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with the family respecting spiritual and eternal concerns. If it was found, on inquiry, that the family were not accustomed to attend any place of worship, the Visitor, in a kind and affectionate manner, stated the necessity of that duty, and invited them to frequent the house of prayer. If the family were poor, an inquiry was made, whether the children attended any Sunday-School; and advice was given according to the answer received. Another subject of inquiry was, whether the family were in possession of a Bible; and measures were immediately taken to supply those who were destitute of that sacred treasure. In some instances, also, the visits afforded material assistance to the operations of the Benevolent or Strangers' Friend Society.
"The Distributors entered on their work with much alacrity, and in a spirit of prayer; and, in most instances, were very cordially received. In some parts of the town, many families were found who never attended any place of worship; many were spending the LORD's-day in indolence; others were cleaning their houses; some were employed in their daily labour; and others, who were shopkeepers, were supplying their customers in the usual way. In such cases, suitable expostulations were affectionately and respectfully addressed to the parties: and, on repeating their usual rounds, the Distributors have seen reason to believe, in several instances, that these
expostulations have not been in vain. Many of the families, whom they found on their first or second visit in sloth and disorder, now present scenes of cleanliness and comfort, and are waiting for the visit of the Distributor. Several of the shops, which usually were kept open for the sale of articles on the Sabbath-day, are now closed. Many who had not been accustomed to attend any place of worship, are become regular hearers of the word of GOD; and some of them have experienced it to be the power of God to their salvation.
Another advantage of the plan is this; If it be found that there is no Prayer-meeting in any neighbourhood, the case may be represented to the authorized Conductors of the Prayer-meetings, who can take measures for procuring a house for that purpose; and thus the light and influence of religion will be carried to the dwellings of the poor, and many of them, it may be hoped, will be gradually induced to attend the instituted means of grace, and find their way to regular places of public worship and instruction.
"A Meeting is held monthly, for the purpose of inquiring into the manner in which the Districts have been supplied. The Distributors give an account of their progress; and in various instances their reports have been highly interesting, and many very pleasing proofs have been given that the divine blessing accompanies their labours."
OBSERVATIONS ON JOSH. x. 12. 4
generally agreed that the Hebrew words, un "yna, “in the division of the heavens," point out the sun's place as being in the horizon, rather than in the meridian. This is farther confirmed by the consideration that JOSHUA's reason for wishing such a miracle to be performed, was the desire of the continuance of day, now about to close, in order that he might more fully subdue his enemies. Taking for granted that this was the reason which induced him to put up so extraordinary a petition to GOD, (for as a petition we must understand
it,) the language of the English
, here rendered "to stand still," has, for its radical meaning, to be equable, even, level, uniform, &c. Perhaps, the best rendering of the passage under consideration is that of PARKHURST,“ Sun, remain thou level over Gibeon." This, which is exactly literal, is but a small variation from the present English version, with which all the others agree. Now comes the objector, and tells us that as the sun is stationary, and as
the earth's revolution on its axis is the cause of the apparent motion of the sun, it would have been more proper to have said,—“ Earth, stand thou still." To this, it has generally been thought a sufficient answer, that the Sacred Writers speak on these subjects in the language of common life, the language which even the Philosopher uses when he mingles with society. In the most learned Astronomer, it would be a mark of mere pedantry, if he were to refuse to speak of the rising and setting of the sun, like those with whom he converses. I am aware that the objection has been met on other grounds. Some have contended that the language of JOSHUA was such as a Newtonian Philosopher, of the present day, would have used, if he had been the speaker, and had spoken secundum artem. There is, à priori, a presumption against this opinion, when we consider the uniform language of the Sacred Writers. When speaking of the sun, they always employ those phrases which are common in all languages, to describe his apparent motion in the heavens ;-and I see
reason why the language of JOSHUA should be varied, as we know not that he was under a more immediate inspiration than others of the Sacred Writers when they used the language of common life. may be much doubted, in fact, whether there be any thing, in the original Hebrew, to support the idea that the language of JOSHUA has a farther reference, than to the continuance of the sun and moon in their relative positions with respect to the earth. The words might indeed
be rendered, as the margin intimates, "Sun, be thou silent, or dumb.” But still, nothing is gained. This language can have no meaning when applied to the sun. If it be said that the term, "be silent," must mean "restrain thy influence,"—this is to assume, too gratuitously, that the Hebrew word, 1, may bear that meaning. It is, indeed, used in the sense of "to be still, quiet, silent;" but the place should be pointed out where it occurs with reference to restraining, or ceasing from, the active viously exerted. If this restraint, agency which any agent has preor cessation of influence, had been intended, I am inclined to think that there are other Hebrew words
which would, more properly, have expressed it. To this philosophical translation there is another objection, which appears to possess great weight, taken from the construction of the words in the original. The Hebrew scholar must judge whether the conclusion drawn from this source be correct. The passage in the original seems to require that the word should be understood as repeated after ;—in other words, that what is spoken to the sun, is to be understood as addressed also to the moon. It is necessary, therefore, in translating the passage, to choose a word which will equally apply to both. So our translators apparently thought, and rendered it accordingly-and PARKHURST's amended translation goes on the same principle. But this, if it be a correct view of the construction of the Hebrew, raises an insurmountable objection to the words "restrain thy influence," as applied to the sun; because when we would apply them to the moon also, they are manifestly improper. To this it may be added, that the mention of Gibeon and Ajalon, as places over which the sun and moon then were, seems to fix the character of the mandate given them, and to show that it respected merely their relative position to those places. It must strike the reader, that if the command had been "Sun, restrain thy influence," it would hardly have been added
over Gibeon." Besides, the trans
lation proposed would leave the language of JOSHUA, on the ground of its accordance with the modern philosophy, still defective. Though the influence of the sun were entirely restrained, it does not follow that the diurnal motion of the earth would at once cease. We have no certainty that the rotation of the earth on its axis is caused by the similar rotation which is observed in the sun; but allowing this to be so, such is the velocity of the earth's motion on its axis, that should the influence of the sun be now withheld, I apprehend we should in vain expect the immediate cessation of the earth's motion to follow.
