Page images






Who has not heard, with deep emotion, of in awful oblivion of eternity. After some religious revivals ? Yet more blessed they who hours had passed away in various topics of have not merely“ heard” of them with the remark, the conversation took a sudden and liearing of the ear,” but also have been eye- awfully sportive turn upon the subject of reliwitnesses and heart-witnesses of these especial gious revitals, at that time a theme of general and extraordinary baptisms of the Holy Ghost; and peculiar interest. The Spirit of God had in which God, apparently setting aside ordinary been powerfully and gloriously at work in means and particular instrumentality, and tak- other and distant parts of the country—the ing the work of grace more directly in his own cloud of mercy, freighted with heaven's choicest hands, has wrought powerfully by his Spirit treasure, had, in its onward and brightening upon the minds of Christians, arousing them course, visited many villages and towns with from their spiritual lethargy to increased faith, showers of blessing," resulting, as it was comprayer, and activity; and has created, in parti- puted, in the conversion of about three thousand cular congregations and communities, an almost souls—an accession to the Church of the reuniversal and agonizing inquiry : “ What shall deemed worthy of the primitive" day of Pentewe do to be saved ?" Amid such scenes- cost.” The fame of these especial seasons of “ Scenes surpassing fable,

grace had reached the ears of the assembled Scenes of holy bliss"

company, supplying them with ample material has the writer mingled. Among them, in the for their unhallowed mirth. “Have you heard expression of humble hope, he drew the first the news?” said Mr “ The Rev. Mr breath of spiritual life; and whatever may be whose preaching has frightened so many the cautious hesitancy with which some receive, people, is coming to the town next week, and is or the bold scepticism with which others reject, to supply our pulpit for several Sundays.” the doctrine and the history of these baptisms “Indeed !” repeated another; “ what say you, of the Spirit, he will, to his dying hour, testify friends ?-let us have a revival; for you know that there are especial and extraordinary “times this preacher is always for having something of of refreshing from the presence of the Lord,” this kind going on.” “Yes,” replied a third; with which the Christian Church has been, “and you, Dr -, and you, Captain and still is, favoured; and that nothing but the be the first converts, and we must make elders unbelief and the supineness of the Church, limit- and deacons of you.” Thus the profanity and ing and dishonouring the Holy One of Israel, jesting proceeded—one after another desigprevents their more gracious manifestation and nated, in idle sport, as subjects for the pastor's their more frequent occurrence. But it is not inquiry-meeting, and as candidates for Church so much the object of the writer to vindicate communion-until at length, suddenly alarmed the reality and character of Christian revivals, at the tone it had assumed, and at the pitch at as to illustrate their working, by the relation of which it had arrived, for some reason to them one among many thrilling incidents associated at the time unaccountable, the conversation with these hallowed occasions, on the truth of came to a long and thoughtful pause. At length which the reader may rely, and the facts of one, more courageous than the rest, broke the which he will recite almost in the words of one painful silence, and said : “ What is the conwho was an eye-witness of the scene.

clusion of the whole matter ?" No one replied, On a calm autumnal evening in the year all seemingly rapt in profound and solemn reat the close of a Sabbath-day, a large and re- flection. Here the conversation on the subject spectable circle assembled at the house of a ended; and, after appointing to meet again four mutual friend, for the purpose of indulging in weeks from that evening, they dispersed. that trifling, frothy conversation which is so As was expected, the minister referred to strong a characteristic of those who,“ without came, and commenced delivering his message bope and without God in the world,” are living from God to the people. The field of his holy

No. 6. *


and self-denying labour was most unpromising, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spiîn consequence not only of the low spirituality rit, and trembleth at my word”—was present, of the Church, and the high-handed impiety of receiving a new revenue of praise from that the place, but more especially as resulting from assembly; while the glorified Redeemer was deep-rooted and long-existing dissensions which, beholding from his throne the travail of his it was supposed, nothing could heal.

