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them; that instead of impugning the Scriptural chronology, in reference to the age of the world, they, on the contrary, confirm its evidence; that the pretensions set up for the remoteness of Indian chronology are altogether unfounded, and the legends of its deities mere fable; and that the system of Pagan mythology manifestly contains several things having a distinct reference to Scripture, the author proceeds to place before us the evidence which has recently been collected by different travellers, with respect to particular events which are recorded in the Bible. For instance, the remains of the tower of Babel still attest that the original structure was struck, and a great part of it in some degree vitrified, by lightning of more than ordinary power. The waters of Marah, which the Israelites, when wandering in the wilderness of Shur, could not drink on account of their bitterness, still retain the same taste; it has been proved by chemical experiment, that the same waters can be made sweet by the infusion of oxalic acid, and therefore any plant containing that acid would produce the same effect. We are not then surprised to find that Moses actually made those bitter waters sweet by throwing a plant into the well that held them. The oasis in which the Israelites pitched their tents, and in which there were twelve wells of water, and three score and ten palm trees, is still recognised by the united testimony of several travellers, as possessing similar features. The miraculous supply of manna is another topic, upon which the author has advanced the most satisfactory evidence.

• " When the dew that lay was gone up, behold upon the face of the wilderness there lay a small round thing, as small as the hoar-frost, on the ground.” We are further told, that " when the sun waxed hot it melted;" and when preserved until the following day it became corrupt, and “ bred worms.” To preserve the extra measure which they collected on the sixth day, Moses directed that on that day of the week they were to bake and seethewhat should be required on the morrow, as on the sabbath none should fall. It is further added, " And the house of Israel called the name thereof manna: and it was like coriander-seed, white; and the taste of it was like wafers made with honey.* Such are the curious and interesting particulars supplied by the Sacred Text. It is well known that a substance is used in medicine under this name, chiefly obtained from the Calabrias, and is collected from the leaves of the ornus rotundifolia (fraxinus ornus, of Linnæus), and a somewhat similar substance obtains in the onion; but froin its purgative qualities, it is sufficiently obvious that the manna of the Scriptures is altogether different. According to Seetzen, Wortley Montague, Burckhardt, and other travellers, a natural production exudes from the spines of a species of tamarix, in the peninsula of Sinai. It condenses before sunrise, but disolves in the sunbeam. “ Its taste," it is added, " is agreeable, somewhat aromatic, and as sweet as honey. It

may be kept for a year, and is only found after a wet season." The Arabs collect it and use it with their bread. In the vicinity of Mount

* Exodus xvi. 14. and 31:'

Sinai, where it is most plentiful, the quantity collected in the most favourable season does not exceed six hundred weight. The author of the “ History of the Jews," has a note to the following effect : “ The author, by the kindness of a traveller, recently returned from Egypt, has received a small quantity of manna ; it was, however, though still palatable, in a liquid state, from the heat of the sun. He has obtained the additional curious fact, that manna, if not boiled or baked, will not keep more than a day, but becomes putrid and breeds maggots. It is described as a small round substance, and is brought in by the Arabs in small quantities mixed with sand."*

It would appear from these very interesting facts, that this exudation, which transpires from the thorns or leaves or the tamarix, is alto. gether different from the manna of the manna-ash. We cannot doubt, from the entire coincidence in every respect, that the manna found in the wilderness of Sinai by the Arabs now, is identical with that of the Scriptures. That the minute particulars recorded should be every whit verified by modern research and discovery, is worthy of great attention. As Moses directed Aaron to “ take a pot and put an omer full of manna therein, and lay it up before the LORD, (in the ark), to be kept for the generations of Israel,” as a memorial; so the remarkable phenomenon remains in evidence of the truth of the narrative. The miracle, however, remains precisely as it was. There is sufficient to appeal to, as an existing and perpetual memorial to all generations. The MIRACIE, from which there can be no appeal, and which allows of no equivocation, consisted in its ample abundance, in its continued supply, and its complete intermission on the sacred day of rest. Nutritious substances have fallen from the atmosphere in some countries ; such, for example, was that which fell a few years ago in Persia, and was examined by Thenard. It proved to be a nutritious substance referable to a vegetable origin. We have before us, at the moment of writing these pages, a small work, printed at Naples in 1793, the author of which is Gaetano Maria La Pira; it is entitled, “ Memoria sulla pioggia della Manna,” &c.: and describes a shower of manna which fell in Sicily, in the month of September, 1792. The author, a Professor of Chemistry, at Naples, gives an interesting account of the circumstances under which it was found, together with a variety of interesting particulars, some of which we shall select, and we do so to prove that a similar substance may have an aerial origin, though carried up in the first instance, it may be, by the process of evaporation ;—this would considerably modify the product. On the 26th September, 1792, a fall of manna took place at a district in Sicily, called Fiume grande ; this singular shower lasted, it is stated, for about an hour and a half. It commenced at twenty-two o'clock, according to Italian time, or about five o'clock in the afternoon: the space covered with this manna seems to have been considerable. A second shower covered a space of thirty-eight paces in length, by fourteen in breadth. This second shower of manna, which took place on the following day, was not confined to the Fiume grande, but seems to have fallen in still greater abundance in another place, called Santa Barbara, at a considerable dis tance: it covered a space of two hundred and fifty paces in length, by fourteen paces in breadth. An individual, named Giuseppe Giarrusso, informed Sig. G. M. La Pira, that about half-past eight o'clock, A. M., he

