Page images
PDF

Ælia, so that its ancient name was entirely forgotten, was triumphantly displayed upon its walls. In 1187, until the days of Constantine, in whose reign the Jews Saladin, the sultan of Egypt, took it from the Chris were again permitted to enter the Holy city once a tian croisades. In 1517, the Ottoman Turks took it year to wail over the ruins of their ancient sanctuary from the Egyptians, and it still continues under the Constantine, and his mother Helena, had the honour | Turkish dominion, trodden down of the Gentiles.' of restoring here the worship of the one living and | (Lu xxi. 24, . And they shall fall by the edge of the true God, about A.D. 326. About A.D. 362, Julian, the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations : apostate emperor, to falsify our Saviour's prediction, and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles. encouraged the rebuilding of the city and temple; until the times of the Gentiles be fulfiled.') In literal bat fiers earthquakes stopped thein. About A.D. | fulfilment of our Lord's predictions.-See Sect. lxxxvi. 1614. Cosíhoes II., king of Persia, took Jerusalem, and The JERUSALEM of sacred history is, in fact, no more.

90.000 of the Christian inhabitants were sacrificed to Not a vestige remains of the capital of David and the malice of the Jews, when every thing venerated by Solomon; not a monument of Jewish times is standthe Christians was demolished; but it was quickly re- ing. The very course of the walls is changed, and taken by Heraclius the Roman emperor, who returned the boundaries of the ancient city are become very the Jewish malice upon their own heads. In A.D. doubtful. The monks impose on the credulous, and 637, the Arabic Saracens, under the Caliph Omar, the make a gain of pretended sites for every thing that third in succession from Mahomet, seized on it. In superstitious minds make a merit, to weigh with 1077. the Seljukian Turks took it from them. In 1099, their good works as a right to salvation.-(Continued Godfrey of Boulogne, with his European croisades, Sect. xxiii.) wrested it from these, and the standard of the cross

I WILL WIPE JERUSALEM AS A MAN WIPETRA DISH, WIPING IT, AND TURNING IT UPSIDE DOWN.2 Kings xxi. 13.

BETHLEHEM. BETHLEHEM-(continued from p. 28.) - At the servant kept his father's sheep, and there came a lion, ensturn extremity of the town, like a citadel, stands and a bear, and took a lamb out of the Rock : and I the convent of Saint Giovanni, which contains the went out after him, and smote him, and delivered it out church of the Nativity. This convent is divided of his mouth : and when he arose against me, I caught among the Greek, Roman, and Armenian Christians, him by his beard, and smote him, and slew him.' to each of whom are assigned separate portions, as

The church of the Nativity is a fine spacious buildwell for lodging as for places of Worship, and who,

ing, and the rows of Corinthian columns are substanon certain days, all perform their devotions at the ti

tial masses of granite. This is called the upper altars which are erected over the most memorable

church, and is in the form of a Latin cross; it conspots within these sacred walls. The monastery is

tains nothing worthy of particular notice, except some said to have been built by the Empress Helena, over

paintings of Scripture subjects, rude, and apparently the spot on which our blessed Saviour was born ; she

ancient, and a star in the floor, immediately under having previously swept away a heathen temple built

that part of the heavens where the star of Bethlehem, in the time of Adrian in contempt of Christianity.

it is said, became visible to the Wise Men, and is diExternally, it has less the appearance of an ecclesias

rectly above the grotlo, or place of the Nativity, in the tical, than a defensive edifice. Its bold buttresses,

| church below. It is the church underground which and small grated windows, betoken a great regard to

absorbs all interest, especially in minds possessing inward security; while its low and iron-bound portal,

credulity enough to find the actual place of the nati. too narrow to allow more than one persou to pass at a

vity, amidst the paintings and gildings and lamps, time, seems intended to prevent the once daring cus

in which the church of Rome has disguised the humtom of the Arabs, of riding into the interior of relj.

ble realities which she professes to venerate. The gious houses, for the purpose of violence and spolia

entrance to this grotto (as all such places are called) tion. The whole structure is of extreme solidity, and

is by a flight of narrow steps cut in the rock ; the appears capable of resisting all modes of assault short

grotto is of small dimensions, about 30 feet long and ol a vigorous cannonade. From the roof of the mo

12 feet broad, not very lofty, and the roof is supported nastery is an extensive view of spots endeared to the

by a single column. It receives no light from without, heart of the Christian. In the distance, eastward, are

being also cut in the rock; but is illuminated by a the mountains of Moab, and the plains of Jordan;

great nurober of suspended lamps, presented by vawhile southward is the hill of Tekoah, from which

rious princes of Christendom; and there are several the surrounding wilderness takes its name, familiar

good paintings by the first artists. The alleged scene as the scene of the pastoral life of the prophet Amos. I of the nativity of the Redeemer is designated by a -See i. ch. 1 ver, 'The words of Amos, who was among tawdry altar, above which massive silver lamps are the herdinen of TEKOA, which he saw concerning Israel kept continually burning. The precise spot where in the days of Uzziah king of Judah, and in the days of

