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ILLUSTRATIONS OF SCRIPTURE EVIDENCES.
itself around, we feel as if all this were only estab- and linen yarn : the king's merchants reccived the lishing us more securely upon the everlasting Rock, linen yarn at a price.” And that this linen of Egypt and announcing to us, though with hostile lips, how was highly valued in Palestine, is evident from the true and certain that blessed Word is on which our statement of the “strange woman" (Prov. vii. 16): hope is built.
“ I have decked my bed with coverings of tapestry,
with carved works, with fine linen of Egypt." The THE NEST AMONG THE GRAVES.*
export of these productions of the loom seems to
have formed an important branch of Phænician > BY MRS SIGOURNEY.
commerce, for the Prophet Ezekiel (xxvii. 7), in his Tue cloudless sun went down
enumeration of the articles of traffic in Tyre, says: Upon a church-yard scene,
“ Fine linen with broidered work from Egypt was And there a quiet nest I mark'd
that which thou spreadest forth to be thy sail; blue Hid in an ever-green,
and purple from the isles of Elishah was that which As wandering 'mid the hallowed mounds covered thee." The dresses of the numerous figures, With velvet verdure drest,
and other draperies painted on Egyptian tombs, exhiI paused where two sweet sisters lay
bit a large variety of qualities, colours, and patterns. In death's unbroken rest.
Some sorts are so fine and transparent, that every There was a marble seat
detail of the figures which they envelop is seen Beside that couch of clay,
with perfect clearness through them--suggesting the Where oft the mournful mother sat
idea of fine muslin or gauze; while other qualities of
various thickness exhibit, as far as can be judged To pluck the weeds away, And bless each infant bud,
from paintings, rich and delicate workmanship, and
sometines furnish patterns and styles not unworthy And every blossom fair, That breath'd a sigh of fragance round
our imitation, and always a brilliancy of colour which The idols of her care.
we can scarcely rival.*
In the complaint of the murmuring Israelites in the The unfledg'd birds had flown
wilderness (Numb. xi. 5), we have an enumeration of Far from the nest away,
various articles of Egyptian cultivation :
" We reYet still within the imprisoning tomb
member the fish, which we did eat in Egypt freely; Those gentle sleepers lay;
the cucu rs, and the melons, and the leeks, and But surely as those bright-wing'd birds the onions, and the garlic." Forsook the sheltering tree,
This passage is especially important, in respect of And soar'd with joyous flight to heaven, its bearing on the veracity of the Mosaic history. Such shall their rising be.
All these articles of food existed in Egypt in great
abundance, and most of them were distinguished for ILLUSTRATIONS OF SCRIPTURE EVIDENCES.
their excellence, and formed the favourite nourishment of the people. Among the lower orders,"
says Wilkinson, “ vegetables constituted a very great THE MONUMENTS OF EGYPT.
part of their ordinary food; and they gladly availed
themselves of the variety and abundance of esculent BY THE REV. JAMES TAYLOR, GLASGOW.
roots growing spontaneously in the lands irrigated Flax is mentioned (Exod. ix. 3l) as one of the by the rising Nile, as soon as its waters had subsided; principal productions of Egypt; and the whole pro
some of which were eaten in a crude state, and others cess of its cultivation--laying it out in oblong inter- roasted in the ashes, boiled, or stewed; their chief sected beds, steeping the stalks after cutting, beating aliment, and that of the children, consisting of milk them, and making cloth of the materials so prepared and cheese, roots, liguminous, cucurbitaceous, and (“ fine linen,” for which the Egyptians were so
other plants and ordinary fruits of the country.” famous)—is exhibited in the sculptures in all its
Egypt affords many varieties of the cucumber, and minutest and most precise details. The manufac- of peculiar excellence. When in season, they are ture of linen formed a principal branch of industry eaten by all classes to an extent which would scarcely to the inhabitants of Egypt. The Prophet Isaiah seem credible in this country. (iix. 9), describing the misery that was to come The melons are of very great importance in Egypt, on the various classes of the Egyptian popula- and, from their refreshing qualities, would very natution, says:
Moreover, they that work in fine flax, rally become objects of general longing in the desert, and they that weave net-works (or, as it is rendered, when the “souls of the people were dried away." and more correctly, in the margins of our Bibles,
“ A traveller in the East,” says Kitto, " who rememwhite-works), shall be confounded." By “white-bers the intense gratitude which the gift of a slice of works" the prophet evidently means the cottonmelon inspired, while journeying over the hot and manufactures. The Jews, like many other nations dry plains, will readily comprehend the regret with both of Asia and Europe, derived their supplies of which the Hebrews in the Arabian Desert looked fine stuffs from Egypt. We are told (1 Kings x. 28) back upon the melons of Egypt." The following that “Solomon had horses brought out of Egypt; account of the use of melons in Egypt is given by
• Written at the grave of two Christian friends.
