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the low-roofed school-house, and
God having been forgiven much, he loved much.
But it were vain to multiply cases where the agency of the Sabbathschool had been the only means of Christian instruction. Alas! such cases are only too numerous. With this fact in view, I have detailed my beginnings with a class which in. terested me more and more every evening we met, hoping thereby to induce some to become teachers of the neglected and ignorant who may have hitherto entirely confined their instructions to a better reared, better taught class of Sabbath-school children.
W. F. T.
THINGS THAT NEVER DIE.
THE pure, the bright, the beautiful,
That stirred our hearts in youth;
The dream of love and truth;
The spirit's yearning cry,
These things shall never die.
A brother in his need;
That proves the friend indeed ;
When justice threatens nigh;
These things shall never die.
The pressure of a kiss,
That form affection's bliss;
And holy trust and high,
These things shall never die.
That wounded as it fell ;
We feel but never tell;
The hard repulse that chills the heart
Whose hopes were bounding high ;
These things shall never die.
Must find some work to do ;
Be firm, and just, and true ;
Beam on thee from on high,
“ These things shall never die.”
MEMORABLE PLACES OF SCRIPTURE HISTORY.
THE LAND OF BASHAN.
THE destruction of the Amorites by the Israelites under Moses, and the distribution of their lands among the tribes of Gad, Reuben, and Manasseh, are familiar to readers of the Old Testament. One of the most important portions of this territory was the land of Bashan ; and that its conquest was not attained without considerable expenditure of military ardour, valour, and devotion may be fairly inferred from the fact that it was a country full of strong cities surrounded by lofty walls, and from the number of references made in Scripture to the difficulties of the enterprise. Among other instances, David in the Psalms speaks of the strong bulls of Bashan which compassed him about.
At the time of the Hebrew lawgiver there reigned two powerful kings over the populous and fertile country of the Amorites: these were Sihon, king of Heshbon, and Og, king of Bashan. The dominions under their sway extended from mount Hermon in the Anti-Libanus on the north, to the brook called Jabbok, and from the Jordan, on the west, to the desert ; in fact, the country is situate between three rivers, and accordingly resembles an island, full of an abundance of fruits, and well supplied with cattle. The people in early times were of a very warlike character, which was increased
by their dwelling mostly in a number of places not only fortified by art, but naturally strengthened by the rocky nature of their site. Moses sought to conciliate them so as to gain a passage for his host through the country. Sihon their ruler refused his proposals, and the result was a battle in which the Amorites lost the day, the Hebrews severely pressing them afterwards in the pursuit, owing to the lightness of their
Sihon the king was among the slain.
Og now came up to do battle with the invaders. This king is said to have been the last of the race of the Rephaim, or giants, who were distinguished for their great military prowess as well as for their unusually lofty stature. Some slight idea is afforded us of the height of this king by the dimensions of his bedstead, given in Deut. iii. 11; it is said to have measured nine cubits in length-about thirteen feet and a half-and four cubits in breadth, “after the cubit of a man.” By the rabbins it is stated that this necessary article of furniture was Og's cradle, and not his bedstead; and his real stature is given as one hundred and twenty feet! The shipmast build of this man, no doubt, has been much added to by the lastnamed authorities, who have superadded many strange fancies to the statements of Holy Writ. He is stated to have
MEMORABLE PLACES OF SCRIPTURE HISTORY.
been a man of great activity in the use of his limbs, so that his actions were not unequal to the vastness and handsome appearance of his body. But Og, like his friend Sihon, fell beneath the same mighty Hand which wielded the sword of the Israelites.
Astaroth and Edrei were the two principal cities of Bashan, receiving the honour of regal residences from the kings of the people ; and in addition to these, the land contained upwards of threescore walled cities; and of unwalled towns or villages the number was very great. The inhabitants therefore must have been both opulent and powerful, seeing that, in addition to their large flocks and herds, they were possessed of riches which strong and lofty walls were required to defend.
The natural features of the country are most lovely, full of rich pastures, with occasional rocky scenery, and a certain picturesque wildness. Removed from the usual route of travellers, it is but little known; and much of its prosperity is due to its being out of the track of the marauding bands of Arabs which render property and life insecure in most other open places of the Holy Land. The social state of the people at the present time, who have but little intercourse with the outer world, is essentially patriarchal; perhaps as much so as it was in the days of Abraham and his descendants. A better description of the country than that derivable from Scripture could hardly be given. The land is noticeable for its mountain scenery; David speaking of the hill of God compares it as “an high hill as the hill of Bashan." Ezekiel tells of the strength and grandeur of its oaks ; and elsewhere in the Bible references are made to the luxuriance of its pastures, the fruitfulness of the land, the fatness and'superiority of its cattle
strong bulls of Bashan,” “rams of the breed of Bashan.”
Many of the cities of Bashan remain to the present day, and some even retain their original Scripture names ; they testify to the strong manner in which they were originally built by their good preservation, and in at least
one way support the truth of the Bible narrative; for, were it not that we know on whom the Israelites placed their main reliance, we should never understand how an unsettled and wandering people could have taken such immense strongholds. But that they did, sacred history gives ample evidence: we find that Jair, one of the leaders of the tribe of Manasseh, who is stated to have finished the conquest of Bashan begun by Moses and others of the Israelitish chiefs, conquered no less than sixty of these Amoritish cities, “ fenced with high walls, gates, and bars; besides unwalled towns a great many" (Deut. iii. 4, 5).
