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BALM OF GILEAD. REFERENCE is supposed to be made to this important gum in the following passages of holy writ:-Gen. xxxvii. 25; xliii. il; Jer. viii. 22; xlvi. 11; li. 8; Ezek. xxvii. 17. It is curious, that the tree producing the precious balsam, or balm of Gilead, is not a native of the country where we have the first accounts of its being gathered in sufficient quantity to become an article of commerce. It has nowhere been found wild, except on the African coast of the Red Sea, as far as Babelmandel. Its produce is named as an article of merchandise, in the book of Genesis, without any observation whatever; but it is probable that the plants which Josephus says the Queen of Sheba presented to Solomon may have stocked the gardens of
Jericho, between twenty and thirty miles from those of Gilead, and in a climate and soil more favourable. We may conclude (says Lady Calcott) from the care taken of these gardens, from the constant opinion that one of them, at least, was planted by Solomon, and from the knowledge possessed by the Greeks and Romans that they were the peculiar property of the Kings of Judah, how precious the balm was. Jeremiah instructs us in its healing properties, when lamenting the miseries of Israel. “Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there?” And again, he mourns the woes of Egypt and Babylon, because they are such as the balm even of Gilead cannot cure.
The road by which the balsam reached Greece and Rome is pointed out by Ezekiel,
who says that Israel and Judah supplied the markets of Tyre with it, and the merchants frequenting Tyre carried it, of course, further west. So highly prized was this balsam, that, during the war of Titus against the Jews, two fierce contests took place for the balsam-orchards of Jericho, the last of which was to prevent the Jews from destroying the trees, that the trade might not fall into the enemy's hands. The gardens were taken formal possession of as public property; an imperial guard was appointed to watch over them; and the Emperors increased their size, and endeavoured to propagate the plants. This care has, however, been unavailing: not a root nor a branch of the balsam-tree is now to be found in all Palestine. Twice was the curiosity of the Roman people gratified by the sight of a balsam-tree exhibited in triumph in their streets. The first time was when Pompey returned from his conquests in the East, and Judea first became a Roman province: and the last time was, after a lapse of one hundred and forty-four years, when the spoils of the temple of Jerusalem were borne in triumph through the imperial city; and, as a sign of the subjugation of the whole country, the precious balm-tree was one of the objects exhibited with pride by Vespasian.
Centuries have passed by since the very names of balsam of Judea, and balm of
Gilead, have been forgotten. The substance, however, is still eagerly sought for in Egypt and the East, under the name of balm of Mecca. It appears to have been one of the great objects of Hasselquist's oriental travels to procure some unadulterated balsam of Mecca. This he was enabled to do at Cairo; but he complains much of the fraudulent mixtures in its stead. He never obtained a sight of the plant. Bruce was more fortunate. He saw it in some valleys of Arabia. The most considerable grove, or garden, of balsam-trees, is in a recess in the mountains between Mecca and Medina, near a place where Mohammed fought one of his severest battles. He, sensible of the advantage of possessing the precious grove, at once took possession of it, and asserted, even in the face of his companions, that the trees had sprung from the blood of such of the Koreish as had died there. The bark is smooth, shining, and of a whitish grey colour, with brown blotches. The leaves are of a white green, and grow in threes and fives. The flower is insignificant, and generally grows three together, though it is rare to find more than two berries near each other. The greatest quantity of the balsam flows from the wounded bark. The twigs, after boiling, are sent to Venice, when they enter into that heterogeneous compound, Venice treacle.
MEMOIR OF MR. JOHN MILNER.
(Concluded from page 55.) On one of these occasions the Clergyman came to John when he was delivering his message, and pulled him off the chair on which he stood. He also hailed poor John down the street, holding him fast by the collar of his coat, threatening him with a place in the stocks. John occasionally in terposed a word or two, and said, “Sir, are you not ashamed to use a poor old man so ill ?" But no notice was taken of these more gentle remonstrances; and something having caught the attention of the Clergyman, John espied his opportunity, and, putting his mouth almost close to the Clergyman's ear, cried in a voice like thunder, “Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead.” This operated like the electric stroke of a torpedo; and the Clergyman loosed hold of his victim, and let him depart in peace. After any persecution of this sort he used to console himself by saying, he hoped that the warning he had given would sink in the conscience.
