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forced idolatrous worship.* This step gave stability to his throne, but made the breach between the two kingdoms irreparable. As a punishment for their idolatry, the ten tribes were subsequently conquered, and carried away captive by Shalmaneser, king of Assyria, and their desolate country was colonised by other people from "Babylon and from Cuthah, from Avah and from Hamath, and from Sepharvaim;"'t who, mingling with the scattered remnant of Israelites left in the land, were called " Samaritans," from their capital, which was Samaria. To this people the MS. under consideration belongs. By the early writers of the christian church it was often quoted as a document of scriptural authority; but afterwards, for a period of upwards of a thousand years, it appears to have fallen into disuse and oblivion, so that its existence began to be a matter of considerable doubt. This uncertainty, however, was not of long continuance, for about the middle of the fifteenth century Joseph Scaliger, one of the most erudite men of his day, succeeded in exciting amongst learned men a deep interest in the question of its existence, and at length Nicolas Pirese, a scholar of Provence, obtained a copy of the long-lost document in Egypt. This unfortunately never reached its destination, as the ship in which it was being conveyed was attacked and captured by pirates; but the loss was soon compensated by the good fortune of the celebrated chronologist Usher, who succeeded in procuring six copies from the East. Other parties also were successful in their efforts to obtain it. In the year 1823, Pliny Fisk, an American missionary, visited the Samari. tans, and, after encouatering considerable difficulty, was favoured with a sight of their own copy of the MS., which was enclosed in a brass case, and preserved with the utmost veneration.
Since its discovery much has been writ. ten, and conflicting opinions have been held respecting its antiquity, authority, and internal character. In referring to the last-mentioned topic, it may be frankly ad. mitted that its variations from the Hebrew are numerous; but these are chiefly orthographical, and do not affect the substantial agreement of the two. One of the most
plausible opinions respecting its origin and age, is that which dates them to a period subsequent to the time of Ezra, ascribing its authorship to Manasseh, the son-in-law of Sanballat, governor of Samaria. This person was an apostate Jewish high priest, and was distinguished as the builder of the rival temple on mount Gerizim, and as the first who exercised within it the sacerdotal functions. But the view adopted by Kenicott, Stuart, Davidson, and others, appears the best sustained and the most probable, which is, that it descended, like the Hebrer Pentateuch, directly from the autograph of Moses in the line of Israel. It is extremely unlikely that the rempant of the people left in the land by Shalmaneser would be destitute of a copy of the law, and it is still more improbable that the priest who was sent by the king of Assyria for the special purpose of instructing the people, and of thus averting the supposed anger of God, when the country was infested with lions, should have been without one. It is brought against them as a grave charge, that they did not act according to the “lar and commandment ”g of the Lord, which implies their previous acquaintance with the Scriptures. The fact, that the doctment contains only the five books of Moses, corroborates this view, for the national 20tipathy which they cherished towards the house of David, would naturally lead theme to reject the Psalms of that monarch, 25 well as the writings of his son; and, indeed, the same cause, as well as others, wou operate to the exclusion of the rest of the Jewish scriptures. At the time of the separation of the two kingdoms of Judah and Israel, the five books of Moses contained the code of their civil and religious polity, while the books of Joshua md Judges, which we are told they possess, were historical records, and to these the prejudice of the Israelites would allow no other Jewish writings to be added. We are constrained, therefore, to regard the record as flowing originally from the same inspired source as the Hebrew Bible. ILE language in which it is composed is con sidered to be the pure ancient Hebrew, the principal proof of which being the fact that the inscriptions on the Jewish colo prior to the captivity, are not in the present
# 1 Kings xii. 26–29.
+ 2 Kings xvii. 24. + Their number las dwindled down to between twenty and thirty families. They say their MS. written by Abishua, the great-grandson of Aaron (1 Chrou. vi. 4). Besides the Pentate uch thes Joshua and Judges.
& 2 Kings xvii. 34.
Hebrew but in the Samaritan character, i a stretch of vicious credulity it requires to thus shewing that the ancient language of believe that Jews and Samaritans, whose the Jews was the Samaritan.
mutual hatred was proverbial, became part- In bringing to a close our notice of the ners in collusion, and made a covenant with Hebrew MSS., and the Samaritan Penta each other to palm upon the world a forgery! teuch, we deduce from both
Such a supposition has no parallel in the hisAN ARGUMENT
tory of intellectual aberrations and absurd in favour of the antiquity and Divine au beliefs! In your present Bible, christian, thority of the five books of Moses. Here you possess authentic and truthful records, we have the same sacred books differing uncorrupted in their general contents, in their minutiæ only, but agreeing in sub which have descended from a period of stance, preserved most religiously by two antiquity nearly four thousand years redifferent nations, at perpetual variance with mote,-a period at which profane history each other.* What clearer evidence can is silent,--a period anterior to that in which be required by any reasonable man, of the Homer sung, or Thales speculated, or cincorruptedness and truth of both ? What | Sanchoniathon wrote.
