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nificance as an enemy of Saul,—" after whom is the night march to the enemy's quarters, and to the exeking of Israel come out ? After whom dost thou pur-cution of that ingenious stratagem, which, by the favour sue? after a dead dog ?" Mephibosheth, by way of ex- of heaven, was the means of achieving one of the most pressing his own humility, and thereby magnifying the splendid victories that Israel ever gained over their überality of king David towards him, said, “What is
numerous enemies. thy servant, that thou shouldest look upon such a dead
DISCOURSE. dog as I am ?" Abner, when accused of an odious crime by his master, Ishbosheth, made this indignant reply :
BY THE Rev. JAMES BREWSTER, * Am I a dog's head, that thou chargest me to-day
Minister of Craig. with a fault concerning this woman ; i. e., am I the “ Who is a wise man endowed with knowledge among head, the foremost and most headstrong of a band of you ? Let him shew, out of a good conversation, gruvelling dogs, that thou treatest me so?” Hazael, too, his works, with meekness of wisdom.”—JAMES, when informed by the sorrowing prophet of the dread- iii. 13. ful cruelties he would perpetrate on the land of Israel, when he ascended the throne of Syria, the haughty Paul; and he is unworthy of the name of man
“ In understanding be men,” says the Apostle soldier indignantly repelled them as an imputation on his honour.“ But, what, is thy servant a dog, that he who is contented to know nothing, and to remain should do this great thing ?"*
on a level with the lower animals around him. Before bringing this article to a close, one other cir- | Mankind, indeed, are in general sensible of the cumstance in the natural history of the dog, though not credit which belongs to wisdom and knowledge. illustrating an interesting passage of Scripture. It is Though they may not be so diligent as they ought in well known that dogs, when about to quench their pursuing them, they are sufficiently desirous to apthirst, do not, with slow and deliberate caution, stoop pear to possess them. They will bear any redown upon their knees, but continue in a standing pos- proach more easily than that of ignorance or stuture, and, merely stretching out their neck to the surface pidity; and many would choose rather to be of the water, “ lap, by forining the end of their tongue blamed for a wicked action, than to be despised for into the shape of a hollow spoon, by means of which,
a weak understanding. They look more, however, they lave or throw up the water with the greatest expedition into their mouth.” The power of imitating to the semblance than to the substance of wisdom. this rapid mode of quenching thirst, was, as every reader They are pleased with whatever gives them the of the Bible knows, the test by which the elite of the appearance of a superior understanding. They are Israelitish army was selected for the enterprise of easily puffed up by a very small portion of knowGideon. The reduction of his forces was intended as ledge. They are too frequently deceived by its the trial of his faith, and as the vast multitude who counterfeits, or at least persuaded to pursue its obeyed his summons at first, comprised numbers unfit least valuable branches. for a bold and daring enterprise, the manner in which
And especially do they the reduction was effected was admirably calculated to
fail to make a right use of the better knowledge distinguish the active and intrepid, from those who which they may possess. Justly, then, does the were indolent and fond of ease. The Israelites seem apostle remind us in the text, of the character and to have had the same practice that still prevails among | influence of genuine wisdom : “ Who is a wise the wandering people of Asia and Africa, who, when,
man endowed with knowledge among you ? Let on a journey or in haste, they come to water, do not stoop down with deliberation on their knees, but stand, with meekness of wisdom.”
