of time has left a vestige respecting this quarter of the world, which, from its associations with the first principles of the Christian faith, is the one about which our infant minds are first interested.
Our duty is to “search out of the book of the Lord, and read;” to employ our best faculties and capacities, and bring every means of intellectual excitement and improvement, to draw from this inexhaustible storehouse of heavenly knowledge and holy delight. We know that from Revelation, mind has derived its strength, science its utility, and the arts their refinement. From The Bible the astronomer has moralized his demonstrations, and the geologist borrowed his clew and solution. Nay, it is from the inspired page, that the orator, poet, and artist, have, received models of their respective arts ; and all that is sublime, venerable, or pathetic, in the production of human genius, has been durable only as it embodied the spirit and genius ,of those perfect prototypes.— Psalm cxi. 2-4; Proverbs iii. 13-17 ; Philippians iv. 8.
An astonishing feature of the word of God is, notwithstanding the time at which its compositions were written, and the multitudes of the topics to which it alludes, there is not one physical error—not one assertion or allusion disproved by the progress of modern science. None of those mistakes which the science of each succeeding age discovered in the books of the preceding : above all, none of those absurdities which modern astronomy indicates in such great numbers in the writings of the ancients—in their sacred codes—in their philosophy, and even in the finest pages of the fathers of the church—not one of these errors is to be found in any of our sacred books. Nothing there will ever contradict that which, after so many ages, the investigations of the learned world have been able to reveal to us on the state of our
globe, or that of the heavens. Peruse with care our scriptures, from one end to the other, to find there such spots, and, while you apply yourselves to this examination, remember that it is a book which speaks of everything, which describes nature, which recites its creation, which tells us of the water, of the atmosphere, of the mountains, of the animals, and of the 'plants. It is a book which teaches us the first revolutions of the world, and which also foretells its last. It recounts them in the circumstantial languages of history, it extols them in the sublimest strains of. poetry, and it chants them in the charms of glowing song. It is a book whicli is full of Oriental rapture* elevation, variety, and boldness. It is a book which speaks of the heavenly and invisible world, while it also speaks of the earth and things visible. It is a book which nearly fifty writers of every degree of cultivation, of every state, of every condition, and living through, the course of fifteen hundred years, have concurred to make. It is a book which was written in the centre of Asia, in the sands of Arabia, and in the deserts of Judea; in the court of the temple of the Jews, in the music schools of the prophets of Bethel and Jericho, in the sumptuous palaces of Babylon, and on the idolatrous banks of Chebar, and, finally, in the centre of western civilization, in the midst of polytheism and its idols, and in the bosom of pantheism and its sad philosophy. It is a book whose first writer had been forty years a pupil of the magicians of Egypt, in whose opinion the sun, the stars, and the elements, were endowed with intelligence, reacted on the elements, and governed the world by a perfect alluvium. It is a book whose first writer preceded, by more than nine hundred years, the most ancient philosophers of ancient Greece and Asia; the Thaleses, and the Bythagorases, Zalucuses, the Xenophons, and the Confuciuses. It is a book which carries its narrations even to the hierarchies of angels; even to the most distant epochs of the future, and the glorious scenes of the last day. Well, search among its fifty authors, search among its sixty-six books, its 1,189 chapters, and its 31,713 verses, search for only one of these thousand errors which the ancients and moderns committed when they speak of the heavens or of the earth, of their revolutions, of their elements-—search, but you will find none.
There is also a surpassing interest attaching itself to scripture localities. “ If,” to use the words of a recent writer, “ Troy and
Thebes, if Athens and Rome, are visited with classic enthusiasm, how much more worthy of awakening the strongest emotions in the mind of a Christian, must be the country whose history as far transcends in interest that of every other, as its literature (if we may apply that term to the divine volume) excels in sublimity all the ethics, and philosophy, and poetry, and eloquence of the heathen world.” The land of Palestine, as it is well known, abounds in scenes of the most picturesque beauty; Syria comprehends the snowy heights of Lebanon and the majestic ruins of Tadmor and Ba’albec. The gigantic temples of Egypt, the desolate plains of Babylon and Nineveh, the ruined cities of Idumea, Moab, and Ammon, and the rocky solitudes of Mount Sinai—all afford subjects most admirably adapted to the artist’s pencil.
The very low price at which the present work is offered to the public, places it within the reach of every possessor of a Bible ; and it is believed that, in addition to its claim of novelty, and the recommendation it possesses as a pictorial family publication, it may prove in a high degree useful, as it gives views, not only of the places where remarkable events actually took place, but also of those particularly mentioned in the prophecies, which, in their present ruined and desolate condition, so completely exemplify, to the most minute particular, everything which was foretold concerning them in the height of their prosperity, that no better or more accurate description can now be given of them than a simple quotation from a chapter and verse of the Bible written from two- to three thousand years ago. The most remarkable instances of this are afforded by Egypt, Edom, Babylon, and Tyre. So that, in these cases, the fulfilment of prophecy may actually be set before the eye, and the understanding assisted and confirmed by the sight.
New York, January, 1849.
Acropolis of Corinth - Frontispiece.
Beards, Undressed, Syrian, Jew, Ara
bian, and Persian......
Abraham offering- Isaac - - - - -
Bedouins Gathering Fruit in Pales
Acropolis of Athens......
Alexandria - • -i......
Bers Nemroud (Babel).....
Ancient Egyptian Palace ....
Brazen Serpent -.......
Ancient Egyptian Soldiers - - - -
Brick Pyramid of Faioum - - - -
Ancient Egyptian Temple - - - -
Broosa, City of........
Ancient Method of Embalming - -
Ancient Persian Soldiers.....
Caesarea, Ruins of.......
Ancient Roman Soldiers.....
Ancient Rotundo at Thessalonica
Ancient Ruins (Vignette) - -
Cana of Galilee........
Ancient Shoes and Sandals - - 261
Caravan of Camels Crossing the Great
Approach of the Roman Army to Je
Cartoons of Raffaelre—
1. Christ’s Charge to Peter - - -
Arab Huts and Sheepcotes - - - -
2. Paul Preaching at Athens - -
Arab of Rank ........
3. Death of Ananias.....
4. Sacrifice at Lystra.....
Ark of the Covenant, probable Form of
5. Peter Curing the Cripple - - -
6. Miraculous Draught of Fishes -
7. Elymas struck with Blindness -
Babylon, Ruins of.......
Christ blessing Little Children - •
Balbec, Ruins at .......
Christ curing the Eyes of the Blind
B at tlement of Roof of E gyptian Houses
Christ healing the Sick.....
Costumes of the East—
1. Snfa and Turban......132
2. Veil and Walking Dress - - - 132
3. Another Form of Dress - - - 132
4. Women wearing the Tob - - - 132
5. Hood Veil of an Arab Female - 133 G. Indoor Dress of Egyptian Lady 133
7. Dancing Woman of Cairo - - 133
9. Horned Head-Dresses - - - - 135
Date-Palm, Wild, found in the Sinai
David with the Head of Goliath - - 222
Egyptian Women of the Lower Class 80
Engraved Rocks in the Wady Mo-
Etham on the edge of the .Wilderness 98
Futteh Ali Shah, King of Persia - - 155
Jewki.s ok Egypt—
The Khiznm, or Nosc-Jewel of
LIST OP EMBELLISHMENTS.
Hhcgabs, or Amulets of Modem
Marriage Procession of a Bride in
Marriage Procession of a Hindoo
Modern Egyptian Houses, of the First
Mount Moriah, the Ancient Site of
Supposed Form of the Organ of Ju-
Classical Tambourines of Eaptem
10 LIST OF EMBELLISHMENTS.
Palace of Nero, Ruins of - - - - 329 Palestine, View in (Vignette) - - - 345 Palmyra, Ruins of ------ - 168
Papyrus, Fragment of Egyptian - - 176 Parthenon at Athens ------ 341
Pompeii, Street of Tombs at - - - 342 Presentation of Samuel to Eli - - - 269
River Jordan.....- - - - 279
River Jordan, leaving the take - - 281
Forum at - - - - - - - - 337
Samaria.......- - - - 360
Scape-Goat, Young Bullock, Goat, and Kid of Goats, for Sin-Offering - - 239 Sepulchral Caves in the Cliffs of Wady Mousa in Mount Seir - - - 65
Sepulchres of the Kings, near Jerusalem ........ ... 37
Seyd Mustapha, an Egyptian Pacha, seated upon his Divan - - - - - 224 Sidon, Remains of the Ancient Port of 333 Standards of the Hebrew Tribes - - 310
Syrian Ox, Camel, and Ass - - - - 204
Tattooing Illustrated ------ 145
Temple of Kliasne, Sectional View of 56 Tents and Encampment in the Wil-
Terrace Cultivation ------ 355
Utensils for Painting the Eyes - - - 144 Utensils for Tattooing the Flesh - - 145
Wild Goat of Syria and Egypt, Male,
Women at the Well in Cana of Galilee .........- - 289
Writing Materials and Implements—
Youth with a Roll ------ 180
Girl with a Tablet-Book - - - - 180 Female Reading, with a Box of
Female Reading a Roll - - - - 180 Group illustrating the Use of the
Modem Egyptian Writing-Case and
, Exchequer Tally ------- 185
The Modem City of Corinth, viewed from the Bay.
Corinth, originally called Ephyra, was one of the most important cities of ancient Greece: who the Corinthus was, from whom the city is stated to have derived its name, is matter of uncertainty and fable. It is situated on an isthmus between the Aegean and Ionian seas, now called the bays of Lepanto and iEgina. From the convenience of its situation for commerce, it abounded in riches, and was furnished with all the accommodations, elegancies, and superfluities of life. By its port of Cenchre^e, on the east, it received the merchandise of Asia, and by that of Lechaeum, on the west, it maintained intercourse with Italy and Sicily. The Isthmian games, which were celebrated in its vicinity, by the great concourse of people which they attracted, contributed not a little to its immense opulence ; and the prodigality of the merchants rendered the place so expensive that it became a pi'overb, that “ not every man could go to Corinth.” In the Achaean war, this city was destroyed by the Romans, under the consul Mummius,
12 CORINTH (cENCHREjE)
about one hundred and forty-six years before the Christian era; but it was rebuilt about a century after by Julius Csesar, who planted a Roman colony here, which took the name of Colonia Laus Julia Corinthus. It then became the residence of the Roman proconsul of Achaia. Favored by its situation, New Corinth soon regained its ancient splendor, and became eminent for the commerce, riches, and voluptuousness of its inhabitants. Numerous schools were also established here, in which philosophy and rhetoric were taught by able masters, and strangers resorted hither to be instructed in the sciences. The number of sophists, in particular, was very great. To all these circumstances Saint Paul has many allusions in his two epistles addressed to the Christians at Corinth, where he “ continued a year and six months, teaching the word of G-od among them.” (Acts xviii. 11.)
The Roman colony was reserved to suffer the same calamity as the Greek city, and from a conqueror more terrible than Mummius —Alaric the,Goth, the savage destroyer of Athens and universal Greece. In 1459, it was besieged and taken by Mohammed II;'; after which event the country became subject to the Turks, except such maritime places as were in the possession of the Venetians. At the conclusion of the war between the, Turks and Venetians, in 1698, Corinth with the Morea was ceded to the republic of Venice, by which it was again yielded to the Turks in 1715. Various proposals were anciently made for cutting through the isthmus ; and the Venetians, Kvhile they held the sovereignty, actually began to carry this project into execution. Their works are still to be traced; but they were suspended in consequence of the representations of one of their generals, who declared that the completion of them would exhaust the whole wealth of the republic. To a modern engineer the task would probably appear much less formidable.
Modera Corinth, though thinly peopled, is of very considerable extent, and is governed by a bey whose command extends over one hundred and sixty-three villages. The houses are placed wide apart, and much space is occupied by gardens ; the chief produce of the surrounding territory is corn, cotton* tobacco, oil, and wine of superior quality to that of Athens. ' Corinth is the first bishopric of the Morea: its climate is so bad that the inhabitants abandon the place during the summer and autumn. According to Dr. Clarke, no inscriptions are now to be seen here, nor is there a single fragment of ancient sculpture remaining. Such is the actual condition of this celebrated seat of ancient art—this renowned city, once so vain of its high reputation and of the rank which it held among the states of Greece.
The Acrocorinthos or Acropolis of Corinth, which is seen in our engraving, is one. of the finest objects in Greece; and, if properly garrisoned, it would be a place of great strength and importance. It abounds with excellent water, is in most parts precipitous, and there is only one spot from which it can be annoyed by artillery: this is a pointed rock situated a few hundred yards
14 CORINTH (CENCHRE^).
to the southwest of it, whence it was battered by Mohammed II. Before the introduction of artillery, it was deemed almost impregnable, and it had never been taken except by treachery or surprise.
CenchrEjE, the eastern port of Corinth, is eight miles and three quarters distant: it is resorted to by Greek vessels; and, as the reader may judge from our engraving, exhibits a busy scene. There was a Christian church there, the deaconess of which is mentioned in Rom. xvi. 1. This place derived its name from Cenehrias, a reputed son of Neptune, and it still retains its ancient appellation, with the loss only of the letter y, KcXp^s (Kekhries). The remains still to be found here, faithfully correspond with the description given of the place by the Greek geographer Pausanias. At the distance of one mile to the southward of the port of Kekhries is the Bath of Helen: it is formed by a spring, which here boils up with force enough to turn a mill close to the sea. The water is beautifully clear, rather saline, and in a small degree tepid.
Ruins of Caesarea.
■ JERUSALEM. 15
Vast as is the period, and singular as are the changes of European history, since the Christian era, Judea still continues to he the most interesting portion ,of the world. Among other reasons, it may be for the purpose of fixing the general eye upon this extraordinary land, that it has been periodically visited by a more striking succession of great public calamities, than perhaps any other, region. With less to attract an invader than any other conspicuous land of the East, it has been constantly exposed to invasion. Its ruin by the Romans in the first century did not prevent its being assailed by almost every barbarian, who, in turn, assumed the precarious sovereignty of the neighboring Asia. After ages of obscure misery, a new terror came in the Saracen invasion, which, under Amrou, on the conquest of Damascus, rolled on Palestine. A siege of four months, which we may well conceive to have abounded in horrors, gave Jerusalem into the hands of the calif Omar. On the death of Omar, who died by the usual fate of eastern princes—the dagger—the country was left to the still heavier misgovernment of the moslem viceroys—a race of men essentially barbarian, and commuting for their crimes by their zeal in proselytism. The people, of course, were doubly tormented..
A new scourge fell upon them in the invasion of the crusaders, at the beginning of the twelfth century, followed by a long sue cession of hitter hostilities and public distress. After almost a century of this wretchedness, another invasion from the desert put Jerusalem into the hands of its old oppressor, the Saracen; and in 1187, the famous Saladin, expelling the last of the Christian sovereigns, took possession of-Palestine. After another century of tumult and severe suffering, occasioned by the disputes of the Saracen princes, it was visited by a still more formidable evil in the shape of the Turks, then wholly uncivilized—a nation in all the rudeness and violence of mountaineer life, and spreading blood and fire through western Asia. From this date (1317) it reihained under the dominion of the ottoman, until its conquest, a few years ag°j by that most extraordinary of all mussulmans, the pacha of Egypt—a dreary period of 500 years, under the most desolating government of the world. It is equally impossible to read the scriptural references to the future condition of Palestine, without discovering a crowd of the plainest and most powerful indications that it shall yet exhibit a totally different aspect from that of its present state. Enthusiasm, or even the natural interest which we ^ feel in this memorable nation, may.color the future to us too brightly; but unless language of the most solemn kind, uttered on the most solemn occasions, and by men divinely commissioned for its utterance, is wholly unmeaning, we must yet look to some powerful, unquestionable, and splendid display of Providence in favor of the people of Israel. '
APPROACH TO JERUSALEM. 17
The remarkable determination of European politics toward Asia Minor, Syria, and Egypt, within the last few years; the not less unexpected change of manners and customs, which seemed to defy all change; and the new life infused into the stagnant governments of Asia, even by their being flung into the. whirl of European interests, look not unlike signs of the times. It may be no dream, to imagine in these phenomena the proofs of some memorable change in the interior of things—some preparatives for that great providential restoration, of which Jerusalem will yet be the scene, if not the centre ; and the Israelite himself, the especial agent of those high transactions which shall make Christianity the religion of all lands, restore the dismantled beauty of all earth, and make man—what he was created to be—only “ a little lower than the angels.”
APPROACH TO JERUSALEM.
Palestine is usually approaphed either from the sea at the port of Jaffa, the ancient Joppa, or from Egypt by way of the intervening desert. In both cases the principal object is to obtain a safe and easy route to the capital, which, even at the present hour, cannot be reached without much danger, unless under the special protection of the native authorities. The power of Mehemet Ali, it is true, extends almost to the very walls of Gaza \ and wherever his government is acknowledged, no violence can be committed with impunity on European travellers. But the Syrian pachas, equally deficient in inclination and vigor, still permit the grossest extortion, and sometimes connive at the most savage atrocities. Besides, there is a class of lawless Arabs, who scour the borders of the wilderness, holding at defiance all the restrictions which a civilized people impose or respect. Sir Frederick Henniker, who followed the unwonted track which leads from Mount Sinai to the southern shore of the Dead sea, narrowly escaped with his life, after having been severely wounded, and repeatedly robbed, by one of the most savage hordes of Bedouins.
At a short distance from this celebrated port the pilgrim enters the plain of Sharon, celebrated in Scripture for its beautiful roses. The monk Neret informs us, that in his time it was covered with tulips, the variety of whose colors formed a lovely parterre. At present, the eye of the traveller is delighted with a profusion of roses, white and red, the narcissus, the white and orange lily, the carnation, and a highly fragrant species of everlasting flower. This plain stretches along the coast, from Gaza in the south to Mount Carmel on the north, being bounded toward the east by the hills-of Judea and Samaria. The whole of it is not upon the same level; it consists of four platforms, separated from each other by a wall of naked stones. The soil is composed of very fine sand, which, though mixed with gravel, appears extremely fertile; but, owing to the desolating spirit of Mahometan despotism, nothing is seen in some of the richest fields except thistles
18 APPEOACH TO JERUSALEM.
and withered grass. Here and there, indeed, are scanty planta* tions of cotton, with a few patches of doura, barley, and wheat. The villages, which are commonly surrounded with olive-trees and sycamores, are for the most part in ruins ; exhibiting a melancholy proof, that, under a bad government, even the bounty of Heaven ceases to be a blessing.
The path by which the hilly barrier is penetrated is difficult, and in some places dangerous. But, before you reach it, turning toward the east, you perceive Kama, or Ramla, the ancient Ari-mathea, distinguished by its charming situation, and well known as the residence of a Christian community. The convent, it is true, had been plundered five years before it was visited by Chateaubriand 5 and it was not without the most urgent solicitation that the friars were permitted to repair their building; as if it were a maxim among the Turks, who by their domination continue to afflict and disgrace the finest parts of Palestine, that the progress of ruin and decay should never be arrested. Yolney tells us, that wdien he was at Ramla, a commander resided there in a serai, the walls and floors of which were on the point of tumbling down. The Frenchman asked one of the inferior officers why his master did not at least pay some attention to his own apartment. The reply was, “If another shall obtain his place next year, who will repay the expense T’
A ride of two hours (from Ramla) brings the traveller to the verge of the mountains, when the road opens through a rugged ravine, and is formed in the dry channel of a torrent. A scene of affecting solitude and desolation surrounds his steps as he pursues his journey, in what is so simply described in the gospel as the “hill-country of Judea.” Before him opens the vale of St. Jeremiah ; and in the same direction, on the top of a rock, appears in the distance an ancient fortress called the castle of the Maccabees. It is conjectured that the author of the Lamentations was born in the village which still retains his name, amid these sombre mountains: so much is certain, at least, that the melancholy of this desolate scene appears to pervade the compositions of the prophet of sorrows. This was the pastoral country into which the mother of the Redeemer came to salute her cousin Elizabeth.
The traveller toward Zion soon arrives at the brook where the youthful David picked up the five smooth stones, with one of which he slew the gigantic Goliath. He pursues his way through a dreary region to the summit of an elevated hill, after which he proceeds across a naked plain strewed with loose stones. All at once, at the extremity of this plain, he perceives a line of Gothic walls flanked with square towers, and the tops of a few buildings peeping above them—he beholds Jerusalem, once the joy of the whole earth!
The Holy Sepulchre. (Jerusalem.)
ENTRANCE TO JERUSALEM. 21
ENTRANCE TO JERUSALEM.
The bright sunny weather we had so long enjoyed had now left as; dark, driving clouds flitted across the heavens, the wind blew cold, and howled fearfully among the rocks, and we approached Jerusalem through one of the wildest, gloomiest scenes of desolation I ever witnessed.
After riding for nearly three hours through the same dreary and solitary country, throughout which the dwelling of man was nowhere visible, we ascended.a slight eminence, and the landscape then began to unbend and relax a little of its stern and barren aspect. Olive-woods Were seen in front, and above a short screen of refreshing foliage appeared a white cupola, which was immediately hailed as 11 El, Kuds! Jerusalem /” Pushing our horses onward to the summit of the neighboring hill, behind which, in our advance, the small portion of the city had disappeared, we suddenly came upon a scene, imposing, from its contrast with the country we had, lately traversed, and certainly one of the most interesting in the whole world.
Above the olive-woods in front, seated on the eminence, appeared a Jine of houses, domes, and minarets, conspicuous among which, and high above all, were the white cupola of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre,1 and the dome of the mosque of Omar To the left of these rose the-Mount of Olives, a lofty and picturesque hill, scattered over with olive-trees, and crowned with a mosque and a Christian church.
We descended to the olive-groves,f and after passing several sepulchral excavations in the adjoining rocks, we came to a long range of stone battlemented Saracenic walls, and entered the city
The church is built partly on the low ground and partly on the ascent. It is not entered from the Via Dolorosa: the traveller has to ascend the next street, and then, turning to the left, to proceed along a winding descent,, till he arrives at a large open court in front of the church, where he will find everything his heart can wish in the form of crucifixes, carved shells, beads and bracelets, saints, and sherbet; all exposed to sale, and the venders seated on the ground beside their wares. The court is bounded by the wings of the convent: that on the right contains Mount Calvary, and other supposititious sacred places; that on the left, the Greek chapel, and anciently the belfry. The door of the church i'aces the court; it is on the side of the building. It is open only on certain days in the week, and certain hours in each day. To get it opened at any other time, it is necessary to have ah order of the two convents, the Latin and the Greek, with the sanction of the governor of the city. When open, the door is always guarded by Turks, who exact a tribute from all who enter. Once admitted, the visiters may remain all night, if they please. The crowd pressing for admittance on certain days is immense ; and the Turks, who keep the door, treat them in the roughest manner, notwithstanding that they pay for admission, squeezing and beating them about like so many cattle. u It must be allowed,” says Dr. Richardson, “ that they are often extremely riotous, and conduct themselves in a manner very unbecoming their character of pilgrims.”
f In the olive-yards of France, the olive-tree generally attains the height of eighteen or twenty-five feet, with a diameter of six inches to two feet. It ramifies at a small Height, and forms "a compact rounded summit. The foliage is of a pale, empoverished verdure, and the general appearance of the tree is not unlike that of a common willow which has been lopped, and which has acquired a new summit of three or four years’ growth.
Olives are chiefly cultivated ft»r the sake of the oil that they produce, which is not a profitable article of commerce, but forms a principal one of food to the inhabitants
JERUSALEM, THE HOLY SEPULCHRE.
Interior of the Holy Sepulchre.
ENTRANCE TO JERUSALEM. 23
of Jerusalem by a lofty Saracenic gateway, called the Bab es Scham, or “the Damascus gate.” We then traversed a narrow street, between dark gloomy buildings of stone, which were furnished with a few narrow windows, with pointed arches stuck here and there without any order or arrangement. The dulness of the day, and the gloomy silence and desertion of the streets, presented a most saddening and melancholy spectacle. The rain began to patter upon the stones, and the clouds, chased along by the wind, threw a mournful obscurity over every object. A few Arab women, shrouding themselves under the porch of a mosque, and here and there a solitary Turk gathering his scanty garments tight about his meager person, and seeking shelter from the blast, were the only objects visible in the silent and deserted city.
“ How doth the city sit solitary that was full of people! how is she become as a widow! she that was great among the nations, and princes among the provinces, how is she become tributary !”
“How hath the Lord covered the daughter of Zion with a cloud in his anger, and cast down from heaven to earth the beauty of Israel!”
of the places where these trees are found. This oil is contained in the pulp only, whereas, other fruits have it in the nut or kernel. It is obtained by simple' pressure, in the following manner. The olives are first bruised by a millstone, and afterward put into a sack, and then into the trough of a press for the purpose, which, by means of turning a strong screw, forces all the strong liquor out, which is called virgin oil. It is received in vessels half filled with water, from which it is taken off, and set apart in earthen jars. Several coarser kinds are obtained afterward by adding hot water to the bruised fruit.
24 MOUNT OF OLIVES.
Coffee mountain girl.
“ The Lord hath caused the solemn feasts and the Sabbaths to be forgotten in Zion, and hath despised, in the indignation of his anger, the king and the priest.”
“All that pass by clap their hands at thee, saying, Is this the city that men call the perfection of beauty, the joy of the whole earth ?” Truly we may now reply—“ The Lord hath done that which he devised ; he hath fulfilled his word that he commanded in the days of old ; he hath thrown down, and hath not pitied, and he hath caused thine enemy to rejoice over thee.”
MOUNT OF OLIVES.
After ascending once more into broad daylight, we crossed over the rocky path leading to the summit of the Mount of Olives, and we then arrived at a square plot of ground enclosed by a low rough wall of loose stones, and overshadowed by eight enormous olive-trees which appear to be of very great antiquity. This is alleged to be the Garden of Gethsemane, “ over the brook Cedron, to which Jesus oft-times resoited with his disciples.” A piece of ground, marked off from the rest of the garden, is confidently pointed out as the spot where our Saviour was betrayed by Judas, when the latter, “having received a band of men and officers from the chief priests and Pharisees, came thither with lanterns, and torches, and weapons” (St. John xviii). It is called by the Italian monks “ la terra dannata ;” or the “ accursed ground.”
26 MOUNT OF OLIVES.
This is certainly a most interesting spot. It is near the brook Cedron, and to the ancient road leading from the Mount of Olives into Jerusalem, and of all the tales and traditions treasured up among the pilgrims and ecclesiastics, this carries with it the greatest degree of probability. But here, again, the absurd minuteness of identification made use of, only tends to throw an air of ridicule over the whole history. A ledge of rocks at the upper end of the garden is confidently pointed out as the very spot where our Saviour found the disciples “ sleeping for sorrow,” and “ a stone’s cast” thence is a small excavation, called the grotto of Gethsemane, which is positively affirmed to be the identical spot where our Saviour “ kneeled down arid prayed, saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me ; nevertheless, not my will, but thine be done” (St. Luke). The grotto is covered by a small chapel, the keys of which are kept by the monks of the Latin convent.
The olive-trees overshadowing this enclosed plot of ground, appear to be of very great antiquity, and are held in the highest veneration by Christians of all sects, who positively affirm that they are the identical trees which stood on the spot in our Saviour’s time ! The trunks of the largest of these trees are of great size and of immense girt; they have become splintered and shrivelled with age, and are certainly great curiosities as vegetable productions.
View nf a Turkish Mosque.
28 MOUNT OF OLIVES.
Leaving the l( Garden of Gethsemane,” we traversed a steep path which ascends from the bed of the brook Cedron to the summit of the Mount of Olives. Numerous olive-trees were scattered along the sides of the declivity, and around a mosque and convent which crown the lofty eminence. We hurried impatiently to the highest point, and then turning to the westward, a magnificent panoramic view of the whole of Jerusalem and of the surrounding country suddenly hurst upon our sight.
The present city with its churches, mosques, houses, gardens, and fortifications, lay extended immediately below, and the eye took in at a bird’s-eye-view, every house and street, and almost every yard of ground. The scene was certainly very imposing, and the appearance of the city, with its domes and cupolas, and tfie minarets of the mosques, is from this point of view quite magnificent. The first objects which strike the eye, are the two magnificent mosques occupying the site of SolUmon’s Temple. The one on the north is the celebrated mosque of Omar ; that on the south, is the mosque El Aksa. They are close to that portion of the city-walls which immediately borders on the Mount of Olives, and with the courts, porticoes, and gardens attached to them, they occupy a fourth part of the whole place, and present a most imposing appearance. The town rises gradually above these, and the most prominent object beyond is the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, with its two domes of striking aspect; the one being white and the other almost black. Here and there a lofty tower or a tapering minaret rises above the gloomy stone houses of the natives. ,Of these, the lofty tower or minaret, said to be built on the site of the house of Pilate, with its galleries and Saracenic decorations, appear most prominently to the eye, and the minarets of Ben Israel, of the Seraglio, and the one said to be placed on the site of Herod’s palace. Most of the private dwellings were covered with low domes, and my intelligent cicerone pointed out to me the different churches and convents, and a long range of stone buildings surmounted by small cupolas, which he said was a college of dervishes.
Altogether the city, as seen from the summit of the Mount offi Olives, may be ranked as one of the finest of oriental cities in its external aspect. A long line of battlemented walls, with their towers and gates, extends the whole way round the town, and a few cypresses and other trees throw up their lofty branches amid the porticoes and gates of the mosques.
After the surprise and admiration which this prospect at first naturally excites have subsided, the hare, rocky, and desolate aspect of the surrounding country, and the solitude and silence of the city itself, most forcibly attract the attention. Neither in the , streets, at the gateways, nor along the rocky mule-tracks leading therefrom, is there aught of life or animation. Some solitary woman, with her water-pitcher, climbing the craggy eminence, or some slowly-moving pilgrims, are alone seen. The eye, on a closer scrutiny, discovers large tracts of open and waste ground
GARDEN OF GETHSEMANE.
30 the ascension.
within the walls, and many a ruined house and dilapidated building. There is none of the bustle and animation ordinarily perceptible about a large town. No moving crowds traverse the public thoroughfares; the ear strives in vain to catch the noise and hum of a large city, for such it appears to be; all is strangely and sadly silent. “The noise of the whip, and the noise of the wheels, and the prancing of horses, and the jumping of chariots,” are no longer heard in Jerusalem.
' ‘ THE ASCENSION. ' '
Were I to attempt to describe those sensations I experienced when I stood on the very ground trodden by the sacred feet of the Son of God, language would fall infinitely short of it. I can only say, that a glow of delight was kindled in my heart greater than I had at any former period enjoyed. Never shall I forget this-deeply interesting moment; and to taste that pleasure, the reader must not only possess a heart sincere in the belief of revelation, but stand on the spot, and be favored with a vivid image of that grand and glorious work of redemption, which was here consummated by Christ before the eyes of those who were the favored witnesses of his glory, when he ascended to the right hand of the Majesty on high, and “ opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers.”
“ Heaven’s portals wide extend to let him in,
Nor all his friends shut out: as some great prince,
Not for himself alone proclaims admission,
But for his train, it was his royal will,
That where He is, there should his followers be.”
In the centre of three pinnacles on the mount, our Lord is said to have stood ; and in a rock is the impression of the left foot or sandal of a man, ten inches "long and four broad, represented as that he left on his ascent to the heavenly regions; and, after all, it is not improbable that those who witnessed his triumphant departure might, in their zeal to retain the memorial of so striking an event, trace an outline on the last spot of earth touched by the sacred feet of their Lord. No person, in any degree acquainted with the word of God, can stand on this commanding height, from which Jerusalem appears to be under the feet, without reflecting on the boundless field which opens for contemplating the infinite variety of stupendous events that occurred on this chosen part of the earth during past ages. Such considerations, then, are most strikingly calculated to stamp deeply on the soul of man feelings of the most profound veneration. It may be added, that it was on this sacred elevation the Redeemer had sat, and in front of the temple, when his disciples conversed with him as to those signs and calamities which should precede the destruction of what he had foretold (Matt. xxiv. 1-3).
THE ASCENSION. 31
Descending this ravine in an easterly direction, we traversed another vast ancient cemetery, which extended to the south and southwest of Mount Zion. The rocks are pierced into innumerable subterranean excavations, which are fronted with small doorways fitted with grooves for the reception of large stones, which were slipped down the grooves, and thus mkde to block up the entrances. Most of these grottoes and sepulchral chambers have been torn open, and the contents removed by sacrilegious hands. We crawled on our hands and knees over rubbish and stones, and entered some of the low doorways. Within was a square sepulchral chamber, with receptacles for the dead, rising one above another, like so many cisterns hewn out of the rock.
On many of these sepulchres may be perceived faint remnants of Hebrew and Greek inscriptions. Those in the Hebrew character appear quite illegible, and those in the Greek carved on the face of the rock only contain the words, “ Of the Holy Zion.”
The rocks bordering the deep ravines which encircle the city to the west, south, and east, are all hollowed out into cells and chambers, the vast mansions of the dead of all classes, variously adorned, from the sculptured tomb of the monarch, with its columns and the fragments of its marble coffins, to the plain, unadorned, and roughly-hewn grotto, the last resting-place of the humble citizen. In the large ravine, on the southeast side of the city, known among other names in Scripture, by the name of “ the valley of the son of Hinnom,” and “ Tophet,” ' these sepulchres crowd fast around the footsteps of the stranger: but in common with every tomb around Jerusalem, although evidently originally fastened up', with great care and strength, they have been broken open and rifled.
Unlike the ancient sepulchres in Egypt, which are thickly strewn with human bones and sculls, not a vestige is here anywhere discoverable of the dead bodies which, once evidently so thickly crowded these innumerable chambers. The silent tombs which everywhere meet the stranger in his wanderings around Jerusalem, are the only remnants of the ancient city, whose utter destruction is everywhere so fearfully foretold in the books of the Jewish prophets
Amid all the denunciations of destruction and desolation which we meet with in the prophecies, Jeremiah thus forewarns the people of Jerusalem, in reference to the sacred groves and the idolatrous places of sacrifice, called Tophet, which they had erected in the valley of the son of Hinfiom:—
34 REMARKABLE CEB1ETERY AT JERUSALEM.
“ Behold the days come, saith the Lord, that it shall no more he called Tophet, nor the valley of the son of Hinnom, hut the valley of slaughter ; fo/ they shall bury in Tophet, till there be no place.
“ Then will I cause to cease from the cities of Judah, and from the streets of Jerusalem, the voice of mirth, and, the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride— for the land shall be desolate. '
“ At that time, saith the Lord, they shall bring out the hones of the kings of Judah, and the hones of his princes, and the hones of his priests, and the. hones of the prophets','and the hones of the inhabitants of Jerusalem out of their graves. .
“ And they shall spread them before the sun, and the 'moon, and all the. host of heaven, ,whom. they'have loved, and whom they have served ; and after whom they have walked, and whom: they have sought, and whom they have worshipped; they shall not be gathered nor be.buried; they shall be for dung upon the face of the earth;” ( . .
MOSQUE OF; DAVID. ' ' ,
Passing out by Zion’s gate, of as. it is more frequently denominated, the gate of David, the first object that meets the eye of the traveller, is a long, dingy-loOking Turkish mosque, situated on the middle of Mount Zion.' It is called the mosque of the prophet David, and is'said to be built over his tomb, which is still exhibited in the interior, and is held in the greatest possible veneration by the mussulmans. The Santbnes,. belonging to the mosque in Mount Zion, are the most powerful in Jerusalem. Part of this building was anciently the church of the Coenaculum, where our Saviour ate the last sppper with his disciples ; and I was shown into an upper room in the front of the building, which both the Santon and the Ciceroni affirmed to be the identical room in which this memorable event to which the Christian world owes the institution of the Holy Sacrament of the supper took place. I should probably have believed them, had I not learnt from higher authority, that thirty-nine years thereafter, not only the walls, but every house in Jerusalem, had been razed, from its foundation, and the ground ploughed up by the Roman soldiers, in order that they might discover the treasures which they supposed the.unfortunate Jews had hidden under their feet.
REMARKABLE CEMETERY AT JERUSALEM. '
Having heard a rumor of a tomb that had been lately discovered and opened by the Arabs in this vicinity, and it being reported that some human remains were found in it, I rode out one evening during our sojourn in Jerusalem, to examine the place, accompanied by two of my companions, Mr. W. Meiklam, and Mr. Finlay. A little higher up in the cliff that rises from the cavern erected by the Roman empress, within the ground denominated Aceldama, and
MOSQUE OF UAVID IN JERUSALEM.
36 REMARKABLE CEMETERY AT JERUSALEM.
m the neighborhood of the painted chambers, and that excavation called the tomb of Isaiah, some Arabs, when at work in that place, accidentally discovered the door-way of a tomb carved out of the solid rock, which had been concealed by a heap of rubbish, over which the soil had accumulated so as to completely conceal the entrance. Such was the account given to me, by credible witnesses in Jerusalem. This entrance, at the time of our visit, was partly concealed by brambles, stones, and dirt, so that but one half of the door-way was visible. '
* * * * *. *
The most remarkable circumstances connected with'this fagade was its door, which struck me the moment I saw it, as being totally different from that of any othet tomb that I had ever seen or read of, except one at Petra. It is formed of a simple slab of stone, and moves on horizontal pivots; that run into sockets cut in the pilasters at the top, in the manner, of a swinging hinge, similar to that which is sometimes seen, in the doors of cottages in this country. The lower part of it had been, I was- informed, broken off by the Arabs in order to effect an entrance. It is the only outside door of a tomb that Ihave ever seen, and it differs from all others in not having been formed for concealment, or for being completely closed when-the body was deposited within ; but was evidently made for the purpose of being, 'opened occasionally. Having entered beneath this ponderous portal, and lighted our candles, we were greatly surprised to find ourselves within a tolerably-sized hall of an oblong shape, cut with great precision out of the rock, but without ornament or adornment of any kind whatever. Curious to relate, the whole of this tomb afforded a most striking illustration of its appropriateness to describe the character of the self-righteous scribes and Pharisees ; and showed the forcible application of the language used by the Saviour when denouncing their hypocrisy : u Wo unto,, you, scribes and Pharisees ! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but-within are full of dead-men’s bones, and of all uncleanness.-” At the end; and on either side of the hall, a number of doors led into the inner apartments. Each of these chambers was a small oblong crypt, about seven feet long ; on either side of which was a trough or sarcophagus, hewn like all the rest of the tqmb out of the solid rock, and raised about three feet from the floor, and in all of them were quantities of human bones lying without Order or regularity, but in a state of most astonishing preservation. ’
The edges of these troughs were in many places chipped and broken, as if from long use ; and the whitewash had not only coated these parts, but had actually spotted several of the bones that lay down in the bottoms of the troughs. These bones were piled in layers, and as each trough contained several, the whitewash must have been used subsequently to some of the bodies being placed within them. The whitewash (which is the only instance of the kind that has yet been discovered of that ancient Jewish
SEPULCHRES OF THE KINGS.
38 THE JEWS IN JERUSALEM.
custom) was in a most extraordinary state of p6rfection 5 and, from the number of layers that could he seen, on picking it off the wall, it was evident that it had been frequently renewed. Such was the appearance that this tomb presented when we examined it; and such, I Was informed, was its state when discovered. But the most remarkable feature in this 'catacomb was, that each set of crypts, that is, those on the three different sides, contained the remains of distinct and separate races of mankind,, as shown by the sculls found in the trough of each.
# *. * . * #
But although I searched with some care, I could not find a single instance of the sculls of one side being mixed up with those, of the other ; all were perfectly distinct, and separated from each other. Now none of these curious heads belonged to the Jewish race, for not one single European or well-marked Caucasian head could I find among the numbers scattered in the chambers ; and as all who did not belong to. that family must have been strangers in Jerusalem, and as these heads belonged to races of mankind that we know did not inhabit Judea for the last two tho’usand years, they must have been foreigners ; and this has led me to conjecture that this tomb, which is situated in the acknowledgedfield of blood, may be one of those sepiilchres of the actual Aceldama that was purchased by the priests “ to bury strangers.’.’ . '
THE JEWS IN JERUSALEM
Reside chiefly on the edge of Mount Zion, and in the lower part of the city, near the shambles, which, in summer, are dreadfully offensive. Many of them are in rich and comfortable circumstances, and possess considerable property in Jerusalem ; but they are careful to conceal their wealth, and even their comfort, from the jealous eye of their rulers, lest they awaken their cupidity. In going to visit a respectable Jew in the holy city, it is a common thing to pass to his house over a raised foreground, and up an awkward outer stair, constructed with rough, unpolished stones, that totter under the foot; but it improves as you ascend, and at the top has a respectable appearance, as it ends in an agreeable platform in front of the house. On entering the house itself, it is found to be clean and well furnished; the sofas are covered with Persian carpets, and the residents seem happy to receive you ; the visiter is entertained with coffee and tobacco, as is the custom in the houses of Turks and Christians. The ladies present themselves with ease and address, recalling to memory the pleasing society of Europe. The difference of manner arises frormmany of the Jewesses having resided in Spain or Portugal, where they have rid themselves of the cruel fetters of the East, and, on returning to their beloved land, very properly maintain their justly acquired freedom and rank in society. Some of the Jews, however, are in a wretched state of poverty, and the sight of such in Jerusalem is peculiarly affecting. The heart of this wonderful people, in what-
STATISTICS OF THE JEWS. 39
ever clime they roam, still turns to it as the. city of their promised rest; they mourn over the ruins, and would lick the very dust for her sake. Jerusalem is the centre around which the exiled sons of Judah build, in airy dreams, the mansions of their future greatness. In whatever part of the world he may live, the heart’s desire of a Jew, when gathered to his fathers, is to he buried in Jerusalem. Thither they turn from Spain and Portugal, from Egypt and Barbarv, and other countries among which they have been scattered ; and when, after all their longings and all their struggles up the steps of life, we see them poor, and blind, and naked, in the streets of their once happy Zion, he must have a cold heart indeed that can remain untouched by their sufferings, or without uttering a prayer that the light of God’s reconciled countenance would sbme on the darkness of Judah, and the day-star of Bethlehem arise in their hearts.
STATISTICS OF THE JEWS.
The statistics of the Jewish population are among the most singular circumstances of this most singular of all people. Under all their calamities and dispersions, .they seem to have remained at nearly the same amount, as in the days of David and Solomon, never'much more in prosperity, never much less after ages of suffering. Nothing like this has occurred in tlpe history of any other race ; Europe in general having doubled its population within the last hundred years, and England nearly tripled hers within the last half century; the proportion of America being still more rapid, and the world crowding in a constanlly increasing ratio. Yet the Jews seem to stand still in this vast and general movement. The population of Judea in'ils most palmy days, probably did not exceed, if it reached, four millions. The numbers who entered Palestine from the wilderness were evidently not much more than three ; and- their census, according to the German statists, who were generally considered to be exact, is now nearly the same as that of the people under Moses—about three millions. They are thus distributed :—
In Europe, 1,916,000, of which about 658,000 are in Poland and Russia, and 453,000 are in Austria.
In Asia, 738,000, of which 300,000 are in Asiatic Turkey.
In Africa, 504,000, of which 300,000 are in Morocco.
In America, North and South, 57,000.
If we add to these about 15,000 Samaritans, the calculation m round numbers will be about 3,180,000.
This was the report in 1835—the numbers probably remain the same. This extraordinary fixedness in the midst of almost universal increase, is doubtless not without a reason—if we are even to look for it among the mysterious operations which have preserved Israel a separate race through eighteen hundred years. May we not naturally conceive, that a people thus preserved without advance or retrocession;dispersed, yet combined; broken, yet
40 STATISTICS OF THE . JEWS.
firm; without a country, yet dwellers in all; everywhere insulted, yet everywhere influential ; without a nation, yet united as no nation ever was before or since—has not been appointed to offer this extraordinary contradiction to the common laws of society, and even the common progress of nature, without a cause, and that cause one of final benevolence, universal good, and divine grandeur'?
As this persecuted race, who were formerly continually wasted and destroyed, have lived in a state of tranquillity for a century past, some writers compute their present number at six or seven millions. - . • , .
This people constitute One of the most singular and interesting portions of mankind; for about three thousand years they have existed as a distinct nation, and what is remarkable, by far the greatest part of this time they have been in bondage and captivity.
The calling of Abraham, the father and founder of this nation ; the legislation of Moses ; the priesthood of Aaron; the Egyptian bondage; the conquest-of Canaan; the history of the Jews to the coming of the Messiah ; and their treatment of this august and innocent personage ; are facts which the Scriptures disclose, and with which it is presumed every reader is well acquainted.
The siege and destruction of Jerusalem, by Titus, the Roman general, was one of the most awful and distressing: scenes that mortals ever witnessed, and the details, as given by Josephus, are enough to make humanity shudder. During the siege, which lasted nearly five months, upward of eleven hundred thousand Jews perished; John and Simon, the two generals of the Hebrews, who were accounted the ringleaders of the rebellious nation, with seven hundred of the most beautiful and vigorous of the Jewish youth, were reserved to attend the victors’ triumphal chariot. The number taken captive - during this fatal contest, amounted to ninety seven thousand ; many of whom were sent into Syria and the other provinces to be exposed in public theatres to fight like gladiators, or to be devoured by wild beasts. The number of those destroyed in the whole war, of which the taking of the holy city was the bloody and tremendous consummation, is computed to have been one million four hundred and sixty thousand.
For about eighteen hundred years, this wonderful people have maintained their peculiarities of religion, language, and domestic habits, among Pagans, Mahometans, and Christians ; and have suffered a continued series of reproaches, privations, and miseries, which have excited the admiration and astonishment of all who have reflected on their condition.
The history of this people certainly forms a striking evidence of the truth of divine revelation. They are a living and perpetual miracle; continuing to subsist as a distinct and peculiar race for upward of three thousand years, intermixed among almost all the nations of the world—flowing forward in a full and continued stream like the waters of the Rhone, without mixing with the waves of the expansive lake through which the passage lies to the ocean of eternity.
42 PYRAMID OF FAIOUM.
PYRAMID OF FAIOUM.
The structure represented in our engraving, which is copied from the great French work on Egypt, represents a pyramid of sun-dried bricks in Faioum, the ancient Arsinoe. The large bricks of which it is formed are made of black, loamy, friable earth, or Nile-mud, compacted with chopped strarv, in the same way that such bricks are still made in Egypt and elsewhere in the East. There are other such pyramids at Dashour and Saccara, differing little except in size and degree of preservation. The pyramid at Faioum stands on an elevated, sandy plateau,; and its base is a square of a hundred and twenty-two yards, its present height being a hundred and ninety-seven feet. This and the other brick pyramids have not obtained the degree of notice they deserve, the attention of travellers'having been too exclusively engrossed by the pyramids of Ghizeh. The French, however, discovered a subterraneous passage to this pyramid, and found within a sarcophagus and also a salt spring. It will lie seen,that, in common with most of the other structures of the same material, it has lost much of its pyramidal form, and approaches to that of a mound; and if the reader turns to the engraving of the Bers Nemroud ana compares the two, with the recollection that the material of both is sun-dried bricks, he will be led, to conclude that there was much resemblance, if not identity, in form and intention between the now ruined mounds of Babylonia and the existing pyramids of Egypt. It is a remarkable confirmation of this view that Herodotus, who describes the Tower of Babylon as a pyramid with graduated stories diminishing with the ascent, mentions the pyramids of Egypt as being similarly constructed, with stories or platforms diminishing in size as they rose in height, and is understood to state that they were afterward completed to a smooth surface, by being coated with blocks of stone, which filled up the interstices between the different stories so as to obliterate the graduated.by a sloping appearance. Observations on the pyramids have confirmed this account of their construction.
A Scene of Extreme Horror in the Pyramids of Egypt.— Some French travellers attempted to explore the vaults of the Egyptian pyramids, and had already traversed an extensive labyrinth of chambers and passages ; they were on their return, and had arrived at the most difficult part of"it—a very long and winding passage, forming a communication between two chambers; its opening narrow and low. The ruggedness of the floor, sides, and roof, rendered their progress slow and laborious, and these difficulties increased rapidly as they advanced. The torch with which they had entered became useless, from the impossibility of holding it upright, as the passage diminished its height. Both its height and width at length, however, became so much contracted, that the party were compelled to crawl on their bellies. Their wan-
44 MODERN EGYPTIAN HOUSES.
Modern Egyptian Houses, of the First Class.
ORIENTAI HOUSES. 45
derings in these interminable passages (for such in their fatigue of body and mind they deemed them) seemed to be endless. Their alarm was very great, and their patience already exhausted, when the headmost of the party cried out, that he could discern the light at the exit of the passage, at a considerable distance ahead, but that he could advance no farther, and that, in his efforts to press on, in hopes to surmount the obstacle without complaining, he had squeezed himself so far into the reduced opening, that he had now no loqger sufficient strength even to recede! The situation of the whole party may be imagined: their terror was beyond the power of direction or advice; while the wretched leader, whether from terror, or the natural effect of his situation, swelled so that, if it was before difficult, it was now impossible for him to stir from the spot he thus miserably occupied. One of the party, at this dreadful ,and critical moment, proposed, in the intense selfishness to which the feeling of vital danger reduces all, as the only means of escape from this horrible confinement— this living grave—to cut in pieces the wretched being who formed the obstruction, and clear it by dragging the dismembered carcass piecemeal past them! He heard this dreadful proposal, and contracting himself in agony at the idea of this death, was reduced by a strong muscular spasm to his usual dimensions, and was dragged out, affording room for the party to squeeze themselves by,over his prostrate body. This unhappy creature was suffocated in the effort, and was left behind a corpse.
The roofs of Oriental houses are always flat. They are generally composed of reeds, branches, and twigs, laid over the rafters, the whole trodden into a somewhat compact mass, and covered externally with earth, clay, or plaster, more or less tempered in different countries, and sufficiently calculated, with proper care, to keep out the infrequent rains of climates naturally dry. As the roof is much resorted to by the people on various occasions, particularly to enjoy the cool of the evenings, and to sleep in the open air during the summer nights, a parapet, to prevent the danger of a fall, is evidently necessary. In fact, most eastern houses have parapets, built with brick or mud, and of various heights, from three to six feet, which not only prevent this danger, but secure some degree of privacy to this open bed-chamber. The latter would indeed seem to be the primary object, as the side of the roof that overlooks the inner court of the house itself is generally less guarded than that toward the street. The danger of a fall is equal either way, but the writer has known it very common for roofs to have a high wall toward the street, without miy fence toward the court-yard. As the former is almost never omitted, and the latter often is, we incline to think that the present direc-
EGYPTIAN HOUSE. 47
tion applies particularly to the necessity that there should be a defence toward the interior area of the house itself. The latter, when it does exist, is usually either a wooden balustrade or a parapet, much lower than that on the exterior wall of the house. The houses of the ancient Greeks and Romans were also built \vith flat roofs, so that we read of their walking- and taking the air upon them, and also standing there to see the show and public processions. Indeed, the custom of sleeping on the housetop was not unknown, or tlib danger from their being without parapets. The accident which happened to Elpenor, in Homer (Odyssey* x.), might easily occur in an Oriental house wanting a proper defence on both sides 'of the"roof. This person—
—-” Seeking cooler air, which, overcharged
Newly arisen, he also sprang to,rise,
, The deep descending stairs, plunged through the roof.
1 That shock his neck-bone, parting at the joint,
Sustained not, and his spirit sought the shades.”—Cowpeh.
Quit engraving represents an Egyptian house, such as is met with'at Alexandria and Cairo. Many of the houses have slight constructions upon their roofs, made of wickerwork of bamboo stalks and leaves, forming' little closets in which they severally sleep. These closets afford privacy for their beds, and defend them from the copious dews which frequently fall. In the engraving it will be observed, that an open court surrounded with high walls, fronts the dwelling, Within this court, all the domestic duties of the household are performed, hidden from public view. In Lima, and several other of the'South American cities, the houses are similarly constructed, with this difference—instead of one individual house being furnished with an exclusive court, it is but an open area, around Avhich the separate dwellings of several families are arranged, having but a single entrance from the street.
The oriental houses do not front the street, but the entrance thence leads to a court, which frequently communicates with a second court, beyond which is the entrance to the main building. In those countries, where the will of the ruler is law, the appearance of wealth is dangerous ; and hence it is seldom that any indication of the wealth or rank of an individual can be gathered from the appearance of the outside gate or entrance. Travellers
EGYPTIAN PLASTERERS AT WORK.
Egyptian Plasterers at Work.
50 ORIENTAL GATE.
assert that these gates, when leading to the dwellings of the most opulent, in which splendor of every kind is displayed, are frequently nothing more than a roughly constructed door of unpaint ed wood. Sometimes, however, the vanity and conceit of the opulent, cause them to trust to their popularity with the people, and to make a public display of their wealth. But they generally repent of such folly. Such was the case with a wealthy Mahometan of the city of Bagdad. Trusting to his great popularity, he ventured to erect a splendid gate at the entrance of his dwelling, of which the following cut is a representation. “ One day,” says the editor of the Pictorial Bible (who relates the fact, and gives the accompanying sketch), “ when riding through the streets in which we lived, he was dragged from his horse, near our door, and put to death on the spot, by order of the pacha, who immediately took possession of all his property!”
Such gates, and such dangers, existed in the time of Solomon, who says in Proverbs, xvii. 19, “ He that exalteth his gate seeketh destruction.”
VIEWS IN EDOM (PETRA). 51
The prophecies concerning Edom are very remarkable. It was foretold by the prophet Jeremiah, that “ Edom should be a desolation” (xlix. 17.) “From generation to generation, it shall lie waste; none shall pass through it for ever and ever. But the cormorant and the bittern shall possess it; the owl also and the raven shall dwell in it,and he shall stretch out upon it the line of confusion, and the stones of emptiness,” &c. See also Isaiah xxxiv. 5, 10-17; also, Jeremiah xlix. 7-10; 12-18; Ezek. xxv. 13; xxxv. 1, &c. Joel iii. 10; Obad. ver. 1, 2, 8, 9, 17, 18; Mai. i. 3, 4. The following extracts, respecting “ Petra, the excavated city,” are taken from “ Stephens’s Travels,” an extremely interesting publication. We doubt not, that the reader will acknowledge here the utility of good engravings, without which we should have but a faint idea of the subject and scenery, which the author has so happily described.
VIEWS IN EDOM —(petra).
“ Petra, the excavated city, the long-lost capital of Edom, in the Scriptures and profane writings, in every language in which its name occui’s, signifies a rock ; and, through the shadows of its early history, we learn that its inhabitants lived in natural clefts or excavations made in the solid rock. Desolate as it now is, we have reason to believe that it goes back to the time of Esau, ‘ the father of Edom;’ that princes and dukes, eight successive kings, and again a long line of dukes, dwelt thei'e before any king ‘reigned over Israel;’ and we recognise it from the earliest ages, as the central point to which came the caravans from the interior of Arabia, Persia, and India, laden with all the precious commodities of the east, and from which these commodities were distributed through Egypt, Palestine, and Syria, and all the countries bordering on the Mediterranean, even Tyre and Sidon deriving thfeir purple and dies from Petra. Eight hundred years before
VIEWS IN EDOM—(PETRA). 53
Christ, Amaziah, the king of Judea, c slew of Edom in the valley of Salt ten thousand, and took Selah (the Hebrew name of Petra) by war.’ Three hundred years after the last of the prophets, and nearly a century before the Christian era, the ‘ king of Arabia’ issued from his palace at Petra, at the head of fifty thousand men, horse and foot, entered Jerusalem, and uniting with the Jews, pressed the siege of the temple, which was only raised by the advance of the Romans; and in the beginning of the second century, though its independence was lost, Petra was still the capital of a Roman province. After that time it rapidly declined; its history became more and more obscure ; for more than a thousand years it was completely lost to the civilized world; and, until its discovery by Burckhardt in 1812, except to the wandering Bedouins its very site was unknown.
