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go with them to the tribe into which they should marry---destroying thereby the contemplated equality of the nation. To prevent this consequence, it was provided, that a female possessing an inheritance should not marry out of her own tribe---and these heiresses were therefore united to their kinsmen.
The tribe of Levi, deriving their chief support from the sacred treasury, were to have no landed property---but forty-eight cities, taken from the other tribes, and in proportion to the extent of each, were to be allotted for their dwellings, with suburbs, or pasture grounds for their cattle. *
Six of the forty-eight, to be “ cities of refuge," for the involuntary homicide; to which he might flee and receive protection from the vengeance of the friends of him whom he had slain. This immunity continued during the life of the officiating high priest; and after his decease, the offender might return securely to his home. But should he be found beyond the limits of the city, and fall into the hands of those who sought his life, within that period, they were not accountable for any punishment which they might inflict. For a deliberate, premeditated murder, no satisfaction might be taken. Of this most atrocious of all crimes, the utmost abhorrence is unequivocally expressed, in these emphatic words :---" Ye shall take no satisfaction for the life of a murderer which is guilty of death ; but he shall surely be put to death. So ye shall not pollute the land wherein ye are---for blood defileth the land, and the land cannot be cleansed of the blood that is shed therein, but by blood.”+
* About 305 acres surrounding each city. + Numbers, XXIV. 31, 33.
FANNY. To confine a man to one place, and at a distance from his family and friends, perhaps, as it might happen, for a number of years, would seem rather to be a punishment, than a favour---considering, too, that the homicide was involuntary.
Mrs. M. When the life of a man is taken away by accidental violence, the fact will frequently be attended with circumstances exciting suspicion in the minds of those most nearly interested, and instigating them to revenge. The city of Refuge was then an asylum for him who might unhappily become the object of vindictive or unreasonable passion. Besides, life under any circumstances, is a valuable treasure, because it is the season for repentance, and preparation for a longer and a better state of existence. To be, therefore, even the innocent cause of depriving a fellow-creature of this invaluable opportunity, must fill a reflecting mind with the most poignant regret, and has been, in many instances, the means of bringing sinners to contrition. Seclusion, for a time, from the objects that had most fondly occupied the heart, was well adapted to promote this most important end, and was indeed a blessing though it might at first seem a punishment.
FANNY. But would it not have been better, that the suspected reputation should have been cleared up, as it is done with us, in the trial by jury, than that it should have remained under a cloud for ever---whilst sympathy and safety were only procured by the death of the High Priest ---a circumstance altogether unconnected with the guilt or innocence of the offender?
Mrs. M. The trial by jury, my dear, is an admirable institution for us, whose cireumstances are altogether different from those of the Israelites. Nor were they the
subjects of arbitrary power-they had their courts and their witnesses, and guilt or innocence was ascertained with caution; but their judicial and typical laws, were sometimes blended together, --of which peculiarity, the city of Refuge is an instance. The allusions to it in Scripture, both under the Mosaic, and the Christian dispensation, instructs us, that it was intended to teach them, that their most indifferent actions were not innocent--that they were continually obnoxious to punishment, and that pardon and salvation were to be obtained only through the merits of the life and death of their promised Messiah, our exalted High Priest.
CHARLES. My impatience, mother, to pursue the history of the Israelites has led me to anticipate our conversation. I have looked into the book of Deuteronomy, but have met with nothing that you had not told us before.
MRS. M. I am very much gratified in finding that you have attended so carefully, for your conclusion is nearly correct. The book of Deuteronomy is a book of repetition, and that is the import of the name.* It is the valedictory
. discourse of Moses to the Israelites,
Their pilgrimage was now drawing to a close, and the life of their venerable legislator was restricted to that period. He had earnestly desired to enter the promised land, but his prayer was rejected, and he submitted.
The near approach of their separation awakened all his paternal love for the people of his charge-his anxious concern for their happiness, and his apprehensions of the disastrous consequences of that levity which had severely put his constancy to the test, and finally, in effect, occasioned his exclusion.
The generation that was now to enjoy the blessings promised to Abraham, had not incurred the unpardonable guilt of despising “ the voice that spake from the mountain that burned with fire unto the midst of heaven”-the tremendous spectacle displayed on mount Sinai; they were " the children—the little ones” whom those incorrigible men had often complained were brought out of Egypt to die of hunger and thirst. The precepts and the prayers of Moses had failed to avert the penalty of disobedience from their fathers, yet flattered by his own invincible affection, he indulged the hope, that the last words of a long tried, and now departing friend, might stimulate their children to pursue that course of virtue and piety, which alone would secure their peace in the inheritance of Abraham.
* From the Greek words Deuteros, the second, and Nomos, a law,
He assembled the nation, therefore, on the plain of Moah, on the first day of the eleventh month of the fortieth year of their abode in the desert, and delivered to them the persuasive address contained in the book of Deuteronomy.
And first, because the most of his auditors were either very young, or not yet born, when the posterity of Jacob had walked through the dried bed of the Red Sea, he recited briefly their journey from Horeb “ through the great and terrible wilderness, by the way of the mountains of the Amorites," to the place where they then stood—the unceasing care of an ever-watchful guardian, who had provided for all their wants; and travelling before them in a fire by night, and a cloud by day, had directed them where to pitch their tents—who had enabled them to overcome all opposition, and delivered their enemies into their hands --yet they had not put their trust in Him-even refusing at Kadesh, when they were told to go up at once and possess their inheritance !
CHARLES. But the people to whom Moses now spoke,