At another village this good man took his stand on the outside of the church-wall, and commenced singing a hymn as the people
were coming out of church. After some time the Clergyman, who was a Magistrate, ordered the Constable to go and pull the Preacher down, take him out of the parish, and dismiss him, with the injunction not to return. John went very quietly with the Constable to the parish boundary, where he was not so passive in receiving his dismissal, and, being by far the stronger man of the two, he laid hold upon the Constable, held him fast, knelt down on the highway, and prayed for him, for the Clergyman, and the poor sinners in the parish. He then went home in peace. But if in this summary way it was thought a troublesome man was to be got rid of, the parties little knew the temper of the individual they had to deal with; for the next Sabbath John was at his post again, and a very similar scene was gone through. The Constable was seized by John, held fast on the highway, and compelled to hear his prayer a second time. Opposition always added a fresh stimulus to John Milner's zeal. He considered his work a battle for the Lord of hosts, and therefore would never be the first to quit the field. On the third Sabbath afternoon, John was under the churchyard-wall, trying to blow the ram's
horn for his Master, and warn sinners to have an end; but if any of you gentlemen on “flee from the wrath to come." When the the bench get to the wrong place, you will Constable was again ordered to pull him never get out again.” He then knelt down down, he remonstrated, and told his tale of to pray for them. “We'll have none of your being held fast, &c. “Why then," said the prayer here," said a Magistrate. “GentleClergyman, "go and bring him to me." men,” was the reply, "if you do not pray, Well pleased with the change, the Constable, you will be lost.” whose conscience seemed to have been When taken down the street in Doncaster touched a little, took John to the house of the to prison, it was generally with holy triumph Rector. There sat his Reverence, when in on John's part. He told the Magistrates, entered the Constable with his prisoner. “Gentlemen, you permit rogues, bad people, Whatever was the anger of the Judge, the ballad-singers, and evil men to cry lists of the man in custody was as calm as a summer's running horses, and all sorts of gamblers to evening. “I tell you,” said the Clergyman, come, and take no notice of them; but won't "you shall not preach here; we want no bear one old man to tell you the truth." such people as you; and I order you to quit “However," said he to the writer, " the last this village, and never to return." “Will time I was in prison, one of the Magistrates your Reverence please to hear me?" said came and ordered me a very good bed, and I John. Permission was granted, and he had plenty to eat and drink; and the jailer proceeded : “Sir, I lived till I was near was very kind to me." forty years of age, one of the most ignorant On inquiring what made the Magistrates so and wicked men in all the country. I never angry with him as to put him in prison, went either to church or chapel; hardly he replied, " The High-street in Doncaster knew whether I had a soul or not, or whether on a Sunday afternoon is like a fair, and all there were either God or devil, heaven or the blacklegs, gamblers, and gentlemen from hell; but by hearing the preaching of the every part of the country are out with their Methodists I was convinced that I was a sin- cards and betting-books, and you hear them ner, converted to God, and made a new man. saying, three to one on such a horse ; and O Sir! religion has made me so bappy, I five to one; two to one, &c. So I cried at want everybody to be like me. I don't come the top of my voice, (and it was an awfully here to oppose you, Sir; but simply because loud one,) 'A thousand to one! a thousand I thought there might be some poor un- to one! a thousand to one! you Sabbathgodly men in this place who are as ignorant, breakers and gamblers, &c., are all on the wicked, and unhappy as I was, and that they highway to hell-fire.'" And this he kept might believe what an old man could tell repeating; and then quoted other pointed them about the goodness of God in sending passages of Scripture. Christ into the world to save them; and The fruit of this good man's labours will how happy religion would make them.” be known in that day when the Lord will
John spoke the simple language of his reward every man according to his work. heart. And it was not in vain. The The latter days of John's life were eminently Clergyman was considerably moved: he peaceful and happy. He was only ill a week dismissed John, therefore, with kind words, before his death. When his old master and told him he might go and do all the Mr. Clarke asked him, if he felt the love of good he could.
God in his heart, he replied, “Yes; and Bent upon new and untried paths, John it does not visit me as a transient guest, but was rather eccentric in his movements, and has abided here in my heart many a year." therefore went for several successive years to He then exclaimed, " I have fought the good Doncaster races, to warn the ungodly sinners fight of faith, and am going to receive a who assembled there. His friends remon- crown of glory! Yes! I know I am." He strated with him on the impropriety of this died July 25th, 1824, aged seventy-nine years step, as one in which he was not likely to do and eleven months. any good; but he considered it his duty, and On the Sabbath after his death, Mr. no consideration could induce him to deviate Samuel Clarke, in whose employ he had been from it. The Magistrates several times gave engaged so many years, preached his funeral orders for his apprehension, and lodged him sermon in the open air to a very large confor a few days in prison. At first they were gregation. His text was, " The memory of disposed to be severe; but on learning his the just is blessed." Mr. Clarke said, in the character, they became more lenient. Indeed course of his sermon, that he thanked God when he was first taken up, under the pre- he ever knew John Milner; and that during tence of creating a riot, by collecting a the last thirty years of his life he had never crowd around him, and was examined in the
seen him in any temper or frame of mind but court-house, one of the Magistrates threat- he wished to be in the same when he came ened him that if he came there any more to to die. preach, they would send him to the Wakefield Such was the life and death of this humble house of correction. "Gentlemen," replied and devoted cottager. His reputation for John, “I am seventy years old, and if I should deep piety was established; and his character lie in Wakefield jail seventy years, they would was respected among all classes throughout
MISCELLANY OF EXTRACTS AND CORRESPONDENCE.
the neighbourhood of his residence. Any smile occasioned by his eccentricities was followed by the declaration, “ But John is a very good man."