I have candidly stated what appear to me weighty objections against the opinion, that the language of JOSHUA, in the passage referred to, is to be understood as philosophical. That a miracle was wrought, admits of no doubt. That this miracle was effected by means of a cessation of the earth's motion on its axis, is probable. But that the language of JOSHUA referred merely to the appearance of the scene, to the apparent continuance of the sun above the horizon,-I think both the Hebrew text, and the circumstances of the history, conspire to prove.
ORIGINAL LETTER FROM THE REV. JOHN FLETCHER, OF MADELEY, TO THE REV. JOSEPH BENSON.
Lowestoft, Nov. 21, 1776.
MY DEAR FRiend,
MR. WESLEY having invited me to travel with him to see if change of air, and motion, will be the means of restoring me to a share of my former health, I have accompanied him through Oxfordshire, Northamptonshire, and Norfolk; and I hope I am rather better than worse. I find it good to be with this extraordinary servant of GoD: I think his diligence and wisdom are matchless. It is a good school for me;-only I am too old a scholar to make a proficiency. However, let us live to GoD to-day, and trust him for to-morrow: so that whether we are laid up on a sick bed, or in a damp grave, or whether we are yet able to act, we may be able to feel and say,
ON THE TWO SCHOOLS OF PREACHERS IN ICELAND. (From HENDERSON'S "Tour through Iceland:" Introduct. p. 56.) "IN regard to sentiment and style of preaching, the Icelandic Clergy may be divided into two classes; those of the old, and such as are of the new School. The former profess to receive the Bible as an authoritative and obligatory revelation of the will of God, and bow with reverence to its decisions. They do not exalt human reason to be the arbiter of what ought, and what ought not, to be embraced as dogmas of faith; but,
conscious of their own ignorance and proneness to error, they consider it at once their duty and their privilege to believe whatever God has been pleased to communicate in his word. Accordingly, in their Sermons, they insist on the grand distinguishing doctrines of Christianity ;-the total depravity and helplessness of man; the eternal divinity and vicarious atonement of the Son of GOD; the personality and saving influences of
the HOLY SPIRIT; the necessity of regeneration and holiness of life; and the eternity of future punishment.
“I had an opportunity of meeting with many of these men in the course of my travels; and some of them, whom I heard from the pulpit, convinced me, that they were themselves deeply penetrated with a sense of the importance of those truths which they were engaged in preaching to others; that they had entered the ministry from no worldly motive, but were actuated by a sincere desire to advance the spiritual reign of their divine Master, and promote the best interests of their fellow-men; and that they were living under an habitual impression of that solemn account which all who have taken upon them the charge of souls, will have to give to the Chief Shepherd, at the day of final decision. They are men who are dead to the world, and devoted in heart and life to the service of their REDEEMER. Their private walk exhibits the general tendency of the holy doctrines they teach; and their public discourses are earnest, energetic, animated, pointed, and faithful.
"Such of the Clergy as are of the New School, the number of whom is
happily not very great, treat divine things in quite a different manner. Instead of drawing the matter of their sermons from the Scriptures, they gather it from the writings of heathen Philosophers ;-and the morality found in these authors, which, at the best, is but dry and insipid, absolutely freezes when transplanted into Iceland. The divine inspiration is discarded, and all the cardinal and fundamental points of the christian faith are entirely omitted; or, when they are brought forward, it is only with a view to turn them into ridicule. The influence of such Socinian and semi-deistical principles on the individuals who propagate them, is abundantly manifest. They are entirely men of the world. The awful realities of an approaching eternity have made no suitable impression upon their minds; and levity, callousness, and indifference, mark the whole of their conduct. Nor are the effects resulting from the dissemination of their tenets, on such as imbibe them, less visible and injurious. Their minds become imbued with scepticism and infidelity; every vestige of religion disappears; and immorality, of one description or another, generally occupies its place."