Immanuel, having laid aside his glory, first apJeroboam the son of Joash king of Israel, two years be- peared in human nature, is indicated by a circle of fore the earthquake.' (B.C. 756.) And vii. ch. 14 ver.,

agate and jasper, surrounded with a silver glory, with Then answered Amos, and said to Amaziah, I was th

was the following inscription :no prophet, neither was I a prophet's son ; but I was

1 . Hic de Virgine Maria Jesus Christus natus est.' an herdman, and a gatherer of sycamore fruit.'Beyond. and rather more towards the east, lies the In a crypt on one side, into which there is a descent wilderness of Engedi, to which David retreated for of one or two steps, is exhibited a manger, entirely concealment from the pursuit of Saul.-See Sa. composed of white marble, retaining its supposed ori.

iii. 29. • And David went up from thence, and dwelt ginal form, upon which stand large silver candlesticks. in strong holds at En-gedi; ' and where the allied ar- with wax tapers constantly lighted. Immediately mies of the Amorites, Moabites, and others encamped, opposite is another altar, illuminated with lamps when they came forth against Jehoshaphat king of like the former, where, it is said, the wise men of the Judah. See 2 Ch. IX. 1, 2, It came to pass after | East sat, when they came to worship, and in another this also, that the children of Moab, and the children of is an altar representing the table on which they ofm on, and with them other beside the Ammonites, fered their gifts. Descending still further, by a windcame against Jehoshaphat to battle. Then there came | ing passage of some length, (cut in the rock,) are two some that told Jehoshaphat, saying, There cometh a similar grottoes: one said to be that in which Herod creut multitude against thee from beyond the sea on caused the children of Bethlehem to be massacred: this ride Syria; and, behold, they be in HaBagon-tamar, and the other, the cave in which St. Jerome is said which is Bn-gedi :' and nearer at hand, a little more to have made his Latin translation of the Bible. All to the south, is seen the spot (see p. 28) which tra- this is only a miserable profanation, calculated to dicion assigns as tbat wherein there were shepherds | call up, in the truly devout Christian, mingled feel. abiding in the field, keeping toatch over their flock by ings of pity and indignation. A ceremony connected niche. Many of the surrounding hills are thinly with the midnight mass of the Romish church at

othed with fig and olive trees, and here and there Christmas, as performed in the grotto of the nativity. are traces of scanty corn growth. At the more distant | is thus described by a member of that church: At parts of the picture, a brown and sterile appearance midnight, at the hour of salvation, when, in all the Tarcades the surface both of hill and plain, betokening | Catholic churches in the world, the infant Jesus Share the hand of God is withdrawn for a season from receives the homage of all faithful Christians, the the opce luxuriantly productive soil. Among these reverend father warden opens the procession, and hills and in these valleys, the sweet Psalmist of Israel | advances with slow step, his head bowed, and reveonce tended his father's flock; and amid these scenes | rentially carrying in his arms the "infant Jesus” (or, And the Almighty nerve the arm of his youthful ser- as we should say, the idolatronis representation of vant, who said unto Saul, see 1 Sa. xvii. 31, .5, Thy him). On reaching the very spot of the nativity,

I WILL SEND A FIRE UPON JUDAH, AND IT SHALL DEVOUR THE PALACES OF JERUSALEM.-Amos ii. 5.

BUT JERUSALEM SHALL BE SAFELY INHABITED.-Zech. xiv. Il.

[ocr errors]

the deacon, with deep devotion, chants the gospel. | springing out of those high and holy associations. When he comes to the words, “and wrapped him in The legends and puerilities of monastie tradition swaddling clothes," he receives the infant from the may safely be disregarded : it is enough to know that hands of the father warden, wraps him in swaddling this is BETHLEHEM, the city of David,' and where clotbes, lays him in a manger, falls on his knees and David's greater Son. Jesus the Redeemer, Christ the worshiös. What we ask.) * At that moment,' Saviour of the world, was born. For eighteen huncontinues Baron Geramb, the Romish narrator, dred seasons the earth has now renewed her carpet 'there flashes into the soul something supernatural, of verdure, and seen it again decay. Yet the skies I may venture to call it, judging from what I have and fields, the rocks and the hills, and the valleys witnessed-from what I myself have felt. Piety ceases around, remain unchanged; and are still the same to find a voice to express its gratitude, its love: it as when the glory of the Lord shone round about, speaks only in the melting language of the eyes, in and the song of the multitude of the heavenly host sighs and tears.' Those who know what it is to resounded among the hills, proclaiming Glory to live in the habitual exercise of faith by the power of God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will the Holy Ghost, will smile with pitying concern, at toward men.' This once highly privileged city now that morbid piety which displays itself in sighs and presents a sad picture of filth, poverty, and ruinous tears, amidst the childish stage-play of such a scene desolation; thus to remain while under the grasp of as this. The tendency of man's natural heart, is to Muhammedan dominion. But there is a day coming walk by sight and not by faith; and to this corrupt and we think not far distant--when the glory so tendency, the church of Rome ministers in all her long departed from the land shall return with reexternals. All these things suggest an idea of little- newed lustre, and gathered Israel, with the now disness utterly beneath the regard of simple christian persed of Judah, shall chant forth the promised faith, which absorbs the soul on the sacred site of anthem, Blessed be he that cometh in the name of BETHLEHEM. What a mighty influence for good has the Lord. A Pastor's Visil.' pp. 2254.36. gone forth from this little spot upon the human race,