* Illustrated Commentary on Prov, viji, 16
Hasselquist : “ The water-melon is cultivated on candid mind of its strict accuracy; but this is perthe banks of the Nile, in the rich clayey earth which haps still more strikingly evinced by the mention subsides during the inundation. This serves the made of the vegetable which in our version is renEgyptians for meat, drink, and medicine. It is dered “leeks." This word, thus translated, occurs eaten in abundance during the season even by the in several places in the Old Testament, but in this richer sort of people; but the common people scarcely passage alone is the meaning of “leeks" given to it. cat anything else, and account this the best time of In 1 Kings xviii. 5; 2 Kings xix. 26; Job xl. 15, &c., the year, as they are obliged to put up with worse it is rendered “grass." Etymologically, it has the fare at other seasons. This fruit likewise serves them meaning of food for cattle, pasturage, fodder, and is for drink, the juice so refreshing these poor creatures, 80 employed in the passages referred to. The article that they have much less occasion for water than if of food here meant must therefore be appropriately they were to live on more substantial food in this food for beasts, which “ leeks" are not. burning climate."
“But among the wonders of the natural history of The onions of Egypt were far renowned for their Egypt,” says Hengstenberg, “it is mentioned by excellence, and are often represented on the monu- travellers that the common people there eat with ments. They were a common article of diet in special relish a kind of grass similar to clover." The ancient times; and they still constitute almost the impression which the sight of this makes on those only food of the lowest class. “ Most of the people who have travelled much, is very graphically deof Western Asia are remarkably fond of onions. scribed by Mayr: “A great heap of clorer was The Arabs, in particular, have even a childish passion thrown before the beasts, and a smaller pile of clover for them, and several of their proverbial phrases like fodder was placed before the master of the house express this attachment.” The extraordinary estima- and his companions. The quadrupeds and the bipeds tion in which they were held by the Egyptians we ate with equal greediness, and the pile of the latter learn from Pliny, who says: “ I cannot overpass the was all gone before the former had finished theirs. foolish superstition of the Egyptians, who used to This plant is very similar to clover, except that it swear by garlic and onions, calling them to witness in has more pointed leaves and whitish blossoms. taking their oaths, as if they were no less than some Enormous quantities are eaten by the inhabitants, gods."
** And Hasselquist says: “Whoever has tasted and it is not un palatable. I was afterwards, when onions in Egypt must allow that none can be had hungry, in a situation to lay myself down upon the better in any part of the universe. Here they are fields where it grows, and graze with pleasure.". sweet, in other countries they are nauseous and Sonnini gives a more particular description, which strong. Here they are soft, whereas in the northern clearly shows us how the Israelites could, among and other parts they are hard; and their coats are so other things, also look back longingly to the grass compact, that they are difficult of digestion. Hence Egypt: “ Although the helbet of the Egyptians is they cannot in any place be eaten with less preju- nourishing food for the numerous beasts who cover dice and more satisfaction than in Egypt."
the plains of the Delta-although horses, oxen, and Garlic is not now produced in Egypt; but there the buffaloes eat it with equal relish-it appears not can be no doubt that it was in great request in an- to be destined especially for the sustenance of anicient times. Like the other vegetables longed for mals, since the Carsim furnishes an aliment better by the discontented Israelites, it is represented on even and more abundant." But that which will the monuments; and Herodotus expressly says, that appear very extraordinary is, that in this singularly in the Great Pyramid there was in his time an inscrip- fertile country the Egyptians themselves eat the tion recording the expense of the radishes, onions, fenu-grec (the scientific name of this grass--its comand garlic which had been consumed by the workmen mon name in Egypt is helbet) so much, that it can during the progress of the undertaking.
