Imatges de pàgina

ulcerated either by frequent falls, or the bites of dogs." In hke manner are the daughters of Proetus related to have been mad, who, as Virgil says, —Implerunt falsis mugitibus agros.” —With mimick'd mooings fill'd the fields. For, as Servius observes, Juno possessed their minds with such a species of madness, that fancying themselves cows, they ran into the fields, bellowed often, and dreaded the plough. But these, according to Ovid, the physician Melampus, per carmen et herbas Eripuit furiis.3 Snatch'd from the furies by his charms and herbs.

Nor was this disorder unknown to the moderns; for Schenckius records a remarkable instance of it in a husbandman of Padua, rho imagining that he was a wolf, attacked, and even killed ...!!!". in the fields; and when at length he was taken, he persevered in declaring himself a real wolf, and that the only difference consisted in the inversion of his skin and hair." But it may be objected to this opinion, that this misfortune was foretold to the king, so that he might have prevented it by correcting his morals; and therefore it is not probable that it befel him in the course of nature. But we know that those things, which God executes either through clemency or vengeance, are frequently performed by the assistance of natural causes. Thus having threatened Hezekiah with death, and being afterwards moved by his prayers, he restored him to life, and made use of figs laid on the tumour, as a medicine for his disease. He ordered king Herod, upon account of his pride, to be devoured by worms. And no one doubts but that the plague, which is generally attributed to the divine wrath, most commonly owes its origin to corrupted air.

6. The Palsy of the New Testament is a disease of very wide import, and the Greek word, which is so translated, comprehended not fewer than five different maladies, viz. 1. Apoplery, a paralytic shock, which affected the whole body; —2. Hemiplegy, which affects and paralyses only one side of the body; the case mentioned in Matt. ix. 2. appears to have been of this sort;3. Paraplegy, which paralyses all the parts of the system below the neck;-4. Catalepsy, which is caused by a contraction of the muscles in the whole or part of the body; the hands, for instance. This is a very dangerous disease; and the effects upon the parts seized are very violent and deadly. Thus, when a person is struck with it, if his hand happens to be extended, he is unable to draw it back: if the hand be not extended, when he is so struck, he is unable to extend it. It seems to be diminished in size, and dried up in appearance; whence the Hebrews were accustomed to call it a

* See Aetius, Lib. Medicin, lib. vi. and Paul. AEgineta, lib. iii. cap. xvi 2 Eclog. vi. 48.

* Metamorph. xv. 325.
*Observationes Medica Rar, de Lycanthrop. Obs. 1.

withered hand. The impious Jeroboam was struck with catalepsy.
(1 Kings xiii.4–6.); the prophet Zechariah, among the judgments
he was commissioned to denounce against the idol shepherd that
leaveth the flock, threatens that his arm shall be dried up. (Zech. xi.
17.) Other instances of this malady occur in Matt. xii. 10. and
John v. 3—5. The Cramp. This, in oriental countries, is a sear-
ful malady, and by no means unfrequent. It originates from the
chills of the night: the limbs, when seized with it, remain immove-
able, sometimes turned in and sometimes out, in the very same
position as when they were first seized. The person afflicted re-
sembles a man undergoing the torture, 3afavićouevo, and experiences
nearly the same sufferings. Death follows this disease in a few
Jlays. Alcimus was struck with it (1 Macc. v. 55–58.), as also was
the centurion's servant. (Matt. viii. 6.)
7. The malady which afflicted the patriarch Job (ii. 7.) has
greatly exercised the ingenuity of commentators, who have sup-
posed it to be the leprosy, the small-pox, and the elephantiasis. The
last opinion is adopted by Drs. Mead and Heberden, and by Mi-
chaelis; and appears to be best supported. In this disorder the
skin becomes uneven and wrinkled with many furrows, like that of
the elephant, whence it takes its name. When it attains a certain
height, as it appears to have done in this instance, it is incurable,
and consequently affords the unhappy patient no prospect but that of
long-continued misery.
8. The disease, which in Matt. ix. 20. Mark v. 25. and Luke
viii. 43. is denominated an Issue of Blood, is too well known to
require any explanation. Physicians confess it to be a disorder
which is very difficult of cure. (Mark v. 26.) How does this cir-
cumstance magnify the benevolent miracle, wrought by Jesus Christ
on a woman who had laboured under it for twelve years!
9. The Blindness of the sorcerer Elymas (Acts xiii. 6–12.) is in
the Greek denominated axxus, and with great propriety, being
rather an obscuration than a total extinction of sight. It was occa-
sioned by a thin coat or tunicle of hard substance, which spread
itself over a portion of the eye, and interrupted the power of vision.
Hence the disease is likewise called oxorog or darkness. It was
easily cured, and sometimes even healed of itself, without resorting
to any medical prescription. Therefore Saint Paul added in his
denunciation, that the impostor should not see the sun for a season.
But the blindness of the man, of whose miraculous restoration to
sight we have so interesting an account in John ix., was total, and

