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his ribs, from which he made woman, and the next week found them quite industrious and happy. You white people have Letter (Bible), which tells all about it. We much wish to read that Letter : some of us are learning to read and write."
Mr. W.-“ Would you wish a Missionary sent to instruct you ?”
1.-“We will learn first to read, and judge for ourselves ; for the Great Spirit, when he converses with us, will tell us whether it be all true, for of that we are not sure.”
When told that we believed in the Son of God as our Redeemer, they said, they hoped we would not be angry if they told what they thought.
Mr. W.-“ Surely not.”
1.—“ Though we have no written book, we store up everything very correctly, which is handed down from father to son. We only believe in one God; but never heard of his having a boy, and therefore can believe nothing about him.”
Mr. W.-“Do you pray to your God ?"
1.—“When we lie down at night, we always thank the Great Spirit for the mercies of the day; and when we awake in the morning, we thank him for the light of the sun. But, as with whites, so with us, many live in neglect of this duty.”
After confidence appeared mutual, the Indian said, “ Uncle, I ask you one question, Is the world round; and, if it be, can we travel round it?” (Here they all looked significantly at the interpreter, in evident anticipation of triumph; for the Quakers had given them a small globe, which the interpreter informed them was a representation of the earth.) With this subject their minds had been much discomposed ; and they put the question to the Ministers, that they might detect the friend in a falsehood.
Mr. Wood said it was round; and, to give them an idea of its size, asked him, “ How many miles can you travel in a day ?"
1.-“I once completed ninety miles.”
Mr. W.-“At that rate you would be three hundred and sixty days going round it.”
1. (laughing)—“I will not say we do not believe it. We know your knowledge is superior to ours, particularly in the arts. The Great Spirit told you to be rich; but told us to be poor, to hunt, and drink only water."
The Rev. George Marsden presented the Indian with a handsome red morocco Bible, which he promised to keep very carefully, and never part with, except to his sons; from whom he said it should descend to his grandsons, who should learn to read out of that very book.*
A number of tools, hammers, axes, and chisels, were then presented to them. As soon as they were laid on the floor, they took the axe, which they said should make a hole in the tree to get sugar; and so of the other tools they made their remarks, saying, they should, when they went back, build such houses as these were in London. Being asked how they buried
* Mr. Wesley, in his Journal, February 14th, 1736, says, " About one Tomo Chachi, his nephew Thleeanouhee, his wife Sanauky, with two more women, and two or three Indian children, came on board. Tomo Chachi spoke as follows :'I am glad you are come. When I was in England I desired that some would speak the great word to me ; and my nation then desired to hear it; but now we are all in confusion. Yet I am glad you are come. I will go up and speak to the wise men of our nation ; and I hope they will hear.” ” (Wesley's Works, vol. i., p. 25. Third edit.)
their dead, they said, they used to bury them upright, but now lying down, at the depth of two or three feet.
Here the conversation ended, and the Indians withdrew.
No. XXII.-THE SHOWER OF STONES.
“And it came to pass, as they fled from before Israel, and were in the going down
to Beth-horon, that the Lord cast down great stories from heaven upon them urto Azekah, and they died : they were more which died with hailstones than they whom the children of Israel slew with the sword.”—Joshua x. 11.
It is very doubtful whether a shower of hailstones, or of bodies actually stony, or at least mineral, is here intended. The text literally rendered is, “ And Jehovah caused great stones to fall (or to be cast down] upon them, and many more died by the hailstones than by the sword.” This would be clear enough were it not that the word rendered hail, in its proper bearing and connexion here, seems less to state that the stones were actually hailstones, than to express the vast quantity, the force, and execution of the stony shower; and the expression of flying, or falling, as thick as hail, is common in all ancient languages, and is retained in most of the modern. On this ground many interpreters, especially of late years, have been disposed to consider a shower of stones as the most obvious and natural explanation. This question has been argued without any wish to magnify or diminish the prodigy. That is nearly the same either way : for hailstones capable of killing men, are about as rare as showers of stone, while the latter are more capable, when they do occur, of producing serious effects. That the shower was timed so opportunely, and that it did not fall on the Israelites, but only on their enemies, are circumstances sufficient to refer the phenomenon to its true source, whether it were of stones or of hail. Either way, however, there is no doubt that a natural agency was employed. It was the time and the application that constituted the supernatural interposition. A shower of stones is as natural as a shower of hail, but it is certainly of far less frequent occurrence.