properly be called the food of men. In the month of The time of the year when fish and vegetables November they cry “Green helbet for sale !" in the were more particularly used by the Egyptians was streets of the towns. It is tied up in large bunches, the hot season, occasioned by the prevalence of the which the inhabitants eagerly purchase at a low south winds in April and May; and it is worthy of price, and which they eat with an incredible greedinotice, that it was in the very midst of this parching ness, without any species of seasoning. They pretend season that the Israelites longed with such impatience that this singular diet is an excellent stomachic, a for the cool and refreshing diet which they had been specific against worms and dysentery-in fine, a preaccustomed at such times to enjoy. A striking in-servative against a great number of maladies. Final. stance of the urgent necessity for such food to those ly, the Egyptians regard this plant as endowed with! who had been accustomed to it occurred during the 80 many good qualities, that it is in their estimation siege of Damietta, in 1218, when many of the more a true panacea. Prosper Alpinus has entered into delicate Egyptians, although they had corn in abun- long details upon its use in medicine. After so many dance, pined away and died for want of the garlic, excellent properties, real or supposed, it is not astoonions, fish, birds, fruits, and herbs, to which they nishing that the Egyptians hold the fenu-grec in so had been accustomed.t
great estimation, that, according to one of their proThese interesting facts throw great light on the verbs, “ Fortunate are the feet which tread the earth sacred narrative, and are sufficient to convince every on which grows the helbet." Can any candid person • Hist. Nat.. xix. 6.
doubt that a longing after an article of food so re| Harmer's Observations, iv. 44.
markable in itself, and so entirely peculiar to Egypt,
THE RELIGIOUS HISTORY OF RUSSIA.
could only have existed among those who were inti- fices of oxen and other animals to Perun were nately acquainted by experience with the productions considered comparatively trifling and worthless; of that country-among persons, in short, placed in his altar most frequently smoked with human he circumstances in which the Israelites are repre- blood. The captives taken in war were his jented as having been placed; and that, consequently, most common oblation, and even the children he narrative of the whole transaction bears internal of his worshippers were occasionally immolated ?vidence both of its authenticity and of its genuine- to appease his vengeance, or to attract his ress?
Such was the religious condition of Russia THE RELIGIOUS HISTORY OF RUSSIA. onward to the middle of the eleventh century,
in which we discover all those repulsive and BY THE REV. A. THOMSON, A.B., EDINBURGH.
sickening features that have marked idolatry The established religion of Russia, which is in all ages and under all climes—folly, degraprofessed by forty-eight millions of her sub-dation, horrid cruelty; and, had I entered into jects, is that of the Greek Church. About the fuller detail, I might have added impurity. middle of the tenth century an attempt was These are the characteristics of Heathenism made by a princess of a daring and resolute everywhere; the drapery may be changed, but spirit, named Olga, who acted as queen-regent never the deformity; its rites may become more during the minority of her son Sviatoslaf, to picturesque, but not more benignant or more introduce this form of Christianity among the pure. But if it be true that the worshipper Slavonic tribes. The attempt appears, however, ever becomes assimilated to the object of his to have been followed by a very slight measure worship-if it be true that all idolatry and superof success; and it was not till about the middle stition are but the embodiment and reflection of the following century that, by the authority of the evil imaginations and passions of the and influence of Vladimir the Great, it was re- human heart, that does not like to retain the ceived with general favour by the Russian true God in its thoughts-then must we regard nation.