being inveterate from his birth, was incurable by any human art or

skill. See an examination of this miracle in Vol. I. pp. 251—253.

268–271. 10. Lastly, in the New Testament we meet with repeated in

stances of what are termed Demoniacal Possession. The reality of

such possessions indeed has been denied by some authors, and

attempts have been made by others to account for them, either as

the effect of natural disease, or the influence of imagination on pervon... iii. 61

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sons of a nervous habit. But it is manifest, that the persons, who in the New Testament are said to be possessed with devils (more correctly with demons) cannot mean only persons afflicted with some strange disease: for they are evidently here, as in other places, particularly in Luke iv. 33–36. 41–distinguished from the diseased. Further, Christ's speaking on various occasions to these evil spirits, as distinct from the persons possessed by them,his commanding them and asking them questions, and receiving answers from them, or not suffering them to speak-and several circumstances relating to the terrible preternatural effects which they had upon the possessed, and to the manner of Christ's evoking then, particularly their requesting and obtaining permission to enter the herd of swine (Matt. viii. 31, 32.), and precipitating them into the sea; all these circumstances can never be accounted for by any distemper whatever. Nor is it any reasonable objection that we do not read of such frequent possessions before or since the appearance of our Redeemer upon earth. It seems indeed to have been ordered by a special providence that they should have been permitted to have then been more common; in order that He, who came to destroy the works of the Devil, might the more remarkably and visibly triumph over him; and that the machinations and devices of Satan might be more openly defeated, at a time when their power was at its highest, both in the souls and bodies of men; and also, that plain facts might be a sensible confutation of the Sadducean error, which denied the existence of angels or spirits (Acts xxiii. 8.), and prevailed among the principal men both for rank and learning in those days. The cases of the demoniacs expelled by the apostles, were cases of real possession: and it is a well known fact, that, in the second century of the Christian aera, the apologists for the persecuted professors of the faith of Christ, appealed to their ejection of evil spirits as a proof of the divine origin of their religion. Hence it is evident that the demoniacs were not merely insane or epileptic patients, but persons really and truly vexed and convulsed by unclean demons.

on THE commeRCE of THE HEBREws.

I. Commerce of the Midianites, Egyptians, and Phoenicians.—II. JMode of transporting Goods.-III. Commerce of the Hebrews, particularly under si. and his successors.-IV. Notice of antient Shipping.—W. Money, Weights, and Measures.

I. THE Scriptures do not afford us any example of trade, more antient than those caravans of Ishmaelites and Midianites, to whom *oseph was perfidiously sold by his brethren. These men were on

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their return from Gilead, with their camels laden with spices, and
other rich articles of merchandise, which they were carrying into
Egypt; where, doubtless, they produced a great return, from the
quantities consumed in that country for embalming the bodies of
the dead. From their purchasing Joseph, and selling him to
Potiphar, it is evident that their traffic was not confined to the
commodities furnished by Gilead. But the most distinguished
merchants of antient times were the Phoenicians, who bought the
choicest productions of the East, which they exported to Africa
and Europe, whence they took in return silver and other articles of
merchandise, which they again circulated in the East. Their first
metropolis was Sidon, and afterwards Tyre, founded about 250
years before the building of Solomon's temple, or 1251 before the
Christian ara: and wherever they went, they appear to have
established peaceful commercial settlements, mutually beneficial to
themselves and to the natives of the country visited by them. The
commerce of Tyre is particularly described in Isa. xxiii. and Ezek.
II. The commerce of the East appears to have been chiefly
carried on by land; hence ships are but rarely mentioned in the
Old Testament before the times of David and Solomon. There
were two principal routes from Palestine to Egypt; viz. one along
the coasts of the Mediterranean Sea, from Gaza to Pelusium,

