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my servant is dead, now therefore arise and go over this Jordan."

FANNY. Then about to encounter hostile nations, they would most sensibly feel the loss of their experienced chief.

Mrs. M. That loss, irreparable as it might seem, was supplied by the substitution of Joshua, appointed by God himself, and consecrated by the hands of Moses, to succeed him in the command of the Israelites.

That no diffidence, however, might retard the movements of Joshua, “ The Lord,” who had supported Moses by his presence, now appeared to his successor, and assured him, that he should “ divide the promised inheritance to the children of Abraham." “ Only be thou strong, and very conrageous" (said he) “ that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law which Moses my servant commanded thee. Turn not from it to the right hand, nor to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest. This Book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth, but thou shalt meditate therein, day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein, for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success."

Thus graciously encouraged, the new commander began his arrangements for taking possession of Canaan. Two confidential young men were dispatched to examine the strength of the city of Jericho, which lying very near to the opposite shore of Jordan, must be taken before they could penetrate into the country.

CATHERINE. That would seem to have been an unnecessary precaution. The Lord their God, had promised to go with them—what strength or power could counteract his will ?

Mrs. M. It is not generally the will of Heaven to bestow blessings on those who do not seek them. Had the Israelites been put into the possession of Canaan without any extraordinary exertions of their own-the indolent might have taken encouragement to fold their arms and presumptuously expect the unclouded sunshine of prosperity. I just now recited a part of the charge that was given to Joshua for the purpose of shewing you, that the favourable designs of Providence exempt not us from the performance of duty, and as “the book of the law” was given to him for a guide, so the sacred scriptures are given to us, to point out the “ way" in which we may hope for “good success.” So well was Joshua instructed, that although he knew himself to be engaged in an enterprize that would ultimately be successful, he proceeded with as much caution as if his own sagacity, or the valour of his men, were his only dependence. When he had despatched the messengers, he called together his officers and directed them to go through the camp, and command the people to prepare their provision, for within three days they should pass over the Jordai. The tribes who were already located on the eastern bank, in the blooming land of Gilead, were reminded of their engagement to leave their families and assist their brethren until they too should have a permanent habitation. They readily declared their adherence to their promise--and their loyal resolution to obey and to support Joshua, as the lawful successor of Moses, devoting themselves even to the punishment of death, should any be found disobedient. Whilst Joshua

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was busied in these dispositions for a removal, his messengers had made their way into the city of Jericho, though not without the peril of their lives. The victorious march of Israel had spread dismay among the Canaanites, their army but a few miles distant, the presence of two strangers in the city, would naturally create suspicion; accordingly they were carefully watched and at length traced to the house of Rahab, a woman who lived on the eastern wall of the town, and a mandate from the king of Jericho required her instantly to deliver them up. But their hostess, aware of their danger, had humanely concealed them on the top of her house, beneath a quantity of flax which had been spread there to dry, so that they escaped the search of the king's messengers. She acknowledged, indeed, that they had lodged in her house, whence they had but lately departed, and affected to assist in their arrest, by directing the messengers towards the river, the fords of which she said the spies could not yet have reached. Having thus rid herself of the unwelcome intruders, she repaired to her guests, and hastened them away, confessing that she had been prompted to this act of kindness, by the universal terror of her countrymen, and her own perfect conviction that the whole land was given to the Israelites by their God. She believed, he was the true God, and that his purposes could not be frustrated ; she therefore entreated, that she and her relatives, might be protected when Jericho should be taken. This just return for the favour she had shewn to them, they readily promised, on the condition, that her family and friends, should be gathered into her house, and there remain: but for the safety of an individual who should venture into the streets, they would not be responsible.


CHARLES. How could the young men be concealed on the top of a house?

Mrs. M. The roofs of houses are not in every country inclined like onts. In Palestine, and other eastern climates, they were then flat, and still continue so--for customs with them do not fluctuate as they do with us. The inhabitants walk, sit, and sometimes, in hot weather, even sleep on them. The Mosaical law embracing a great va. riety of particulars, affecting the safety, or the comfort of its subjects, provided that they should make “ battlements for their roof, that they might not bring blood upon their house, if any man should fall from thence." Their houses were also low, not more than one, or at most, two stories high. That of Rahab, being at the extremity of the city, the escape of the spies was facilitated by letting them down by a cord from the top, to the outside of the wall after it had been agreed by the parties, that the same cord (which being of scarlet would be conspicuous) should be exhibited in a window in front, as a signal to the Israelites, and ensure the inviolability of the mansion. Pursuing her advice, the young men hastened to the neighbouring mountains, and lay in their recesses, until their pursuers, despairing of success, had returned to the city. On the evening of the third day, they arrived safely at the Hebrew camp, and encouraged their brethren to go boldly forward—for the disheartened Canaanites would be an easy conquest.

Early, therefore, the next morning, being the ninth day of the first month, they decamped and drew nearer to the river, where they lodged that night, and received orders for the operations of the following day.

The priests whose husiness it was to bear the Taberna


cle and its furniture, were commanded to lead the way. Forty thousand of the two and half tribes, all armed for battle, were to follow next at the distance of two thousand cubits from the ark, and the nine other tribes in regular order, to bring up the rear. Twelve men, one out of every tribe, were appointed to erect a pillar of stones in the midst of the river, to commemorate their passage, and to carry thence, twelve other stones for a similar monument on the opposite shore.

The priests were further commanded to stand still when their feet should touch the waters of Jordan--for there they should receive a signal proof of the power and protection of Jehovah.

CATHERINE. What distance in our measurement would these two thousand cubits make, between the ark and the people ?

Mrs. M. I am not able exactly to tell you, two cubits of different measures are used in scripture. It is uncertain which of the two is here intended. If the shorter be the one, it would make but one mile the longer, would perhaps make two.* It is however supposed to be the same measure, which is called “ a sabbath day's journey;" because the Israelites were allowed to travel on that day, only to the Tabernacle, which for ages was the place where alone they might sacrifice; and now in their encampment was pitched in the centre, two thousand cubits distant from the position of the nearest tribes.

In the manner arranged by their general, the whole congregation removed from their station and approached the

* This calculation is adopted with diffidence. It may be sufficient for our purpose.. though its accuracy is contested by some Biblical critics.

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