** History of the Jews, vol. 1. p. 92.'

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witnessed this shower of manna, and described it as composed of extremely minute drops, which, as soon as they fell, congealed into a while concrete substance ; and the quantity was such, that the whole surface of the ground was covered, and presented the appearance of snow: the depth, in all cases, seems to have been inconsiderable. This aerial manna was somewhat purgative, when administered internally; and the chemical analysis of it seemed to prove, that its constituents, though somewhat different from that obtained from the ornus rotundifolia,* did not materially differ from the latter in its constituents. We give Sig. La Pira's description of its appearance: being of a white colour, and somewhat granular or spherical, it seems to have had some resemblance, externally, to that of the Scriptures; but it is not stated that it became corrupt on being preserved. “Questa sostanza zuccherina nella massima parte è caduta in forma di minutissima arena bianca : Osservata colla lente non vi si ravvisa alcuna forma regolare, ma vi si scorge una figura il più delle volte sferoidale, e talora anche perfettamente sferica: I grani maggiori non eccedono é di linea di diametro : Posti sul vetro ed osservati colla lente si veggono semi-trasparenti : Non hanno alcun aspetto grasso o umido, ma bensì un'apparenza del tuto secca, ed alquanto polverosa ; da ciò nasce quel panno, che si forma sulla superficie interna delle bottiglie di cristallo nelle quali ci conservano." +

At the rock, in Horeb, called Meribah, Moses miraculously supplied the people with water. He smote the rock, and an abundant stream immediately issued : this extraordinary source of supply is now dried up, but there is still left sufficient evidence to confirm the fact. It will suffice for our purpose that we quote, in corroboration, the description of an eyewitness and recent traveller: “ We came to the celebrated rock of Meribah. It still bears striking evidence of the miracle about it; and it is quite isolated in the midst of a narrow valley, which is here about two hundred yards broad. There are four or five fissures, one above the other, on the face of the rock, each of them about a foot and a half long, and a few inches deep. What is remarkable, they run along the breadth of the rock, and are not rent downwards; they are more than a foot asunder, and there is a channel worn between them by the gushing of the water. The Arabs still reverence this rock.” | Dr. Clarke only spoke the truth when he asserted that the Bible was the best itinerary that the traveller in. Palestine could possess.'-pp. 195–198.

The author's remarks on the “ Tables of stone," upon which the law was written by the finger of God, appear to us to be inconsecutive. We do not understand to what they lead. Milman had already remarked, that Mount Sinai, even to this day, shows every token of a volcanic eruption : “ blazing fires, huge columns of smoke, and convulsions of the earth.” The geologists, however,

** Also the oak, ilex, chesnut, &c., though less abundant and more rare than on the leaves of the mauna-ash. The ordinary manna collected in Sicily, comes from districts in the Val Demone and the Val di Mazzara, at some distance from the localities where this aerial manna fell.' too Memoria,” &c. In Napoli, 1793, p.