Several instances of such showers, some of them extensively fatal to life, have been recorded by the most credible ancient historians, and some have occurred to modern observation. The countries in which the recorded instances have occurred the most frequently are Italy, Greece, and Asia Minor. The fact of such showers is now no longer doubted by any scientific man, although they account for them rather differently. So lately as 1803, and so near as L'Aigle in Normandy, there was a fall of several stones, weighing from ten to seventeen pounds each. · However remote the places in which they fall, these inineral bodies are always found to be distinguished by one remarkable similarity ; namely, their containing an alloy of iron and nickel, generally with twenty-five of the former to six or eight of the latter.
Yet that hailstones might be an adequate second cause of the described effect, is proved by numerous examples of old and modern date. Such have indeed occurred in our own island. Dr. Halley describes two remarkable falls of hail which occurred in April and May, 1697. The latter was the most extraordinary. It occurred in Hertfordshire after a storm of thunder and lightning. Several persons were killed by the hail, their bodies being beaten black and blue : vast oaks were split by it, and fields of rye cut down as with a scythe. The stones measured form ten to thirteen or fourteen inches in circumference. Their figures were various, some angular, some oval, some flat. (Philosophical Transactions, No. 229.) In the remarkable hail-fall described by Dr. Neill, (Edin. Philos. Trans., vol. ix.,) which occurred during a thunder-storm in the Orkneys, July 24th, 1818, mingled with ordinary hail were enormous masses of ice, some as large as the egg of a goose, whereby animals were killed, and several persons wounded. An enormous hailstone is recorded to have fallen, among other large masses, at Handsworth House, near Birmingham, during a thunder-storm in July, 1811. It consisted of a cuboidal mass, six and a half inches in diameter, and resembled a congeries of frozen balls, about the size of walnuts. (Traill's Physical Geography, p. 192.)
One of the most striking recent illustrations of hailstones capable of producing such effects as are here indicated, occurred in the summer of 1831, at Constantinople, and is thus described by Commodore Porter, at that time the American Envoy at the Porte : “We had got perhaps a mile and a half on our way (down the Bosphorus), when a cloud rising in the west gave indication of an approaching rain. In a few minutes we discovered something falling from the heavens with a heavy splash, and of a whitish appearance. I could not conceive what it was, but observing some gulls near, I supposed it to be them darting for fish ; but soon after discovered that they were large balls of ice falling. Immediately we heard a sound like rumbling thunder, or ten thousand carriages rolling furiously over the pavement. The whole Bosphorus was in a foam, as though heaven's artillery had been discharged upon us and our frail machine. Our fate seemed inevitable; our umbrellas were raised to protect us, the lumps of ice stripped them into ribands. We fortunately had a bullock's hide in the boat, under which we crawled, and saved ourselves from further injury. One man of the three oarsmen had his hand literally smashed; another much injured in the shoulder, and all more or less injured. A smaller kaick accompanied with my two servants. They were both disabled, and are now in bed with their wounds : the kaick was terribly bruised. It was the most awful and terrific scene that I ever witnessed ; and God forbid that I should ever be exposed to such another. Balls of ice as large as my two fists fell into the boat; and some of them came with such violence as certainly to have broken an arm or leg, had they struck us in those parts.
One of them hit the blade of an oar, and split it. lasted, may be, five minutes; but it was five minutes of the most awful feeling that I ever experienced. When it passed over, we found the surrounding hills covered with masses of ice, I cannot call it hail; the trees stripped of their leaves and limbs, and everything looking desolate. We proceeded on our course, however, and arrived at our destination, drenched and awestruck. The ruin had not extended so far as Candalie, and it was difficult to make them comprehend the cause of the nervous and agitated condition in which we arrived. The Reis Effendi asked me if I was ever so agitated when in action. I answered, No; for then I had something to excite me, and only human means to oppose. He asked the Minister if he ever was so affected in a gale of wind at sea ? He answered, No; for then he could exercise his skill to disarm or render harmless the elements. He asked him why he should be so affected now? He replied, 'From the awful idea of being crushed to death by the hand of God, with stones from heaven, when resistance would be vain, and when it would be impious to be
VOL.III. FOURTH SERIES.
brave. He clasped his hands, raised his eyes to heaven, and exclaimed, God is great!'
“I returned to the beautiful village of Buyukdere. The sun was out in all its splendour; at a distance all looked smiling and charming; but a nearer approach discovered roofs covered with workmen repairing the broken tiles, desolated vineyards, and shattered windows. Two boatmen were killed in the upper part of the village, and I have heard of broken bones in abundance. Many of the thick brick tiles with which my roof is covered are smashed to atoms, and my house was inundated by the rain that succeeded this visitation. It is impossible to convey an idea of what it was. Imagine to yourself, however, the heavens suddenly frozen over, and as suddenly broken to pieces in irregular masses, of from half a pound to a pound weight, and precipitated to the earth. My own servants weighed several pieces of three quarters of a pound; and many were found by others of upwards of a pound. There were many which fell around the boat in which I was, that appeared to me to be as large as the swell of a large-sized water decanter.”—Pictorial Bible.