GALILEE.-See An Historical Sketch,' &c., p. ix. both for time and for eteruity! It is impossible to approach the place without a feeling of deep emotion, NAZAkETH.-See Sect. 2, p. 14.

ADD END A.

THE WAY OF LIFE IS ABOVE TO THE WISE, THAT HE MAY DEPART FROM HELL BENEATH.-Prov. xv. 24.

ON THE VISIT OF THE Magt,' p. 31. When the Magi were come to Jerusalem, Herod, naturally assisted in their researches after the Christ, having privately sent for them, spißwos Tap' ajr@vand they were supernaturally admonished what to TÓx pórov Toù painuévou dotápos (Mt. ii. 7); the answer do when they had found him: it is not less credible to which ingniry would ascertain this time, or shew that they were supernaturally instructed in the how long before their arrival the star had first been meaning of the star at first. In this case, though it seen. Upon this information he proceeded in limit had appeared at the incarnation, they would not set ing the age of the children: it was, kata Tov xpórov óv out until the birth. napísmos Tapà Tô Máywy (ibid. 16). The age of the

But the truth appears to be this: The star, which children, therefore, had a certain relation to what we

had first been seen at the incarnation, was seen again may call the age of the star; and, if the former could

at the birth of Christ; in the former instance to onoe be determined in either of its extreme limits,

announce the beginning of this great mystery, in the the latter would so far be determined also.

latter to announce its consummation, the one, con St. Matthew has defined this age by à trò duérous katsequently, thirteen months, the other, four, before katarépa (ii. 16). The order was limited to children the time of their arrival at Jerusalem. No supposiof two years old and under ; that is, it was limited at tion is better adapted to explain the peculiarity of one extreme, but not at the other; a child above two Herod's order, why the age of the children was not years old would be exempted from it, a child of two to exceed thirteen months, but might be any thing years old, or of any age less than that, would be in- below that. He inquired about the age of the star cluded in it. Now it was a maxim among the Jews, solely with a view to the age of the Christ; and if the that the son of a day was the son of a year: Unus star had appeared once thirteen months, and a second dies in anno habetur pro anno integro. A ram, or time four months, before the arrival of the Magi. he any other animal, was considered bimus, or two years would not be able to determine which intimated the old, which was one year and thirty days old, or thir real age of the Christ; and, therefore, by way of preteen n.onths old in all. (De Rat. Sacrif. i. 14.) On caution, and little solicitous how many more innocent this principle, a child of thirteen months old would victims might be sacrificed to his cruel policy, he answer to the limit ato duétous as well as a child of would naturally so frame his order as to take in chil. full two years.

dren of every age, beginning from thirteen months From the time of Zoroaster downwards to the age old, indiscriminately. of christianity itself, the parts beyond the Euphrates 'Every special dispensation of Providence must have --Persia, Bactria, or Parthia-had always been the a special parpose in view, and that, an adequate and chief seats of the Magian philosophy.

satisfactory purpose. In this visit and adoration of That the Magi in the present instance came, ac

the Magi, the unanimous concurrence of the christian

world has long since discovered the first distinct inticordingly, from those regions, which are as much to the east of Judæa as Arabia, has been uniformly the

mation of that great mystery or secret, the commutradition of the church.

nication of gospel privileges to the Gentiles. Re

garded in this point of view, the advent of these If the Magi, then, came from this part of the East,

strangers from the East becomes wonderfully enthey would be four months on the road; and, there

nobled; they are no longer simple individuals, but fore, if the star had appeared thirteen months before the first fruits of the Gentile church; the manifestathey arrived at Jerusalem, it had appeared nine

tion of Christ to them is the manifestation of a months before they set out. Hence, if they set out!