SLEEPERS IN GOD'S
THE late ARCHDEACON PALEY, who had naturally a weak voice, submitted to the Churchwardens of Dalston, near Carlisle, (of which parish he was the Vicar,) the propriety of having a sounding-board over his pulpit. While the matter was discussing in the Vestry, "O!" said a thrifty Farmer, "if the Doctor would but speak as loud in the pulpit as he does at christenings and on tithedays, I think there would be no occasion to put the parish to the expense
of a sounding-board." The Doctor, with his characteristic mildness, said, "Friend, you are mistaken; you hear much better out of the church than in it. When a man's worldly business is concerned, he is so sharp-eared, that he can hear even a whisper; but the Preacher needs the voice of JOHN THE BAPTIST to rouse Sleepers." This silenced the satirical Farmer, who felt conscious of having frequently indulged in a nap during the Doctor's sermons.
ACCOUNT OF THE BEDOWEEN (OR BEDOUIN) ARABS.
(From BELZONI'S "Travels in Egypt and Nubia:" 4to Edit. London, 1821. p. 146.)
"On the road between Siout and Tahta I met a body of Bedoween horsemen. I never had an opportunity of viewing these people more to advantage than at this time; and
I must observe that I never saw a finer set of men in my life. The horses were very strong, though not in full flesh. The riders were clothed only with a kind of mantle,
made of white woollen, of their own manufacturing, which covered the head, and part of the body. They had very small saddles, contrary to the custom of this country; were armed with guns, pistols, and swords; and were going to Cairo to enter into the service of the Bashaw, who could find no other expedient for suppressing this body of freebooters, than offering to give them good pay, horses, and arms, and to send them to Mecca. This proposal had its due effect; for all the young men have embraced it, and left the old men and women in the deserts. In this manner the Bashaw entertains hopes of getting rid of the greater part, if not all, of these people, who are detested in the country, and, in case of any insurrection, will always avail themselves of it, to plunder. I passed through their camp, at the time of their convention with the Bashaw, so that I escaped unmolested, and perhaps unnoticed, as I was covered with a large burnoose of their own fashion, and my beard was pretty long. Their tents consist of four sticks set in the ground, about a yard in height, to which is fastened one of their shawls as a cover, with another behind, so as to form a kind of shelter from the sun, wind, or dew. They generally pitch their camps near a fertile spot, but always at the foot of the desert, so that in case of surprise they are soon in their native country; like the crocodile, which enjoys the land, but when disturbed, or at the approach of any person, im
mediately plunges into the river, as a place of safety. The women were all uncovered, and the children entirely naked. They are very frugal in their diet, and never drink any strong liquor. They are Arabs, but no more like the Arabs of Egypt than a freeman is like a slave. The Egyptian Arabs are accustomed to obey, but will not do any thing unless compelled by force. They are humbled, because they are continually under the rod; and indolent, because they have no interest in any thing. But the wild Arabs, on the contrary, are constantly in motion, and labour to procure provisions for their beasts and themselves; and being in perpetual war with each other, their thoughts are incessantly employed in improving their arts of defence, or in obtaining plunder."
This description, as illustrative of the peculiar character of ISHMAEL'S descendants, drawn by the pen of Inspiration, nearly four thousand years ago, is highly interesting:
And he will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man's hand against him." (Gen. xvi. 12.) Habits and dispositions so remarkable could only have been known to the Divine Omniscience; nor could this branch of the vast family of ABRAHAM have been preserved, like their more favoured brethren of Judea, in a state of separation from surrounding nations, but by the special Providence of GOD. "Bold Infidelity, turn pale, and die!"
ACCOUNT OF THE OPOBALSAMUM, OR BALSAM-TREE, OF JUDEA. (From BUCKINGHAM'S "Travels in Palestine, through the Countries of Gilead and Bashan." 4to. Lond. 1821.)
"THE Balsam produced by these trees was of such consequence, as to be noticed by almost all the writers who treated of Judea. PLINY says, This tree, which was peculiar to Juria, or the Vale of Jericho, was more like a vine than a myrtle. VESPASIAN and TITUS carried each one of them to Rome as rarities; and POMPEY boasted of bearing them in his triumph. When ALEXANDER the Great was in Juria, a spoonful of the balm was all that could be col
lected on a summer's day; and in the most plentiful year, the great royal park of these trees yielded only six gallons, and the smaller one only one gallon. It was consequently so dear, that it sold for double its weight in silver. But from the great demand for it, adulteration soon followed, and a spurious sort grew into common use at a less price.'*
"JUSTIN, indeed, makes it the source of all the national wealth; for * PLINY, Nat. Hist. c. 25.