him shew, out of a good conversation, his works, bending forward only as much as is necessary to bring their hand in contact with the stream, and throw it up In Scripture language, the term “wisdom” orwith such celerity and address, that they do not drop dinarily signifies the knowledge and fear of God, a particle, although the hand never touches the lips. especially that enlightening of the mind which The sound made by this action strongly resembles the Hows from the word and spirit of Christ; and the lapping of a dog; and thirst is allayed in this manner far sooner than by any other. “ I frequently attempt
superior excellence of this wisdom may be well ed," says Mr Campbell, “ to imitate this practice, but expressed in the words of Solomon, « Happy is never succeeded, always spilling the water on my
the man that findeth wisdom, and the man who clothes, or some part of my face, instead of the mouth ;" getteth understanding. For the merchandise of it and another traveller, who several times made the same is better than the merchandise of silver, and the experiment with a company of Arabs, says, that bis gain thereof than fine gold.” Soon may a little companions were always done almost before he had reflection satisfy every man, how justly this heacommenced. Those of the Israelites, therefore, who quenched their thirst in this rapid 'manner, shewed venly wisdom is proposed to us as the most prethemselves to be fit for a work that required expedition ; cious of all, as alone worthy of the name of wisand the rest were dismissed according to the divine dom. And the more deeply to impress your minds direction. Gideon with his select band began his mid- with the importance and value of this exalted prural sense, and is applied either to those who were not the des: lowing
discourse, a view of the salutary influence la the New Testament, the word occurs also in the same meta- blessing, we propose to set before you, in the fol@tfarts of Abraham, and heirs of the promise, or to persons of grossleprus, immoral, and unworthy characters. It is used in the of this true wisdom as exhibited in the text. inst spise in this passage : “ It is not meet to take the children's brez1 and cast it to dogs." It occurs in the second sense in the Much of what is called wisdom and knowledge buwing passages : “ Give not that which is holy unto the dogs."
among men, can scarcely be said to have
inDagens, and murderers, and idolators, and whosoever loveth and fluence at all; and very frequently all that can be visites (Phil. ii. 2.), The same epithet has continued to the said in its praise is merely this, that it is a more pont day to be used by Eastern people as a term of infamy and
sedate species of amusement than men commonly * The Grecian dog" was the usual title given by the Mas nedans to the Emperor of Constantinople, (Ockley's Hist.
pursue. But it may be that there is some diffithe Emperor Nicephorus, was addressed to the Roman Dos, (Gibe to make such an acquirement,
the Saracens, and the letter of the famous Haroun-al- Raschid to culty in attaining it, and that every one is not able bea, vol. vij. P. 44.)
to make such an acquirement. Hence, it is es.
Muit. 30. 6.)
"For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whore
reprob. Two historical anecdotes may be mentioned as illus
ve of this.
teemed by many as of no small value, because it | down, namely, to make us " free from the law of exercises their faculties, ministers to their vanity, sin," and to purify “us unto God a peculiar peoor plausibly occupies their time. Other kinds of ple.” Let every one, therefore, who seemeth to wisdom and knowledge there are, which may be have this wisdom, or wishes to have it, feel his sufficiently applicable to practical purposes, and obligation “ to cleanse himself from all filthiness sufficiently useful for promoting the temporal in- of the flesh and of the spirit.”—“ Let your conterests of their possessor, but which have no salu- versation always be as becometh the Gospel,” and tary influence on the heart or conduct. Such your conduct “ as the children of God, blameless, kinds of wisdom may often be attained by the most harmless, and without rebuke.” Let it never once worthless persons, and may sometimes render enter into the imagination of your minds, that you them only the more daring in their wickedness, truly possess any portion of heavenly wisdom, if and the more dangerous to their fellow-men. But it is not your full desire and endeavour to be it is the distinguishing character of the wisdom “ holy in all manner of conversation.” Wherementioned in the text, that it both produces good ever there prevails a deliberate ungodliness of fruit for the use of others, and exerts a purifying spirit, or unrighteousness of conduct, there is neiinfluence on the heart where it dwells.