the introduction of the Greek Church into this The superstition which was thus supplanted vast empire, with all the exceptions and qualifiby the new faith, appears to have been of the cations we are hereafter to specify, as an event most gloomy, degrading, and sanguinary order. the magnitude of which cannot be estimated or Their “ lords many and gods many," were partly expressed. Even supposing the direct spiritual borrowed from the Greeks and Romans, and benefits which so enfeebled and corrupt a form partly from the Scythians, though, in passing of Christianity conferred to have been cominto the hands of the Slavonic and Scandinavian paratively few, was it nothing to reveal to the tribes, they lost even the poetic elegance of the mind of such a people the unity, existence, and one, and the rough and savage grandeur of the attributes of the true God? Was it nothing ! other. It would scarcely repay the trouble, to to introduce the arts among those savage trace among the idols of ancient Russian super. tribes, to new-model and refine their barbarous stition the various objects of Greek and Roman language, and to create for them a literature-worship, ander other and ruder names, such as blessings which came hand in hand with the Mokosh the god of battles, answering to the new religion? Was it nothing to extinguish Roman Mars;
and Pozvizd the god of the winds, those fires which so often burnt with human answering to the Grecian Æolus. The compa- victims, or to hew down those altars which rison is very elaborately and ingeniously traced were so often soaked with human blood ? by Dr Pinkerton, in his able work on Russia, The gratification we feel in studying the dim which is well worthy the attention of those annals which record the introduction of Chrisinterested in the subject. It may be sufficient tianity into Russia in the eleventh century, is to give an idea of the Slavonic superstitions, seriously damped, however, by two considerato describe the manner in which Perun, the tions, viz., the mode in which it was introduced, chief of their deities, the Russian Jupiter, was and the corrupt form in which it was presented represented and worshipped. His name very to the people. appropriately signifies “the destroyer.” His In regard to the mode of its introduction, we image was composed of different materials, in glean the following facts: Vladimir, the reignone feature displaying a grotesque resemblance ing monarch, having been solicited by the kings to the Russ of the present day. His head was of various nations to adopt their religion, he deof silver; his ears and mustachios of inassy gold; termined to act in the most impartial manner. his legs of iron, and his trunk of hard, incorrup- With this view, he despatched persons remarktible wood. In his hand he grasped a thunder- able for their wisdom and sagacity to the surbolt adorned with rubies and jaspers. Upon his rounding nations, with instructions to examine altar there burnt day and night the sacred fire, the religious tenets and rites of the respective watched by the priests of his temple, who, if countries, and to make known to him the issue through negligence they allowed it at any time of their inquiries. The report of the deputies ' to be extinguished, were doomed to perish in was in favour of the Greek Church, the imthe flames as the enemies of Perun. The sacri- posing splendour of whose ritual, and the gor
geous decorations of whose priests, as seen in sun was there, it was clouded by the traditions the superb basilica of St Sophia at Constan- and commandments of men; in some respects, tinople, dazzled the barbarous imagination of indeed, it found a nearer resemblance to the the Scandinavian prince, and determined him aurora borealis of those northern climes, shed. to embrace the Christian religion, according to ding no steady radiance-splendid, but fitful, the forms of the Greek Church. Having sub- and illuminating the darkness, rather than mitted to baptism, his example was speedily dispelling it. followed by his chiefs and nobles, and those, At the same time, we have no sympathy with again, by the numerous tribes that bowed to those writers on Church history who, from him as their king. It may serve to give some superficial knowledge, or pure indolence of idea of the spirit in which the new religion was mind, are accustomed to speak of the Greek both imposed by Vladimir, and received by his Church in the same terms of undistinguishing subjects, to mention, that having one day issued condemnation as of the Church of Rome. We a proclamation, ordering all the inhabitants of believe that, in more respects than one, the Kief to repair next morning to the banks of Churches of the East have not drunk so deeply the river to be baptized, the people cheerfully of the cup