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Jewish children, old in vice, are a spectacle by no means rare in the lanes and courts in the vicinity of Whitechapel and Bishopsgate.
“I cannot relate what I have seen, but am deeply anxious to observe a change—their rabbies will never do it.
“God often overrules the evil men inflict, by their culpable egotism and neglect of their fellow creatures, for the weal of the injured; and it is so in the case of many
poor Hebrew. But for their poverty, I believe some of those of whom I entertain a good hope through grace would not have come to me.
I might give illustrations, but forbear, since you wish these extracts to be
“ THE mirage of the desert is an illusion, producing the most cruel disappointment to those who traverse the dry and sandy plains, as it assumes precisely the appearances most calculated to delight the traveller and to seduce him from his way. Sometimes he sees before him a fine lake; but if, in the eagerness of thirst and heat, he hastens towards it, the margin seems to retire, so that the surface of the water, as he advances, becomes narrower, and at last disappears altogether: but the whole appearance may be again exhibited before him at the same distance as that at which it was first observed. All this time the impatient traveller will seem to those who have remained behind, to have reached the margin, to have entered the lake, and to have forded it to the other
side. Or again, there may seem to be the fair similitude of a green oasis, with its tufted palms traversed by a broad river. In such cases, the illusion of water is complete; for not only are the bushes or other objects which may be on the margin reflected in it, but it has something like the ripple of water; and in such instances as the first, is streaked by those numerous shining patches observable on the surface of lakes when viewed from a distance. The best prepared travellers are unable to resist the force of this illusion, or to believe that which they see to be unreal. The cruel mockery of such an appearance, in the midst of those arid steppes, may in some degree be conceived, but not properly appreciated without actual experience.
"The Hebrews called this illusion, Serab,—a name which it still bears amongst the Arabs, who as well as the Persians, often use it, by a fine metaphor, to express disappointed hope.
Dr. Wilson, in his Lands of the Bible' says, that in his journey through Arabia Petræa, he frequently saw the mirage, and in such a state of perfection, that nothing but a knowledge of his locality could have induced him, at a little distance from it, to believe that it was anything else than an extensive sheet or copious lake of water, of crystal purity, reflecting the form of the mountains and other surrounding objects, and even the clouds of heaven, sometimes in their proper position, and sometimes reversely ... . We cannot fail to see the great beauty and propriety of the image which is used in reference to the happy changes introduced by Messiah's Kingdom, by the prophet Isaiah xxxv. 6, 7,- For in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the deserts; and this (in xv.
the mirage shall become a lake, and the thirsty land springs of water.' “ The prophet Jeremiah seems to allude to
18), “Wilt thou be altogether unto me as a liar, and as unreal waters ? '
“ The serab (mirage), is the subject of many Arab proverbs. In the Koran, Muhammad says, • The works of the unbelievers are like the serab in the plain, which the thirsty imagines to be water, till he goes and finds it is nought.
What a striking illustration does this optical illusion afford of the unreality of the pleasantest prospects and brightest promises of the world. The traveller through this desert, if allured, when thirsting and longing for refreshment, by the
appearance of broad and bright waters, or the green shade beside the calmly flowing river, will speedily find that these were unreal waters, that calm scene was illusive, and only tempted him from his onward path. The Great Shepherd makes his flock to feed in real pastures, leads it beside the still waters—the waters of comfortand they are a satisfying portion. May our readers early seek a participation in this true happiness, and be enabled to say, 6. The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures, he leadeth me beside the still waters.' (Ps. xxiii.)
We have given the above account of the mirage, because this wonderful appearance is referred to in the language of the prophets Isaiah and Jeremiah, which we have quoted. The sacred writers place us in the very midst of Eastern scenery, and show us the hills, the valleys, the flocks, the herds, the wild beasts of the forests, the rocks, the mountains, the springs,
the streams, the desert, the refreshing shade, all
Sees lilies spring, and sudden verdure rise ;
ILLUSTRATION OF EXODUS XI. 6, 7.
On approaching Cairo, Dr. Wilson says, “We were met by torch-bearers, as we were descending from the level of the desert, and by them we were guided; while we were saluted, if not escorted by hundreds of loquacious dogs. The dogs of the East have been immemoriably noted for their watchfulness and furious noise at night; and it forms a striking exhibition, as has been remarked, of the
peace and quiet of the abodes of the Israel* See Kitto's “Pictorial History of Palestine," page cxlvii., and Dr. Wilson's “Lands of the Bible," vol. i. p. 47.
ites, on the awful night of the death of the
firstborn of the Egyptians, when it is said, “There shall be a great cry throughout all the land of Egypt, such as there was none like it, nor shall be like it any more.
But against any of the children of Israel shall not a dog move his tongue, against man or beast.'
MISSIONS TO THE JEWS.
Poverty of the Jews. In Dr. Macgowan's last letter from Jerusalem, he thus speaks of the wretched condition of the Jews :
“ We have in contemplation to establish a Savings' Bank for the poor Jews generally, which will prove of much benefit, and I doubt not will be the means of saving many families from absolute ruin.
“ But there is reason to apprehend that the Jewish community generally, in the Holy Land, are already beginning to feel the effects of the disturbed state of the
Continent, in the falling off of their usual contributions. Many families whom I have latterly attended are in the greatest destitution, and are literally more in want of bread than medicine. The destitution will become more and more general as the resources of subsistence fail, and I cannot but anticipate a degree of misery such as we have not yet witnessed among the Jewish population.
“ It is truly gratifying to me to have some