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CHAP. III.

ILLUSTRATIONS OF SCRIPTURE, FROM THE HOUSES,

CITIES, WALLS, AND TOWERS OF THE EAST.

The excavations of nature or art, the first habitations of mankind. The tent

succeeded, and was supplanted by houses of mud or stone.--Houses of the Kabyles, how constructed. The largest of them has rarely more than one chamber.-Houses of the lower orders in Egypt.-Houses in Judea. Their walls composed partly of combustible materials.-Ruinous effects of stormy winds and heavy rains upon mud-walled houses.-Unrivalled magna nificence of many oriental edifices. Their mortar, how made.-General style of building.Streets narrow.--Entrance of their houses.-Their doors opening into the court, very small.-House of a man in power known by the height of his gate.—Quadrangular court.-Cloister and gallery.-Doors of their houses.-Windows.- Walls of their houses richly adorned. -Ceiling.Floors.-Carpets.-Beds. Of what they consist. Staircase.

-Door at the top. The roof.-Battlements.-Arbour on the roof.-Common road along the roofs of the houses.-Back-houses.- Temple or house of Dagon.-Their apartments, how cooled. Members of a family sleep in different beds. The houses lighted with lamps. Their furniture.-Nails. -Fires in winter. The houses decorated with trees, shrubs, and flowers.

Surrounded with lofty walls. Method of securing their gates.-Locks und keys.-Watchmen.-Watch-tower.--Fortified cities.--Citadel.Winter and summer houses.Shaded with trees.

The aboriginal inhabitants of those regions, appear to have taken up their abode in caves, in dens, and in holes of the rocks, the excavations of nature or art, of which many remain to the present times, and afford occasional shelter to the wandering shepherd and his flocks, and in times of danger, to the trembling fugitive and his family."

a

Odyssey, lib. ix, 1. 113, 114, 400. Josephus Antiq. book xiv, ch. 15, sec. 4. Buckingham's Trav. in Palestine, vol. i, p. 176, 191. The whole

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But as their flocks and herds multiplied, the Syrian shepherds were compelled to go in quest of distant pastures, from whence they found it impossible to return at night to their immoveable retreats. Necessity, the mother of the arts, taught them to construct the tent, which they might carry along with them in their wanderings, and set up and take down at their pleasure. But as the number of the people daily increased, and the necessity of applying themselves to the cultivation of the soil became obvious, they found the tent an incommodious habitation, and their fields often lay at a considerable distance from the cavern ; while the division of property, which was introduced at a very early period, and the natural desire in every family to live by themselves, suggested the idea of houses, constructed of more durable materials than the tent, which admitted of being placed sufficiently near for mutual assistance, and at the same time furnished the comfort which they so much desired, of living by themselves, and securing their own interests.

In the opinion of Pliny, the oriental barbarian took the hint of building a house for himself and his family, from the swallow; and in imitation of his feathered instructor, made his first essay in mud. The Kabyles, on the coast of Barbary, raise their dwellings with hurdles, daubed over with mud, with square cakes of clay baked in the sun, or stones from some adjacent ruin. The roofs are covered with straw or turf, supported by reeds or branches of trees. The largest of them has rarely more than one of the caves on the coast of Palestine, which are very numerous, and many of them well designed and executed, our author thinks were the habitations of the ancient Canaanites, some of their strongholds near the sea, from which the children of Israel could not dislodge them. P. 192, 224, 288. Many of the grottoes around Jerusalem he views in the same light. P. 289.

b Nat. Hist. lib. x, cap. 34.

66 All

chamber, which serves for a kitchen, dining-room, and bed-chamber; besides one corner of it, which is reserved for their foals, calyes, and kids. As these hovels are al ways fixed and immoveable, they are undoubtedly what the ancients called magalia ; and therefore, Carthage itself, before the time of Dido, was nothing more than a cluster of mud-built hovels :C

“ Miratur molem Æneas, magalia quondam.” Æn. lib. i, 1. 425. The houses of the lower orders in Egypt are in like man. ner constructed of unburnt bricks, or square pices of clay, baked in the sun, and only one story high; but those of the higher classes, of stone, and generally two, and some times three stories high. These facts are at once a short and lively comment on the words of the prophet: the people shall know, even Ephraim, and the inhabitants of Samaria, that say, in the pride and stoutness of heart, The bricks are fallen down, but we will build with hewn stone; the sycamores are cut down, but we will change them into cedars."d Bricks dried in the sun, are poor

• Dr. Shaw's Tray. vol. i, p. 400.-The houses of the lower classes in Persia are built of the same materials. Malcom's Hist. vol. ii,

P.