ther the “ spirit of knowledge” nor “ the wisdom 1. It leads to a “ good conversation," or man- of the just.” No inconsistency can be greater, no ner of life. Every man's manner of life may be delusion more fatal, than to suppose it possible for considered as at once the evidence and the effect you to be guided by “ the wisdom which is from of his principles. It will generally be good or above,” while you shew not “ a good conversabad, according as he is influenced by heavenly or tion” or manner of life. But, earthly wisdom. The smallest portion of divine II. It leads to “good works ;" let him shew knowledge, truly impressed upon the heart, will out of a good conversation his works. exert a greater influence upon the course of life, The wisdom and knowledge of which we are than all the stores of mere human learning, speaking, regulate the manner of life, not only while, on the other hand, many may be endowed by keeping their possessor from evil, but also by with knowledge sufficient to manage the affairs of inclining him to good. He who is wise, ceases an empire, who yet have no rule over their own not only to be the servant of sin, but learns to bespirits, and no discretion to guide their own steps. come an “instrument of righteousness.” He not Often, indeed, may we see the utter inefficacy of only rejects what would be disgraceful and debasall human wisdom in renewing the soul itself, ing in practice, but studies to be “full of mercy sadly demonstrated by the striking spectacle of and of good fruits.” He is not content with
possess its highest attainments, rushing avoiding whatever would be offensive to his into the same madness of folly, and falling into Maker, hurtful to his neighbour, or injurious to the same depths of vice, as the most ignorant and his own best interests; he strives, farther, to do stupid of their race. How little is the worth of what may be pleasing in the sight of God, profitthat wisdom which makes a man wise for others, able to man, purifying to his own spirit. This wisbut not wise for himself; wise towards men, but dom cometh, as we are repeatedly taught, not only not wise towards God; wise for this world, but a that we may be “ purified unto God,” but be also fool for the next; wise for the lowest, but a fool “ zealous of good works ;” not only that we should for the highest of his concerns ! But it is at once be “ blameless and harmless,” but also “ shine as the great excellence and good effect of the wisdom lights” “ in the world;" not only that, by “ namhere mentioned, that it directs our manner of life ing the name of Christ, we should depart from now, so as to prepare us for a better life to iniquity,” but also that, by faithfully discharging come.
every duty, we should “ adorn his doctrine in all This is the truest wisdom and most useful know- things.” Thus the apostle prays for the Colosledge. “ The fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, sians, that they “ might be filled with this knowand to depart from evil, that is understanding.” ledge in all wisdom and spiritual understanding, Thus, to depart from evil is the natural fruit of that they might walk worthy of the Lord unto all such wisdom, wherever it dwells. “ When wis- pleasing, being fruitful in every good work." This dom entereth into thine heart, and knowledge is is always the character of heavenly wisdom, the depleasant to thy soul,”—“ discretion shall preserve sign for which it is bestowed, the effect which it thee, understanding shall keep thee, to deliver thee is fitted to produce, the effect which it will, more from the way of the evil man.”
or less, produce upon every one who is guided by Who, then, is a wise man, and endowed with its light. Not only will it lead you to shun evil, knowledge, among you—who among you professes but also to do good; and whenever it is not the to put any value on this wisdom, or to cherish any aim of any one to follow both these objects, then, portion of it in his heart ? Let him shew, that he unquestionably, he shews himself deficient in true wishes to follow a good conversation, or manner of wisdom and Christian knowledge. You may see life. You are well assured, that the calling, with a certain degree of these duties in different perwhich you are called in the Gospel of Christ, is a sons, but it is their union in the same soul which “ holy calling," and that the wisdom which cometh distinguishes the wise man. You may see an indown from above is first pure-pure in its whole | dividual doing good works which are useful, genecharacter and influence. For this end it correth rous, charitable; and you may be ready to say,
“this is a wise man and endowed with knowledge.” | tures of “the wisdom from above," that it is But when you look again, you see in him a con- “gentle, and easy to be intreated ;” and it is the Tersation that is not good, a manner of life which exhortation of Him “in whom dwelleth all the is disorderly and ungodly, and you are compelled treasures of wisdom and knowledge,” “ Learn of to feel that true wisdom dwells not in his heart