He sometimes attempted a little versification, and composed the following, which he desired might be put on his tombstone, in Maltby churchyard :
" John Milner was, before his death,
A crier in the wilderness.
And you and he shall meet in heaven.'" Sheffield.
MISCELLANY OF EXTRACTS AND CORRESPONDENCE.
FROM COTTLE'S RECOLLECTIONS
OF COLERIDGE. At this time I was invited to meet Mr. Coleridge with a zealous Unitarian Minister. It was natural to conclude that such uncongenial, and, at the same time, such inflammable materials, would soon "ignite. The subject of Unitarianism having been introduced soon after dinner, the Minister avowed his sentiments, in language that was construed into a challenge, when Mr. Coleridge advanced at once to the charge, by
little you retain of Christianity is not worth keeping." We looked in vain for a reply. After a manifest internal conflict, the Unitarian Minister very prudently allowed the gauntlet to remain undisturbed. Wine he thought more pleasant than controversy.
Shortly after this occurrence, Mr. Coleridge sapped with the writer, when his well-known conversational talents were eminently displayed; so that what Pope allirmed of Bolingbroke, that "his usual conversation, taken down verbatim, from its coherence and accuracy, would have borne printing without correction," was fully, and perhaps more justly, applicable to Mr. C.
He said he had recently had a long conversation with a Unitarian Minister, who declared that he could discover nothing in the New Testament which in the least favoured the divinity of Christ, to which Mr. C. replied that it appeared to him impossible for any man to read the New Testament, with the common exercise of an unbiassed under standing, without being convinced of the divinity of Christ, from the testimony almost of every page.
He said it was evident that different persons might look at the same object with very opposite feelings. For instance, if Sir Isaac Newton looked at the planet Jupiter, he would view him with his revolving moons, and would be led to the contemplation of his being inhabited, which thought would open a boundless field to his imagination : whilst another person, standing perhaps at the side of the great philosopher, would look at Jupiter with the same set of feelings that he would at a silver sixpence. So some persons were wilfully blind, and did not seek for that
change, that preparation of the heart and understanding, which would enable them to see clearly the Gospel truth.
He said that Socinians believed no more than St. Paul did before his conversion : for the Pharisees believed in the Supreme Being, and a future state of rewards and punishments. St. Paul thought he ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth. The saints he shut up in prison, having received authority from the High-Priest; and when they were put to death, he gave his voice against them. But after his conversion, writing to the Romans, he says, “I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ; for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth : to the Jew first, and also to the Greek."
He then referred to the dreadful state of the literati in London, as it respected religion, and of their having laughed at him, and believed him to be in jest, when he professed his belief in the Bible.
Having introduced Mr. Davy to Mr. C. some years before, I inquired for him with some anxiety, and expressed a hope that he was not tinctured with the prevailing scepticism since his removal from Bristol to London. Mr. C. assured me that he was not: that his heart and understanding were not the soil for infidelity.
In the corroboration of this remark, an occurrence might be cited, from the Life of Sir Humphrey, by his brother, Dr. Davy. Sir Humphrey, in his excursion to Ireland, at the house of Dr. Richardson, met a large party at dinner, amongst whom were the Bishop of Raphoe, and another Clergyman. A gentleman, one of the company, in his zeal for infidelity, began an attack on Christianity, (no very gentlemanlike conduct,) not doubting but that Sir H. Davy, as a philosopher, participated in his principles ; and he probably anticipated, with so powerful an auxiliary, an easy triumph over the cloth. With great confidence he began his flippant sarcasms at religion, and was heard out by his audience, and by none with more attention than Sir Humphrey. At the conclusion of his harangue, Sir H. Davy, instead of lending his aid, entered on a comprehensive defence of Christianity," in so fine a tone of elo.
THE EAGLE AND CAT.
present unusually perilous situation, rendered The circumstance represented in our poor puss for some time a passive prisoner. woodcut at the head of this article, is the This, however, did not continue long. The following:
eagle appeared, to the spectators, to betray One of those eagles with which the more symptoms of uneasiness; for puss had exnorthern parts of Scotland abound, was ob- tricated herself from the claws of the victor, served by the artist who made a sketch of the and was now the aggressor, and seizing the transaction, and also by some hay-makers in bird by the throat, inflicted some deadly an adjoining field, to alight in his downward wounds on the neck and head of the eagle, course, in the vicinity of a neighbouring farm- which caused it rapidly to descend to the yard, and in a few moments, the king of the earth, lifeless. birds was again beheld ascending, having Pussey was uninjured, and, after looking made captive a fine but unlucky cat, and was round, and giving herself a shake or two, in the act of conveying poor Grimalkin to his returned to her former haunts. eyry. The suddenness of the capture, and her
ridiculous in the absurd incidents inseparable from it, and unpleasant in its senseless and unmeaning degradation. There are two steps to begin with, and then a rather broad