“ And this was the city at whose door I now stood. In a few words, this ancient and extraordinary city is situated within a natural amphitheatre of two or three miles in circumference, encompassed on all sides by rugged mountains five or six hundred feet in height. The whole of this area is now a waste of ruins— dwelling-houses, palaces, temples, and triumphal arches, all prostrate together in indistinguishable confusion. The sides of the mountains are cut smooth, in a perpendicular direction, and filled with long and continued ranges of dwelling-houses, temples, and tombs, excavated with vast labor out of the solid rock ; and while their summits present Nature in her wildest and most savage form, their oases are adorned with all the beauty of architecture and art, with columns, and porticoes, and pediments, and ranges of corridors, enduring as the mountains out of which they are hewn, and fresh as if the work of a generation scarcely yet gone by.
“Nothing can be finer than the immense rocky rampart which encloses the city. Strong, firm, and immoveable as nature itself, it seems to deride the walls of cities, and the puny fortifications of skilful engineers. The only access is by clambering over this wall of stone, practicable only in one place, or by an entrance the most extraordinary that Nature, in her wildest freaks, has ever framed. The loftiest portals ever raised by the hands of man, the proudest monuments of architectural skill and daring, sink into insignificance by the comparison.”
“For about two miles it lies between high and precipitous ranges of rocks, from five hundred to a thousand feet in height, standing as if torn asunder by some great convulsion, and barely wide enough for two horsemen to pass abreast. A swelling stream rushes between them ; the summits are wild and broken ; in some places overhanging the opposite sides, casting the darkness of night upon the narrow defile ; then receding and forming an opening above, through which a strong ray of light is thrown down, and illuminates with the blaze of day the frightful chasm below. "Wild fig-trees, oleanders, and ivy, were growing out of the rockv
54 VIEWS IN EDOM (PETRA).
sides of the cliffs hundreds of feet above our heads ; the eagle was screaming above us ; all along were the open doors of tombs, forming the great Necropolis of the city ; and at the extreme end was a large open space, with a powerful body of light thrown down upon it, and exhibiting in one full view the fagade of a beautiful temple, hewn out of the rock, with rows of Corinthian columns and ornaments, standing out fresh and clear as if but yesterday from the hands of the sculptor. Though coming directly from the banks of the Nile, where the preservation of the temples excites the admiration and astonishment of every traveller, we were roused and excited by the extraordinary beauty and excellent condition of the great temple at Petra.”
“ The whole temple, its columns, ornaments, porticoes, and porches, are cut out from and form part of the solid rock; and this rock, at the foot of which the temple stands like a mere print, towers several hundred feet above, its face cut smooth to the very summit, and the top remaining wild and misshapen as Nature made it. The whole area before the temple is perhaps an acre in extent, enclosed on all sides except at the narrow entrance, and an opening to the left of the temple, which leads into the area of the city by a pass through perpendicular rocks, five or six hundred feet in height.
“It is not my design to enter into the details of the many monuments in this extraordinary city ; but, to give a general idea of the character of all the excavations, I cannot do better than go within the temple. Ascending several broad steps, we entered under a colonnade of four Corinthian columns, about thirty-five feet high, into a large chamber of some fifty feet square, and twenty-five feet high. The outside of the temple is richly ornamented, but the interior is perfectly plain, there being no ornament of any kind upon the walls or ceilings ; on each of the three sides is a small chamber for the reception of the dead ; and on the back wall of the innermost chamber I saw the names of Messrs. Legh, Banks, Irby, and Mangles, the four English travellers who, with so much difficulty, had effected their entrance to the city; of Messieurs Laborde and Linant, and the two Englishmen and Italian of whom I have before spoken; and two or three others, which, from the character of the writing, I supposed to be names of attendants upon some of these gentlemen.
“These were the only names recorded in the temple; and, beside Burckhardt, 110 other traveller had ever reached it. I was the first American who had ever been there. Many of my countrymen, probably, as was the case with me, have never known the existence of such a city ; and independently of all personal considerations, I confess that I felt what I trust was not an inexcusable pride, in writing upon the innermost wall of that temple the name of an American citizen ; and under it, and flourishing on its own account in temples, and tombs, and all the most conspicuous places in Petra, is the illustrious name of Paulo Nuozzo, dragomano
VIEWS IN EDOM (PETRA.)
56 VIEWS TN EDOM-(PETRA).
“ Leaving the temple and the open area on which it fronts, and following the stream, we entered another defilei mnch "broader than the first, on each side of which Were ranges of tombs, with sculptured doors and columns ; and on the left, in the bosom of the mountain, hewn out of the solid rock, is a large theatre, circular in form, the pillars in front fallen, and containing . thirty-three rows of seats, capable : of containing more than three thousand persons. Above the corridor was a range of doors opening' to' chambers in the rocks, the seats of the princes and wealthiest inhabitants of Petra, and not . unlike a row of private boxes in a modern , theatre.
“ The whole th eatre is at this Sectional view of the Temple of Khasne. day in such a state of preser
vation, that if the tenants of the tombs around could once more rise into life, they might take their old places on its seats, and listen to the declamation of their favorite player. To me the stillness of a ruined city is nowhere so impressive as when sitting on the steps of its theatre ; once thronged with the gay and pleasure-seeking, but now given up to solitude and desolation. Day after day these seats had been filled, and the now silent rocks had echoed to the applauding shouts of thousands: and little could an ancient Edomite imagine that a solitary stranger, from a then unknown world, would one day be wandering among the ruins of his proud and wonderful city, meditating upon the fate of a race that has for ages passed away.”
# # # * * *
“All around the theatre in the sides of the mountains were ranges of tombs; and directly opposite they rose in long tiers one above another. Having looked into those around the theatre, I crossed to those opposite ; and, carefully as the brief time I had would allow, examined the whole range. Though I had no small experience in exploring catacombs and tombs, these were so different from any I had seen, that I found it difficult to distinguish the habitations of the living from the chambers of the dead. The fagades or architectural decorations of the front were everywhere handsome ; and in this they differed materially from tho tombs in Egypt; in the latter, the doors were simply an opening
58 VIEWS IN EDOM (PETRA).
in the rock, and all the grandeur and beauty of the work within ; while here the door was always imposing in its appearance, and the interior was generally a simple chamber, unpainted and unsculptured.
“ I say that I could not distinguish the dwellings from the tombs; but this was not invariably the case ; some were clearly tombs, for there were pits in which the dead had been laid, and others were as clearly dwellings, being without a place for the deposite of the dead. One of these last particularly attracted my attention. It consisted of one large chamber, having on one side, at the foot of the wall, a stone bench about one foot high, and two or three broad, in form like the divans in the East at the present day ; at the other end were several small apartments, hewn out of the rock, with partition-walls left between them, like stalls in a stable, and these had probably been the sleeping apartments of the different members of the family; the mysteries of bars and bolts, of folding doors and third stories, being unknown in the days of the ancient Edomites. There were no paintings or decorations of any kind within the chamber ; but the rock out of which it was hewn, like
View of an unfinished tomb.
the whole stony rampart that encircled the city, was of a peculiarity and beauty that I never saw elsewhere, being a dark ground, with veins of white, blue, red, purple, and sometimes scarlet and light orange, running through it in rainbow streaks; and within the chambers, where there had been no exposure to the action of
VIEWS IN EDOM—(PETRA).
60 VIEWS IN EDOM— (J’ETIIA).
the elements, the freshness and beauty of the colors in whicb . these waving lines were drawn, gave an effect hardly inferior to that of the paintings in the tombs of the kings at Thebes. From its high and commandihg position, and the unusual finish of the work, this house, if so it may be called, had no doubt been the residence of one who had strutted his hour of brief existence among the wealthy citizens of Petra. In front was a large table of rock, forming a sort of court for the excavated dwelling, wdiere probably, year after year, in this beautiful climate, the Edomite of old sat under/the gathering,shades of evening, sometimes looking down upon the congregated thousands and the stirring scenes in the theatre beneath, or beyond upon the palaces and dwellings in the area of the then populous city.
Farther on, in the same range, though, in consequence of the steps of the streets being broken, we were obliged to go down and ascend again before we could reach it, was another temple, like the first, cut out of the solid rock, and, like the first too, having for its principal ornament a large urn, shattered and bruised by musket-balls 5 for the ignorant Arab, believing that gold is concealed in it, day after day, as he passes by, levels at it his murderous gun, in the vain hope to break the vessel and scatter a golden shower on the ground.
“But it would be unprofitable to dwell upon details. In the exceeding interest of the scene around me, I hurried from place to place, utterly insensible to physical fatigue; and being entirely alone, and having a full and undisturbed range of the ruins, 1 clambered Up broken staircases and among the ruins of streets ; and, looking into one excavation, passed on to another and another, and made the whole circle of the desolate city. There, on the spot, everything had an interest which I cannot give in description; and if the reader has followed me so far, I have too much regard for him to drag him about after me as I did Paul. I am warned of the consequences) by what occurred with that excellent and patient follower ; for before the day was over he was completely worn out with fatigue.”
* * # * * * ' # . * # *
“Where are ye5i inhabit ants of this desolate city I ye who once sat on the seats of this theatre, the young, the high-born, the beautiful, and brave ; who once rejoiced in your riches and power, and lived as if there was no grave 1 Where are ye now 1 Even the very tombs, whose open doors are stretching away in long ranges before the eyes of the wondering traveller, cannot reveal the mystery of your doom: your dry bones are gone ; the robber has invaded your graves, and your very ashes have been swept away to make room for the wandering Arab of the desert.
“ But we need not stop at the days when a gay population were crowding to this theatre. In the earliest periods of recorded time, long before this theatre was built, and long before the tragic muse was known, a great city stood here. Wh°.n Esau, having sold his birthright for a mess of pottage, came to his portion
VIEWS IN EDOM—(PETRA).
62 VIEWS IN EDOM (PETRA).
umong the mountains of Seir ; and Edom, growing in power and strength, became presumptuous and haughty, until, in her pride, when Israel prayed a passage through her country, Edom said unto Israel, ‘ Thou shall not pass by me, lest I come out against thee with the sword.’
“Amid all the terrible denunciations against the land of Idumea, ‘ her cities and the inhabitants thereof,’ this proud city among the rocks, doubtless for its extraordinary sins, was .always marked as a subject of extraordinary vengeance. £ I have sworn by myself, saith the Lord, that Bozrah (the strong or fortified city) shall become a desolation, a reproach,, and a waste, and a curse, and all the cities thereof shall be perpetual waste. Lo, I will make thee small among the heathen, and despised among men. Thy terribleness-hath deceived thee, and the pride of thy heart, oh, thou that dwellest in the clefts of the rocks, that boldest the height of the hill ; though thou shouldst make thy nest as high as the eagle, I will bring thee down from thence, saith the Lord.’—Jer. xlix 13, 16. ‘ They shall call the nobles thereof to the kingdom, but
none shall be there, and all her princes shall be nothing; and thorns shall come up in her palaces, nettles and brambles in the fortresses thereof, and it shall be a habitation for dragons, and a court for owls.’-—Isaiah xxxiv. 14, 15...
“I would that the skeptic could stand, as I did, among the ruins of this city, among the rocks and there open the sacred book, and read the words of the inspired pehmeh, written when this desolate place was one of the greatest cities in the world. I see the scoff arrested, his cheek pale, his lip quivering, and his heart quaking with fear, as the ruined city cries out to him in a voice loud and powerful as that of one risen from the dead; though he would not believe Moses and the prophets, he believes the handwriting of God . himself, in the desolation and eternal "ruin around him. We sat on the steps of the theatre, and made our noonday meal; and our drink was from the pure stream that rolled down at our feet.” .
Our cut on p. 52 represents the Entrance to Petra by a hollow way, leading through magnificent ruins to the temple of Khasne, excavated out of the rock, which is exhibited on the opposite page. A glimpse of the temple appears in the distant back-ground. This way is a natural gorge or chasm between perpendicular rocks, and is lined with magnificent sepulchres.
SEPULCHRAL CAVES, ETC. 63
In the twenty-third chapter of Genesis, and the nineteenth verse, we find the phrase “ the cave of the field of Machpelah.” This chapter affords the earliest notice of the practice, which was formerly very prevalent in the East, of depositing the dead in natural or artificial caves, great numbers of which are still to be found in Palestine, Syria, Egypt, and Persia. In the mountainous country of southern Palestine there are abundance of natural caves in the rocks, which might easily he formed into commodious sepulchral vaults ; and where such natural caves were wanting, sepulchres were hewn in the rock for such families as were able to incur the necessary expense; for this was the mode of sepulchre decidedly preferred by those who could obtain it. The arrangement and extent of these caves varied with circumstances. Those in the declivity of a mountain were often cut in horizontally ; but to others there was usually a descent by steps'from the surface. The roofs of the vaults are commonly arched; and sometimes, in the more spacious vaults, supported by colonnades. These rocky, chambers are generally spacious, being obviously family vaults, intended to receive several dead bodies. Niches, about six or seven feet deep, are usually cut in the sides of the vault, each adapted to receive a single corpse; but in some vaults, small rooms are cut in the same manner; and in others, stone slabs of the same length, are fixed horizontally against the walls, or cut out of the rock, one above another, serving as shelves on which the corpses were deposited: in others, however, the floor itself is excavated for the reception of the dead, in compartments of various depths, and in the shape of a coffin. Some of the bodies were placed in stone coffins, provided with sculptured lids; but such sarcophagi were by no means in general use; the bodies, when wound up in.the grave-clothes, being usually deposited without any sort of coffin or sarcophagus. The vaults are always dark, the only opening being the narrow entrance, which is usually closed by a large stone, rolled to its mouth ; although some of a superior description are shut by stone doors, hung in the same manner as the doors of houses, by pivots turning in holes, in the architrave above, and in, the threshold below. Some of these vaults consist of several chambers, one within another, connected by passages. The innermost chambers are usually deeper than the exterior, with a descent of several steps. When there is more than one chamber, the outermost seems to have a sort of anteroom, the walls being seldom occupied with sepulchral niches or shelves. This cave of Machpelah became, after the purchase by Abraham, the family sepulchre of the Hebrew patriarchs; and it is reasonable to conclude that it was of superior size, and contained more than one apartment. The Spanish Jew, Benjamin of Tudela, visited the place about six hundred and fifty years ago ; and as his account is precise and interesting, we quote it from “Purchas, his
64 SEPtTLCHEAL CAVES, ETC.
Pilgrimes,” 16254—“I came to Hebron, seated in a plaine ; for Hebron, the ancient metropolitan citie, stood upon an hill, but it is now desolate. But in the valley there is a field, wherein there is a duplicitie, that is, as it were, two little valleyes, and there the citie is placed; and there, is an huge temple there, called Saint Abraham, and that place was the synagogue of the lewes, at what time the country was possessed by the Ismaelites. But the Gentiles, who afterwards obtayned and held the same, built sixe sepulchres in the temple, by the names of Abraham, Sara, Rebecca, lacob, and Lia [Leah]. And the inhabitants now tell the pilgrimes that they are the monuments of the patriarkes; and great summes of money are offered there. But surely, to any lew coming thither, and offering the porters a reward, the cave is shewed, with the iron gate opened, which from antiquitie remayneth yet there. And a man goeth down with a lampe-light into the first cave, where nothing is found, nor also in the second,, until he enter the third, in which there are the sixe monuments, the one right over against the other; and each of them are engraven with characters, and distinguished by the names of every one of them after this manner:—‘ Sepulchrum Abraham pair is nostri, super quem pax sit and so the rest after the samemxample. And a lampe perpetually burneth in the cave, day and night; the officers of the temple continually ministering oyle for the maintenance thereof, Also, in the self-same cave, there are tuns full of the bones of the ancient Israelites, brought thither by the families of Israel, which even until this day remayne in the self-same place.” This curious account agrees pretty well with the above general description. The wbrd u Machpelah” means double, applied rather to the field containing the cave than to the cave itself. Benjamin’s mention of the two valleys forming, as Purchas translates, “ the field of duplicity,” explains the application which has perplexed Calmet and Others. Sandys, who was there early in the seventeenth century, and who describes the valley of Hebron as. “ the most pregnant and pleasant valley that the eye, ever beheld,” mentions the “goodly temple” built by the emperess Helena, the mother of Constantine, and afterward changed into a mosque, as a place of much resort to Moslem pilgrims. John Sanderson was there in the summer of 1601, and the account he gives agrees, as far as it goes, with that of the Spanish Jew.; but access to the cave was more restricted than it seems to have been in the time of the latter. He says:—“ Into this tombe not any are suffered to enter, but at a square hole, through a thick wall, they may discern a little light of a lamp. The lewes do their ceremonies of prayer there without. The Moores and Turkes are permitted to have a little more light, which is at the top, where they let down the oyle for the lampe; the lampe is a very great one, continually burning.”
For upward of a century, only two or three Europeans have been able, either by daring or bribery, to obtain access to the mosque and cave. Ali Bey, who passed as a Mussulman, has given a description of it; but his account is so incompatible with
66 ENGRAVED ROCKS.
all others, and with the reports of the Turks, that it is difficult to admit of its accuracy. According to all other statements, the sepulchre is a deep and spacious cavern, cut out of the solid rock; the opening to which is in the centre of the mosque, and is seldom entered even by Moslems; hut Ali Bey seems to describe each separate tomb as in a distinct room, on a level of the floor of the mosque. These rooms have their entrances guarded by iron gates, and by wooden doors plated with silver, with holts and padlocks of the same metal. He says :—“ All the sepulchres of the patriarchs are covered with rich carpets of green silk, magnificently embroidered with gold ; those of their waves are red, embroidered in like manner. The sultans of Constantinople furnish these carpets, which are renewed from time to time. I counted nine, one over the other, upon the sepulchre of Abraham. The rooms also which contain the tombs are covered with rich carpets.” We can only reconcile this with the other statements by supposing that the Turks have put these monuments upon the level of the floor, immediatety over the supposed resting-places of the patriarchs in the cave underneath ; and that, instead of conducting them into the crypt, these tombs above ground are shown to ordinary visiters. ,
Wady Mokattah is a valley entering Wady Sheikh, and bordering on the upper regions of the Sinai mountains. It extends for about three hours’ march, and in most places its rocks present abrupt cliffs, twenty or thirty feet high. From these cliffs large masses have separated and lie at the bottom ,in the valley.
The cliffs and rocks are thickly covered with inscriptions, which are continued, at intervals of a few.hundred paces only, for at least the distance of twrO hours and a half. Burckhardt says, that to copy all of them would occupy a skilful draughtsman six or eight days. The inscriptions are very rudely executed^ sometimes with large letters, at others with small, and seldom with straight lines. The characters appear to be written from right to left; and although not cut deep, an instrument of metal must have been required, as the rock is of considerable hardness. .Some of them are on rocks at a height of twelve or' fifteen feet, and must have required a ladder to ascend to them. The characters are not known. The superior of the Franciscans, who visited the place in 1722, observes, “Although we had among us men who understood the Arabian, Greek, Hebrew, Syriac, Coptic, Latin, Armenian, Turkish, English, Illyrian, German, and Bohemian languages, there was not one of us who had the slightest knowledge of the characters engraved in these hard rocks with great labor, in a country where there is nothing to he had either to eat or drink. Hence it is probable that these characters contained some profound secrets,
Engraved Rocks in the Ouadi Mokattah.—Laborde.
which, long before the birth of Jesus Christ, were sculptured in these rocks by the Chaldeans or some other persons.” This account excited profound attention in Europe: and it was thought by many that the inscriptions might have been framed by the Israelites during their stay in this region, and probably contained irrefragable evidence for the truth of the Mosaic history. Hence copies of them have been anxiously sought and secured. But, with the exception of a few in Greek,, the character and language remain unknown. “Before they can be all deciphered,” says Laborde, “greater progress than has yet been attained must be made in the paleography and ancient languages of the East. The most general opinion is that they were the work of pilgrims who visited, Sinai about the sixth century.” This seems to us very doubtful. The Greek inscriptions and the crosses on which this conclusion chiefly rests, may indeed have been of that or a later age ; but it does not follow that those in the unknown characters necessarily were so too. However, this is of no consequence for our purpose, which is merely to illustrate by example, the practice of charging the living rock with inscriptions; and that example is the more interesting from being taken from a region of so much Scriptural interest, and not far from the land of Uz. Although these inscriptions should prove not to be of high antiquity, and only to record the names and prayers of Jewish and Christian pilgrims to Sinai; the rude manner in which they are exhibited, may well be supposed to be such as belonged tb the time when men first begali to inscribe on rocks their abiding memorials. It only remains to add that among the inscriptions appear sometimes extremely rude figures of men and animals (camels, goats, &c.), some of which seem to be of the same date as the original characters, while others seem to belong to a more recent period.
Nineveh, the mighty capital of the Assyrian empire, was a very extensive and populous city. Its walls were 100 feet in height, 60 miles in compass, with 1,500 towers, each 200 feet high. This “ exceeding great city” having repented at the preaching of Jonah, its destruction was averted for a time ; but relapsing into iniquity it was swept away, so that there are now but slight vestiges of it to be seen. The Assyrians grievously oppressed the Israelites, took Samaria, and carried the ten tribes into captivity, 2 Kings xvii. 5, 6 ; xviii. 10-13, 34; Ezra iv. 2. They took also all the fenced cities of Judah, and exacted a heavy tribute from the Jews. But the glory and the power of Assyria, and of its capital city, are departed; like that of the mighty host of Sennacherib, its king, when smitten, in a night, by an angel of the Lord.
A Greek historian, who repeatedly alludes to an ancient prophecy concerning it, as known to the Ninevites, relates that the Assyrian
army was suddenly assaulted by the Medes in a time of festivity, when unable to resist the enemy. A great part of them were destroyed ; and the river, having increased to an unexampled height by rains, broke down a great extent of the wall, opened an entrance for the enemy, and overflowed the lower part of the city. The king, in his desperation, and deeming the prediction was accomplished, heaped an immense funeral pile, and having set fire to it, and to the palace, was consumed with his household and his wealth; and the Medes carried away many talents of silver and gold to Ecbatana. “ While they are drunken as drunkards, they shall be devoured as stubble fully dry.' With an overflowing flood he will make an utter end of the place thereof. The gates of the rivers shall be opened. Nineveh is of old, like a pool of Water. The gates of thy land shall be set wide open unto thine enemies: the fire1 shall devour thy bars. Fortify thy strongholds—there shall the fire devour thee ; take ye the spoil of silver, take the spoil of gold; for there is none end of the store and glory out of all the pleasant furniture,” Nahum i. 8. 10; ii. 6, 8, 9; iii. 13— 15^
The utter destruction and perpetual desolation of Nineveh were foretold. “ The Lord will make an utter end of the place thereof. Affliction shall not rise up the second, time. The merchants of Nineveh, who were multiplied aboye the stars of heaven, and even her crowned, who were as locusts and great caterpillars, they flee away, and their place is not known where they were. He will make Nineveh a desolation, and dry like, a wilderness,” Nahum i. 8, 9 ; iii. 16, 17; Zephaniah ii. 13-15. , The very site of Nineveh was long unknown. It has, of late, been visited by different travellers. It is now an extended waste, interspersed sparingly with heaps of rubbish. The principal mounds are few in number; in many places overgrown with grass. The appearance of otlier mounds and ruins, less marked, extend for ten miles, but there is not one monument of royalty, nor one token of splendor; the place is not known where they were. There are not even materials of buildings discernible in the principal mounds. The very ruins have perished; it is less than the wreck of what it was.
Babylon rivalled Nineveh in its greatness and wickedness. And now the ruins of these once hostile cities, which vied with each other, and both of which oppressed and led captive, the one the Israelites, the other the Jews, show that each of them has borne its predicted “burden,” and that the vision which the prophets'of Israel saw respecting them is true. The accounts are now as ample, and the witnesses as numerous, of its present desolation; as of its ancient greatness.
Several of the best Greek and Roman writers describe the ancient greatness of Babylon at different periods. All agree in re-
Ruins of Babylon
lating its wonderful magnificence. Herodotus, who lived about 250 years after Isaiah, wrote from what he saw and examined. The walls of^Babylon, before their height was reduced to 75 feet by Darius Hystaspes, were above 300 feet high ; they were 75 feet broad, and 34 miles in compass. The temple of Belus, 630 feet in height; the artificial hanging gardens, piled in successive terraces as high as the walls, the embankments which restrained the Euphrates, the hundred brazen gates, the palace built by Nebuchadnezzar, eight miles in compass ; and the artificial lake, the circumference of which was far more than a hundred miles, and its depth, by the lowest account, 35 feet—all displayed many of the mightiest works of mortals: concentrated in a single spot. The great Babylon was the glory of kingdoms, and the beauty of the Chaldees’ excellency, the golden city, the lady of kingdoms, and the praise of the whole earth. The Scriptures, which thus describe it, mark minutely every stage of its fall, till it should become what it now is—a complete desolation.
Concerning the siege of Babylon, Herodotus and. Xenophon relate, in exact accordance with what Isaiah and Jeremiah had foretold, that the Medes and Persians, united under Cyrus, prophesied of by Isaiah, above 100 years before he was born, came against Babylon and besieged it; that the Babylonians, enclosed within their walls, remained in their holds and forebore to fight; that Cyrus turned the waters of the Euphrates, which flowed through the city,' into the lake, whereby a snare was' laid for Babylon; that the waters of the river, being thus lowered so as to allow men to go over, the enemy entered by its channel; that, from the negligence of the guards, the gates, leading from the river to the city, were not shut; that the Median and Persian army thus entering, as if by stealth, designedly during the night of an annual Babylonish festival, Babylon was taken when it was not aware; that its princes, captains, and mighty men, reposing after their feasts, and drunken, were suddenly slaughtered; and that Babylon, which had never been conquered before, was thus taken without resistance in a moment, unknown to the king and the inhabitants, who were not aware of their danger, till one messenger ran to meet another, with the tidings that Babylon was taken, Isaiah xxi. 2; xlv. 27 j xliv. 1; Jer. 1. 38; li. 11, 27, 30, 36, 57.
The gradual decline of Babylon is also traced in the prophecies, Isaiah xlvii. 1. Babylon ceased to be the seat of government 5 it rebelled against Darius, was taken by hmq and farther humbled, Jeremiah li. 44, 47, 52. Xerxes seized the sacred treasures, and plundered or destroyed the temples and idols of Babylon, Jer. li. 8, 9. Alexander the Great attempted to restore Babylon to its former glory. But his death, when in the prime of life, put an end to the work: she was not healed, Jer. li. 9. About 130 years before the Christian era, a Parthian conqueror destroyed the fairest parts of Babylon; and many of the inhabitants were removed into Media. The neighboring city of Seleucia also drained it of a great part of its population.
After the commencement of the Christian era, Babylon became gradually more and more desolate, till, in the fourth century, its walls formed an enclosure for wild beasts, and the site where the golden city had stood, which reigned over the nations, was converted into a hunting-place for the Persian monarchs, A long interval succeeded without any record concerning it, and the progress of ages has brought it at last to that utter desolation which the prophets testified that it would finally become.
The ruins of Babylon, the site or situation of which has been completely ascertained, have been visited and described of late, by several British travellers. There is some diversity of opinion as to what particular palace, or edifice, of ancient Babylon, is now a particular mound or heap, but the greatness of the desolation admits no dispute. For, from being the “glory of kingdoms,” Babylon is now the greatest of ruins; and, after 2,400 years, it exhibits the precise scene defined in prophecy; and it could not now he described .in more appropriate terms than the following:—
“The name and remnant are cut off from Babylon. There the Arabian pitches not his tent; there the shepherds make not their folds; but wild beasts of the desert lie there, and their houses are full of doleful creatures, &c. It is a possession for the bittern, and a dwelling-place for dragons, a wilderness, a dry land and a desert, a burnt mountain, empty, wholly desolate, pools of water, heaps, and utterly destroyed, a land where no man dwelleth, every one that goeth by it is astonished,” &c., Isa. xiii. 19, &c.; xiv. 22, &c.; Jer. 1. 13, 23, 39, &c.; li. 13, 26, &c. Dread of evil spirits, and terror at the wild beasts amohg the ruins of Babylon, restrain the Arab from pitching his tent, and shepherds from making theii folds there. The princely palaces and habitations of Babylon are now nothing but unshapely heaps of bricks and rubbish; along the sides, or on the summits of which, are now caverns, where porcupines creep, and owls and hats nestle ; where “ lions ” find a den, and “jackals, hyenas, and other noxious animals, an unmolested retreat:” from which “ issues a loathsome smell;” and “ the entrances to which are strewed with the bones of sheep and goats.” Though utterly destroyed, “ their houses are full of doleful creatures, and owls dwell there, and satyrs dance there. The wild beasts lie there, and cry in their desolate houses, It shall no more be inhabited for ever,” &c. On the one side of the Euphrates, the canals being dry, and the crumbled bricks on an elevated surface exposed to the scorching sun, these “ sun-burnt ruins” cover an c arid plain,” and Babylon is a wilderness, a dry land, and a desert. On the other, the embankments of the river, and with them the vestiges of ruins over a large space, have been swept away; the nlain is, in general, “ marshy, and in many places inaccessible,” r bpccially after the annual overflowing of the Euphrates; “no son of man doth pass thereby ; the sea, or river, is come unto Babylon ; she is covered with the multitudes of the waves thereof.” At that season, also, large deposites of the waters are left stagnant between the ruins, verifying the threat, “ I will make thee a possession for
the bittern, and pools of water.” The abundance of the country is gone as clean away, as if the besom of destruction had swept it from north to south, Isa. xiv. 23.
There are, on the ruins of BersNemroud, or the temple of Belus, large fragments of brick-work that, have been “ completely molten,” which must not only have been subjected to a heat “ equal to that of the strongest furnace,” but which, being vitrified all around, “bear evident proof” that the ruin resembles what the Scriptures prophesied it should become, a burnt mountain, Jer. li. 25. It is still a relic of Babylon the great, for, though a mass of ruins, it is still 235 feet high. From the summit is a distinct view of the heaps which constitute all that now remains of ancient Babylon ; a more complete picture of desolation could not well be imagined. The eye wandered over a barren desert, in which the ruins were nearly the only indication that it had ever been inhabited. It was impossible not to be reminded how exactly the predictions of Isaiah and Jeremiah have been fulfilled, even in the appearance Babylon was to present, that she should become heaps; that her cities should be a desolation, a dry land, and a wilderness.
The walls of Babylon were so broad, that, as ancient historians relate, six chariots could be driven on them abreast. They existed for more than a thousand years after the prophecy was delivered. They were numbered among “ the seven wonders of the world j” but now it can scarcely be determined with certainty that even a vestige of them l’emains. Modern travellers have totally failed in discovering any trace of the city walls, and say, that “the Divine predictions against Babylon have been so literally fulfilled in the appearance of the ruins, as to give the fullest signification to the words of Jeremiah, ‘ The broad walls of Babylon shall be utterly broken,’ Jer. li. 58.”
And when we see the proudest works of man thus brought to the dust, where is the human strength, or wisdom, or beauty, or greatness, in which any ought to glory, and whose name alone is it that ought ever to be feared, and that shall be exalted for ever, but that of the Lord, who hath performed his every purpose against Babylon I And seeing that the glory of kingdoms is thus fallen, what earthly possession or privilege deserves-to be prized like the citizenship of that kingdom which alone can never be moved 5 and how worthless in comparison shall they all at last prove, even as the dust of fallen Babylon! And what other stay need the true Christian seek, or what human fear need he dread, while he puts his trust in that God according to whose word the broad walls of Babylon have been utterly broken I And if the life on their lips, and the breath in their nostrils, and the graves of their brethren and forefathers, cannot teach the worldly, the careless, and the nominal Christian, that pride was not made for man, let them go and look for the walls of Babylon, and look on the blasted ruins of the temple of Belus. There they may learn, visibly illustrated, the truth of that word of God, “ All that is in the world, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but of the
world. And the world passeth away, and the fashion thereof.” O that all such would remember, “ He that doth the will of God abideth for ever.”
And now, Christian reader, on a careful review of all the prophecies relative to Petra, Nineveh, Babylon, and all the adjoining territories, is it not a certain fact, which can admit of no disputation, and which needs no argument to support it, but which rests on the testimony of unbelievers, no less than that of Christians, that the fate of all these cities and countries, in reference to their past history and present state, demonstrates the truth of the prophecies concerning them, and that all these prophecies, ratified by the events, give the most decisive proof that those holy men of old, who all testified of Jesus, “ spoke as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” No word can be more sure, in regard to past and present things, than theirs in regard to the future. The desolations were the work of men, and were all effected by the enemies of Christianity. The prediction of these literal facts, in all their particulars and minuteness, infinitely surpasses human foresight. The ruin of empires, while it proves the truth of every tittle of these predictions, is thus a miraculous confirmation and proof of the inspiration of the Scriptures.
“ A glory gilds the sacred page,
Majestic like the sun;
It gives a light to ev’ry age —
It gives — but borrows none.”
JOURNEYINGS OF THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL. 77
JOURNEYINGS OF THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL.
The account of the deliverance of the children of Israel from Egypt, and the particulars of the events which befell them during the forty years they journeyed in the wilderness, form a very interesting and instructive part of the Bible.
We must begin by noticing their deliverance from the land of bondage. A king had arisen, “ who knew not Joseph,” who forgot how the Hebrews had benefited the land. Gratitude toward Joseph’s kindred and their descendants, though peaceful and industrious, was no longer felt, and they were reduced to a miserable state of servitude or slavery. The simple narrative of Holy Scripture, as to their state, is here, as it always is, very expressive. We are told, that “ the Egyptians made the children of Israel to serve with rigor: and they made their lives bitter with hard bondage, in mortar, and in brick, and in all manner of service in the field : all their service, wherein they made them serve, was with rigor,” Exod. i. 13, 14.
Josephus gives a more detailed account of the labors of their bondage, in excavating new channels for rivers, throwing up embankments, erecting walls, and building cities and pyramids; but the vivid picture of the inspired historian impresses the mind far more forcibly.
Their sufferings extended beyond this cruel slavery. As, by
JOURNEYINGS OF THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL. 79
the Divine blessing, the people were supported under their burdens, a more cruel order was given. Every male child of the Israelites was to be destroyed as soon as born. Another mandate followed; every infant son was to be cast into the river Nile, which the Egyptians worshipped as a god! So that whenever the king went forth to worship the river, he could with his own eyes see whether his order had been obeyed.
This murderous proceeding does not appear to have been long practised ; but during that very period the deliverer was born, and was preserved. How vain are the efforts of wicked men, when opposed to the will of God! Nay, as in this instance, they usually are made the means of forwarding the very objects they set themselves against.
Moses was the son of Amram, a descendant of Levi. He was a goodly child. His parents were strengthened by faith; they resolved to preserve him if possible. They did so for three months. When they could no longer venture to conceal their infant, a basket was made of papyrus flags, which would float on the stream; and it was daubed with a sort oL bitumen or pitch, to keep out the water. Moses was put therein, carried to the river, and his sister was placed at some distance to watch the event.
Here we see strong proofs of that all-controlling Providence, which watches over us. Moses, the helpless infant, in a little basket of. bulrushes, floating at the river’s brink, condemned to destruction by the mandate of ,a powerful tyrant, was as safe as when he became the Jewish lawgiver, atxd rested in his tent, surrounded by the many thousands of Israel, without an enemy at hand. He that neither slumbereth nor sleepeth, the Lord of all power and might, watched over him in the one place as in the other; and the same Lord still continues to watch over every one of his people, whether young or old.
At this time Pharaoh’s daughter came to the river with her attendants : probably to wash their garments, according to the simple manners of those times* when such employment was not considered beneath a king’s daughter. The basket was seen; a maiden was told to fetch it; the baby wept, and the kindly feelings which are seldom wanting in a female bosom, led the princess to resolve to use her power to save its life. The sister joined the circle. Her suggestion to call a nurse from among the Hebrew women was listened to ; and, ere long, the mother again held her infant in her arms !
The earliest years of Moses thus were passed with his parents. He then became the charge of Pharaoh’s daughter. His youth and early manhood were spent at court. He was trained up in all the learning of the Egyptians, amid the luxui'y and splendor of that court, then the first of civilized nations. It even appeared probable that he might one day be king in Egypt.
Josephus has given additional particulars of the early life of Moses, beyond those recorded in sacred writ. He related that the child, when three years old, was brought into the presence of
80 JOURNEYINGS OF THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL.
JOURNEYINGS OF THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL. 81
Pharaoh, by the princess, who desired the king to receive him as her adopted son. The monarch placed his diadem upon the child's head, when the infant Moses cast it to the ground, and trampled upon it. The soothsayers drew an ominous presage from the occurrence, and urged that the child should be destroyed; but the king refused to permit their cruel wishes to bo carried into effect, fhe Jewish historian also graces his account of Moses with details of warlike exploits, and wise devices; all of which we may safely pass over, and adhere to the sacred narrative.
Moaes slaying the Egyptian.
We are there told, that, when he was forty years of a.e, Moses went forth, and looked on the burdens of his brethren. He then considered tho choice before him. On the one hand, all the temptations of a court, and the possession of every worldly enjoyment j on the other hand, everything which appeared unpleasant, painful, or disgusting. God, the Holy Spirit, alone could lead him to the choice he made. “ By faith, Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to suffer aflliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season.” He was better pleased to bear
JOURNEYINGS OF THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL. 83
reproach for Christ, than to possess all the wealth and advantages Egypt could bestow, “ having respect to the recompense of the reward the same salvation which is offered, in the Bible, to each of us at the present day.
While his thoughts were engaged as to the best method of delivering his afflicted brethren, he saw one of them suffering under the blows of an Egyptian taskmaster. Moses interfered, and rescued the poor slave, but not without the death of the oppressor. The next day he tried to reconcile two Israelites who were striving together. The words of the man who was in the wrong, reminded Moses of his danger from what he had done the day before, and gave him little hope of being able to benefit a people so degraded as the Israelites were. Moses then fled to the land of Midian.
When Moses arrived in the neighborhood of Mount Sinai, he was enabled to render a service to the daughters of Jethro, the priest or prince of that district: those offices were often united in the same person. He found a home in the family ; he married one of the daughters of Jethro, and, laying aside the habits of life he had hitherto followed, he became one of the shepherd tribe which then inhabited the mountainous district of Horeb.
84 JOURNEYINGS OF THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL.
There is every reason to believe, that this was, in many respects, the happiest portion of the life of Moses. Here he had opportunity for spiritual intercourse with his God. Here, in his lowly employ, Moses was no longer the powerful courtier, but his spirit became deeply imbued with the humility and meekness which were so called for in his later years. Here, as is thought, the book of Genesis, and perhaps the book of Job, were written by him.
While thus employed, forty years rolled away. The Egyptian tyrant died, but the children of Israel were still kept in bondage, and, of course, became more and more degraded in character; though there were many among them who still prayed for deliverance. The 88th Psalm is supposed to have been written at this period, and to describe their grevious sufferings. Their prayers were not in vain. God heard the groanings of his people ; he remembered the covenant with their fathers; he looked upon Israel with purposes of mercy, though the leaders of the people little hoped for deliverance.
At this time, Moses, accompanied by his brother Aaron, unexpectedly appeared in Egypt. They gathered together the elders of the children of Israel, and announced that the Lord their God had looked upon their affliction, and was come to visit them in mercy.
Let us notice what had led Moses thus to appear again as a deliverer. 'He had not spent his time in learning the arts ,pf war, or in making treaties with the enemies of Egypt. Neither does he seem to have had any regular intercourse with his people, during the forty years which glided away while he lived an humble shepherd’s life, in the mountainous peninsula, formed by the two northern branches of the Red sea. He was now eighty years old ; the time for ambition and exertion had passed, and were gone.
One day, while the aged shepherd was tending his flock in the lonely glens of Horeb, he saw a thicket on fire, but the blaze did not pass quickly away, and the usual effects of fire were not seen. He drew near to learn the cause, and found it was, indeed, no common occurrence. Amid the brightness of the flame, which enwrapt the bush, without consuming it, the angel of the Lord was visible in human form, and a voice made known to Moses the presence of the God of his fathers. Jehovah, a name implying the self-existence-of the Supreme Being, and by which the Lord God from that time made himself known to Israel, warned him the place was holy ground. Moses drew the shoes from his feet, and hid his face, unable to look upon the glorious appearance.
When we consider, that the events which resulted from this manifestation of the Divine power and nature to the Jewish lawgiver, were fraught with most important consequences to mankind, as leading to the incarnation and death of the Son of God, offering himself as a sacrifice for the sins of the human race, we are not surprised at the sublime, though simple terms, in which the revelation was made.
The Lord then directed. Moses to return to Egypt for the de-
JOURNEYINGS OF THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL
Moses and Aaron before Pharaoh.
86 JOURNEYINGS OF THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL.
liverance of his people. Moses deeply felt his own insufficiency, and pleaded hard that he might not be called to go upon this mission. It is right for us not to be presumptuous, but Moses was too distrustful. Being thus clearly directed by the Divine power, he ought not to have hesitated to go forward. At length he proceeded toward Egypt, encouraged by the Divine promise, and by two miraculous signs, one the changing of his shephefd’s staff into a serpent, after which it was changed back into the natural form ; the other, the covering of his hand with the white scurf of leprosy, followed by an immediate restoration to a healthy state.
What were the companions and equipage of Moses, when he thus went forward to deliver his brethren from their bondage1? His wife and his two sons, whom he carried upon an ass ! But even these were not suffered to accompany him the whole of his journey. He went forward alone, and was first-met by his brother Aaron, agreeably to what had been revealed to him ; then by the elders of the people, who were convinced by the miraculous signs they witnessed.
And now was displayed the most wonderful exhibition of Divine power ever witnessed in the temporal concerns of this world. A numerous body of people, degraded and held in bitter slavery, were to be dismissed,by their masters, who, for many reasons, were anxious to retain thein in bondage. Moses and Aaron went to the Egyptian king with a message from the Lord the God of Israel, requiring him to let the people go. Pharaoh refused, and ordered the sufferings of the Israelites to be increased. The people murmured at this apparent disappointment of promised deliverance. But the. brothers were directed again to appear before Pharaoh, with an assurance that the Lord would bring his people out from under the. burdens of the.Egyptians, that he would rid them from bondage. The words are strong, “ I will redeem you with a stretched-out arm, and with. great judgments.” The sign of changing the rod to a serpent was exhibited before Pharaoh. The Egyptian priests tried to show that they possessed the same power. The were skilled in juggling tricks, and apparently succeeded in copying this miracle. Pharaoh’s heart was hardened, and he refused to let the people go. The reader should read attentively the scriptural account of these events, as recorded in Exodus iii. iv. v. vi.
Our attention'is now called to a contrast, perhaps the most remarkable recorded in history. -It exhibited a man, under the influence of his'eyil heart, openly resisting the power of Almighty God! The Divine will being clearly made known, was enforced by judgments or plagues upon the land of Egypt,N each of which advanced in horror and devastation beyond those that had gone before. The attempts of Pharaoh’s priests, to imitate the Divine power, soon failed ; while the elements, and every sort of animal life, obeyed the command of Moses, empowered by the Creator of all things. The particulars are related in the book of Exodus, from the seventh to the twelfth chapters.
The Lord sent ten plagues, or punishments, upon the land of
88 JOURNEYINGS OF THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL.
Egypt, by which, in an especial manner, he showed his power over all things which the Egyptians worshipped as gods, and pointed out to the Israelites that they might depend upon Him to deliver them. These plagues were all different from each other. G-od might have,made one of these sufficient to deliver his people; but he sent a variety of judgments, which more fully showed his own power, and the wickedness of Pharaoh in disregarding his repeated warnings by Moses. , \
A few words may here be said respecting each of these plagues. The first was turning the waters into, blood. vThe watel* of the river Nile was most excellent, and .by.the overflowing of that river the land produced crops of corn and vegetables, which were almost the only food used by the people. ' The Egyptians worshipped the river as a god, and their folly was at once shown by the object they adored being turned into blood, at the command of the Lord Jehovah'. The mighty river, .the Nile of Egypt, now rolled along a disgusting, pestilential stream of blood. The same effect was produced upon the waters in the, different streams of the country, and even in the vessels of. wood and stone. The fish died, and the. waters became offensive. .The people were obliged to dig wells to get a supply.
The second was the plague of frogs. The Egyptians also worshipped these animals, and now they, filled every place so as to become a serious trouble.
The third plague was that of lice. The Egyptians were very careful not to have any insects upon them, and thought it was wicked to enter a temple of their false gods with any vermin on their bodies. But, when this, plague was sent, they saiw directly that it was “the finger of God,” and that it was done by some mighty Power, far more powerful than their idols'. We need not remark, that the Egyptians were not,to blame for their anxiety to keep themselves free from vermin, but for their superstition, respecting it.
The fourth plague. The Egyptians Worshipped a god, in whom they trusted to drive away'the flies, which in the summer were very troublesome in their land; but now flies, of various sorts, were sent in greater numbers than ever, and at a time of the year when they did not usually come.
The fifth. By this many objects of their worship were destroyed. The Egyptians worshipped bulls, and ramS, and goats. They now saw these animals fall dead by thousands, while the cattle belonging to the Israelites, who did not worship them, were spared.
The sixth plague. Man as well as beast now suffered. Moses was told to scatter ashes of the fi^rnUce, and the Egyptians were afflicted with biles, or very painful sores. They used to burn men alive in honor of their false gods, and scatter the ashes through their land, believing that their gods would send blessings to every -place where the ashes fell. Probably some of the Israelites had been selected as victims on these occasions, and now the same rite brought painful torments on their persecutors.
JOURNEYINGS OP THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL. 89
The seventh plague showed the weakness of their gods, Isis and Osiris, in whom they trusted to protect their land from water and from fire. Thunder, lightning, rain, and hail, were sent at a time of the year when they were very unusual. Rain indeed was almost unknown to the Egyptians, who trusted to the overflowing of the Nile to make their fields fertile.
The eighth plague showed that their false gods,, who, as they thought, gave them plenty, and made their land fruitful, could not protect them. And the winds, which they also worshipped, were the means, of bringing the locusts to destroy the crops, and lay waste'the land. The fearful ravages of these insects are described by many writers; by none more forcibly than by the prophet Joel; but we are told^that the locusts now sent upon Egypt were more grievous than any; either in former or in latel’ times. There remained not any vegetation in Egypt.
The ninth-—the darkness. The Egyptians regarded the sun and the moon with much reverence, and worshipped them; but now a thick darkness, such a darkness “ as .could be felt;” probably making the eyes and other tender parts of the body smart, as a very thick fog or mist does, though much more severely. So thick that no'tonly the light of the sun was shut out, but even lamps or other artificial lights were of no use. It was such a darkness, that they did not rise from their places for three days ; and ancient Jewish writers say, it was made more terrible by fearful sights, which were sent to alarm them. This, it is thought, is meant, by the evil angels spoken of, Psalm Ixxviii. 49.
The tenth, Was the death of the eldest child in every family, “from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sat on his throne, even unto the firstborn of the maid-servant that was behind the mill, and all the firstborn of beasts.They had murdered numbers of the children of, the Israelites, arid now their own children were at once destroyed h>y thousands. This last judgment determined Pharaoh and his people to let the Israelites go, Exod. xii. 29-33.
Let us > remember the plagues of Egypt, and beware lest our hearts become hardened’ by the practice of sin. The Lord does not willingly afflict or grieve the children of men, Lam. iii- 33. If he send, us troubles and afflictions, it is for our good. The Psalmist could say, that the Lord had taught him from his youth, Psalm Ixxi. 5; and the prophet Jeremiah called upon the Lord as his Father, the guide of his youth, Jer. iii. 4; and acknowledged that it was good for a man that he should bear the yoke (or trials) in his youth, Lam. iii. 27. Pray, then, to the Lord, that he may give you strength to bear such trials as he sees it good to lay upon you, and give you a new heart and a right spirit, taking away the hard heart, which would oppose his will, and refuse his word.
The ninth and tenth plagues inflicted upon -the Egyptians require particular notice; the minute account given of them shows in how wonderful a manner G-od directed all things for the encouragement and deliverance of the Israelites.
An awful darkness for three days was sent upon the Egyptians,
90 JOURNEYINGS OF THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL.
while the children of Israel had light in their dwellings, Exod. x. 23. This enabled them to make ready the passover without interruption, and to prepare for their journey ; for it is not to be supposed, that the Egyptians would have allowed every family of the Israelites (many of whom lived among them, as appears from Exod. xii. 23), to prepare sacrifice, and to eat a lamb, one of the animals they solemnly worshipped. The Israelites, also, had time to reflect upon the meaning of this solemn rite, which doubtless was explained to them by Moses; and they could all assemble together, which would hardly have been allowed, if-the Egyptians had not been confined to their own houses, Exod. x. 23. In consequence of this darkness, Pharaoh, sent for Moses and Aaron, and offered to let the people of Israel go; but refused to allow them to take their cattle. The desolate state ,of Egypt would make him very anxious to retain these. But the Lord will not accept of any but an unconditional submission from sinners. Pharaoh still refused this, and the Israelites continued to prepare the passover.
Now let us consider how the sacrifice of the lamb, and the eating of the passover, as described in the twelfth chapter of Exodus, referred to our blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. These points can only be mentioned here in a very brief manner; but the reader may think about them with prayer; and God the Holy Spirit will bless the reflections to his soul.
1. It was a lamb—Christ is the Lamb of God, John i. 29 ; Rev. v. vi. vii. xii. xiv. xxi. 2. Of the first year, or in its prime— Christ suffered in what is called the prime of life. 3. It was to be without blemish—Christ was pure, a Lamb without spot, 1 Peter i. 19. 4. To be set apart four days before it was offered—
Christ’s,solemn entry into Jerusalem was four days before he was crucified. 5. To be slain and roasted with fire—this points out the painful sufferings of Christ. 6. Not a bone was to be broken— this was expressly fulfilled as to our blessed Lord, John xix. 33—36. 7. The blood was to be sprinkled about as well as she'd—
the merits of Christ’s death and sufferings* must be applied to us, if we are benefited by them. 8. It was to be sprinkled on the doorposts—the followers of Christ-must profess him openly before the world. 9. It was the means of preserving the Israelites from the destroying angel—the blood of Christ, sprinkled upon our conscience, will protect us from the wrath of God, which we justly deserve, from the curse of the law, and from everlasting damnation, Rom. viii. 1. None of the Israelites were to go out of their houses till the morning, Exod. xii, 22, but to abide within the doors which were sprinkled with the blood of the Lamb. There is no safety for any, unless they abide in Christ. 10. The lamb was eaten—Christ is to be fed upon by faith, John vi. 53-55. If we believe in him, we shall receive strength for our souls from him, as our bodies do from food ; and let us delight in him, as satisfying our hunger and thirst affords us pleasure. 11. The lamb was to be eaten immediately.—let us not put off caring about our salvation. Turn to Christ to-day, lest you be hardened by the de-
JOURNEYINGS OF THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL. 9]
ceitfulness of sin ; to-day, Heb. iii. 13, before the night of death overtake you. 121 It was eaten with bitter herbs—sufferings are painful, but if we suffer with Christ, or for Christ, we may look to be glorified with him, Rom. viii. 17. 13. The Israelites were to
stand ready prepared for their departure while they ate the lamb —while we feed upon Christ by faith, we must be ready to forsake the world, and leave all for him, Heb. xiii. 13, 14. 14. It
was to be an ordinance for ever, to be repeated every year—so we must continually keep in mind Christ, and the benefits received by his death; and it must not be done as a master of course. The Jews still celebrate the passover, thus bearing undeniable testimony to all that is said in Scripture relative to the history of this period, and the events connected with or consequent from it—but they I’eject Christ. Oh, beware of mere formal belief!
Perhaps some of -our readers will not be able quite to understand all that we have said about the lamb and about Christ. If so, let them ask their parents, or teachers, or ministers, as they may have opportunity, to explain it more fully;., for it is a matter of importance, and concerns their everlasting salvation. And, above all, remember that although the eating of the paschal lamb was a sort of condition required of the Israelites before they were delivered from Egypt, yet it especially referred to the great sacrifice, the death and sufferings of Christ, by which believers are delivered from the bondage of sin and Satan, a far worse slavery than that of Egypt. This, doubless, was the principal object of the institution.
Now, let us.consider that the Israelites chose the lambs on the tenth of the month, called Nisan by the Jews, which answers to the latter part of March and the beginning of April. They got all things ready for their departure during the three following days, while the Egyptians were kept at home by the darkness. Toward the evening of the day (about the time when Christ died, about the ninth hour, Mark xv., our three o’clock) the lamb was slain.* The blood was sprinkled on the door-posts, the lamb was roasted, the passover eaten, and the Israelites stood with their loins girded, their shoes on their feet, and their staves in their hands, waiting for the appointed moment when they were to begin their march. They did not wait long. At midnight the eldest child of every family throughout the land of Egypt suddenly died. Whatever might be. their age, however they might be occupied, in a moment each became a dead corpse ! It was an awful moment, a time of greater terror and distress than any other mentioned in history. Every firstborn of beasts also expired. Animals have to bear a part of the effects of the curse of the sin of man : they did so in this instance.
It was the custom,in Egypt, as it still is in the eastern nations, that when any person died, the whole family set up a bitter cry
The Jews reckoned what they call two evenings : the former began at the ninth hour, or about three o’clock; the latter, at the eleventh, or five. Between these the lamb was to be sacrificed^ Exod. xii. 6, margin.
92 , JOURNEYINGS AND ENCAMPMENTS OF
of distress, and rushed into the streets with loud and frantic outcries. , What must have been the dreadful state of Egypt when the Lord smote all the firstborn in that extensive and populous country, “ from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sat on his throne, to the firstborn of the captive in the dungeon !” , When the king rose up in the night, behold there was A great cry in Egypt; for there Was not a house where there was not one dead! How awful must have been the scene ! A long, loud shriek of agony rang throughout the land.
We may readily suppose, that,the Egyptians were urgent upon the people of Israel to seiid them out of the land in haste, for they said, “ We be all dead men,” Exod. xii. 29-33. They urged upon them their silver and gold, and every thing that was precious and valuable that they might be more readily induced to depart; for such is the meaning of the word translated,“borrowed” in our Bibles. Every inducement was offered to remove causes for delay, and to urge them forth.. It is, indeed, an evil and a bitter thing to sin against the Lord our G-od. He often speaks to us by his ministers and his word. Reader, beware that you do not, like Pharaoh, harden your hearts till his judgments come upon you.. Then, you may offer all you possess; but in vain ; not even, the firstborn, the most dearly beloved, can be accepted for the sin of the soul, Micah vi. 7.