, me, for I am meek and lowly in heart.” Always, that his wisdom, as saith the apostle, is “ sensual, then, must you keep in mind this essential mark and not that which cometh from above;" that his of true wisdom, which is so very apt to be overworks, therefore, must proceed from some lower looked. You may, at times, see an individual, principle, some lower view, some lower impulse, whose manner of life is good, and who is active than what the knowledge of God would have in- also in good works ; zealous for God, and not spired, and that, though the things themselves unfriendly towards men ; and you may be ready that he does are good, yet he is not good who to say with confidence, this is a “ wise man, and does them. Again, you may see an individual
, endowed with knowledge.” But you look again, wbose manner of life is good, quiet, orderly, in- and you discern few tokens of meekness and huoffensive, and you may be ready to say, with the mility, but rather many symptoms of " strife and gladness of Christian charity, here is “ a wise man vain glory," of bitterness and envying, of perverse and endowed with knowledge;" but when you passion, and spiritual pride. You behold, with look again, you see in him no readiness to shew sad regret, that wisdom is not there, and that good works; no desire to find out something for amidst all the doings of zeal for God, or benevothe honour of God or the good of man; no great lence towards man, there mingle other sentiments willingness to do such things, even when present than what the knowledge of God should inspire. ed to his mind and placed within his power ; no- “ Who then is a wise man, and endowed with thing in short of that benevolent alacrity, “ by knowledge, among you ?” Let him not only shew love to serve another," which distinguishes the a good manner of life, and such good works as true disciple; nothing but selfish considerations become the Gospel of Christ, but farther, let him always uppermost
, minding only his own ease and study to do all these things in the spirit of the seeking only his own profit. You see with sor- Gospel, and after the example of the Lord. Let tow that wisdom is not there ; that the mind has him study to be gentle, “ shewing meekness tonot yet been enlightened, nor the heart warmed wards all men,” and “ remembering always what by its hearenly beams; that the wisdom which manner of spirit you should be of.” Such a spirit such a one appeared to have is earthly, and not is not only a duty in itself, a part of the Christian that which cometh from above ; and that all his character, but is in a manner the appropriate dress sobriety, decency, and regularity of life, must, in which every heavenly grace and good work therefore, flow from some other considerations should be arrayed. Thus, you are exhorted to than what the knowledge of God would have in- associate this meekness with every form of wellspired. Who then is a wise man and endowed doing ; to walk worthy of the vocation wherewith with knowledge among you ? let him shew not ye are called with all lowliness and meekness ; to only a good conversation," or manner of life, « hear with meekness the ingrafted word;" to give but also out of that conversation or manner of a reason “ of the hope that is in you with meeklife, as its natural accompaniment, let him bring ness ;” to “restore one who is overtaken in a forth, as he may find the ability and opportunity, fault in the spirit of meekness ;” in “ meekness, “ his works” of righteousness and mercy. Let to instruct those that oppose themselves.” This him never forget “to do good and to communi- is the way in which you are to shew or exercise cate," knowing that “with such sacrifices God is your wisdom; and hence it is called “ the meekwell pleased.” Knowing this, let him “neither ness of wisdom,” that which belongs to it as a be berten nor unfruitful in the knowledge of the property, which becomes it as an ornament, which Lord." Let him remember the word of that hea- proceeds from it as an effect, which proves it to venly teacher, that “ hereby only do we know that be from above. we know him if we keep His commandments ;" Observe then, in one view, these features and and that “ he who loveth not his brother,” and fruits of heavenly wisdom, and be assured, that no soweth not that love by doing him good, “know- other deserves the name. It leads to a good coneth not God.”
versation or manner of life, to good works or III. It leads to “ meekness," or gentleness. fruits of righteousness, to a spirit of meekness or “ The meekness of wisdom,” that unassuming and Christian humility, as the Psalmist expresses
it in urottending deportment, which always becomes, one short sentence, “ to depart from evil, to do and ought always to attend, true wisdom and su- good, and to seek peace;" or, as it is more fully deperior knowledge. This expresses the temper and scribed by this apostle, as pure,
peacespirit in which all that is here recommended is to able, gentle
, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy be prosecuted and practised. You are to study to and of good fruits, without partiality, and without shew a good manner “ of life,” and to abound in hypocrisy.” Keep ever in view this its true chaall « good works;" but in all this, to guard against racter, that you may not be deceived by any counevery thing that could justly be accounted harsh, terfeit in its place. Be not indeed, severe towards censorious, overbearing, or intolerant towards others, or desponding in spirit, because, both in others. It is one of the most distinguishing fea-them and in yourselves, this wisdom may bear
ON THE ORIGIN AND LANGUAGE OF THE EARLIEST
their nations." Gen. X. 20.