Redeemer; the adoration which they pay him is not at the time of the birth of Christ, the star must have mere homage, but religious worship. Nor is it less appeared at his incarnation,

observable, that in all their leading steps, the econoFrom their part in the transaction, it seems clear my of Divine grace with respect to the Gentiles, and that they acted throughout as instruments. They the economy of the same grace with respect to the knew, from some assurance or other, before their Jews, run parallel together. An angel announces arrival, that the Christ had actually been born, but the incarnation to the Virgin, and a star, whose mesthey did not know where: they came to Jerusalern, sage is as intelligible as that of an angel, announces in the expectation of finding, or of hearing of him it to the Gentiles: a similar angelic vision apprizes there: but they did not go to Bethlehem, until they the shepherds, and a second appearance of the star were sent. It is most reasonable to conclude, that apprizes the Magi, of the birth of the Christ: he is they were directed throughout by an express com- presented in the temple, and so far manifested to the mand from God: nor is a special revelation more Jews first; but he is made known to the Magi, and incompatible with the beginning, than with the so far revealed to the Gentiles also, directly after : he end of the same transaction. They were super- is preached to the Jews, for a certain time, by his

* A sculptured image, in silver or gold, mother-of-pearl, palm or olive wood.-Comp. this idolatry with the second commandment, Ex. XX. 3-6: but which is not found in the catechisms of the Romish church.

GOD GIVETH WISDOM UNTO THE WISE, AND KNOWLEDGE TO THEM THAT KNOW UNDERSTANDING.-Dan. ii. 21.

[ocr errors][merged small]

EXODUS VII. And the LORD said unto Moses, See, thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates : I have made thee a god to Pharaoh : and Aaron thy | ll for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the 2 brother shall be thy prophet. Thou shalt speak all sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh that I command thee: and Aaron thy brother shall day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and

speak unto Pharaoh, that he send the children of hallowed it. 3 Israel out of his land. And I will harden Pharaoh's 12 Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days

heart, and multiply my signs and my wonders in the may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God 4 land of Egypt. But Pharaoh shall not hearken unto 13 giveth thee. Thou shalt not kill. 14, Thou shalt you, that I may lay my hand apon Egypt, and bring i is not commit adultery. Thou shalt not steal. 16, Thou forth mine armies, and my people the children of shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour. Israel, out of the land of Egypt by great judgments. 17 Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou 5 And the Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD, shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manwhen I stretch forth mine hand upon Egypt, and servant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass,

bring out the children of Israel from among them. nor any thing that is thy neighbour's. 6 And Moses and Aaron did as the LORD commanded 18 And all the people saw the thunderings, and the 7 them, so did they. And Moses was fourscore years lightnings, and the noise of the trumpet, and the

old, and Aaron fourscore and three years old, when mountain smoking: and when the people saw il, they they spake urto Pharaoh.

19 removed, and stood afar off. And they said unto 8 And the LORD spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let 9 saying, When Pharaoh shall speak unto you, saying, 20 not God speak with us, lest we die, And Moses said

Shew a miracle for you: then thou shalt say unto unto the people, Fear not: for God is come to prove Aaron, Take thy rod, and cast it before Pharaoh, and you, and that his fear may be before your faces, that it shall become a serpent.

21 ye sin not. And the people stood afar off, and Moses 10 And Moses and Aaron went in unto Pharaoh, and drew near unto the thick darkness where God was.

they did so as the LORD had commanded : and Aaron 22 And the LORD said unto Moses, Thus thou shalt say

casi down his rod before Pharaoh, and before his ser unto the children of Israel, Ye have seen that I have 11 vants, and it became a serpent. Then Pharaoh also 23 talked with you from heaven, Ye shall not make

called the wise men and the sorcerers: now the ma with me gods of silver, neither shall ye make unto gicians of Egypt, they also did in like manner with

you gods of gold. 12 their enchantments. For they cast down every man 24 An altar of earth thou shalt make unto me, and

his rod, and they became serpents: but Aaron's rod shalt sacrifice thereon thy burnt offerings, and thy 13 swallowed up their rods. And he hardened Pha peace offerings, thy sheep, and thine oxen: in all places

raoh's heart, that he hearkened not unto them; as the where I record my name I will come unto thee, and I LORD had said

25 will bless thee. And if thou wilt make me an altar 14 And the LORD said unto Moses, Pharaoh's heart is

of stone, thou shalt not build it of hewn stone: for if 15 hardened, he refuseth to let the people go. Get

thou lift up thy tool upon it, thou hast polluted it. thee unto Pharaoh in the morning ; lo, he goeth out 26 Neither shalt thou go up by steps unto mine altar, unto the water; and thou shalt stand by the river's

that thy nakedness be not discovered thereon brink against he come; and the rod which was turned 16 to a serpent shalt thou take in thine hand. And IBATAR II. The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz

thou shalt say unto him, The LORD God of the He 2 saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem. And it shall brews hath sent me unto thee, saying, Let my peopla come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of

go, that they may serve me in the wilderness: and, the LORD's house shall be established in the top of 17 behold, hitherto thou wouldest not hear. Thus the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; saith the LORD, In this thou shalt know that I am the

3 and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people LORD: behold, I will sinite with the rod that is in

shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mine hand upon the waters which are in the river, and mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of 18 they shall be turned to blood. And the fish that is in

Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will the river shall die, and the river shall stink; and the walk in his paths : for out of Zion shall go forth the

Egyptians shall lothe to drink of the water of the river. 4 law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. And 19 And the LORD spake unto Moses, Say unto Aaron, he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke Take thy rod, and stretch out thine hand upon the

many people: and they shall beat their swords into waters of Egypt, upon their streams, upon their plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: narivers, and upon their ponds, and upon all their pools tion shall not lift up sword against nation, neither of water, that they may become blood; and that 5 shall they learn war any more. O house of Jacob,

there may be blood throughout all the land of Egypt, 1 come ye, and let us walk in the light of the LORD. 20 hoth in dessels of wood, and in dessels of stone. And 6 Therefore thou hast forsaken thy people the house

Moses and Aaron did so, as the LORD commanded : 1 of Jacob, because they be replenished from the east, and he lifted up the rod, and smote the waters that and are soothsayers like the Philistines, and they were in the river, in the sight of Pharaoh, and in 7 please themselves in the children of strangers. Their

the sight of his servants; and all the waters that land also is full of silver and gold, neither is there any 21 were in the river were turned to blood. And the fish end of their treasures; their land is also full of horses,

that was in the river died; and the river stank, and 8 neither is there any end of their chariots: their land the Egyptians could not drink of the water of the also is full of idols; they worship the work of their

river; and there was blood throughout all the land of own hands, that which their own fingers have made: 22 Egypt. And the magicians of Egypt did so with 9 and the mean man boweth down, and the great man

their enchantments; and Pharaoh's heart was har humbleth himself: therefore forgive them not.

dened, neither did he hearken unto them; as the LORD 10 Enter into the rock, and hide thee in the dust, for 23 bad said. And Pharaoh turned and went into his fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty. 24 house, neither did he set his heart to this also. And | 11 The lofty looks of man shall be humbled, and the

all the Egyptians digged round about the river for haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, and the

water to drink; for they could not drink of the water 12 LORD alone shall be exalted in that day. For the day 23 of the river. And seven days were fulfilled, after! of the LORD of hosts shall be upon every one that is that the LORD had smitten the river.

proud and lofty, and upon every one that is lifted up; EXODUS XX. And God spake all these words, say- 13 and he shall be brought low: and upon all the cedars 2 ing. I am the LORD thy God, which have brought of Lebanon, that are high and lifted up, and upon all

thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of 14 the oaks of Bashan, and upon all the high mountains, 3 bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me. 15 and upon all the hills that are lifted up, and upon 4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or 16 every high tower, and upon every fenced wall, and any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or upon all the ships of Tarshish, and upon all pleasant

that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water 17 pictures. And the loftiness of man shall be bowed 5 under the earth: thou shalt not bow down thyself to down, and the haughtiness of men shall be made low:

them, por serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a 18 and the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day. And jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon 19 the idols he shall utterly abolish. And they shall go

The children unto the third and fourth generation of into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the 6 them that hate me; and shewing mercy unto thou earth, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his

sands of them that love me, and keep my command m ajesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth. zments. Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD 20 In that day a man shall cast his idols of silver, and his

thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him idols of gold, which they made each one for himself to guiltless that taketh his name in vain. Remember 21 worship, to the moles and to the bats; to go into the 9 tbe sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt clefts of the rocks, and into the tops of the ragged 10 thou labour, and do all thy work: but the seventh rocks, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his

day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth. shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy | 22 Cease ye from man, whose breath is in his nostrils: daugbter, thy manser vant, nor thy maidservant, nor for wherein is he to be accounted of?

JCREMIAR III. They say, If a man put away his built, o virgin of Israel: thou shalt again be adorned wife, and she go from him, and become another man's,! with thy tabrets, and shalt go forth in the dances of shall he return unto her again ? shall not that land be 5 them that make merry. Thou shalt yet plant vines greatly polluted ? but thou hast played the harlot with upon the mountains of Samaria: the planters shall

inany lovers; yet return again to me, saith the LORD. 6 plant, and shall eat them as common things. For 2 Lift up thine eyes unto the high places, and see where there shall be a day, that the watchmen upon the thou hast not been lien with. In the ways hast thou i mount Ephraim shall cry, Arise ye, and let us go up sat for them, as the Arabian in the wilderness; and 7 to Zion unto the LORD our God. For thus saith the thou hast polluted the land with thy whoredoms and LORD; Sing with gladness for Jacob, and shout among 3 with thy wickedness. Therefore the showers have the chief of the nations : publish ye, praise ye, and

been withholden, and there hath been no latter rain; say, O LORD, save thy people, the remnant of Israel. and thou hadst a whore's forehead, thou refusedst to 8 Behold, I will bring them from the north country, 4 be ashamed. Wilt thou not from this time cry unto and gather them from the coasts of the earth, and 5 me, My father, thou art the guide of my youth Will with them the blind and the lame, the woman with he reserve his anger for ever? will he keep it to the child and her that travaileth with child together: a end? Behold, thou hast spoken and done evil things 9 great company shall return thither. They shall come as thou couldest.