To set his people free —
' 1 Free from sin’s Egyptian chain,
“Lord, that we'may now depart,,,
' r _ “ And truly serve our pardoning God,
Sprinkle every house and heart, ,
JOURNEYINGS AND ENCAMPMENTS IN THE WILDERNESS.
The country which lay in the route of the Israelites from Egypt to Canaan stretches, in the form of a peninsula, between the two gulfs of the Red sea—that of Suez, and that, of Akaba. It is seventy leagues in length, and thirty at its greatest breadth. This space is covered by barren mountains, consisting, like those of Syria, with which they are connected, of calcareous stone, Which becomes granite toward the south—Sinai and Horeb being enormous masses of that material : hence the name of the country, Arabia P,etra. The products of the soil, which is of a dry gravel, are acacias, tamarisks, firs, and a few scattered shrubs. There are but few springs, and of those some are sulphureous and thermal, as at Hamman-Earoun ; and others brackish and nauseous, as at El-Naba opposite Suez. The whole country partakes of this saline property, and in the north are mines of fossil-salt. In some of the vales, as that of Gerandel, in which there are groves of trees, the soil, though scanty, is capable of cultivation.
. THE ISRAELITES IN THE WILDERNESS.
THE ISRAELITES IN THE WILDERNESS. 95
The above answers to the description by Volney,1 who, “albeit •he meant not so,” has offered an undesigned corroboration to the general features of the peninsula given by Moses, and serves to illustrate the account of the passage of Israel through the desert.
The journeyings and encampments of the Israelites are necessarily involved in much obscurity. The direct route from Goshen to Canaan lay northward by the shores of the Mediterranean, and occupies Only eight stations ; but God was pleased to guide his people, by the eastern shore of the Gulf of Suez, almost to the very angle of the peninsula before he turned their faces northward to Canaan. When Jehovah appeared to Moses at the burning bush on Horeb, he gave as a token that he had sent him, “ When thou hast brought forth the people out of Egypt, ye shall serve God upon this mountain” (Ex. iii. 12); and in the 18th verse he commanded him to request of Pharaoh “to go three days’ journey into the wilderness for sacrifice” (v. 3). The reason, wherefore “ he led them not through the land of the Philistines,” although “that was near,” he himself gave, “lest peradventure the people repent when they see war, and they return to Egypt” (Ex. xiii. 17). This sufficiently accounts for the direction taken—the more so, as Jehovah was pleased miraculously to confirm it by his pillar of cloud by day, and of fire by night. It would be well ever to bear in mind that in this, or in any other part of the journey, Moses was never left to lean to his own understanding, but was guided in every step of his way by the Divine hand.
It is remarkable, that the error into which so many writers and travellers fall, of.attributing the several movements of the Israelites to the wisdom and conduct of Moses, resembles that of the Israelites themselves, who, in their seasons of rebellion, continually ascribed their position and circumstances to Moses and Aaron, without any reference to the Divine guidance. “Ye have brought us into this wilderness to kill us with hunger.” Hence the rebuke of Moses—“ What are we 1 your murmurings are not against us, but against tbe Lord. Why chide ye with me 1 wherefore do ye tempt the Lord 1” (x.j'xvi. 3,8; xvii. 2). Is there not something of the “same evil heart of unbelief” among us, when we attribute that to man which belongeth to God onlyl If so, we are not without warning ! (Heb. iii. 12).
From Sinai, God led them northward to the borders of Canaan; and when.they permitted their fears to overcame their faith, they were turned back to wander in the country for a space of forty years, during the greater part of which little is recorded beyond the names of their encampments, which names were generally given by themselves, and had relation to particular circumstances. The direction of tneir journey was irregular, and their stay at the different encampments varied ; both being determined by Jehovaii without any other apparent, object than the filling up of the appointed time. As, however, the general features of the Arabian peninsula
Volne}r,s Travels, vol. ii., p. 341.
96 JOURNEYINGS AND ENCAMPMENTS OF
correspond with the scriptural account, some of the situations enumerated in Num. xxxiii. are readily identified, and by them a1 general idea of the route may he obtained with sufficient accuracy. And, as Calmet observes, “ it is bettej to offer the actual state of our knowledge, than to mislead, by affecting certainty where wo ought only to mark conjecture.”* The first day’s journey of the Israelites was from Rameses to Succoth, where they seemed to have halted, probably to afford time for the whole 600,000 with their children to assemble. This may have been a place four leagues eastward from Cairo, called Birket-el-Hadgi, or the Pilgrim’s Pool, whete the caravan to Mecca actually halts at the present day for that very purpose; the spot being convenient foT supplies of wafer and vegetation. Thence they proceeded to Etham, on the edge of the wilderness. So far was in the direct route to Canaan/ Here, however, at the Divine command, they turned again, or took a southern course; and, instead of rounding the head of the gulf, which would have brought the Red sea between them and their enemies, they came to Pihahiroth, over against Baalzephon (or Suez), between Migdol (or the tower) and the sea, at the entrance of one of those ravines which intersect the mountains on the eastern hank of the Nile. To Pharaoh this must have appeared extreme madness; and he was encouraged to pursue, supposing they were “ entangled in the land—-the wilder ness had shut them in.” After crossing the sea, they encamped at Shur; and then went three days’ journey in the wilderness of Etham, and pitched in Marah, where they found wells of brackish water. Thence they came to Elim (Ex. xv. 27; Num. xxxiii. 9), on the skirts of the Desert of Sin, “ where were twelve wells and threescore and ten palm-trees.” Respecting the' place of passage of the Israelites, and the positions of Marah and Elim, there is considerable diversity of opinion. Some contend, that the Israelites crossed near Suez; that, passing by the Ayoun Mousa, or springs of Moses, they came to Howara, three hours’ distant from Gharendel (Corondel), and fifteen hours from Ayoun Mousa; which, at the slow rate at which such a body would have marched, may well he considered a journey of two days, or part of three days. At Howara, where there is a well of bitter water, they would place Marah, to which there is such a resemblance in name, that early travellers speak of it under the name Marah. At Wady Gharendel, which i? full of palms, acacias, tamarisks, and other shrubs, and which abounds in wdter, though not the purest, they place Elim. Such is Burckhardt’s view. Dr. ShaW and others fix the passages of the Israelites opposite the Desert of Shur. He supposes they passed through the Valley of Baideah, which signifies miraculous, and is still called Tiah Beni Israel, the road of the Israelites. He accordingly places Marah at Gharendel, and Elim near Tor, where is a spot generally answering to the description.
In the Wilderness of Sin was the miracle of manna; and, pas-
Calmet, vol. iv., p. 114.
THE ISRAELITES IN THE WILDERNESS.
THE ISRAELITES IN THE WILDERNESS.
THE ISRAELITES IN THE WILDERNESS. 101
sing by Dophkah and Alush, the Israelites came to Rephidim, where the people chode with Moses on account of a scarcity of water, and God brought water out of the rock: whence the place was called Massah and Meribah. Rephidim was on the southwest of Sinai, and bordering on the country of the Amalelcites ; they were attacked by the latter, whom, through the prayers of Moses, they overcame. Here Moses was visited by Jethro, who suggested some hints to lighten his judicial labors. They then encamped at the foot of Mount Sinai, where they stayed nearly a year, during which was the solemn delivery of the law, with the events which followed—the mournful example of idolatry on the part of the people, and of contempt of sacred things by the sons of Aaron (Ex. xxxii.; Num. iii). The direct route “ from Horeb to Kadesh-Barnea by the way of Mount Seir was a journey of eleven days” (Deut. i. 2) ; but Jehovah was pleased to take them a more west erly course, through the Desert of Faran by Taberah and Kibroth-hataavah, which names (signifying a burning, and the graves of lust) call to mind the particular judgments with which the people were visited at those places. At Hazeroth, the next station, Moses was withstood by Aaron and Miriam; which affair being settled, they encamped farther on in the wilderness of Paran tow ard Kadesh-Barnea, at Rithmah. Hence Moses sent to “spy out the land;” and here he awaited the report. When from their unbelief they were not permitted to enter the promised land, the command came—“ To-morrow turn you, and get you into the wilderness by the way of the Red sea” (Num. xiv. 25). The people, however, were determined to make an attempt contrary to admonition, and were discomfited by the Amalekites and Cana-anites even to Hor’mah. From their leaving Rithmah in Paran, till their return to Kadesh-Barnea, was a period of thirty-seven years, during which we read little beyond the enumeration of their seventeen encampments. It is probable that the rebellion at Korah (Num. xvi.) took place soon after they had commenced their return ; and that, from that time till they again drew toward the attainment of their hopes, and the old generation had passed away, there was no other flagrant instance of disobedience.
The tradition of the journey of the Israelites is preserved in the present name of El Tyh (or the wandering), applied to the whole desert and the mountains between it and Sinai. Their encampments during this period are given Num. xxxiii.; those that are best determined are the following. By Rimmon-parez, after leaving Kadesh, they came to Libnah, probably the same mentioned Jo^h. x. 29, 30; xxi. 13; 2 Kings, viii. 22; xix. 8; all which places represent it “extremely south in Judah, or extremely north in Edom.”1 Rissah, to which they next came, was probably El Arish on the Mediterranean. The country between this place and Mount Sephar—probably the same as Mount Cassius or Cat-jeh, which is a huge mole of sand almost surrounded by the sea—
Cahr.-i vol. in.. ).. ] IP.
202 JOURNEY] NGS AND ENCAMPMENTS OF
is described as the most inhospitable part of the desert—of a fine white sand filled with nitrous particles, flashing back the glare of the sun, without the shelter of a rock.
Hence they seem to have pursued their route toward Suez, whence their stations may be in some respects best deter-j mined by following the regular track of the caravans to Mecca.
No wells, however, are to be found at Bene-jaakan (or the chil-f dren of Jaakan), but Jotbathah is a station of good water, and
! answers to the description Deut. x. 7, a land of rivers or streams.
Ebrona was the last station before they reached the head of the gulf, and maybe therefore supposed to have been at Sat-el-Acaba,
! where is good water. There can be no doubt that Elath is the
same as the Eloth, which gives a name to the gulf; and that Eziongeber was nearly adjacent to it. These latter are all stations of the caravans to Mecca 5 and as water would be the great inducement to encamp in the desert, there is every reason to believe the stations of the Israelites would correspond. Thence through the Wilderness of Sin, or of Kadesh, they reached Mount Hor, upon the borders of Edom, where Aaron died. In Deut. x. 6, Aaron is said to have died at Mosera, near the Beeroth of Bene-jaakan, which is probably some mistake of transcription. As the Israelites approached the south of Canaan, in consequence of the hostile movements of King Arad, and the refusal of the Edomites to allow them a passage through their borders, they were commanded to | take a southwest course to the head of the Red sea, and thence
i to compass the land of Edom, and so by its eastern boundary to
j advance toward Moab. Their stations at that side were Salmo-
i nah, Punon, (where was the plague of fiery serpents,) Oboth, and
! Ije-Abarim ; but the exact positions of these places are unknown.
I The Moabites they were not permitted to attack, for “I have given
j Ar to the children of Lot for a possession” (Deut. ii. 9). They
I therefore marched through the Valley of Zared to Dibon-gad, and
j so to the river Arn'on, the boundary-line between Moab and the
I land of the Amorites. Passing through the wilderness of that
country, they came to the mountains of Abarim, before Nebo, where they seem to have made five several encampments ; and, being refused a passage through the land of the Amorites, gave battle to Sihon at Jahez, and defeated him. They then took possession of his kingdom ; and a detachment having turned by , the way of Bashan, Og the king of Bashan came out against them
with his people, and was put to the sword at Edrei. The camp continued at Pisgah till removed to the plains of Moab, near the banks of Jordan, over against Jericho (Num. xxii. 1); and it extended from Beth-jeshimoth to Abel-shittim. While here, Barak king of Moab sent to Pethor, in Mesopotamia, for Balaam ; who, though constrained by Jehovah to bless, afterward, by his evil advice to Balak, brought great trouble upon Israel (Num. xxv.). Here also the number of the people was taken—of men of 20 years old and upward, 601,730—of Levites of a month old and upward, 23,000. The daughters of Zelophehad succeeded to the inherit-
Elath (Akaba).—From Laborde.
THE ISRAELITES IN THE WILDERNESS
THE ISRAELITES IN THE WILDERNESS. 105
ance of sons. Hence, a thousand of each tribe were sent against Midian—the whole country was conquered, and Balaam was among the slain (Num. xxxi.). The combined territory of Midian and the Amorites was, at their request, assigned to Reuben, Gad, and the half-tribe of Manasseh. Moses then having divided the land of Canaan to the different tribes, and having exhorted and blessed the people, went up to the top of Pisgah, on Abarim, where he died, and was buried in the valley over against Beth-peor (Deut. xxxiv. 6). With the death of Moses closed the wanderings of the Israelites ; in a few days they crossed the Jordan, the waters of which miraculously “rose on a heap” to allow the people to go over “dry shod;” and, headed by Joshua, they advanced to the possession of the land promised to Abraham, Isaac, arid Jacob, and to their seed for ever.
When contemplating the conduct of the Israelites in their passage through the desert, a species of sentimentalism has been indulged in by some writers, as if the trials to which they were exposed, offer an apology for their acts of disobedience ; leaving, perhaps unintentionally, the impression upon the mind, that the judgments visited upon them were harsh and severe. “Since the world was created,” says Mr. Carne, “ there never were residences so fearful and wearying as those in which the Hebrews were doomed to dwell, month after month, and year after year, without any change, without the faintest vestige of the softness of nature. No streams, qr shade, or green thing, ever came in their path, but endless hnd gleaming oceans of sand gathering eternally around them. Is it any wonder, amid this void of the senses, if people longed at times for an additional enjoyment, to vary the utter monotony of all things around 1 or if a repast of meat, or any former indulgence, were desired intensely 1 . . . What solace or amusement existed for their several families, compelled to dwell and pant within the enclosure of their tents, or to go forth into the pitiless heat 1 ... Is it any wonder that men’s hearts at intervals forgot their fidelity, and broke into discontent and rebellion 1 . .. . Amid the horrors of extreme thirst, was faith sufficient to conquer pain and despair 1 Was the sight of the hourly miracle of the pillar and flame of force to fill the soul, ‘that was dried up within them,’ with hope and confidence 1 It is not in human nature to achieve such triumphs ; and the disorder and misery of soul that so often broke forth in the camps of Israel, would have been felt by any other nation who had been similarly tried.”1
Such observations little accord with that reverence wherewith Jehovah’s dealings with his people ought ever to be regarded. It is very possible, “ that the greater part of mankind, in the same situation, would have exhibited a similar conduct.” We will even admit, that the whole race of man would have acted similarly, if left to the natural workings of unbelief. But where do we find
Carne’s Recollections of the East, pp. 273, 278.
]06 JOURNEYINGS AND ENCAMPMENTS, ETC.
in Scripture, either national or individual disobedience excused on account of its being natural^ Man’s natural state is enmity with God ; and Israel could no more claim commiseration in her rebellion, because it was natural, than a son might excuse an act of disobedience against his earthly father, by the plea that he hated him. Besides, no just comparison can be drawn between the sin of the Israelites, and that involved in the repining- of individuals under ordinary circumstances. For were they not in a peculiar and miraculous manner under the guidance of Jehovah I Were they left to gather food from an herbless desert, and water from the thirsty sands % Did he not give them water from the flinty rock, and rain upon them angels’ foodl Did their garments wax old upon them 1 Had they not proof enough, that if they wanted “ meat, or any former indulgence,” they had to do with One who would withhold from them no manner of thing that was good I And what can he more idle than to talk of the want of “ solace and amusement,” when they had the source of all blessedness in the midst of them 1 Their sin was proportioned to the privileges they despised. Had they been less favored, they had been less severely punished. And if we would derive profit from their history, we ought to avoid, on the one hand, an ignorant and uncharitable reprobation of them for sins, the seeds of which are in our own breasts; and, on the other, a sentimental sympathy with their trials, inducing us to palliate what God has deemed worthy of the severest judgments. The great practical conclusion is presented by St. Paul, in Cor. x. 5-11; in which passage there is not a word of pity for their privations, or excuse for their sin, or deprecation of their punishment; hut the solemn warning, that “all these things happened to them for our ensamples, and were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.”1
Scripture warrants a comparison between the external circumstances of the children of Israel up to this period, and the spiritual condition of Christ’s Church.. Their state of hard and afflictive bondage in Egypt typifies the far heavier yoke of sin. Their deliverance “by a mighty hand and outstretched arm,” with the overthrow of their enemies,, represents in like manner the great act of redemption, whereby the spiritual Israel was delivered, and the power or head of the serpent bruised (Luke, i. 68-79). Their painful journey in the desert, and their repining and occasional acts of rebellion, form a picture of the Church’s travail, infirmities, and sins, while in the waste howling wilderness of this world. The wonderful deliverances they experienced, the chastisements and acts of long-suffering which marked the conduct of Jehovah toward them, the manna by which they were fed, and the water
How constantly are the remarks of travellers upon such subjects referrible to a want of due acquaintance with Scripture ! To Mr. Carne “ it is inconceivable how the tender and delicate could have marched on foot through burning and yielding sands.” With God all things are possible ; and he so ordered it, that Moses could appeal to the whole multitude, at the close of their journey, that for forty years their foot did not swell! Deut. viii. 4.
Mount Hor. Aaron’s Tomb. -From Laborde
Tents and Encampment in the Wilderness.
108 JOURNE Y1NGS AND ENCAMPMENTS OF
THE TABLE OF SHOWBREAD. 109
from the rock of Horeb, are all emblematic of the Divine dealings with his redeemed church. Christ was the bread of life, and that rock was Christ (John vi. 33-38; 1 Cor. x. 3, 4; Rev. xxii. 17). The brazen serpent with its healing virtue represented Christ (John iii. 14); all the sacrifices and ceremonial observances pointed to the great truth, “ the blood of Christ cleanseth from all sin;” and the Canaan, to which their longings were directed, was the type of that “ rest which remaineth for the people of God.” “ Blessed are the people that are in such a case, yea, blessed are the people who have the Lord for their God !”
THE TABLE OF SHOW BREAD.
At the time of the conquest of Spain by the Arabs, the Moslem general, Taric, found near Toledo, a rich precious table, adorned with hyacinths and emeralds. Gelit Aledris, in his description of Spain, calls this remarkable piece of antiquity, “ The Table of Solomon, Son of David.” This table is supposed to have been saved by the Jews, with other precious and sacred vessels, from the pillage of the temple by Nebuchadnezzar, and brought with those fugitives who found their way to Spain. Indeed, some writers do not hesitate to assert, that there is little doubt of this having been the original “ Table of Showbread,” made by Solomon, spoken of in the Book of Kings, and by Josephus; and which, with the candlestick and the altar of incense, constituted the three wonders of the temple.
That table which Titus brought with him in his triumphal return to Rome, was clearly not the same: for when the city and temple, after the first destruction, were rebuilt by the order of Cyrus, the sacred vessels were made anew; similar, indeed, to the old, but of inferior excellence
110 DEATH OF ABEL.
* DEATH OF ABEL.
To the broad earth’s farthest verge,
Me the Almighty’s curse has driven ;
My crime pursues me everywhere,
And “ Vengeance ! vengeance !” cries to Heaven.
Wo is me ! my brother’s blood Echoes through the wild seashore ;
It murmurs in the hollow blast—
It thunders in the torrent’s roar.
To the contemplative mind, it must needs be a source of pleasure to survey the earth when newly created by Almighty power. It was designed by infinite wisdom, intended to illustrate the divine benevolence, and was built for the residence of man, one of the noblest works of Jehovah. It presented beauty and glory; its completion was celebrated by the songs of angels; and its great Creator pronounced his work “ all very good.” Man, in a peculiar and complete sense; was happy. The earth and its diversified scenery charmed his sight; the various sounds of its inhabitants were melody in his ears ; and its fruits were pleasant to his palate. The companion whom God had created for him, was all he could wish her to be, and, what was better than all this, he was on terms of friendship with his Maker, and held constant communion with him. ■ •
But, alas ! while we indulge ourselves in the contemplation of this delightful scenery, we are reminded of the awful change that has taken place. Man has offended God by rebelling against his laws ; and, now the divine favor is withheld, angels look at us with pity, and devils with triumph ; the earth is cursed for the sin of man, while its various inhabitants rise up in opposition to him, and man himself is awfully degraded, the energies of his mind are contracted, and his prospects of future glory are obscured. Unless a Mediator is found, to reconcile him to God, he must perish without hope; and except his soul undergoes a new creation, he cannot dwell in the future paradise of bliss.
The awful consequences of the fall of Adam were soon seen in the barrenness of the earth, the wildness of the brute creation, and the bad passions, the diseased bodies, and the dying frames, of the human race. The firstborn of our parents is introduced to our notice as a sinner and a murderer. Let us enter on the short and affecting history, and be concerned to derive improvement from it.
It is perfectly natural, when parents are blest with children, to entertain the highest hopes of their future excellence and happi ness. When our first parents had sinned, Jehovah graciously promised a deliverer ; and when her firstborn entered the world Eve imagined that he was the promised Messiah. It showed her faith in the promise of God ; but she did not then know that, be-
112 DEATH OF ABEL.
fore the Saviour appeared, it was necessary that the awful nature of sin should be made fully evident and that the providential arrangements of Jehovah would take four thousand years to accomplish his designs, and bring “ the fulness of time” for the appearance of Christ. She could not suppose that her beloved child had brought into the world a depraved heart, which would lead him to rebel against God, distress his parents, and murder his brother. Well might the wise man check inordinate joy at the birth of a child, and ask—“ Who knoweth whether he will be a wise man or a fool'l”
There can be little doubt but that Cain and his brother Abel were both instructed in the knowledge of God, so far as their parents themselves knew him. But, valuable as is a religious education, and powerful as are its restraints, it does not always preserve its possessors from the most awful crimes. Depravity is deep-rooted and inveterate ; and when all may appear amiable and promising without, dispositions of the most sinful nature may be rankling within the heart. Cain presented an offering to the Lord. He did not slight the forms of religion;-but, alas! that offering was not composed of the proper materials, nor was it accompanied with suitable feelings. Hence, while the offering of Abel of the firstlings of his flock, presented in humble expectation of, and de-pendance on, the promised Messiah, was accepted^ the sacrifice of Cain waS rejected by that jealous Being, who not only requires us to pay him homage, but expects it!to be done in the way of his own appointment. (
Persecution, or opposition, to those who serve God in an acceptable manner, seems inherent in the human heart. As men, since the fall, are naturally haters of their Creator, they must dislike those who enjoy his favor, and are concerned for his honor. When.the fire from Heaven descended, and showed the divine acceptance of Abel’s offering, and the same token was withheld from Cain, it called into exercise all his strong feelings of jealousy and hatred toward his brother. • The affection he owed him by nature seemed to have fled, and revenge, however unreasonable, to have taken its place j and as he could not show his opposition to God in any other way than injuring his brother, he selected the most hateful methods in which to manifest the malice that reigned in his bosom.
It has often been remarked, that religious disputes rise higher than any other ; and we see it exemplified here. True, Abel,Las imbibed much of the spirit of that world to which he is rapidly hasting, and he shows the meekness and affection which adorn the saintly character ; but this spirit increases the rage of Cain, who is only influenced by Satan. His anger knows no bounds, and he is careless as to the consequences of showing that disposition. Wearing the mask of friendship, he invites Abel to the field, where they had probably often held brotherly intercourse ; and there, his smothered rage bursting forth, and strengthened by its apparent suspension, he deprives him of his life.
DEATH OF ABEL. J j 3
What a series of reflections rush into our minds as we contemplate this awful fact! Perhaps death had never before entered our world; and how affecting- the thought, that the first departure of a human being from our earth was occasioned by a murder, and that murder the result of eminent piety in the person of its sub* ject! What must have been the feelings of our first parents, as they looked upon the remains of their beloved son! Well might ■they call him Abel, and mourn j well might they say thal “ man, at his best estate, is vanity.”
On the supposition that Abel was the first who entered the realms of felicity from our world, we cannotbut imagine that feelings of delight would fill the breasts of 'each of the angels on his account; while they would, if indeed it were possible, feel a momentary horror at1 the means by which he was dismissed from earth. But his sufferings are now over, and he shall for ever enjoy an infinite reward for his attachment to the service of God j angels hail him as delivered from the sufferings and persecutions of a sinful world, and as being their companion for ever ; and Jesus must view him. with holy delight, as being the first fruits of that harvest of immortal souls given him as the reward of the sufferings he had engaged to endure.
But what are the feelings of the wicked fratricide 1 Who can describe the agonies of his conscience, or represent the horrors of which he is the subject 1 The scene is viewed with an awful interest by the Supreme Governor of the Universe j and it is not long before he calls the sinner to account for his crimes. Cain, acts the hypocrite even before his Maker, denies a knowledge of Abel, and impudently asks—“Am I my brother’s keeper 1” We. are shocked at such conduct on his part; but do we never exemplify his spirit 1 Do we never profess that before God which we never felt % Do not we willingly remain ignorant of misery which we could readily relieve % Do not we sometimes cherish the spirit of Cain toward perishing sinners, and make but little exertion for their salvation % And will not God surely visit us for these things 1
The despair of Cain, when he was sentenced by Jehovah as ac-. cursed, and to be a vagabond in the earth, was indescribably awful.. The Supreme Governor, by some mark, distinguished him from, all other men, and threatened the most tremendous punishment to him who should take away his life. Thus did he long continue him in the world, showing men the dreadful consequences of trans--gression, by his suffering the vengeance of divine wrath. What distinguishing mark he bore, we cannot say £ perhaps it was, as Saurin suggests, a garment different from those worn by others 5 possibly it was some mark on his forehead, as some have thought 5 or might it not have been the agony of despair depicted in his countenance 1 His feelings must be most acutely harassed, or he would not have exclaimed, “ My punishment is greater than I can bear!”
The question has been asked, “ Who could take vengeance on Cain for the death of Abel, when we read not of his having any
114 DEATH OF ABEL.
other relatives, his father and mother excepted 1” A moment’s consideration must convince the inquirer, that, though Moses has not mentioned the fact, there must have been many inhabitants on the globe beside them. A very learned writer, referred to by Saurin, supposes the melancholy event to have occurred in the year of the world 128 ,* and shows, that by that time, there might have been descended from our first parents not less than 4t21,164< persons. Among such a number Cain might well imagine there were many who would be disposed to revenge the death of such a man as “ righteous Abel.” N -
We will not attempt to describe the misery which Cain felt through the remaining part, of his life. He travelled from place to place ; then attempted to drive the load from his mind by engaging in the building of a city, and employing himself in business: but all was in vain. He endured a life of misery, and is exhibited as an object of infamy to the end of time. ' , - .
“ His life is an oppressive load,
That hangs upon him like a curse; ‘
For all the pleasure—thoughts that glowed,
And now extinguished by remorse !
And death! oh, death! ’t is worse ! 7t is worse !
How dreadful in the grave to lie,
Yet sleep not!—evermore to nurSe The worm that will not, cannot die !”
Let it ever be the concern of each of my readers anxiously to guard against those risings of anger which are displeasing to God, and which lay the foundation of unhappiness to ourselves and others ;—let us learn the impossibility of concealing sin from the eye of Omniscience; and may the consideration that all our actions and thoughts are open to his view, preserve us from transgressing his law ;—let us reflect on Abel, as a type of the holy Jesus, who manifested the spirit of love and of meekness when murdered by his enemies ;—let us see that sin will be followed by the reproaches of conscience, the faithful witness for God in every human breast;—and may we ever recollect that Jehovah will avenge himself on every transgressor. The day of punishment may be long deferred, but a period will come when we shall receive the reward of our doings before an assembled universe. The last great day will bring to light many transactions that have been hitherto concealed from human view, but which the Judge of all will fully disclose. “ For there is nothing hid that shall not then be revealed.” .
Anciently it was customai^r to wash the feet of strangers coming off a journey, because generally they travelled barefoot, or wore sandals only, which did not secure them from dust or dirt. Jesus Christ washed the feet of his apostles, and thus taught them to perform the humblest service for one another.
MOUNT ARARAT. 115
The name of Ararat occurs only twice in the Old Testament, Gen. viii. 4, and Jer. li. 27, and in both places denotes a country, being one of the fifteen provinces of Armenia.
The ark of Noah, when the flood subsided, is said to have rested “ on the mountains of Ararat,” and that name has been given by the moderns to the principal mountain in the district, as being probably that on which the ark rested; ' >
The Rev. Eli Smith gives the following lively account of this celebrated spot:—
“We passed very near the base of that noble mountain, which is called by the Armenians Masis, and by Europeans generally Ararat 5 and for more than twenty days had it constantly in sight, except when obscmed by clouds. It consists of two peaks, one considerably higher than the other, and is connected with a chain of mountains running ofFto the southwest and west which, though high, are not of a sufficient elevation to detract at all from the lonely dignity of this stupendous mass. From Nackhchewan, at the distance of, at least a hundred miles to the southeast it appeared like an immense isolated cone, of extreme regularity, rising out of the valley of the Araxes. Its height is said to be 16,000 feet, but I do not know by whom the measurement was taken.
“The eternal snows upon its summit occasionally form vast avalanches, which precipitate themselves, down its sides, with a sound not unlike that of an earthquake. When we saw it, it was white on its very base with snow. And certainly, not among the mountains of Ararat or of Armenia generally, nor those of any part of the world where 1 have been, have I ever seen one whose majesty could plead half so powerfully its claims to the honor of having once been the stepping-stone between the old world and the new. I gave myself up to the feeling, that on its summit were once congregated all the inhabitants of the earth; and that, while in the valley of the Araxes, I was paying a visit to the second cradle of the human race. Nor can I allow my opinion to be at all shaken by the Chaldee paraphrasts, the Syrian translators and commentators, and the traditions of the whole family of Syrian churches, which translate the passage in question—mountains of the Kurds. The Septuagint and Josephus, who support the Hebrew original, certainly speak the language of a tradition quite as ancient. Not to urge the name of places around Mount Masis in favor of its claims, as I think in the case of Nackhchewan might be done with some force, there is one passage of Scripture of some importance, which I do not recollect to have ever seen applied to elucidate this subject. In Geri. xi. 2, where the movements of the descendants of Noah are first alluded to, it is said, that they journeyed from the east, and came into the land of Shinar. Now, had the ark rested upon the mountains of Kurdistan, they would naturally have issued at once into Mesopotamia, and have made their
116 MOUNT ARARAT.
way down to Babylon from the north; nor would they have been obliged to go so far to find a plain. But in migrating from the valley of the Araxes, they would of course keep on the eastern side of the Median mountains, until they almost reached the parallel of Babylon, before they would find a convenient place for crossing them. Such is now the daily route of caravans going from this city to Bagdad. They go south as far as Kermanshah, and/ then making almost a right angle, take a western direction to Bagdad ; thus making their journey some ten or twelve days longer than it would be were they to take the more mountainous and difficult road by Soreymania. It has heen objected to this location 1 of Mount Ararat, that there are now no olive-trees near enough for Noah’s dove to have plucked her leaf from ; and perhaps this opinion gave rise to the tradition in favor of the Kurdish mountains, which are so near to the warm regions of Mesopotamia. In fact, there are no olive-trees in the Valley of the Araxes, nor of the Cyrus, nor in any part of Armenia we have seen, nor yet, as -we have been told, on the shores of the Caspian. They are to be found no nearer than some of the warm valleys of the province of Akhaltzikhi and the basin Of the ancient Colchis. We mentioned this objection in a circle of learned monks at Etchmiaxin. They shrewdly replied, by asking if it would be very hard work for a pigeon to fly to Akhaltzikhi and back1 again. Their explanation was in fact satisfactory. The distance in the direction taken by caravans, is about one hundred and thirty miles, and in a straight line must be less a distance which, according to some recent experiments made upon the flight of carrier-pigeons between London and Antwerp, might be easily passed fiver twice in a day by that bird.” '
And it came to pass at the end of forty days, that Noah opened the window of the ark which he had made: and he sent forth a raven, which went forth' to and fro, until the waters were dried up from off the earth- Also he sent forth a dove from him, to see if the waters were abated from off the face of the ground; but the dove found no rest for the sole of her foot, and she returned unto him into the ark, for the waters were on the face oi the whole earth: then he put forth his hand, an4 took her, and pulled her in unto him into the ark. And he stayed yet other seven days; and again he sent forth the dove out of the ark; and the dove came into him in the evening; and, lo,in her mouth was an olive-leaf plucked off: so Noah knew the waters were abated from off the earth. And he stayed yet other seven days; and sent forth the dove ; which returned not again unto him any more.—Gen. viii. 6—12.
ANCIENT MONUMENTS, BUILDINGS,-Etc.
ILLUSTRATED WITH ENGRAVINGS.
We intend to devote a considerable space'to theabove subjects. Already we have given several engravings of the ruins of Petra. It is in this way, the beauties of art become immediately subservient to the interests of religion. Where, very recently it was difficult if not impossible, to ascertain a single, fact, and where only indirect evidence could be obtained, men may now, as it were, look upon “ the cities of the East,” and see how the lines of confusion and the stones of emptiness have been stretched over them. And we may now, in like manner, look upon the ruins of the chief city of Edom, of which the very existence was, till lately, entirely unknown. Every view of these cities and monuments, seems to attest their vast magnificence, and the almost incredible and inconceivable labor, continued as it must have been from age to age, prior to the days of Moses, and later than the Christian era, by which so great a multiplicity of dwellings, tombs, and temples, were erected; and, in many instances (take Petra for an example), excavated from the solid rocks. ■ ■
Egypt, a celebrated country of Africa, is about 500 miles in length, and 250 in its greatest breadth. It is bounded on the north by the Mediterranean ; on the east by the Red sea, and the isthmus of Suez; on the south, by Nubia; and on the west by Barbary. Egypt is divided into three parts, called the Upper, Middle, and Lower, which last comprehends thgit' part called the Delta. This country is particularly noted for having been the seat of the arts and sciences, from which Greece and other nations received them. The principal cities of ancient Egypt were Memphis and Thebes; the former stood about 100 miles from the mouth of tbe river Nile, near the place where Grand Cairo, the present capital, now stands. Thebes, long celebrated- for its hundred gates, was seated about two hundred miles above Memphis, below which stood Coptos. Near'Memphis, stood the famous pyramids, which have always ranked among tbe wonders of the world. These buildings are still wonderful; three of them now remain, and are supposed to be the burial-place of the ancient Egyptian kings. The largest of the pyramids, at the base, covers ten acres of ground, and is above 500 feet in perpendicular height, and 700 if measured obliquely. The stones with which this enormous edifice is built are thirty feet in length. One hundred thousand workmen were constantly employed for thirty years, in carrying on this amazing structure, during which time, more than two hundred thousand pounds of our money in value was expended for their maintenance.
Near the pyramids stood an enormous sphinx, now almost sunk in the sand, so that the top of its back only is visible: its head
EGYPT. 1 19
Egyptian Obelisk at Alexandria.
City of Alexandria.
rises twenty-seven feet above the sand The whole of Upper Egypt is described as having been very populous. The government of ancient Egypt was monarchical. Among the natural curiosities of Egypt, the most remarkable is the river Nile, which is described in a separate article. The present population of Egypt is about two millions and a half; and when a Roman province, it is supposed that it contained upward of seven millions. The French invaded this country in 1798, under Bonaparte, who defeated the Egyptians in several engagements; but after his departure a strong British force arrived to aid the country, and the French were expelled, 1801.
The climate of Egypt is very hot, and in general, unhealthy: rain in this country in summer is considered a phenomenon. The ! plague frequently visits its inhabitants. But during Vthe autumn and winter, Egypt is considered one of^ the most delightful and pleasant countries in the world;
Grand Cairo, the capital, is a large and-populous city, Containing about 300,000 inhabitants. The castle of this place is said to have been built by the celebrated Saladin, in which are the remains of the most noble monuments j but the greater t part of this once majestic building is now in ruins.
Alexandria, once the seat of learning and royal magnificence, lies now, for the greater part, in ruins. This1 city was built by Alexander the Great, B. Q. 332, and was long the seat and capital of the Ptolemys. According to Josephus, Alexandria was esteemed the finest city in the world, Rome only excepted. At Alexandria was the celebrated library, consisting of 700,000 volumes, which was begun to be collected ■ by Ptolemy Philadelphus, and completed by his successors. This library is said to have been destroyed by the Saracens, at the command of the calif Omar. Alexandria now contains about 6,000 inhabitants. The most remarkable antiquities near Alexandria are two obelisks, commonly called Cleopatra’s Needles, covered with hieroglyphics, Pompey’s Pillar, and the ancient Tower of Pharos. Cleopatra’s Needles are about 60 feet high, and consist each of a single stone, seven feet square at the base. One of them is now overturned, broken, and lying under the sand, the other is represented by the annexed engraving.
Pharos, a watchtower, so celebrated in antiquity, was reckoned one of the seven wonders of the world. It was 400 feet high, and was destroyed by the Turks.
Suez, formerly a place of great trade, is now a small town, and gives name to the isthmus that joins Africa to Asia. Near this city, the children of Israel are supposed to have entered the gulf, when they crossed the Red sea. The Egyptians are of a tawny complexion. They display little of that love for science and literature for which their ancestors were so renowned. Here it was that geometry was invented, and it is generally supposed, that it was of the Egyptian priests that Pythagoras acquired the knowledge of the “ True System of the World”
Among the manj monuments of antiquity which the destroying hand of time has spared for the admiration of posterity, there is none more wonderful than those found in Egypt—“ The land of the Pharaohs.” In many respects it is the most interesting country on the face of the earth; we continue our remarks with a description of the “Northern gate of Dendera orTentyra.” The ruin is described in Russel’s interesting “ View of Ancient and Modern Egypt.” He remarks:— -
“ Dendera, which is commonly identified with the /ancient Tentyra, presents some very striking examples of that sumptuous architecture which the people of Egypt lavish upon their places of worship. The gateway in particular, which leads to the temple of Isis, has excited universal admiration. Each frofit, as well as, the interior, is covered with sculptured hieroglyphics, which are executed with a richness, a precision, elegance of form, and variety of ornament, surpassing in many respects the similar edifices which are found at Thebes and Philoe. The height is forty-two feet, the width thirty-three, and the depth seventeen. ‘Advancing along the brick ruins,’ says Dr. Ricliardson, ‘We came to an elegant gateway, which is also sandstone, neatly hewn, and completely covered with sculpture and hieroglyphics, remarkably well cut. Immediately over the centre , of the doorway is the beautiful Egyptian ornament usually called theKgiobe, with serpent and wings, emblematical of the glorious sun poised in the airy firmament of heaven, supported and directed in his course by the eternal wisdom of the Deity. The sublime phraseology of Scripture, “the Sun of Righteousness shall arise with healing in his wings,” could not be more emphatically or more accurately represented to the human eye than by this, elegant device.’ The temple itself still retains all its original magnificence. The centuries which have elapsed since the era of its foundation have scarcely affected it in any important part, and have impressed upon it no greater appearance of age than serves to render it more venerable and imposing. To Mr. Hamilton, who has seen innumerable monuments of the same kind throughout the Thebaid, it seemed as if he were now witnessing the highest degree of architectural excellence that had ever been attained on. the borders of the Nile. Here were concentrated the united labors of ages, and the last effort of human art and industry, in that uniform line of construction which had been adopted in the earliest times.
“ The portico consists of twenty-four columns, in three rows; each above twenty-two feet in circumference, thirty-two feet high, and covered with hieroglyphics. Oh the front, Isis is in general the principal figure to whom offerings are made. On the architrave are represented two processions of men and women bringing to their goddess, and to Osiris, who is sitting behind her, globes encompassed with cows’ horns, mitred snakes, lotus-flowers, vases, little boats, graduated staffs, and other instruments of their emblematical worship. The interior of the pronaos is adorned with sculptures, most of them preserving part of the paint with which
they have heen covered. Those on the ceiling are peculiarly rich and varied, all illustrative of the union between the astronomical and religious creeds of the ancient Egyptians; yet, though each separate figure is well preserved and perfectly intelligible, we must be more intimately acquainted with the real principles of the sciences, as they were then taught, before we can undertake to explain the signs in which they were imbodied.
“ The sekos, or interior of the temple, Consists of several apartments, all the walls and ceilings of which are in the same way covered with religious and astronomical representations. The roofs, as is usual in Egypt, are flat, formed of oblong masses of stone resting on the side-walls; and when the distance between these is too great, one or two rows of columns are carried down the middle of the apartment,'on which the huge flags are supported. The capitals of these columns are very richly ornamented with the budding lotus, the stalks of which, being extended a certain way down the shaft, give it the appearance of being fluted, or rather scolloped. The rooms have been lighted by small perpendicular holes cut in the ceiling, and, where it was possible to. introduce them, by oblique ones in the sides. But some idea might be formed of the perpetual gloom in which the apartments on the ground-floor of the sekos must have heen buried, from the fact, that where no side-light could he introduced, all they received was communicated from the apartment above ; so „ that, notwithstanding the cloudless sky and the brilliant colors on the walls, the place must have been always well calculated for the mysterious practices df the religion to which it was consecrated. On one corner of the roof there was a chapel or temple twenty feet square, consisting of twelve columns, exactly similar in figure and proportions to those of the pronaos. The use to which it may have been applied, must probably remain one of the secrets connected with the mystical and sometimes cruel service in which the priests of Isis were employed, though it is by no means unlikely that it was meant as a repository for books and instruments collected for the more innocent and exalted pursuits of practical astronomy.
“ The western wall of the great temple is particularly interesting for the extreme elegance of the sculpture, as far as Egyptian sculpture is susceptible of that character—-for the richness of the dresses in which the priests find deities are arrayed, and even of the chairs in which the latter are seated. Here are frequent representations of men who seem prepared for slaughter or just going to he put to death. On these occasions, one or more appear with their hands or legs tied to the trunk of a tree, in the most painful and distorted attitudes.
“ The grand projecting cornice, one of the most imposing features of Egyptian architecture, is continued the whole length of this and the other walls; a moulding separates it from the architrave; and, being carried down the angles of the building, gives to the whole a solid finished appearance, combined with symmetry of parts and chasteness of ornament.
“ In a small chapel behind the temple, the cow and the hawk seem to have been particularly worshipped, as priests are frequently seen kneeling before them, presenting sacrifices and offerings. In the centre of the ceiling is the same front face of Isis, in high relief, illuminated, as it were, by a body of rays, issuing from the mouth of the same long figure, which, in the other temples, appear to encircle the heavenly bodies. About two hundred yards eastward from this chapel, is a propylon of small dimensions, resembling in form that which conducts to the great temple, and, like it'* built in a line with the wall which surrounds the sacred enclosure. Among the sculptures on it, which appear of the same style, but less finished than those on the large temple, little more is worthy of notice than the frequent exhibition of human slaughter by men or by lions. Still farther toward the east, there is another propylon, equally well preserved with the rest, about forty feet in height, and twenty feet square at the base. Among these sacred figures on this building, is an Isis pointing with a reed to a graduated staff, held ,by another figure of the same deity, from which are suspended scales containing water-animals; the whole group, perhaps, being an emblem of her influence over the Nile, in regulating its periodical inundations.
“ The enclosure, within which all the sacred edifices of Dendera, with the exception of the last, propyl'on,-are contained, is a square of about a thousand feet. It is surrounded by a wall, which, where best preserved, is thirty-five feet in height, and fifteen feet thick. The crude bricks of ytdiich it is built, were found to be fifteen inches and a half, long, seven and three quarters broad, and four inches and three quarters thick. There have been, at certain intervals, projections of the wall or towers ;, but it is difficult to say whether for purposes of defence or strength. . ,
“Dr. Richardson observes, in reference to the sculptures on the temple of Dendera, that 1 the female figures are so extremely well executed,that they do all but speak, and have a mildness of feature and expression that never was surpassed.’ Everything around appears to be in motion, and to discharge the functions of a living creature; being, at the same time, so different from what is ever seen in Europe, that the mind is astonished, and feels as if absolutely introduced to personages of the remotest ages to converse with them, and to witness the ceremonies by which they delighted to honor their gods. The temple of Dendera, says this author, is by far the finest in Egypt; the devices have more soul in them ; and the execution is of the choicest description.
“ Edfou, the Apollinopolis Magna of the Greeks (of which we here give an elegant and correct engraving), presents several architectural remains worthy Of notice. There are two temples in a state of great preservation; one of them consisting of high pyramidal propyla, a pronaos, portico, and sekos, the form most generally used in Egypt; the other is periptoral, and is, at the same time, distinguished by having, on its several columns, the appalling figure of Typhon, the emblem of the evil principle.
View of Edfou (Egypt.)
“ The pyramidal propylon which forms the principal entrance to the greater temple, is one of the most imposing monuments extant of Egyptian architecture. Each of the sides is a hundred feet in length, thirty wide, and a hundred high. Many of the figures sculptured on it are thirty feet in height, and are executed in so masterly and spirited a style, as to add considerably to the grand effect of the building. In each division there is a staircase of one hundred and fifty or one hundred and sixty steps, which conducts the visiter into spacious apartments at different elevations. The horizontal sections of each wing diminish gradually from one hundred feet by thirty, to eighty-three by twenty, as will appear to the eye from the accompanying plate; although the solidity and height of the propylon give it more the aspect of a fortress or place of defence than of the approach to a religious edifice. As an explanation of this peculiarity, we are told, that the addition of these gateways to a temple was permitted as a favor to such of the ancient kings of Egypt as, for their pious and beneficent actions, became entitled to perpetuate their names in the mansions of their gods. The Ptolemys, who claimed the right of sovereignty from conquest, indulged in the same magnificence, and built porticoes, propyla, and even temples. Cleopatra, in her misfortunes, is said to have removed with the most valuable part of her property to an edifice of a very extraordinary size and structure, which she had formerly erected near the fane of Isis. Most probably, as Mr. Hamilton thinks, it was a propylon of the kind just described. Nothing could be better adapted for her purpose inasmuch as the variety of apartments offered every convenience that could be desired, and when the small door at the bottom of the staircase was closed, it was perfectly inaccessible.
“ In no paTt of Egypt are more colossal sculptures seen on the walls of a public building, than on the larger temple at Edfou. These, we are told, are extremely well executed, and in some cases the colors are still completely unchanged. Priests are seen paying divine honors to the Scarabaeus, or beetle, placed upon an altar—an insect which is said to have been typical of the sun, either because it changes its appearance and place of abode every six months, or because it is wonderfully productive. We regret to find that both the temples, though well preserved, are almost concealed among heaps of dirt and rubbish \ indeed, the terrace of the larger one is occupied by several mud-cottages belonging to the villagers, and the interior chambers of the sekos are indiscriminately used as sinks, granaries, or stables.”
The Camel.—According to the testimony of naturalists, the camel is fond of music, and has a very correct idea of time. A writer says, that, when the conductor wishes them to perform extraordinary journeys, instead of chastising, he encourages them with a song, and that, although they had stopped, and refused to proceed any farther, they then went cheerfully on, and much quicker than a horse, when pushed by the spur.
MANNERS, CUSTOMS, ETC., OF THE EAST. J 3 J
MANNERS, CUSTOMS, &c., OF THE EAST
ILLUSTRATED WITH ENGRAVINGS;
Within the last few years, the extension of commercial pursuits, and the researches of industrious travellers, have developed the history, the manners and customs, and the natural history, both ancient and modern, of. Egypt, Arabia, Persia, and Judea, to an extent hitherto unparalleled; and the attention of the general reader is very frequently called to . those countries of the East, whose very existence has seemed almost fabulous. Ever since the French army penetrated into Egypt, and the great work concerning the history and antiquities of that country was published by the Emperor Napoleon, European travellers and scholars have made that and the adjoining countries the theatre of their studies and researches; and yet, till within ten years past, very little information, interesting to the general reader, has been given to the public in a form that put it within the reach of those of humble station to procure. But now, books of travels, histories, natural histories, and scientific works, all in cheap foVm,, are frequently issuing from the teeming press, and we are becoming quite familiar with the land of the.Pharaohs, the wildernesses of Arabia, and the interesting country of Palestine. The interest awakened in the public, by lectures and published records of travel, has rendered all knowledge concerning the orientals very acceptable. Under the impression that such is the case, and believing that we shall render our readers an acceptable service by dispensing such information, we propose to give descriptions of the manners, costumes, and customs, of the people of" the East, illustrated with numerous engravings. We commence with the personal dress and ornaments of the Egyptians. ,
Our engraving No. 1 represents a modern Egyptian female, adorned with a head ornament, called sufa. This is sometimes a beautiful network, hanging down upon the hack, and filled with jewels of various kinds. But the manner in which this ornament is generally made, is by dividing the hair into a number of braids or tresses, and attaching to each tress three silken threads.- All of these threads have small gold ornaments or jewels appended to them, and usually terminate with a small gold coin. At a little distance it has a mailed or reticulated appearance, as is shown in the engraving, and gives a most brilliant effect. Mr. Lane, a late traveller, remarks: “The sufa appears to me the prettiest as well as the most singular of the ornaments worn by Egyptian ladies. The glittering of the lurch, and their clinking together as the wearer walks, have a peculiar,lively effect.” A similar ornament was worn by Egyptian females in the time of Isaiah, who called them cauls. See Isaiah iii. 18.
The eastern ladies wear various kinds of veils, some intended for walking in the open air, and others to he worn within doors.
No. 1—Sufa and Turban. 2.—Face, Veil and Walking Wrapper
No. 3.—Another form of Dress. No. 4.—Woman wearing the Tob.
Hood Veil of an Arab Female. In-door Dress of modern Egyptian Lady
MANNERS, CUSTOMS, ETC., OF THE EAST.
No 7—Dancing Woman of Cairo.
No. 8—Greek Flute-Platers.
134 MANNERS, CUSTOMS, ETC , OF THE EAST.
The engraving No. 2 represents the long one used in walking with the wrapper. The veils of the women of Egypt and Syria are long strips of fine linen or lace, sometimes ornamented, but usually plain, fastened by bands to the head, and descending nearly to the feet. This veil does not cover the eyes. The Turkish women cover their whole face with a veil of horsehair, through which they can look out distinctly, hut the gazer cannot look within. The Persians wear a tight white veil, with a piece of network to cover the face, through which they can see without being seen. Such veils of lace, and crape as are used in this country and Europe, are unknown; and from the fact that veils are never seen in ancient paintings and sculptures of the Egyptians, it is evident that they are a comparatively modern inventibn.
Another kind of walking wrapper is a species of hood, that falls down from the head nearly to the feet, and enveloping the whole figure; in walking. It is , like a sheet, and is plain, black, white, striped, or plaid, according to the, taste of the wearer. Nuns wear a similar garment^ and in the south of Italy, and upon the island of Malta, a similar article of outdoor dress is used. It is supposed that this is the same kind of veil worn by Ruth (iii. 15), in which she carried away the six measures of barley which Boaz gave her.
Under the wimple or wrapper above described, the ladies of rank of the East, usually wear a capacious silk robe, called tob^ with long and loose sleeves. The women of the lower order wear the same kind of garment for an outer covering, but made of coarser materials, as represented in the engraving No. 5.
The hoods worn by both the Egyptian and Arabian females, are similar to the wimples just described, except that they are much shorter, and only fall down to the middle of the back, covering the shoulders. It is a large handkerchief or shawl, of linen or muslin, usually black or of a dark color, which covers the head and back. The corners are brought round in front to cover the threat and bosom, and the lower part of the face to the tip of the nose. This is usually the only veil worn by the Arab women.
The head-veil worn by the ladies of western Asia and Egypt, when within-doors, is described as a remarkably graceful article of dress. It is usually made of a strip of white muslin, neatly embroidered with threads of colored silk and gold. Sometimes it is made of colored crape, ornamented with gold-thread an,d spangles. It is made to rest upon the head, and fall down gracefully upon the back. When the fob is worn as the outer robe, this kind of veil is a part of the external walking-dress, sometimes forming, as represented in engraving No. 7, a broad mantle.
This engraving shows a woman with a shawl girdle, a short white face veil, and a black back veil forming a mantle. The shawl girdle is often worn by the Asiatic women, and when properly put on appears exceeding graceful. It is generally folded wide, and put loosely around the waist, with the corner hanging down behind or before. Our illustration shows them before, or-
136 MANNERS, CUSTOMS, ETC., OF THE EAST.
namented with fringes. This female is seen playing upon an instrument of the tambourine or drum kind. In all the harems of the East, dancing girls are employed, who, with their music and pantomime, serve to amuse their masters and their friends, or to while away their time, which would otherwise hang oppressively heavy upon those listless idlers. A stranger is often entertained for hours by these dancing women, when invited into the houses of the opulent.
One fact is remarkable, and is noticed by all travellers, that many Eastern nations, and especially the Bedouins in the Idumean desert, retain many of the customs in vogue in the time of the Scripture patriarchs and prophets. Such being the case, we shall have occasion to frequently allude to the sacred volume. A remarkable coincidence of this kind is exhibited in the horned headdress., pictured in our engraving. In 1 Sam. ii. 1, Hannah, in her prayer and thanksgiving exclaims, “ My heart rejoiceth in the Loud ; ipine horn is exalted in the Loud.” To the biblical reader, this last expression is extremely ambiguous, unless he is acquainted with a custom prevalent at the present day among the Druses of Lebanon, the Christians of Tyre and parts of Syria, Egyptian cavalry, and in some parts of Russia, bordering on Persia. They wear horns, constructed of silver or tin, either as a female ornament, or a head defence in battle. Dr. Macmichael in his “Journey,” says: “ One of the most extraordinary parts of the attire of their females (Druses of Lebanon) is a silver horn, sometimes studded with jewels, worn on the head in various positions, distinguishing their different conditions. A married woman has it affixed to the right side of the head, a widow on the left, and a virgin is pointed out by its being placed on the very crown. Over this silver projection the long veil is thrown, with which they so completely conceal their faces as to rarely have .more than an eye visible.”
The horn worn by females is a conical tube, about twelve inches long. Colonel Light mentions the horn of the wife of an emir, made of gold, and studded with precious stones. The two male figures in the engraving, represent Abyssinian chiefs with horns. They are worn by them in military reviews, or on parade after a victory. They are much shorter than those of the females, and are about the size and shape of a candle-extinguisher, fastened by a strong fillet to the head, which is often made of metal : they are not easily broken off. This peculiar kind of horn is undoubtedly the kind made by the false prophet Zedekiah for Ahab, to whom he said, when Abab was about to attack the enemy, “ With these shalt thou push the Syrians, until thou hast conquered them.”
Our engraving of “Jewels of Silver,” is copied from one made up from Egyptian sculptures and real ornaments, in the British Museum, and may be considered a fair representation of a group of Egyptian belles in the time of the Pharaohs. We have in this engraving nearly all the varieties of ornaments:—the head-dress, ear-ring’s, armlets, wristlets, necklaces, &c.
Jewels of Gold.
COSTUME OF AN EGYPTIAN BRIDE.
An Egyptian Bride.
COSTUME OF AN EGYPTIAN BRIDE. 139
COSTUME OF AN EGYPTIAN BRIDE.
