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From Page 12.

The pretty story of Lot's wife being turned into a pillar of salt is certainly as amusing as any of Ovid's Metamorphosis: One would imagine, that the first shower of rain would have dissolved it, but no, Josephus and succeeding writers have asserted, that they saw her standing in their day, near two thous sand years after. Many of our seamen have both surprized and amused their friends, by bringing home pieces of Lot's

fe, which something like the wood of the true cross never diminishes, although always exposed in fragments !

The last paragraph of this chapter is not only horridly ina cestuous, but is also a story that is inconsistent with nature. Such a circumstance as related here is impossible: it will not bear definition! It is no doubt the fabrication of some dissolute Jew, to throw an odium on the two nations which are said to have sprung from the daughters of Lot. As we are now about to take our leave of Lot and his daughters, if not the pillar of salt, I would enquire what has become of the innumerable flocks and herds which Lot possessed when he separated from Abraham, surely such inoffensive animals could not have been exposed to the destruction of the Sodomites?

That the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah and other cities in their neighbourhood, should have been destroyed by an earthquake, or a volcanic eruption is credible, but the rest of the story is rather too romantic for belief, and much too indecent to comment upon. Still we have Judges, Attornies-General, and Priests, who affirm there is nothing false nor obscene in the Bible. Let them read the nineteenth chapter of Genesis. I now proceed with the twentieth chapter.

And Abraham journeyed from thence toward the south country, and dwelled between Kadesh and Shur, and sojourned in Gerar. And Abraham said of Sarah his wife, She is my sister; and Abimelech king of Gerar sent, and took Sarah, But God came to Abimelech in a dream by night, and said to him, Behold, thou art but a dead man, for the woman which thou • hast taken; for she is a man's wife. But Abimelceh had

VOL. III. No. 3,

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not come near hier: and he said, Lord, wilt thou slay also a righteous nation? Said he not unto me, She is my sister? and she, even she herself said, Ile is my brother: in the integrity of my heart and innocency of my hands have I done this. And God said unto him in a dream, Yea, I know that thou didst this in the integrity of thy heart; for I also withheld thee from sinning against me: therefore suffered I thee not to touch her. Now therefore restore the man his wife; for he is a prophet, and he shall pray for thee, and thou shalt live: and if thou restore her not, know thou that thou shalt surely die, thou, and all that are thinê. Therefore Abimelech rose early in the morning, and called all his servants, and told all these things in their ears: and the men were sore afraid. Then Abimelech called Abraham, ' and saiá unto him, What hast thou done unto us? and what

have I offended thee, that thou hast brought on me and on my kingdom a great sin? thou hast done deeds unto me that ought not to be done. And Abimelech said unto Abraham, What sawest thou, that thou hast done this thing? And Abraham said, Because I thought, Surely the fear of

God is not in this place; and they will slay me for my wife's * sake. And yet indeed she is my sister; she is the daughter * of my father, but not the daughter of my mother; and she became my wife. And it came to pass, when God caused me to wander from my father's house, that I said unto her, This is thy kindness which thou shalt shew unto me; at

every place whither we shall come, say of me, He is my • brother. And Abimelech took sheep, and oxen, and men

servants, and women-servants, and gave them unto Abraham, and restored him Sarah his wife. And Abimelech 'said, Behold, my lard is before thee: dwell where it pleaseth thee. And unto Sarah he said, Behold, I have given thy brother a thousand pieces of silver: behold, he is to thee a covering of the eyes, unto all that are with thee, and with all other: thus she was reproved. So Abraham prayed unto God: and God healed Abimelech, and his wife, and his maid-servants; and they bare children. For the Lord had fast closed up all the wombs of the house of Abimelech, because of Sarah Abraham's wife.'

It is evident that this chapier commences with a tale which is nothing more than a repetition of the tale in the twelfth chapter, with an alleration of the name of Pharaoh to Abimelech, and Egypt to Gerar. According as this chapter stands in the Bible, whai had Abraham to be afraid of with respect


to his wife? We are told by her own account in the eighteenth chapter, that she was too old for childbirth, and that the custom of women had ceased with her. Surely such an old withered woman was not calculated to captivate king Abimelech, who perhaps had the choice of all the damsels within his own territory. The Jewish Deity appears to have been very familiar with Abimelech, and Abimelech with him. Agreeable to the last two verses of this chapter, what length of time are we to imagine that Abimelech had Sarah in his possession, Our curiosity might have been excited to a similar. questioni at the close of the twelfth chapter. Is it at all probable that an amorous despot, who had been captivated with an acquiescing female, the wife of a contented and easy old dotard, should have had her in his possession a considerable length of time, without any knowledge of her? I say no. Should the reader think my comment indelicate, let him again go back to the subject of the comment. If the Bible be sacred my comment must also be sacred, as I study to keep within proper bounds.