with weeping, and with supplications will I lead them: 6 The LORD said also unto me in the days of Josiah I will cause them to walk by the rivers of waters in a the kips. Hast thou seen that which backsliding Israel straight way, wherein they shall not stumble: for I am hath done? she is gone up upon every high mountain a father to Israel, and Ephraim is my firstborn. and under every green tree, and there hath played 10 Hear the word of the LORD, O ye nations, and de7 the harlot. And I said after she had done all these clare it in the isles afar off, and say, He that scattered

things, Turn thou unto me. But she returned not. Israel will gather him, and keep him, as a shepherd 8 And her treacherous sister Judah saw it. And I saw, Il doth his flock. For the LORD hath redeemed Jacob. when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel and ransomed him from the hand of him that was committed adultery I had put her away, and given 12 stronger than he. Therefore they shall come and her a bill of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Judah sing in the height of Zion, and shall flow together to 9 feared not, but went and played the harlot also. And the goodness of the LORD, for wheat, and for wine, it came to pass through the lightness of her whore and for oil, and for the young of the tlock and of the

dom, that she defiled the land, and committed adultery herd: and their soul shall be as a watered garden: 10 with stones and with stocks. And yet for all this her 13 and they shall not sorrow any more at all. Then

treacherous sister Judah hath not turned unto me shall the virgin rejoice in the dance, both young men

with her whole heart, but feignedly, saith the LORD. and old together: for I will turn their mourning into 11 And the LORD said unto me, The backsliding Israel joy, and will comfort them, and make them rejoice

bath justified herself more than treacherous Judah. | 14 from their sorrow.And I will satiate the soul of the 12 Go and proclaim these words toward the north, and priests with fatness, and my people shall be satisfied

say, Return, thou backsliding Israel, saith the LORD; with my goodness, saith the LORD. and I will not cause mine anger to fall upon you: for 15 Thus saith the LORD; A voice was heard in Ramah.

I am merciful. saith the LORD, and I will not keep lamentation, and bitter weeping: Rahel weeping for 13 anger for ever. Only acknowledge thine iniquity, her children refused to be comforted for her children,

that thou hast transgressed against the LORD thy 16 because they were not. Thus saith the LORD; Refrain God, and hast scattered thy ways to the strangers thy voice from weeping, and thine eyes from tears:

under every green tree, and ye have not obeyed my for thy work shall be rewarded, saith the LORD; and 14 voice, saith the LORD Turn, O backsliding children, they shall come again from the land of the enemy.

saith the LORD; for I am married unto you: and I 17 And there is hope in thine end, saith the LORD, that

will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I thy children shall come again to their own border. 15 will bring you to Zion: and I will give you pastors 18 I have surely heard Ephraim bemoaning himself

according to mine heart, which shall feed you with thus; Thou hast chastised me, and I was chastised, as 16 knowledge and understanding. And it shall come to a bullock unaccustomed to the yoke : turn thou me,

pass, when ye be multiplied and increased in the land, and I shall be turned; for thou art the LORD my God. in those days, saith the LORD, they shall say no more, | 19 Surely after that I was turned, I repented; and after The ark of the covenant of the LORD: neither shall it that I was instructed, I smote upon my thigh: I was come to mind: peither shall they remember it; nei. ashamed, yea, even coufounded, because I did bear the

ther shall they visit it; neither shall that be done any 20 reproach of my youth. Is Ephraim my dear son ? 18 17 more. At that time they shall call Jerusalem the he a pleasant child? for since I spake against him, I

throne of the LORD; and all the nations shall be do earnestly remember him still: therefore my bowels gathered unto it, to the name of the LORD, to Jeru are troubled for him ; I will surely have mercy upon

salem: neither shall they walk any more after the 21 him, saith the LORD. Set thee up waymarks, make 18 imagination of their evil heart. In those days the thee high heaps : set thine heart toward the highway,

house of Judah shall walk with the house of Israel, even the way which thou wentest: turn again, o virgin and they shall come together out of the land of the of Israel, turn again to these thy cities.

north to the land that I have given for an inheritance | 22 How long wilt thou go about, O thou backsliding 19 unto your fathers. But I said, How shall I put thee daughter? for the LORD hath created a new thing in among the children, and give thee a pleasant land, a 23 the earth, A woman shall compass a man. Thus saith goodly heritage of the hosts of nations ? and I said, the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; As yet they shall Thou shalt call me, My father; and shalt not turn use this speech in the land of Judah and in the cities away from me.