Our engraving is intended to represent an ancient Egyptian bride—one of the royal family—with her attendant. The picture of which this is a copy, was made up from facts concerning the state-dresses of ancient Egypt, as put forth in various works on the antiquities of that country, and may be relied on as a correct representation of the general appearance of an Egyptian princess arrayed in her bridal robes. On her head is a cap of a reticulated appearance, from beneath which her hair hangs loosely over her shoulders, and profusely studded with gold and precious stones, giving the whole an appearance similar to the sufa or caul, as worn by the modern Egyptian females. Over her under-robe, which was made of the finest white linen, was a shorter garment, extending from the waist to the knees, and made of the most costly material. Around the waist was a zone of gold and gems, and extending downward therefrom about twelve inches was a sort of mailed work, the scales of which were formed of golden threads, interwoven with colored silk. The lower part of this robe was covered with the feathers of birds of splendid and various plumage, and around the bottom was a row of small bells, similar to those upon the pontifical robe of the Jewish high-priest. Her shoulders and breast were covered with a cape, formed also of the same costly material, and pending from the right side, was a halfmantle of scarlet cloth. On her feet were jewelled sandals, around her wrists bracelets of precious metals and stones, and pendent jewels graced her ears. Such was the appearance of the “ spouse,” of whom Solomon, in his “Song” says, “How beautiful are thy feet with shoes (sandals),oh, prince’s daughter!” &c.
The ancient as well as the modern Egyptian females, were renowned for the quantity as well as for the costliness of the jewels with which they adorned their persons, and especially the head.
Having considered the dresses of the females of the East, we proceed to notice in detail the various kinds of small ornaments worn by them.
The ckumarah, which signifies moon, is a splendid ornament worn by the women of western Asia in front of their head-dresses. It is usually made of gold, set with precious stones and pearls. They are sometimes made of the crescent form, hut the most common are such as the engraving represents. They often have Arabic characters inscribed upon them, and sometimes a sentence from the Koran is used by the Mahometan women of Arabia Ep.liy Mahomet forbade the use of rings and other personal ornaments by men, except they were made of silver. The words of his prohibition were these : “ Whosoever likes to put into the nose or ear of his friend a ring of hell-fire, tell him to put on a gold ring; and hq who wishes to put on the neck of his friend a chain of hell-fire, tell him to put on a chain of gold ; and he who wishes to put on rings to his friend’s Wrists of hell-fire, tell him to put on golden ones: wherefore, be it on you to make your ornaments of silver.” This prohibition extended to the women also at first, but finally they were allowed to use jewels of gold.
The Khizam, or nose-jewel of modern Egypt.
The “ring of gold” for the nose, mentioned in Mahomet’s prohibition, was doubtless similar to such ornaments now in use among the Egyptian females of wealth and rank; indeed, they are worn also by the lower classes, but of a material consistent with the means of the wearer. They are made of gold, silver, coral, mother-ohp earl, and even of horn. Some are set with a ruby between two pearls, and a turquois is very common. These ornaments are always of a circular form, and instead of wearing them suspended from the middle cartilage of the nose, as was once the custom of some of our Indian tribes, they are fastened to the external cartilage of the right nostril. The Koordish and Bedouin females are often seen with a thin circular plate of gold (sometimes coin), in the centre of which is a turquois. This is fastened to the nostril by a pin, after the manner of a brooch for the bosom, and makes a very conspicuous appearance.'
In addition to the ckumarah, and ear and nose rings, the modern Egyptians also wear head-bands of gold or silver, and richly set
Form of Ear-Rings. From ancient Egyptian sculpture.
with jewels. The specimen which we give is similar to those worn among the higher classes of Europe on the occasion of court drawing-rooms or other fashionable assemblages. Some are also worn by people of wealth in this country, but valuable ones formed of diamonds are rarely seen on this side of the Atlantic.
The first of the following figures is the picture of a necklace described in “Description de l’Egypte.” Such kinds were formed of gold, silver, coral, and pearl, and were similar in their form and construction to those in common use among us a few years since. The second is from Signor d’Athanasi’s collection, and was found in an Egyptian tomb. It is composed of shells similar to those commonly known by the name of leopard shells. Each shell is beautifully inlaid with a fine red composition, and from between them are suspended ornaments of fine gold.
Necklaces and bracelets are in common use among the Arabian females of the present day. In fact, their whole personal wealth usually consists in their ornaments, and according to Stephens and others, it is not uncommon to see Bedouin females of the poorest class wearing gold or silver ornaments. They wear bracelets upon their arms of great weight, Avhen compared to those worn by Europeans ; nor are they content with wearing a single pair, but are seen with several—as many as they are able to buy.
Ancient Egyptian Necklaces.
Sometimes they cover their arms from their wrists to their elbows. Upon these ornaments depends the permanent consideration of the Arab females; and the Arab, who cares but little about his personal appearance, is ever anxious to deck his wife in the most extravagant manner, that honor may be reflected upon himself. The poor class of women, who are unable to get bracelets of gold or silver, use copper, horn, and common glass beads. In the twenty-fourth chapter of Genesis it is recorded that Eliezer gave to Rebekah “ a golden ear-ring (more probably a nose-jewel) of half a shekel weight, and two bracelets for her hands of ten shekels weight of gold.” This was a costly present—about five ounces of gold. The bracelets alone weighed four and a half ounces (ten shekels).
Our engraving represents the pendent ornaments for the nose and ears, of the full size. These ornaments were not used exclusively by the females of the East, for in Egyptian sculptures foreign warriors are represented sometimes with rings in their ears. In those of Persepolis, they are frequently seen, and as before mentioned, such ornaments were evidently worn by men in the time of Mahomet, or else why his prohibition 1 As he prohibited rings of gold, they seemed careless whether they had any or not, and now such jewels are never worn by the men.
Among all the oriental nations, a belief in the efficacy of amulets to avert an evil or obtain a blessing, is universal; and very few persons are seen without one of some form or other. It was a
Various Forms of Drops, &c.
PAINTING THE EYES.
Hheg.ibs, or Amulets of modern Egypt.
custom among the Hebrews to wear amulets, on which were engraven or written some sentences from the law or from their sacred books. The Eastern ladies of the present day make them answer the purpose also of ornament for the head, neck, or bosom, by being enclosed in small cases of embossed gold or silver. They are often worn upon the neck or bosom, and sometimes the head, but are most commonly suspended at the right side by a silken cord, which is passed over the left shoulder.
Anklets, now in common use in the East, were worn in the time of Isaiah, who denominated them “ tinkling ornaments” (see Isaiah iii. 18). Mr. Lane says, that anklets of solid silver are worn by the wives of the sheiks and other wealthy persons. Children wear them made of iron, and sometimes they have little bells attached to them; and it was this kind doubtless to which the prophet alludes. The dancing girls of Cairo wear anklets of the latter description, which give a pleasing effect.
PAINTING THE EYES
A custom very prevalent among the oriental females, is that of painting the eyes. Large eyes are considered a mark of peculiar beauty, and the painting of black borders around them, gives them an enlarged appearance. The subjoined cut shows the utensils used by the modern orientals in this species of personal adornment.
The embroidered bag with tassels at each corner, contains the powder, which is generally scented with some powerful parfume. The larger glass vessel is used for mixing this powder with a liquid, and the smaller ones, attached to the bags, the rjceivers for it, when it is to be used. A late traveller thus describes tne
PAINTING THE EYES. 145
operation: “The eye is closed, and a small ebony rod smeared with the composition is squeezed between the lids, so as to tinge their edges with the color. This is considered to add greatly to the brilliancy and power of the eye, and to deepen the effect of the long black eyelashes of which the Orientals are proud. The same drug is employed on their eyebrows: used thus it is intended to elongate, not to elevate the arc, so that the inner extremities are usually represented as meeting between the eyes. To Europeans, the effect produced is seldom, at first pleasing; but it soon becomes so.” The first mention in Scripture, of this custom, is in Kings, where it is recorded that Jezebel “ painted her face,” &c., when she heard that Jehu had come to Jezreel. The annexed cuts show the form of the ancient implements used for this purpose.
In addition to the painting of their eyes and eyebrows, the oriental women often tattoo their flesh, upon the hands, face, and bosoms. This is done by puncturing the skin, and inserting a liquid mineral black, giving a similar effect to that which is often observed upon the arms and bodies of sailors. The cut given below represents the manner in which the women of the Levant are fond of exhibiting themselves thus tattooed.
146 ' EGYPTIAN AGRICULTURE.
Although large portions of Egypt present barren deserts, yet there are sections upon the banks of the Nile, as fertile as any country in the world. The annual overflowing of the banks of this river, caused by the heavy rains in the mountainous districts near its source, deposites upon the land a great amount of rich vegetable compost, rendering the soil fertile to the fullest extent. Immediately after the subsidence of the waters, the inhabitants commence their tilling operations, which are not at all laborious. The natural richness of the soil renders but little preparation necessary for the reception o.f seed. The ground is so soft that ploughing is slight labor, and the utensil used for this purpose is simple and light in its construction, as may be seen in the engraving. Oxen and asses are the only animals used in this service, as horses are employed in war and for riding for civil purposes. Sometimes among the poorer class of agriculturists an ox and an ass are seen yoked together in drawing the plough. But such an unequal connexion is rarely to be met with, for the disparity in size and disposition of these animals renders the draught in such a case very painful. That such a custom was practised among the early Hebrews, is evident from the fact that a law, under the head of humanity to animals, was passed against such a connexion. See Deuteronomy, xxii. 10.
The culture of Egypt may be dividedinto two great classes, the one belonging to the lands watered by themverflowing of the Nile, and the other to those sections that are irrigated by artificial means. In the first class is reckoned wheat, barley, spelt, beans, lentils, sesamum, mustard, flax, anise, saffron, tobacco, pumpions, melons, and cucumbers. The latter grow very rapidly, and it is positively asserted that they will gain an inch of volume per hour, for twenty-four hours together.
In the second class may be reckoned a species of maize, which forms the staple of food for the lower class, sugar-Cane, cotton, rice, and indigo. The kind of maize alluded to, is used in various ways. The grain is often eaten in its green state after being roasted. The stalk is sometimes eaten when green, like that of the sugar-cane; and it is also used for fuel in heating ovens. The leaf is good food for cattle, and the pith of the stalk, when dry, forms excellent tinder. Sometimes the grain is ground into flour, and made into muffins or crumpets, but in none of its preparations is it agreeable to the taste of the European.
Large quantities of wheat are raised in Egypt, particularly near Maraga in Upper Egypt. It is of the best quality, producing a large yield of plump kernels, with but a small quantity of straw. The present mode of thrashing, practised by the Egyptians and other oriental nations, accords with that in use more than thirty centuries ago. The sheaves are spread upon a level spot, over which oxen or other cattle are driven, until by their feet, the leer-
ARAB HUTS AND SHEEP-COTES. 149
nels are separated from the stalk. Another mode is to attach a machine to their cattle, as shown in the engraving. This machine is of a sledge form with broad heavy rollers, turning upon axles. On this vehicle the driver rides. Sometimes the rollers or wheels of the thrashing machine are serrated, having sharp edges, and thus the straw is cut up into fodder at the same time that the grain is crushed out, and the two are afterward separated by a winnowing apparatus. The custom of “ treading out” grain as we often see practised in this country with horses, is a very ancient one, for in Deut. xxv. 4, we find this injunction, “ Thou shalt not muzzle the ox when he treadeth out the corn” (wheat).
ARAB TENTS AND SHEEP-COTES.
The pastoral tribes of Syria and Palestine, and indeed of all western Asia, may be divided into two classes, the permanent and the nomadic or wandering. These differ in their manner of protecting their flocks from both human and beastial marauders. The nomades always have their flocks kept in the open country without securing them at night in folds. Such is not the case with the permanent or settled tribes, when they send their flocks out into the open country to pasture ; for then it is that they are obliged to form protections for them, for the nomades, claiming the open country for their own, think they have a perfect right to depredate upon the property of the intruders. To guard against these depredations, the latter drive their sheep into caves, or build uncovered enclosures of strong materials, impregnable to any force of the enemy. These enclosures are sometimes round towers, and often serve as a place of safety for women and children when hostilities occur between the tribes.
150 ORIENTALS WASHING HANDS.
When the flocks are to be shorn, they are driven into walled enclosures, on account of a belief that the sweating and evaporation which they undergo there, improve the quality of the wool. In poorer villages when flocks are very small, they are generally taken care of by the women and children. At night they drive them home and fold them in enclosures attached to their huts, as seen in the engraving. These pens or cotes also serve as a place for young calves, and like the huts are built of very light materials. They are seldom anything else than bamboo wicker-work, with the interstices sometimes filled with mortar. Our cut represents an Arab village, and may be considered a very good specimen of the architecture of a people just emerging from a migratory to a settled and civilized life.
ORIENTALS WASHING HANDS-
Orientals washing hands.
With the people of the East, especially those of Palestine and Persia, and throughout the whole region once known as Judea, cleanliness is regarded as one of the cardinal virtues; and with the Mahometans in general, and the Turks in particular, personal cleanliness is made a part of their religion. It is enjoined upon them in the Koran as one of the most important duties, and the Mahometans like the Jews are taught to believe that impurity of the body is so offensive in the sight of Deity that it will be punished with spiritual debasement.
152 SHAVING THE HEAD.
The bath is almost universally used daily in the East, and where this luxury is denied, as is the case in the desert regions, the-people have frequent recourse to ablutions of the extremities.
The Orientals never wash their hands in water standing in the basin, but always, if possible, have it poured upon them from an ew;er held by a second person, as shown in the cut. This mode is doubtless much more refreshing and cleanly than the one used by us, and the Europeans in general. In the East, the basin and ewer are gener-Oriental ewer and basin, ally made of tinned copper. The former has a division midway the top and bottom, raised in the centre and perforated with holes like a colander, so that the. defiled water, passing from the hands, is concealed by this perforated covering. The ewer has a long spout and narrow neck, with a cover, as represented in the second cut. When the,master wishes to wash his hands, a servant approaches with the ewer in his right hand and the basin in his left j and so tenacious are the Orientals in the observance of tEis custom, that when a second person is wanting, they will wash in the inconvenient manner of taking up and setting down the ewer frequently, to pour water on their hands. This custom, now so prevalent in the East, was. equally so at a very-remote period. In the Scripture Book of second Kings, iii. 11 th Ustom is alluded to in the case of Elijah: “And one of the King of Israel’s servants answered and said, Here is Elisha the son of Shaphat, which poured water on the hands of Elijah.” The incident nere mentioned occurred nearly nine hundred years anterior to our era. ' . "
SHAVING THE HEAD.
The tonsorial.business in the East is quite different from, what it is with us, for there, instead of shaving off the beard and dressing and curling the long locks of hair, they, dress and curl the beard., and frequently shave the head, as seen in the engraving. A fine beard, carefully attended to, is considered one of the most valuable of the personal ornaments of the males of,the East, and they usually spend more time and care in the cultivation of this natural beauty, than in any other decoration of their persons.
A custom is still prevalent among many oriental nations, of shaving the head as a sign of mourning. The origin of this custom is very remote, for we fihd it recorded of Job that when he heard of the desolation of his house he u arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved, his head.”
This custom was prevalent with the Jews, though it was interdicted among the priests. Mahomet forbade the habit, yet his injunctions are disregarded. The ancient Greeks testified their
Beards Undressed. a, Syrian Jew ; b, Arabian ; c. Persian.
154 SHAVING THE HEAD.
grief in this manner, and sometimes laid their hair upon the body of the deceased to be buried or burnt with it, and sometimes it was simply laid upon the grave. When men of high station in the state or army died, it was not unusual for the whole population of cities to be shaved.
Purchas gives an account, on the authority of Peter Covillan, of an existing custom in Abyssinia, of an analogous character. The narrative relates to a public mourning for the death of their king. The party alluded to had just received the intelligence. “ And because,” says he, “ it is the fashion of this country, when their friends die, to shave their heads, and not their beards, and to cloath themselves in black apparell, wee beganne to shave one another’s head, and while wee were doing this, in came they which brought us our dinner, who, when they saw this, they set down the meate upon the ground, and ran to tell it unto Prete, who suddenly sent two friars unto us, to understand what had fallen out. The ambassadeur could not answer him for the great
lamentation that he made, and I told them as well as I could, that the sunne which gave us light was darkened, that is to say, that the king, Don Emanuel (of Portugal), was departed this life ; and suddenly all of us began to make our moane, and the friars went their way.”
The Persians m very early times were accustomed to give great attention to their beards. We are informed by Chrysostom, that their kings had the beard interwoven or matted with gold thread ; and the accuracy of this information is evinced by the ancient Persian sculptures, which still remain, in which the common beards are curiously and nicely curled, while those of the throned personages are stiff and matted. In
the same sculptures other
persons, who, from the offices they are performing, appear to be slaves or
servants, have the beard Futteh All Shah, King of Persia. jn kg natura] gtate Xhe
beards, even of Persia, have however undergone fluctuations. During the Suffavean dynasty it appears that only mustaches on the upper lip were common. Europeans who travelled in the
country during that period, describe and delineate the Persian face
as destitute of beard. Now, however, the ancient zeal for beards has revived ; and the king himself has one of the finest ever seen. It reaches below his waist, and is altogether so rich an appendage that it forms an unfailing theme of admiring talk among the subjects of the shah, who seem sometimes to feel that, were other claims wanting, his beard would alone entitle him to reign over men.
The beards of the Persians naturally attain a larger size than those of the Turks, the Russians, or perhaps any other people. They are mostly of a black color naturally, but the practice of dying the beard, either to strengthen the intensity of the natural black, or to give that color where it does not exist, is universal among all classes. The operation by which this is effected is painful and tedious, and must in general be repeated every fort-
156 MANUFACTURES, MUMMIES, ETC.
night. It is always performed in the hot hath, as the saturation of the hair, which takes place in bathing, enables it to take the color better. In the first instance a thick paste of henna is plastered over the beard; and, after it has remained for about an hour, it is washed away, and leaves the beard of a deep orange color, bordering on that of brickdust. Then another paste, made frpm the leaf of the indigo, is applied in the same manner, and allowed to remain for two hours. Throughout all the progress of this operation, the man with the heard is obliged to lie on his back, while the die, more particularly in the latter application, causes the lower part of the face to smart and burn, and contracts the features in a very mournful manner. When the patient first comes forth from the bath, the color of his beard is a dark bottle-green, which becomes a jet black only after twenty-four hours’ exposure to the air. The operation is one of considerable nicety, otherwise the final result may be a purple or a parti-colored beard instead of a black one. Many of the common people are so much smitten by the fiery red produced by the first application, as to decline to have it changed to black. , The meteoric appearance of such beards is very whimsical, nor less so the blue beards which are preferred in Bockhara. All colors but black are, however, considered vulgar in Persia. u It is inconceivable,” says Mr. Morier, “how careful the Persians are of this ornament: all the young men sigh for it, and grease their chins to hasten the growth of the hairs \ because, until they have there a respectable covering, they are not supposed fit to enjoy any place of trust ”
The ancient Egyptians had made considerable progress in several manufactures, to a degree which is really surprising. Their linen manufacture had a perfection equal to our own \ for in many of their painted figures we find the garments represented quite transparent i and among the foldings of the mummies, Belzoni observed cloth as fine as our common muslin, very strong, and of an even texture.1 It may be worth stating here, that round the mummy of Horsiesi, supposed to be upward of three thousand years old, which was lately opened, and now lies at the College of Surgeons, were found pieces of linen' of seven different degrees of texture ; varying from that of sail-cloth to muslin; and in color, from a deep brown to a pale delicate yellow; some of the pieces ,bore evident marks of having been anciently darned. The weight of the linen alone amounted to thirty-one pounds. The Egyptians
Mr. Basil Montagu, in his Thoughts on Laughter, states the case of a party against whom an action was brought in 1821, for infringing a patent, defending himself m the following remarkable manner: The question was whether the plaintiff’s mode of weaving canvass was new or not. A witness declared, that it was known and practised more than two thousand years ago ! And he proved his words by referring to the -^’•e-cloth of an Egyptian mummy of acknowledged antiquity.
Beards Dressed.—a, Turkish sheik, beards disposed in locks ; b, Mameluke, shaved on the chin ; c, Turkish officer, shaved under the lower lip; d, e, Turkish gentlemen; d, chin and angle of the mouth shaved, leaving a tuft ol hair under the lower lip; e, chin shaved, and upper lip closely trimmed.
158 MANUFACTURES, MUMMIES, ETC.
had also the art of tanning leather, and staining it with various colors, as we do morocco ; and they knew the method of embossing it. They were skilful in making glass, some of which was of a beautiful black. Pliny proves from this, that glass-making was very anciently practised. Beside enamelling, the art of gilding was in great perfection among them, and they could beat gold nearly as thin as it is done in the present day. They knew also how to cast bronze and copper, and to form the latter into sheets ; and they had a metallic composition not unlike our lead.- Carved works were very common; and the art of varnishing, and baking the varnish on fclay, .was, so complete, that travellers have doubted whether it could be successfully imitated , at present. They also possessed skill in painting, and in the blending of colors, some of which, on the walls of the temples and the lids of the mummy-cases, have a brilliancy and apparent freshness, which betoken no small skill in their composition.
Indeed, the more we read and reflect on the works of the early Egyptians, the more we ard astonished. Among the ancient tombs, M. Ghampollion found several highly-interesting drawings, supplying particulars of the progress of this extraordinary people in the different professions, arts, and manufactures, of the modes they pursued in agriculture, in building, in trades, in military affairs, in singing, music, and dancingj in the rearing of their cattle,* in portrait-painting 5 in games and exercises j in the administration of justice, and household economy; in historical and religious monuments | in navigation-and zoology.
; MUMMIES AND EMBALMING.
When any person died, says Diodorus, the whole of his family, and all his friends, quitted theih usual hahits, and put on mourning, abstaining, during the period of lamentation, from the bath, and from the usfe of wine and other luxuries. They seem to have had a notion, that a time would' come when the soul would be reunited to the body on earth, and so they endeavored to preserve the frame as a fit residence for its future guest. The expense of the funerals was regulated by three different scales, which made them costly, moderate, or cheap. About 250 pounds, sterling, it is supposed, would pay for the best style of embalming a body j the second charge ahout 60 pounds j and for the third method a trifling sum was demanded. Thus the various classes of people may be generally distinguished by the mode of their preservation.
Among the Egyptians were a set of persons who, like our undertakers, took upon themselves the whole service of the funeral for a stipulated amount. Proper officers were then employed to perform their respective parts. The duty of the first was to mark out how the dissection was to be made in the left flank for the purpose of embalming: this was executed by another officer with a sharp Ethiopian stone ; and the task, as seeming to imply disre-
MANUFACTURES, MUMMIES, ETC. 159-
spect and cruelty toward the dead, was so hateful and degrading, as to oblige the dissector instantly to fly as if he had committed a crime, those about pursuing and assailing him with stones:—a superstitious practice, by which they probably thought to compound with their consciences for an act considered sinful in itself.
At the disappearance of the dissector, the embalmers came forward. They were a kind of caste hereditary in Egyptj were held in high respect, looked upon as sacred, and permitted to have access to the temples, and to associate with the priests. They removed from the body of the deceased the parts most susceptible of decay, washing the rest with palm wine, and filling it with myrrh, cinnamon, and various sorts of spices. After this the body was put into salt for about forty days. When Moses, therefore, says that forty days were employed in embalming Jacob, we are to understand him as meaning the forty days of his continuing in the salt of nitre, withouf including the thirty days passed in performing the above-mentioned ceremonies ; so that, in the whole, they mourned seventy days in Egypt, according to the words of Moses.
It is always valuable and interesting to perceive ancient customs, as handed down by general historians^ illustrating the inspired records of Holy Writ. The passages alluded to are curious, and obviously refer to the point before us : “ And Joseph commanded his servants the physicians to embalm his father : and the physicians embalmed Israel.' And forty days vjere fulfilled for him ; for so are fulfilled the days of those which are embalmed ; and the Egyptians mourned for him threescore and ten days.” Gen. 1. 2, 3. And again, at verse 26, “ So Joseph died, being a hundred and ten years old ; and they embalmed him, and he was put in a coffin in Egypt.”
After swathing the body in a fine lawn bandage, glued together with a thin but powerful gum, they spread over it the richest perfumes. The precious trust was afterward returned into the hands of the relations, so entirely preserved, that not only the figure and lineaments of the face appeared unchanged, but even the eye-brows and eye-lashes were not disturbed. Thus some of the Egyptians kept the bodies of their ancestors in their houses, in open cases, or with glass before them, “ not thinking it right that the features of their dead relations should be unknown or forgotten by their own kindred.” For the prevalence of this strange custom at a certain period, there is the authority of Diodorus, who wrote about fifty years before the Christian era: and Lucian (A. D. 150) mentions his having been present when mummies were placed on seats at table, as if they had been alive. It is fair to conclude, however, that the bodies, instead of remaining in this %vay above ground, were' generally swathed round in folds of cere-cloth, strongly saturated with asphaltum, or a bituminous pitch ; that they were then deposited in a chest or coffin, according to the rank or wealth of the party, and consigned to the silent tomb.
There is a considerable difference in the appearances of the various cases or coffins which contain mummies. These were usu-
160 MANUFACTURES, MUMMIES, ETC.
ally made of sycamore, unlike our sycamore , some of the large cases contain others within them, either of wood or painted plaster. The inner cases are sometimes fitted to the body, others are only covers to the body. Many of the outer cases are plain, others slightly ornamented, and some literally covered with well-painted figures. Of the latter description is that represented to the left of the reader in the engraving on the opposite page. The original (which may be seen in the British Museum, Eighth Room, Case 3) was found by some Arabs in one of the fields of the dead at Sakara, near Cairo, and sent to England by Captain Lethieullier in 1722. The inscription, when read according to the principles of Dr. Y oung and Champollion, tells us that the person whose body it originally contained was named Arouni, or Arouini, the son of Sarsares, or Sarsaris; for as sthere are no vowels in the middle of the words, the names cannot be determined with perfect exactness. He appears to have been of royal blood: for the inscription in-the centre begins with the words, “ Royal Devotions to Phtah-Sokari,” like the Papyrus of the Bubastite Princes, given in Champollion’s Precis, xv. The mummy with the gilt face, which is in the adjoining case, No. 2, appears not to have originally belonged to this coffin, although it was taken out of it: for it is the body of a priestess, whose name was Tsennofre.1
The paintings on the coffins generally refer to the entrance of the deceased into his new state of existence. Thus, in one of the compartments of the coffins of Horsiesi, a priest of Thebes, whose mummy was lately opened by Mr. Pettigrew, at the College of Surgeons, there is a remarkable group,,emblematic, one might imagine, of a future trial. The god Osiris, with his usual high cap on his head, and sitting on his throne, receives a person, probably the deceased, who is introduced by a hawk-headed deity. Behind the throne Stand two female figures, the foremost supposed to be Isis, the wife of Osiris, in attendance on the god. Below these are two pairs of female forms in separate rows, with .ample wings ex-tendihg from their arms, the lower pair having,the faces of birds. Above, as well as below all these devices, appears'the Scaraceus, or sacred beetle : an air of extreme absurdity is given to one of these' insects, by its having the head of a hawk.
The beetle was considered by the Egyptians to represent the sun; and one, formed of stone or baked earth, is frequently found, next to the skin, on the breast of the human mummy. Such is the case with that of Horsiesi, a stonp beetle, of a pale yellow, being still attached to the body; “and above it round the mummy’s neck, are six or seven small pieces of different-colored pottery strung together, probably for amulets. The,body looks dark and charred, as if burnt; and its general appearance would lead, as in other instances, to the opinion, that it had been violently heated when ,the bandages were applied. The latter appear to have been put on
It is well known that the Arabs, when in search of gain among the tombs, have, on returning the mummies, frequently put them into wrong cases.
Ancient Method of Embalming.
Mummy Cases and Marble Sarcophagi. 11
162 MANUFACTURES, MUMMIES, ETC.
wet. False eyes of enamel have been inserted in the sockets. This latter peculiarity Belzoni often observed in the mummies of priests 5 who always appeared folded in a most careful manner, such as to show the great respect in which their office was held. Their aTms and legs, he remarks, were not enclosed in the same envelope with the body, as in the common mode, but were bandaged separately, even the fingers and toes being thus preserved distinct.
Belzoni saw some mummies with sandals of colored leather on the feet, and bracelets on the arms and wrists. He tells us that the coffins were always placed horizontally, in rows, within the sepulchres. He entered some tombs, which contained the mummies of inferior creatures! (mingled with those of human beings), such as bulls, cows, monkeys, dogs, cats, crocodiles,1 fish, and birds 5 and one tomb was filled with nothing but cats, carefully folded in red and white linen, the head covered by a mask, representing the cat within.f For a specimen of these instances of “ solemn mockery,” we refer to the prints on the following page ; they are taken from the engravings which illustrate Belzoni’s travels, and represent the embalmed bodies of some of the animals held sacred in ancient Egypt.
Enough has now been stated, to convey some general information on these curious and interesting points. But we cannot conclude without remarking, that, ancient as was the custom of embalming the human body, that of interment is certainly the most ancient, and religious. It restores to the earth what was originally taken from it. And surely we can never dwell on the besotted ignorance and superstition of heathen people, without a feeling of gratitude for the blessings we enjoy as Christians. We are thus reminded, also, of the reasonableness, nay, the necessity, of that distinct Revelation which God made to man. For here we observe that, with all their boasted skill, a mighty people “became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and changed
The crocodile was held sacred at Thebes, Ombos, in the environs of Lake Moeris and in other parts of Egypt. At Arsinoe, the priests nourished one, to which the name of Suchus was given ; it was fed upon bread, flesh, and wine, offered to it by strangers ; it was preserved in a particular lake, and, while reposing, the priests approached the animal, opened his mouth, and nut the food within its jaws ; after his repast, it usually descended into the water, and swam away, but it would suffer itself to oe handled ,• and pendants of gold and precious stones were placed about it. Strabo relates that his host, a man of consideration, conducted him and his companions to the lake, and there he saw the crocodile at the border; that one of the priests to whom was intrusted the care of the animal, opened his mouth and placed within it a cake another a portion of flesh, and a third poured in some wine. The repast thus madej the animal passed over to the other side, to receive from other hands similar marks of attention.—Pettigrew.
f Innumerable heaps of cats, in an embalmed state, have been discovered in certain districts. “ The carcasses of dead cats,” says Herodotus, “are removed into sacred apartments, and after they have been embalmed, they are reverently entombed in the town of Bubastis. This animal was held by these idolaters sacred to the moon.” If a cat was killed, either designedly or by accident, the unfortunate offender was punished with death. They must have had plenty of these animals. How strange it seems, that at a city in Egypt, in the reign of Tiberius, 7,000 Romans were killed by the Egyptians, in a tumult, because a Roman soldier—had killed a cat !
MANUFACTURES, MUMMIES, ETC. 165
the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and four-footed beasts, and creeping things.” How important, then, how necessary, were the divinely vouchsafed means of “casting down imaginations and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God.”
The Jewish rites of sepulture were not very dissimilar to those of the Egyptians, from whom they seem originally to have been derived. The Egyptian manner differed from the Jewish principally in the circumstance of their embowelling their dead, the various methods of performing which are minutely described by Herodotus. The funeral honors paid by the Jews to their deceased friends, particularly to persons of fortune and distinction, appear to be the following : after washing the corpse, they embalmed it by laying all around it a large quantity of costly spices and aromatic drugs, in order to imbibe and absorb the humors, and, by their inherent virtues, to preserve it as long as possible from putrefaction and decay. Thus we read that Nicodemus brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds weight, to perform the customary office to the dear deceased. This embalming was usually repeated for several days together, that the drugs and spices thus applied might have all their efficacy in the exsiccation of the moisture, and the future conservation of the body. They then swathed the corpse in linen rollers, or bandages, closely enfolding and enwrapping it in that bed of aromatic drugs with which they had surrounded it. Thus we find that Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus took the body of Jesus, and wrapped it in linen clothes, with the spices, as the manner of the Jews, is to bury (John, xix. 40). This custom \ve behold also in the Egyptian mummies, round which, Thevenot informs us, the Egyptians have sometimes used above a thousand ells of filleting, beside what was wrapped about the head.
ANCIENT EGYPTIAN EMBROIDERY.
Our engraving represents embroiderers of Cairo at work, not m forming such large objects as tapestries, but in embellishing shawls, handkerchiefs, and stuffs for turbans. Silk is now generally used in the East, in embroidery, except for large works, in which case they Usually employ worsted. It- has been a matter of dispute, whether silk was known at all to the ancient inhabitants west of the Ganges, for China is allowed to be the native country of the silk-worm and the mulberry. As it was not known to the Romans till the time of Augustus, many argue that it could not have been used by the people of western Asia prior to that time, or it would certainly have been known to them. Silk continued to bear an astonishingly high price, down to a very recent period. Tiberius issued an edict prohibiting silk from being worn
by men, even the richest ; and the emperor Antoninus, who came into possession of a silk robe, caused it to be sold, on account of the high price it would bring. The greatest luxury to which Heliogabalus was addicted, was the wearing of a silk robe; and the emperor Aurelian refused to buy a silk dress for his wife on account of its extravagant cost.
Embroidery was known among the inhabitants of the East, at a very remote period, especially that kind of curtain coverings for walls, called tapestry. These were woven of rich materials (now of fine wool and silk), and raised and enriched with gold and silver, representing figures of men and animals, landscapes, historical subjects, See.
Generally, among the ancients, they selected for this purpose the most grotesque compositions of men, animals, and plants, and by a combination of a heterogenous mass of subjects produced an effect peculiarly striking. Such was the case particularly at Tyre and Sidon, where it originated, and whence tht art was carried into Egypt and Greece. The Persian and Babylonian tapestries which found their way into Greece at a period when she was about forming her system of theology, contained grotesque compositions, such as the body of a horse, with the head of a man; the body of a lion with the head and wings of an eagle, &c; and
it was from these that the Greeks drew their half-fabulous .creatures called centaurs, griffins, et cetera.
But when the art of embroidery received the attention of the more refined people of Greece, and was fostered with the same care that advanced the other fine arts toward perfection, its character changed, and the improved taste of Athens could not tolerate those grotesque compositions which formerly covered their tapestries. These subjects were driven to the borders, and the centres were filled up with representations of objects, drawn with truth according to the symmetrical proportions of nature. Nor were tapestries for their temples and other public places, the only kind of embroidery employed by the Greeksj but the robes of their divinities (when they were dressed) were beautifully embroidered, as were also the mantles of those who were eminent for learning or prowess, or were victors in the games. Minerva at Athens (not in the Pantheon) was cohered with a kind of white linen stuff, on which was embroidered in gold, a representation of the memorable actions of that goddess. The robe of Jupiter, though sculptured, had representations of embroidered work upon it; and we read that as early as the time of Priam, fourteen hundred years B. C., Helen and Andromache embroidered tapestries. Ezekiel mentions the “ broidered work,” with which the Tyrians were clothed.
It is surprising that one of the most interesting relics of ancient grandeur and magnificence, is to be found in the midst of a vast desert of sand,' devoid of vegetation, and traversed only by wandering tribes of Arabs. But such, nevertheless, is the fact. The city of Tadmor or Palmyra, so long: celebrated for its extensive ruins, the wonderful remains of its former splendor, was situated near the centre of the great Syrian desert, and according to the best authority; in latitude thirty-four degrees and twenty-four minutes north, and longitude thirty-eight, degrees and twenty minutes east. It was built upon a small oasis or fertile spot, spread out like a green island in the midst of the ocean, and covered in-the days of its glory with "stately palms, from which it received its name. '
This city which is still known in the East by its ancient name, Tadmor, appears to have first risen to importance in the days of Solomon! The wise and powerful king of Israel, having connected himself in commercial enterprise with Hiram, king of Tyre, at that time the most opulent and commercial monarch in the world, carried on an extensive trade with the tropical regions of Asia and Africa, whence, according to the Scripture account, he imported “ gold and silver, ivory and apes and peacocks.” This trade was carried on at great hazard and expense, the ships employed in it
being absent for three years, and the merchandise brought through the eastern arm of the Red sea, by the ports of Elath and Ezion-Geber, and thence over land through a steril and desert region of several hundred miles to the Jewish capital. The mind of such a man as Solomon, who seems to have been endowed with faculties to master the most gigantic enterprise with the greatest ease, readily discovered the advantages of opening a communication to the East, through the Euphrates and Persian gulf. But in order to this, it was necessary to secure a convenient resting-place for his caravans in crossing the Assyrian desert, and hence it was, undoubtedly, that this great and enterprising king, in the language of Scripture, “built Tadmor in the wilderness.”
Palmyra, thus begun, soon became the channel of the entire trade passing from the East to Judea, Tyre and the shores of the Mediterranean, and grew at once to importance. It would seem, that, from being the mere resting-place of the caravans, it soon became a general depot where these caravans met, deposited, and exchanged goods, and where were consequently assembled the wealthiest and most enterprising of the sons of traffic who sent from it, as from a common centre, merchandise to all parts of the world. -
An exuberance of wealth invariably manifests itself in luxuriance and splendor: and Tadmor, though in the midst of a barren desert, devoid alike of agricultural productions and maritime advantages, , became one of the most opulent and magnificent cities in the world. Indeed, the inhabitants seem to have vied with each Other in the splendor and costliness of their dwellings, which were uniformly built of stone as white as the new fallen snow, and wrought with the greatest labor into all the beautiful moulds of Greek and Roman architecture. • ' .
Even at this day, though the tooth of time has been preying for ages upon this wreck of former grandeur, and vast masses of its gorgeous sculpture are entirely buried in the earth, may still he seen, according to the accounts of travellers, forests of Corinthian columns erect and fallen—broken triumphal arches—dilapidated temples—decayed palaces—half buried porticoes and heaps of sculpture and statuary strewed over an area of miles, and presenting to the beholder a faint picture of what it must have been in the days of its.greatness and its glory.
“In the space covered by these ruins,” says Volney, “we sometimes find a palace, of which nothing remains but its court and walls ; sometimes a temple whose peristyle is half thrown down; and now a portico, a gallery, or triumphal arch. Here stand groups of columns, whose symmetry is destroyed by the fall of many of them ; there we see them ranged in rows of such length, that similar to rows of trees, they deceive the sight, and assume the appearance of continued walls. If from this striking scene we cast our eyes upon the ground, another, almost as varied, presents itself: on all sides we behold nothing but subverted shafts, some whole, others shattered to pieces or dislocated in
their joints: and on which side soever we look, the earth is strewed with vast stones, half buried, with broken entablatures, mutilated friezes, disfigured relics, effaced sculptures, violated tombs, and altars defiled by dust.”
It does not appear that this, the u petrified city,” as it is sometimes called, was long retained by the Hebrews, who, after the time of Solomon, were engaged in intestine broils, which quenched their commercial spirit, and gave their distant cities into the hands of their more fortunate or powerful neighbors. Still its importance continued for many years.
It was among the conquests of the great Alexander; and afterward, during the visit of Marc Antony to Syria, its great wealth excited his cupidity, and he led against it the Roman cohorts ; but the inhabitants eluded his power by transferring their substance beyond the Euphrates. ' In the time of Pliny, it continued to be the emporium of the eastern trade, and is mentioned as absorbing the wealth of the Romans and Parthians, who, though hostile to each other, agreed in coveting the luxuries of India, which still came almost exclusively through this channel.
Palmyra seems to have been greatly favored by the surrounding nations, and especially the different emperors of the great Roman empire, under whose protection it arose to the zenith of its glory about the second century, and one thousand two hundred years after it was founded by Solomon ; soon after which, in an attempt to shake off its dependance on the empire under Zenobia, it was, after a brief period of great splendor as an independent city, laid waste by Aurelian, and from that time its importance has dwindled, until it has become a widespread ruin, remarkable only for its broken remains of its former opulence and grandeur.
Our engraving represents a view of the General Ruins of Palmyra, with the ground, beneath strewed with broken shafts, carved capitals, and massive stones. In the distance are seen other portions of the ruin which still rise into view, as far as the eye can reach, giving a faint idea of the extent and magnificence of this city of merchants. From the time of Solomon, it retained its ancient name of Tadmor, until it was captured by Alexander, when it received the name of Palmyra, by which it was known for several ages, but oil falling into the hands of the Saracens, its ancient name was restored, and it is still known at the East as the city of “ Tadmor in the wilderness.”
In consequence of the scarcity of water in the East, travellers are careful to stop as often as possible near some river, fountain, or well; this will account for Jacob’s halting with his family at the ford Jabbok (Gen. xxxii. 22); for the Israelites assembling their forces near the fountains of Jezreel (1 Sam. xxix. 1); and for David’s men, that were unable to march with him, waiting for him by the brook Besor (1 Sam. xxx. 21).
J 72 EGYPTIAN SCHOOLS.
Schools are very numerous, not only in the metropolis, hut in every large town; and there is one at least in every considerable village. Almost every mosque, sehee/l (or public fountain), and hho'd (or drinking-place for cattle) in the metropolis has a koota/b (or school) attached to it, in which children are instructed for a very trifling expense; the sheykh or fickle (the master of the school) receiving from the parent of each pupil half a piaster (about five farthings of our money), or something more or less, every Thursday. The master of a school attached to a mosque or other public building in Cairo also generally receives yearly a turboo/sh, a piece of white muslin for a turban, a piece of linen, and a pair of shoes; and each boy receives, at the same time, a linen scull-cap, four or five cubits of cotton cloth, and perhaps half a piece (ten or twelve cubits) of linen, and a pair of shoes, and, in some cases, a half-piaster or piaster.. These presents are supplied by funds bequeathed to the school, and are given in the month of Ram'ada/n. The boys attend only during the hours of instruction, and themreturn to their homes., The lessons are generally written upon tablets of wood, painted white ; and when one lesson is learned, the tablet is washed, and another is written. They also practise writing upon the same tablet. The schoolmaster and his pupils sit upon the ground, and each boy has his tablet in his hands, or a copy of the Koran, or of one of its thirty sections, on a little kind of desk of palm-sticks. All who are learning to read recite their lessons aloud, at the same time rocking their heads and bodies incessantly backward and forward; which practice is observed by almost all persons in reading the Koran, being thought to assist the memory. The noise may be imagined. The boys first learn the letters of the alphabet; next, the vowel-points and other orthographical marks; and then the numerical value of each letter of the alphabet. Previously to this third stage of the pupil’s progress, it is customary for the master to ornament the tablet with black and red ink, and green paint, and to write upon it the letters of the alphabet in the order of their respective numerical values, and convey it to the father, who returns it with a piaster or two placed upon it. The like is also done at several subsequent stages of the boy’s progress, as when he begins to learn the Koran, and six or seven times as he proceeds in learning the sacred book, each time the next lesson being written on the tablet. When he has become acquainted with the numerical values of the letters, the master writes for him some simple words, as the names of men, then the ninety-nine names or epithets of God ; next the fafl/hhah (or opening chapter of the Koran) is written upon his tablet, and he reads it repeatedly, until he has perfectly committed it to memory. He then proceeds to learn the other chapters of the Koran: after the first chapter, he learns the last; then the last but one ; next the last but two ; and so on, in inverted
174 ORIENTAL WATER-CARRIER.
order, ending with the second, as the chapters in general successively decrease in length from the second to the last inclusively. It is seldom that the master of a school teaches writing, and few boys learn to write unless destined for some employment which absolutely requires that they should do so, in which latter case they are generally taught the art of writing, and likewise arithmetic, by a ckabba'nee, who is a person employed to weigh goods in a market or bazar with the steelyard. Those who are to devote themselves to religion, or to any of the learned professions, mostly pursue a regular course of study in the great mosque El-AzTiar.
In oriental towns, water is not conveyed to the several streets and houses by pipes or trenches. It must all be brought from the river or the wells. In towns, this is seldom done by the householders themselves, or by their servants. There are men who make it a trade to supply every day, to regular customers, the quantity of water required. This they carry about in a well-prepared goatskin, which is slung to the back in the manner represented in our cut, the neck, which is usually brought under the arm and compressed by the hand, serving as the mouth of this curious, but exceedingly useful vessel. Persons of larger dealings have an
ass which carries two skins at once, borne like panniers : and we have known very prosperous water-carriers who had oxskins carried on ahorse. These men, continually passing to and fro with their wet bags through the narrow streets, are great nuisances in the towns, from the difficulty of avoiding contact with them. The care taken to avoid them, in some degree answers to that which people exhibit in our own streets to avoid carriages and carts. In a time of public calamity the water-carriers are the last to discontinue their labor; and their doing so is a sure indication that the distress has become most intense and imminent, and is in deed a great calamity in itself.
ANCIENT BOOKS AND WRITING MATERIALS. 175
ANCIENT BOOKS AND WRITING MATERIALS.
ILLUSTRATED BY ENGRAVINGS.
1. Vegetable Substances.—1. Wood. Inscriptions on wood are very ancient, but do not require to be here noticed. Tablets of wood were very early in use, and seem to have been generally employed much in the same way as slates among' ourselves: that is, for temporary writing. Sometimes they were single, but frequently from two to five or more leaves done up into a sort of book, something like our slate-books. The Greeks and Romans usually coated the boards with wax, on which the letters were traced with a style, or pen, commonly of iron, but also of gold, silver, brass, and sometimes ivory or bone. These instruments had one end pointed, to trace the letters, and the other broad and smooth, for the purpose of obliterating what had been written, by spreading back the wax, so as to render it fit to receive other words. In such books, there was in the middle of each leaf a sort of button, to prevent the pages from touching each other when closed. But the greater warmth of their climate prevented the Jews from generally using wax ; they, therefore, wrote on the tables with a kind of ink, which could be easily sponged out when necessary. Such tablets of wood were in use long before the time of Homer, and Horne thinks it highly probable that several of the prophets were upon tablets of wood, or some similar material. They were not wholly disused in Europe until the fourteenth century and are still employed in North Africa, Western Asia, and Greece. The leaves of these tablet-books, whether of wood, metal, or ivory, were connected together by rings at the back, through which a rod was passed, which served as a handle to carry them by.
2. Sark of Trees.—The fine inner bark of such trees as the lime, ash, maple, or elm, was early used as a substance for writing. As such was called in Latin liber, this name came permanently to be applied to all kinds of books, and has, in a similar connexion, been adopted into most European languages. These books, like all other flexible materials, were rolled up to render them portable, and to preserve the writing. They were usually rolled round a stick or cylinder j and if they were long, round two cylinders. Hence the name volume (volumen)—a thing rolled up—which continues to be applied to books very different from rolls. In using the roll, the reader unrolled it to the place he wanted, and rolled it up again when he had read it.
3. Leaves of Trees.—Pliny thinks that the most early substance for writing was the leaf of the palm-tree ; meaning, we presume, the first flexible substance. Be this as it may, the process is certainly of very remote antiquity; and would be naturally suggested by its being perceived how readily particular leaves received and retained marks made by a pointed instrument. At this day, books made with the leaves of different trees are common among the
Fragment of Egyptian Papyrus
178 ANCIENT BOOKS AND WRITING MATERIALS.
Indian nations, and specimens of them are numerous in Englanu. The palmyra leaf is that which is most generally used, but others are preferred in some parts, as those of the talipot-tree, in Ceylon, on account of its superior breadth and thickness. The letters are written, or rather engraved, with a fine-pointed style, or sort of bodkin ; and the writing is afterward rubbed over with a composition of oil and pulverized charcoal, which renders the characters distinct and permanent.
4. Papyrus.—This was a vegetable tissue, the manufacture of which originated and was, in a great degree, peculiar to Egypt. It is obtained from a bulrush. (Gyperus papyrus, Linn.) which grew in the swamps of the Nile to the height of ten or fifteen feet. The parts used in making the papyrus were the thin concentric coats of pellicles that surround the triangular stalk ; those nearest the centre being the best and finest. A layer of these was laid out lengthwise on a board, and another layer pasted over it crosswise, and after being pressed and dried in the sun, the sheet was completed by the surface being- polished with a shell, or other hard and smooth substance. A number of these sheets were glued together, to form a roll of the required dimensions. The breadth was determined by the length of, the slips taken from the plant; but the length might of course be carried to almost any extent. The largest that has yet been found is thirty feet long. The writing, as in dtl rolls of whatever material, is not across the length or breadth of the roll, but in columns, extending in the direction of the roll’s breadth with a blank strip between them. Many such rolls have been found in Egypt, in mummy-cases and earthen vessels, and many also in the houses excavated at Herculaneum. The former, though more ancient, are better preserved and more easily unrolled than the latter, which have suffered from the action of heat. The superiority of the papyrus to all other materials previously known, brought it speedily into general use, for books, among the western civilized nations; indeed, it may probably enough have been known to theJ prophets; for although the common account makes the discovery posterior to the foundation of Alexandria, this must be an error: since it was extensively used and formed an article of export from Egypt in the time of Herodotus, whose visit to that country was more than a century prior to the foundation of Alexandria. The rush itself is distinctly mentioned by Isaiah (xix: 7) in predicting the confusion of Egypt. Our engravings exhibit an Egyptian roll, and others at Herculaneum, in various illustrative circumstances—■ some unrolled, two in the act of being read; some closed; and others in the boxes in which they were usually kept, several together, deposited vertically, and ticketed at the upper extremity with their titles. (See more largely in “ Egyptian Antiquities,” vol. ii. chap. 7; and “Pompeii,” vol. ii. chap. 13, in “ Library of Entertaining Knowledge.”)
5. Linen.—The use of linen as a substance for writing on, is allowed to have been long prior to the invention of papyrus.
ANCIENT BOOKS AND WRITING MATERIALS. 179
Indeed, it is evident that when men had invented linen cloth for dress, and afterward began to feel the need of a flexible and durable material for Writing, it would naturally occur to them, that, if their linen could he so prepared as to receive and retain the characters, it would be more convenient to form a portable book, than any substance previously known. They soon found how to adapt their tissues to this purpose by priming or painting them all over, before they began to write, the writing itself being also rather painted than written, for the inks of antiquity were rather paints than inks, containing no mordant to give them durability: resembling, in this, the inks now used in the East. That such writing was known to the ancient Egyptians, we know from the written bandages which are sometimes found on mummies. Linen hooks are mentioned by Pliny and Vopiscus; and Livy speaks of such books that were found in the temple of Moneta. The obvious Character of the resource, is also indicated by the fact, that the pictorial epistles of the Mexicans were painted on a cotton tissue. The use of linen was certainly known to the Jews in the time of Moses, the priestly robes being principally of that material 5 and there are biblical scholars* who think that the original of the Pentateuch, and the other books of the Old Testament, were written on rolls of linen. The question is certainly open to investigation, as rolls only are mentioned in a general sense, without our being informed of what they were composed. '
II. Metallic Substances.—Tablets, and sometimes several tablets formed into a hook, like the wooden tablets, consisting of plates of lead, copper, brass, and other metals, were anciently used, either to form leaves on which the wax might he spread, or else for the writings to be engraven upon them. The latter process is exceedingly ancient. Writing on lead is mentioned by Job (xix. 24). Pliny mentions that leaden sheets or plates were used for important public documents. This we learn also from other sources ; and brass was also employed for inscriptions intended to he very durable. What Pliny says on the general subject is instructive: “At first men wrote on the leaves of the palm, and the hark of certain other trees; but afterward public documents were preserved on leadeir plates or sheets, and those of a private nature on wax and linen.” The order of sequence here is of no weight; we cite, it for the facts. Montfaucon purchased at Rome, in 1699, an ancient hook entirely composed of lead. It was about four inches long and three inches wide: and not only were the two pieces thaf formed the cover, and the leaves, six in number, of lead, but also the stick inserted through the rings to hold the leaves together, as well as the hinges and nails. It contained Egyptian Gnostic figures and unintelligible writing. Brass, as more durable, was used for the inscriptions designed to last the longest, such as treaties, laws, and alliances. These public documents were, however, usually written on large tablets. The style, for writing on brass and other hard substances,-was sometimes tipped with diamond.
ANCIENT BOOKS AND
Youth with a Roll.
Gihl with Tablet Book.
Female heading, with a Box of Roil* Female heading a Roll.
ANC'SNT BOOKS AND WRITING MATERIALS. 181
III. Animal Substances.—1. Skins. The skins of animals were in use for writing long before parchment was invented. Herodotus mentions the barbarians as writing or painting on the skins of goats and sheep; and Diodorus describes the ancient Persian records as being kept on the same substance. The recourse was so very obvious that it has prevailed in most countries. Even in America, the Mexicans had hooks of skins, and the North American Indians had maps painted on skins. It was also certainly one of the most ancient, if not the most ancient form of portable writing,- and they have great probability on their side who contend that the books of Moses were written on the skins of sheep or goats. The Jews, then, had most certainly the art of preparing and dying skins, for rams’ skins died red made a part of the covering for the tabernacle. In connexion with this fact, the following particulars of a Hebrew MS. roll of the Pentateuch, now in the public library at Cambridge, are very instructive. The roll was discovered by Dr. Claudius Buchanan, in the record-chest of the black Jews in Malabar, supposed to he descended from the first dispersion of the Hebrew nation by Nebuchadnezzar. The date of the manuscript could not he ascertained, but the text is supposed to have been derived from those copies which their ancestors brought with them to India. It is written on a roll of goatskins, died red, and measures forty-eight feet in length, twenty-two inches in breadth. 1 As it wants Leviticus and the greater part of Deuteronomy, it is calculated that its original length must have been not less than ninety English feet. In its present condition it consists of thirty-seven skins, comprehending one hundred and seventy columns, four inches in breadth, and containing each from forty to fifty lines. It is in some places worn out, and the holes have been sewn up with pieces of parchment. See farther particulars in Horne’s account of Hebrew Manuscripts in his “ Introduction,” vol. iv. pp. 86-89. We refer to this remarkable roll merely as representing a very primitive manner of writing important documents, without expressing any opinion as to the date of the roll, or value of its text. Dr. Buchanan himself states, in his “Researches,” that “ the Cabul Jews, who travel in the interior of China, say, that in some synagogues the law is still written on a roll of leather, made of goatskins, died red ; not on vellum, but on a soft flexible leather.”
2. Parchmeni.—This is but an improvement, although a very important one, on the process just mentioned. It was one of the latest, if not the latest of the various processes we have noticed, although some assign it a very early date, for want of adverting to the difference between it and skins less artificially prepared. The improvement is said to have been invented at Pergamos, at a time when Ptolemy Pbiladelphus prohibited the exportation of papyrus from Ecypt, with a view of obstructing the formation of a great library which Eumcncs, king of Pergamos, was forming, and which he feared might eclipse his own great library at Alexandria. It is certain that the best parchment was made at Perga-
182 ANCIENT BOOKS AND WRITING MATERIALS.
mos, and skins thus prepared were hence called Charta Pergamena, of which our parchment is a corruption. In Greek they are sometimes called membrana. Parchment came to he employed for legal, sacred, and other particular classes of works; hut the comparative cheapness of papyrus, combined with as much durability as could be required for the more common literary works, maintained it still in general use. The JeAVs soon began to write their Scriptures on parchment, of Avhich the rolls of the law used in their synagogues, are still composed.
