« ZurückWeiter »
learned tongues, or French, Spanish, Italian, &c. If they found any fault, they spoke ; if not, they read on."
Of Selden, whose opinion is here quoted, thus speaketh. Lord Clarendon :" He was a person whom no character can flatter, or transmit in any expressions equal to his merit and his virtue." Somerset House Weekly Miscellany.
To the Editor of the Cottager's Monthly Visitor.
I SEND you an abridgment of Dr. Brown's account of the employments of the Jewish women, with a hope, that, should it be inserted in your Visitor, it may be found interesting to your Cottage readers.
Your obedient servant,
- R. B. .
In the land of Judea, the female character appears to have been somewhat more exalted than in other countries. Their purer religion had taught that people, that their women were rational and immortal beings, and therefore entitled to their love and confidence.
It was reserved, however, for the Gospel to do complete justice to women, by restoring the primitive institution of marriage, by teaching the equality of the sexes as to moral worth, and by considering them both as candidates for a blessed and glorious immortality. From that time, therefore, we can trace a growing improvement in their condition, in every nation where the Gospel has been introduced ; and we are led to wish for the general diffusion of Christianity as the triumph of virtue and piety over oppression.
? . ,! The land of Judea was divided, anciently, into
pasturage, agriculture, and commerce; and each of these gave a different shade to the female character. In the pastoral districts, even those of the highest rank disdained not to tend their flocks, and conversed freely with men without their veils. Rachel was feeding her father's sheep when met by Jacob, (Gen. xxix. 9.) and the daughters of the priest of Midian were employed in the same way when met by Moses. (Exod. ii. 16.) In the agricultural districts, the lower classes generally mixed in the operations of the field, but the higher orders were more reserved. And, in cities where commerce prevailed, they had not only separate apartments, but were more removed from public view. In tracing the employments of the Jewish women, we may begin with remarking, that the first business of the wives of the poor, and of the meanest female slaves of the rich, every morning at day-break, was to grind the daily portion of corn for meal for the family in the hand-mill; a business which those in the same condition perform in the East at this day. This grinding of corn, by females, is several times mentioned in Scripture. Thus, when Christ foretold the destruction of Jerusalem, he said, (Matt. xxiv. 41.) that “ two women should be grinding at the mill, the one should be taken and the other left;" which last operation is thus explained by Dr. Clarke. “As the operation began, one of the women with her right hand pushed the handle to the woman opposite, who again sent it to her companion, thus communicating a rotatory and very rapid motion to the upper stone, their left hands being all the while employed in supplying fresh corn as fast as the bran and flour escaped from the sides of the machine.” But, leaving this their early task, let us go on to remark that the cares of the family naturally occupied the Hebrew females through the rest of the day. This is indeed the present employment of the Eastern women. The wives
and verveing all as the bran But, he that the cliena
of the poor provide food for the family, cut fuel, and fetch water; which last office is generally performed in the evening, (Gen. xxiv. 11.) though it is also done early in the morning.
But we are not to suppose that domestic cares engaged all their time ; for various employments occupied the attention of the mistress of the family and her maidens. : Thus, working with the needle was another of their female employments : and, so early as the time when the Israelites were in the wilderness, we tind then employed in ornamenting the hangings of the tabernacle and the garments of the priests with devices of blue and purple and scarlet on a ground of fine white twined linen. It would appear that the Eastern needle-work was very fine and of great value; for the mother of Sisera is represented (Judg. v. 30.) as hoping that her son had obtained from the conquered Israelites “ a prey of divers colours of needle-work; of divers colours of needle-work on both sides, meet for the necks of them that take the spoil." And in Ps. xlv. 14. the king's daughter is said to be brought unto the king in raiment of needle-work. Indeed the same is the frequent employment of the ladies of the East at the present day; for we often read of beautiful specimens of their work. Spinning was another of their employments ; for, even so early as the making of the tabernacle, all the women that were wise-hearted did spin with their hands and brought what they had spun both of blue, of purple, and of scarlet, and of fine linen, to assist in the erection of that sacred tent; which shews that they had brought with them, from Egypt, this and the other arts mentioned in Exodus, in which country it is probable they had long flourished. We hear little more of this employment till Solomon's time, who, in Prov. xxxi. 19. when describing the good housewife, says, that "she lays her hands to the spindle and takes hold of the dis
taff*.” Weaving was another feminine employment; and, like spinning, it was a very ancient one; for it is mentioned in Exod. xxxv. 35. that God filled some with wisdom to weave the curtains of the tabernacle: and it is often alluded to in other parts of Scripture.
ADDRESS FROM AN AGED COTTAGER TO HER
FRIENDS. HAVING passed a long life of many changes and sorrows, bereavements and cares, my experience enables me to address a few words of encouragement to my Cottage friends. You that are in trouble, sorrow, need, sickness, or any other adversity, consider that a certain hope remains for you if you be followers of that which is good; for whoso putteth their trust in the Lord shall never be confounded. Would you possess the privileges of a Christian? Wait upon God in his house; seek to secure his blessing ; for," wherever two or three are gathered together in my name," saith our Lord," there will I be in the midst of them.”
Make not the too common excuse that your appearance is not decent. Remember that the allseeing God looks on your heart, and knows your most secret thoughts. If you believe his word, you will anxiously seek for the guidance of his good Spirit, to lead you into all trath, Then suffer an individual, who bas for many years wandered on in the path of sorrow, anxiety, and care, to intreat you to try what a kind and gracious God will do for you. Bring all
* I would earnestly recommend every female frequently to peruse the beautiful description of a good honsewife here alluded to. In particular let that golden verse towards the conclusion of it be ever engraved upon their hearts. "Favoor is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised." .
your wants, your woes, your cares, your trials and sorrows to Him who is Almighty, and able to save to the uttermost. Is poverty your lot ? behold“ the cattle upon a thousand hills" are all protected by His almighty care. He knows wbat is best for you. Beg of him to keep you from unjust means of şupplying your wants. Be industrious; but do not covet more than it is his pleasure to give you.
Envy not the rich. Although to you they appear surrounded with happiness, many rich people are no happier than you are : and riches and honours often lead the possessors of them into shares and temptations, which too often end in ruin. . But God's powerful arm is ready to support the poor, and the rich too; for “He is no respecter of persons; but whoso feareth him and worketh righte.. ousness, shall be accepted of him.” ,
Such promise capnot be beld out to the drunkard, the swearer, the unmerciful, or to those who never bend the knee in humble prayer to their Creator, or whose eyes were never moistened with the tear of repentance. · But to you, ye children of poverty, I would beg to address myself; if any can be called poor who may have the God of heaven and earth for their portion. Rejoice greatly; rejoice in God your Saviour, who chose to become poor, that you," through his poverty, might become rich.”
Though harassed with pain, and bowed down with affliction, you may change your groans and complainings into songs of joy and everlasting gratitude. Strive, and pray, that no repining voice be heard throughout your afflicting trials ; but glorify Him who bore greater torment, than you can ever feel, for us men and for our salvation, and who has promised you a share in the joy which he inherits ; who will make your sufferings short and your rest eternal. - If you be young, forget not the Wise man's admo. nition, « Remember thy Creator in the days of thy