Cales and Sketches.
THE HEROIC BOY.
A PAGE FOR PARENTS. A few years ago, a friend of mine buried his eldest son, a fine manly little fellow of some eight years of age, who had never, he said, known a day's illness, until that which finally removed him hence to be here no more. His death occurred under circumstances peculiarly painful to his parents, A younger brother, a delicate, sickly child from its birth, the next in age to him, had been down, for nearly a fortnight, with an epidemic fever. in consequence of the nature of the disease, every precaution had been adopted that prudence suggested to guard the other members of the family against it. But of this one, the father's eldest, he said he had little to fear, so rugged was he, and so generally bealthy. Still, however, he kept a vigilant eye upon him, and especially forbade his going into the pools ånd docks near his school, which it was his custom sometimes to visit; for he was but a boy, and “boys will be boys," and we ought more frequently to think that it is their nature to be. Of all unnatural things, a reproach almost to childish frankness and innocence, save me from a “boy. man!” But to the story.
One evening this unhappy father came home, wearied with a long day's hard labour, and vexed at some little disappointment which had soured his naturally kind
disposition, and rendered him peculiarly susceptible to the smallest annoyance. While he was sitting by the fire in this unhappy mood of mind, his wife entered the apartment, and said:
“Henry has just come in, and he is a perfect fright; he is covered from head to foot with dock mud, and is as wet as a drowned rat.”
“Where is he?" asked the father, sternly.
“He is shivering over the kitchen fire. He was afraid to come up here, when the girl told him you had come home.”
"Tell Jane to tell him to come here this instant," was the brief reply to this information.
Presently the poor boy entered, half perished with affright and cold. His father glanced at his sad plight, reproached him bitterly with his disobedience, spoke of the punishment which awaited him in the morning as the penalty for his offence, and, in a harsh voice, concluded with-“Now, sir, go to your bed !"
“But, father," said the little fellow, “ I want to tell you "
“ Not a word, sir; go to bed!”
With a peremptory stamp, an imperative wave of his hand towards the door, and a frown upon his brow, did that father, without other speech, again close the door of explanation or expostulation.
* The force of the argument is not weakened by the admission of a later origin of the Samaritan Pentateach. See “Havernick's Iutroduction," &c. (Clarke's Foreign Theological Library), pp. 431-7.
When his boy had gone supperless and 1 and the wild tossing of the fevered limbs, sad to his bed, the father sat restless and which lasted until death came to his relief. uneasy while supper was being prepared; Two days afterwards the undertaker came and, at tea-table, ate but little. His wife with the little coffin, and his son, a playsaw the real cause, or the additional cause,
mate of the deceased boy, bringing the low of his emotion, and interposed the re stools on which it was to stand in the entrymark,
hall. "I think, my dear, you ought at least to
“I was with Henry," said the lad, “when have heard what Henry had to say. My he got into the water. We were playing heart ached for him when he turned away, down at the Long Wharf, -Henry, and with his eyes full of tears. Henry is a good Charles Munford, and I; and the tide wasboy, after all, if he does sometimes do
out very low; and there was a beam run wrong. He is a tender-hearted, affection
out from the wharf; and Charles got out. ate boy. He always was.”