3. Ivovy.——Tablets and tablet-books of , ivory, on the same principle as those of wood and metals, were anciently in use, much as they continue to be so among ourselves. They were written on with that paint-like ink Avhich, as we have already noticed, might be washed off when necessary. The Burmese have beautiful books formed of ivory sheets, stained black, on'which the characters are gilt or enamelled, and the margins adorned Avith gilding. . _ •
Of engraving on rocks, lead, &c., Ave have already spoken. We have also mentioned the pens of iron, and other metals, which were usbd for inscribing the characters on lead, wax, and other substances, of Avhich the ancient writihg-tablets were formed. Some of the forms which they bore are represented in our engraving of the “Group illustrating the use of the style,” and which also represents the mode in Avhieh they were employed, according to the substances on Avhich they operated.
It is at this day customary in Mahometan Asia for sentences from the Koran, and moral sentences, to be wrought in stucco over doors and gates, and as. ornamental scrolls to the interior of apartments. The elegant characters of the Arabian and Persian'alphabets, and the good taste with which they are applied in running scrolls, the characters being usually white, raised on .a blue ground, and intermixed with gilding, have a very pleasing effect, particularly in interior ornament. This custom must have been very ancient. The later Jews have their mezuzoth, or door-schedules, slips of parchment, on which are written passages of Scripture. These slips are rolled up, and on the outside is written the Hebrew word (shaddai), or “Almighty,” one of the names appropriated to God. This roll they put into a reed or hollow cylinder of lead, in Avhich a hole is cut for the Ayoyd Shaddai to appear; and the tube is then fastened to the door-post by a nail at each end. As the injunction is in the plural form, they conceive that a mezuza should be placed on every door of a house. It is usually fixed to the right-hand door-post; and those Israelites who wish to be considered particularly devout, usually touch or even kiss it as they pass. The Talmud ascribes great merit to having tbe mezuza fixed bn the door-post, and describes it as a preservation from sin.
It is still tbe custom in the East to carry the ink-horn stuck in the girdle. Scribes carry them constantly in their girdles, and ministers of state wear them in the same manner as symbols of their office. The form of these receptacles is adapted to this
184 ANCIENT BOOKS AND WRITING MATERIALS.
custom, as will appear by our present engraving. That in most general use is a flat case, about nine inches long by an inch and a quarter hroad, and half an inch thick, the hollow of which serves to contain the reed pens and penknife. It is furnished at one end with a lid attached by a hinge. To the flat side of this shaft, at the end furnished with the lid, is soldered the ink-vessel, which Has at the top a lid with a hinge and clasp, fitting very closely. The ink-vessel is usually twice as heavy, as the shaft. The latter is passed through the girdle, and is preventedfrom'slipping through by the projecting ink-vessel. The whole is usually of polished metal, brass, copper, of silver. The' Case for pens and ink is worn, in the same manner by the Persians, but it is,very different in its form and appearance. It is a long case, eight or nine inches long, by one and a half broad, and rather less in depth, rounded at each end. It is made of paper, stiff as board, and the whole exterior is japanned and covered with richly colored drawings. This case contains another, which fits it exactly,. and miay be considered as a long drawer; it is of course uncovered at top, and slips into the outer case at one end, so that it can be easily drawn out, wholly or partially ^ to give access to the contents.. These are shown in our engraving, and furnish an interesting exhibition of the utensils required by? an oriental writer. First there is the ink-stand, which is so put into the case that it is the first thing that
Modem Egyptian Writing Case and Instrument.
offers when the drawer is pulled out. It is of brass or silver, the upper'surface being sometimes ornamented with mother-of-pearl and other materials ; and is sometimes furnished with a small magnetic needle (as in our specimen) under a glass, to enable the proprietor to find the direction of Mecca when he prays. Then there is a little spoon, from which water is dropped into the inkstand, for the purpose of diluting the ink when it becomes too thick or dry. The case also usually contains four or five pens of reed, whence the whole is called a “ pencase,” rather than an “ inkstand.” As these pens are too thick-pointed to be nibbed on the nail, after our fashion with quill pens, a thin piece of horn is provided, on which the pen is laid for the purpose. These are the more essential articles, but often a small whetstone is added, and also a pair of scissors for clipping paper. The former we have given, hut not the latter. Of these two sorts of “ inkhorns,” so to call them, the first is best adapted to be worn in the girdle, but the Persian
ANCIENT BOOKS AND WRITING MATERIALS.. 1.85
is certainly more light and elegant, and at least equally convenient tvith reference to its proper use 5 but neither of them are at all suited for such thin inks as we employ;'
The use of sticks and pieces of wood for the keeping of accounts, has been retained much longer than the rest; and has indeed remained to our own day, in evidence of the various purposes of this kind to which sticks have been applied. We have seen alphabets, records, books, poems, and calendars of stick; and the account sticks may be briefly noticed to complete the series. The most perfect and interesting of those which have remained in modern use appears to be the Saxon Reive-Pole, still, or down to a recent date, used in the island of Portland, for collecting the yearly rent paid to the sovereign as lord of the manor. The lands of this island are denominated ancient customary demesne and lands of inheritance, paying a yearly rent, and collected by the reive or steward every Michaelmas, the sum which each person pays being scored on a square pole, as shown in our present engraving^ The black circle at the top denotes the parish of Southwell, and that side of the pole contains the account of the tax paid by the parishioners, each person’s account being divided from that of his neighbor by the circular indentations between each- The other side of the pole, as seen in the cut, is appropriated to the parish of Wakem, th.e cross within a circle, being considered the mark of that district. In this, as in other instances, we find ancient methods of proceeding retained by governments long after they have been abandoned by individuals. This is shown in the present matter, by the Reive-Pole in the island of Portland, and still more by the “ tallies” or notched sticks, so long and so recently used in the accounts of the public Exchequer, and which still gives name to the office of certain public functionaries, the tellers (talliers) of the Exchequer.
186 ANCIENT BOOKS AND WRITING MATERIALS
I, Kalmdan, or Case for Pen and Ink ; 2, 2, Parts of the same, separate ; 3, Spoon for watering the Ink ; 4, Pen, formed of a Reed;
5, Thin piece of Horn, on which the Pen is
with a Compass.
ANCIENT BOOKS AND WRITING MATERIALS. 187
The ancient Britons used to cut their alphabet with a knife upon a stick, which, thus inscribed, was called Coelbren y Beirdd, “ the billet of signs of the bards,” or the Bardic alphabet. And not only were the alphabets such, but compositions and memorials were registered in the same manner. These sticks were commonly
FL .. *?KHi I Ak4/yy> aIi^avn H i
I * I HA * VI A N TA\/ H h VI Qv> y ’ L_XOM 10 <V1>11 Md 1
| MaI V< kA < 1 hM VA k /d < i M < Bk :
■ ■( HOlNbVH V < I A h M M A >
<K^NV M I V <1 N < M—=j a
<quared, but sometimes were three-sided, and, consequently, a single stick would contain either three or four lines. The squares were used for general subjects, and for stanzas of four lines in poetry; the trilateral ones being adapted to triads, and for a peculiar kind of ancient metre called^r^tm, or triplet, and Englyn-Milwyr, or the warrior’s verse. Several sticks with writing upon them were united together in a kind of frame, as represented in the above engraving. This was called Peithynen, or Elucidatory and was so constructed that each stick might be turned for the facility of reading, the end of each running out alternately on both sides. A continuation, or different application of the same practice, is offered by- the Runic clog (a corruption of log) almanacs, the use of which has been preserved to a comparatively recent period, being described by Dr. Plot, in his “ History of Staffordshire” (1686), as still'in common use in that county; some, of large size, being usually hung up at one side of the mantletree of the chimney, while others were smaller and carried in the pocket. Our engraving is copied from a representation of one of the family clogs, given in his work. Properly, the almanac was a single four-sided stick, inscribed on each side ; but, for the convenience of representation, it is shown “ in piano, each angle of the square stick, with the moiety of each of the flat sides, being expressed apart.” The edges have notches, answering to the days of the year; the Sundays being distinguished by a larger notch. Connected with these, on one of the flat sides, are crosses, the form and size of which are varied, for the sake of dist inction or to mark the rank which the saint of that day was supposed to occupy: the dots are considered to denote the number of paternosters, aves, &c., appropriate to the day. The opposite side of the'notched edge is occupied by arbitrary or significant signs to denote the
188 ANCIENT BOOKS AND WRITING MATERIALS.
greater festivals, or other commemorative occasions—as a star for the Epiphany, a branch for May-day, a sword for St. John, keys for St. Peter, and so forth. They Avere, in short, calendars containing similar indications to those prefixed to the hooks of Common Prayer. Dr. Clarke met with several of such Runic stave-calendars in Sweden, rather as curious antiquities than as things in actual use ; although the inhabitants were well acquainted with them, and were often able to explain the meaning of the characters upon them, and the purpose for which these instruments were used. “ They were all of wood, about three feet and a half long, shaped like the straight swords represented in churches upon the brazen sepulchral plates of our Saxon ancestors. The blades were on each side engraved with Runic characters and signs like hie-roglyphics extended their whole length . ... We saw one more of elaborate workmanship, where the Runic characters had been very elegantly engraved upon a stick, like a physician’s cane; but this last seemed to be of a more modern date. In every instance it was evident, from some of the marks upon them, that the first owners had been Christians: the different lines and characters denoting the fasts and festivals, golden numbers, dominical letter, epact, &c. But the custom of thus preserving written records upon rods or sticks is of the highest antiquity. There is an allusion to the custom in Ezek. xxxvii. 16-20, where mention is made of something very similar to the Runic staff.” The difference between these and the one reipresented in our cut, seems to be no more than in the variation of arbitrary signs and characters to denote the same objects.
“ Going ttp to Jerusalem.”—Jerusalem itself is on high ground, the roads to it ascending a good deal from every direction. Hence, the phrase, going up to Jerusalem, was applicable to journeys from all parts of the counti*y. The gray walls and the low stone houses, surmounted by domes of the same material, give to the whole a sombre appearance at first j but after a few days, the traveller visiting the deeply interesting localities in the neighborhood, “begins to grasp them together, in their interesting relations to each other, and to the Holy City, and at length feels with much satisfaction that he is indeed in Jerusalem—treading again the same soil which was trodden ages ago, by prophets and apostles, and by the Lord of glory himself, when veiled in humanity.”
“Down to Jericho.”—The road from Jerusalem to Jericho is a constant descent, so that one may well be said to “ go down” to Jericho. The modern village consists of thirty or forty huts of the most miserable description. The plain of the Jordan in which it stands, stretches many miles to the north, from the Dead sea its southern boundary, and is “ well watered everywhere.”
MUSIC AND MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS. 189
MUSIC AND MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS.
Of all the sciences calculated to elevate the intellectual powers, refine the social feeling and affections, strengthen the bonds of all the social relations, and add a large quota to the sum total of human happiness, none can claim a higher rank than the science of music Nor is any science so universally prevalent. The savage of our western wilderness, the barbarian of northern Asia, the wild tribes of the torrid deserts,-and the uncultivated children of the isles of Oceanica, all have some practical notions of music, however rude and uncultivated it may be, as well as the polished 'American or European. It springs from a feeling deeply planted in the human breast, susceptible alike in the infant, and the adult barbarian, which soon associates itself with tones or rhythm.
It matters not what may be its origin—whether used to relieve the fatigue of a march or of labor, to enable many to utter the same tones in conjunction with those of one,-or whether it may be referred mainly to that spirit and love of classification and order, which is sO universally operative among mankind—it is certain tha!t the love of rhythm is ,one of the most general prin ciples of the human soul5 pervading all tribes, all ages, all classes; alleviating labor, and cheering the heart. The Grecian mythology; the mysterious theology of ancient Egypt and India, as well as the pure and,glorious religion of Christianity,-.all have1 made this .science subservient to their several causes; for it can command almost absolute sovereignty over the intellectual as well as moral powers and sympathies of man. When religion would sooth the-turbulent passions of the human heart, arid win it from.its natural depravity, music becomes an efficient finite aid in carrying out fits holy purposes. When war rears its horrid front, and,, with
“ Bristling bayonets and iron heel,”
goes forth at the bidding of carnage and desolation, music is made the companion of the bloody minister, not to sooth, but to awaken every courageous energy, and to urge man on to deeds of noble daring. v , •
To give a history of music, would be to record the progress of man from the time of the first choral hymn of creation* when “ the morning stars sang together,” until the present time, wher the art has attained to its greatest perfection. Wherever we find music, even in its rudest state, we also find instruments ; and there can be little doubt that vocal and instrumental music are nearly or quite coeval. Instruments serve as a pleasing accompaniment, and in all ages they have afforded exquisite pleasure to the great family of man, whether exhibited in the steril harmony of the Pandean pipe, or the overwhelming chorus of the magnificent organ.
Like a few other sciences which seem to have been coeval with man, the chronological history of music and musical instruments, is lost ;n the labyrinths of fable. Even the Jewish chronicles, the
MUSIC AND MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS.
David dancing before the Ark.—Domenichino.
MUSIC AND MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS. 191
most ancient authorities acknowledged by the Christian world, afford no positive data respecting their invention, but only mention the use of musical instruments as a matter of common occur rence. In the Scriptures, many musical instruments are mentioned, as well as the employment of the human voice for the purpose of harmony. It is recorded, that Juhal the son of Lamech, played on musical instruments before the deluge. He is called the “ father of all such as handle the harp (kinnor) and organ”
Supposed forms of the organ of Jubal.
Moses sent up a song of gratitude to Jehovah the moment that the deliverance of the children of Israel was effected: Laban complained that at the private departure of Jacob he could not send him away “ with songs, with tabret, and with kinnor.” Jephthah’s daughter met her father with dancing and playing upon the tabret; and David, the “ sweet singer of Israel,” was selected by Saul to comfort him. “David took a kinnor, and played with his hands 5 so Saul was refreshed, and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him.” One of the oldest songs, accompanied by instrumental music, extant, of which we have any record, is that which Miriam sung, after the passage of the Red sea.
Of the kinnor, generally translated harp, there is a diversity of opinion, but the one most generally received is, that by it is meant the lyre, or harp, or any stringed instrument of that character. In the Septuagint and the Vulgate, kinnor is so rendered, that the name is equivalent to that given by the Greeks and Romans to different forms of lyres, of which there were many. Such being the case, we have given, in our engraving, a pictorial representation of such as are found among ancient paintings and sculptures.
The various forms here given, represent the smaller kind of lyre or harp, intended to be carried in the hand, and so light that the player might dance during his performance. Whether the ancients, particularly the Greeks and Romans, had harps like the moderns, large, heavy, and resting on the ground when played, is very doubtful ; for, in almost every instance where mention is made of this instrument, it is described as being taken in the hand, when played. The Egyptians, however, had large harps, as is evident from preserved paintings and sculptures.
We have alluded to Jubal as the inventor of the kinnor and organ, or rather as the “ father of such as handle” them. This is the earliest mention made of musical instruments. Nowhere in the Pentateuch is the kinnor again mentioned : but in 1 Samuel we find
MUSIC AND MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS.
MUSIC AND MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS. 193
that the prophet foretold Saul that he should meet a company of prophets, “ coming down from the high place, with a psaltery, a tabrety a pipe, and a kinnor” Then it is noticed as used by private persons, shepherds, with a belief that it had a powerful influence over the human passions, and for that purpose David was employed to play before Saul, as previously noticed. From David’s time, whose example as sultan, no doubt recommended it to general use, the kinnor is frequently mentioned. It was one of the leading instruments ift the orchestra of the tabernacle, ana also in the temple in the time of Solomon. Eusebius, one of the early Christian fathers, says that David always carried his lyrt with him, to sooth him in his many afflictions, and to sing praises to God. He is also said to have generally been in the tabernacle with his kinnor among the prophets, and sang and played as the inspiration came upon him.
In 1 Kings, an intimation is given of the material of which the harp was composed. It says that Solomon made harps (kinnoretfi) of the almug-trees, and also psalteries for the singing. It was the harp which the captives at Babylon “ hung upon the willows f and so celebrated were the Hebrews in the use of this instrument, that their conquerors bade them sing their native songs, accompanied with the harp. Among the Hebrews it was played by females as well as males, and was, used at feasts, or on occasions of mourning, for its tones might be cheerful or sad, as the occasion might require.
The cymbal is an instrument whose origin is very ancient, and on account of the extreme simplicity of its construction, was probably in use anterior to that of the tambourine. The ancient cymbals were made of sonorous brass or copper, and were of a diversity of forms. The differences consist in the size, the depth or shallowness of the bowl, the presence or absence of the rim, and the form of the handle by which the player held the instrument. These various forms may be seen in the subjoined engravings.
The kind which differed the most materially from those now in use is that of a (in the first figure), in which the rim is absent, and the convexity of the bowl terminates in an elevation which furnishes the player with a handle. Others were furnished with handles upon the sides (&), and others with handles in the same position as ours, with the addition of cords or ribands to join them.
These instruments were much employed in the sacred mysteries of the heathens, and particularly in the services of Cybele and Bacchus.
194 MUSIC AND MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS.
Ancient Cymbals, &c From Herculaneum.
The tambourine (which is rarely seen among us) is made by stretching a prepared skin over a hoop or frame and they differ only in the size of the circle, their depth and their appendage of bells and ornaments. All of the accompanying specimens are now used among the Orientals, and are often used by the muezzins at sunset, in calling the people to prayers.
The first figure represents a small tambourine, consisting simply of the hoop and skin, of an oval shape, to which weights are attached. These weights, when the instrument is whirled round in the hand, strike the sonorous skin, and produce the desired sounds. The second figure has the rappers or weights, with the addition of bells, and was probably played with the hand by pulsation. The sides of the hoop are generally handsomely ornamented with oriental pictures.
* Classical Tambourines of Eastern origin.
MUSIC AND MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS. 195
i, Ancient Tortoise Lyre, b, c, e,f, g, Grecian Lyres, h, Roman Lyre, from a coin of Nero, i, Lyre of Timotheus. j, Lyre from a Jewish Shekel of Simon Maccabeas.
196 WIND INSTRUMENTS.
We will conclude our notice of musical instruments by a description of those which are operated upon by air, the effect being produced by a vibration of a column of air passing through a tube. These instruments are of two kinds; one operated upon by atmospheric air, the other by vital air. Of the former kind, we have only the organ, apollocon and accordeon. The latter kind embraces the trumpet, cornet, horn, clarion, clarionet, bagpipe, flagelet, fife flute, hautboy or oboe, sackbut, serpent, and trombone.
The earliest wind instruments of which history furnishes a record, is the trumpet, horn, or cornet (all similar), if we except the organ of Jubal, or the Pandean pipe. In the law of Moses foi the regulation of the service of the temple, trumpets and horns art the only instruments mentioned, and these are found upon many of the earlier Greek monuments.
a Trumpet or funeral Pipe, from an ancient tomb at Troy; b, smaller of the same ’ kind, from Herculaneum.
Upon the triumphal arch of Titus at Rome, are represented the trumpets used in the temple at the time that general besieged and destroyed Jerusalem. A majority of them were long, straight tubes, with a flaring end, much after the form of those in use at the present day. Such, as well as the curved ones, also appear in Egyptian paintings and sculptures. Rossilini in his “History of Music,” gives an account of a painting in an Egyptian tomb, representing a battle-piece, in which a trumpeter, with two instruments, is conspicuously seen ; and, compared with the trumpeter’s stature, appear to be aboi t eighteen inches in length. Although classed under the head of musical instruments, yet it is
WIND INSTRUMENTS. 197
probable that the trumpet was used anciently only for religious or military purposes generally; although we have reason to believe that the trumpet and cornet formed a part of the choir of the temple service in the time of David. In the note to the sixth verse of the ninety-eighth Psalm, in the Pictorial Bible, we have an interesting description of the use of the trumpets in the temple. They were sounded exclusively by the priests, who stood apart and opposite to the Levitical choir, on the other side of the altar. They did not join in the concert, but sounded at certain intervals. They first gave a long, plain blast, then a blast with quavers, and lastly, a long, plain one again. This sounding, which is now practised upon military fields, is named by moderns tarantatara, and expresses the sound as nearly as possible. The trumpet sounded this tarantatara in the morning, to call the priests together; then again at sacrifice, and again at stated times—never less than seven, nor more than sixteen times during the day. The following cut represents the supposed appearance of a Levitical trumpeter with a curved instrument.
198 WIND INSTRUMENTS.
Musical instruments having been found in the tombs of the Theban kings, of a date as early as the reign of Osymandyas, two thousand years before Christ, we are constrained to believe that music as a science was understood at that early age. From the Egyptians, the Greeks and Hebrews undoubtedly learned the science ; and, according to the mythological tradition of the former, they received the art Modern Egyptian Flute. (Nay). from Lydia, where
Amphion learned it, and from the Arcadian shepherds, whc
played upon the pipe, flute and cithern. The songs of the ancient Greeks were musical recitations accompanied by instruments ; yet we have no account of music having been studied as a science until about six hundred years before Christ. I is said that Lasus, a Peloponnesian, who was the pupil of Pindar wrote a treatise on music about five hundred and fifty years before Christ. Pythagoras attempted a mathematical analysis of tones, and it is said, that he added the eighth chord to the harp. In the times of Pericles and Socrates, Damon is mentioned as a distinguished teacher.
Double Flute Players.
From the first revival of the art in Europe, the greatest composers have directed their powers to the construction of sacred melodies, and indeed it would seem that such themes were alone adequate to a full exercise of refined musical powers. Of the
THE CAMEL. 199
great modern composers, Mozart was less confined to this species of composition. His secular airs have given him a fame that will flourish in all the greenness of youth as long, as such melodies are esteemed, while the suhlime sacred oratorios and anthems of Handel, Haydn, Beethoven, Pleyel and others, will thrill the bosoms of millions yet unborn with the most elevated of intellectual emotions. They form the splendid mausoleums wherein these great composers lie embalmed, which will defy the destroying finger of decay so long as there is a chord in the human soul that may be made to vibrate at the inspired touch of the muse of poetry.
Of all animals, the camel perhaps is most exactly adapted both to those peculiar regions of the earth in which it is principally, if not exclusively, found ; and to those purposes for which it is usually employed by man, to whose wants indeed it is so completely accommodated, and apparently so incapable of existing without his superintendence, that while, on the one hand, we find the camel described in the earliest records'of history, and in every subsequent period, as in a state of subjugation to man, and employed for precisely the same purposes as at the present day; on the other hand, it does not appear that the species has ever existed in a wild or independent state. With scarcely any natural means of defence, and nearly useless in the scheme of creation (as far as we can judge), unless as the slave of man, it forms a remarkable parallel to the sheep, the ox, and other of the ruminating species, which are also rarely,'if ever, found but under the protection of man, and to that protection alone are indebted, indeed, for them existence as a distinct species. Let us compare, then, the form, and structure, and moral qualities of the camel, with the local character of the regions in which it is principally found; and with the nature of the services exacted of it by man. The sandy deserts of Arabia are the classical country of the camel; but it is also extensively employed in various other parts of Asia, and in the north of Africa: and the constant communication that exists between the tribes which border on the intervening sea of sand could only be maintained by an animal possessing such qualities as characterize the camel—“ the ship of the desert,” as it has emphatically been called. Laden with the various kinds of merchandise which are the object of commerce in that region of the world, and of which a part often passes from the most easterly countries of Asia to the extreme limits of western Europe, and thence even across the Atlantic to America, this extraordinary animal pursues its steady course over burning sands during many successive weeks. And not only is it satisfied with the scanty herbage which it gathers by the way, but often passes many days without meeting with a single spring of water in which
THE CAMEL. 201
to slake its thirst. In explanation of its fitness, as a beast ot burden, for such desert tracts of sand, its feet and its stomach are the points in its structure which are principally calculated to arrest our attention : and its feet are not less remarkably accommodated to the road over which it travels, than is the structure of its stomach to the drought of the region through which that road passes. The foot of the camel, in fact, is so formed, that the camel would be incapable of travelling with any ease or steadiness over either a rough or a stony surface; and equally incapable is it of travelling for any long continuance over moist ground, in consequence of the inflammation produced in its limbs from the effect of moisture. It is observed by Cuvier, that these circumstances in: its physical history, and not the incapability of bearing a colder temperature, account for the fact, that while the sheep, the ox; the dog, the horse, and some other species, have accom panied the migrations of man from his aboriginal seat in central Asia to. every habitable part of the globe, the camel still adheres to the deser.tt And now observe how its interior structure meets the difficulty of a region where water is rarely found. As in the case of all other animals-which ruminate or chew the cud, the stomach of the camel consists of several compartments, of which one is divided into numerous distinct cells, capable of collectively containing such a quantity of water as is sufficient for the ordinary consumption of the animal during many days. And, as opportunities occur, the camel instinctively replenishes this reservoir; and is thus enabled to sustain a degree of external drought, which would be destructive to all other animals but such as have a sim-‘lar structure : nor is any other animal of the old world known to -lossess this peculiar structure. But if we pass to the inhabited egions of the Andes in the new world, we there meet with several species of animals, as the lama, the vigogija, and the alpaca, which, though much smaller than the camel, correspond generally in their anatomy with that animal, and particularly with reference to the structure of the stomach: they resemble also the camel in docility; and, to complete the parallel, they were employed by the aboriginal inhabitants in the new world for the same purposes as the camel in the old.
Of the two species of camel, the BaCtriaii and Arabian, the latter is that with the history of which we are best acquainted,* and though there is reason to believe, that whatever is said of the qualities of the one .might with truth be affirmed of the other also, on the present occasion whatever is said is referrible to the Arabian species.* The camel, then, not only consumes less food than the
* The Bactrian species, which has two bosses on its back, is more peculiar to Tar-tary and northern Asia. The Arabian, which has only one boss, is not confined to the country from which it is named, but is the same species with that which prevails in northern Africa. As in the case of all domesticated animals, the varieties of these two species are numerous: and it is a variety of the Arabian species, of a small height, to which the ancients gave the name of dromedary, from its employment as a courier ; but in the magnificent work of St. Hilaire and Cuvier (Hist. Nat. des Mammiferes), the term dromedary is adopted, in a specific sense, for all the varieties of the Arabian camel.
THE -CAMEL. 203
horse, but can sustain more fatigue. A large camel is capable of carrying from seven to twelve hundred weight, and travelling with that weight on its back, at the rate of above ten leagues in each day. The small courier-camel, carrying no weight, will travel thirty leagues in each day, provided the ground be dry and level. Individuals of each variety will subsist for eight or ten successive days on dry thorny plants; but after this period, require more nutritious food, which is usually supplied in the form of dates and various artificial preparations; though, if not so supplied, the camel will patiently continue its course, till nearly the whole of the fat of which the boss on its back consists is absorbed; whereby that protuberance becomes, as it were, obliterated. The camel is equally patient of thirst as of hunger; and this happens, no doubt, in consequence of the supply of fluid which it is capable of obtaining from the peculiar reservoir contained in its stomach. It possesses, moreover, a power and delicacy in the sense of smell (to that sense at least such a power is most naturally referrible), by which, after having thirsted seven or eight days, it perceives the existence of water at a very considerable distance ; and it manifests this power by running directly to the point where the water exists. It is obvious that this faculty is exerted as much to the benefit of their drivers, and the whole suite of the caravan, as of the camels themselves. Such are some of the leading advantages derived to man from the physical structure and powers of this animal. Nor are those advantages of slight moment which are derived from its docile and patient disposition. It is no slight advantage, for instance, considering the great height of the animal, which usually exceeds six or seven feet, that the camel is easily taught to bend down its body on its limbs, in order to be laden j and, indeed, if the weight to be placed on its back be previously so distributed as to be balanced on an intervening yoke of a convenient form, it will spontaneously direct its neck under the yoke, and afterward transfer the weight to its back. But it would be found, upon pursuing the history of the camel, that, while under the point of view which has been just considered, this animal contributes more largely to the advantages of mankind than any other species of the ruminating order, it scarcely is inferior to any one of those species with respect to other advantages on account of which they are principally valuable. Thus, the Arab obtains from the camel not only milk, and cheese, and butter, but he ordinarily also eats its flesh, and fabricates its hair into clothing of various kinds. The very refuse indeed of the digested food of the animal is the principal fuel of the desert j and from the smoke of this fuel is obtained the well-known substance called sal ammoniac, which is very extensively employed in the arts ; and of which, indeed, formerly, the greater part met with in commerce was obtained from this source alone, as may be implied from its very name 1
Ammon, an ancient name of that part of the African desert situate to the -west o Egypt, supplied formerly much of the sal ammoniac of commerce.
SYRIAN OX, CAMEL, AND ASS.
THE POMEGRANATE. 205
The peculiar construction of the foot of the camel, is a principal feature in the useful character of this animal, and its perfect adaptation to the purposes for which it is used and the country of its locality. The great breadth of the foot, makes it operate like the snow-shoe of the Siberian, and prevents it from sinking deep into the sands of the desert, even when it bears heavy burdens. Beside this great breadth of foot, its elasticity and cushion-like character, enable the camel to pass over the hard, silicious regions which frequently occur in the deserts, without any injury. The cut exhibits the bottom of a camel’s foot, with the cushion (a) on which the animal treads, shown as lifted out of its bed. The foot is divided into two distinctly marked toes, although not positively cloven, which are fastened to, and rest upon, the elastic pad or cushion. From this circumstance, it has been a nicely balanced question whether the camel, which chews the cud, can be reckoned among the species called cloven-footed. It seems to be a connecting link between those that are, and those that are not.
The pomegranate is the Punica granatum of Willdenow, a fruit-bearing shrub indigenous to the south of Europe, and which in the natural system constitutes an order by itself. The pomegranate, so called from its fruit being likened to an apple full of grain, has The Pomegranate. received its generic
name either from the scarlet color of its flowers, or in reference
to its Punic habitat, the plant being originally found on the north ern shores of Africa. It has been long an inhabitant of our gar dens, but valued for its fine flowers rather than for its fruit, which never ripen thoroughly in this country. They are usually planted against south walls, and are easily propagated.
History furnishes many instances of the origin and use of standards among the various ancient nations, but the invention of them is generally accredited to the Egyptians. It is an undoubted fact, that of all nations, the Egyptians earliest exhibited a strong organized military force, and hence the reasonable conclusion that they were the first that made use of ensigns or standards. Diodorus, one of the earlier historians, informs us, that the most prevalent standard among the Egyptians was the figure of some animal at the head of a spear.
The early Greeks had a piece of armor at the end of a spear for their standard. Agamemnon, according to Homer, used a purple veil. The Athenians subsequently adopted the olive, the owl, and the figure of their tutelar deities. The Persians had various kinds of ensigns, but the most common was a golden eagle. Quintius Curtius mentions one, as representing the sun, enclosed in a crystal globe, and made a splendid appearance above the royal tent. Among the sculptures at Persepolis, which are of ancient origin, standards are seen of various kinds : one kind consisted of a short staff, terminated at top by a ring, divided in twain, and having a cross-bar, to which enormous tassels were suspended. Another kind consisted of five globes upon a cross-bar, and were undoubtedly intended to represent some of the heavenly bodies which were anciently objects of worship in Persia.
The use of standards was and is, to form a focal or rallying point for the soldiers, and in most cases their courage remains strong so long as they can see their standard erect, or their flag fluttering in the breeze.
Such being the case, it matters not what may be the form or material of the ensign, and it is said, that for several centuries prior
to the Mahometan conquest of Persia, that the proper royal standard of that country was a blacksmith’s leathern apron, around which they at one time gathered, in opposition to the tyranny of Zohauk. Such has been the origin of many national standards, when the first thing that presented itself was reared fora rallying point. It is related that the most ancient standard of the Romans, was a bundle of hay ; and thus originated the horse-tail standards, surmounted by a crescent, as used by the Turks of the present
The ancierit Romans had quite a variety of standards. As we have already mentioned, the first was merely a bundle of hay; afterward they adopted a spear, with a cross-piece at top and surmounted by the figure of a human hand, and below, a small oval shield, made of gold or silver. On this shield deities were engraven, and after the subversion, of the republic, effigies of the emperor were inscribed thereon, and were held in great veneration. According to Dr. Meryck, each division of the Roman army had its peculiar standard. .That of a legionry was a silver eagle with expanded wings, surmounting a spear, and grasping a thunderbolt. The place for ,this standard was in the centre, near the general. The flag of cavalry was a square piece of cloth fixed upon a crossbar at the end of a spear. An infantry flag was red, a cavalry one blue, and that of a consul white.
Among the Persians the standard was often borne upon a car, and this usage was introduced into Europe, and continued down to the sixteenth century. The standard of the Saracens was.thus borne. It was red, was drawn by eight horses, and so confident of victory were the soldiers so long as they saw it erect, that none would ever leave the field. It is asserted that when the sacred standard of Mahomet was captured by John Sobeiski, the Polish king, that so terrified were the moslems at this unpropitious event, that they threw down their arms and fled in the utmost confusion. Sobeiski was victorious, and left two hundred thousand Turks dead upon the field. The ensign of the Venitians, in the time of the doges, was borne upon a cart, drawn by oxen ; and the main standard of Henry V. at the battle of Agincourt, was thus carried, the car being drawn by horses instead of oxen.
The first record of- the use of standards, in the Scriptures, is in the siecond chapter of Numbers, and second verse : “ Every man of the children of Israel, shall pitch by his own standard, with the ensign of their father’s house,” &c. The engravingon p. 210 is.a copy of a picture by De Loutherbourg, representing the standards of the twelve tribes of Israel. The artist, unfurnished with data respecting the bearings of the standards of each of the tribes, has ingeniously composed the group, and their several bearings, in accordance with the blessing of Jacob pronounced upon his twelve sons. (See Genesis, chapter xlix.) To those who are unacquainted with the Hebrew, we give the following translation of the names, and by turning to the chapter alluded to, they will see how nearly the artist has portrayed the text.
Standards of the Hebrew Tribes.—De Loutherboitrg.
The Tribes. Standards.
Reuben, Running Water.
Asher, Censer and Frankincense.
The Jewish Rabbins, who profess to be very particular in their descriptions of everything relating to their ancient customs, have given minute details of the standards of the tribes, but unfortunately they themselves differ materially. They agree, however, that these ensigns were flags, having figures upon them emblematical of the pursuits or character of the several tribes. Some commentators suppose they were distinguished by difference in colors ; others, that each bore a sign of the zodiac ; and others again believe that they were simply flags, with the name of a tribe on each. De Loutherbourg has followed the text of Jacob’s blessing, and has probably given us as correct a representation as can be obtained at this remote day.
Modem Oriental Standards.
Referring our readers to Exod. xvi. for an. account of the miraculous supply of this substance, as an article of food, and the circumstances connected therewith, we shall at once proceed to state what we have collected on the article itself.
To describe this substance, the sacred writer states, that it was “ a small round thing, as small as the hoar-frost on the ground” (Exod. xvi. 14); that it was “ like coriander-seed, white, and the taste like wafers made with honey” (ver. 31) ;■ and the color like that of bdellium, Numb. xi. 7.
Whatever this substance was, says Dr. A. Clarke, it was nothing common to the wilderness. It is evident the Israelites never saw it before ; for Moses says (Deut. viii. 3, 16), “He fed thee with manna which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know;” and it is very likely that nothing of the kind had ever been seen before ; and, by a pot of it being laid up in the ark, it is as likely that nothing of the kind ever appeared more, after the miraculous supply in the wilderness had ceased. It seems, he adds, to have been created for the present occasion; and like him, whom it typified, to have been the only thing of the kind, the only bread from heaven, which God ever gave to preserve the life of man; as Christ is the bread which came down from heaven, and was given for the life of the world.
The Psalmist, referring to this supply of manna and quails, adopts a phraseology which clearly implies its miraculous character :—
He commanded the clouds from above,
And opened the doors of heaven;
He rained down manna upon them to eat,
And gave them of the corn of heaven.
Each one ate of food from above;
He sent them meat to the full.
Ps. lxxviii. 23-25.
We shall close this article with Mr. Bloomfield’s very excellent note on John vi. 31-33, which passage may appear, at first sight, to contradict the text of the Psalmist: “ Our fathers did eat manna in the desert: as it is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat. Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven: For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.” Some maintain that Jesus, by his reply, only intended to refute the Jewish opinion respecting the origin of manna; and thus said that the bread which their ancestors had received from Moses, did not come from heaven, but was only naturally formed. But this would require a different phraseology. It rather seems that Jesus, whose aim it was to remove far more serious errors, even such as respected the morals of men, followed the popular manner of speaking; thus wisely accommodating himself to their
Solomon’s temple. 215
harmless opinion, in order to avoid giving them unnecessary offence. The passage may be thus paraphrased : “ The bread from heaven, the true celestial bread, Moses did not bestow on your forefathers ; he procured only bread fit tp satiate the corporeal appetite, and appertaining only to this fleeting, transitory life. (See verse 49.) But my Father bestoweth on you, by me, bread which may, in the complete sense, be termed bread from heaven; such as is adapted to nourish the soul, and will confer eternal salvation,” (verse 33.) Jesus calls himself the true celestial bread, inasmuch as, having descended from heaven, he bestows on men the nourishment of the soul, namely, the divine and saving truths of his gospel. (Kuinoel.) Since they supposed that the manna was bread from heaven in the proper sense, Jesus corrects their erroneous notion, by: hinting that the true heaven is there used per catachresin for the air, or sky ; as when it is said, the fowls of heaven, i. e., the air : q. d., “As that descending from on high, nourished those who partook of it, so do I. But that was from the air ; J from the real heaven. That nourished the bodies ; but I support and strengthen the souls of men.” Our Lord’s declaration imports, as Mr. Bloomfield imagines, that it is in a subordinate sense only, that what dropped from,the clouds, and was sent for the nourishment Of the body, still mortal, could be called the bread of heaven, being but a type of that which hath descended from the heaven of heavens, for nourishing the immortal soul unto eternal life, and which is, therefore, in the most subliriie sense, the bread of heaven. •
This magnificent edifice was built upon Mount Moi’iah at Jeru-alem. The foundations were laid in the fourth year of Solomon’s reign, which was the second after David’s death, the 480th after the exodus, and 1011 B. C. David had made great preparations for building, the temple, and had collected a vast quantity of gold, silver, and other metals and materials, before his death. On Solomon’s accession to the throne he immediately made contracts with foreign princes to furnish materials to carry on the stupendous work ; he caused a census to be taken of all the Canaanitish and other slaves in Israel, that he might arrange his labors, and send abroad for the most skilful artificers and the richest materials. He found one hundred and fifty-three thousand six hundred slaves; seventy thousand of whom he appointed to cai’ry burdens, eighty thousand to hew timber and stone in the mountains, and the
216 Solomon’s temple.
Mount Moriah, the Ancient Site of Solomon's Temple.
remaining three thousand six hundred as overseers. He also levied thirty thousand men out of Israel, and directed them to work in Lebanon one month in every three, ten thousand every month, under the inspection of Adoniram. These it seems were mere rough-hewers of stone and timber ; for afterward the materials passed through the hands of the Tyrian artificers, and were conveyed to Joppa on floats, whence Solomon had them conveyed to Jerusalem. Every piece was finished before it was taken to Jerusalem. The temple was completed in seven years.
Although the value of the materials, and the admirable perfection of the workmanship, rank it among the most celebrated structures of antiquity, yet we can not give credence to the statements of some historians and Jewish rabbins who describe this sacred fabric with all the exaggerations which the most luxuriant fancy can suggest, as a temple as unequalled in extent as it was in grandeur and richness. It was not large, being about one hundred and seven feet in length, thirty-six in breadth, and fifty-four in height. (1 Kings vi. 2.) Indeed, Solomon’s house was larger than the temple, for that was one hundred and fifty feet long, seventy-
Solomon’s temple. * 217
five feet broad, and forty-five feet in height. (1 Kings vii. 2.) But the temple was exquisitely proportioned, and, together with a grand porch, was most splendidly ornamented.
The temple faced the east. • On the rear or west side was the lower part of the city, and on the south was a valley, and the principal peak of Mount Zion. There was a gate on each side, together with an additional one on the west-southwest side, that led to the king’s house oT palace, which stood across the valley, and communicated with the temple by a terrace walk. At each of the gates was a guard-house ; at the south gate were two additional houses cialled Asuppim, where the wardens of the court probably assembled and stored their utensils, arms, &c., and there were similar houses in each of the four corners of the court. In the centre of this court was the priests’ court, which was an oblong square of' one hundred and fifty feet in length and seventy-five feet in width. There were three doors to this court opening from the north, east, and south. This court was divided by a partition wall through the centre, which made two inner .courts of equal extent—the innermost or new court containing the temple, and the outer one the priests’ court, containing in its centre the altar of burnt-offerings. > A gate opened from this last court directly in front of the grand porch of the temple. This porch* which was in front of the temple, it is said was magnificent. It was thirty-six feet long and eighteen wide. On either side of the entrance was a beautiful brass pillar, splendidly, worked, particularly the capitals. The precise height of these pillars it is difficult to determine : but they were six feet in diameteT. The pillar upon the right was called Jachin, which signifies he shall establish, and the other on the left, Boaz, or strength is in him. On either side of the porch winding stairs ascended leading into the chambers of the temple. Directly in front of the entrance to the porch was the door which led into the main room or sanctuary. This door was made of olive wood, beautifully and heavily carved, and overlaid with gold. The mouldings of the door, according to Josephus, were of brass and silver. The sanctuary was a most magnificent room; on which ever side the eyes Avere turned, no wood nor stone work was to be seen, it was all pure and shining gold. The floor and the ceiling and much of the walls were of cedar, carved with “ knops and flowers,” but all overlaid with pure gold. The chambers, of which there were three tiers of thirty each, were built in the wall of the temple all around both the sanctuary and the oracle. At the extremity of the sanctuary was made a partition by the chains of gold before the oracle. It is supposed this partition, which is called the “ veil of the temple,” was a strong wall with a door in the centre, before which was bung a curtain upon a chain of gold. This opened into the oracle or most holy place, where was deposited the ark of God. This room was thirty feet in length, breadth, and height. The work of the walls and floor was similar to that of the sanctuary, though probably more costly and highly finished. The altar was made of cedar.
218 solomon’s temple.
and covered with gold. There were also erected in this room two cherubim of olive wood, fifteen feet each in height, and their wings measuring from tip to tip each fifteen feet. These beautiful and sacred ornaments, whose wings together reached abross the temple, were also overlaid with pure gold. The main walks of the temple were marble 5 the roof of board, and beams of cedar; the temple was lighted by “windows with narrow lights.” At the dedication, Solomon had a brazen scaffold'built, upon which he stood and addressed the congregation and.prayed. This was before the brazen altar of the priests’ court. It seems that afterward he built an ivory throne, and overlaid it with gold; but whether this throne was situated there or in the temple, we are at loss to determine. If the “pillar” and the throne are one, it was undoubtedly before the altar in the court. This throne doubtless had a covering like the thrones and presidential seats, now-a-days, and this is what is probably meant by the “ covert of the sabbath.” A monstrous brazen basin or “molten Sea,” was built in the court, which was fifteen feet from brim to brim, seven feet deep, and forty-five feet in circumference. This was placed on twelve brazen oxen, and was used by the priests to wash in. There were also ten lavers to was)- the burnt-offerings in. Ten candlesticks, ten tables, and a hundred basins, all of gold, were arranged in the temple. There were also thousands of other instruments, vessels, and ornaments, all of them of, the purest gold, and the finest workmanship, adorning this magnificent structure. The immense cost of this temple, as beautiful in its workmanship as it was rich in materials, we have never seen estimated. Solomon reigned after its completion, about thirty years, unequalled in prosperity, in fame, in wisdom, wealth, and magnificence. But as his glory left him in his latter years, so his gorgeous edifice soon after ceased to exist. It was pillaged by Sesac, king of Egypt, and afterward greatly mutilated on the invasion of the Syrians, and was finally burnt to ruins.
The temple was surrounded by an immense wall, which was built with great strength upon the most uneven surface, and according to many writers, was about seven hundred feet square. This furnished a court in which the people were allowed to assemble.
The works of the Lord are great—honorable and glorious— sought out of all them that have pleasure therein.—Ps. cxi. 2, 3.
The books of nature and of revelation elevate our conceptions and incite our piety; they mutually illustrate each other j they have an equal claim on our regard, for they are both written by the finger of the one eternal incomprehensible God, to whom be GLORY FOR EVER. AMEN.
DAVID AND GOLIATH. 219
DAVID AND GOLIATH.
Of all the monarchs of ancient times, David the son of Jesse holds the most conspicuous rank, whether considered in the light of a military leader, a bright ornament in the galaxy of oriental writers (especially in the department of sacred and imaginative literature), or as a pious and devout servant of the true Gou. Although his son Solomon exceeded him in the splendor of his kingdom and household, and demands reverence for his wisdom, and admiration for his skill, in planning and causing the erection of the great Jewish temple of worship, yet in the true excellence of character which won David his honors and fame, the “wise man” was sadly wanting. One was but a poor obscure shepherd-boy, the other was born to a kingdom; the one persevered in his religious integrity till death, the other, enervated in body and mind by debauchery, worshipped false gods,* and while we may derive temporal profit by the perusal of the wise sayings and practical sermons of Solomon, we are elevated morally and spiritually to the highest point, by the glowing pathos, fervent piety, and exalted devotion, which are breathed in every psalm of the “ sweet singer of Israel.”
In reading the history of David, we are struck with the similarity of customs among the people of that age, and those of the present who inhabit the same section of the world. Persons, then as now, were raised from the lowest to the highest political stations by the caprice of temporal or spiritual rulers, and at once received the implicit obedience and homage of the whole people. Like the kings of Europe, previous to the Reformation, who bowed to the supremacy of the pope, the kings, and preceding them the judges among the Jews, were subject to the direction, in a great measure, of the prophets and priests, who held an intermediate place between the civil and religious interests of the people. Thus, when Israel wished for a change in government, and demanded a king, we find the prophet Samuel anointing Saul, and a short time previous to his death, we find the same prophet going into the family of a shepherd, and anointing a stripling of fifteen years the successor to the reigning monarch.
This is the first notice we have of David. Shortly after, during the violent war that raged between the Israelites and their immediate neighbors, the Philistines, David was sent to the camp with some necessaries for his brethren who were there. Having been left at home in attendance upon the flocks, his brethren addressed him harshly, and reproached him with a neglect of his trust. Yet he bore their reproaches with patience, and lingered about the camp till he saw the two armies drawn up in battle array, each upon a hill on opposite sides of a valley. Such manoeuvres had taken place for several consecutive days, and several times a giant warrior by the name of Goliath, belonging to the Philistine army, had come out upon the plain and defied any one of the Israelites
DAVID AND GOLIATH.
to meet him in single combat.1 Young David marked the insolence of the mighty champion, and regretted the fear of his countrymen whenever he made his appearance. A secret voice bade him go forth to meet the terrible adversary. He openly expressed his conviction that the warrior might be vanquished, and his words were told to King Saul. The monarch, anxious to try every experiment to encourage his people and avert the calamity of a defeat, sent for the youth and questioned him concerning his origin, his prowess, and his strength, and the meaning of the words he had spoken concerning the armed warrior of the enemy. David told, the king not to fear Goliath, and at once offered to go himself, a beardless youth as he was, to meet the insolent challenger. Saul replied to this bold proposition that he was not able to perform such a deed, because of the disparity of the two. But the young hero felt a confidence in the arm that upheld his, and to convince Saul that he did not lack personal courage, he told him how that a lion and a hear once attacked his flocks, and that he smote and slew both, and rescued the lambs they had stolen.f He also expressed his conviction that Omnipotence would give him strength; and Saul at length “ put his armor upon him,” and with trembling heart bade him go fight the Philistine.
David found the armor too cumbrous, and laying it aside, he took his shepherd’s staff, the sling which he used as, a defence against the approach of wild beasts, and selected five pebble-stones from a brook hard by as ammunition. Thus provided, he marched boldly to the plain, where each army looked upon his temerity with astonishment. Seeing an individual approaching from the ranks of the Israelites, Goliath went out to meet him, but when he came near, and saw that he was but a beardless youth, and unarmed, he was greatly enraged, for he deemed himself insulted and mocked. “Am I a dog,” cried he to David, “that thou comest to me with stones'?” And by Dagon and his other gods the angry Philistine cursed the son of Jesse. He threatened him with annihilation, and told him he would give his flesh to vultures and wild beasts. But the heart of David quailed not, and he defied him to combat. More enraged at this defiance, he strode toward the youth to slay him. David prepared his sling with a stone, and when at a proper distance, he hurled the pebble with unerring aim, which sank deep into the forehead of the giant warrior, and he fell upon the ground. To make victory certain, the brave youth took the mighty sword from the warrior’s sheath, and cut off his head. Seeing their champion destroyed, the Philistines turned and fled, and were pur-
We find- in Roman history a similar account of two warriors from the opposing armies (Romans and Latins), meeting and deciding the victory by single combat.
f This exploit of David is very similar to that of the hero in a Bedouinee poem, called “ Antar.” It is thus: Antar, fond of solitude, used to delight in attending flocks, and in wandering about the desert. One day, when the sun poured down his hot vertical rays, he climbed up among the cool branches of a tree, whence he could overlook his flock. While there a wolf came out of a thicket, caught a lamb, and dispersed the whole flock. Antar pursued him with his staff, killed him, filled his scrip with his head and legs, and returned to his pasture.
FOOTSTOOL. ' 223
sued by the Israelites with great slaughter and the loss of much spoils.*
David took the head of Goliath, and conveyed it as a trophy to Jerusalem. The news of his exploits went before him, and as he approached the imperial city, matrons and maidens went forthwith tabrets, and dancing, and with joy. They strewed flowers in his way, and sang the praises of the young hero, saying, “ Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands.” The king hearing these things, became jealous of David’s fame, and fearing that the sceptre might depart from him and his family, to the hand of the victor, he contrived plans for the young man’s destruction, and among others, offered David his daughter in marriage, if he would bring as a dowry, a trophy of victory from the' Philistines. The enterprise was so very hazardous, that Saul felt confident that David would be slain, and thus his wicked designs be accomplished. But the same hand that upheld him against the lion and the bear, and the champion of the enemy, sustained him now, and he returned to Saul with his trophy, and claimed and received the hand of his beloved in marriage.
We have thus taken a cursory glance at the opening chapter m the history of one of the most celebrated men of ancient times. The reader of the Bible is familiar with his biography; and who can peruse the events of his life till he was elevated to the throne, ten years after his victory over Goliath, and not be forcibly struck with the frequent manifestations of an over-ruling and special Providence % With a few sorrowful exceptions, his whole life after his coronation, was one of piety and good example.
The common manner of sitting in the Eastern countries, is upon the ground, or floor, with the legs crossed. People of distinction have the floors of their chambers covered with carpets for this purpose ; and round the chamber broad couches, raised a little above the floor, spread with mattresses handsomely covered, which are called sofas. When sitting is spoken of as a posture of more than ordinary state, it is quite of a different kind ; and means sitting on high, on a chair of state or throne ; for which a footstool was necessary both in order that the person might raise himself up to it, and for supporting the legs when he was placed in it.’ “ Chairs,” says Sir John Chardin, “ are never used in Persia, but at the coronations of their kings, when the monarch is seated in a chair of gold set with jewels, three feet high. The chairs which are used by the people in the East are always so high as to make a footstool necessary ; and this proves the propriety of the style of Scripture, which always joins the footstool to the throne, Isa lxvi. 1. Ps. c. 1.”
• This event occurred 1063 years before Christ.
ROSE OF SHARON. 225
ROSE OF SHARON.
Our engraving represents a stem and flower of the full double Rose of Sharon, such as are met with in Persia and in Palestine, its native country. Our gardens and ornamental grounds abound with them, but they are frequently single, and have often more the ■appearance of the flower of the hollyhock than of a rose. In its native climate, blooming in all its beauty, it is one of the loveliest flowers of the field. Indeed the rose has always been celebrated as the queen-flower, and that species called the Sharon rose, ranks among the most beautiful.
In all the poems and love-songs of the East, the rose has some share in indicating beauty. Nor is it cultivated for its beauty alone, but in Persia very extensive fields may be seen, where the plant is carefully reared for the production of the most delicious of all perfumes, ottar of roses, or rosewater. The trees there
226 ROSE OP SHARON.
grow to a size, and with an abundance of flowers, never seen in Europe and America; and there are whole districts of country where attention is paid by the inhabitants to little else than in their cultivation and preparation for the perfumer. Their variety of color also exceeds anything- seen here. Mr. Lane states, that a tree is frequently seen with flowers of three or four different colors upon it.
Among the ancients as well as at the present day, the rose was always seen conspicuous in chaplets at festivals, and at Palmyra in the time of Zenobia, there was ,an annual feast called the Feast of Roses. We often find the rose used in the Scriptures as an emblem of beauty, and when so used, the rose of Sharon is frequently mentioned.
A correspondent of Silliman’s Journal, makes some statements concerning the rose of,Sharon cultivated among us, which, if true, are important. He says that the branches very much resemble in their construction and material, henequin or hemp, and when the fibres are first detached from the stalk, they are very strong, and capable of being divided into small fibres like those of flax. He asserts that .the' fibres are sufficiently strong and pliant to make excellent cordage or canvass, and might be made a good substitute for flax, having the advantage of not requiring the exposure to the weather, and the macerating process indispensable in the preparation of flax. He also believes that it is an excellent material for coarse paper, inasmuch as the coat of the rose of Sharon is much softer, thicker, and more silky than hemp.
The Sharon rose is robust and healthy in its character, and easily grown in all good soil of this country. It is a perennial plant, produces much seed, and can be raised with less labor and a greater product than hefnp or flax. The writer of the communication in question sent a specimen of the “ raw material” (of the separated fibres) to Mr. Silliman, who stated in a note, that judging from the specimens sent, the rose of Sharon deserved all the commendation which his correspondent had bestowed upon it.
The Wild Ass.—The wild ass, or para, celebrated by Job, is generally understood to be the onager, an animal which is to this day highly prized in Persia and the deserts of Tartary, as being fitter for the saddle than the finest breed of horses. It has nothing of the dulness or stupidity of the common ass; is extremely beautiful; and, when properly trained, is docile and tractable in no common degree. It was this more valuable kind of ass that Saul was in search of when he was chosen by the prophet to discharge the duties of royalty. “ Who hath sent out the wild ass free 1 or who hath loosed the bands of the wild ass! whose house I have made the wilderness, and the barren sand his dwellings. He scorneth the multitude of the city, neither regardeth he the crying of the driver. The range of the mountains is his pasture, and he searcheth after every green thing” (Job xxxix. 5-8).
SAUL, AND THE WITCH OF ENDOR. 227
SAUL, AND THE WITCH OF ENDOR.
From the most remote ages of antiquity down to the present time, a belief in the exercise of supernatural powers by human beings, has prevailed to a greater or less extent, among all nations. When science in all its various forms was but a sublime mystery, known only to a few, that few exercised it to their own aggrandizement, and strengthened their hold upon the credulity of their dupes by a use of some of the mysterious agents of nature, either appertaining to the world in general, or to individual persons. Those'who arrogated to themselves the possession of supernal powers, assumed a singularity of manner and appearance to render themselves conspicuous. In former times, their influence was felt in the court, the camp, and in the domestic circle, exciting hope and fear, joy and sadness, alternately as would best suit their purpose. And it is an astonishing fact, that the wisest and best of men have bowed reverently to the astrologer, the seer, the dervish, or,the witch, begging them to lift the veil, of the future, and point out to them the result of circumstances in which they were involved. From the time of Moses, when the enchanters of Egypt were called to oppose him in miracles, down to the days of Cotton Mather when witches by scores infested his parish (as he and many good people thought), men of sense—men who had climbed the hill of science to its pinnacle, and drank of the fountain of philosophic truth—-have passively submitted to these charlatans, and allowed them to drive judgment from its throne. Then why should we listen with indignation to the tales of bitter persecutions carried on by the vulgar against old women suspected of witchcraft 1 We should rather pity them, and deplore the weakness of poor human nature.
