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The Friend : a religious and literary journal (Volume 16) online

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Monthly Meeting of New Castle gave him the'dered state of mind, he sought the affections
following certificate, which is interesting both 'of a woman of fortune, whom he expected to
as a memorial of the times, and an evidence i marry ; but it does not appear that he suc-
of the tender concern for his best welfare, iceeded.

which was felt by his friends. | In 1727 he commenced building a spa-

Certificate from New Castle i)Ion
duelining bcaUh, and for some weeks her decline was
evidciitly more rapid. Sliu bore lier snflerings with
great patience, looking (orward to her dissolution willi
entire composure, with an assurance that ber peace was
made. She imparted much solid council and advice lo
those around her, especially to the young; and we
doubt not she is now enjoying the reward prepared for
those who trust in a crucified and risen Lord.

. , of congestive fever, at his residence, near Rich-
mond, Jefferson county, Ohio, on the 2d inst., Charles
Coffin, a member of Smithfield flloiitiily Meeting, in
the Syili year of his age. In the removal of this dear
Friend, tioin works to rewards, his bereaved relatives
and li'iends have sustained a loss which will be deeply
felt. He was concerned to be consistent in all things
with our high proression ; setting a becoming example,
not only in plainness of speech, deportment and ap-
parel, but .tIso in his house, his furniture, and his man-
ner of living : often lamenting the great deelinsion
from primitive siniplicily in these things, so apparent
among us, in the present diiy. He was fully persuaded,
that it we were concerned to worship the Lord, in spi-
rit and in truth, and Ibllow his guidance, in failhlul-
iicss, we should be led out of all superfluity. His
integrity, his candor, and his unassuming manners,
endeared him to all who knew him ; yet his own esli-
mate of his worth was very low ; and during his last
illness, he often lamented his unworthiness, and many
short comings, adding, with affecting earnestness, that
his " only hope of pardon and redemption was in the
unmerited mercy of God, Ihroogh Jesus Christ our
Lord." For a time, many were his fears and conflicts,
but He, " on whom to believe is eternal life," deigned,
in his own time, to scatter the clouds, and remove all
his doubts, enabling him to meet death with that calm-
ncHs and resignation to his will, which the Christian
only knows. He has left us the blessed assurance, that
our loss is his eternal gain.



PRINTED BY JOSEPH & WILLIAM KITE,
Seventh and Carpenter Streets.



A RELIGIOUS AND LITERARY JOURNAL.



vol.. XVI.



SEVENTH-SAT, rXRST MONTH, 28, 1843.



EDITED BY ROBERT SMITH.

PUBLISHED WEEKLY.

Price two dollats per annum, payable in advance.

Subscriptions and Payments received by

GEORGE >V. TAYLOR,

NO. 50, NORTH FOtJRTH STREET, UP STAIRS,

PHILADELPHIA.

NOTES ON EGYPT.

By Alexander Dvff, one of the Church of
Scotland's Missionaries to India.
In reading the account of Moses's " ark of
bulrushes daubed with slime," a British read-
er, judging by comparison with the prodijcts
of his own soil, often thrills at the idea of ex-
treme insecurity which the descri|)tioii is apt
to present to his fancy. On the banks of the
Nile his fears would be abated. There, the
bulrushes grow at this day — thick, strong,
tough reeds, fit when united to bear a man
not less than an infant ; and many of the na-
tive boats are still to be seen, plastered over
with no other substance than the glutinous
slime of the Nile, instead of pitch and tar.
In like manner, julging solely from home
experience, the illiterate is often surprised,
and at a loss to conjecture what the process
of brick-making alluded to in Exodus v. 7 —
18, can possibly be. On the batiks of the
Nile that process is still abundantly exempli-
fied. The bricks are not first fashioned —
— piled up, and then subjected to a furnace
heat as in our native country. No; straw, or
stubble is collected in large quantities, cut or
chopped into small pieces — intermingled with
a large mass of the clayey slime to render it
more tenacious: and lastly, when portions of
this mixture have been separated and moulded
into their destined shapes, they are spread out
and exposed to harden in the sun. Sun-made
bricks, of this composition of straw and clay,
often become as enduring as granite rocks.
In beholding ever and anon a solitary fisher-
man labouring with his hand-nets on the mar-
gin of the river, how significant appeared the
rebellious and ungrateful murmurings of the
Israelites in the wilderness. " We remember
the fish we did eat in Egypt freely" — (Numb.
xi. 5.) Nor could we be less struck with the
singular juxtaposition of the words which fol-
low : " the cucumbers, the melons, and the
leeks, and the onions, and the garlic." For
turning towards the interior, it was apparent
to the eye, that Egypt land is not less pro-
ductive than in days of yore, in these and
other similar vegetable productions. Here
too was the stately " palm," the most juicy of
all trees, reminding us of the beautiful simili-



