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his own helplessness, and, I suppose I may call it, solitariness. He saw none who could make him whole.
Minister. My dear young friend, these things were once passing occurrences, as real as any of the transactions of this present day, between any of our own fellow-creatures. Christ, in his own person, stood before this impotent man, now for thirty-eight years thus debilitated, and who had long been waiting at the pool, now cheered by hope, and now depressed by disappointment. But there he lies on his bed, no one caring for him. Think that you stood there, and saw a man with his features wasted into sharpness, and his whole frame attenuated by long-continued disease, aggravated by poverty and want of friendly aid: and to this man,—to whom we may apply the language of prophetic writ, and say that he, was ready to perish,—to this man came the Saviour, and said, "Wilt thou be made whole?"
George. Was not the man rather confused, Sir?
Minister. Perhaps he scarcely understood the import of the question, and only replied by referring to his actual condition. But our Lord at once said, "Rise, take up thy bed, and walk." And the word was with power. Immediately, as soon as the word was spoken, "immediately the man was made whole:" he who had not power to go down to the water, arose, "and took up his bed and walked." Conceive as strongly as you can of the state in which he was before; recollect, this mighty change was wrought by the will of Christ; and then ask yourself, Is not this " the finger of God?" Does not He who comes with such credentials, abundantly prove himself to be the Sent of God?
George. He does, indeed, Sir. The facts being admitted, supernatural power is plain. Man possesses no ability like this.
Minister. No; none like this. It is not a higher degree of power, but such power as in no degree belongs to man. may accomplish great changes by the skilful employment of natural substances, according to the established laws of nature; but, to act on any given substance by his mere will, is in no sense committed to him. And now go and meditate on the power and benevolence of the Saviour, and pray
to him that he would make you whole. As to the conduct of the Jews, in reference to the Sabbath, on which, it seems, the miracle was wrought, another miracle will bring the same question before us, and we will then fully consider it.
GEN. Xviii. 1. "He sat in the tent door in the heat of the day." It is pleasing to follow out the details of the interesting picture of patriarchal manners which this chapter offers. The annotators on this chapter seem to have had in view the single tent of Abraham, with flocks and herds feeding around. But there must have been many tents for his numerous dependents and servants; while the bulk of his cattle were probably at pasture many miles distant. Among the Bedouin tribes it is the duty of the Chief or Sheikh to entertain strangers; and as the custom requires them to stop at the first tent they reach, the Sheikh's tent is usually pitched so as to be the first in that direction from which strangers most commonly arrive. This custom would account for Abraham's being the first to perceive the strangers as he sat in the shade of his tent-door, to enjoy any air that might be stirring, while the heat of the day rendered the interior of the tent too close and sultry to be conveniently occupied. In the heat of the day the external shade of the tent is much more cool and pleasant than the interior.
Verse 2. "Ran to meet them."-This and other passages in the Bible may be illustrated by the gradations of Persian etiquette. When a Persian is visited by a very superior person, he crosses the open court of his house, and receives him at the street-door; if decidedly superior, but not greatly so, he rises hastily and advances to receive his visiter at the entrance of the room; if the visiter be an equal, he simply rises from his seat on his entrance; and if an inferior, he only makes the motion of rising.
"Bowed himself toward the ground."-This posture is frequently mentioned as being used in the presence of superiors, and is, no doubt, the same as that of David, who "stooped with his face to the earth, and bowed himself" before Saul.
(1 Sam. xxiv. 8.)
that this form of
Mr. Morier is probably right in supposing obeisance is the same which the Persians of the present day use in approaching their King. It consists in bowing so as to bring the upper part of the body at right angles with the lower, the hands resting on the knees and the legs somewhat asunder.