525. The houses of Bassorah are built partly of sun-dried and partly of þurnt bricks. Kinneir's Geographical Memoir of the Persian Empire, p. 289.The villages of modern Egypt still consist of mud and straw-built huts, with white pigeon-houses on the top. Richardson's Tray. vol. ii, p. 141.

Isa. ix, 9, 10.-Richardson informs us that “the brick pyramid in Egypt is much fallen down on the north side, and looks as if the roof of one cham. ber had given way, and the walls fallen in : the bricks are sun-dried and remarkably fresh ; they have been made of mud and cut straw, in the same manner that bricks are made in Egypt in the present day” -(Trav. vol. ii, p. 146); and it may be added, in the days of that Pharaoh who made the lives of enslaved and proscribed Israel. bitter with hard bondage, in mortar, and in brick, and in all manner of service in the field.” Exod. i, 11-14. The ruins of On, or Heliopolis, consist chiefly of houses of unburnt brick, of the same description with the ruins in Upper Egypt. Such, it is most probable, were the treasure cities which the people of Israel built for Pharach. P. 164.

a very

materials for building, compared with hewn stone, which in Egypt, is almost equal to marble ; and forms a strong contrast between the splendid palace, and mud-walled cabin. And if, as is probable, the houses of the higher orders in Israel were built with the same species of costly and beautiful stone, the contrast stated by the prophet, places the vaunting of his wealthier countrymen in strong light. The boastful extravagance of that people, is still further displayed by the next figure : “ The sycamores are cut down, but we will change them into cedars;" the forests of sycamore, the wood of which we have been accustomed to employ in building, are cut down by the enemy, but instead of them we will import cedars, of whose fragrant and beautiful wood we will construct and adorn our habitations. The sycamore grew in abundance, in the low country of Judea, and was not much esteemed ; but the cedar was highly valued; it was brought at a great expense, and with much labour, from the distant and rugged summits of Lebanon, to beautify the dwellings of the great, the palaces of kings, and the temple of Jehovah. It was therefore, an extravagant boast, which betrayed the pride and vanity of their depraved hearts, that all the warnings, threatenings, and judgments of the living God, were insufficient to subdue or restrain.

In Judea, and some of the neighbouring countries, where rain often falls in winter in very copious and violent showers, instead of earth and straw, they make use of wood in constructing the walls of their dwellings. In this manner was the wall originally built, which enclosed the court of the temple at Jerusalem ; and it was re-constructed of the same materials, wood and stone, when the Jews returned from their long and painful captivity, by

the direction of the Persian monarch. It is evident that the walls of their fortified cities were partly constructed of combustible materials; for the prophet, denouncing the judgments of God upon Syria and other countries, declares; 66 I will send a fire on the wall of Gaza, which shall devour the palaces thereof."e The walls of Tyre and Rabbah seem to have been of the same perishable materials ; for the prophet adds: “ I will send a fire on the wall of Tyrus, which shall devour the palaces thereof;" and again; “ I will kindle a fire in the walls of Rabbah, and it shall devour the palaces thereof with shouting in the day of battle." The more durable materials of wood and stone, were preferred by the inhabitants of Canaan from the earliest times; for Moses, in the law concerning the leprous house, proceeds on the supposition that their houses were built of these : “ Then the priest shall command that they take away the stones in which the plague is.”g. The greater durableness and beauty of such edifices have not, however, prevailed on the lower orders in the east to abandon their mud-walled habitations, even in those places where stone may be procured in abundance. At Damascus, for example, they continue to build with mud and slime, though they have plenty of stones near the city.h In the time of Job, and probably for a long succession of ages, the houses of all ranks in the land of Uz were built of mud; for he charges the adulterer with digging through the walls of his neighbour's house, with the view of gratifying his vile propensities : “ In the dark,” said the sorrowful and indignant patriarch, “they dig through houses which they had marked for themselves in the day time:

e Amos i, 7.

f Verses 10, 14.
h Maundrell's Journey, p. 124.

& Lev. xiv, 40.

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