on it to get a fish-line and hook that hung And therewithal the water stood in the
over where the water was deep; and the eyes of that forgiving mother, even as it first thing we saw, he had slipped off, and stood in the eyes of Mercy, in the house
was struggling in the water! Henry threw of the Interpreter," as recorded by Bunyan. off his cap and jumped clear from the
After tea, the evening paper was taken wharf into the water, and, after a great up; but there was no news, and nothing of deal of hard work, got Charles out; and interest, for that father in the journal of they waded up through the mud to where that evening. He sat for some time in an the wharf was not so wet and slippery; and evidently painful reverie, and then rose and then I helped them to climb up the side. repaired to his bed-chamber. As he passed Charles told Henry not to say anythiug the bed-room in which his little boy slept, about it, for, if he did, his father would he thought he would look in upon him be never let him go near the water again. fore retiring to rest. He crept to his low Henry was very sorry; and all the way cot and bent over him. A big tear had going home, he kept saying—'What will stolen down the boy's cheek, and rested father say when he sees me to night ? I upon it; but he was sleeping calmly and wish we had not gone to the wharf!'" sweetly. The father deeply regretted his “Dear, brave boy !" exclaimed the beharshness as he gazed upon his son; he felt reaved father ; " and this was the explanaalso the "sense of duty;" yet in the night, tion which I cruelly refused to hear !” and talking the matter over with the lad's hot and bitter tears rolled down his cheeks. mother, he resolved and promised, instead Yes, that stern father now learned, and of punishing, as he had threatened, to make for the first time, that what he had treated amends to the boy's aggrieved spirit in the
with unwonted severity as a fault, was but morning, for the manner in which he had the impulse of a generous nature, which, repelled all explanation of his offence.
forgetful of self, had hazarded life for anBut that morning never came to that
other. It was but the quick prompting of poor child in health. He awoke next morn that manly spirit which he himself had aling with a raging fever on his brain, and ways endeavoured to engraft upon his suswild with delirium. In forty-eight hours ceptible mind, and which, young as he was, he was in his shroud. He knew neither had manifested itself on more than one his father nor his mother, when they were occasion. first called to his bed-side, nor at any mo
Let me close this story in the very words ment afterward. Waiting, watching for of that father, and let the lesson sink deep one token of recognition, hour after hour, into the heart of every parent who shall in speechless agony, did that unhappy peruse this sketch :father spend over the couch of his dying “Every thing that I see, that ever beson. Once, indeed, he thought he saw a longed to him, reminds me of my lost smile of recognition light up his dying eye, boy. Yesterday, I found some rude penciland he leaned eagerly forward, for he would sketches which it was his delight to make have given worlds to have whispered for the amusement of his younger brother. one kind word in his ear, and have been To day, in rummaging an old closet, I came answered; but that gleam of apparent in across his boots, still covered with docktelligence passed quickly away, and was mud, as when he last wore them. You succeeded by the cold, unmeaning glare, 1 may think it strange, but that which is
usually so unsightly an object, is now 'most, precious to me.' And every morning and evening, I pass the ground where my son's voice rang the merriest among his playmates.
“All these things speak to me vividly of his active life; but I cannot-though I have often tried—I cannot recall any other expression of the dear boy's face than that mute mournful one with which he turned from me on the night I so harshly repulsed him. Then my heart bleeds afresh!
“Oh, how careful should we all be that, in our daily conduct towards those little beings sent us by a kind Providence, we are not laying up for ourselves the sources of many a future bitter tear! How cautious that, neither by inconsiderate nor cruel word or look, we unjustly grieve their generous feeling! And how guardedly ought we to weigh every action against its motive, lest, in a moment of excitement, we he led to mete out to the venial errors of the heart the punishment due only to wilful crime!"
Should children read this story, let them, however, not suppose that it is any justification of the habit of perpetually excusing every fault. If a child be always ready to confess its real faults and to grieve for them, parents will gladly hear an excuse when there is one.
set apart additional seasons for special prayer on his behalf: till at length her strength and spirits were so exhausted with the continual excitement, that she almost felt as if she must give up the effort. She had already resigned four dear children into tbe arms of death, in the full assurance that they had gone to be with Christ, which was far better than remaining with their parents. But this one occupied her last waking thoughts at night, and her first in the morning; and respecting him, she could truly say, that she had “sorrow in her heart daily.” He still, however, attended the preaching of the gospel; and on one occasion sat by her side, while she listened with inexpressible emotions to a sermon on the final judgment, in which her minister warned the impenitent, that even their pious relations, who had wept and prayed for them, would acquiesce in their condemnation.
With a heavy heart the mother returned home, and as soon as she had taken off her bonnet, threw herself on her knees, and once more commended her beloved child to the mercy and grace of God. She says, “her prayer was more nearly allied to the expression of despair, than the exercise of faith."
On coming out of her room, she was greeted by a voice of unusual mildness, saying, “Mother, Mr. M- has preached the best sermon to-day that he ever did in his life.” She replied, “Ah, William, it is difficult to say which is a minister's best sermon; perhaps it is that our ears have been opened to hear differently.”