about it, at the best, many marks of human infir- which they were to regulate their civil polity; and it mity. But though far from having fully attained is evident, that nothing can give such prevalence and or farcying yourselves perfect, see that you cor
permanence to language, as to make it the vehicle by dially approve this its true character, that you religion performed.
which the laws are administered, and the services of diligently seek it more and more in its purity, that But though the Hebrew was thus preserved in pecuyou humbly follow it as your true glory to the liar purity among the Jews, we shall commit a great end. “ If any man lack this wisdom, let him mistake in imagining that it was peculiar to the Hebrew ask of God, who giveth to all men liberally, and nation. It was the language of the Babylonians, of upbraideth not, and it shall be given him.” If the Medes and Persians, of the subjects of the great any man have this wisdom in any measure, let King Ahasuerus, who reigned over a hundred and twenhim shew it in its true features, and by its blessed it was the language of Arabia, of Syria, of Phænicia, of
ty-seven provinces, from India, even unto Ethiopia. fruits, as here described. And let him thus shew Egypt, and of Carthage. These assertions must be it, not for the praise of men, but for the good of supported by proofs, and it will not be difficult to furmen ; not in the spirit of strife, but in all meek-nish them. ness ; not as his merit before God, but as giving
Every reader of Scripture is familiar with the his. glory to God, the great father of lights, and tory of the Jewish captivity, when Jerusalem was taken,
its temple destroyed, and its inhabitants carried captive growing in the likeness of Him, “ in whom are
to Babylon, where the race continued for seventy years, hidden all the treasures of wisdom and know- when they were re-established in their own country by ledge,” and who alone must be made to us of the order of Cyrus. God, “ wisdom and righteousness, and sanctifica
Now, the language of Babylon, during this period, tion, and redemption." Amen.
was Chaldee, which differs from the Hebrew not more
than the Doric or Ionic dialects differ from the parent
Greek. A considerable part of the books of Daniel and
Ezra, who were themselves among the captives at Baby.
whatever to a Hebrew scholar; and these are the only
genuine specimens that remain of the language of the Minister of the East Church, Perth.
mighty Babylonish empire. We may perceive, then,
that the Hebrew, which is identical with the Chaldee, “ After their families, after their tongues, in their countries, and in
though the least intluential of all languages, on the liMANY authors have written on the connection between terature of Europe, was nevertheless the language of Sacred and Profane History, and most of them seem one of the greatest empires whose names stand on the delighted when they can discover a coincidence, as if records of history. the Sacred Scriptures needed the support of heathen But the Hebrew language did not merely extend to authority. The heathen authors scarcely pretend even the borders of India, it extended as far westward as the to guess at the origin of nations, but content themselves Pillars of Hercules ; always, however, keeping clear of with recording a few puerile fables, and unauthorized Europe. Let us trace its vestiges over this extensive traditions. The Scriptures, on the other hand, state a The language of Syria, which bordered on the few naked facts, which, scanty as they are, gather Babylonian, Median, and Persian empires on the west, strength with extending knowledge, and throw light was the same as the Chaldee, which we have seen to be on the history of the world, and on the ways of Provi- a dialect of the Hebrew. Of this we have ample oppordence. In the remarks which I am now to make, I tunities of judging, as there is a version of the Scripdo not intend to adduce heathen authority in support of tures into Syriac, which though it may be considered as Scripture, but to shew that the Scriptures explain many modern when compared with the fragments in Daniel and facts well known in profane history, for which heathen Ezra, is nevertheless sufficient to satisfy us that it is subauthors have never attempted to account.
stantially the same as the ancient Chaldee, and both of I propose, then, in the first place, to shew that the them, of course, in the closest affinity with the Hebrew. Hebrew language was more extensively diffused than But this is not all; the language of the vast peninany other ever spoken by man ; and secondly, to ac- sula of Arabia, comprehending in ancient times many count for this on Scripture authority.