Verse 4. "Wash your feet."-Water for the feet is a necessary and most grateful part of hospitality in the East. Where the people wear sandals, which are intended only to protect the soles, the feet soon become foul and parched; and to have the feet and ankles bathed is the most gratifying of refreshments after that of quenching thirst. The office is usually performed by servants. Mr. Roberts mentions, that in passing through Hindoo villages it is common to see this office performed for the weary traveller. In the sandy deserts of Arabia and the bordering countries, no covering for the feet can prevent the necessity for this refreshment at the end of a day's journey. The fine, impalpable sand or dust penetrates all things, and, with the perspiration, produces an itching and feverish irritation, which, next to the quenching of his thirst, it is the first wish of a traveller to allay; and to uncover his feet, and to get water to wash them, is a prime object of attention. If sandals only are used, or the feet are entirely without defence, it becomes still more necessary to wash them after a journey.-Knight's Illustrated Commentary.
LETTERS FROM JAMAICA.
In pursuance of the promise made to you on leaving England, I willingly transmit an account of a few of those things which have excited my attention, and sometimes gratified my curiosity, during my short residence in the island of Jamaica.
Without troubling you with a narration of my feelings when I could no longer descry you, or the affectionate wave of my sister's handkerchief, or of the storms at sea which produced such awful deviations from the monotony of a voyage
of five thousand miles, I will at once say that on the evening of December the 15th, 183—, we had the pleasure of seeing the mountains of Jamaica, whose sides are clothed with everliving green, and whose towering pinnacles rise above the clouds of heaven. On the morning of the 16th, a delightful sea-breeze, filling our sails, wafted us into the harbour of PortRoyal; one of the most beautiful and secure in the world. There are many things in this locality which render it peculiarly interesting. Port-Royal, though it possesses a harbour for ships, a navy-yard, a royal hospital, barracks, a church, a commodious Wesleyan-Methodist chapel, and other buildings of importance, is but a village, compared with what it once was. It was one of the principal Spanish settlements, during the bloody career of the Spaniards in Jamaica; and was called by them, Caguaya. It rose into importance after the island came into the hands of the English, by becoming the place of general rendezvous for the Buccaneers. These were pirates of different nations, who infested the Charaibean seas in the seventeenth century, and were the terror of the Spaniards. These robbers, with the most daring intrepidity, (in number, at first, from fifty to one hundred and fifty,) in small boats, watched every opportunity of capturing large Spanish vessels, which they did by seizing them with their grappling-irons, boarding them, and then butchering the crew. These ships, being laden with gold, silver, and precious stones, dug from the mines of Hispaniola and Mexico, soon put the robbers in possession of immense wealth. Their numbers rapidly increased. They exchanged their boats for vessels, and their vessels for squadrons, composed of ships which they had taken in their former piracies. The millions thus acquired were generally brought to Port-Royal, and there wasted in the greatest licentiousness. When the last booty was all expended, they departed for new expeditions. Thus, through the medium of these daring and most extraordinary people, the British colony in Jamaica was enriched. Port-Royal was an ever-flowing fountain of wealth, which inundated the island with abundance. But the laws and institutions of Almighty God were not to be insulted with impunity. It was on the 7th of June, 1692, amidst the revelling and debauchery, and
fancied security of Jamaica generally, and of Port-Royal particularly, that divine justice, by an earthquake, shook the foundations of the island; and by a "preternatural tide that was to ebb no more,” engulfed that place which, for a number of years, had been the gathering-place of pirates, and the theatre for the exhibition of every species of vice, but which was now to become the monument of angry Omnipotence. Some of the consequences of this awful visitation, in addition to the overthrow of Port-Royal, and the immediate loss of thirteen thousand lives, were the extensive destruction of sugar plantations, and great loss of property; the removal of large tracts of land; and the opening of fountains unknown before, from which gushed corrupted streams, the vapours of which so infected the atmosphere, that a pestilence broke out, and swept away three thousand more of the inhabitants. The ruins of this place can still be distinctly seen under the waters of the harbour, on a clear day.
It was with feelings such as the recollection of the overthrow of this once-flourishing place is calculated to awaken, that I formed one of a party who purposed visiting a tomb on the other side of the harbour, which records an instance of providential care to a good man; who, like another Lot, lived at a place which too closely resembled another Sodom. Having procured a canoe, we left the wharf of the present Port-Royal, rowed over the ruins of old Port-Royal, and in half-an-hour found ourselves in Green-Harbour Bay, on the opposite side. Procuring a guide, we began to ascend the mountain, and in another half-hour stood before a marble tomb, with the following inscription :