An English traveller and missionary, who has visited these wonderful structures in the course of his explorations in the east, says:" Bashan is literally crowded with towns and large villages ; and though the vast majority of them are deserted, they are not ruined. I have more than once entered a deserted city in the evening, taken possession of a comfortable house, and spent the night in peace. Many of the houses in the ancient cities of Bashan are as perfect as if finished only yesterday. The walls are sound, the roofs unbroken, the doors and even the window-shutters in their places."
As has been truly said by another writer, the foundations of these walled cities and stone castles were ancient when the corner-stone of the Grecian Parthenon, or the Roman Pantheon, or the Jewish Temple was laid.
The firmness with which the former structures have resisted the ravages of time may be partly owing to the manner in which they were erected, partly to the climate, and partly to their having suffered less than the ruins of other countries from the destroying hand of
To quote again the traveller just mentioned, -"The houses of Bashan are not ordinary houses. Their walls are from five to eight feet thick, built of large and quarried blocks of basalt; the roofs are formed of slabs of the same material, hewn like planks, and reaching from wall to wall; the very doors and window-shutters are of stone.
Some of these ancient cities have from two to five hundred houses still perfect, but not a man to dwell in them."
Solemn reflection! The strong places remain; but the race which built and inhabited them are more. Like grass, they have fallen beneath the sickle of the ever unsatisfied reaper, Death. What truth is to be deduced from this imperfect sketch ? and how are to apply it ? an able living writer says, -" While the world and life roll on and on, the feeble reason of the child of Providence may be at times overpowered by the vastness of the system amidst which he lives ; but his faith will smile upon his fear, rebuke him for averting his eyes, and inspire him with the thought, • Nothing can crush me, for I am made for eternity. I will do, suffer, and enjoy as my Father wills, and let the world and life roll on !' Such is the faith which supports, which alone can support, the many who, having been whirled in the eddying stream of social affairs, are withdrawn by one cause or another, to abide in some still little creek the passage of the mighty tide. The broken-down statesman who knows himself to be spoken of as politically dead, and sees his successors at work, building on his foundations, without more than a passing thought on him
who had laboured before them, has need of this faith. The aged, who find affairs proceeding at the will of the young and hardy, whatever the greyhaired may think and say, have need of this faith. So have the sick when they find none but themselves disposed to look on life in the light which comes from beyond the grave. So have the persecuted, when, with or without cause, they see themselves pointed at in the street, and the despised, who find themselves neglected whichever way they turn. So have the prosperous during those moments which must occur to all, when sympathy fails, and means to much desired ends are wanting, or when satiety makes the spirit roam abroad in search of something better than it has found. This universal, eternal, filial relation is the only universal and eternal refuge. It is the solace of royalty weeping in the inner chambers of its palaces, and of poverty drooping beside its cold hearth. It is the glad tidings preached to the poor, and in which all must be poor in spirit to have part. If they be poor in spirit, it matters little what is their external state, or whether the world, which rolls on beside or over them, be the world of a solar system, or of a conquering em. pire, or of a small-souled village.'
HOPE is a ray of light Divine,
Descending from above ;
Regarding us with love.
Throughout life's chequered road, Or buoy the stricken spirit up
Beneath its crushing load.
Replete with joy and woe,
Where sin can never go.
The soul safe o'er the wave,
The star that shines when all is dark
And silent as the grave.
Whose life can never die !
E. J. S, CLIFFORD.
LESSONS FOR LITTLE ONES AND JUNIORS.
THERE are very many of our readers and contributors who will be glad to see the above line in the Contents list on the front page of our wrapper.
We have little doubt but that some of them at least have experienced no small amount of anxiety. This anxiety, we confess, has been shared by ourselves ; although of course it has been different in kind, if not greater in degree. In our case it has arisen from the desire fairly to balance the merits of the respective papers sent in, and at the same time to acknowledge the abilities of the individual writers. These have not formed so numerous a body as on previous similar occasions; although we must say the series of Prize Lessons has as a whole given us satisfaction. Most
we may say, nearly all of the papers for Little Ones, while possessed of a fair amount of average merit, are yet wanting in two of those distinctive features which may justly be termed indispensable to successful juvenile teaching; namely, homeliness and simplicity of language, and an interesting supply as well as practical application of the illustrations. As instances of the absence of these defects, we point to the lessons of the successful competitor.
Space will not permit of our individually criticising each of the sets forwarded ; we follow therefore our plan of last year, and place the various lessons received in three classes, distinguished by the first three letters of the alphabetA, B, C: A representing the highest order of excellence.
CLASS A.-F. B. W.; Helen; E. A. L.
CLASS B.—Lilian E.; H. D. ; Teresa ; F. M. L.; Esther; S. E. J; R. Y. E.
CLASS C.-H. H.
Another competitor, J. W. T., also forwarded four Prize Lessons for Little Ones; but these were found unsuitable for the class just named, and, being of sufficient excellence, were relegated to the competition among Juniors. On the other hand, E. A. L.'s contributions were discovered among those marked " Juniors;
but they were hardly up to the standard required, although admirably suited for little ones. In justice to the writer they were therefore removed to the last-named division.
From the arrangement adopted, it will be seen that F. B. W. is the successful competitor for the prize given in respect of Lessons for Little Ones; and we sincerely congratulate her. So too, no doubt, will our readers on erusal of her four admirable lessons, given in the present Treasury. They possess the special excellences of clear and simple explanations of difficult words and ideas, apt questions and replies, judicious anecdotal illustration, lively and interesting manner of teaching—all embodied in a lucid literary style. Helen's and E. A. L.'s contributions take rank next to F. B. W.'s; and had this latter's papers been absent, we think we should have had some difficulty in deciding fairly between the merits of those of the former. E. A. L.'s attempt is said to be a first one; as such, it is most creditable. We hope these last-named writers will be more successful on a future occasion.
Some of the writers in Class B, in