powerful states and kingdoms, is to this day substanAlmost every body knows, that Hebrew was the tially Hebrew. The Arabic is undoubtedly one of the language of Palestine, the vernacular tongue of the oldest spoken languages, I would be inclined to say, that Jews, and it is embalmed and consecrated in the Old it is absolutely the oldest spoken language-on the face of Testament Scriptures. From particular circumstances, the earth. But this most ancient and venerable lanit was preserved in its greatest purity among the Jews. guage is so thoroughly impregnated with Hebrew, that We have an account of the interesting circumstances, Parkhurst, the Hebrew lexicographer, has declared that which carried the father of the tribes of Israel, with his the Arabic of the Alcoran is nothing but a compound of whole family and dependents, into the land of Egypt, the different dialects of the Hebrew. where his descendants continued between two and three The Canaanites, the original occupants of Palestine, hundred years.
Their mother tongue, during all this and the Phænicians, who spread along the eastern martime, was preserved from fluctuation and innovation, gin of the Mediterranean, used the same language as the by their distinct separation from the Egyptians, as they Jews ; this is apparent from the history of Abraham and had a particular district allotted to them, where they of his grandson Jacob, who sojourned for many years in followed the pastoral occupation of their ancestors, an the midst of these people, conversing freely with them, employment despised by the Egyptians. After their and migrating from place to place without any fixed deliverance from Egypt, they remained for forty years local habitation, and without any interruption from difin the wilderness of Arabia, unmixed with the sur- ference of tongues. But I have said, that the Hebrew rounding nations, with whom they were in constant language extended, on the African side, as far as the hostility. During this period, a sacredness and stabi- Pillars of Hercules or Straits of Gibraltar. We find it, lity were given to their language, by the writings of indeed, existing there at this day in a corrupted state, Moses, containing not only the religious ordinances in the language of the Moors, which is chiefly Arabic: which they were to observe, but the municipal laws by But it belonged in ancient times to a much more im.
portant, and more powerful people, who were the foun- | delightful spot on which they had pitched as their perders of Carthage, the rivals of Rome, and who fell in manent residence was not to be relinquished; and it is the death-struggle with that state, for the dominion of probable that the party which remained there was comthe Mediterranean, which would necessarily give to posed of those who spoke what had been the common those who possessed it the supremacy among the nations language of the human race, up to the time of the enterof the world; for it is girdled by the finest and most prise at Babel. fertile countries of Europe, Asia, and Africa, which At all events, we are sure that Hebrew was the lanmust all have been at the mercy of the state which held guage spoken by Abraham, who was a native of Chalthe sceptre of the sea.
dea, and distinguished by the epithet of the Hebrew. There are, indeed, no remains of Carthaginian litera- He was the lineal descendant of Shem, one of the sons ture to attest the language which was used by this peo- of Noah, and lived for a considerable time as his conple; but we have from other sources undoubted evi- temporary. It is likely, therefore, that Abraham spoke dence that the language of Carthage was a dialect of the the language of Shem; and we may be sure that Shem Hebrew: for the proper names of persons and places, spoke the language of his father Noah, and that Noah mentioned by the classic authors, are all of Hebrew spoke the language of the Antediluvians, as it had deongin. Thus, the names Hamilcar, Hannibal, Asdrubal, scended from Adam. Maberbal, &c. are pure Hebrew compounds, and convey But leaving these arguments for the primeval origin to every Hebrew scholar a distinct signification. And of the Hebrew language, let us endeavour to account what puts this matter beyond a doubt, is the circum- for its prevalence over such extensive regions of the stance of Plautus, the oldest comic writer of Rome, earth. We need not be surprised, then, that the Jews having introduced into one of his plays a sentence ut- and Babylonians should speak the same language, when tered by a Carthaginian slave, which the learned always we find that Abraham, the father and founder of the regarded as unmeaning gibberish, to ridicule a barbarous Jewish nation, was a native of Ur of the Chaldees in tongue, till Boebart sbewed that it was a distinct dia- the land of Babylon, and that he dwelt in Mesopotamia, lect of the Hebrew, and had a precise and appropriate the most fertile district of the Babylonian empire, till meaning