Nothing more passed at that time, but during the succeeding days, his behaviour was kind and pleasant. On the Saturday evening, he said, “I think we have had a happy week, mother; I hope Mr. Mwill have another good sermon to-morrow." What he heard on that Sabbath, however, did not call forth any particular remark. But on the Sabbath following a stranger preached, whose sermon was much blessed to William ; and from that time he began to speak freely to his mother on spiritual things, and to manifest a spirit of constant enquiry. To use her own expression, “she now found a son, and her daughter found a brother." They were so happy together, that she thought it was too much for earth, and would not last. He was remarkable for his regular attention to the duties of the closet. He was ultimately received into the church with great satisfaction; and
ENCOURAGEMENT TO PRAYING
MOTHERS. William — , was the only surviving son of a pious mother. He was a boy of good parts, but of an unpromising and untoward disposition. This occasioned much anxiety to his mother, even in his childhood; and, as may be readily imagined, her anxiety increased with his growing years.
Having finished his education, he came to reside at home, and was soon after apprenticed to a respectable profession. Now the mother's trial became greater than ever. He paid little or no respect to her, and showed a particular aversion to everything like serious religion. The death of two sisters was fresh in his recollection, and yet he behaved most unkindly to the only one who survived. His conduct to his master and to his fellow-apprentices was equally unamiable, and even profane swearing was his daily practice. At this time his mother hardly ever durst address an, admonition to him, prayer was almost her only hope and refuge. As one fault after another obtruded itself on her potice, she
twice his mother had the delight of sitting down with him at the Lord's table. Many a mother looked at them with a wistful eye, and wished such a privilege; but two days after the second of these hallowed occasions, his spirit was suddenly called to mingle in the worship of the upper sanctuary. * This hasty sketch is intended, like his own brief history, to teach christian mothers to “be patient in tribulation, and instant in prayer."
THE SCORNER'S REPLY. The striking incident related in the August number of “ The Church,”· The Bible in my Trunk,” brought to the remembrance of the writer a painful circumstance in his own eventful history, which is not without its moral. It says trumpet-tongued, “Oh, never deem thoughts, feelings, valueless, Which bear the balance of the heart to virtue's side."
It was my lot, when an apprentice, to have as a shop-mate a frivolous, vain, conceited, worldly young man. He had once been a professor of religion, but now he sat in the seat of the scorner. Poor fellow, he had cast off fear, and restrained prayer before God. I shall never forget the life I led with him the week before my baptism. After a time he was stricken with affliction:
we thought his sickness was unto death. Feeling that he was unfit to die, and dreading to have upon me my brother's blood, I felt it to be a solemn duty to warn him of his danger, and urge him to repent and believe the gospel. Never will his cutting retort be forgotten. "Ah," said be, "you have not done your duty as a christian." I responded, not being conscious of inconsistency, "To what do you refer?" He answered, “You have never prayed with me." I said, "he must be aware I did not live without prayer, and that I thought secret prayer should be offered in secret." He then said, “that on leaving a situation for one in London he had knelt down as usual for prayer, and such was the force of example, that all the young men in his room did likewise," He added, “suppose you had done so, or offered to pray with me, you might have been the means of saving my soul.”
My feelings are better imagined than described; I felt that opportunities of usefulness had been lost, lost for ever.
Doubtless many of my readers are situated where it requires no little moral courage to obey the behests of conscience; let them be admonished by this simple incident, as well as by the circumstance alluded to above, “Never to be afraid to do their duty."
THE SABBATH QUESTION.
To the Editors of." The Church.” : Dear Sirs,
Your correspondent, T. W. B., has put a string of queries on the Sabbath question, commencing with, “Is the day for which they” (a party before named) "seek to enforce such sanctity, the true Sabbath which God has commanded ?" I think there is a previous question thrust upon our notice by the agitations of the present time. The first enquiry should be, “ Is there a day which is the true Sabbath of God ?"
There are not a few in our day who, while they profess great reverence for the word of God, claim the liberty of dispensing with the Sabbath, under the plea that it is not binding upon them in this dispensation. And though your correspondent,
who furnished an article in your September number, would retain a day of worship on certain grounds specified, I think his views erroneous and unsafe.
Allow me to call the attention of your readers to a brief defence of a different view of the subject, in which, though I shall not directly meet that gentleman's arguments, I will try to set aside some of his conclusions.
I take the following position: God has required that A SBVENTA PORTION OF MAN'S TIMB shall be specially devoted to religious purposes, which arrangement belongs to inan's whole history, independently of dispensational changes, and to his whole race, independently of national distinctions.
The highest authority has said, “The Sabbath was made for man." I am aware that Jesus adds, “And not man for the Sab