There has been considerable dispute and speculation concerning the character of the Witch of Endor, mentioned conspicuously in the Book of Samuel. These speculations have been among those who are unwilling to admit that in the apparition of Samuel there was any interposition of, or miracle performed by, the Deity. A larger class of these disputants give it as their opinion, that Samuel did not really appear, and that the woman was possessed of the powers of ventriloquism. This latter conjecture is strengthened by. the fact that the word witch, or consulter of familiar spirits, as used in the eighteenth chapter of Deuteronomy, in the original Hebrew, signifies “ a consulter of Ob.” Ob signifies a bottle or hollow vessel, and all Jewish writers agree in understanding it to denote a person that was master or mistress of a spirit or demon, which entered them and spoke in a deep hollow voice from the belly or chest, as from a bottle, in a manner similar to that of the priestesses at Delphos, through whom Apollo delivered his oracles. The class here mentioned suppose the witch of Endor to have been a woman of considerable knowledge, and well versed in public affairs. That when Saul told her to fear nnt she
228 THE ARK OF THE COyENANT.
at once guessed the tall stranger before her to he Saul, and at once undertook the task of deceiving him, knowing him to be very su perstitious. They suppose also, that Saul did not actually see Samuel, but trusted to the evidence of the woman that she saw him ; for the king asks, “ What sawest thou 1 And the woman said unto Saul, I saw the gods ascending out of the earth” (1 Sam. xviii. 13). The king then asked her what was his form, and the witch replied that he was an old man, covered with a mantle. Then it was that Saul perceived that it was Samuel. It does not say that he saw him, arid it is hereon that this class of the disputants found their theory that Saul trusted to the truth of the woman’s assertion that she saw Samuel; and also that the words to Saul, attributed tb Samuel, were pronounced by the ventriloquial voice of the woman, imitating that of the dead prophet.
A large class of commentators and biblical readers at the present day, backed by the implication of the text, the belief of the ancient Jewish church, and the authority of Josephus, believe that the appearance was real, not produced by any agency of the evil spirit, but by the Lord’s permission. As a reason for this permitted appearance, Dr. Hales gives the following:-—1. “To make Saul’s crime the instrument of his punishment, in the dreadful denunciation of his approaching doom. 2. To show to the heathen world the infinite superiority of the Oracle of the Lord, inspiring his prophets, over the powers of darkness, and the delusive prognostics of their wretched votaries in their false oracles. 3. To confirm the belief in a future state by c one who rose from the dead,’even under the Mosaical dispensation.” The artist waf undoubtedly an advocate of the real appearance party.
THE ARK OF THE COVENANT.
The ark (see Exod. xxv. 10) was a chest or coffer, in which the two tables of the law, written with the finger of God, were to be honorably deposited, and carefully kept. This chest was about fifty-two inches long, thirty-one broad, and thirty-one deep. It was overlaid within and without, with thin plates of gold. It had a crown or cornice of gold round it, with rings and staves to carry it with. The tables of the law are called the testimony, because God did in them testify his will. This law was a testimony to them, to direct them in their duty, and would be a testimony against them, if they transgressed.
It was covered with a covering of massy gold, which was called the propitiatory, or the mercy-seat. This ark was placed in the holy of holies; the blood of the sacrifices was sprinkled, and the incense burnt jbefore it, by the high-priest, and above it appeared the visible glory which was the symbol of the Divine presence. This was an evident type of Christ in his sinless human nature, which saw no corruption, in personal union with his Divine nature;
Probable Form of the Ark of the Covenant.
230 THE AUK OF THE COVENANT.
magnifying the law, and covering our transgressions of it, by. naving it in his heart, obeying it in his life, and atoning for our sins against it by his death j through the sprinkling of his blood, and the intercession which, as our High-Priest, he makes in the true holy of holies. God appears to sinners with mild glory, upon a mercy-seat, and accepts the services of those who believe in him, dwells among them, and abundantly blesses them.
The cherubim of gold were fixed to the mercy-seat, and spread their wings over it. It is supposed that these cherubim were designed to represent the holy angels, who always attended the She-chinah, or Divine Majesty, particularly at the giving of the law; not by any effigies of an angel, but some emblem of the angelical nature j probably, some one of those four faces spoken of, Ezek. i. 10. Whatever the faces were; they looked one. toward another, and both downward toward the ark, while their wings were stretched out so as to touch one another. The apostle calls them cherubim of glory shadowing the mercy-seat, Heb. ix. 5. It denotes their attendance upon the Redeemer, to whom they were ministering spirits, their readiness to do his will, their special presence in the assemblies of saints, Ps. lxviii. 17, 1 Cor. xi. 10 ; and their desire to look into the mysteries of the gospel which they diligently contemplate, 1 Pet. i. 12. God is said to dwell, or sit between the cherubim, on the mercy-seat, Ps. lxxx. 1; and he here promises thence, for the future, to meet with Moses, and to commune with him. There he would give the law, and there he would give audience, as a prince on his throne ; and thus he manifests himself willing to be reconciled to us, and to keep up communion with us, in and by the mediation of Jesus Christ. In allusion to this mercy-seat, we are said to come boldly to the throne of grace, Heb. iv. 16 ; for we are not under the law, which is covered, but under grace; which is displayed.
Many heathen nations have had arks or chests which they used in their sacred rites, probably imitated from the ark of the Israelites.
Rice forms the staple commodity of India, and is, when growing, very much in appearance like our barley; there are a great many sorts of this grain cultivated, some much larger and coarser than others ; the smaller is generally used at the table of Europeans, and the larger by the low caste natives. The most prolific crops are those which have been planted while the fields have been overflowed with water, affording, I think, some illustration of Rlccles. xi. 1, u Cast thy bread upon the waters; for thou shalt find it after many daysas when the waters go off, the tender blade is seen advancing in growth, and soon comes to maturity. The most profitable and sure method of obtaining a large crop, is to sow some rice very thickly upon a well-cultured spot; and when the plants are risen a few inches, to take them up carefully, and, forming a little ball of earth around each root, to drop them regularly into the water j this secures their descent to the earth, and growth afterward.
THE SERPENTS. 231
Numbers xxx. ' ■ ■
; : With fiery serpents greatly pained,
When Israel’s mourning tribes complained,
And sighed to be relieved; ;
■''' ' A serpent straight the Prophet made
, Of molten brass, to view displayed:
The patients looked, and lived !—Anon.
It should ever be the delight of those who are blessed with the powers of reason, to review the dealings'of the Great Jehovah with mankind in every successive age. Such a retrospect will instruct us in the knowledge of the Divine character, the nature of the claims he makes on our love and obedience, and tend to deliver us from the temptations to which we are exposed from Satan and the world. To assist us in this profitable duty, the God of wisdom and mercy has given us the sacred volume, which we do well to regard as a light shining in this dark world, to lead ouP feet into the ways of peace. ,
The events to which we would now invite the attention of the reader, happened in the immediate neighborhood of Edom, or Idumea, on the borders of the land of Canaan, about the year of the world 2553, nearly forty years after the deliverance of the Israelites from Egypt, a little before they entered into possession of the land of Canaan, and about one thousand four hundred and fifty-one years before the incarnation of the Messiah.
It will he remembered by our readers, that the Israelites displayed a very awful degree of rebellion against the law and authority of the blessed God that they frequently murmured at his government and Providence; and that, as the consequence, the Divine anger was often manifested against them. To punish them for their sins, and to accomplish other important designs of Jehovah, their stay in the wilderness which lay between Egypt and Canaan was protracted to the very long period of forty years. At the time, however, to which we now have reference, they were brought nearly to the borders of the promised land, and expected to have passed directly through Idumea, and have taken possession of it. But, disappointed by Infinite Wisdom of their hopes, wearied with their journey, depressed in their spirits, and, above all, under the influence of satanic agency, they found fault with the conduct of their heavenly Benefactor, murmured against his servant Moses, and disapproved of the provisions which he, in a miraculous manner, had given them, without labor on their part, during their long pilgrimage.
It was not to he expected that a Being so holy and powerful as Jehovah, would allow them thus to sin, without manifesting marks of his displeasure. The goodness he had shown, and the honor he had put upon them in making them his people, would awfully increase their guilt; and we shall now find that his anger was dis-
232 the serpents.
played in a way which must have convinced all of the cause of their sufferings, and the inevitable consequences of sin.
The wilderness in which the Israelites now were, according to the accounts furnished us by highly respectable travellers, was, and indeed continues to be, infested by great numbers of serpents, of a brilliant, fiery color, whose bite produced considerable inflammation, and an acute pain, similar to that inflicted by fire, which generally proved fatal to those who were unfortunately wounded by them. The Supreme Being allowed these serpents to increase in great numbers among the people, and to make, by their fatal ravages, many thousands of them monuments of his displeasure.
It would be very difficult for us to form a correct and full idea of the mischief effected by these destructive creatures among a body of several millions of persons. Multitudes rose in the morning in their accustomed health, rejoicing in their connexions, and pleased with the hope of soon surmounting their present trials, and entering the land described to them as flowing with milk and honey. But, alas! stepping to the door of the tent, perhaps to gather up their allotted portion of manna for the day, or to transact business with an acquaintance, they are bitten by one of these reptiles; poison is infused into the blood ; the. part affected is swollen; and in a very few hours they lie cold and stiff in the arms of death. Thus thousands, and probably tens of thousands, in a very few days, fell victims to an incensed Deity, and proclaimed to future ages, “ It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”
Who shall describe to us the confusion and sorrow which now universally prevail! In this tent lies the corpse of a beloved and only child, the hope and solace of its parents ; but it is gone, and they weep, refusing to be. comforted : there the bereaved husband is seen bending over the inanimate body of her who but yesterday was the blooming beauty, and the lovely bride ; yonder is the interesting female bedewing with her tears the lifeless remains of one to whom she, but a few hours ago, hoped to be united for many years to come ; and at a little distance we may see the aged couple, bending under the weight of years, committing the prop of their age to the silent dust1; and as they are engaged in this act, they themselves have the mortal bite inflicted on them. Oh, sin! how dreadful are thy ravages ! It is easy to bring on ourselves merited punishment; but, alas! we cannot dismiss, as we would, the consequences of our transgressions.
It is well when our trials lead us to reflection and humiliation. The Israelites, thus visited with a painful dispensation, losing their beloved connexions, seeing thousands of their kindred changed to corpses, and assured that no human arm could save them, very properly applied to Moses, their leader, and the friend of God. They knew that his prayers had power with Jehovah, they hoped that his mediation with him would now be accepted, and they felt it to be right to acknowledge their sins both against Heaven and Moses.
234 THE SERPENTS.
Happily for Israel, Moses was a man eminently distinguished for meekness; and when they consulted him he did not reproach them with their past crimes : hut seeing proofs of repentance, and feeling an ardent desire for their deliverance and happiness, he bowed before the throne of Jehovah, and used his mighty influence in their favor. Nor was his intercession in vain, for the Lord heard, and at once prepared a remedy.
A thousand times has it been seen, that, in order to accomplish his purposes, the Governor of the Universe employs .■■different means to those which would be selected by his creatures.“His ways are not as our ways, neither are his thoughts as our thoughts.” We should have supposed that a council would have been convened of those who were .most eminent for medical skill, and that their combined wisdom might have discovered some method of cure. But Jehovah resolved on a remedy which in itself possessed no virtue; but which, owing its efficacy solely to its being his appointment, should impress the people with a sense of. their entire dependance on him, and ensure to himself the whole glory of their recovery. Moses was directed to make a serpent of brass, to elevate it on a pole in the midst of the camp, to proclaim that whoever had been bitten might look upon it, and that, though dying, such persons should instantly recover. What a display was this of infinite mercy : what a remarkable interposition in favor of Israel! ■
We can easily imagine the suggestions of infidelity on the one hand, and the triumphs of faith on the other, on this occasion. It is quite probable that when the proclamation was made through the camp, some persons would begin to reason on the improbability of the remedy, and would argue, that, as looking at a ser pent made of brass could possess no medicinal virtue, it could not be the appointment of Jehovah : and it is quite possible that with these views some might refuse to look, and die. Others, however, smarting under excruciating pain, reduced to despair as to all human help, and just, ready to expire, would joyfully listen to the declaration of the acknowledged servant of God, would exult in the provision of a remedy so free, simple, and efficacious; and would earnestly look and thus derive life. How fondly does the fancy dwell on the happy scenes thus produced, by the blessing of Jehovah, on the means he had appointed for the recovery of his people ! How much happiness would be diffused through numerous families, by the happy recoveries which took place among them! While the justice of the Deity was manifested by punishing in this awful manner those who rebelled against him, his mercy was at least equally displayed by the recovery of those who exercised faith in his word.
How striking an illustration does this narrative afford us of the • way of salvation by Christ Jestts ! Twice, at least, did the Saviour refer to it in this way; when he said to Nicodemus, “ As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up ; that whosoever believeth in him should not
236 LOCUSTS IN THE EAST.
perish, but have eternal lifeand when he afterward said to his disciples, “And I, if I be lifted up, will draw all men unto me.” He is the appointed remedy to whom perishing and dying sinners can alone look for life and salvation ; the way of obtaining mercy is by the belief of the truth concerning him, and placing a simple reliance on his favor ; thousands are found to despise this mercy, and they perish for ever; others are constrained to look unto him and they are saved. May it be equally the happiness of the writer and his readers to believe in this great Deliverer, and to experience the blessings of his infinite grace.
Such a visitation as a swarm of locusts, indicative of the vengeance of an Almighty power, can only be conceived by those who have witnessed their sweeping and dreadful ravages. Indeed, in some countries the calamity reaches to such an extent, as actually to compel the inhabitants to lay in stores of provisions, lest they should suffer famine in consequence of their visit. I once happened to be near a cloud of these insects, which darkened the sun, and extended for several miles. The whole ground was literally covered with them. They leap like grasshoppers, making at the
THE SCAPE-GOAT. 237
time a hissing noise. It is asserted that they have a government similar to bees. They follow the wind, and when the king rises, he is attended hy a host of them, which proceed in one compact form, similar to a disciplined army on a march in the same direction. They come chiefly with the east wind. That they have a royal leader, however, is contradicted by Solomon (Prov. xx. 27). The Arabs eat them in a fried state with salt and pepper; and they were unquestionably permitted as food under the Jewish dispensa tion (Lev. xi. 22), at which time there were different species of them. These insects are also mentioned in the description of the ruins of the city of Nineveh (Nahum, iii.). Solomon also alludes to them in connexion with “ dearth, sickness, and pestilence,” in the sublime prayer offered at the consecration of the temple (2 Chron. vi. 28). Their grand objects of attack are vines and fig trees* which they so completely strip of their leaves as to convert them in a moment into an image of winter ; and the husbandman, at the “ rising of the sun,” joyfully beholding his fruitful fields, promising bountiful crops, beholds, before its “going down,” his hopes blasted, and the fair landscape become a desert. This is exactly agreeable to their practice of old (Exod. x. 15), where we are told, “ Thou shalt carry much seed out into the field, and shalt gather but little in; for the locust shall consume it,” (Deut. xxviii. 38). The swarms of locusts arise from immense tracks of waste land, which affords them shelter from the heat.
The opposite group of animals consists of a scape-goat, and young bullock, goat and kid of goats, which were used by the high-priest of Israel, for a sin-offering. See Levit. xvi. 10, et seq The scape-goat is the large white one, with a riband or fillet tied around his horns.
“ Let him go for a scape-goat into the wilderness.” A comment ator holds the following language on this text:—
“The Rabbins inform us, that after the lot had been taken, the high-priest fastened a long fillet, or narrow piece of scarlet to the head of the scape-goat; and that after he had confessed his own sins and those of the people over his head, or (for we are not quite certain about the point of time), when the goat was finally dismissed, this fillet changed color to white if the atonement were accepted by God, but else retained its natural color. It is to this that they understand Isaiah to allude when he says:—‘ Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool’ (Isaiah i. 18). After the confession had been made over the head of the scapegoat, it was committed to the charge of some person or persons, previously chosen for the purpose, and carried away into the wilderness ; where, as we should understand, verse 22, it was set
238 the scape-goat.
at liberty ; but the Rabbins give a somewhat different account. They inform us (speaking with a particular reference to Jerusalem and the temple service), that the goat , was taken to a place about twelve miles from Jerusalem where there was a formidable rocky precipice ; and they add, that for this occasion a sort of causeway was made between Jerusalem and this place, and that ten tents with relays were stationed at equal distances between them. On arriving at the precipice the goat was thrown down from its summit, and, by knocking against the projections, was generally dashed to pieces before it had half reached the bottom. It is added that the result of this execution was promptly communicated by signals raised at proper distances, to the people who were anxiously awaiting the event at the temple. It is also said, that at the same time a scarlet riband, fastened at the entrance of the temple, turned red at this instant of time, in token of the divine acceptance of the expiation,; and that this miracle ceased forty years before the destruction of the second temple. We do not very well understand whether this fillet is a variation of the account which places one. on the head of the goat, or whether there were two fillets, one for the goat and the ^other for , the temple. If the latter, we may conclude that the change took place simultaneously in both. However understood, it is very remarkable that the Rabbins, who give this account of the fillets, assign the cessation of the miracle by which the divine acceptance of this expiation was notified, to a period precisely corresponding with the death of Christ—-an event which most Christians understand to have been prefigured by atoning sacrifices, which they believe to have been done away by that final consummation of all sacrificial institutions. The assertion of the apostle, that.without the shedding. of blood there is no remission of sin (Heb. ix. 22), renders the account of the Rabbins, that the goat was finally immolated, rather than left free in the wilderness, far'from improbable, were it not discountenanced by verse 22. It is however possible that the Jews may have adopted the usage described when they, settled in Canaan,, and could not so conveniently as in the wilderness carry the goat to a land not inhabited. But they allow that it sometimes escaped alive into the desert, and was usually aken and eaten by the Arabs, who, of course, were little aware of what they did.”
“Consider the Lilies of the Field.”—In this passage Jesus Christ is commonly supposed to have referred to the white lily, or to the tulip ; but neither of these grows wild in Palestine. It is natural to presume that, according to his usual custom, he called the attention of his hearers to some object at hand; and as the fields of the Levant are overrun with the Amaryllis lactea, whose golden lilaceous flowers in autumn afford one of the most brilliant and gorgeous objects in nature, the expression of “ Solomon in all his glory not being arrayed like one of these,” is peculiarly appropriate.
Scape-Goat Young Bullock, Goat and Kid of Goats, for Sin-Offering.
THE SCAPE-GOAT, ETC. 239
240 CHRONOLOGICAL LIST OF PLAGUES.
CHRONOLOGICAL LIST OF PLAGUES
B. C. 78 Plague in Rome, 10,000 died in one day.
67 A great plague over all the known world.
A. D. 762 Great plague in England.
777 Again, 34,000 died.
954 Plague in Scotland, 40,000 died.
1094 Again, very severe.
1111 “ very severe; attacked men, cattle, and fowls.
1348 Plague in Germany; 90,000 died.
1367 Great ravages by plague in London and Paris.
1379 Plague in London.
1604 “ one fourth of the inhabitants died.
1611 Plague in Constantinople; 200,000 died.
,1631 Plague in London ; 35,000 died.
1632 Plague in Lyons, France; 60,000 died.
1666 Great plague in London ; 68,000 died.
1691 Plague in England ; 11,000 died in the city of York in One month.
1743 Plague at Messina.
1755 Plague at Algiers.
1773 Plague at Bassorah in Persia; 80,000 died.
1784 Plague at Smyrna; 20,000 died.
1784 Plague at Tunis; 32,000 died.
1786 Plague in the Levant; dreadful mortality.
1791 Plague at Alexandria.
1792 Plague in Egypt; 800,000 died.
1793 Plague inBarbary ; 3,000 died daily.
1799 Plague in the kingdom of Fez, Barbary; 247,000 died
in one month.
1800 Plague in Morocco ; 200 died daily.
1804 ’6 Plague in Spain ; great number died.
1817 to ’ 32 inclusive, Cholera carried off in various parts of the earth, an estimated aggregate of 100,000,000 of persons.
THE GIRAFFE. 241
The first and most striking characteristic of the giraffe is its lofty stature, which far exceeds that of every other known animal in the wide range of creation. Its next, and still more wonderful peculiarity, is the clustering union in which it appears to possess some trait or traits of a multiplicity of other animals, of the most varied and opposite attributes. In this respect, indeed, many of the fabulous creatures of the poets would he less remarkable in reality, and are less incredible in description. The fanciful naturalist who contends for the primary existence of micrqcosmical centres, or sources of diversified beings, might be pardoned for pointing to the giraffe as a living exemplar of his theory. If other animals are considered connecting links between species, a little farther license of fancy might deem this creature a common ring, or compendious circle, in which many such links unite. When the good bishop Heliodorus described its hinder parts, from the loins downward to the tail, as resembling, those of the lion, he might have added that its tail also resembles that of some species of the lion, and that its mane may claim affinity to some tribes of the zebra. Its head, says the bishop of Sicca, in form, was like that of the camel—far more delicately moulded, however, and tapering with much of the symmetry of the antelope. Some graceful traits of the ostrich and the swan must have been mirrored in the mind of its ancient describer, or he would scarcely have alluded to creatures so remote in their character. These traits will be sketched in the imagination, at least, of every observer. The points in which it somewhat resembles the camel, are the length of its neck, and some callous appendages on the knees and the sternum. The points in which it shows affinity to the horse and the antelope, are its legs, and some outlines of its haunches. The feet also agree with those of the horse in being without the spurious hoofs which mark most of the ruminant'animals ; but here the similitude abruptly closes—for the hoofs are divided like those of the ox, with scarcely any other similarity of structure, and are altogether unlike those of the camel, which are less firm in texture and less adapted for speed.
The height of a full-grown giraffe varies from eighteen to twenty feet, although some specimens, in their natural state, have been seen exceeding this by several inches. One half of this elevation, consists of the neck, from the ears to its junction with the projecting angle of the chest 5 and the other half consists of the fore legs, ascending to the same point. Casual observers are apt to suppose that the fore legs of the giraffe are very disproportion-ably longer than its hind legs; yet they are in reality of equal length—the apparent difference arising from the height of the shoulder, or rather, perhaps, from the great length of the spinous processes of the scapular vertebrae, which descend in an angle of inclination nearly equal to the back of a stag thrown upon its 16
THE GIRAFFE. 243
haunches or rising from its lair. And this effect is so much enhanced by the dorsal protuberance above the shoulder, that few persons are undeceived but by deliberate inspection. The front view of this singular animal is unique and rather uncouthly grotesque. Its neck appears too thin, mounting lankly aloft, as it does, from a capacious orbicular,, duo-convex chest—like a tall iron crane from the box of its windlass. And the tout ensemble of this, in connexion with the very long, thin legs, which perpendicularly sustain so odd a superstructure, is not unlike the front aspect of a real ornithological crane, as it sometimes stands forlorn on the margin of a pool, innocent of eels, and holt upright in its excursive meditations. Yet no animal exhibits a more gracefully majestic attitude and richly flowing outline than this otherwise .uncouth giraffe, when beheld in its side view, cropping the topmost leaves of high branches, or lifting its airy, vivacious head, attentive to distant sounds. Its aspect is then a charm to the eye of taste, and excites the admiration of the most indifferent spectator.
It differs from all other animals in the singular structure of those cylindrical prominences which grow upon its frontal bone, and which are, in fact, cellular enlargements of that bone, of nearly equal size unto their abrupt extremities, which are surmounted by tufts of short bristly hairs. These singular appendages are not peculiar to either sex, and, being of the same substance as the scull, of course are never shed; although, in the young specimens, they are united to the scull by a distinct suture. They are not horns, nor used as such, either in attack or defence j-but, as though this creature were designed to be at once similar and dissimilar to every other, it has a third prominence, or budding horn, broader, but not nearly so projecting as the others, articulated on the forehead, midway between them—as though its owner had some slight notion of becoming a unicorn. Beside these, it has two bony tubercles, or rudiments of horns, on each side of the main, on the occiput. The shape of the ears is peculiarly beautiful—and they are moved with brisk and spirited expression toward sounds often unheard or unheeded by the spectators whose attention has been attracted to the movement. The eyes of the giraffe are singularly large, full, and clear, soft and rich as the famed gazelle’s, and fringed with very long lashes. They are situated so prominently on the sides of the head, as to excel, in advantage of position, those of the hare ; and it is supposed that the giraffe can command a wider view of the horizon than any other creature. The surface of its skin is smooth, the hair being short, close, and flatly laid. The ground color is a dull white, warming to a rich cream-teint, and deepening with age to a very faint-red brown. The spots are of a much darker brown, and of so generally regular a form and arrangement as to give the hide the appearance of being cross-barred with whitish stripes. When young, the sexes are scarcely distinguishable by their color; but, as they advance in age, the male becomes of a darker
THE WILD DATE-PALM. 245
brown, and the lighter stripes are somewhat less clear ; but the female retains more of her original rust-colored hue, and may be known by this contrasted teint. There is, however, some very slight variation of color in specimens of the same age, and in the same individuals at different seasons of the year.
Another singularity in the giraffe is, that it has neither a muzzle nor lachrymal sinUses. It has no incisors in the upper jaw, but twelve grinders: in the lower jaw it has twelve grinders and eight incisors. The female has four mammae, situated in the groin, and she gestates twelve months with foal. But the most instructive singularity in the physiology of the giraffe, and the one which, above all others, determines its geographical insulation and scarcity, is the remarkable adaptation of its tongue to the food which it chiefly prefers and seeks. The organ, in some specimens, is about thirty inches in length, opening nearly to a sharp point, and endowed with greater contractility, extensibleness and flexibility, than the tongue of any creature but the ant-eater. It is coated on the upper surface, and round its point with a skin so hard and impervious, that it cannot be cut or pierced even with a sharp knife, without great pressure. The food on which the giraffe principally subsists, in its natural state, is the foliage and juicy branches of a species of the mimosa or acacia, called by the natives kameel-doorn, which is said to be peculiar to the valleys in which the animal is only known to have been seen, and to con stitute their almost exclusive vegetation. This variety of the acacia abounds with very long and exceedingly sharp spines, whose puncture is as subtile as that of a needle. Yet protected by its wonderfully impermeable covering, the flexible tongue of the giraffe securely threads its way through the foliaged danger, winds around the branches amid the spines, culling each particular leaf with more than manual dexterity, and incurring neither puncture nor laceration.
THE WILD DATE-PALM.
The wild date-palm is the Phxnix dactylifera of Linnams. This is one of the most useful of the palms, and yields every year great crops of fine rich fruit, forming not only a valuable part of the food of the lower orders of society, but a vast surplus for exportation to other countries.
Persia, Palestine, and the northern states of Africa, appear to be the most congenial climates for the successful culture and growth of the date-tree. In some of those countries there are extensive groves of them, furnishing employment and wealth to the generally indolent natives. The stem is not so lofty as some of the other palms, but it is comparatively much thicker, and very rugged from the persisting bases of the fallen fronds. When the fruit are ripe, they are shaken from the pendent spadix by one man, while others
246 THE PROPHETS.
hold a cloth, extended below, to receive the falling fruit. These are afterward sorted and prepared for packing in jars or boxes for sale.
Young date-trees maybe raised from the Stones of the imported fruit ; and as they have much divided and persisting foliage, they add an interesting variety to the stove collection. If planted in a tropical conservatory, and allowed time and space, there is no doubt but they would flower and fruit' in this country, which would, at least, be a great curiosity to our botanists.
The date-palm is One of the noblest trees that adorn the solitary waste, and the most useful that man has converted to the purposes of nutriment and conifoft. In the forest the eye recognises the lofty palm, while the remainder of the vegetable creation lose their individuality in the confusion of varied teints and forms. The presence of the palm is an unerring sign of water ; hence the weary Israelites in their jouriieyings through the wilderness, found water where they found palm-trees.
Isaiah.—Like nearly all the other Jewish prophets, the history of Isaiah is enveloped in obscurity, and we know him only through the feeble aid of tradition and the transcendent beauty and sublimity of his prophetic poetry. If we may rely upon tradition, supported by a few Scriptural facts, it appears probable that he was the grandson of Joash king of Judah, and nephew of King Uzziah. He performed the prophetic office during tl reigus of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, embracing a period of about forty-eight years. Some, both Jews and Christians, have traditions and believe, that he lived till the time of the “ bloody Manasseh,” and suffered martyrdom at his hands by being sawn asunder. If this be true, then Isaiah performed the duties of a prophet for upward of sixty years. He flourished about seven hundred years before Christ. Isaiah has been termed the prince of prophets, and he may be justly ranked among the most eminent poets of antiquity. Bishop Lowth says, “ Isaiah, the first of the prophets, both in order and dignity, abounds in such transcendent excellences, that he may properly be said to furnish the most permanent model of prophetic poetry. He is at once elegant and sublime, forcible and ornamented; he unites energy with copiousness, and dignity with variety. In his sentiments there are uncommon elevation and majesty ; in his imagery, the utmost propriety, elegance* dignity, and diversity ; and notwithstanding the obscurity of his subjects, a surprising degree of clearness and simplicity. To these we may add, there is such sweetness in the composition of his sentences, that if the Hebrew language is at present possessed of any remains of its native grace and harmony, we shall chiefly find them in the writings of Isaiah.”
THE PROPHETS 247
When Jehovah was pleased to command Isaiah the prophet to make a public proclamation in the ears of the people, what was it, think you, he was ordered to announce 1 Was it some profound secret of nature, which had baffled the inquiries of philosophers, or some great, political convulsion which was to change the destiny of empires! No! these are not the sort of communications most suited to the grandeur of his nature, or the exigencies of ours. “ The voice said, Cry; and he said, What shall I cry % All flesh is grassland all the goodness thereof is as the flower of the field. The grass withereth, the flower fadeth; because the spirit of the Lord bloweth upon it; surely the people is grass. The grass withereth, the flower fadeth; but the word of our God shall stand for ever” (Isaiah xl. 6, 7, 8). Instead of presenting to our eyes the mutations of power, and the revolution of states and kingdoms, he exhibits a more awful and affecting spectacle—the human race itself withering under thebreath of God’s mouth,perishing under hi's rebuke ; while he plants his eternal word, which subsists from generation to generation, in undecaying vigor, to console our wretchedness, and impregnate the dying mass with the seed of immortality As the frailty of man, and the perpetuity of His promises, are the greatest contrast the universe presents, so the practical impression of this truth, however obvious, is the beginning of wisdom, nor is there a degree of moral elevation to which it will not infallibly conduct us.
Jeremiah.—Jeremiah was a native of Anathoth, a city of the tribe of Benjamin not far from Jerusalem and devoted to the use of the priests. His father was a priest named Hilkiah (not the high-priest of that name). , Jeremiah was very young when called to the prophetical office,,in which he was engaged during a period of forty-two years.' He early predicted ruin to his country, and lived to see his predictions fulfilled. During the troubled reign of Josiah, the Jews, contrary to the remonstrance of the prophet, withdrew into Egypt, and took him with them. There he exercised all his characteristic zeal, in reproving them for their idolatries into which they soon fell, when coming in contact with the heathen; and there is an old tradition, that his freedom and zeal cost him his life, the Jews at Tahphanes taking such offence at his rebukes, that they stoned him to death. Alexander the Great, it is said, when there, visited his tomb, and was induced to remove his remains to Alexandria, where he erected over them a magnificent monument. This assertion rests upon the authority of tradition alone. Jeremiah flourished about six hundred years before Christ.
Ezekiel.—Ezekiel was of the sacerdotal race, and was one of the captives carried away to Babylon, by Nebuchadnezzar, at the same time with King Jehoiachim. He began to prophesy in the fifth year of his captivity, and continued his labors for about twenty-two years. He prophesied in Mesopotamia, contemporaneously with Jeremiah in Judea.
A few miles southeast of the ruins of Babylon, is a tomb which
248 THE PROPHETS.
for ages has been pointed out by the resident Jews, as the resting-place of the mortal remains of Ezekiel. It is well ascertained that he lived upon the banks of the Khabour or Chehar, and it is generally believed that he died while on a visit to the capital. The alleged tomb of Ezekiel is still looked upon with great reverence by the inhabitants of Western Asia, especially the Bedouins and other dwellers in the desert and upon its borders. The Jews have a synagogue near it, and upon the sepulchre of the prophet they formerly kept a lamp continually burning.
Daniel.—Daniel was considered by the Jews, as one of the most renowned of all the prophets, and they even gave him the name of Prince of Prophets. He was in the first hand of Hebrew captives that were carried to Babylon about seven years before "Ezekiel was taken thither. He is supposed to have been about twenty years of age when that event took place, soon after which time hey commenced prophesying, and continued his labors in that field for more than seventy years.
Of the parentage of Daniel, nothing positive is known, but it is generally believed by the Jews that'he was, a descendant of King" Hezekiah. He was chosen to attend upon the person of the Babylonian monarch, and received instruction in all the varied learning of the Chaldees. Unlike the other prophets, his life was onO of temporal prosperity and honor, marred only by a few trials caused by the malicious envy of courtiers. It appears that he was in great favor at the court of the Assyrian and of the Persian, from the time that he interpreted the hand-writing upon the wall, in the banqueting chamber of Belshazzar till his death, which event occurred when he was about ninety years of age. He survived the period of the captivity of the Jews, but it does not appear that he returned with them to Jerusalem. It is not agreed by the Rabbins, where the prophet died, some asserting that it was at Babylon, others at Susa. The history in detail of this prophet may be found in the book that bears his name.
Joel.—This prophet was of minor rank, yet highly esteemed by the Jews. Total obscurity veils his history so far as a certain knowledge is concerned ; though it is reported on rather doubtful authority, that he Was of the tribe of Reuben, and a native of Be-thoron. He prophesied much earlier than any of the other prophets, except Jonah, who preceded him about half a century.
Jonah.—Jonah was a native of Gath-hepher, a town of Zebulon. He lived and prophesied in the reign preceding that of Jeroboam about eight hundred and fifty years before Christ. He is considered the earliest of all the other prophets (Samuel excepted) whose time can be accurately ascertained. His labors in the prophetic vineyard do not appear to have been very extensive, and we have no account of him after the transactions recorded in the book that bears his name. Some suppose that after his mission to Nineveh, he returned to his own country, and soon after died there ; but the people of Mesopotamia contend that he died at Nineveh, and a tomb situated near the site of that ancient city, is alleged to be
THE PROPHETS. 249
that of the prophet. In the time of Jerome, a tomb claimed to be that of Jonah, existed at a place near Sepphoris on the road to Tiberias, and this, other eminent Christian writers and travellers claim to be the real one. Near this spot, the moslems (who have a version of Jonah’s prophecy in the Koran, and who venerate his name) built a mosque. In several places in the Koran, Jonah or Jonas is mentioned,as a bright example.
Zechariah.—Zechariah was one of that body of captives who returned from Babylon with Zer'ubbabel, about five hundred and twenty years before our era. It is not known to what tribe he belonged, or whether he was of royal or sacerdotal descent. He was contemporary with the prophet Haggai, and the object of his prophecies seems to have been the same as that of the other prophet, to stimulate the returned captives to a renewal of their ancient religious ceremonies, to rebuild the temple, and again establish their temporal and spiritual kingdom.
Although Zechariah,is one of the most obscure of all the prophetic writers, yet so nearly did the Jews conceive that his style approached to that of Jeremiah, that it was their belief that the spirit of the latter had passed into the former. Bishop Lowth characterizes.his style as generally prosaic ; “ but,” says he,-“toward the conclusion of. the prophecy there are some poetical passages, and those highly ornamented ;■ they are also perspicuous, considering that they are the productions of the most obscure of all the prophets.”
It is not positively known where Zechariah died and was buried, or to what age he attained. Traditions state that he was buried near Jerusalem ; and with this concurs the existing belief which # finds, in a remarkable monument in the valley of Jehoshaphat, the tomb of Zechariah, as represented in our engraving of the “ valley of Jehoshaphat, ancient tombs,” &c.
• The' tomb surmounted by a pyramid, on the left of the engraving, is the one which tradition assigns to Zechariah. It is thus described by Buckingham : “It is a square mass of rock hewn down into form, and isolated from the quarry out of which it is cut, by a passage of twelve or fifteen feet wide on three of its sides; the fourth, or western side being open toward the valley and to Mount Moriah, the foot of which is only a few yards distant. This square mass is eight paces in length on each side, and about twenty feet high in front, and ten feet high at the back, the hill on which it stands harming a steep ascent. It has four semi-columns cut out of the same rock on each of its faces, with a pilaster at each angle, all of a bastard Ionic order, and ornamented in bad taste. The architrave, the full moulding, and the deep overhanging cornice which finishes the square, are all perfectly after the Egyptian manner ; and the whole is surmounted by a pyramid, the sloping sides of which rise from the very edges of the square below, and terminate in a finished point.”
SACRIFICING HIS SON. 251
THE AFFECTIONATE FATHER
SACRIFICING HIS SON.
-Most mysterious Heaven
What hast thou said ? thine only son—thine Isaac,
A burnt oblation ! And a father’s hands To execute the deed !—Farrer.
The venerable patriarch Abraham is immortalized in the inspired volume, as “the Father of the faithful,” and “the Friend of God.” And what titles can be so honorable, or what honor so abiding, as that which cometh from heaven 1 The tablets of brass and of marble which blazon forth the deeds or mark the tombs of the great, are many of them already crumbled away ; and the places which at present know others shall soon “ know them no more for ever.” But though thousands of years have rolled on since the deeds of Abraham were performed, the narrative appears before us in all its native vigor and beauty. We seem to accompany him in the most retired walks of his life, and derive from him instruction and entertainment of the highest kind.
The existence and value of the gifts and graces of the Holy Spirit can only be shown by trial. This is especially true of faith. Hence the blessed God has seen fit in all ages to exercise his people with the most severe calamities, “that the trial of their faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise, and honor, and glory, at the appearing of Jesus Christ.” The faith of Abraham, whom Jehovah had chosen as his favorite and “ friend,” was to be handed down to future ages, to be admired and imitated ; it was therefore important that its nature, proportion, and effects, should be marked by some great transaction.
The Supreme Being appears to have addressed his servant Abraham, on this occasion, in an audible manner. That voice had become delightfully familiar to him; for during his journey through life, of nearly one hundred and thirty years, it had often arrested his attention, and called forth all the grateful emotions of his soul. With what readiness of mind, and devotion of heart, does he reply, “Behold, here I am.” And what is the gracious communication which God has to make to his servant! for we can readily imagine that the expectations of the venerable patriarch are highly raised. Alas, never did such a sound before enter his ear : “ Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah, and offer him there for a burnt-offering, upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.” M hat a mysterious command ! How unusual a requirement this from the source of goodness and compassion ! Into what a consternation must the mind of the saint be thrown! Perhaps for a moment he doubts whether or not the injunction proceeds from the God of heaven. But a
252 THE AFFECTIONATE FATHEE
little reflection convinces him both of the reality of the command, and of the divinity of its Author. The awful subject now becomes deeply interesting ; the command is trying! The man revolts at the idea of slaying a lovely son; but the saint submits to the command of the great Creator, who says, “All souls are mine ; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son, is mine.” Heaven and hell watch the event in suspense ! Unbelief suggests disobedience ; hut his faith is strengthened, and he hesitates not. Such a scene as this would never .have been disclosed ; such an event would never haye been recorded in the sacred volume, had it not been full of instruction. Let us, then, attempt our own improvement by glancing at the difficulties of Abraham?s task—the triumphs of his faith—the approbation of his God—and the lessons the subject suggests.
We think, then, on the difficulties of the task. Self-.denial is essential to the genuine religion. He who has not learned to deny himself, is yet destitute of an acquaintance with vital, practical godliness. There are occasions when the claims of religion will come in contact with our affections and worldly interests; when it must he made apparent whom we love best, our-Creator or ourselves. We are called upon, in comparison of God, to hate our nearest and dearest friends. Abraham showed that religion had firmly taken up its seat an his heart, when he went out at the Divine command, leaving his beloved friends and his home, to an unknown land ; nor had he ever repented of this conduct, for he had reaped an abundant reward. But he had never before met with a trial like this ; for he'had here to struggle against the feelings of humanity: and, in this instance, we meet with a combination of circumstances eminently calculated to affect the heart. Who can read the narrative without tears X It calls up all the finer feelings of the man, and especially harrows up the sensibilities of the parent. Isaac was the son of his old, age ; promised many years before his birth ; and born at a period when all human probability of his being a father had ceased. As his youngest child, and the son of his old age, he felt peculiarly attached to him, and the1 trial on this account, too, would he great. He is emphatically spoken of as his beloved son “Isaac, whom thou lovest.” Had it been Ishmael, the trial would have been severe, for even toward him he had all the tender feelings of a kind fathers But it must be the tender child of his beloved Sarah. God calls for the fairest flower; he demands the darling son. It must be his most affectionate child; for Isaac appears to have been an example of obedience. He was innocent of every open crime ; he was the comfort of his holy parents, and evidently the subject of ardent piety, or he would not have submitted to such a death ; as at this time, it. is evident, he was capable of making resistance, and of overcoming his father. The good old man must witness his own son die an unnatural death. To see the death of an enemy, even when he reposes on his own pillow, is affecting ; hut to attend the deathbed of a friend, and that friend a relative, and that relative a
SACRIFICING HIS SON. 253
child—-a son, cut off in the prime of life^ cut off in a way at which humanity shudders, this is painful indeed! And, to add to the trial, he must inflict this death himself. We are ready to ask, may not this deed be done by some enemy, who has before imbrued his hands in human blood, and whose heart is steeled against the cry of suffering 1 May it not be done by some of the heathen, who have not so high a sense of parental duties as himself 1 Or, at least, may not some of his servants perform the horrid act 1 Who does not wish to spare the parent the deed X But no ! he is commanded, “ Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and offer him for a burnt-offering.” Be it remembered, too, that it was a most horrid kind of death. He was not to witness his gradual submission to the power of disease he is not instructed ,to slay him by administering what should gently undermine his constitution, and by degrees remove him to another world ; but he was to slay and “ offer him for a burnt-offering.” It is indescribably affecting to hear, in a time of general distress, a woman saying to her sovereign: “ This woman said unto me, Give thy son, that we may eat him to-day, and we will eat my son tomorrow. So we boiled my son, and did eat him. And I said unto her on the next day, Give thy son, that we may eat him.” In that case, however, there was a famine, and we can endure almost anything rather than die by the pains of hunger ; hut in the case before us, Isaac seemed the very blessing that Abraham needed, to give value to all his other mercies. And to have the task of slaying this son with a knife, and burning him with fire, was painfully distressing. And, once more, to complete the trial, how could he hear the thought of disclosing it to Sarah'l How would she look at him, when she found him to be the executioner of the lovely youth, in whom all their earthly, happiness was centred X How could he hear to witness her tears, “ refusing to be comforted, because her Isaac was not;” to hear her hitter reflections upon him, for what she would consider his, cruelty toward him X His case was trying indeed !
But Abraham had an enemy to contend with, stronger than nature itself: he had to overcome all the suggestions of unbelief. The present command appeared opposed to the Divine law. When Cain had killed his brother, the blessed God set a mark upon him, manifesting his high disapprobation of the crime, and afterward ordained (Gen. ix. 6), “ Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed.” And could it be supposed that this same Being had now called upon a father to slay his son X Besides, man generally seeks a reason for the commands of Heaven, and is usually unwilling to obey, unless he sees the wisdom of the requisition. Moreover, there appeared a direct opposition between the command and the previous promises of Jehovah : God had promised that he would make of Ahraliam a great nation :—that in him should all the families or nations of the earth be blessed;—and that these blessings should descend through Isaac, with whom and his seed God would establish his covenant. How can these
40* THE AFFECTIONATE FATHER
promises comport with the present command 1 Do not the ways of the Lord seem unequal 1 Does not all the previous faith of Abraham, and his trust in the Divine testimony seem in vain 1 Do not the promises of Jehovah appear likely to be broken 1 And is not the religion in which, no doubt, Abraham had often gloried before his wicked neighbors, likely to be brought into derision 1 The heathen would be ready to ask, Is this the nature of thy religion'? Doth the Deity thou servest call to the perpetration of murder 1 Surely no such combination of circumstances ever before met! At once leading the saint to duty, and tempting him from it.
But mark now the triumph of Abraham’s faith. We have often heard of the wmnders that faith has achieved ; Low it has “ subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire,” &c.; but we never heard of its effecting a greater conquest than the one now before us. We have read of an Alexander who conquered the world, but never subdued himself. Here is a hero who, through faith in God, triumphed over his natural dispositions, rose superior to hutnan reason, and discharged the most painful duties in obedience to the Divine command. Faith convinced him, that though the Creator had commanded man not to slay his kind, yet he had, if he pleased, a right to impose it as a duty; that though he had implanted in his soul affections which revolted from this act, yet he could do nothing but what was right; though reason could not unfold the mysterious subject, he felt persuaded that infinite wisdom could ; and, therefore, he resolved to trust God where he could trace him. Let us see how his faith was manifested.
See it in his punctual obedience. Listen to the command, “Take now thy son,” &c. One would imagine Abraham ready to say, with a deep-fetched sigh, Well, if I must discharge this most painful of all duties, I will defer it, at least for a little season ; perhaps, by my prayers, I may prevail on the blessed God to change his purposes ; or I may gradually wean my affections from my beloved Isaac; or, at least, by familiarizing the aAvful scene I must pass through, I may strip it of some of its horrors.—Is this the case 1 No. He “ conferred not with flesh and blood.” He delayed not the duty, because it was painful; but “he rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass,” and proceeded in search of the awful spot where the event was to take place. Convinced of the power and the love of his heavenly Father, and well knowing that all his designs were founded in infinite wisdom, and would at once promote his own glory and the good of his people, he hastened to the discharge of his duty. Long had he received favors from Heaven; and he could not suppose that he had changed his purposes of mercy toward him. If God demands an Isaac, he first gave him, and he has a right to take him away ; “ Shall not the Judge of the whole earth do right 1” Abraham is satisfied, too, that Jehovah could raise Isaac from the dead. His power to do this could never have been denied; but his design of raising the
SACRIFICING HIS SON. 255
dead had never, that we know of, been revealed. No resurrection had taken place; hut Abraham well knew, that though Isaac should die, “the purpose of God should stand, and he would do all his pleasure.” The promise was, “ In Isaac shall thy seed be called;” and he was persuaded that Omnipotence would fulfil “ the promise on which he had caused him to hope.” “ Accounting,” says the Apostle, “ that God was able to raise him from the dead, whence also he received him in a figure,” “He judged him faithful who had promised.” See this faith, in his order to his servants, and his conversation with Isaac. To the former he says, “Abide ye here with the ass, and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you and to the latter, “ My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt-offering.” We cannot think that the lamb here referred fo was Isaac himself, because he would have then said, “God has provided a lamb,” &c. He no doubt believed, either that the Lord would interpose in some miraculous manner to prevent his death, or rather, perhaps, that he would afterward restore him to life. Certainly he had a conviction that the Majesty of heaven would approve the obedience he required to his commands; and this alone enabled him to adopt this language. How strikingly do we see in this narrative “the work of faith and labor of love!”
Contemplate now the approbation of the blessed God as shown to Abraham. And but for the confidence of his enjoying this, the patriarch could not have braved the trials, or have performed the painful task before us. But possessing this assurance, he is not to be moved by the suggestions of a depraved heart •, or even, if if he had heard them, the taunts of infidelity; he remains steady to his purpose. To please Jehovah was the great object to which he had devoted his life. And that he had the Divine approbation, we learn from.several facts connected Avith the narrative. We see it in the gift of strength to enable his faith to conquer. Was Abraham “ strong in faith,” and disposed to give “ glory to God 5” —that faith Avas increased, and that disposition promoted, by Him who is “ the giver of every good and perfect gift:” “ He that hath, to him shall be given.” Abraham furnishes a proof that, in reference to the man who trusts in the Lord, “as his day so shall his strength be.” We sometimes say, that, Avere Ave called to this or the other trial, Ave could not sustain it. Thus do we distrust Him who has graciously declared, “My grace is sufficient for thee.” Does not this declaration extend to the most trying circumstances the Christian has to meet with 1 By indulging in fears of this kind, Ave destroy our confidence in the blessed God, and render ourselves unequal to bear Avith suitable feelings AA^hat he is pleased to inflict. This approbation Avas shoAvn in the acceptance of the offering, and the restoration of Isaac. “He that honoreth me, I aauII honor,” is the rule by AArhich the Supreme Governor of the Avorld acts in dealing Avith his creatures : and here the rule is exemplified. God had intended singular honors for Abraham; but these honors must be preceded by a painful trial; for thus does the Divine Being
256 the affectionate father
teach his people to value his blessings. Abraham obeys the painful command ; but Isaac shall not die. His design is accepted, instead of its execution. The lad is restored to his father! And, oh ! how must his heart rejoice to receive his son, as it were from the embraces of death! What scenes would he have to disclose to his beloved Sarah after this marvellous deliverance ! See this approbation in God’s providing an offering : thus proclaiming, “ In the mount of the Lord it shall be seen,” that infinite wisdom and mercy will provide a substitute to die for his people, that he will appear for them in the hour of distress, and that he will abundantly reward those that serve him. While Abraham stood, in silent, grateful surprise, marvelling at the miraculous interposition of the great Jehovah in its behalf, he “ lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold,
behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns; and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt-offering in the stead of his son.” God farther showed his approbation of his conduct, by renewing and enlarging the covenant he had formerly made with him. While the Most High never blesses disobedience, he rewards those who obey him: “ By myself have I sworn, saith the Lord, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son ; that in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of heaven, and as the sand upon the seashore ; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies: and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth
SACRIFICING HIS SON. 257
oe blessed, because thou hast obeyed my voice.” And see, finally, the approbation of God in holding up the deed to the admiration of all succeeding ages. So long as the volume of Revelation shall endure, “ shall this that he hath done be told for a memorial of him.” This is the man whom the Majesty of heaven delighteth to honor; this is the individual he calls upon us to imitate.
It only remains that we hint at the lessons which this most interesting subject suggests to us.- It presents us with a type of the death of Christ. It was to this the Saviour-referred, when he said “ Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day, and he saw it and was glad.” But how far does the antetype exceed the type ! Abraham was ready to offer his son ; but God spared, not his Son, but freely gave him up for us all.” Isaac was offered on a.mountain; Christ on the same mountain, or very near.it, yielded up his life. The offering up of Isaac brought blessings to Abraham ; the sacrifice of the Saviour opened a channel through which eternal mercies shall flow to man. The narrative farther teaches us, that our dangers cannot be too great for Him who ruleth. in the heavens to deliver us from them. WeTcould hardly have supposed it possible, when Abraham had bound Isaac to the altar, and had already lifted up his hand to strike the fatal blow, that he could , have been delivered: but with the. God of the Christian all things are possible. Who can harm, when he protects '? Who will fear, when he is nigh l We see that Deity enjoins hard duties to try his people. “ God tempted,” or ^n’ed, Abraham ; not because he was unknown to Omniscience, but to show us the nature of his religion. In all succeeding ages he ever ha§, and will visit.his people with his severe dispensations, “vto try them and prove them ; to see .what is in their hearts, and whethet they will keep his commandments or no.” And finally, the subject illustrates the necessity of faith to our happiness. Had not Abraham possessed faith in the Divine testimony, he had not been happy; nor could he have thus endured the trials he was called to sustain. He could not have glorified his Creator, nor been thus held up to the admiration of all holy beings. “ All men have not faith.” This makes the world full of misery.. Let us impress deeply on each of our hearts the important injunction of the Saviour, “ Have faith in God.”
Rama.—The residence of the prophet Samuel, five miles northwest of Jerusalem. It may wel] be called “ a high place,” for it commands a view of all the plain of Sharon, a long extent of the Mediterranean sea, and a large portion of Palestine in all directions. “ In Rama was there a voice heard,” &c. The prophet is supposed to represent Rachel as coming out of her tomb, and weeping with so loud a voice as to be heard at Rama, the distance of seven or eight miles. ,
258 the goat.
The usual Scripture name for this animal in a domestic state, is a word which signifies strength or vigor, and it seems the goat is so called on account of its agility and vigor.
Dr. Russell and other travellers inform us, that in Syria they have two kinds of goats ; one that differs little from the common sort in Britain^ the other remarkable for the length of its ears, which are sometimes upward of a foot long, and broad in proportion. To this description of the gOat it is, as Mr. Harmer reasonably supposes, that the prophet Amos, refers, in expressing the smallness of that part' of Israel that escapedffrom destruction, and were scattered in foreign countries: “ As the shepherd taketh out of the mouth of the lion> two legs, .or a piece of an ear, so shall the children of Israel be taken out that dwell in Samaria, and in Damascus,” Amos iii. 12.
The goat was one of the clean animals which the Israelites were permitted,to eat, and to offer on the altar (Exodus xii. 5, &c.); and the flesh of the kid is frequently mentioned in terms which show that it was esteemed as a great delicacy, Gen. xxxviii. 16, 17 ", Jud. xvi. Solomon promises, as a reward to the diligent husbandman, that he shall have goafs milk enough for his food, for the food of his household, and for the maintenance of his maidens (Prov. xxvii. 27); which to us may appear somewhat strange ; but Russell assures us, that in Aleppo, these animals are chiefly kept for their milk, of which they yield no inconsiderable quantity ; that it is sweet and well-tasted, and frequently used for the making of cheese. This furnishes one among many instances of the importance of historical and local information to a right understanding of the sacred writings. . , /
In Lev. xvii. 7, we read, “And they shall no morn offer /their sacrifices unto devils” (or hairy ones). The word here means the idolatrous images of goats worshipped by the Egyptians. It is the same word that is translated “ satyrs,” in Isa. xiii. 21; where the LXX render it demoris. Maimonides gives light to this obscure passage, by informing us, that.the Zabian idolaters worshipped demons under the figure of goats, imagining them to appear in that form; whence they called them by the name of Seirim—hairy or shabby ones—and that the custom being spread among other nations, gave occasion to this precept.
There is a precept in Ex.; xxiii. 19, repeated in xxxiv. 26, and Deut. xiv. 21, which alludes, no doubt, to some superstitious rite, used by the idolatrous nations in honor of their gods. A Caraite Jew, quoted by Cudworth, affirms, that it w5s customary among them to boil a kid in the milk of its mother, and with the decoction besprinkle, in a magical manner, the fields and gardens, thinking, by this means, they should make them fructify.