he was called to leave his kindred and his father's house, Thus have I endeavoured to trace the existence and and go in search of the inheritance which God had proprevalence of the Hebrew tongue, in one form or an- mised, not to him but to his offspring. His children other, from the western boundaries of India, to the and their descendants, therefore, spoke the language of western limits of the Mediterranean. I believe it may Chaldea, or Babylon, which was, in fact, the cradle of appear strange to some, that a language now so little their race, though it afterwards proved a step-mother known should have had such an extensive influence in and oppressor. It was 400 years before the Israelites ancient times; and it shall now be my business to ac- were fully established in the land promised to their count for this state of things. The most obvious solus fathers, which they were compelled to seize by force of tion would appear to be, that all who spoke the same arms, and were expressly commanded to root out its language must have proceeded from the same stock, and idolatrous inhabitants. Yet the people whose country must bave spread, in colonizing migrations, over the ex- they invaded, spoke essentially the same language with tensive territories which have been mentioned, carrying themselves, though they were from a different stock. their language and their customs along with them.- No record in the world but one could throw any light Though we may be pretty sure that this conjecture is on these circumstances. But in the 10th chapter of not far from the truth, yet it is desirable that it should Genesis, we are told that all the different branches of be confirmed by unsuspected evidence, and by facts the Canaanites who had taken possession of the land of which may throw some light on the history of nations, Palestine, were the descendants of Canaan, the son of and on the rise or decline of different states.
Ham, the son of Noah; whilst the Israelites were the And it fortunately happens, that in regard to all the lineal descendants of Shem, the brother of Ham. And cies which I have mentioned, we have evidence, as Shem and Ham undoubtedly spoke the language amounting to demonstration, for a solution of all the which they had learned from their father Noah, they as farts which I have adduced : though I must notice one undoubtedly transmitted this language to their respective obvious difficulty which presents itself in all inquiries of descendants, although this was the only link between this kind; I mean, the confusion of tongues which took them, their feelings being placed in determined and irplace at Babel ; from which it is inferred, that it must reconcilable hostility. be impossible to trace the original language of mankind. On the same principle, and on the same authority, It is not essential to my argument to prove that the He- we can account for the Phænicians, or Sidonians, speakbrew is the original language of mankind, though there ing the same language with the Jews and the Canaanare very strong presumptions in favour of this opinion. ites, as they are the descendants of Sidon, the son of And there is no necessity for supposing that the confu- Canaan, and grandson of Ham, from whom they named son produced at Babel was permanent : the object of their principal city Sidon, and were themselves first the miracle was the dispersion of mankind, that they known among other nations by the name of Sidonians. might fulfil the purpose for which they were created, Nothing could be more natural, than that the descenwhich was to replenish the earth and subdue it : but this dants of two brothers should speak the language comthey had determined not to do: and having found what mon to their fathers ; though in the case of their dethey reckoned an eligible situation, they said, “ Let us scendants, this language might be a little varied by local build us a city and a tower-lest we be scattered abroad or accidental circumstances. upon the face of the whole earth.” Nothing could defeat Having seen that the Babylonians, Canaanites, Jews, this conspiracy against the purposes of Heaven more ef- and Phænicians spoke substantially the same language ; fertually than the confusion of tongues.
As this was
and having shewn from the sacred record how easily etiected by a miracle, it would be worse than absurd to this may be accounted for, we can have no difficulty in attempt an explanation of it; a miracle which can be explaining how the Carthaginians, an atflicted race, explained on any principle of natural causes is no miracle should speak a kindred tongue. This could be accountat all
, however extraordinary it may be in its appearancesed for even on heathen authority; for it is universally and results. But certainly, whatever diversities of lan- admitted, that Carthage was peopled by a colony of guage were introduced, there is no necessity for believ- Phænicians. The name Pæni, by which the Carthaing that the original language was abolished. Diversi- ginians are usually known, is a proof of this, it being ties sufficient to effect a complete dispersion, and relin- universally understood to be the same as Phani, which quishment of the undertaking were produced; but the is the same as Phenices.