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PALMYRA. WE, last month, gave some particulars respecting this city, the ancient name of which is derived from the Hebrew thamar, a palm tree.
The ruins shewn in our engravings do not belong to the time of Solomon, and indeed nothing is known of that city beyond the brief mention of it in the second book of Chronicles. It is, however, a singular fact, that a considerable remnant of the children of Israel, with whom we are told (ch. viii. 2,) he peopled the various cities built by himself, was found at Palmyra, so lately as the twelfth century of our own era. Rabbi Benjamin, of Tudela, makes this mention of the place: "Tadmor in the Desert, built with large stones, was also the work of Solomon. This city is encompassed with a wall, and is situate in the desert, far from any inhabited region or country, and is four days distant from Baalath, (see 2 Chron. viii. 6). In this very city there are about two thousand Jews,* mighty men
The Editors of the Pictorial Bible, who give this extract at second. hand, copying from Purchas, say 4000; but as 2000 is the number stated by Benjamin, not only in the text as translated by Gerrans, but in the recapitulation which precedes the work, it may be considered the correct estimate.
VOL. VI. 4th SERIES,
in battle, who wage war with the Edomites and Arabians, who are the subjects of Nouraldin, and assist their neighbours the Ishmaelites: their chief rulers are Rabbi Isaac the Javanite, Rabbi Nathan, and Rabbi Ouziel, of laudable memory.” “The existing inscriptions at Palmyra,” says the writer of a note upon the subject in the Pictorial Bible, “attest the presence of Jews there in its most flourishing period, and that they, in common with the other inhabitants, shared in the general trade, and were objects of public honours.“
SELFISHNESS. The selfish man seldom or never thinks himself so. He is little accustomed to deny himself, and therefore whenever he performs a disinterested act, he feels the struggle it costs him so acutely as to lead him to the supposition that he is doing an unprecedented act of kindness. There is nothing so unintelligible to the worldling, as those cheerful sacrifices which the christian makes in a good cause, as he is always disposed to interpret them by his own feelings. It was this selfish spirit which dictated the exclamation of those who beheld the unparalleled sufferings of our Saviour on the cross“Himself He cannot save!" whilst the impossibility lay only in the omnipotence of His love.
VOX ET PRETEREA NIHIL. PLUTARCH, hearing a nightingale, desired to have one killed, not questioning but she would please the palate as well as the ear: but when the nightingale was brought him, and he saw what a poor little creature it was, “Truly,” said he, “thou art a mere voice, and nothing else.” So is the hypocrite.
Does a man hear him sometimes in public duties, he says, “What an excellent man is that! What a choice and rare spirit is he of!" But follow him home, observe him in his private conversation and retirements, and then you will judge Plutareh’s remark to be as applicable to him as the nightingale.--Flavel.
BEGIN BETIMES. The earlier the seed is sown the better it is rooted, and more able to endure the asperities of winter: so when grace is early infused, when nature is sanctified in the bud, grace is thereby exceedingly advantaged. It was Timothy's singular advantage that he knew the scriptures from a child.-Flavel.
EARLY PRIVILEGES. It was not my happiness in early youth, to possess the guidance and affection of a tender mother. But the loss, as I was sometimes ready to think, seemed more than made up, by the kindness of Catherine, my elder sister. A few years before the death of my widowed mother, she had married an excellent man, head partner of a bank which had been long established in a neighbouring town. Her filial attentions, however, continued constant and dutiful, though she had left the maternal roof: and when sickness and death entered our dwelling, she resumed for a season, her abode with us. No sooner was my last surviving parent removed, than she took me to her own home; there shielding me, with her utmost power, from every feeling of orphan destitution, and from every disadvantage of an orphan's situation.
Many are my sweet remembrances of the endearing and profitable days spent in this favored home. I shall feel pleasure in recalling a few scenes, if my young readers are disposed to share the interesting and improving intercourse I then enjoyed.
The recollections most vivid in my mind to-day, are connected with a visit to Southwold, on the coast of Suffolk; whose pure beach and bracing air had been recommended to my brother, suffering, as he then was, from too close application to business. The change was soon blessed to his perfect restoration, and we had no drawback to prevent that thorough enjoyment which the true lovers of nature experience, when surrounded by her lovely or magnificent objects. Our favorite plan was to sally forth after breakfast, with book and work, biscuits and telescope, that we might notice every thing interesting as we strolled along, and find pleasant occupation when we rested. How often have we sat beneath the shelter of the Gun-hill, or under the more retired cliffs which skirt the beach as you return to Easton Bavent, while the breezes from that wide expanse of waters, fanned us into forgetfulness of the sultry season. As we listened to the well selected passages with which Henry would alternately amuse and instruct us, the needle flew insensibly, and our work rapidly advanced. Nor did we fail often to raise a delighted eye,
“As the waves, a silvery store,