soul with infinite satisfaction. Within the Yet to this unforbidding soil came the sower short space of one week from this memorable of the precious seed, doubtless under the special evening twenty of these godly-sorrowing indivianointing of the Spirit, with a heart yearning duals were hopefully new creatures in Christ for the salvation of precious souls, and with an Jesus; while, within the limits of the town, eye single to the glory of God. The result shall three hundred souls became the subjects of respeak for itself. The fourth week which inter- newing grace, and witnesses to the truth that vened between the evening of solemn mockery the “ Lord shall comfort Zion; he will comfort and the time appointed for the next party was all her waste places; and he will make her wildrawing nigh. But God, who is rich in mercy, derness like Eden, and her desert like the garhad other engagements than scenes of mirth den of the Lord; joy and gladness shall be for this ungodly circle, and was resolving in his found therein, thanksgiving and the voice of infinite and compassionate mind thoughts and melody.” Reader, what an encouraging inpurposes of love. Wonderful to tell—and only stance is this of God's long-suffering mercy to to be told to the eternal honour of rich, free, the chief of sinners! . Sinners they indeed and sovereign grace, abounding to the chief of were," but they obtained mercy;" and through sinners—that cloud of mercy which had been the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, you may be sailing athwart the spiritual heaven, imper- saved even as they. Have you fled to Jesus? ceptibly and unexpectedly paused in its divine- Are you saved ? Leave not this momentous matdirected career over this parched and arid spot; ter to the decision of a dying bed. Decide it nou, and just at this critical juncture unbosomed and decide it for eternity. Is sin a felt plague ! itself in torrents of blessing. Not many hours Is Jesus precious to your soul! Can you say, in from the time appointed for the second party humble faith : “ I am my Beloved's, and my Beof pleasure, the same large circle, almost with loved is mine." And is daily sin daily taken out one exception, were assembled in the same to the fountain of his precious blood-there house, in the same room, where four weeks since hated and mourned over, cleansed and subdued ! they were mocking the scene of a revival—not And through trial and conflict, through evil renow to renew their unhallowed sport, but as the port and through good report, are you pressing subjects, and in the midst of the awful reali- on to glory,“ looking for the blessed hope, and ties, of that spiritual anxiety of mind which none the glorious appearing of the great God and but deeply awakened and truly convinced sin. our Saviour Jesus Christ? Then you are born ners understand. They who but recently and on again; and soon, 0 how soon, you shall be in the identical spot, were rallying each other with heaven! Ui that happy moment, let us mea profanation of the Lord's gracious work, were ditate frequently on that sweet portion of God's now in tery deed smitten to the ground, writhing Word: “ Blessed is the man that walketh not under an awful sense of their exposedness to the in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stapdeth in interminable woes of the second death, and ut- the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of tering groans and exclamations enough to pierce the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the stoutest heart. God the Spirit was there, the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day moving amongst and in them in all the might and night. And he shall be like a tree planted and majesty of his sin-convincing, soul-con- by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his verting, heart-regenerating power. Every mind fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither, was awakened—every heart was broken—every and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper." spirit was bowed. The military man—the pro. fessional man—the merchant—the intelligent AT EVENING TIME IT SHALL BE LIGHT. youth—the daughter of beauty, of fashion, and We journey through a vale of tears, of song—were alike prostrate at the feet of By many a cloud o'ercast;

And worldly cares, and worldly fears, sovereign mercy, in humble penitence and

Go with us to the last ! prayer. O what a scene was that!- what a

Not to the last! Thy WORD hath said, spectacle for an angel's eye, thrilling with joy

Could we but read aright, a seraph's bosom! Yea, God-even that God

Poor pilgrim ! lift in hope thy head, who has declared, “To this man will I look,



and at the same time opening a new channel, by reILLUSTRATIONS OF SCRIPTURE EVIDENCES. moving with his foot or with a mattock the earth

with which its entrance had been closed. THE MONUMENTS OF EGYPT.

The severity of the labour of irrigation is attested

by all travellers; and it must have been a great satisBY THE REV. JAMES TAYLOR, GLASGOW.

faction to the Israelites to learn that no such labour We are told (Gen. xii. 10) that “there was a famine applicable to that country. The whole passage, as it

would be required in Canaan, or was, indeed, at all in the land, and Abram went down into Egypt to

has been justly said, transfers us, in a manner inimisojourn there”—a circumstance which proves that

table by a modern writer, to the time in which the even at that early period Egypt was, what it has

Israelites were stationed mid-way between Egypt and continued to the present day, the granary of the neighbouring nations, who in all their exigencies and enjoyed in the former land, and in want of a counter

Canaan, yet full of the advantages which they had deficiencies look to the Valley of the Nile as the source whence a supply of corn may be derived. Hence, poise to the longing desire for that which they had

lost. agriculture was in Egypt reckoned of peculiar impor

Among the agricultural implements depicted on the tance, and appears to have been taken under the

monuments is the plough, which was long a source of protection of priests and kings. The fertility of the Egyptian soil depended not on local rains, but on the perplexity to archæologists. Some imagined that it

was intended to represent the mystic legs of the ibis; annual inundation of the Nile, which renders the soil

while others averred that it was a type of the three richly productive, even in seasons when the harvests

dominant castes—the royal, the priestly, and the fail in the neighbouring countries from continued

warrior, Rosellini first showed that it was a handdrought. On this account the most important part plough, and that it was also occasionally used as a of the labours of an Egyptian husbandman was to make the overflowings of the river available for the pick-axe. Some of the Hebrew slaves, in the sketch purposes of irrigation. It is to this peculiarity in the clay with these band-ploughs, for the purpose of

of “ the brickmakers," are represented as digging cultivation of land in Egypt that Moses alludes when, making bricks for Pharaoh. One of these instrucomparing it with the promised land, he says: “ The land whither thou goest in to possess it, is not as the ments, in a perfect state, is to be seen in the Egyptian

room in the British Museum-perhaps one of the land of Egypt, from whence ye came out, where thou

very implements which the Jewish bondsmen used in Bowedst thy seed, and wateredst it with thy foot, as

the time of Moses, a garden of herbs : but the land, whither ye go to

In the description given in the Sacred Narrative of possess it, is a land of hills and valleys, and drinketh

the calamities inflicted by the plague of hail, we water of the rain of heaven : a land which the Lord thy God careth for: the eyes of the Lord thy God which were cultivated in Egypt (Exod. ix. 31, 32)—

have an enumeration of the several varieties of grain are always upon it, from the beginning of the year flax, barley, wheat, and rye; and on the monuments eren anto the end of the year"*-a statement which shows that the author was intimately acquainted with tions, but all the processes of ploughing, sowing,

we have not only a representation of these producthe peculiar mode of irrigation practised in Egypt. reaping, threshing out the corn, storing it in granThe ground required to be watered regularly through- aries and grinding it in the mill, are brought under out the year at stated intervals. According to

review. The Egyptians usually sowed in November, Prokesch, it was the custom to water the fields in winter once in fourteen days; in the spring, if the vested in about four, and wheat in about five months

and the harvest was ripe in April. Barley was hardew falls sufficiently, once in twelve days; but in the

after sowing-a circumstance which corroborates the summer once in eight days. The water for this pur

statement of Moses, that “the flax and the barley pose is obtained either from the Nile itself, or from

were smitten (by the plague of hail); for the barley cisterns which were filled during the inundation.

was in the ear, and the flax was bolled. But the Hence engines of various kinds for raising water are

wheat and the rye were not smitten; for they were not placed all along the Nile, and also at the cisterns in which the water is reserved. Philo, who lived in grown up.” The corn was cut with a sickle, the

shape of which bears a considerable resemblance to Egypt, describes one of these machines which was

that used at the present day. It appears from the used by the peasantry in his time, as being worked

monuments that the reapers cut the grain a little by the feet; that is, so far as his account may be un

below the ear-straw being of comparatively little derstood, the machine was worked by the men ascending revolving steps-something on the principle value in Egypt, as the cattle and horses seem geneof the tread-mill. Niebuhr also mentions such a

rally not to have been stabled.* This fact throws machine as used in Cairo, where it was called “ sâkieh considerable light on the conduct imputed to the tedûr bir rijl-a watering machine that turns by the

* Some of the cattle appear to have been occasionally fed in foot." Then, when the water is raised, by whatever

sheds. One instance of stall-fed oxen is given by Wilkinson machine, it is directed in its course by channels cut

in his account of the farm-yard of the Egyptians. This fact in the ground, which convey the water to those explains the apparent contradiction of the destruction of places where it is wanted; and when one part of the all the cattle of Egypt" by the murrain, and the subsequent

destruction of the cattle by hail (Exod. ix. 6-19, et seq.), ground is sufficiently watered, a person closes that

those which “ were in the field " alone having suffered channel by turning the earth against it with his foot,

from the previous plague, and those in the stalls or " houses * Deut. xi. 10-12. Pictorial Bible, vol. i., p. 473. 4to. having been preserved."

O oxen!

Israelites, when the tyrannical Pharaoh commanded they mourned with a great and very sore lamentathe task-masters of the people and their officers, say- tion: and he made a mourning for his father seven ing, “ Ye shall no more give the people straw to make days. And when the inhabitants of the land, the brick as heretofore; let them go and gather straw for Canaanites, saw the mourning in the floor of Atad, themselves”—“So the people were scattered abroad they said, This is a grievous mourning to the Egypthroughout all the land of Egypt to gather stubble tians: wherefore the name of it was called Abelinstead of straw." By stubble here is evidently meant mizraim, which is beyond Jordan." -Gen. 1. 10, 11. the stalks that remained from last year's harvest. Reference is made in the law of Moses to the tread. These were plucked up by the hand, for the purpose ing out of the grain by oxen, which were humanely of being employed in the composition of bricks; and forbidden to be muzzled while engaged in this operaas this was both a tedious and toilsome employment, tion. The monuments corroborate these references it strikingly illustrates the injustice of Pharaoh when of the Sacred History, by various representations of he prohibited the supply of straw to the Hebrew oxen driven in a circle, or rather in all directions, brickmakers, and yet commanded that they should over the threshing-floor. “ They make a great heap “ deliver the tale of bricks." The straw was mixed of ears," says Rosellini, “ in the midst of the threshwith the clay, in order to bind it more compactly to- | ing-floor, and cause them to be trodden out by six gether, and the bricks, when properly moulded, were oxen, which are kept in constant motion by a man carried out and dried in the sun. It is worthy of who goes behind with a whip.” While superintendnotice, that bricks have been found mixed with straw, ing the animals employed for this purpose, the Egypprecisely as described by Moses; and, according to tian peasant, as usual, both in ancient and modern Wilkinson, more bricks bearing the name of Thothmes times, relieved his labours by singing. In a subterraIII. (whom he supposes to have been king of Egypt nean apartment at Eilethya, which belongs to the at the time of the Exodus) have been discovered reign of Rameses Meiamoun, who lived about 1500 than of any other period. It is almost incredible B.C., there is a representation of the treading out of that any individual should venture to attack the Pen- the grain by oxen; and over the engraving may be tateuch, on the ground that brick was not used for read in hieroglyphics the song which the overseer building in Egypt; and yet Von Bohlen says, that sings while threshing. It is thus interpreted by “ the author comes under strong suspicion of having Champollion :transferred to the Valley of the Nile many things

“ Tread ye out for yourselves, from Upper Asia, as the Egyptians were accustomed

Tread ye out for yourselves, to build with hewn stone, and the great buildings of brick spoken of, Exod. i. 14, instead of being

Tread ye out for yourselves,

Tread ye out for yourselvesEgyptian, seem rather to have been borrowed from

The straw; Babylonia." In answer to this assertion, which is the

For men, who are your mastersresult of consummate ignorance and presumption, we

The grain." may adduce the testimony of Rosellini, who says : After the grain was trodden out, it was tossed up “ Ruins of great brick buildings are found in all against the wind with a fork, by which the broken parts of Egypt, walls of astonishing height and thick- straw and chaff were dispersed, and the grain fell to ness are preserved to the present time, as also whole the ground. To this the Psalmist alludes when he pyramids, and a great number of the ruins of monu

says: “The ungodly are like the chaff which the wind ments, both great and small.” Wilkinson says: “The driveth away." — Ps. i. 4. The grain afterwards use of crude brick baked in the sun was universal in passed through a sieve to separate unthreshed cars, Upper and Lower Egypt, both for public and private clods of earth, and other impurities. After this it buildings. Enclosures of gardens, and granaries, underwent a still further purification, by being once sacred circuits encompassing the courts of temples, more tossed up against the wind by a wooden scoop walls of fortifications, and town dwelling-houses, and or short-handed shovel, which, in our translation of tombs-in short, all but the temples themselves, were the Scriptures, is termed “a fan.” To these two of crude brick."

processes the Prophet Isaiah (xxx. 24) refers, when When the Egyptians had cut down their corn, they he says: “The oxen likewise, and the asses that clid not generally bind it into sheaves, but carried the plough the ground, shall eat clean provender, which ears in rope or wicker baskets to the threshing. hath been winnowed with the shovel and with the floor. The threshing-floor was a level plot of ground, fan.” In allusion to the fact that the fan was consiof a circular shape, generally about fifty feet in dered the more perfect winnowing implement, John diameter, prepared for use by beating down the earth the Baptist, describing the coming of Christ, says: till it became like a marble slab. So important were “ Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly these places, that we find threshing-floors mentioned purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; in Scripture as geographical points of equal import but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable ance with the cities. Thus, in the account of the fire.”—Matt, iii. 12.* burial of Jacob, the “very great company, both The winnowed corn was carried to the granary in chariots and horsemen,” which formed the funeral sacks, each containing a fixed quantity, to facilitate procession, is represented as halting at a threshing- the keeping of a proper account. The corn was floor, the name of which was changed in consequence stored away in granaries, which appear to have been of the grievous mourning by which the patriarch's public buildings, and are depicted on the monuloss was deplored : “And they came to the thresh

• Bible Illustrated, &c., p. 40. Biblic, Cyclop., article ing-floor of Atad, which is beyond Jordan, and there l Agriculture.

[blocks in formation]



ments as of vast extent, quite sufficient to contain the name of lotus. They carefully gather these, and the immense stores of grain which Joseph is repre- dry them in the sun; and then, squeezing out what sented as having laid up during the seven plenteous is contained in the pods of the lotus, resembling years. As a great portion of the revenues of the poppy-seed, they make it into loaves, which they monarch was derived from a corn-rent, a royal officer bake over the fire. The root also of this lotus, which is always present, with his pen and tablet, taking is roundieh, and of the size of an apple, is eatable: account of the sacks as they were carried up into the its flavour is moderately sweet." granary. According to Wilkinson, sometimes two scribes were present-one to write down the number of measures taken from the heap of corn, and the

“ LET THERE BE LIGIIT.” other to check them, by entering the quantity removed to the granary. This practice, which is called numbering, is referred to in the narrative of the pre

“ LET there be light!” thus spake the Word cantions which Joseph took against the seven years

The Word was God; " and there was light !", of famine. “And he gathered up all the food of the Still the creative voice is heard; seven years which were in the land of Egypt, and A day is born from every night. laid up the food in the cities : the food of the field, which was round about every city, laid he up in the

And every night shall turn to day,

While months, and years, and ages roll
And Joseph gathered corn as the sand of the

But we have seen a brighter ray
sea, very much, until he left numbering; for it was
without number.”—Gen, xli, 48, 49. The careful

Dawn on the chaos of the soul. precautions thus taken, lest any part of the produce

Nor we alone : its wakening smiles of the soil should escape taxation, show the desire of

Have broke the gloom of Pagan sleepthe people to evade the payment of the royal impost,

The Word hath reached the utmost isles : and account for the absence on the monuments of

God's Spirit moves upon the deep. any trace of a “ harvest home.” Harvest must indeed have been anything but a joyous season to the Already, from the dust of death, agricultural labourer. It was remarked by the mem- Man in his Maker's image stands; ders of the French Commission, that there was a Once more he draws immortal breath, great similarity between the joyless looks of the And stretches forth to heaven his hands. husbandmen on the monuments, and the sombre

From day to day, before our eyes, countenances of the modern Fellahs, whose toil is so

Glows and extends the work begun. wretchedly remunerated. *

When shall the new creation rise In the account given of Pharaoh's dream (Gen. xli. 2) it is said : “ And, behold, there came up out of

On every land beneath the sun ? the river seven well favoured kine and fatfleshed;

When, in the Sabbath of his love, and they fed in a meadow." The word here ren

Shall God amidst his labours rest; dered “meadow," is, in Job viii. 11, translated “flag."

And, bending from his throne above, “ Can the rush grow up without mire ? can the flag

Again pronounce his creatures blest? grow without water?" It denotes a succulent aquatic plant-in all probability the lotus, the cultivation Soon the redeemed, in every clime, of which, as well as of other aquatic plants, was Yea, all that breathe, and move, and live, peculiar to the agriculture of Egypt. The mention To Christ, through every age of time, here made of this plant, therefore, shows that the Shall kingdom, power, and glory give. writer was well acquainted with the mode of cultivation practised in the Valley of the Nile. The monuments contain delineations of the lotus in its natural

“REFUGES OF LIES." colours, with its stalk and fruit; and on one of the royal sepulchres there is a representation of the lotus

SELF-RIGHTEOUSNESS. harvest. Contrary to the Egyptian mode of reaping Some rely upon their own righteousness, and the wheat, the stems of the lotus were cut off close to the merit of their own good works. They doubt not but root; and from the great care shown in binding the if God would set their good against their bad, they sheaves, and carrying them to the granary, it is would stand upright in judgment; and think that, evident that the reed was looked upon as far more take one with another, God hath been no loser by valuable than straw. The seed is still used as an

them. If, at one time, they have provoked him, at article of food by the inhabitants; and that it was so

another they have appeased him; if they have also in ancient times, we know from the testimony of him by duties. Foolish creatures ! who think to

wronged him by sins, they have again recompensed Herodotus. “The customs of those who reside in discharge debts by duties, and satisfy God's justice the marshes," says he, “ do not differ from those of with that which they owe to his sovereignty. This is the other Egyptians; but they have devised the fol- but robbing one of God's attributes to pay another. lowing inventions for procuring an easy supply of

Let me ask you, to what purpose is it that food" When the river attains its height, and the you keep

up something of religion to what purpose

that you frequent public ordinances ?-that you force plains are inundated, there springs up in the water a

your ears to hear that Word which yet prophesieth rast number of lilies, to which the Egyptians give no good concerning you, and task your lips to say • Bible Illustratod, &c., D. 38.

over those prayers in which yet you find no relish

« PreviousContinue »