of apostasy; that in several features obeyed the order, observing, that if it were not they approach much nearer to the Reformed good to be baptized, the prince and the nobles Churches; and thus present more points on would never submit to the ceremony. What which a zealous and evangelic Protestantism ignorance of the heart of man, as well as of may lay hold, and lead them forth into a fuller the true nature and genius of Christianity, is liberty, and a more effulgent light. What these there in these simple facts. To us, nothing are will appear by a brief statement of the lead. seems plainer than the utter incompetency of ing points of resemblance and of difference bemere authority to produce that personal con- tween the Greek and Roman Churches. This viction and reception of divine truth which lies we shall attempt to give in our next article. at the foundation of all religion. The ukase of a despot may impose a ceremonial, but it can
WANDERINGS FROM GOD. not renew a character; it may produce a change How many and how sad they are! All the sin of of form, but it cannot enkindle the inward life. our nature, and all the evil that visits us in conseThe consequence of such a measure will, there- quence, comes from wandering from God. Near to fore, invariably be, the retaining of the spirit of God, we are near to light and life; far from God, we Heathenism amid the forms of a purer faith-a Christian may wander from God, and may do it very
are in darkness and death. The soul even of a true consequence which, after the lapse of centuries, gradually and imperceptibly. But though the de we may trace in many of the customs of Russia, parture from God is easy, the return to him is diffiin which the spirit of early Scandinavian su- cult. The departure is arnidst temptations, carelese perstition, still lifts its front to tell us how ness, and indulgences in sin; the return is amidst feebly Russian society has been regenerated. The departure is heedless and without effort; the
fears, distresses, chastisements, and bitter sorrows. The efforts of Greek missionaries, who had return is anxious—amidst tears and painful struggles. been labouring in Russia from the ninth cen- The departure is with our fallen nature; the return tury; as well as Vladimir's own character, is all against it. The departure is driven on by which, from the time of his adoption of the Satan; the return is resisted by him, and must be a Christian faith, exhibited, in its humanity and constant fight with him. abstinence, a complete contrast to his former God, almost without knowing it, and gets at a great
The soul of a Christian sometimes wanders from life; and, no doubt, we may add the instructions distance without knowing how far. It is like a child of a clergy among whom there still lingered entering on the open borders of a forest, where at the spirit of a purer Christianity—these were first the path is smooth and agreeable, running bethe more legitimate weapons of proselytism, side the plain road, amidst soft grass, all safe, at and even the dim and dusty annals of Russian ease, and quiet. But as the boy runs on, the road is ecclesiastical history would lead us to believe gradually lost sight of, and the path becomes enwere followed by truer success.
tangled, and the thick woods conceal the light, and
the day closes, and all is night, darkness, and terror. But supposing the Christian religion to have So is a careless Christian's heart, going astray from been propagated in Russia by instruction and God. The beginnings of the evil are sometimes in persuasion alone—the only instruments which very little things, not in sudden and great tempta suit its spiritual nature, the only weapons tions. But the consequences are sometimes worse which it owns_still it must be remembered than those which sudden and great temptations bring that, as received from the Greek Church, it was
with them. Great temptations, if the soul be sudmost enfeebled and deformed-far different sudden and great repentance, and renewed watch
denly overcome by them, are apt to be succeeded by even from the Christianity that was established fulness. But little sins, carelessness and wanderings, by Constantine in the third century-far more grow into a habit without repentance, and the condifferent still from the Christianity which was
science is spoiled of its tenderness, and the heart be preached by apostles, and sealed by the blood
comes heavy and hard, and there is sin without of martyrs in the first. If some of the elements the light is gone. O this is a dreadful case, when
sorrow, and darkness almost without knowing that of true evangelisin still survived in her, the the soul has thus gone gradually and insensibly away things that remained were ready to die; if the from God!
REPROOFS OF MURMURING.