There was one ceremonial offering of the goat, Under the Mosaic economy, of too extraordinary a character to be passed by unno-
260 THE GOAT.
ticed: we mean the scape-goat of the great day of atonement. The ceremony is described in Lev. xvi. Having received the two goats at the hands of the representatives of the congregation, the high priest proceeded to cast lots, for determining that which should be “ for the Lord,” i. e., sacrificed ; and that which should be “ for Azazel,” i. e., for the scape-goat. This being settled, and the one marked for the sacrifice having been slain, and the mercy-seat sprinkled with its blood, the scape-goat was to be sent away into the wilderness; which was done in the following manner: The high priest, and the stationary-men, who represented, the whole congregation of the people, laid their hands upon its head, and confessed over it all the iniquities of the people, and all their transgressions in all their sins, putting them on the head of the goat, verses 20, 21. By this ceremony, says Witsius, the sinner deprecated the wrath of God, and prayed that it might fall on the head of that victiiP which he put in his own stead. This being done, it was delivered to the person appointed to lead it away, that he might bear away all their iniquities to a land of separation, where they should be remembered no more, verse 22. It is observable, that the two goats seem to make but one sacrifice j yet only one of them was slain. Hence, they have been thought to point out both the divine and. human natures of the Saviour, and to typify both his death and resurrection. The goat which was slain prefigured his human nature and his death; and the scape-goat pointed out his resurrection : the one represented the atonement made for the sins of the world, as the ground of justification; the other, Christ’s victory, and the removal of sin, in the sanctification of the soul. '
The hair of the goat is of two kinds ; the one, long and coarse, is used in the manufacture of tent curtains, sails, and other fabrics of the same kind ; the other is much finer, growing under the former, and is fabricated into stuffs, which almost equal silk in fineness. Of the coarse kind of hair, were manufactured the curtains for the tabernacle (Exod. xxvi. 7; xxx. 26), and it is still used in the East as a covering for tents.
The tresses of the bride, in the Canticles, are compared to a flock of goats from Mount Gilead (ch. iv.), that is, to their hair, which is generally long and of a black color, or very brown, such as that of a lovely brunett may be supposed to be. The celebrated author of Theron and Aspasio, however, gives the allusion a different turn. The amiableness of the church, in the exemplary conversation of true believers, is displayed by a copious growth of hair, which flows down from the parted forehead in decent curls. Thy hair is as a flock of goats that are seen afar off, and appear in a pendent attitude, from the summit of Mount Gilead, most agreeably adorning the place, and detaining the spectator’s eye. This exposition takes in a circumstance which corresponds with the pensile position of the hair ; renders the comparison more full and exact ; and is, according to the observation of a most accurate judge, one of the most remarkable objects in such a prospect.
ANCIENT SHOES AND SANDALS.
ANCIENT SHOES AND SANDALS.
The invention of this useful article of dress must necessarily be attributed to a very remote period in the history of the world, for as soon as mankind had made even a moderate progress in the arts of life, their attention would naturally be directed to the contrivance of some method for preserving the soles of the feet from injury. In preparing a covering for the head, the most delicate materials, such as straw, shavings of wood, &c., were in the first instance resorted to, the only object being to protect the head from the heat of the sun, and occasionally from rain ; but any substance calculated to guard the feet from injury, must be capable of enduring much wear and tear. On this account it is, that the earliest coverings for the feet, of which any traces exist, wero formed of leather.
The first three engravings represent shoes, or rather sandals (for the covering of the upper part of the foot is a much later invention), of Egyptian manufacture, and show the high state of civilization in Egypt nearly three thousand years ago.
No. 1. No. 2. No. 3.
The sandals of the Greeks are the next we have to notice ; and in these, the upper part of the foot is still left uncovered, although, perhaps, greater dexterity is exhibited in the different methods of No. 4. No. 5.
262 ANCIENT SHOES AND SANDALS.
fastening them on the feet. Much uncertainty, however, exists, as to the correct forms of the sandals of this celebrated nation, as most of the statues which have been preserved are greatly damaged, and the feet have been restored by modern artists : in addition to this, the greater number of the statues of their heroes or gods, are represented with their bare feet. The form of the coverings for the feet of the ancient Romans is evidently derived from the Greeks, but they assumed a greater variety of shapes in general, however, the upper part of the foot was either wholly or partially covered. The engraving, No. 4, represents what may, perhaps, be most appropriately called a boot.
The four next engravings (Nos. 6, 7, 8, 9) are representations of ancient shoes and sandals, of different kinds. The first, with
No. 8. No. 9.
spikes attached to the sole, is, evidently, intended for the purpose of rendering the wearer sure-footed, in ascending or descending steep acclivities, or in crossing plains of ice, or frozen snow. The next is almost a perfect shoe, but to what nation it belonged is uncertain. The third is a species of wooden clog, and is almost similar to those worn at the present day by the ladies of Syria. The fourth appears to be formed of leather ; it is copied from an ancient fragment, but it is uncertain to what country it is to be attributed.
Referring to the shoes of modern nations, the first, and perhaps the most antique, are those worn by the Chinese. Like every other article of dress of this singular people, the shoes of the richer class are chiefly formed of silk, and beautifully embroidered. Nos. 10 and 11 represent the foot and shoe of a Chinese lady of rank, which, from its extremely small size, was, no doubt, of the most fashionable form.
ANCIENT SHOES AND SANDALS. 263
No. 10. No. 11.
This strange desire of the Chinese females of all ranks, to reduce the size of their feet, is only another proof of the inconveniences and torments which have been endured for fashion’s sake j and, although at first sight it appears extremely singular, it is not a whit more unnatural than the tight lacing of the ladies of the present age. To such an extent is this practice carried, that, says Lord Macartney, “ Even among the middle and inferior classes, the feet were unnaturally small, or rather truncated. They appear as if the fore-part of the foot had been accidentally cut off, leaving the remainder of the usual size, and bandaged like the stump of an amputated limb; they undergo, indeed, much torment, and cripple themselves in a great measure, in imitation of ladies of higher rank, among whom it is the custom to stop, by pressure, the growth of the ankle, as well as the foot, from the earliest infancy ; and leaving the great toe in its natural position, forcibly to bend the others, and retain them under the foot, till at length they adhere to it, as if buried in the sole, and can no more be separated. Notwithstanding the pliability of the human frame in tender years, its tendency to expansion at that period, must, whenever it is counteracted, occasion great pain to those who are so treated ; and before the ambition of being admired takes possession of these victims of fashion, it requires the vigilance of their female parents to prevent their relieving themselves from the firm and tight compresses which bind their feet and ankles. When these compresses are constantly and carefully kept on, the feet are symmetrically small. The young creatures are, indeed, obliged for a considerable time, to be supported when they attempt to walk ; but even afterward they totter, and always walk upon their heels. Some of the very lowest classes of the Chinese, of a race confined chiefly to the mountains, and remote places, have not adopted this unnatural custom. But the females of this class are held by the rest in the utmost degree of contempt, and are employed only in the most menial domestic offices.
“ So inveterate is the custom which gives pre-eminence to mutilated over perfect limbs, that the interpreter averred, and every subsequent information confirmed the assertion, that if of two sisters, otherwise everyway equal, the one had been thus maimed,
264 ANCIENT SHOES AND SANDALS.
while nature had been suffered to make its usual progress in the other, the latter would he considered as in an abject state, unworthy of associating with the rest of the family, and doomed to perpetual obscurity, and the drudgery of servitude.”
How this singular fashion arose, is uncertain ; the common story in China is, that a certain lady of very high rank, happened to be gifted by nature with extremely small feet, and, no doubt, took good care that her advantage over the rest of her sex, should not be unknown; this naturally excited the emulation of others, and an endeavor was made to supply by art, that which was considered a deficiency on the part of nature.
This curious covering for the leg and foot (No. 12), was in use among the Anglo-Saxons, it was employed chiefly by the higher classes, and by the clergy in general; a shoe was also worn along with it. These leg bandages, or garters, were at times very richly embroidered, and sometimes instead of being rolled one way, as in our engraving, they were employed and bound round contrary ways, so that, when they were of two colors, the appearance resembled a Highland stocking; this was called cross-gartering.
No. 12. No. 13.
The shoes of the Anglo-Saxons were very simple, but at the same time, well contrived for comfort; they were usually tied at the instep by a leather thong.
After the time of the Anglo-Saxons, when the nation began to import its fashions from other countries, the form of the boots and shoes was constantly varying; indeed, they appear to have been made rather according to the whim or caprice of the wearer, than in consequence of any settled fashion; we must not, however, omit to notice the long-toed boot (No. 15), so much worn in the reign of Richard the Second. It is said by historians that these were so inconvenient in walking that the wearer was obliged to loop them up to the knee by means of metal chains ; it is also said that once on the field of battle, the young cavaliers were so encumbered by these unnaturally long toes, that they were obliged to cut them off in the heat of the conflict.
ANCIENT SHOES AND SANDALS- 265
In the 17th century, the boots of gentlemen were ornamented with tops, sometimes elegantly fringed with lace, and the shoes also had immensely large rosettes of different-colored silks, (No. 16).
We are coming now to comparatively modern times, and some now living can remember the high-heeled shoes worn by the ladies in the last century. No. 17 represents a shoe of this description, such as was worn by the fashionable men of the day.
The shoe and boot represented in Nos. 18, 19, are still worn in France: the jack-boot has been so often noticed by travellers and others, that it hardly needs description ; it is, however, perhaps, not generally known, that the foot of the wearer of this unwieldy boot does not reach the sole, but is received in a space about four inches above the ground, so that the heel of the wearer is immediately in front of the spur. The wooden shoe is formed out of one solid piece of wood, and is worn in France chiefly by the children and women in country places. It is the wooden shoe alluded to by Goldsmith’s porter in the Citizen of the World, who, while resting from his load, declares the French to be only “fit to carry burdens, because they are slaves and wear wooden shoes.” No. 20 is a kind of sandal worn by the mountaineers in Switzerland, studded with iron spikes, to prevent the foot slipping.
266 ANCIENT SHOES AND SANDALS.
No. 18. No. 19. No. 20.
The snow-shoe is formed of a frame-work of wood, strongly interlaced with thongs of leather ; it is employed by the Esquimaux and the Canadians, to prevent their sinking into the snow, when crossing their extensive plains. This shoe causes great pain to the wearer until after considerable practice in the use of it.
We cannot better conclude this account, than by noticing the machines invented by Mr. Brunei for the purpose of making shoes for the army and navy. The chief difference between his method and that in common use, consisted in the employment of nails of different lengths, for the purpose of uniting the various parts of the shoe, the only part subjected to the operation of sewing being
the three pieces of which the upper-leather is composed, namely, the vamp and the two quarters. The cutting-out is performed by large steel punches of the proper form; the holes to receive the nails are made with the greatest regularity, and by a very simple contrivance : the nails, which are also made by the same machine, are dropped with unerring certainty in their places, and at one blow they are all driven in to the proper depth.
The nails employed are of three kinds: 1. The long nails,
which form a complete row, as near as possible to the edge of the whole shoe, passing through the two soles, the welt, and the upper-leather; the heel is also fastened on by a row of these nails, round its edge. The heads, or thick ends of the nails, are seen on the lower side of the soles, and keep the leather from wearing.
2. The tacking nails, which are of such a size as to pass onh through the sole and the welt. Of these there is a row all round the edge of the foot, but farther from the edge, than the row of long nails. ' .
3. The short nails, which only penetrate through the thickness of the lower sole ; they are disposed in parallel rows across the tread of the foot, and also in a double row parallel to the outline of the toe, at about three quarters of an inch from the edge.
Samuel, the son of Elkanah and Hannah, was the sixteenth in descent from Korah, the seditious Levite, and contemporary with Samsori: his mother having obtained him by earnest prayer, she devoted him to the service of God, as a Nazante, from his infancy, and assigned him to Eli, for the service of the tabernacle. When Eli became incapacitated for his duties by weight of years, and was sinfully indulgent to his sons, one morning, ere the lamps of. the tabernacle were extinguished, the Lord called Samuel, as he lay in his bed near^to that of Eli, and told him what calamities would assuredly befall Eli, because he had not restrained the wickedness of his sons. From this time forth Samuel was acknowledged to be a prophet, and, when Eli died, succeeded him as judge of Israel. Samuel had two sons, Joel and Abiah, whom he appointed judges of the people, but they perverted justice, and received bribes, which the elders made a pretext for asking a king. The Lord directed Samuel to anoint Saul to be their king, but this prince having rebelled against God’s commandments by sparing Agag, and “the best of the sheep,” he was afterward rejected, and David, the son of Jesse, anointed king in his place. Samuel withdrew to Ramah, where he presided over a number of young men who had devoted themselves to the peculiar service of God ; and there died, about A. M. 2947.
THE AFFECTIONATE DAUGHTER-IN-LAW. 27]
THE AFFECTIONATE DAUGHTER-IN-LAW.
Where is the breast, that e’er can rival Ruth In tenderness, susceptibility,
And fervor 01 affection ?—Anon.
To a mind at all impressed with religion, it is a very pleasing thought, that all our affairs are under the superintendence of the Supreme Being. The most minute, as well as the most mighty events, are “ ordered after the counsel of his will.”—“ The very hairs of our heads are all numbered ; and not a sparrow falls to the ground without the notice of our heavenly Father.” The Book of Ruth presents us with a series of striking and instructive events, and powerfully illustrates the kindness of the providential government of the blessed God ; showing us how he can make the greatest evils subserve his gracious purposes toward his people.
In the commencement of the history, the inspired writer introduces to our notice a very interesting narrative of facts. In consequence of the sins of Israel, Lev. xxvi. 18-20, their land was visited with a sore famine, and many of its inhabitants wrere induced to leave the place endeared to them by their birth, and a thousand other tender associations, and sojourn in foreign countries. Among others wdio went into the land of Moab, wras a man named Elimelech, his -wife, wdio wuis called Naomi, and their twro sons, who were named Mahlon and Chilion. ' There seems to have existed no pressing necessity for this family to leave their religious connexion ; since many of their neighbors were enabled to brave the horrors of the famine : beside wdiich, Elimelech’s family was but small, and he wTas a man of some property, for he “ went out full:” but, alas! anxiety to keep and increase their property often induces even the people of God to run into the way of temptation. Thus was it in the case of Lot; and so, on the present occasion. After a continuance of some time, the good man died, leaving a widow, with her twro sons, in a strange land. Here, however, the Lord provided for them. Though the poor woman had to mourn the loss of an affectionate husband, she had comfort in her sons : wdio, soon after, took to themselves “whves of the women of Moab.” It is a matter of lamentation that they had not religion enough to induce them to select companions so intimate from among their own kindred : but the good hand of God was pleased in this case to overrule the event for good. Ruth’s marrying an Israelite led to her conversion to God: but let not this be considered an encouragement for “the sons of God” to run counter to his positive commands, in talcing to themselves “ whves of the daughters of men:” for let it be recollected, that her conversion was never made manifest till after the death of her husband: and, probably, it was not the affectionate expostulation of her partner, but his death, in connexion with the holy life, the con-
21% THE AFFECTIONATE
versation and the prayers of Naomi, which brought her ultimate ly to God. The marriage of her sons afforded to Naomi, we may readily suppose, no small source of pleasure. Her fond imagination pictured scenes of enjoyment for her children for many years to come; and when she reflected On her own distressing bereavement, she would present the ardent prayer that her sons and her daughters-in-law might be spared as blessings, to each other ; “ that their sons might he as plants grownup in their youth that their daughters might be as corner-stones polished after the similitude of a palace.” She hoped to see her grandchildren rising up around her, and to have the opportunity of telling them, for their instruction and amusement, the scenes of her youth, and the acts of that beloyed individual whom she had laid in the tomb, hut whose name and memory she highly revered. But, alas 1 oui best joys are fleeting and short-lived ; in a very few years her sons were cut off, and their wives became widows. Death, the universal conqueror, spares no age ; he favors no class; he cuts asunder the closest ties and separate's the most endearing connexions. The good old mother committed them to the grave ; wept over their ashes, and bowed with submission to him who posses-sesarightto do as he pleases with his creatures.
Having buried her dearest hopes, Naomi resolved on leaving the land of her sorrows, and returning to her pious kindred and acquaintance. She communicated her design to her daughters-in-law; who, in a manner that indicated their kind regard , to her, resolved to accompany her, at least a part of her journey. When they had proceeded some distance, the venerable woman, feeling for their situation, and anxious to save them from fatigue, wished them to “ return, each to her mother’s house;” expressing the kindest desires on their behalf: “ The Lord deal kindly with you, as ye have dealt with the dead and with me : the Lord grant you that ye may find rest, each of you in the house of her husband. Then she kissed them, and they lifted up their voice and wept.” Who can read unmoved the description of a scene like this 1 How suitable a subject for the pencil of the painter! How many tender associations rise up in each of their minds! One almost hears the prayer of this aged widow for these her daughters in affliction; and We wonder hot to hear them saying, “ Surely, we will return with thee unto thy pbople.” Such was the resolution of each for the moment. Are not many of our pious resolutions the result of an equally transient feeling 1 If so, it is no . wonder that, like Orpah, we are soon moved from our purpose, and turn back into the world. The good woman seems to have indulged the apprehension, that mere natural affection led them to speak thus, and again presses them to return. Orpah consented—kissed her, and returned ; but Ruth possessed a regard to her that was more than natural. Her mind had been impressed with the importance of religion ; she had witnessed Naomi’s holy conduct; and had become convinced of the superior excellence of her character; and “Ruth clave unto her;” nor could any argument that Naomi used.
with a view to try her sincerity, induce her to depart from her purpose, “ for Ruth said, Entreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee ; for whither thou goest, I will go ; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge : thy people shall he my people, and thy God my God ; where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the Lord do so to me, and more also, if aught but death part thee and me.” How decided her conduct! How evident a proof of attachment, not merely to her person, hut to her religion! And, oh ! with what joy must Naomi have been filled, when she discovered the genuine conversion of her daughter-in-law ! Will the-reader favor me with his attention, while I attempt to investigate the principles on which the determination of Ruth was founded—explain the import of the determination—and urge some motives to induce him to adopt it as his ownl
Let us, then, investigate the principles on .which the determination of Ruth was founded. It is scarcely necessary to remark, that this resolution exhibits a change of heart; for however amiable may be the manners of a ;ierson^ however generous his natural disposition, or however polished his education, yet does there exist in the soul no real regard to the religion of the Bible, till it has been renewed by the grace of God. This grace led Ruth to the determination before us, which was founded on faith ,in Divine revelation. She had been educated a heathen, in a land whose inhabitants knew not the true God. But perhaps her deceased husband, and certainly her pious mother-in-law had unfolded to her the truths of the religion of Israel, and directed her attention to that great Messiah to whom the types and sacrifices all pointed, and “the testimony of whom was the spirit of prophecy.” Enlightened by the Spirit of God, she fully credited the truths of his word; and, convinced at once of the vanity of the world, and of the infinite superiority of the religion founded on “the oracles of God,” she abandoned her own country, her people, and her profession of idolatry, and determined henceforth to rank with the people of the God of heaven.
This resolution was founded, too, on'holy love. True religion, whether it be considered in its nature, its origin, or its effects, may be summed up in this one word—Love. Its great'author, “God, is love.” Its design is, to make us, like our Maker, full of love; and “love is the fulfilling of the law.” Jluth had love to Jehovah. Had she continued in her natural state of alienation from her Maker;—-had she still been numbered with the “haters of God,” we had never heard this language proceeding from her lips. Perhaps, like some of my readers, she had been the votary of pleasure; and had fixed her affections on the vanities of the present world. Many a prayer had been presented to God on her behalf; and at length the Holy Spirit is pleased to open the eyes of her understanding ; to show her the loveliness of the Divine character, the perfect rectitude of his law, and the obligations she lay under to obey it. Thus was she loved by the Supreme Being, and is now constrained to love him in return, and freely engage in
274 THE AFFECTIONATE
his service. She loved the cause of Holiness. Perhaps some of my readers wonder why we can love religion: there is, in their view, everything in it that is discouraging and g).oomy. And did we not know, kind reader, the awful depravity of the human heart, and its liability to make the greatest mistakes, we should Wonder that you can reject it. Ruth once thought that happiness was to be found in the world: but she afterward happily discovered that it was only in religion. Here are solid pleasures! Here are durable riches! Here are unfading honors! This she saw, and resolved to engage in the service of God. She was influenced by love to the people of Jehovah. One of the first and clearest evidences of our return to God is attachment to his people, because they belong to him- We see them as “ the excellent of the earth;” in them we place “ all our delight,” because they bear the image of the Saviour ; they are pursuing the Divine glory—they are travelling to that happy world, where they hope to reside for ever with Jesus. Thus, loving the people of God, “ Ruth clave to Naomi,” and resolved to adopt holy people as her companions.
Equally apparent is it, that she was led to this determination by genuine humility, and a sense of her need of religious intercourse. While the proud worldling disdains the thought of being associated with the people of Jehovah, who are generally regarded with contempt; those who have been enlightened by Divine grace, who have felt their own ignorance, and have learned the superior excellence of the righteous, know that many advantages result from a connexion with them ; and, therefore, they say, like Ruth, “ Entreat me not to leave thee.” Few things present better evidence of genuine conversion, than a deep conviction of our ignorance, and of our need of instruction in the way to heaven. There are some persons, who, having received an education superior to many by whom they, are surrounded, feel a spirit of lofty independence, and imagine themselves qualified to teach rather than to learn; but when humbled by religion, they discover their ignorance, and are ready to ask even the weakest Christian for advice and encouragement. In other things, perhaps, Ruth might know more than her mother-in-law ; but in religion she felt Naomi’s superiority ; she had discovered her own liability to fall into the temptations of Satan, and the snares of the world, and wished to enjoy intercourse with an ag^d believer, who was “riot ignorant of his devices.” This was a praiseworthy resolution. Apollos, with all his eloquence and knowledge of the Scriptures, gladly associated with Aquila and Priscilla, that he might learn “ the way of the Lord more perfectly;” being assured that, “he that walketh with wise men shall be wise.”
But let us briefly explain the import of the determination itself. Ruth did not utter this language without thought; nor did she enter on a life of religion without counting the cost. The determination implies, the renunciation of idolatry. “ Thy God shall be my God.” She had been brought up among pagans; she had been accustomed to bow the knee before dumb idols; but having now
been taught the folly of this worship, she dedicated her service to the God of Israel. Perhaps my reader imagines that there exists no present necessity to exhort'persons, at least in this country, to forsake idolatry; but, alas! do not too many set their hearts on the world, and give up their best affections to its pursuits and its pleasures'? Is not the creature often loved more than the Creator 1 Are there not many, of whom Paul would say, “ whose god is their belly 1” These idols must all be renounced before we can acceptably serve the true God.
We may farther observe, that this determination includes a solemn engagement, notwithstanding every difficulty, to abide by the people of God.—“Where thou goest, I will go,* where thou lodgest, I will lodge | where thou diest, I will die,” &c. It is a fact, which we are by no means anxious to conceal, that sorrows attend a connexion with the people of God. If we adhere to them, we shall meet with persecution from the world, and often with trials from the church. Notwithstanding-this, when our hearts are properly influenced by a sense of the advantages arising from such a connexion, we shall, like Moses, “ choose rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season and, like Ruth, say to.them, “ entreat me not to leave you.” Among the people of Jehovah we are instructed in the knowledge of the Divine will, comforted in the day of trial, reproved and admonished in the hour of danger, encouraged in our conflict with the powers of darkness, and helped forward in the way to heaven.
Not less does the determination imply an entire devotedness to the work of God. It is not the spirit of indecision which is breathed in the language of Ruth, but of entire consecration to the cause she had espoused. There is an object the people of God have to promote; a spirit they have to exhibit; duties they have to discharge j and these things require the exertions of all our energies. To the great business of religion, Ruth brought her whole soul: she felt that if religion was of importance at all, it was all-important, and as such she embraced it and discharged its duties. Such a line of conduct would f recommend to my readers, and beg leave to urge some motives to induce them to adopt the determination as their own. We are swajred in our decisions on important matters by what appears to us the greatest means of happiness. The greatest possible good, then, may be urged why you should adopt the resolution of adherence to the service of God 5 as it will most entirely promote your respectability and happiness. Resolving on a union with the people of God, you will be most effectually freed from the company of the vile and abandoned. The drunkard and the swearer, the sabbath-breaker and, the, whoremonger, with the long list of guilty criminals, will keep at a distance from you, and shun you as though you had the plague. The pleasures arising from an attention to divine ordinances,, from association with the people of God, from communion with Heaven, will all be yours. Really one in heart with the people of God on earth, you are uni-
276 THE AFFECTIONATE DAUGHTER-IN-LAW.
ted to the “ spirits of just men made .perfect” in heaven. The wise and good regard persons like Ruth with esteem: angels in heaven behold therri with delight; and, above all, God himself he stows on them his infinite favors. Nor are such characters blesseu only in their own persons, hut they are made blessings to others. By espousing the cause of religion, you become witnesses for the Supreme Being, promote his cause, and are blessings to all around you.
Thus you will increase the happiness of your pious friends. I am sure I may stand forth as the representative of every pious parent in the world, arid say, “ I have no greater joy than to' hear that my children walk in the truth.” Nothing on earth, my reader, can equal the happiness of the good man, when he sees his neighbors around him becoming decided for the cause of religion. For you the pious relative, the zealous Christian, and the affectionate minister, often pray.' 0 ! let them not pray in vain, but give up yourselves to the service of your Creator.
Thus you will most effectually glorify God. The grand design of our creation is, that we may promote the glory of our Maker, by showing forth the greatness of his character, and our sense of the value of his benefits. And never can we do this so effectually, as by submitting to his government^ and obeying his laws. The man who does not thus glorify Jehovah, is in a state of rebellion against him.
Once more : by embracing the service of God, you secure your future happiness. This is true as it respects the present world. The piety of Ruth led to her comfort and happiness on earth. u Them that honor me, I will honor is the declaration of the Deity 3 and thousands beside Ruth have bettered their worldly circumstances by religion. But what is the possession of wealth, compared with the joys of communion with Christ, and all the blessings he bestows upon us, while in this waste, howling wilderness! But supposing we should, while here, remain , poor, how vast the enjoyments of religion beyond the grave !,
It endless happiness secures,
And frees from endless death!
“ Godliness is profitable for all things, having the promise of the life that now is, and of that which is.to come.”
In closing this article, we remark : How amiable was the character of Naomi in encouraging Ruth. What encouragement is here given to pious parents to educate their children in the fear of God. And how abiding the nature of religious affection; extending not merely to time, but beyond the grave. May the resolution of Ruth be that of each of my readers 3 may they possess her religion, and experience her enjoyments.
Dead Sea.—The specific gravity of the water is such as to render the human body incapable of sinking in it. To the taste, it has an unequalled bitterness, and a peculiar pungency.
278 RIVER JORDAN.
THE PLAIN OF JERICHO.
The “ region round about Jordan” (Matt. iii. 5) comprised the level country on each side of that river, from the lake of Gennesa-ret to the Dead sea. Of this district, the Plain ‘of Jericho, celebrated for its fertility, and the intense heat which prevails there during the hot season* forms a part. From the observations of recent travellers, it appears that this plain has been accurately described by the Jewish historian. , V
In speaking of Jericho, he says, “It is situate in a plain; but a naked and barren mountain of a:very great length hangs over it, which extends itself to the land about Scythopolis northward, and as far as the country of Sodom, and the utmost limits of the Lake Asphaltitis southward. This mountain is all of it very uneven, and uninhabited by reason of its barrenness. There is an opposite mountain, that is situate over against it, on the other side of Jordan. This last begins at Julias, and the northern quarters, and extends itself southward as far as Somorrhon, which is the bounds of Petra, in Arabia. In this ridge of mountains there is one called the Iron mountain, that runs in length a;s far as Moab. Now, the region that lies in the middle between these ridges of mountains is called the Great Plain. It reaches from the village Ginnabus, as far as the Lake Asphaltitis. Its length is two hundred and thirty furlongs, and its breadth a hundred and twenty; and it is divided in the midst by Jordan. It has two lakes in it; that of Asphaltitis, and that of Tiberias, whose natures are opposite to each other. For the former is salt and unfruitful; but that of Tiberias is sweet and fruitful. This plain is much burnt up in summertime ; and, by reason of the extraordinary heat, contains very unwholesome air. It. is all destitute of water, excepting the river Jordan; which water of Jordan is the occasion why those plantations of palm-trees that are near its banks, are more flourishing, and much more fruitful; as are those that are remote from it not so flourishing or fruitful.” : ; •
The principal river which waters Palestine is the Jordan or la? Dan, i. e., the river of Dan. Josephus informs us that the Jordan has two sources, one in the region called Daphne, which supplies the lesser Jordan. This rivulet having passed through a pleasant country, falls into the greater Jordan, a little below where Jeroboam set up the golden calves. (Bell. Jud. iv. 1.) “ The greater Jordan to appearance flows out of a cave in that part of Mount Lebanon called Paneas, under which Cesarea Philippi formerly
The River Jordan.
280 RIVER JORDAN.
stood, but in reality it comes out of the Lake Phiala, passing thence under ground for the space of fifteen miles till it reaches Paneas. This, Philip the tetrarch first discovered by throwing a quantity of chaff into the lake Phiala, which issuing out of a cave whence formerly the Jordan was supposed to spring, showed clearly the true source of the river. The Jordan issuing from this cave, glides through the lake and marshes of Semechonitis. Then running other fifteen miles, falls below the city Julias, into the lake of Gennezar, through the middle of which it passes, and having watered a large tract of desert land, loses itself in the Asphaltites lake.” (Bell. iff. 18.) .
Dr. Shaw in his Travels (p. 373) describes the Jordan thus: “Though all those fountains and rivulets which I have just noAV mentioned, together with the Kardeneh, the Kishon, the brook of Sychem, and other lesser ones dispersed Over the Holy Land, should be united together, they would not form a stream in any degree equal to the Jordan, which, excepting the Nile, is by far the most considerable river I have seen in the Levant or Barbary. ' However, I could riot compute it to be more than thirty yards broad, though this is in a great measure, made up by the depth, which even at the brink I found to be three. If then we take this during the whole year for the mean depth of the stream, which by the way runs about two miles an hour, the Jordan every day discharges into the Dead sea, six millions tuns of water.”
“ The whole of the plain, from the mountains of Judea on the west, to those of Arabia on the eaSff” says Mr. Buckingham, “ may be called the/vale of Jordan, in a general way; but in the centre of the plain, which is at least ten miles.broad, the Jordan runs in another still lower valley, perhaps a mile broad in some of the widest parts, and a furlong in the narrowest. Into this we descended, and we thought the hills of white clayey soil on each side, to be about two hundred feet in height, the s.econd or lower plain being about a mile broad, generally barren, and the Jordan flowing down through the middle of it, between banks which were now fourteen or fifteen feet high, while the river was at its lowest ebb. There are close thickets all along the edge of the stream, as well as upon this lower plain, which would afford ample shelter for wild beasts, and as the Jordan might overflow its banks, when swollen with rains, sufficiently to .inundate this lower plain, though it could never reach the upper one, it was, most probably, from these that the lions were driven out by the inundation, which gave rise to the prophet’s simile, ‘Behold, he shall come up like a lion from the swelling of Jordan, against the habitation of the strong’ (Jer. xlix. 19, and 1. 44). The overflowing is said to have been in the first month, which corresponds to our March, as in the enumeration of the armies that came to David at Hebron, those are spoken of who went over Jordan in the first month, when he had overflowed all his banks (1 Chron. xii. 15). In the description of the passage of the priests with the ark, while the waters were divided and stood in a heap, as in the passage of the Red sea, it is said too,
that ‘Jordan overfloweth all his banks all the time of harvest’ (Josh. iii. 15), which would be both in the autumn' and in the spring, as there are two harvests here, one succeeding the early, and the other the latter rains.” Maundrell says, the water of the Jordan is too rapid to be swam against. Its breadth is about twenty yards, and its depth far exceeded his height.
If the reader compare these accounts of the Jordan, with the history of the Israelites’ passage through it under the conduct of Joshua, and especially if he attend to the circumstance mentioned above, that they passed at the time the river overflowed all his banks, he will form a proper idea of the greatness of the miracle which God wrought for their passage, stopping the current of- so vast and rapid a river, when so full of water. v
Dr. Macmichael says, the Jordan is annually frequented by many thousands of pilgrims, chiefly of the Greek church, under the protection of the moosillim, or Turkish governor of Jerusalem, and a strong military escort.
DAMASCUS. ' :
Damascus stands where it stood in Abraham’s time—perhaps the most ancient, certainly one of the most interesting cities in the world—lovely in position, renowned in the Old, distinguished in the New Testament; a holy city among the Mahometans; the seat of romance and poetry. Still Damascus stands in unchanged, and, if the word may be allowed with reference to anything earthly, it may here at least be blamelessly employed—Damascus stands in unchangeable beauty. The fierce spirit of its inhabitants, once so fanatical, has been moderated by a more tolerant and gentle influence. Jews and Christians mingle without mutual abhorrence. Many of the Damascus Jews carry on an extensive commerce in foreign merchandise. They trade with Great Britain, and with the ports of France and Italy. Among them are Some of the richest men in Syria—possessing from one to two millions of piasters, of which one hundred make a pound sterling, or fotir dollars forty-four cents of American money. They deal largely with the caravans which arrive from Mesopotamia, Persia, and all the regions of the East. Some of them traffic with the Arabs of the desert. In Damascus and Aleppo, commerce has much of primitive and patriarchal character. Multitudes of camels, asses, and trading travellers arrive, deposite their merchandise in the great khans, or receptacles of the city, and when their commodities are sold or exchanged, they depart in a body to their places of destination.
There is no city in the Holy Land, with the exception of Jerusalem, so interesting as this. It is the oldest one on the face of the earth, and stands a solitary, stately monument in the midst of decay. Babylon and Thebes were its contemporaries; but the
former has passed away without leaving a trace of its magnificence, and the latter is represented only by its startling ruins. Still Damascus remains, and is now, with the exception of Constantinople, the largest city of the East.
Here are the “ Abana and Pharpar,'rivers of Damascus,” again calling up the thrilling story of the Syrian leper and the Hebrew prophet. Thither Saul, with his relentless persecutions, folloAved the early Christians; and near its walls “ the voice from Heaven,” and the “light above the,brightness of the sun,” arrested his footsteps.
The identity of the spot has been preserved to this day—the early Christians using it as a burial-place.
The traveller can still walk through the “ street called Straight,” and is shown by the credulous monk the very house occupied by Judas, where Paul passed his hours of blindness, and where, at the command of Ananias, the scales dropped from his eyes.
So rich is this country in fruits,and flowers, that it has been called in all ages the “garden of the world.” It is related of Mahomet, that when, after crossing the desert, he saw this luxuriant valley, he exclaimed that he desired but one paradise ; and therefore would not enter here for fear of forfeiting his interest in the paradise he anticipated after death, but turned aside without a close inspection of this tempting scene.
Damascus has a peculiar importance in connexion with thf progress of Christianity in these parts. It has already been vis ited by the agents of the Bible and Missionary Society. Bein^ the great mart where eastern and western merchandise is ex changed, the general rendezvous of Islam caravans from the north and east in their progress to Mecca, and rendered comparatively a safe residence by the efficiency of Mehemet Ali, it opens one of the most important and extensive fields of missionary labor.
Another Paul may yet preach Christ in Damascus, and the moral aspect of this delightful country may present as cheering an appearance as the rich displays of its natural scenery.
When God established what we call the laws of nature, or that order of second causes and effects which , was to be continued from the creation to the end of time, he at the same time reserved to himself the liberty of receding from that order as often as he saw that his doing so would answer an end worthy of himself, particularly that of exciting men to give attention and credit to his word. Every instance of his departure from that order, and suspending the laws of nature established at the creation, is a real miracle. Such a miracle it is the prerogative of the Almighty Author of nature to work. “ He only doeth wbnders ” (Psalm Ixxii. 18). Angels and sometimes men may do many things that
Christ Curing the Eyes of the Blind.
appear wonderful to us, and above what we know of the laws of nature; but it does not follow that these effects are above the laws of nature themselves, or that they are to be accounted real miracles. As soon as we attain a thorough knowledge of the manner in which such phenomena are produced, they cease to be wonderful. We ascribe them to certain second causes with which they are usually attended. But the more thoroughly that any real miracle is examined and understood, it is apprehended the more evidently to be such an effect as is far above what the presence of any second cause or causes can give us ground'to expect according to the ordinary course of nature ; nay, to be such an effect as cannot be produced according to any established laAv of nature. Thus, how ridiculous Avould it be for any to suppose that there might be found some laAv of nature by which the utterance • of two or three words, Avithout any other physical or natural means whatever, should make the blind see, the deaf hear, the, dumb speak, the lame Avalk, the dead live!
We are not to think that those men, to whom God is said to nave granted the gift of Avorking miracles exerted any real efficiency, even as instrumental causes, toward producing the mi raculous effect. The effect was indeed produced at their presence, upon their uttering some words, or using some sign; but no other poAver Avas exerted in producing it tffan the immediate creating poAver of God. He made use of the apostles and others in working miracles in order to procure them the respect and attention due to them as his faithful messengers.
There was a great difference betAveen Christ and the ancient prophets in the working 'of miracles. The miracles ascribed to Moses, Elijah, Elisha, and others, were wrought in consequence of an express and extraordinary command of God, or in answer to their earnest and imporfunate prayer. But our Lord Jesus Avent about Avorking miracles as his ordinary and familiar employment. He rebuked the Avinds; he said to the^sea, “ Be still,” and there Avas ■ a great calm. . He said to the leper, “ I aviII ; be thou clean;” and in a moment he was cleansed. A centurion applied to him for the cure of his servant who Avas sick of the palsy. Jesus, having discerned and commended the master’s faith, said, “ Go thy way; and as thou hast beheA^ed, so be it done unto thee and from that instant the servant Avas healed. He said to the deaf and dumb, “Ephphata ;” and instantly his ears were opened, and the string of his tongue was loosed. He said to her who Avas dead, “ Talitha Kumiand immediately the maid arose and Avalked. He said to Lazarus, Avho Avas now beginning to putrefy in the grave, “ Come forth ;” and Avithout any delay he that Avas dead came forth bound hand and foot Avith his grave-clothes. The avo-man that had the bloody issue no sooner touched his garment in the midst of the croAvd, than she Avas healed of a disorder that had continued tAvelve years.
The miracles Avhich the prophets and apostles wrought were not Avrought by their OAvn poAver, but by the poAver of God (Acts
iii. 12); but Christ wrought his miracles by his own power. In John v. 19, he proves from his works, not only that he was sent by the Father, but that he was equal to the Father. For, says he, “ What things soever the Father doeth, these also doeth the Son likervise.” He does not only say that the Son does like things, but the very same things likewise, or in the same respect. “ For as the Father raiseth the dead and quickeneth them : even so the. Son quickeneth whom he will.” . The miracles which the prophets wrought did not display their own glory, but the glory of God ; but the-miracles of Christ served “to manifest forth his glory ” (John ii. 11). No ancient prophets, such as Moses or Elijah, could give power and authority to others to work miracles in their name; but Christ '“gave his twelve disciples power-against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease” (Matt. x. 1). When he appointed the seventy, he said unto them, “Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy ” (Luke x. 19). Nay, those that the disciples were to work “ in his name,” were in some respect greater than what were wrought, by Christ in his own person (John xiv. 12) : as when the diseased were healed, and evil spirits were cast out by the means of handkerchiefs or aprons, brought from the body of Paul, or by means of the shadow of Peter passing by (Acts xix. 11, 12; v. 15, 16). All these miracles were wrought for the confirmation of the doctrine of the gospel: “which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him, God also bearing, therri witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles and gifts of the Holy Ghost according to his own will” (Heb. ii. 3, 4) ; and that from them, as by an invincible argument, Christ’s divine mission and the truth of his whole doctrine might be proved. So he himself often argued (John v. 36, and x. 37; Matt, xi. 2, 5). Such was often the sense of the people in general (Matt. xii. 23 ; John ii. 23; vi. 2; vii. 31; Luke vii. 16); and of the more learned among the Jews, such as Nicode-mus, a ruler (John iii. 2).\ Such was the judgment of the man to whom our Lord had given sight, and who by the solidity of his arguments baffled the proud Pharisees who examined him (John ix. 29). In fine, such was the judgment of the Roman centurion (Matt, xxvii. 54). And after Christ’s ascension, the miracles that continued to be wrought by the apostles and evangelists were a great means of bringing such multitudes, without distinction of nation, language, age, sex, or condition of life, to embrace the faith of Christ crucified.
Social condition of "Women in Palestine.—As the reservoirs and canals which supply Bethlehem, as well as Jerusalem, with water, are in ruins, and dry eleven months in the year, the women are obliged to go a league for what they fetch for household use,
Women of Palestine—Lower Class.
SOCIAL CONDITION OF WOMEN IN PALESTINE. 291
and bring it back themselves in skins. Add to this the toil of climbing steep hills under their burden, and then say, dear reader, if it be possible to suppress a painful feeling, especially when you consider that this task has to be performed three or four times a week. A few days since I was taking a walk out of the town with the cure. About three quarters of a mile from it, we met with a young girl returning with her provision. She had set down her skin upon a fragment of rock, and was standing beside it, out of breath, and Aviping the perspiration from her face. Curious to know the weight of the skin, I begged her to put it on my shoulders; my request astonished her not a little; she nevertheless complied very cheerfully. It was as much as I could do to take a fetv steps under the burden. “Poor thing,” said I, as I threw it down, looking at the cure, “ how old is she 1 Not more than sixteen, I dare say.”—“ Sixteen!” said he, “ she is not thirteen;” and| addressing her in. Arabic, he asked, “ Hoav old are you, my girli”' “Twelve, sir.” I took from my pocket some pieces of money Avhich I handed to her, and tvhicli she accepted with a lively demonstration of . joy. But to go so far for Avater is not the only task of the poor Bethlehemites. The toAvn is destitute of wood, nor is any to be found nearer than some leagues. It is the women who have to provide this also. But Avhat Avrings one’s heart, and I confess makes my blood boil, is to see these Avretched, Avorn-doAvn, emaciated creatures, having misery.stamped on their faces, sinking beneath their loads, passing in sight of their.husbands, listlessly seated in the public square, smoking and chatting by Avay.of pastime ; Avhile not a thought ever enters the head of these heartless, base, and unkind husbands, to relieve his partner of her burden, and carry for her, at least, from that spot to his home what she had to bring Avhole leagues. Is this all 1 No, my reader. • At night, with this wood Avhich' has cost such toil, she is obliged to heat the Avater brought from such a distance— she has to Avash the feet of that man, then to cook his supper, then to Avait upon him standing—upon him and his eldest son—Avithout taking the least share in the meal, and to Avait till they have done before she can step aside .to eat by herself Avhat they have left. * * The pen drops from my fingers. Is it possible that a
sex so Avorthy of all the attention, of all the affections of man, can be thus treated by man 1 Is it possible that she can be thus treated, Avho carries him in her bosom, Avho brings him forth Avith pain, Avho suckles him Avith her milk, Avho Avarms him on her heart, Avho rocks him upon her knees, Avho guides his first steps, Avho strives by education to transfuse into him all that is gentle and kind, who delights to throw a charm over his life, Avho shares his sorrows, Avho best knows Iioav to sooth his Avoes, to comfort him, to nurse him in sickness and infirmity, to lighten and sometimes to embellish his old age, and to perform for him, until his last moment, services of which any other courage, any other devoted-ness, any other love, would be incapable ! And that at Bethlehem!
292 CHRIST BLESSING THE LITTLE CHILDREN.
CHRIST BLESSING THE LITTLE CHILDREN.
Our readers—the youthful portion of them, especially—will, we doubt not, gaze with interest and delight upon the beautiful Illustration of Scripture here presented, and which we intend shall form the suhjectrmatter of this article. We think no person can look at the opposite engraving, without being peculiarly struck with the natural and appropriate delineation of features in the different objects it presents to our view. The Bible, indeed, is no ordinary book, and must he studied with no common diligence, no slight reverence, and no trivial assistance ; but, when so studied, it opens a field alike rich and inexhaustible. It comprises the largest variety of materials, with the closest unity of design, and the most majestic harmony of proportion. All tends to one purpose, all centres in one object—the glory of God in the salvation of his intelligent creatures. . The religion of the Bible, therefore, cordially embraced, and sincerely acted on, is the only sure and steadfast anchor amid all the storms and temptations of this transitory life.
Reader ! look at the picture, and contemplate, with us, for a few moments, the moral character of our ever-blessed Lord and Saviour. We have presented you with an attractive portrait. The whole life of Christ on earth, was) one continued exercise and manifestation of the compassion of his heart. To his omniscient eye, all the misery and wants, both temporal and spiritual, of those who appealed to his compassion, were unveiled. “ He went about doing good.” ; Beneficence and love shone in every part of his conduct, and invested his character with a constant glory. The purest devotion, the deepest veneration, the most cordial love, and the most cheerful obedience to God—the most perfect submission to his will, the liveliest zeal for his glory'; an invincible philanthropy, an untiring beneficence, the noblest magnanimity, the ten-derest friendship, the greatest affability,and suavity; the most perfect impartiality, uprightness, discreetness, gentleness, humility, and patience—these are the prominent features in the portrait of the all-surpassing character of our Redeemer. “ How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of Him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation.”* (Isaiah, lii. ’7-)
♦Here is a fine piece of imagery. What a splendid scene is here brought to view for the artist to portray. Let us, ourselves, set down/and make the picture. Figure to yourself the principal features of the scene described; forget, for a moment, the lapse of two thousand five hundred years, and fill up the rapid outlines of the inspired prophet’s sketch. We see the few remaining people of God, sitting down and weeping amid the ruins of Jerusalem, their harps unstrung, and their voices untuned to melody, bewailing the captivity of their absent brethren at Babylon, and casting a longing look toward the land of their imprisonment, for some little cloud, as it were, no bigger than a man’s hand, the indication of the returning consolation of Israel. Suddenly, the desired token is seen to arise on the hills that stand round about Jerusalem. The sound is heard of one that runneth and bringeth good tidings, as he advances toward the Holy City. The heads of those who mourned are lifted from the dust, and every eye is intently fixed on the coming messenger. How beautiful are his feet leaping upon
294 CHRIST BLESSING THE LITTLE CHILDREN
Having made these few prefatory remarks, we now invite the attention of our readers to a particular view of the compassion of our Saviour, in the case before us. The embellishment now presented, is not merely adventitious ornament, calculated to captivate and delight. Beautiful as it is, it is no less preceptive than descriptive, and speaks more to the heart and the understanding than to the imagination and the eye. In each vivid picture with which the pages of holy writ abound,'we recognise the illustration of some important article of faith, the development of some holy mystery, the representation of some essential doctrine, or of some edifying truth.
It is not, perhaps* too much to assert, that in all the history of the Redeemer’s life on earth, as; placed before us in the Gospel, there is not an occurrence which speaks more strongly to the best feelings of our nature, which is more congenial to the kindliest sensibilities of our heart, than the simple transaction which our engraving is intended to describe. It appears from the narrative of the Evangelist, that the parents or friends of certain young children, being probably themselves influenced by faith in .Christ, or being certainly awakened, if not to a conviction, that he was the long-promised Messiah, who should.redeem Israel, yet, at least, impressed to a certain extent with the power of a teacher, whose works attested that he was sent from God, were desirous that those for whose welfare they were deeply interested, should be brought near to him, from past experience of the virtue which was derived by coming in contact with so excellent and so exalted a Being. _
The disciples, who were then present, animated by a zeal for their Master, which was not according to knowledge,, considered that it was derogatory to the dignity of his character to be engaged in attending to those whose tender years rendered them incapable of deriving essential benefit from his instructions, and they accordingly rebuked what they considered an unthinking ardor, resulting from natural affection.
But in this, as in a variety of other instances, the compassionate Friend of sinners saw not things as they appeared to those around him : that which his disciples,thought beneath his notice, was, in his own Divine judgment, entitled to special attention and regard. His displeasure was awakened by the attempt, and he immediately proceeded to impart to them his heavenly benediction: “Suffer,” said he, who-, being without sin, was made sin for us— “ suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. Verily, I say unto you., whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not
the mountains ! How joyful his voice, as he proclaims aloud, “ 0 Zion, thy God reign-eth!” And who is this herald ofjor ? Whose are the beautiful feet? See in the messenger the herald of a-reconciled Father. Hear in his glad tidings the preaching of the Gospel of grace, the proclamation of peace and salvation, good news of great joy, tidings of liberty from the bondage of sin, of free access given, and an entrance miin.->-terecf abundantly into the holy city that is above, not made wjth hands, eternal in the heavens.
CHRIST BLESSING THE LITTLE CHILDREN. 295
enter therein. And he took them up in his arms, put his hands 'upon them, and blessed them.”
What a variety of interesting considerations is here suggested to our minds! How many pleasing and grateful emotions are called'forth by this transcript of our Redeemer’s feelings! What youthful reader, especially, can fail to dwell with delight and gratitude upon the invaluable evidence here afforded of the disposition and character of Him on whom all our hopes depend 1 And here we cannot hut remark a striking difference in the manner in which the Evangelists have exhibited the character of the Saviour, and that in which heathen moralists have exhibited the characters of their heroes. The characters portrayed and eulogized by the latter, are invested with a sternness at which the heart revolts ; as eminent for justice and fortitude,' but as divested of sensibility and compassion, which they regarded rather as the weaknesses and blemishes of human nature, and inconsistent with true dignity and energy of mind. The men most lauded by them, and held up for imitation as patterns of virtue, are those who themselves endured. sufferings with stoical insensibility, and who beheld with equal insensibility and unconcern, the sufferings and miseries of their fellow-men. With, such characters we can feel no sympathy. On the contrary, when we contemplate the Saviour—see him moved with compassion at the sight of the sorrows of others, we rejoice in him, and feel encouraged to trust in him. Do we behold him healing: all manner of diseases ; casting out devils from those possessed of them, feeding, miraculously, in the wilderness, thousands; giving sight to. the blind, hearing to the deaf, and restoring to life, and to the embraces of their sorrowing friends, those who had been numbered with the dead 'I Do we behold him shedding tears of sympathy at the grave of Lazarus, “ whom he lovedweeping over Jerusalem in the prospect of the calamities coming upon that guilty city'I or do we hear , him pronouncing pardon and speaking peace to the mourning penitent at his feet 1 In these and similar facts recorded in his history, we see and we admire the love, condescension, and compassion, of the Saviour. There is that in such exhibitions of the character of the Redeemer equally to win the affections, and to secure the confidence of the soul. The same Divine word which assures us “ that his kingdom ruleth over all,” has no less explicitly declared that “in him is neither variableness nor shadow of turning.” Man continueth not in one state, he inhabits a transitory world, which shall finally vanish away, as a scroll that is rolled up : but the Son of God, like the heavens, where he dwells in glory, never can be moved ; one with the Father, “ he is the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever.” Youthful reader! to know God, is the only true wisdom; to love God, is the only enduring happiness of all immortal and intelligent beings. How consolatory is it to human weakness to reflect, that it is this good Shepherd who thus regarded the lambs of his flock, that it is this gracious Receiver of little children, this compassionate Regarder of helpless infancy, to whom we also, whose
MARY ANOINTING THE FEET OF CHRIST. 297
more advanced years continually impress the conviction of our own inability of ourselves to help ourselves, are, in all our dangers, and in all our necessities, encouraged to have recourse ; and from whose benign condescension in the instance before us, we may confidently conclude, that if we only approach Hiai (who was pleased, so signally, to attest his regard for us, and vouchsafes to permit that we should be called his friends, while we prove our love by obedience to his will) with the simplicity of little children, our weaknesses and our infirmities, will not he deemed unworthy of his merciful regard ; we, too, shall participate in his kindness, be enriched with his grace, and he filled with his heavenly benediction !
In conclusion : Let us receive the kingdom of God as little children, and draw near to the Great Physician, by whom alone we can be healed. Then shall our hearts he filled with the love of Him “ who first loved us 3” so that, “ being no longer conformed to this world, but transformed by the renewing of our minds,” we shall have such an abiding sense of God and heavenly things, as will leave no room for regret'at the loss of the ancient paradise, because an actual anticipation will he experienced of the time when every pain shall be removed, every doubt dispelled, and every hope realized 5 when the loss of things of sight shall be abundantly supplied by the possession of the things of faith, when the natural sun shall indeed be no more seen, but the glorified body shall not need its rays : for, “ the Lord God shall give it light,” and glory, and peace, for ever and ever.
It was quite an extensive custom among the better sort of Jews, to anoint the head, and sometimes other portions of the body of a principal guest, with a kind of aromatic ointment or oil to which the Romans gave the name of nard or nardum. This unguent was very precious, and hence it was considered a peculiar mark of distinction when a guest was honored with the ceremony. The Rabbins, who cultivated an austerity of character, would never consent to be thus anointed, averring as a reason that it was not consistent for men of their wisdom and influence to set such an example of luxurious indulgence.
In the gospel we have records of this honor (as it was deemed) having been extended to Jesus, while he sojourned among the Jews. The first is mentioned in the fourteenth chapter of Matthew : “ And being in Bethany, in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at meat, there came a woman having an alabaster-box of ointment of spikenard very precious ; and she brake the box and poured it on his head.” The name of the woman is not mentioned, but from the context we glean evidence that she was a person of wealth. The disciples complained of such a waste of precious ointment., and remarked that “ it might have been sold for three
298 PETER DENYING CHRIST.
hundred pence and given to the poor.” Three hundred Jewish pence was equal to about twenty dollars of our money.
The second account, which is evidently a description of a separate anointing, is given in the twelfth chapter of John: “ Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus,” &c. In this case also one of the disciples murmured, and said it might have been sold for three hundred pence and given to the poor. This was said by Judas Iscariot, who carried the money-bag of' the disciples; and it is generally supposed that he cared not so much for the poor, as he did to get the money into his own hands, and under pretence of distributing alms, apply it to his individual purposes.
While upon the subject of attention to guests we will mention another custom prevalent among the ancient Jews, as well as the people of the East generally at the present day, who live upon the borders of the deserts. It is that of washing the feet. Servants were kept for that purpose among the higher classes, and the first act of hospitality toward a guest or stranger, was the washing of his feet. The benevolence of this act may be better understood when we consider that sandals were, and still are, in common use among the Orientals, and hence travellers on foot through the sandy regions of Palestine find this custom peculiarly salutary. Stephens mentions the grateful pleasure he'felt on his arrival at Hebron, when pure water was brought and his feet were cleansed of the irritating sand that had gathered upon them during the journey.
The disciples of the Jewish Rabbins usually performed this service for their masters, but they generally advised them not to do it in public, lest they might be mistaken for menial servants. This gives full force to the asseveration of John when speaking of the superiority of Jesus : “ Whose shoes (or sandals) I am not worthy to bear”—“ The latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to stoop down and lopse.”
PETER DENYING CHRIST.
After our blessed Lord, with his disciples, had sung a hymn, and instituted his supper—that great solemn institution which he was resolved to leave behind him, to be constantly celebrated in all ages of the church, as the standing monument of his love in dying for mankind—he left the house where all these things had been transacted, and went with Kis apostles unto the Mount of Olives (Mark xxvi. 30 ; xiv. 26). There he again put his disciples in mind how much they would be offended at those things which he was now to suffer; and Peter again renewed his resolute and undaunted promise of suffering.and dying with-him ; yea, out of an excessive confidence, told him that “though all the rest should forsake and deny him, yet would not he deny him.” How far will zeal and an indiscreet affection transport even a good man
300 PETER DENYING: CHRIST.
into vanity and presumption. Peter questions others, hut never doubts himself. So natural is self-love, so apt are we to take the fairest measure of ourselves. O how hardly are we brought to espy our own faults, or to he so thoroughly convinced of them, as to correct and reform them. .