23.' 1 Letters from the East, 2 vols. Lond. Second Edit. 1826, vol. 1.

p. 226.'

have decided, and upon such a point as this their opinions are entitled to weight, that from the geological formation of the mountain, it has never been subject to the agency of internal fire. Sir Robert Ker Porter bears witness that the banks of the Euphrates are hoary with reeds, and with grey osier willows. It was upon the banks of this river that the Hebrews wept when they remembered Zion; it was here that they hung upon the willows their harps, for which in their grief they no longer had any use. The discoveries of Belzoni, and M. Champollion, have produced abundant evidence of the truth of Scripture with respect to the war made by Necho or Pharaoh-Necho upon the Hebrews and Babylonians; and the siege of Jerusalem by Shishak, the king of Egypt. The ancient medals which have been collected, and are mentioned by the author, seem to bear with considerable force upon the existence and divinity of Christ; upon this part of the subject, however, we need not dwell, as the histories of Tacitus, and Josephus, and the letters of Pliny, leave no reasonable doubt as to the presence on earth of the personage, to whom we give the title of the Redeemer.

Much as we commend the views of the author of the little work just noticed, we confess that we have always considered the internal evidence of inspiration, which appears throughout the Sacred Writings, as by far the most satisfactory proof that can be given of their divine origin. That evidence will at once flash upon the mind of every man who sits down to peruse the Scriptures with the requisite dispositions. If we open the Bible with an intention to criticise it, and to subject the variety of facts which it narrates, and of precepts which it inculcates, to the canons of mere human reason, we shall flounder at every page. Reading the sacred volume by the flickering and puny light which our own intellect affords, we shall often behold nothing before us but a confused and unintelligible mass of words, which afford no uniform rule of religion, nor perhaps even of moral conduct. With respect to religion, it cannot be denied that almost every sect that now exists, or that ever has existed, since the commencement of Christianity, has found one or more passages apparently in favour of its peculiar tenets, the Old or New Testament. The mere moralists, who have looked to the same sources for maxims of conduct, have also boasted of similar success, and not without plausible grounds upon which they have rested their assumptions. These classes of Bible readers never contemplate the volume as a whole. They satisfy their inquiries when they have found a few isolated sentences which countenance their own favourite doctrines; and it is very seldom that they can be persuaded to take a more comprehensive view of the entire range of the mighty truths, which those wonderful productions disclose.

It seems to us to be impossible for any person of ordinary intelligence to become thoroughly conversant even with the writings of the Evangelists, not to speak of the Pentateuch and the Prophecies, without feeling that the world which we inhabit is but a small part of a mighty system, whose extent no mental effort of ours can enable us to comprehend. The words ascribed by those faithful historians to the founder of Christianity, are every where fraught with a meaning, which indicates not only a supernatural origin, but an experience with other worlds, in which perfection dwells not in its highest state alone, but in several degrees. The inexpressible tenderness towards mankind, which actuates that truly amiable Being on all occasions, from the moment we hear of his terrestrial presence until his disappearance, shows not the God alone, but the Person who had already visited other globes, who had enlightened them by his wisdom, who had felt compassion for their wants, and cheered them by his promises. We are expressly told, that after his crucifixion, and before his ascent to heaven, he went to another world called Limbo, which is popularly understood to be a region bordering upon hell

, where there is neither pleasure nor pain. He also alludes, more than once, to the many mansions which are contained in his Father's empire, to some of which he had probably shown himself before he came to our habitation; others of which he has perhaps since visited, or is now visiting, for the purpose of confirming the hopes of the good, and recalling the vicious to repentance. For it is not presumptuous to think that there are beings on distant globes, if not so imperfect as we are, at least not sufficiently perfect in the mass, to merit supreme and unchangeable happiness, without the assistance of the Redeemer.

If we can once lift up our minds to even a faint idea of a universe of inhabited worlds, filling the immensity of space—both that space which may be said to be comprehended within our solar system, and that infinitely larger space which probably lies beyond that system, we may then, without much difficulty, persuade ourselves that there are many passages in the Bible, the right interpretation of which is not indeed contrary to our reason, but above its reach. We may then feel and acknowledge, that the great truths which it announces have descended to us from a divine intelligence, and that it is our duty not to seek for conviction with respect to them, but for faith. If we are assured by a chain of irresistible evidence, that the Scriptures are authentic, and contain the word of God, then we are bound, at the peril of a loss which we never can repair, to believe rather than to discuss, to accept rather than to question, every portion of the system thus revealed for our guidance.

The terrible mistake committed at the “Reformation," upon which it is essentially founded, from which the myriads of sects now existing in the Christian world have, with one or two exceptions, sprung, and which will long continue to be the prolific source of the most lamentable errors, proceeded upon the supposition that the Gospel is matter for conviction, and not for faith ; that it is the inalienable right of every man to interpret the Scriptures for him

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