When the soul has thus got away from God, its the most disgusting labours. Political prisoners are life is all wandering, all earthly. Even its religious treated with still more rigour than the criminals. duties are wanderings from God, instead of joyful Always followed by the lagozini, who, at the slightest and warm approaches to him. All its religious feel negligence or transgression, beat these wretched ings decay, and its devout sensibilities grow dim, and beings with an enormous lash, perhaps because their it no longer sees God, nor anything clearly in God's physical nature is too feeble to endure the severe light. It lives on in darkness, a dark, sad, melan- | labours. choly life; and what is saddest and most melancholy There are also separate prisons, kept under a more of all, it does not, for a long time, awake to a sense strict system, for other political offenders, where of this darkness, or become uneasy at it, or alarmed they are obliged to remain always in one position, about it, or distressed and troubled because it does either standing or lying down, for months and even not see God. It may go on thus for many days, if years, if they live long enough. external things are suffered, by God's providence, to Each bagno has its chaplain, who is always some be prosperous and quiet—if no calamity falls upon monk approved by the Government, and keeps them the household—if the plans of this life and its ordi- acquainted with the state of the prisoners' connary enjoyments are not interrupted, it may go on sciences. They are obliged to confess once a-month, for many days without the light of God's counte- and, if they refuse, have to bear the infliction of from nance, and yet not be troubled. The spell and palsy thirty to sixty blows of a stick. This Russian of the world is upon it, the intoxicating atmosphere kind of legislation is even practised with the female of the world is around it, is breathed by it, and it prisoners, to compel them to confess crimes. does not feel its need of God, nor how evil and bitter & thing it is to sin against God. The Psalmist speaks of the common creatures of
REPROOFS OF MURMURING. God as being troubled when he hides his face from them: Thou hidest thy face, and they are troubled. But men that have wandered from God are in this re- EBENEZER ADAMS, an eminent member of the Society spect less sensible than the brutes; they are not
of Friends, on visiting a lady of rank, whom he found, troubled at the hiding of God's face—they are not even aware that it is hidden. How many a man,
six months after the death of her husband, on a sofa bearing the name of Christian, thus goes on through covered with black cloth, and in all the dignity of the world, and goes about the world, with God's woe, approached her with great solemnity, and gently face hidden from him, because he is wandering from taking her by the hand, thus addressed her : “So, God, and yet he is all the while quite insensible to friend, I see, then, thou hast not yet forgiven God the sadness, the disconsolateness, the darkness, and misery of his condition ! So much the worse for him Almighty.” This reproof had so great an effect on when he wakes up to it; so much the worse for him
the lady, that she immediately laid aside her violent when God sends some grievous calamity upon him, grief, and again entered on the discharge of the duties or when his soul stumbles into some dark pit-fall laid of life. for him by the great enemy. He will be filled with
A HINDU FEMALE. anguish, when he comes to be filled with his own way.
One day, when Lady Raffles, while in India, was A man may be a very quiet and prudent stayer at home, and yet may wander far from God. And a
almost overwhelmed with grief for the loss of a man may be so much of a traveller, as to be quite favourite child, unable to bear the sight of her other the world's citizen and circumnavigator, and may children, or the light of day, and humbled on her couch nevertheless keep very near to God. It does not with a feeling of intensest misery, she was addressed need a man to go to the planet Saturn, in order
to by a poor, ignorant, native woman of the lowest class, wander from God. A man may never leave his own fire-side, nor his own room, and yet may make fearful who had been employed about the nursery, in terms journeyings away from God. A man also may be not to be forgotten : “ I am come, because you have very steady at church, and also at family worship, been here many days shut up in a dark room, and no and yet come not near to God. His habitation may one dares to come near you. Are you not ashamed be next door to God's altar, while his soul is far
to grieve in this manner, when you ought to be away from God. Israel hath forgotten his Maker, thanking God for having given you the most beautiand buildeth temples. A man may be a door-keeper in the house of the Lord, and yet his heart may be ful child that ever was seen ? Were you not the dwelling in the tents of wickedness.-Dr Cheever. envy of everybody? Did any one ever see him or
speak of him without admiring him? And instead of
letting this child continue in this world till he should PAPAL PRISONS.
be worn out with trouble and sorrow, has not God A CORRESPONDENT of the Recorder, who has recently taken him to heaven in all his beauty? O lady! visited some of the Papal prisons, gives the following leave off weeping, and rather thank God for his description of them :
goodness." All these prisons resemble each other in the
A HUSBAND. cruelty, severity, mismanagement, bad food, and horrible tortures prevailing there, by means of which
A lady, who had lost a beloved child, was so oppress inmates often die in the most excruciating distress.
ed with grief, that she even secluded herself from the The condemned prisoners are fastened in pairs by society of her own family, and kept herself locked in enormous chains on their feet. Their beds are mere her chamber; but was at length prevailed on by her
plank, without straw or covering. Being chained husband to come down stairs, and to take a walk in together at night, as well as all day, only one of each the garden. While there, she stooped to pluck a pair can sleep at a time, and then sit while the other flower; but her husband appeared as though he would Lakes his place.
Their work is to keep the port and city clean, to hinder her. She plaintively said, “What! deny a carry enormous burdens, and, in short, to perform flower!” He replied, “ You have denied God your