thereof, when I shall bring again their captivity; The 20 Surely as a wife treacherously departeth from her LORD bless thee, o habitation of justice, and moun

husband, so have ye dealt treacherously with me, 0 24 tain of holiness. And there shall dwell in Judah 21 house of Israel, saith the LORD. A voice was heard itself, and in all the cities thereof together, husband

upon the high places, weeping and supplications of 25 men, and they that go forth with flocks. For I have the children of Israel: for they have perverted their satiated the weary soul, and I have replenished every

way, and they have forgotten the LORD their God. 26 sorrowful soul. Upon this I awaked, and bebeld: 22 Return, ye backsliding children, and I will heal your and my sleep was sweet unto me.

backslidings. Behold, we come unto thee; for thou 27 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will 23 art the LORD our God. Truly in vain is salvation sow the house of Israel and the house of Judah with

hoped for from the hills, and from the multitude of 28 the seed of man, and with the seed of beast. And it

mountains: truly in the LORD our God is the salva shall come to pass, that like as I have watched over 24 tion of Israel. For shame hath devoured the labour them, to pluck up, and to break down, and to throw

of our fathers from our youth; their flocks and their dowe, and to destroy, and to afflict; so will I watch 25 herds, their sons and their daughters. We lie down 29 over them, to build, and to plant, saith the LORD. In

in our shame, and our confusion covereth us: for we those days they shall say no more. The fathers have have sinned against the LORD our God, we and our eaten a sour grape, and the children's teeth are set on fathers, from our youth even unto this day, and have 30 edge. But every one shall die for his own iniquity : not obeyed the voice of the LORD our God.

every man that eateth the sour grape, his teeth shall

be set on edge. JEREMIAH XXXI. At the same time, saith the 31 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will Lord, will I be the God of all the families of Israel, make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and 2 and they shall be my people. Thus saith the LORD, 32 with the house of Judah: not according to the cove

The people which were left of the sword found grace nant that I made with their fathers in the day that I in the wilderness ; even Israel, when I went to cause took them by the hand to bring them out of the land 3 him to rest. The LORD hath appeared of old unto of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting 33 was an husband unto them, saith the LORD: but this

love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn shall be the covenant that I will make with the house 4 thee. Again I will build thee, and thou shalt be

[Continued see next page.

LEARN 10 DO WELL; SEEK JUDGMENT, RELIEVE THE OPPRESSED, JUDGE THE FATHERLESS, PLEAD FOR THE WIDOW.-Isa. i. 17.

ON THE VISIT OF THE MAGI-(continued). apostles, exclusively; at the end of this time he is fifth month afterwards. The tenth of Nisan, in that preached also to the Gentiles; until at last, when year, coincided with April 6; and, consequently, the every distinction had been levelled, both the Jew and tenth of Ab would coincide with August 2. April 6, the Gentile are made one, in the unity of a common in that year, was a Supday, and August 2 was a faith in Christ.

Saturday. We may consider it probable, that in one «The case of Ezra proves it to have been possible week's time after this, consequently about August 9 that a person, setting out from the parts beyond the or 10, the holy family would set out for Egypt; where Euphrates, on a certain day in the first month, might they would, perhaps, arrive at the place of their arrive at Jerusalem exactly on the same day in the labode, August 25 or 26. From this time to March 31. Arth month, of tbe Jewish year. Hence, if the Magi the date of the next Passover, the included term of set out on the tenth of Nisan. U.C. 750, they might days is as nearly as possible 215 in all, Greswell, arrive in Jerusalem on the tenth of Lous, or Ab. the vol. II. Diss. xviii. p. 139-147.

ON THE RETURN TO NAZARETH, La. ii. 33, p. 35. This return to Nazareth, mentioned by Luke, al- tion, to have the fellowship, for a time, of her cousin though by both Greswell and Robinson placed along: Elizabeth-see Lu. i. 39-65, $ 2, p. Il ; and this she side of that recorded by Matthew, may have taken would again the more readily enjoy, as removing to place at a different time, and previous to the flight Bethlehem, than as remaining at Nazareth. It is into Egypt, and immediately after the visit to Jerusa- likely that they had but just returned to Bethlehem, lem, mentioned, Lu. ii. 22-38, 94, p. 27. Joseph and when they were visited by the wise men from the East. Mary at first left Nazareth without, as it would appear, I They were now, not in a shed for cattle, where, on any idea of permanently removing therefrom. They a previous occasion, they were found by the shep may have thought that a change of residence would herds. They were in a house osta, not karaduma; be well-pleasing to the Lord, who had so pointed out and now, wben they may have supposed themselves Bethlehem, as the place out of which the Governor of to be permanently settled in the place of Divine apIsrael was to come. Not having made any prepara-pointment, they receive orders to remove again, and tion for a permanent removal, when they left Naza-that in such haste, as that the departure is by night. reth on account of the taxing, it may have been Such frequent removal of the child Jesus to and fro requisite that they should now return at the earliest would greatly tend to bewilder those to whom an inopportunity for that purpose. If they had not re-quisition into the matter may have been appointed by solved upon a removal previously, still, it may be, | Herod, after his being disappointed by the wise men ; that after they had returned to Nazareth they would and may have tended to exasperate him under the see such a change to be desirable. It is not likely | idea that the whole neighbourhood was in a conspithat Mary would be adverse to such a change: she had racy to deceive him, and save from his puwer the before made a still farther journey in the same direc- | infant King of the Jews.'