While Christ was discoursing to his disciples, a band of soldiers sent fronrthe high-priest, with the traitor Judas to conduct and direct them, rushed into the garden, and seized upon him; which when'the apostles saw, they asked him whether they should attempt his rescue. Peter (whose ungovernable zeal put him upon all dangerous undertakings), without staying for an answer, drew his sword, and espying one more busy than the rest in laying hold upon out- SiviouRy which was Malchus (who, though carrying kingship in his name, was but servant to the high-priest), struck at him with an intention to despatch him; hut God overruling the stroke, it only cut off his right ear. Our Lord liked not this wild and unwarrantable zeal, and therefore entreated their patience, while he miraculously healed the wound; and turning to Peter, bade him put up his sword again : told him that they who unwarrantably used/the sword should themselves perish by it; that there was no need of these violent and extravagant courses; that if he had a mind to be rid of his keepers he could ask his Father, who would presently send “more than twelve legions of angels” to his rescue and deliverance : but he must “drink the cup” which his Father had put into his hand; for how else should the Scriptures be fulfilled, which had expressly foretold “ that these things must be!” Whereupon, all the apostles forsook him, and fled from him; and they who before' in their promises were as hold as lions, now it came to it, like fearful and timorous hares, ran away from him. Peter and John, though staying last Avith him, yet followed the same way with the rest, preferring their own safety before the concernments of their master.
No sooner was he apprehended by the soldiers, and brought out of the garden, but he was immediately posted from one tribunal to another;1 brought first to Annas, then carried to Caiaphas, where the Jewish Sanhedrim met together in order to his trial and condemnation. Peter having a little recovered himself, and gotten loose from his fears, probably encouraged by his companion, St. John, returns back to seek his master, and finding them leading him to the high-priest’s hall, followed afar off, to see what would be the event and issue : but coming to the door, could get no admittance, till one of the disciples who was acquainted there, went out and persuaded the servant who kept the door to let him in. Being led into the hall where the servants and officers stood round the fire, Peter also came thither to warm himself, where being espied by the servant-maid that let him in, she, earnestly looking upon him, charged him with being one of Christ’s disciples, which Peter publicly denied before all the company, posi-
Matt. xxvi. 57; Mark xiv. 53; Luke xxii. 54; John xviii. 12.
PETER DENYING CHRIST. 301
tively affirming that “ he knew him not 5” and presently withdrew himself into the porch, where he heard the cock crow: an intimation, one would have thought, which should have awakened his conscience into a quick sense of his duty, and the promises he had made unto his Master. In the porch, another of the maids set upon him, charging him “ that he also was one of them that had been with Jesus of Nazareth;” which Peter stoutly denied, saying that he “ knew not Christ ;” and the better to gain their belief to what he said ratified it with an oath. So natural is it for one sin to draw on another.
About an hour after, he was a third time set upon, by a servant of the high-priest, Malchus’s kinsman, whose ear Peter had lately cut off: by him he was charged to Be one of Christ’s disciples; yea, that his very speech betrayed him to be a Galilean:—for the Galileans, though they did not speak a different language, had yet a different dialect, using a more confused and barbarous, a broader and more unpolished way of pronunciation than the rest of the Jews; whereby they were easily distinguishable in their speaking from other men; abundant instances whereof there are extant in the Talmud at this daynay, not only gave this evidence, hut added, that he himself had seen him with Jesus in the garden, Peter still resolutely denied the matter; and to add the highest accomplishment to his sin, ratified it not only with an oath, hut a solemn curse and execration, that he was not the person, that he knew not the man. It is but a very weak excuse which St. Ambrose and some others make for this act of Peter’s, in saying, “I know not the man.”—“He did well,” says he, “to deny him to he man.whom he knew to be God.” St. Jerome takes notice of this pious and well-meant excuse made for Peter, though out of modesty he conceals the,name of its author, hut yet justly censures it as trifling and frivolous, and which to excuse man from folly would charge God with falsehood : for if he did not deny him, then our Lord was out, when he said, that that night he “should thrice deny him ;” that is, his person, and not only his humanity. Certainly the best apology that can be made for Peter is, that he quickly repented of this great sin; for no sooner had he done it, but the cock crew again; at which intimation our Saviour turned about, and earnestly looked upon him; a glance that quickly pierced him to the heart, and brought to his remembrance, what our Lord had once and again foretold him, how foully and shamefully he should deny him. Whereupon, not being able to contain his sorrow, he ran out of doors to give it vent, and “wept bitterly;” passionately bewailing his folly, and the aggravations of his sin ; thereby endeavoring to make some reparation for his fault, and recover himself into the favor of Heaven, and to prevent the execution of divine justice, by taking a severe revenge upon himself; by these penitential tears he endeavored to wash off his guilt; as indeed repentance is the next step to innocence.
CHRIST S CHARGE TO PETER. 303
THE CARTOONS OF RAFFAELLE.
It affords us much satisfaction to publish in this work, a series of engravings of the Seven Cartoons op Raffaelle. They have never before been published in this country, in any American publication, and have been engraved at great expense. They will, we trust, enable thousands of persons, who have never seen the originals, or even correct engravings of them, to judge of the grandeur and beauty of these noble compositions. Engraving on wood is not unsuited to the boldness of their style.
It must be obvious to every reflecting mind, that a ready access to all works of standard excellence, is of the greatest advantage to persons desirous of acquiring a pure taste for.the Fine Arts, in the Cartoons of Raffaelle—we mean the original paintings—■ we behold one of the noblest works of art which ha!s ever been produced by human genius* But persons unacquainted with the Daintings of the great masters, are seldom much struck with good pictures at first sight, and find themselves incapable of appreciating their merits : even Sir JoShua Reynolds, enthusiastically devoted as he was to-the art of which he became so great an ornament, acknowledged that his impression, on seeing for the first time the celebrated works of Raffaelle, at Rome, was that of disappointment $ though he was not long blinded to their excellences. Pictures, in short, must be studied as attentively as books, before they can be thoroughly understood, or the principles of art so established in the mind, as to render those works which are truly sublime or beautiful the objects of admiration, in preference to those which catch the inexperienced eye by mere gaudiness or exaggeration of- any kind.
To give here even a brief history of these beautiful designs; or to enter on an analysis of the style of Raffaelle, would far exceed the limits which we have assigned to this article. We shall, therefore, barely confine our remarks to the Cartoons themselves, commencing with
(I.) Christ’s charge to peter.
In the engraving before us, the Redeemer stands alone, distinguished by a majestic simplicity of action. With one hand he points to a flock of sheep, symbolically introduced in illustration of the text, “ Feed my sheep the other hand is extended toAvard Peter, who kneels with devout reverence. The apostles are formed into a compact group, and appear earnest to receive the last commands of their Master, previously to their separation and dispersion to preach the gospel in all parts of the earth. St. John, the beloved of Jesus, presses eagerly forward, the veneration he evinces being mingled with an expression of affectionate attachment. Behind him stands an apostle Avhose action is less animated than that of his brethren : it has altogether
304 PAUL PREACHING AT ATHENS.
the cold and sedate demeanor of a person of skeptical temperament. This is undoubtedly St. Thomas; and next to him, in fine contrast, is a disciple who stretches out his hands toward Christ, and turning to the incredulous apostle with an expostulatory and somewhat indignant air, seems to say, “Are you yet convinced I15 Every" head in the group has its peculiar physiognomy, with the expression properly belonging to it. Some express the most entire and deferential acquiescence in the words of Christ, while upon the countenance of others is seen the expression of ardent devotion. Raffaelle has given the apostle an exterior befitting men who have jieen called to so high and .solemn a vocation. The expression of the Saviour is at once sublime and beautiful; it is that of triumphant virtue and divine power, yet touched by the traits of recent suffering.- It may be added, that the costume is different from that in which he is elsewhere represented. It is simply a white drapery, which nearly envelopes hi§ figure, but leaves one of the shoulders uncovered ; • this indicates that he has arisen from the dead. The whole subject, although so finely amplified, is yet so condensed, and presses on the mind with such truth of delineation, that while we look on the picture, we feel a difficulty in believing that, the event could have happened in any other manner than as it is there represented. ' »
(II.) PAUL PREACHING AT ATHENS.
Paul, having been challenged by the philosophers of Athens to a public declaration of his .doctrines in the Areopagus, has. ascended the steps of a temple, where with uplifted hands he makes the solemn announcement: Ye men of Athens! I have seen in your city an altar to the Unknown God; Him I declare unto you!' His discourse involves in its general tenor all the leading points of the Christian dispensation!—the immortality of the soul, the resurrection, and the redemption. The effect produced on his auditory is such as might be anticipated from the promulgation of a doctrine so new and so important. The persons who surround him are not to be considered a mere promiscuous assemblage of individuals. Among them, several figures may each be said to personify a class; and the different sects of Grecian philosophy may be easily distinguished. Here the Cynic, revolving deeply, and fabricating objections ; there the Stoic, leaning on his staff, giving a steady but scornful attention, and fixed in obstinate incredulity ; there the disciples of Plato, not conceding a full belief, but pleased at least with the beauty of the doctrine, and listening with gratified attention. Farther on is a promiscuous group of disputants, sophists, and freethinkers, engaged in vehement discussion, but apparently more bent on exhibiting their own ingenuity than anxious to elicit truth or acknowledge conviction. At a considerable distance in the back-ground are seen two doctors of the Jewish
PAUL PREACHING AT ATHENS.
;i, Preaching at Athens.
THE DEATH OF ANANIAS. 307
law, who have listened to the discourse, rejected the mission, and turned their backs on the speaker and the place. On the first glance at the cartoon the eye is arrested by the figure of St. Paul, which the painter has invested with every circumstance which can give it dignity and importance.. We learn from the apostle himself, that his exterior was not imposing ; hut RafFaelle, knowing that painting can express its meaning only through the medium of form, has departed from the literal fact, and given him an appearance corresponding with the sacredness of his character. He stands in front, on an elevated site, and considerably apart from his audience. His action unites the almost incompatible qualities of sedateness and energy. It is simple and majestic, bnt kindled by divine enthusiasm; and we are at once, impressed with the idea that he is pouring forth a torrent of eloquence overwhelming and irresistible. The immediate effect, as well as the eventual triumph of his doctrine, is intimated by the conversion of Damaris, and of Dionysius the Areopagite, the foremost persons in the picture, who announce, with impassioned looks and gestures, their renunciation of idolatry, and acceptance of the Christian faith.
The buildings which occupy the back-ground (although betraying some inconsistencies in point of architectural style) are in themselves beautiful objects; but they are immediately connected with the subject, being the temples of the Pagan deities, whose idolatrous worship the apostle is denouncing. These edifices may be Considered also, together with the statues which surround them, to characterize the city of Athens, the mother of arts, and the seat of taste, wealth, and splendor.. ,
(III.) THE DEATH OF ANANIAS.
The judgment of RafFaelle is evinced as much in the choice of his subjects, as in his manner of treating them. He Seizes invariably on the leading points, both of the general and the particular narrative ; and the cartoons maybe said to furnish a Compendium of the early history of the promulgation of the Christian faith. In the. cartoon of “ Peter receiving the Keys,” Christ delivers his last charge to his disciples; in that of “Paul preaching,” we see that the, divine mission is carried into effect. St. Paul,.however, appears at Athens only as the inspired preacher; but the superhuman attributes with which the disciples were invested after the death of Christ, are more strikingly exhibited in the cartoons of “the Healing the Cripple,” “Elymas the Sorcerer,” and “the Death of Ananias.” Here the apostles act more obviously with the authority of divine power; and the miracles which they perform illustrate the tenets, and attest the truth of their doctrine. The consolation and relief announced to the poor and the afflicted, are given to the cripple who is healed at the gate of the temple; while the penalties denounced on sin are exemplified in the punishments inflicted on Elymas, and on Ananias.
After the miraculous preaching on the day of Pentecost, and
308 THE DEATH OF ANANIAS.
the astonishing cure of the cripple by St. Peter, proselytism increased rapidly, and converts came over in multitudes. These primitive Christians embraced, in the largest and most literal sense, the benevolent and self-denying principles of the new creed; laying their goods at the feet of the apostles, “ they were of one heart and of one soul, and had all things in common.” These events form the groundwork of the cartoon of the Death of Ananias. The apostles are collected beneath a spacious hut humble roof, suited to the humility of their temporal pretensions ; as preachers and instructers they stand on an elevated platform, which gives them their due place and importance in the composition,* but to obviate the appearance of mere homeliness and mean ness, this enclosure is hung with a slight drapery, and enclosed by a railing. On the right, groups of converts are entering, bearing offerings of various descriptions, which the apostles are distributing on the opposite side to various applicants. Among the proselytes came Ananias, a calculating and sordid spirit, who was willing to purchase the advantages of the new communion, but unable to resist the instigations of habitual avarice. He had sold a piece of land, the value of which he professes to offer to the apostles; but while pretending to give the whole in the spirit of sincere and voluntary devotion, he cunningly secretes a part. The doom which awaits him, however, is not inflicted merely as the punishment of his avarice, nor even of the^ simple falsehood, but for the gratuitous hypocrisy and sanctimonious pretension which Christ himself had so earnestly and repeatedly denounced, and which, in this instance, was attempting to make its way over the threshold of his infant church. By the immediate inspiration of God, the apostle detects the guilt of Ananias, and pronounces his doom. “Was not the land thine own,” said St. Peter to him, “and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power 1 Thou hast lied not unto men, but unto God !” And Ananias, hearing these words, fell down and'gave up the ghost. There is not in the whole T’ound of Raffaelle’s works anything more strikingly just, appropriate, energetic, whether in relation to action, character, or expression, than his representation of this event. Were we unacquainted with the subject, it would be impossible to mistake its general meaning. The authoritative attitude of St. Peter, his stern expression, the extended arm and uplifted finger, convey at once the impression that he is giving utterance to some terrible denunciation ; while the apostles behind, with hands folded, or pointed toward Heaven, acknowledge, with devout astonishment, the manifest interposition of divine justice. The position of Ananias is a wonderful example of Raffaelle’s intuitive perception, or of his acute observation of actual fact, or more properly, perhaps, of both. It is evident that the figure has been struck with sudden death; the head has fallen on the shoulders, the eyes have lost their volition, the convulsions which contract the limbs are the ^spasms of mortal agony; but tbe fulness and roundness of the muscles show that the blow has fallen on the delinquent while in
THE SACRIFICE AT LYSTRA. 309
the full possession of health and vigor. The whole action is consecutive ; he has been kneeling at the steps, has fallen backward, and we perceive, notwithstanding his feeble and unconscious effort to sustain himself on his wrist, that in another moment he will be extended on the floor. So sudden has been the shock, that it has not been perceived except by the persons immediately adjacent to the spot.' In these individuals of different sex and ages, the fear and astonishment, naturally excited by such an event, are finely portrayed. The young man on the left, recoiling in dismay, affords an effective contrast, in the fine extension of his limbs, to the fore-shortened figure of Ananias. The two men on the right, in the midst of their amazement, appear to admit, by their gestures and expression, the justice of the infliction. It has been questioned whether the woman who is advancing from behind was meant for Sapphira, as it is stated in the sacred record that three hours had elapsed after the death of Ananias before she entered the. place. Notwithstanding this objection, it is most probable that Raffaelle intended this figure for the wife of Ananias; and the slight inaccuracy is more than atoned for by the sublime moral, which shows the woman approaching the spot where'her husband had met his doom, and where her own death awaits her, but wholly unconscious of those judgments, and absorbed in counting that gold by which both she and her partner had been betrayed to their fate.
(IV.) THE SACRIFICE AT LYSTRA.
The man cured by St. Paul at Lystra had never walked, having been a cripple from the hour of his birth. His conversion, it would appear, had preceded this signal benefit. He had been listening to the discourse delivered by the apostle, “ who steadfastly beholding him, and perceiving that.he had faith to be healed, said with a lofid voice, Stand upright on thy feet! and he leaped up, and walked.” This evidence of supernatural power, exhibited before the eyes of the' whole city, might have been expected to produce an immediate conviction of the divine origin of the new faith. The effect, however, was different. The miracle was indeed not only, admitted, but followed by a burst of religious enthusiasm ; but the acknowledgment of superhuman interposition was transferred by the' pagans to their own deities, and Paul and Barnabas were saluted, not as the apostles of Christ, but as Mercury and Jupiter. “And the priests of Jupiter brought oxen and garlands unto the gates, and rvould have done sacrifice with the people.” Raffaelle, whose imagination, although regulated by the most rigid accuracy of judgment, was sensitively alive to the picturesque, has availed himself of this point in the narrative, to produce a composition strikingly varied and beautiful. The unostentatious acts of the apostles are here mixed up with the pompous rituals of heathen superstition. The priests bending in solemn devotion, the inferior ministers engaged in the act of sacrifice, the victim sheep and oxen, the beautiful children who officiate at
310 THE SACRIFICE AT LYSTRA.
(IV.)—The Sacrifice at Lystra
THE SACRIFICE AT LYSTRA. 311
the altar; these objects, in all their varieties of action, character, -and costume, present so rich a combination of materials as would, perhaps, in the hands of any other painter, have encumbered the effect, and distracted the attention. Throughout the cartoon, however, the unity of the subject is completely preserved. Paul and Barnabas are immediately distinguished, not only, by the general attention being directed toward, them, but by nobility of mien and action. They stand also on an elevated plane, and are separated by a considerable interval from the tumultuous crowd which approaches them. Raffaelle’s first object, in all his works, is the clear development of His story, which is sometimes more, effectually accomplished by departing from than adhering to the literal fact. He never loses sight, however, of any leading point in the textj and as the apostles are described on this occasion to have “ run in among the people,” he has shown another disciple who forces his Way through the crowd, protesting vehemently against the impious cereinony, and endeavoring to arrest the arm of tne executioner, which is uplifted to strike the victim. The energetic action of these .figures contrasts finely with the still and solemn air of the priests 5'the whole composition, indeed, is admirably balanced with alternations of action and repose. But the-main point to be impressed on the spectator was the miraculous cure. This is accordingly done with surprising force and perspicuity. At the right extremity of the cartoon appears the man who has been healed ; his figure inclines to tallness, and he is well-formed throughout; his legs, in particular, are muscular and'symmetrical. By what artifice then has the painter so clearly expressed, that this is the cripple who was lame from his birth 1 Impelled by. emotion too big for utterance, wth extended arms, pressed hands, and every demonstration of enraptured gratitude, he rushes forward toward the apostles. His. crutches, :now useless, are thrown on the ground, and there is in his person no evidence of his former unhappy condition, except in that cast of features peculiar to deformed persons. He is surrounded by individuals anxious to assure themselves of the truth of the miracle by ocular inspection. An aged man, whose habit and aspect announce him to be a person of rank and authority, with a mingled air of curiosity and reverential awe, lifts the garment from the limb which has been healed, while his other hand is at the same time uplifted in astonishment at the incontestable proof before him. The same sentiment is expressed, with characteristic discriminations,, among other persons in the group.
It is said by the commentators on the cartoons, that St. Paul is rending his garments in horror of the sacrilegious rite about to be performed. It never appeared to us that this was the action intended by Baffaelle, the violence of which would have ill accorded with that apostolical dignity which he was always careful to preserve. We rather think that he meant the apostle to be giving utterance to the exclamation which he used on this occasion, “We are also men, with passions like unto yourselves,” and
ST. PETER CURJN ^ THE- CRIPPLE. 313
baring his breast in attestation of his humanity. St. Barnabas, who stands behind, gives thanks to God for the miraculous manifestation of his power. '
Nothing perhaps in this cartoon fixes attention more strongly than the beauty of the two children at the altar; the one sounding musical instruments, the other holding a box of incense. Vacant, happy, and absorbed in their employment, they scarcely seem Conscious of the events which are passing before them. No artist perhaps ever approached RafFaelle in the delineation of infantine innocence and simplicity.
That part of the composition comprised in the sacrifice was drawn- by RafFaelle from an antique basso-relievo'. His known wealth was such that, as Reynolds justly observes, he might borrow without the imputation of poverty.
(V.) ST. PETER CURING THE CRIPPLE.
The subject of our present engraving, St. Peter curing the Cripple,/or, as it is sometimes called, the Beautiful Gate, is less diversified with action and incidents than that , of Paul and Barna has; but the scene in which the event takes place is filled with such a range of character and picturesque'accompaniments, as to render it one of the most striking and effecting of all the cartoons.
The apostles Peter and John were entering the temple at Jerusalem by the “ gate which was called Beautifulthe cripple, who was brought there daily, and had been lame, from his birth, sqlicit-ed alms as they passed. “ Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none, but such as I have, I give unto thee: in the name of Jesus Christ of-Nazareth, rise up and walk! And he took him by the right hand, and lifted, him up, and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength; and he, leaping up, stood and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking and leaping, and praising God.” ,
We, may conclude, as the epithet “Beautiful” was applied to the vestibule in which this event took place, that it was remarkable for architectural magnificence. RafFaelle, accordingly, has selected an order of columns of the most ornate splendor; spiral, and embellished with arabesques in bas-relief. These pillars are ranged four deep, a plan which gives fulness and richness of effect, and at the same time leaves depth and space, and a sufficient atmosphere for the figures to move and breathe freely in—a point which even in his most crowded compositions RafFaelle is always careful to secure. The apostles Peter and John occupy the mid die compartment, that,'of course, which fronts the eye of the spectator ; and before them is the cripple, whose hand the apostle has taken. The action of St. Peter is simple and dignified; it exhibits, however, nothing of the lofty demeanor which may be supposed to characterize power merely human ; neither is there in it a trace of doubt, nor of the anxiety and eager interest which may be felt by a physician while watching the progress of an ex-
314 THE miraculous draught of fishes.
traordinary cure. St. Peter is fully conscious that he wields Hi-fallible power, but that he holds it as the organ of omnipotence. St. John regards the cripple with an air of the most mild and gracious benevolence. Expression is dispersed and discriminated among the surrounding figures with Raffaelle’s usual variety and power. Curiosity, faith, and skepticism,are all manifested. The old man who leans on crutches, and presses forward from behind the column, evinces the most absolute belief in the divine power vested in the apostles, and seems to implore its exercise in his own behalf: the soldier on the extreme right participates in this confidence ; while the countenance of the man next him, who lays his finger on his lip, bears the strongest indications of scorn and incredulity. An amiable mother diversifies this group; her attention is absorbed by her infant, and she gives but a casual glance at the transactions which are passing round her ; her beautiful head and that of the infant are admirably contrasted by the personification of sturdy deformity exhibited in the cripple who is placed before her ; he regards the apostles eagerly ; half jealous, apparently, of whatever assistance is about to be bestowed on his fellow, and impatient to partake in it.
The figures on the extreme left occupy the outer portico, and are not, consequently, within range of the principal action. The group of the young woman who carries a basket on her head, and leads a boy bearing doves, is one of the loveliest creations in art. The bright open sky, seen between the interstices of the columns, harmonizes with the lightness, cheerfulness, and happy expression of those figures. In the compartment where the miracle is taking place there is a similar correspondence of effect with sentiment. The subdued light of lamps burning in the depths off the recess, accords well with the reverential feeling excited by the sacred transaction.
(VI.) -THE MIRACULOUS DRAUGHT OF FISHES.
The cartoon of Christ calling Peter and Andrew, or, as it is more frequently named, the Miraculous Draught of Fishes, has fewer figures and a less complicated arrangement than any other of the series. Nevertheless, it has all Raffaelle’s characteristics ; simplicity, perspicuity, emphatic expression, and clear development of the story. Christ having entered the boat for the purpose of addressing the people who had collected on the shore of the lake of Gennesaret, and having finished his discourse, desired the fishermen to “ launch out into the deep, and let down the nets for a draught. Simon Peter answering, said unto him, Master, we have toiled all night and have taken nothing; nevertheless, at thy word, I will let down the net.” Christ’s discourse, to which Peter had been previously listening, and the miraculous draught of fishes which ensued, convinced Peter that he was in the presence of a being of superior nature ; and his exclamation, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, 0 Lord !” expresses the fear and
THE MIRACULOUS DRAUGHT OF FISHES.
316 ELYMAS STRUCK WITH BLINDNESS.
(VII.)—Elymas Struck with Blindness.
ELYMAS STRUCK WITH BLINDNESS. .317
reverence ,consequent on that impression. This is the point of the narrative which Raffaelle has chosen: Peter has fallen on his knees before Christ, who re-assures him with an expression of gentle benignity, announcing at the same time the high vocation to which he had appointed him—-“ Fear not, henceforth thou shalt be a fisher of men.” Andrew, the brother of Peter, who likewise became a disciple, stands behind, and is also about to prostrate himself before the Saviour. In a series of designs comprehending the acts of the apostles, the propriety of choice in this subject is obvious: one of the most extraordinary circumstances in the history of Christianity is the astonishing results- produced by agents of such humble origin, and apparently so inadequate to so mighty a task. Here we see them engaged in their original avocation ;; but notwithstanding the homely garb of the fishermen, we perceive in the grand character of their heads, and in the solemn sentiment which seems to inspire them, indications of power which show them to be fit instruments for the great undertaking which they were called on to accomplish. The figure of Christ, who sits apart in the stern of the boat, is simple and majestic. The second boat is occupied by Zebedee and his two sons, James and John, who also “ forsook all, and followed Christ.” In the cartoon, however, they are merely seen at the moment, when, having been called by Peter and Andrew to their assistance, they are strenuously endeavoring to draw up the overladen net. The action, of these two figures, beside giving a picturesque variety to the effect, adds force to.the mental expression of Peter and Andrew.
;. ’ ' . . (VII.) ELYMAS STRUCK WITH BLINDNESS.
The scenery of the cartoons is here diversified with a Prsetori-um, or Roman hall of justice. The composition is of that kind in which the middle space is left vacant, the figures being arranged on a semicircular line, hnd extending from one side of the picture to the other ; an arrangement admirably adapted to this subject. The proconsul, Sergius Paulus, surrounded by his officers and lictors, is seated on his tribunal, in front of a recess in the centre of the hall. Paul and Elymas are the foremost figures in the composition, placed on each side of the magistrate, and confronting each other. During the first promulgation of Christianity, the preaching of the apostles, and the fame of their miracles, instigated a number of imposters to an assumption of similar functions. Among these, Bar-jesus, called Elymas, “ a false prophet and a sorcerer,” was one Of the most conspicuous. He appears to have obtained considerable credit; and on the arrival of Paul and Barnabas at Paphos, had the audacity to challenge them to a public discussion before Sergius Paulus, with the hope of preventing the proconsul from embracing the Christian faith. The presumption and impiety of Elymas were met by this denun ciation from the lips of the apostle: “Behold! the hand of the
318 ELYMAS STRUCK WITH BLINDNESS.
Lord is upon thee, and thou slialt he blind, not seeing the sun for a season. And immmediately,” continues the sacred narrative, “ there fell on him a mist and darkness, and he went about, seeking some one to lead him by the hand.”
Elymas is annihilated by this calamity; he no longer exhibits the front or bearing of the subtle disputant or daring impostor. His whole action—the person bent, the arms and hands stretched out, one leg cautiously advanced, while the other sustains the weight of the figure, all indicate the confused and uncertain feeling of one struck with blindness—all is expressive of astonishment, affliction, «md dismay. The group behind him, amid much variety of action, is connected by an admirable chain of expression : one of the male figures points to Elymas, the other to heaven ; the female, on the contrary, who is no doubt meant for the wife of Elymas, protests aloud against the infliction, ascribing it to human malice, and pointing indignantly at St. Paul as the author of it. The officer who stands on the steps of the tribune extends his' hand toward the sorcerer, and turning to the surrounding crowd, seems to say, “Behold the judgment which has fallen on him!” while the man on the right of Elymas gazes on his face with such an intensity of wonder and curiosity as gives an air of reality to the whole scene.
Elymas is the personification of detected falsehood. St. Paul appears the image of irresistible truth ; simple, erect, decisive, he stands in the calm consciousness of. power ; and it is only from his upraised arm and finger that we perceive it is from him that the imposter has received his doom. The whole composition is in the highest degree picturesque, although not the slightest sacrifice of propriety is made for that object ; an air of decorum, even, proper to a hall of justice, is preserved amid all the excitement of the-scene. The figures of the lictors are admirably char-v acteristic. The proconsul himself has a striking air of grandeur and intelligence. His conversion was consequent on the event here represented ; but Rafiaelle was justified in indicating that essential circumstance by an inscription, as there was no other mode of expressing it.
The Bible contains the only authentic introduction to the history of the world; and in storing your minds with the facts of this history, you will immediately perceive the need of assistance from geography and chronology. These assistances you may find in many of the Bibles published with commentaries, and you can have no difficulty in procuring them. Acquaint yourselves with the chronology and geography of the Bible ; that will lead you to a general knowledge of chronology and geography, ancient and modern, and these will open to you an inexhaustible fountain of knowledge respecting the globe which you inhabit, and respecting the race of man, its inhabitants, to which you yourselves belong.
ORIENTAL MARRIAGE PROCESSIONS.
ORIENTAL MARRIAGE PROCESSIONS.
We have before had occasion to notice the perpetuity of ancient customs, among the people of the East, and the remarkable similarity existing between the social usages of several oriental nations of the present time, and those of the earlier ages. Among the best preserved of these customs, that of the marriage ceremony may be considered the most remarkable ; and though in detail the nuptial rites vary among different people, and even among portions of the same people, yet in their general features they are similar.
A procession is usual on all occasions of marriage, either to or from the house of the bridegroom or bride (sometimes both), which procession always takes place at night, by torch-light. This custom, so. prevalent, nay, quite- universal! among the Jews about the commencement of our era, was also a , distinguished feature of the marriage ceremony among the early Greeks, according to Homer. In Cowper’s translation of the.Iliad, we find the following
“ Rites matrimonial, solemnized with pomp Of sumptuous banquets. Forth they led their brides Each from her chamber, and along the streets With torches ushered them, and with the voice : Of hymenial'song, heard all around.
Here striplings danced in circles to the sound ' " '
Of pipe and harp, while in the portals stood Women, admiring all the gallant show.”
If we compare the parable of the foolish virgins, with the existing marriage Ceremonies of the inhabitants of Hindostan, we shall perceive a striking resemblance. Ward, in his “Views of the Hindoos,” gives the'following relation'of the arrival of a bridegroom to’ take the bride : “ At-a marriage, the procession of which I saw some years ago, the bridegroom came from a distance, and the bride lived at Serampore, to which place the bridegroom was to come by water. After waiting two hours, at length, near midnight, it was .announced, as if in the very words of Scripture, ‘Behold the bridegroom cometh, go ye out to meet him.5 All the persons employed (probably women) now lighted their lamps, and ran with them in their hands to fill up their stations in the procession; some of them had lost their lamps, and were unprepared; but it was then too late to seek them, and the cavalcade moved forward to the house of the bride, at which place the company entered a large and splendidly illuminated area before the house, covered with an awning, where a great multitude of friends, dressed in their best apparel, were seated upon mats. The bridegroom was carried in the arms of a friend, and placed upon a superb seat in the midst of the company, where he sat a short tirtie, and then went into the house, the door of which was immediately shut, and guarded by sepoys. I and others expostulated with the doorkeepers, but in vain. Never was I so struck
320 oriental marriage processions.
Marriage Procession of a Hindoo Bridegroom
Marriage Procession of a Bride in Lebanon
322 ORIENTAL MARRIAGE PROCESSIONS.
with our Lord’s beautiful parable as at this moment: ‘ And the door was shut.’ I was exceedingly anxious to be present while the marriage formulas were repeated, but was obliged to depart in disappointment.”
The first engraving represents a Hindoo bridegroom proceeding to take home his bride; or it would equally well illustrate the return of the bridegroom, for it was quite as frequent that on this occasion the latter, alone in a palanquin, preceded the bride in a similar conveyance, as for both to be carried in the same vehicle. Each attendant is always supplied with a staff, on which is affixed a torch, and thus, with songs and dances, the splendid procession moves on.
As before observed, the details of marriage processions are often dissimilar.. In Syria, Persia, and India, the bridegroom in person brings home the bride; but the Turks usually leave this duty to be performed by a near relative, and remain at home to receive the lady. The Jews in ancient times, had both these usages. In Egypt, the bridegroom goes to the mosque when the bride is expected, and returns home with her in the procession. These processions in Western Asia, when the distance is not great, are usually performed on foot, although horses, mules, and asses, are sometimes rode upon. When the procession moves on foot, the bride walks under a canopy, carried by two attendants ; but in Eastern Asia, let the distance be what it may, the bride rides upon a mare, mule, ass, or camel, or is carried in a palanquin. Among the Druses of Lebanon, if the distance is not great, the bride, and sometimes the bridegroom, ride on horseback, as shown in the other engraving. When the bridegroom brings home the bride, as here represented, the former, with his 'friends, moves in front, with often an interval between the two parties. Music usually attends such processions, such as the pipe and the tambourine, accompanied with songs and dances.
TLhe following is a chronological list of different versions and editions of the Scriptures : First translated into the Saxon language, 939. Hebrew—first printed Hebrew Bible" done at Son-cinum in Italy, at Naples, 1487; completion of the whole Bible, at Soncinum, 1488; at Venice, by Bomberg, 1518—and at the same epoch in Spain, under Cardinal Ximenses; in 1526-’28, the first edition of B. Chaim ; Basil, 1534; in 1549, by B. Chaim ; in 1572, the Royal or Spanish Polyglott, 8 vols. at Antwerp ; third edition of B. Chaim’s Bible, 1618 ; in 1623, at Venice ; Amsterdam, 1724-’27; Paris 1641, 10 folio vols., Polyglott; London Polyglott, 1757.
THE CITY OF BROOSA. 323
THE CITY OF BROOSA.
This large, populous, and busy town, although now hardly second to any other in the Turkish dominions, and formerly the capital, for one hundred and thirty years before the capture of Constantinople, occupies a site undistinguished in ancient days.
We have but to figure to ourselves the extensive and irregular terrace which occupies that important part of the interior of Asia Minor, where were situated the countries of Galatia, Cappadocia, Phrygia, and Lycaonia, with the cities of Lystra, Derbe, Iconium, and Antioch of Pisidia. The plain is bordered by mountains on three sides, being open only toward the east, having Olympus on the north, and Taurus on the south. Mr. Schreider speaks of noble forests of oak and birch on the north, and yellow pine on the sides of some of these mountains.
From its borders the land descends by gradual slopes toward the shores of three seas : the Black, .ZEgean, and the Mediterranean ; and in those regions were found the ancient Pontus, Bith-ynia, and Pamphylia on the north; on the west, Lydia, Mysia, and Troas 5 and on the south, Caria, Lycia, Cilicia, and Paphlagonia. Within those districts are the sites of nearly twenty cities of antiquity, -whose names we find in the Scriptures.
The situation of Broosa is near one corner of the broad terrace abovementioned, and at the foot of the range of Olympus. Our countryman, Mr; Goodell, in describing the scene as he enjoyed it from one of those elevations, speaks of it as exceeded by nothing in the whole empire except the capital itself. Turning our eyes to the engraving, we may form some conception of its general features. The long ranges of many of the buildings, indicate the wealth of the inhabitants ; some of the numerous slender towers shooting above, serve the criers, who five times a day, call the moslem to prayers in the name of Mahomet, and here and there a wide dome shows the position of a mosque. One of these minarets may be seen near at hand, on the left of the print, with the narrow balustrade, in which the crier takes his stand, after having ascended by a winding staircase within; and the two indolent Turks on the terrace below, smoking their long pipes, are such figures as might be seen in many a splendid mansion in the city, quiescent almost all day long, except when roused by his voice giving the cry of Illaillahee.
The provinces of Asia Minor, for natural attractions, are to be numbered with the most favored portions of the earth. At present, notwithstanding the oppressive and even desolating influence of the government and of the dominant religion, they are estimated to contain upward of 4,000,000 of people, and anciently the population must have been much greater. Asia Minor, when traversed by the apostle Paul, is said to have contained no less than 500 rich and populous cities, connected together by public highways substantially built and paved. There paganism and
City of Broosa
THE ANCIENT ROTtlNDO 325
civilization, though opposed in nature, were associated perhaps in the highest degree possible. The doctrines and rites of polytheism were embellished and sustained by the highest efforts of wealth arid genius. Art, learning, riches, power, policy, prejudice, the splendor of literature, and the force of genius, were all arrayed on the side of superstition ; as if it were the intention of the all-wise God to demonstrate the baleful influence of mistakes concerning his nature upon mind in the highest stages of human cultivation.
The church of Antioch, in Syria, sent into Asia Minor two missionaries : one a young man from the schools of Tarsus and Jerusalem, the other a native of Cyprus, and perhaps more advanced in years. Behold them landing in Pamphylia, with a single attendant, and he, alarmed by the hardships and dangers of the enterprise, forsaking them almost immediately.
Behold this same .young man entering the port of Ephesus in a Corinthian galley, accompanied by xwo mechanics. While descending, with his companions, from the Corinthian vessel, and mingling with the crowd, suppose thdt some sage of Ionia was standing by, and was told that these persons were come to render the temple of the great goddess Diana despised, whom all Asia and the world worshipped. With what scorn would he have regarded such chimerical enthusiasts ! And yet, in the space of four years, through the blessing of God on the labors of these missionaries, and those of a young and eloquent preacher from Alexandria, the danger of this very result, by common consent of the inhabitants, had become most imminent. And thus it was everywhere in Asia Minor. Not more than a dozen preachers are named in the New Testament as connected with the missions in Lesser Asia, and only three of these were apostles.
Bithynia was reserved for the apostle Peter ; and we find the gospel firmly rooted there when Pliny, the celebrated Roman governor of Bithynia, came into the province not many years after the death of that apostle.
THE ANCIENT ROTUNDO AT THESSA-LONICA.
This is one of the few remnants of antiquity in that city, whose name is.so familiar to every reader of the New Testament. It was constructed of large, square stones, and its appearance in the engraving indicates no less its exposure to the elements for hundreds of years, than that solidity of architecture which has enabled it to resist the attacks of time and violence. The crescent on the top, with surrounding Mahometan buildings, plainly indicates the gloomy power which now occupies that site of one of the Drimitive churches.
The situation of Thessalonica, on a fine eminence on the Thermaic .Gulf, with a slope which exposes it advantageously to the view of one approaching it by water, renders it conspicuous and attractive from a distance ; but as it lies out of the principal routes of travellers in our day, it is still but seldom visited. The date of this ancient tower, we believe, has never been determined, but is allowed to be very early. The name of the city was Therme, in the time of Herodotus and some subsequent writers, having probably been derived, as well as that of the bay which it overlooks, from warm springs: to which the celebrated pass of Thermopylae owes its appellation. It is also said to have been once calied Halia. The name of Thessalonica was given by Cassander, in honor of the daughter of Philip, whom he had married.
Under the Romans this city became an important port, for the commerce of Asia Minor and the Hellespont, and- soon increased to a large city, exceeding all others in Macedonia, and enjoying peculiar privileges. In the first century of the Christian Era, it was a considerable place, though probably inferior to Philippi. The account of Paul’s first visit to it, in the 17th chapter of Acts, though brief, is interesting, and shows the spirit with which he was received by many of the inhabitants ; while the Epistles “to the Church of the Thessalonians,” prove that some of them had been so improved through his instructions, as to draw many warm expressions of love and approbation from his eloquent pen, and those animating invitations to exalted lives which are there so much admired: calling them ensamples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia, and saying : “ we ourselves glory in you in all the churches of God.”
The ancient tower we here present, has been the witness of great revolutions in modern as well as in early ages. Thessalonica, after passing into the hands of different masters in successive ages, yielded, with all Greece, to the miserable and degrading rule of the Turks. Among the Greek population who were found there in late years, were several families warmly devoted to national freedom, and possessing a spirit which engaged them in the earliest plans for the liberation of their countrymen. The neighborhood of the mountains, and their almost inaccessible nature, offered great facilities to such as were inclined to the wild, and independant life of the Kleftes ; and among those patriotic men were found some of the best of the Thessalonians.
The modern name of the city is Salonica, a very natural abbreviation from the ancient; and, the accent being laid on the letter i, and that being pronounced e, the American reader may easily determine how the name of the city was probably spoken in former imes.
Ancient Rotundo at Thessalonica.
328 REFLECTIONS ON ANCIENT RUINS.
REFLECTIONS ON THE RUINS OF ANCIENT
ILLUSTRATED WITH ENGRAVINGS.
“ Fallen pile ! I ask not what has been thy fate ;
But when the weak winds, wafted from the main,
Through each lone arch, like spirits that complain,
Come hollow to my ear, I meditate
On this world’s passing pageant, and the lot
Of those who once might proudly, in their prime,
Have stood with giant port; till, bowed by time,
Or injury, their ancient boast forgot,
They might have sunk like thee ; though thus forlorn,
They lift their heads, with venerable hairs Besprent, majestic yet, and as in scorn Of mortal vanities, and short-lived carec;
E’en so dost thou, lifting thy forehead gray,
Smile at the tempest, and time’s sweeping sway.”
Let us here pause awhile, and gaze on the ruins of nations that have gone before us. Few things are more striking to the imagination, and few calculated to convey instruction more effectively, than the remains of empires, the glory of which has departed, and the power of which has long been abolished. There is something deep and mysterious in the relics of a people with whom we become acquainted only in the silence of their desolation; there is something appallingly picturesque, frightfully effective, in its in-
330 REFLECTIONS ON ANCIENT RUINS.
fiuence on the spirit, when we stand the lonely spectators of the ruins of ancient cities; it may be, whose potentates swayed sceptres, at the waive of which myriads would bow. The history of the past may have been painful, and that of the present may bring discouragement, but it is a delightful thought to the Christian traveller, that, however far he may wander, whatever land he may visit, every valley and every hill he sees will one day shine brightly with the glory of the Lord, “for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.” He hears the still small voice of prophecy in the very desolations around him.
Philosophers, when they read the wonders of geology, are not now afraid of being stigmatized as infidels, simply because they entertain notions of the stages of the great work of creation different from those by which their minds were originally prepossessed. The suspicion, happily antiquated, that an increasing intimacy with the phenomena of nature and physical objects, might one day prove truth to be at variance with Scripture revelation, is fast yielding to the conviction, even in the minds of the most ignorant and obtuse, that the more Scripture is illustrated by the corresponding commentary of the outward world, the more firmly will its validity be established.
We cast our eyes around, and see the wrecks of past ages, the fragments of the finest monuments of mind and genius, lying prostrate and in ruins. We look on the map in vain for the site of cities, and the bounds of kingdoms, that once flourished like the palm-tree ; for giant-handed Time, like the destroying angel, has passed over, and blotted them from/his present scroll of history. There are no reflections which rise in the mind so affecting as those wbich are suggested by seeing the shattered remains of a mighty empire. ' -
Egypt lifts up a voice interestingly solemn from her dateless tombs. The lamp of knowledge burnt first on her altars—therefore do we hallow her memory. And Egypt was, of all lands, the land of the marvellous. Look at her in any point of view you please, and she was a wonder of the world. Think of the mighty Nile—the grand and mysterious source of fertilization—the aspiring pyramids—the hundred-gated city—the sphinx—the obelisk: all these were there, attesting in the midst of idolatry, the presence of genius, and the indications of mind.
Where, we may ask, is the proud Nineveh, the golden Babylon— those magnificent and populous cities, ornaments of the earth, on which man had lavished all the cunning of art and device 1 A few stones in the desert point out their fate. Where have gone the mighty workings of Confucius, whose wise laws and maxims, his code of government and jurisprudence, made China what it was in the ancient world, a seat of refinement, civilization, and the arts 1 What has been the fate of Hindoo and Braminical learning! Western lands have yet to laud their skill; for from them we have derived the essential parts and component principles of a science that has received the encomiums of all; and which, from
332 REFLECTIONS ON ANCIENT RUINS.'
its vast importance, has secured for itself the title of the “ Great Art.”
Reader! turn to our View of the Ruins of Palmyra. What has become of its stately temples, sacred fanes, and sepulchres 1 Where are its gardens—its wondrous walls—its artificial lakes and canals'? In the picture we read the answer to these questions. Its glory has departed—we see only the splendid wrecks that faintly indicate their pristine grandeur. Once Palmyra arose like a refreshing fountain in the midst of the arid desert, the pride of Solomon. Now, it consists only of a few miserable huts of Arabs, scattered amid the courts of its once stately temples and porticoes, exhibiting a humiliating contrast to its ancient magnificence. Throughout the plain that loses itself in the interminable horizon, the eye views antique monuments, pillars, palaces-and sepulchres, splendid even in their fall!—figured capitals; entablatures, and pilasters, all of Parian whiteness, and. exquisite workmanship, strew the ground. . -
Balbec is only a receptacle for shepherds, while every column of marble tells a mournful story. A traveller describes it as “ a series of chapels, decorated with niches,' admirably sculptured friezes, yor-nices, and vaulted arches ; all displaying the. rriost finished workmanship, but evidently, belonging to a degenerate , period of art. But this impression can only be felt by those whose eyes have been previously exercised by the contemplation of the pure monuments of Athens and Rome ; every other eye would be fascinated by the splendor of the forms, and finish of the ornaments. The only fault is. too much richness ; the stone groans beneath the weight of its own luxuriance, and the walls are overspread with a lace-work of marble.” .
And the space would fail me, dear reader, to tell you of Ephesus —the illustrious city—once adorned with temples, the wonder of the civilized world, now the habitation of herdsmen, who find a shelter from the inclement storm beneath the masses of its crumbling ruins—of Thebes, with its hundred gates, which appears in its wreck to have been a city of giants; now a miserable village. Of Tyre, on the coast of Phenicia, a highly commercial city, whose merchants the prophet calls princes, and her traders the “ honorable of the earth;” and who assumed the title ot “Queen of the East.” How has the bright gold become dim! The inhabitants are now only a few poor creatures, subsisting chiefly by fishing; who seem to be preserved in this place by Divine Providence, as a visible argument, how God has fulfilled his word concerning Tyre, that “ it should be as the top of a rock, a place for fishers to dry their nets on.” Sidon, the most ancient of maritime cities, “ the artist of glass,” is also in a state of de cay. In adverting to these witnesses of feeble human duration, the names of many cities recur to the mind. Sardis is in dust. Hrjeush, the mighty capital of Karasm; Busiris, &c. ; are all “ shorn of their beams.”
Jerusalem (the “City of the Great King”) presents a melancholy
REFLECTIONS ON ANCIENT RUINS. 333
Remains of the Ancient Port of Sidon.
REFLECTIONS ON ANCIENT RUINS.
REFLECTIONS ON. ANCIENT. RUINS. 335
and interesting theme. Her mighty temple, built by Solomon, was
a noble and magnificent edifice, so constructed as to impress the spectator with admiration, and the worshipper with reverence.
This was once the most celebrated city of the whole land of Is
rael ; it was renowned among Christians and Jews; and was dignified by the title of the Holy City. But how are her fortunes fallen—how deplorable her present condition ! We are tempted to extract from a recent traveller a striking picture : “ No noise arises from her squares or streets; no roads lead to her gates from the east or from the west, from the north or from the south, except a few paths winding among the rocks, on which you meet half-naked Arabs, some camel-drivers from Damascus, or women from Bethlehem or Jericho, carrying on their heads a basket of raisins from Engedi, or a cage of doves, to he sold on the morrow, under the terribinthuses beyond the city-gates. No one passed in or out; no mendicant even was seated against her kerbstones; no sentinel showed himself at her threshold. We saw, indeed, no living object, heard no living sound; we found the same void, the same silence, at the entrance of a city containing thirty thousand souls, during the twelve hours of the day, as we should have expected before the entombed gates of Pompeii or Herculaneum.”
Rome, a comparatively modern city, abounds in splendid memorials of the past; triumphal arches, domes, and amphitheatres.
See the wild waste of all-devouring years !
How Rome her own sad sepulchre appears,
. With nodding arches, broken temples spread !
The very tombs now vanished with their dead !
Imperial wonders raised on nations spoiled,
Where mixed with slaves the groaning martyrs toiled:
Huge theatres that now unpeopled woods,'
NoW drained a distant country of her floods:
Fanes, which admiring.gods with pride survey,
Statues of men, scarce less alive than they!
“ If a person expects to find at Rome, such magnificent remains as he has read of at Athens,” says a recent traveller, “ he will he grievously disappointed.” It would exceed our limits, and be quite unnecessary for our present purpose, to examine minutely into the sources of that interest with which all civilized men have for ages been accustomed to regard “ The great Queen of the Earth—Imperial Rome.” For even those who have not read at all, know, perhaps, more of the Romans than of any other nation which has figured in the world. We will, therefore, content ourselves with giving to our readers, on the opposite page, a beautiful engraving of the Piazza del Popolo (in Rome), an open irregular space, in the centre of which rises an Egyptian obelisk of granite, nearly eighty feet in height, and from the sides,.of which branch off three streets. The middle one is the Corso, the high street of modern Rome; that on the right is the Ripetta, leading to the hanks of the Tiber ; and that on the left conducts to the Piazza di Spagna, the quarter of the hotels, below the Pin-
336 REFLECTIONS ON ANCIENT RUINS.
A View in Rome. (Piazza del Popolo.)
REFLECTIONS ON ANCIENT RUINS.
The Forum at Rome
338 REFLECTIONS ON ANCIENT RUINS.
cian hills. Corinth and Sparta are mean towns, occupied by the hut of the goatherd; while Athens presents the appearance of a small modern town—Athens that sent forth the noblest historians, the most eloquent orators, the ablest statesmen, and the greatest military commanders ! Ages and ages did Athens ride in the zenith of glory, till at length she became the prey of -the spoiler, despot, and stranger ; long she laid in the dust, grovelling, and wretched—but now having burst her thraldom, a brighter era begins to.dawn; and future historians may perhaps record that Athens and Greece, so long blotted from the roll of nations, may rise from their ashes, like -the fabled phoenix of old, to liberty, honor, and glory. . y
A brief description of Athens, inserted in this place, may not be uninteresting to the general'reader ; and will, we. trust, be read with profit in connexion with the engraving accompanying it. /
The modern town of Athens, is situated to the north of the Acropolis, and extends from'the temple of Thesiis, so conspicuous in the vale on the left side of o.ur “ View,’! to the sublime temple of Jupiter Olympus, which has not escaped the ravages of. time, nor the rude, barbarity of the Turks. The greater part of the houses is concealed from our view by .the glorious Acropolis, and by the hill of Mars, separated from fit by that narrow valley through which the peaked summit of Mount Lycabettus is seen.
Fragments of Ter stately temple's still give a grand, though faint idea of her ancient splendor, and of the perfection to which she carried architecture and^sculpture. With, the picture before us, we may easily, in imagination, ascend Mars Hill, that sacred spot, once hallowed by the footsteps of the apostle Paul. Here is still the same flight of steps, which were cut in the rock more than two thousand years ago. r Here, in the days of old, the court of the Areopagus used to hold its sittings; and'where Paul ad-, dressed the most intellectual audience, to whom he ever declared the. Gospel of Christ. He was evidently filled with, admiration, as well as with sorrow, at the sight of these (then) splendid temples, whose unequalled beauty and. elegance are still 'so conspicuous. “He went about the city, and beheld these sanctuaries.” But what an ardent love of God and man must have animated him! Surrounded by the very master-piece of architecture, he never forgot that idolatry, in whose honor they had ! been reared, was an insult'constantly offered to the.holy Creator of the universe, an unceasing offence, against the benevolent Father of mankind, a disgrace to human nature; a source.of infinite wretchedness; a state of guilt and thraldom, carefully maintained by the enemy of God, who would delight in the ruin of his blind and devoted slaves, and whose designs could only be frustrated by a saving faith in Jesus Christ. The spirit of love, tvhich kept alive these impressions in the apostle’s mind, while it imparted a tone of mild candor to his feelings, prompted him to immediate exertion, and inspired him with a noble courage.
When Christianity was introduced, the heathen sanctuaries
340 REFLECTIONS ON ANCIENT RUINS.
were changed into Christian places of worship, of which no less a number than 174 could, in 1820, be pointed out in the city and its immediate neighborhood. How true, then, is the apostle’s remark, that the Athenians were “ exceedingly religious !”# With this prospect before him—in the very sight of these temples— under the very frown of the colossal statue of Minerva, the intrepid apostle hesitated not to tell the vain, and elegant, and religious Athenians, that “ God dwelleth not in temples made with hands;” and that they ought not to think him like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device. He hesitated not to speak of their state as a state of ignorance ; and, in the very place which derived its celebrity from the far-famed wisdom and authority of their supreme tribunal, he was not afraid to declare that “ God now commandeth all men everywhere to repent, because he hath appointed a day in the which he will judge the world in righteousness, by that man whom he hath ordained ; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.”
View of the Acropolis.
Ancient Athens was divided into the Acropolis or upper, and the Catapolis or lower city. The former contained the most splendid works of art, of which Athens could boast. Its chief ornament, however, was the Parthenon, or temple of Minerva. Originally this was an elegant structure, supported by one hundred and twenty-eight marble pillars ! and having, over its great gate
* See Doddridge on Acts xvii. 22.
REFLECTIONS ON ANCIENT RUINS. 341
two horses, sculptured by Praxiteles. This magnificent building, which even in ruins has been the wonder of the world, was 217 feet long, 98 broad, and 65 high. Destroyed by the Persians, it was rebuilt in a noble manner by Pericles, 444 years before Christ. Here stood the statue of Minerva, formed of ivory, 46 feet high, and richly decorated with gold to the value of more than $520,000.
The Parthenon, as it once was.
The Propylceum, built of white marble, formed the entrance to the Parthenon. This building lay on the north side of the Acropolis, close to the Erectheum, also of white marble, consisting of two temples; beside another remarkable building, called the Pandroseum. In the circle of Minerva’s temple stood the olive-tree, sacred to that goddess.
On the front part of the Acropolis, and on each end, were two theatres, built with extraordinary splendor.
In the lower city were the Poikile, or the gallery of historical paintings, the temple of the Winds, and the monuments of cele- . brated men. But the greatest pieces of architecture were without the city. These were the temples of Theseus and Jupiter Olympus; one on the north, and the other on the south side of the city.
The temple of Theseus resembled the Parthenon. On this temple, the famous deeds of old heroes and kings were represented. The temple of Jupiter Olympus surpassed all the other buildings of Athens in splendor and beauty. Incalculable sums were spent on it. It was finished by Adrian. The outside of this temple was adorned by 120 fluted columns, 60 feet high and 6 in diameter. The inside was more than half a league in circumference. Here stood the statue of the god made by Phydias, of gold and ivory.
In the fifth century, the Parthenon was turned into a church of
342 REFLECTIONS ON ANCIENT RUINS.
the Virgin Mary. In 1456, when Athens fell into the hands of the Turks, it became a mosque.
This is a brief account of Athens, as it once was. Now, under the dominion of the Turks, and after 2,300 years of war and devastation, how changed ! Still its ruins excite a