tude of the Psalmist, "the righteous shall striking picture of the melancholy aspect of
flourish like the palm tree, they shall bring | the human frame ! — once mantled over with
forth fruit in old age, they shall be fat and j the verdure of youth, and the multiplying
flourishing." Psalm xcii. 12 — 14. And the fruiti'ulness of riper years — when the fountain
pomegranate, the almond, and the olive, and | of the heart, with its cistern, and wheel, and
scores of other products emblematized or j pitcher — its ventricles, tubes, veins, and arte-
consecrated in the parables and narratives of | ries, for the reception, propulsion, and distri-
the sacred volume. How vividly, also, were " '
these visible effects of the annual rising and
overflowing of the Nile calculated to illustrate



the bold imagery of the prophet, " Egypt
riseth up like a flood, and his waters are moved
like the rivers." Jer. xlvi. 8.

The progress of irrigation, every where
exhibited, seemed to clothe with new signi-
ficancy many passages of Scripture. A deep
well is sunk close by the river's bank. By
means of a narrow connecting channel, deep-
ened in proportion as the river subsides, the
well is constantly replenished. Above the
sunken well or fountain is a vertical wheel,
around which is made to revolve a series of
from twenty to sixty earthen jars or pitchers
with narrow necks. These bound to two
parallel ropes, as the wheels roll round, are
made to descend with their mouths open
towards the surface of the water. Therein
they dip or plunge, and, when filled, ascend
with their aqueous burden on the other side.
0» ^«si«g^hcir.zenijU <itt>da,>to speak,
they are again turned upside down,Juid tli%-
charge their contents into a large wooden
trough or cistern, which, communicating with
the main trunk of the small irrigating canals,
maintain an uninterrupted supply through a
thousand wide spreading branches. Is it not
from this peculiarly oriental process that the
imagery in Eccles. xii. 6, has been taken, —
when the Royal Preacher, under different em-
blems, so graphically pourtrays the dissolu-
tion of our earthly tabernacle? — when, as if
with his eye fixed on the piece of rude, but
important machinery, now described, he
speaks of the " pitclior broken at the foun-
tain, and of the wheel broken at the cistern?"
[n the process of iirigution in a country like
Egypt, suppose the " pitcher and the wheel"
to be literally " broken at the cistern and
fountain," what must follow? In many places
it was our lot actually to witness a broken
wheel and pitcher" — broken and deserted,
through neglect or oppression. What was
the visible effect ? Deprived of its mpisture,
and consequently of vegetative powers, the
land became an easy prey to the loose drifting
sands of the desert. All annual and biennia"^l
products had disappeared. The spaces be-
tween the irrigating furrows were completely
filled up. While even the more sturdy peren-
nials, such as the sycamore, half buried in
wreaths and knolls of sand, began to exhibit a
withered and drooping aspect. What a



bution of that blood which is " the life of
man ;" when all, all, emptied and broken,
cease to discharge their life-sustaining func-
tions ! How felicitous beyond all previous con-
ception, did the graphic imagery of the sacred
penman appear, amid the broken wheels and
broken pitchers, which occasionally exhibit to
the eye such death-like desolation, even on
the banks of the Nile!

Again, the water, when raised, as already
remarked, is made to flow in a central trench
or canal. This canal is often artificially ele-
vated, several feet above the surroundin



Online LibraryRobert SmithThe Friend : a religious and literary journal (Volume 16) → online text (page 51 of 154)