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in making and decorating the tombs were of the sacerdotal order, and the splendour of the funeral obsequies tended to their emolument. They, therefore, induced the people to expend considerable sums on the celebration of these rites, and even the poor amongst the Egyptians would deprive themselves of many of the necessaries of life, in order to purchase their tombs. The process of embalming a body amongst the wealthy, cost about £250 of our money; and an immense sum was expended on the burial place." A modern traveller has said, “ I was amazed to find that the perfection of art was reserved for the tombs—for these spots, destined to silence and darkness. Hieroglyphics cut deep and correctly, figures so real and soft, one could imagine them to be but lately formed; the whole scene so. unlike a tomb that the presence of the mummy is necessary to recall the fact, that it is an habitation of the dead.”
And truly can the writer testify, that much as she may have heard or read of the splendour of Egyptian tombs, yet in visiting them, her own mind was more struck by the folly of man in thus honouring his ashes, than by the talent exercised in the effort. On entering some of the tombs, she could almost have fancied herself in one of the many luxurious mansions in civilized England. The lengthened galleries—the beautifully proportioned chambers——the elaborate chiselling, and the highly finished painting still fresh in deep and glowing colors—all seem to belong to life rather than death-to present occupation, rather than to the memory of bygone generations, whose names are well nigh obliterated.
But while the mind of the traveller recalls the
past history of Egypt, and passes back through the long line of kings, whose embalmed dust may yet be hidden in these sepulchral caves, or may have been removed at the caprice of some ignorant Arab, there is something very affecting in the thought, that one individual there was in Egypt, who was set over all the land, who wore Pharaoh's ring and was arrayed in vestures of fine linen, with the royal chain about his neck ; who, when he rode in the second chariot of king Pharaoh, they cried before him “ bow the knee, (Gen. xli.) and without him no man lift up his hand or foot in all the land of Egypt; but of this one no monumental record remains ! Should we not have expected that a man raised to such dignity, because he was the means of saving the life of every man, woman, and child, from the king to the peasant, that he would have been embalmed at his death with the most costly perfumes, and that the richest sepulchre, or the loftiest pyramid, would have been prepared by a grateful country to be the resting place of his ashes ? But what is the account of his funeral ? It is recorded by unerring truth in the word of God, “By faith Joseph, when he died, made mention of the departing of the children of Israel, and gave commandment concerning his bones.”_(Heb. xi.) “And they (his brethren, not the Egyptians,) embalmed him, and he was put in a coffin, in Egypt.” (Gen. i. 26.) “ And he was carried over into Sychem, and laid in the sepulchre that Jacob bought for a sum of money of the sons of Emmor, the father of Sychem.” (Acts vii.)
And why was this? The man, equal to Pharaoh in dignity, orders no tomb to be erected in the precincts of the royal city. He speaks not
of a costly sepulchre, but he gives a “ commandment concerning his bones.” He had come into Egypt a purchased slave, and (as if to mock the unimportance of the intervening events, as far as human honour was concerned, he would be taken out of Egypt a heap of bones. Having done the work for which God sent him into Egypt he had no ambition to make himself a name, that his house should continue for ever, or titles be inscribed upon monumental stones. Rather did he, by faith, desire that his crumbling dust should lie beside the remains of his believing forefathers Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He refused the pyramid of stone, and preferred the lowly tomb in Palestine. For well he knew that the same God of truth who had sent him into Egypt and raised him from a prison to a throne, that he might preserve a posterity in the earth to the seed of faithful Abraham, and “to save their lives by a great deliverance," (Gen. xlv. 7,) would also « fulfil with his hand that which he had spoken with his mouth," saying, “ unto thy seed will I give this land.” (Gen. xii. 7.)
Therefore did Joseph, in simple faith and love, prefer to anticipate the period when his bones should be carried into the promised land, and laid beside his forefathers, rather than share the distinction of the honours due to him from his rank and dignity in the land of Egypt. Reader, go and do likewise. Cast in
lot with the people of God; seek not the praise that cometh of man, but rather let your 66 witness be in heaven, your record on high.” (Job xvi. 19.) Act upon the promises, and you will surely find that the God of Joseph will be your God; that he will deliver you in all your troubles, be your guide even unto death, and then shall there be a performance of all those things which have been told you of the Lord, whose “ Word is Truth.”
THE RESTORATION OF THE JEWS. Extracts from a Sermon by the Bishop of London.
“It has been too customary with Christians to look upon the Jews as a people, who, having performed the part allotted to them in God's moral government of the world, have been laid aside, as an instrument which has done its work, and will be no more required by the artificer. The story of their fortunes has been regarded as belonging altogether to the annals of the past. Their continued existence, indeed, has been pointed out as a verification of the Word of God; but their future bearing upon the Church of Christ, and upon the spiritual state of mankind, was too long overlooked. Of later years, it has been more clearly seen, that the thread of their destiny is interwoven with the history of the world, from the moment when it first fell under captivity to sin, to the time when it shall be finally delivered from its thraldom; that there are prophecies still unfulfilled, the accomplishment of which is certain, foreshowing that the Jews have still an important part to act in the development of the Christian dispensation, and that they are to be principal agents in its closing, as they were in its opening scenes. Bear this in mind, and with what interest will that ancient and long-despised people be regarded! How little shall we be inclined to boast ourselves against the branches,"
which were once broken off, that we might be graffed in; but which in their appointed time shall be graffed in again, and perhaps be more lovely and more fruitful branches than those which St. Paul describes as having been graffed, contrary to nature, into the good olive tree, not their own.
The eighth and three last chapters of Zechariah, cannot, we think, without doing violence to all the laws of interpretation, be so explained, as not to imply a future restoration of the Jews to their ancient and covenanted inheritance, and the reestablishment of their national polity. This is of necessity connected with the re-instatement of the holy city of Jerusalem in splendour and strength. Jerusalem shall be safely inhabited. It shall be lifted up and inhabited in her place; and men shall dwell in it, and there shall be no more utter destruction.
MISSIONS TO THE JEWS.
MR. GOLDINGER writes from this station :
“ Through the grace of God, I had daily opportunities, during the past month, of speaking with Jews on the saving Gospel of Christ ; for though the cold weather prevented us from speaking with Jews in the streets, we are seeking opportunities of proclaiming the word of life in their lodgings. I can only say that Jews, both from here and other towns, call on me, though not very numerously, in order to converse with me on religion, and to be informed on the Christian truths. Some cases give me much joy, and