Sacred Annals : or, Researches into the History and Religion of Mankind.
Vol. I., The Patriarchal Age: or, the History and Religion of Mankind, from the Creation to the Death of Isaac: deduced from the Writings of Moses and other inspired Authors; and illustrated by copious References to the ancient Records, Traditions, and Mythology of the Heathen World. By George Smith, F.S.A., 8c., fc. London : Longman and Co. 1847. Crown 8vo., pp. xvi., 616.
To write history successfully, demands qualifications of the highest order, intellectual and moral. " A perfect historian must possess an imagination sufficiently powerful to make his narrative affecting and picturesque : yet he must control it so absolutely as to content himself with the materials which he finds, and to refrain from supplying deficiencies by additions of
He must be a profound and ingenious reasoner : yet he must possess sufficient self-command to abstain from casting his facts in the mould of his hypothesis.” Few historical works will abide the test which is furnished in these just observations. Their authors either yield to the impulses of an uncontrolled imagination, and so present us with little more than a work of fiction ; or they allow themselves to be absorbed in abstract speculations, and so produce little less than a philosophical essay. Each of these extremes is to be avoided by a writer of history ; his path lies between them; and he only who steers this middle course, may expect to attain the rare intellectual distinction of a truly great historian. In the earlier attempts to write history the fault lay in the former extreme : in the more modern productions of historical literature, the theoretical and philosophic bias prevails, and the works consequently lose those vivid descriptions of character, and that disposition and arrangement of events, which would invest truth with those charms and attractions that have been usurped by fiction. This is hardly the occasion for presenting a literary sketch of history, from the time when Herodotus sought“ to rescue from oblivion the memory of former incidents," to the present : such a subject would be too extensive in its range, and too general in its character, for our purpose. We are not without hope, however, that an opportunity will soon be afforded of resuming a subject the discussion of which would be no less agreeable to ourselves, than interesting and instructive to our readers.
The great fault of many historical works is, that the authors have undertaken and performed their task under the influence of some particular bias. A favourite theory, political, philosophical, or religious, as the case may be, has been supported, even at the cost of honesty and truth. When facts opposing this theory have presented themselves, they have been either artfully concealed or ingeniously distorted; while others which seemed to favour it have been magnified into such importance as to lose the very semblance of their reality. This is the chief defect of Hume; in which respect Gibbon is also culpable, and has richly deserved the severest of those censures which have been pronounced upon his “Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.” Other historical works may be found, less pernicious in their character and more restricted in their influence, which yet are open to the same exception. In them facts have been strained or curtailed to suit particular principles ; whereas to deduce principles from facts ought to be the main concern of the historian.
The chief difficulty to be encountered by those who write concerning remote ages, lies in the scantiness of those materials which are necessary to the formation of an authentic and consecutive narrative, and the comparatively conjectural and unsubstantial basis on which most of the records of antiquity are found to depend. The writings of Moses form the chief exception to this remark. They certainly contain a genuine account of what transpired in the early ages of the world ; sufficiently extensive, it is true, for the purposes contemplated by Him from whom their inspiration proceeded, yet displaying the character of a rapid sketch than that of a comprehensive history. Most of the profane records of remote times are derived from tradition, and are consequently involved in much that is fabulous and romantic. The writer, therefore, who would trace the operation of events as they occurred among the fathers of our race, and who would mark the various steps of their intellectual or religious progress in any age prior to that of Herodotus, and especially prior to the confederation of the descendants of Israel, must adopt the writings of Moses as the only foundation on which he can implicitly rely. These alone contain the elements of the early history of mankind. Whatever historical fragments may be brought to light, whatever illustrations may be furnished by ancient oriental literature and mythology, whatever traditionary knowledge may be discovered among modern nations, they must all be employed in bearing merely collateral evidence to the veracity of the inspired Jewish lawgiver. On no account ought his testimony to be set aside. We should demand this deference from an infidel, on the ground of the superior antiquity, authenticity, and manifest honesty of the writings of Moses. As a mere historian his authority is to be preferred before that of every other ancient writer. But it is as an inspired author that we give him the pre-eminence : it is this which induces us to bow on all occasions to his testimony, and to reject either as mutilated or spurious every statement which opposes it. We are persuaded that no consistent account of the early ages of the world can be written on other principles than these. Inspiration must be the guiding star of him who explores, and to deviate from its track would be to wander into the regions of uncertainty. Let us not, however, be misunderstood : we would not reject the light which modern scientific discoveries