which was about three days’ journey; and the other, from Gaza to

the Elanitic branch of the Arabian Gulf, which now passes near
Mount Sinai, and requires nearly a month to complete it. Although
chariots were not unknown to the antient inhabitants of the East,
yet they chiefly transported their merchandise across the desert on
camels, a hardy race of auimals, admirably adapted by nature for
this purpose: and lest they should be plundered by robbers, the
merchants used to travel in large bodies (as they now do), which are
called caravans; or in smaller companies termed kafilés or kaflés.
(Job vi. 18, 19. Gen. xxxvii. 25. Isa. xxi. 13.)
III. Although the land of Canaan was, from its abundant pro-
duce, admirably adapted to commerce, yet Moses enacted no laws
in favour of trade; because the Hebrews, being specially set apart
for the preservation of true religion, could not be dispersed among
idolatrous nations without being in danger of becoming contami-
nated with their abominable worship. He therefore only inculcated
the strictest justice in weights and measures (Levit. xix. 36, 37.
Deut. xxv. 13, 14.); and left the rest to future ages and governors.
It is obvious, however, that the three great festivals of the Jews,
who were bound to present themselves before Jehovah thrice in the
ear, would give occasion for much domestic traffic, which the
individuals of the twelve tribes would carry on with each other
either for money or produce. From Judg. v. 17. it should seem
that the tribes of Dan and Asher had some commercial dealings
with the neighbouring maritime nations: but the earliest direct
notice contained in the Scriptures of the commerce of the Hebrews,

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does not occur before the reign of David. This wise and valiant prince, by many victories, not only enlarged the boundaries of his empire, but also subdued the kingdom of Edom (which he reduced into a province), and made himself master of the two ports of Elath and Ezion-geber on the Red Sea. Part of the wealth acquired by his conquests he employed in purchasing cedar-timber from Hiram I. king of Tyre, with whom he maintained a friendly correspondence as long as he lived; and he also hired Tyrian masons and carpenters for carrying on his works." This prince collected for the building of the temple, upwards of eight hundred millions of our money, according to Dr. Arbuthnot's calculations.” On the death of David, Solomon his successor cultivated the arts of peace, and was thereby enabled to indulge his taste for magnificence and luxury, more than his father could possibly do. Being blessed with a larger share of wisdom than ever before fell to the lot of any man, he directed his talents for business to the improvement of foreign commerce, which had not been expressly prohibited by Moses. He employed the vast wealth, amassed by his father, in works of architecture, and in strengthening and beautifying his kingdom. The celebrated temple at Jerusalem, the fortifications of that capital, and many entire cities, (among which was the famous Tadmor or Palmyra,) were built by him. Finding his own subjects but little qualified for such undertakings, he applied to Hiram II. king of Tyre, the son of his father's friend Hiram, who furnished him with cedar and fir (or cypress) timber, and large stones, all properly cut and prepared for building; which the Tyrians carried by water to the most convenient landing-place in Solomon's dominions. Hiram II. also sent a great number of workmen to assist and instruct Solomon's people, none of whom had skill to hew timber like wnto the Sidonians (1 Kings v. 5, 6.), as the Israelites then called the Tyrians, from their having been originally a colony from Sidon. Solomon, in return, furnished the Tyrians with corn, wine, and oil; and he even received a balance in gold. (1 Kings v. 9–11. 2 Chron. ii. 10.). It is not improbable, however, that the gold was the stipulated price for Solomon's cession of twenty towns to the Tyrians; which Hiram, not liking them, afterwards returned to him. (I Kings ix. 12, 13.

The * intercourse of trade and friendship, which Solomon had with the first commercial people in the western world, inspired him with a strong desire to participate in the advantages of trade. His father's conquests, as we have already seen, had extended his territories to the Red Sea or the Arabian Gulf, and had given him the possession of a good harbour, whence ships might be de

! Eupolemus, an antient writer quoted by Eusebius (De Prep. Evang. lib. ix). says that David built ships in Arabia, in which he sent men skilled in mines and metals to the island of Ophir. Some modern authors, improving upon this rather *Picious authority, have ascribed to David the honour of being the founder of th. great East Indian commerce. t*Tables of Antient Coins, pp. 35.208.

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