I now proceed to the twenty-first chapter. And the Lord visited Sarah as he had said, and the Lord did unto Sarah as he had spoken. For Sarah conceived and bare Abraham n

son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him. And Abraham called the name of his son that was born unto him, whom Sarah bare to him, Isaac. And Abraham circumcised his son Isaac, being eight days old, as God had commanded hirn. And Abraham was an hundred years old, when his son Isaac was born unto him. And Sarah said; God hath made me to laugh, so that all that hear will laugh with me. And she said; Who would have said unto Abraham, that Sarah should have given children suck? for I have born him à son in his old age. And the child grew, and was weaned : and Abraham made a great feast the same day that Isaac was weaned. And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, which she had sborn unto Abraham, mocking.

Wherefore she said unto Abraham, Cast out this bond-woman, and her son: for the son of this bond-woman, shall not be heir with my son, even with Isaac. And the thing was very grievouis in ! Abraham's sight, because of his son. And God said unto Abraham, Let it not be grievous in thy sight, because of the lad, and because of thy bond-woma 1 ; in all that Sarah hath said unto thee, hearken unto her voice: for in Isaac shall thy seed be called. And also of the son of the bonds

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woman will I make a nation, because he is thy seed. And. Abraham rose up early in the morning, and took bread, and a bottle of water, and gave it unto Hagar, putting it on her 6 shoulder, and the child, and sent her away: and she departed, and wandered in the wilderness of Beer-sheba. And the water was spent in the bottle, and she cast the child under one of the shrubs. And she went, and sat her down over against him, a good way off, as it were a bow-shot: for she said, Let me not see the death of the child. And she sat over against him, and lift up her voice and wept. And God heard the voice of the lad: and the angel of God called to Hagar out of heaven, and said unto her, What aileth thee, Hagar? fear not: for God hath heard the voice of the lad where he is. Arise, lift up the lad, and hold him in thine hand; for I will make him a great nation. And God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water, and she went, and filled the bottle with water, and gave the lad drink. And God was with the lad; and he


and dwelt ' in the wilderness, and became an archer. And he dwelt in the wilderness of Paran; and his mother took him a wife out of the land of Egypt. And it came to pass at that time, that 'Abimelech, and Phichol the chief captain of his host spake unto Abrahem, saying, God is with thee in all that thou doest: now therefore swear unto me here by God, that thou wilt not deal falsely with me, nor with my son, nor ' with my son's son: but according to the kindness that I have done unto thee thou shalt do unto me, and to the land wherein thou hast sojourned. And Abraham said, I will swear. And Abraham reproved Abimelech because of a

well of water, which Abimelech's servants had violently • taken away. And Abimelech said, I wot not who hath done

this thing: neither didst thou tell me, neither yet heard I of it, but to day. And Abraham took sheep and oxen, and gave them unto Abimelech : and both of them made a cove6 nant. And Abraham set seven ewe-lambs of the flock by

themselves. And Abimelech said unto Abraham, What mean these seven ewe-lambs, which thou hast set by themselves? And he said, For these seven ewe-lambs shalt thou take of my hand, that they may be a witness unto me, that I have digged this well. Wherefore he called that place • Beer-sheba ; because there they sware both of them. Thus

they made a covenant at Beer-sheba : then Abimelech rose up, and Phichol the chief captain of his host, and they returned into the land of the Philistines. And Abraham

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planted a grove in Beer-sheba, and called there on the name

of the Lord, the everlasting God. And Abraham sojourned " in the Philistines land many days.'

There is nothing worthy of notice in this chapter, but the second expulsion of Hagar and Ishmael in consequence of the peevishness and jealousy of Sarah. Ishmael is here described as an infant whom Hagar laid under a shrub that she might not witness his death; whereas, according to the former account, he must have been at least fifteen or sixteen years old. We were told that Ishmael was thirteen when Abraham was ninety-nine. Abraham was one hundred when Isaac was born, and it was not until Isaac had been weaned, that Hagar and Ishmael were expelled. It was a common custom in those countries, to suckle an infant for two years. Mahomet has made it an injunction in the Koran, and another most humano one in addition to it, that every mother shall suckle her own child. We shall find Ishmael again in Abraham's family by-and-by. The latter part of this

chapter is a fragment of a tale that should have been placed at the end of the former chapter ; but this is the case with the Bible throughout, a piece of a story here, and a piece of it there, without any connection or object. It is the very prototype of the Koran.

I now proceed with the twenty-second chapter. And it came to pass after these things that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, behold, here I 6

And he said, take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of. And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up. and went unto the place of which God had told him. Then on the third * day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off. ' And Abraham said unto his young men, abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you. And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it upon Isaac his son; and he took "the fire in his hand, and a knife; and they went both of

them together. And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, 6 and said, my father: and he said, here am I, my son. And

he said, behold the fire and the wood: but where is the • lamb for a burnt offering? And Abraham said, my son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering : 19


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