OF THE RESIDENCE IN EGYPT,' pp. 34, .5. If the birth of our Lord took place at the beginning | received the command to return into his own counof April, U.C. 750, then it may be rendered presump-try. No reason is so likely as this to have produced tively certain that the Magi arrived in Jerusalem at his hesitation about taking up his abocie again at the beginning of the following August; and, conse Bethlehem, in the immediate neighbourhood of Arqueptly, in all probability, that the fight into Egypt chelaus, which seems to have been his first intention could not have been delayed much beyond the middle before he was admonished to retire to Nazareth. We of the same month, and would thus happen in the may infer, then, that the return from Egypt, U.C. 751, mildest season of the year, when both the facilities was not earlier than March 31 in that year at least; of travel, and the means of subsistence in a strange to which time inclusive, from the end of August erland, were likely to be the greatest.

clusive, are seven months, or two hundred and twelve

days, a residence in duration, like that of the ark It is a singular fact, that in the year after his birth,

th, among the Philistines in the days of Samuel, (1 Sa. when Christ the true Passover was absent in Egypt, vi. 1): which is a much more probable period than a there was, strictly speaking, no passover celebrated residence either of less than six months on the one as usual in Judæa: a circumstance almost unex

inex. hand, or of more than a year on the other. ampled in the previous history of the Jews. The

St. Matthew, by applying to this residence the text cause of this anomaly was the disturbances which ensued upon the death of Herod, and which, by the

of Hosea, Out of Egypt have I called my son,' (ii. time of the arrival of the paschal day, had reached

15,) has shewn that the sojourning of the children of

Israel there was in some respect or other typical of 10 such a height, that Archelaus was obliged to disperse the people, by force of arms, in the very midst

this of Christ. Now the Israelites came up from of the sacrifices themselves.

Egypt at the passover; and so it is manifest did the

holy family, if they returned shortly after the death Now we may collect, I think, from Mt. ii. 22, .3, of Herod. The descent of the holy family into Egypt that it was not long after this occurrence, and, con- took place about the close of the summer; and so, I sequently, when the offensiveness and odium of the think, it may be proved, did the descent of the Islate severity were likely to be greatest, that Joseph raelites also.'-Greswell, vol. I. Diss. xii. p. 392-.4.

WOE UNTO THE WICKED! IT SHALL BE ILL WITH HIM: FOR THE REWARD OF HIS HANDS SHALL BE GIVEN HIM.-Isa. ill. JI.

HEROD,' p. 35. Herod the king. Judæa, where our Saviour was murdered by his directions at eighteen years of age, born, was a province of the Roman empire. It was because the people of Jerusalem had evinced affection taken about 63 years B.C., by Pompey, and placed towards him. In the seventh year of his reign he put under tribute. Herod received his appointment from to death Hyrcanus, grandfather of Mariamne, then the Romans, and had reigned at the time of the birth eighty years of age, and who had formerly saved of Jesus 36 years. Though he was permitted to be | Herod's life; a man of a mild and peaceable disposicalled king, yet he was in all respects dependant on tion. His beloved and beautiful wife Mariamne, the Roman emperor.-He was commonly called He whom he professed to idolize, had a public execurod the Great, because he had distinguished himself i tion, and her mother Alexandra followed soon after. in the wars with Antigonus, and his other enemies, Alexander and Aristobulus, his two sons by Maand because he had evinced great talents, as well as riamne, were strangled in prison by his orders, upon great cruelties and crimes, in governing and defend. ! groundless suspicion, as it seems, when they were at ing his country; in repairing the temple; and in man's estate, were married, and had children. He building and ornamenting the cities of his kingdom. I also caused his son Antipater to be slain about five -At this time Augustus was emperor of Rome. The days before his death; and gave orders, when dying, world was at peace.

to shut up the chief persons among the Jews, whom HEROD was notorious for cruelty. Josephus calls he commanded to be slain at his death, that every him a man of great barbarity, and a slave to his family of the Jews might mourn ; which happily was passions.' The facts of his reign prove that he was not executed. Herod would think the massacre of abundantly capable of this wickedness. The follow the infants but a small affair; and although Jo. ing will shew that this slaying of the infants was sephus does not particularly mention it, he seems to perfectly in accordance with his odious character. hint at it when he says many slaughters followed Aristobulus, brother of his wife Marianne, was the prediction of the new king Ant. 1-17. c. 3.

THE WICKED IS RESERVED TO THE DAY OF DESTRUCTION.-Job xxi, 30.

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »