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and commercial greatness were destroyed : see 2 Kings xvi., and 2 Chron. xxviii. From hence may plainly be seen, that persons cannot expect to prosper in trade or commerce, or in any other pursuit, without the blessing of Almighty God.

On page 91 are representations of ancient Jewish coins. The letters of the inscriptions are in the ancient Samaritan characters, which, it is thought, were used by the Phænicians, by whom the Jewish money is supposed to have been coined, for the Divine law forbade them to make the likeness of anything.

No. 1 is a shekel. On one side is the name of Simon, the brother of Judas Maccabeus. The legend round the sheaf is, “ For the deliverance of Jerusalem.” 3 is also a shekel of the same Maccabæ ; and 4 is a half-shekel. The words round the cup are, “ Jerusalem the holy.” The cup is supposed to represent the cup or pot in which the manna was kept in the first temple. The inscriptions also refer to the deliverance of Jerusalem.

No. 8 is a third part of a shekel, the amount of the tax Nehemiah laid on the people, Neh. x. 32. The shekel weighed rather less than half an ounce, and in silver was worth about two shillings and three pence of English money at the present time.

SHIPS.

No particular description of the ships belonging to the Jews is given in Scripture; they would be similar to the ships of the neighbouring nations, which in those times differed

very much from our vessels. Even in the present day, the ships of the Asiatics are different from those of the west ; and by attending to the accounts given by modern travellers, we may better understand the account of St. Paul's voyage, and other passages of Scripture.

The trading vessels were, in general, much smaller than those common among us. Frequently they were less than fifty tons burden. Within the last three hundred years, very small vessels were sent on long voyages. Some of sir Francis Drake's vessels, which went out to sail round the world, were only about thirty tons burden. In Acts xxvii. is the account of Paul's voyage, which shows how much less skilful the ancient sailors were than the moderns.

In those days, the sailors had no compass, or magnetic needle, which, by pointing constantly towards the north, directs their course at all times. They could only judge which way they were sailing by observing the sun and the stars ; so that, in cloudy weather, when neither appeared

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for many days, ver. 20, they were quite at a loss : they knew not which way they were sailing. It was then usual for vessels to remain in harbour during the winter months, ver. 12, because the sailors feared the dark, tempestuous nights and cloudy days. This the master of Paul's ship intended to do; but a storm came on, and drove the vessel out of its course. It is still the custom in those seas to tow the boats after the ship, which gives much trouble when the waves are high, ver. 16. The vessel being much shaken by the storm, they undergirded it, ver. 17; that is, they passed a strong rope or cable round the ship, to prevent it from falling to pieces ; this is sometimes done at the present day. One of the Spanish ships sent out against lord Anson, in 1740, was so much damaged by a storm, that a cable was fastened round it in six places. Some persons have been much puzzled about the four anchors cast out of the stern ; but Pocock tells us it is not unusual for Egyptian saïques, or trading vessels, to carry anchors at the stern, which they cast out by the help of a boat, ver. 29, 30; or it may have been an anchor with four points or flukes, which is used in some vessels in those countries. The loosing of the rudder band, ver. 40, is explained by the ancient vessels having been steered by two large, broad oars, one on each side. These were fastened by bands or

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A. The keel, or lowest part of the vessel.
B. The stem, or head of the vessel.
C. An ornament, probably the neck of a goose, denoting the name of

the vessel.
D. An ornament.
E. Carvings, or ornaments.
F. The rising of the stern.
G. Here an idol was placed, supposed to be the protector of the ship.

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H. The mast.
I. The oars, which in this instance were in three rows.
K. The mainsail.
L. The flag, or banner.
M. The great cabin.
N. The captain of the vessel.
0. The pilot steering: the ancient rudders were large oars.
P. Centinels standing on the fighting stage.
Q. Shields hung thereon for ornament or use.
R. The fighting stage, beyond the sides of the ship.
S. The upper deck, beneath which the rowers sit.

The authenticity of these delineations is beyond dispute, as they are from representations in the ruins of Herculaneum.

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cords to the sides of the ship. They probably had been tied up when the vessel was allowed to drive, ver. 17, but were loosed again to direct the ship’s course, when they hoisted the sail, and steered towards the shore. These explanations remove many difficulties which sailors have felt respecting the account of Paul's voyage, because they did not consider the great difference between ancient and modern ships.

There are many places in which ships are mentioned in the Old Testament. Jonah had gone down into the sides of the ship, and was fast asleep, Jonah i. 5. This was in the cabin : probably the bed-places were along the sides, as now is often the case ; but Jonah soon learned that no man can hide himself from God, or long enjoy repose when disobeying his commands. The prophet Ezekiel gives the fullest account of an ancient ship, and describes one of the largest and most complete : see ch. xxvii. To such a noble vessel he compares the city of Tyre, which existed and flourished by its trade and commerce. walls round about,” ver. 11, were stages projecting from the sides of the ships, upon which, as is shown upon ancient medals, the soldiers hung their shields, and stood to fight. The towers were high places upon the forecastle.

The opposite engraving presents an ancient galley under sail ; also the inside, cut open, lengthways, and across the centre. These explain much that is said, Ezek. xxvii., where Tyre is compared to a ship.

In the passages mentioned are one or two other points to notice. When the men in Jonah's ship were in danger and afraid, “every man cried unto his God,” ch. i. 5. Persons who have been on board ships with a crew of Roman Catholic sailors during a storm, describe similar scenes. The frightened sailors then call upon different saints to protect and save them.

The ship of Alexandria, Acts xxviii. 11, in which Paul sailed from Malta to Syracuse, had for its sign, Castor and Pollux. These were two idols worshipped by the heathens, by whose name this ship was called, and to whose care it was committed ; it doubtless had images of those gods, as was usual in ancient ships. This vessel, and the one wrecked at Melita, doubtless were employed in the carrying corn from Egypt to Rome.

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THE Jews did not possess much knowledge of what are called the fine arts, such as sculpture and painting ; many beautiful specimens of which abounded in Italy and Greece, particularly at Athens, where the apostle Paul's spirit was stirred within him when he beheld the people worshipping these idols ; nor was their beauty any excuse for the idolatry. He bore testimony against them on the very spot itself, Acts xvii. Some of the very same sculptures which he then beheld, are now in the British Museum. However, when the Israelites left the land of Egypt, it is evident that some among them must have possessed knowledge of this sort, for they made a molten calf, and fashioned it with a graving tool, Exod. xxxii. 4 ; and, after their arrival in the land of Canaan, Micah employed a founder who made a graven image and a molten image, Judg. xvii. 4. Bezaleel and Aholiab appear to have been especially directed by the Lord in cutting the precious stones, and in all the beautiful works they executed for the tabernacle, Exod. xxxv. 30—35. There is little mention of any thing of this sort afterwards, till the time of Solomon,

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