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were driven back to the plains of Jordan, with the loss of six and thirty men.

Confident of the support of his Sovereign, while obedience was rendered to the divine commands-- Joshua, attended by the elders, repaired to the mercy-seat, and prostrating themselves, enquired humbly, by, what sin they had forfeited His wonted protection. The captivating treasures of Jericho, they were answered, bad occasioned the crime. An individual had been tempted to violate the command. The criminal should be discovered by casting the lot, and the goods he had stolen would be found buried under his tent.

The awful investigation was pursued without delay the tribe and the family of the offender were ascertained and lastly, a man named Achan, stood charged with the guilt of having drawn the displeasure of their beneficent Patron on his people. The fact was not to be denied -costly robes of Babylonian manufacture, --silver, and gold, were brought out from his tent, and spread before the judges. His guilt thus manifested and acknowledged by himself, the unhappy Achan with his sons and his daughters, his cattle and his household goods, together with all the forbidden treasures, were committed to the flames !

CHARLES. What! the innocent children destroyed for the guilt of their father! such a procedure is very contrary to our notions of equity.

Mrs. M. How can we pretend, my dear, to answer for their innocence? The sons and daughters of Achan, may have participated in his guilt-they may have assisted in concealing the treasures. But should it be other, wise in this, or in any other instance recorded in scrip

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ture, where the innocent appear to have suffered with the guilty by the express command of a just Sovereign, our cavils are for ever prevented by the emphatic question--"shall not the Judge of the earth do right?" Besides, this high act of sovereignty is the exclusive prerogative of Deity, and never intended for our imitation. The Mosaical law expressly delivered the equitable precept--“ The father shall not be put to death for the children, neither shall the children be put to death for the father--every man shall be put to death for his own sin."'*

But since we are unquestionably taught by our own experience, that our personal vices very often involve our dearest connexions inevitably, in suffering, how careful ought each of us to be of our own conduct!

After this painful expiation, the town of Ai was taken by an ambuscade, the first of which we read in history-and the army was gratified with the spoil.

CATHERINE. An ambuscade is a deception: was this mode of warfare sanctioned by divine command ?

MRS. M. It was expressly commanded in this instance; nor are we obliged to refer its vindication to the arbitrary laws by which the war upon the Canaanites was directed. Stratagems in war are not moral deceptions they are expected by both parties---and both are prepared---so that they would be disappointed did they not


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The Israelites being now in the neighbourhood of the mountains Ebal and Gerizzim, where they had been commanded by Moses to build an Altar, and promulgate the Law, they desisted from the further prosecution of the

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war until that duty was performed. An Altar was erected on mount Ebal, the law was inscribed and sacrifices were offered on it. The tribes then divided after the manner prescribed by Moses, and took their stations on either mount, the priests standing on each side of the ark, and the whole congregated people, women, children, and strangers all attending, the statutes of Moses were read to them by Joshua, and the blessings and the cursings were pronounced in their hearing.*

Whilst they were thas piously engaged, the Canaanitish princes were combining to attack the Israelites, regarded with so much terror! At the same time an embassy, with all the appearance of having travelled from a very distant country arrived at the camp at Gilgal, soliciting the friend ship of Joshua. Knowing himself to be surrounded by enemies, he enquired particularly whence they came. From a far distant country," they said, and they exhibited their faded garments and worn-out sandals---their wine bottles, now empty, and rent with long use, and their bread which they had taken fresh from their ovens, now moulded---as evidences of the length of their journey.

FANNÝThese bottles, which are said to have been rent, must have been the leathern bottles which were in use in ancient times.

Mrs. M. They are still in use, not only for carrying wine, in several countries of the East, and in the South of Europe, but for the transportation of honey and other liquids, especially for water in their dreary journeys across the deserts of Arabia.

* Deat. 27,

FANNY. Were not bottles of glass also used by the Israelites ?

Mrs. M. They are said to have been invented only in the fifteenth century. Earthen bottles are supposed to have been used in very early times.

The people of Israel were somewhat suspicious of the integrity of these envoys-yet without asking that “ council” which the mystic breast-plate of the High Priest would have imparted, the princes made a league with them. But they were awakened to a sense of their erroneous precipitancy, when in a few days they received an application from their new allies imploring their aid against the neighbouring kings, who had turned their arms against them, because they had deserted the league against the strangers, and made a peace with their chiefs. This discovery exasperated the common people, especially when they learned that Gibeon, the chief city of the impostors, was very large and wealthy, and they would have taken instant vengeance had they not been restrained by their officers. “We have plighted our faith," said they, “to protect them, we must therefore let them live; but they shall not be admitted to the dignities of free citizens they shall be hewers of wood and drawers of water, to the congregation-because they have deceived us."

The army of Joshua, appeased in some degree by this compromise, yielded to the pressing entreaty of the Gibeonites- come up quickly and save us," for all the kings of the Amorites that dwell in the mountains are gathered together against us.” But the Amorites, though they fought desperately for their lives, could make no stand against the invincible Israelites. They fled, and drew the pursuers from the open plain into their vallies and mountains. Evening approached, and Joshua beheld his people in the heart of a country entirely unknown to them the darkness of night might enable their adversaries to surround them and all might be lost before the return of day. In this perilous situation he ventured to lift up his hands to Jehovah, the Lord of the Universe, and implore his immediate interposition-“ Sun, stand thou still,” cried he, upon Gibeon-and thou Moon in the valley of Ajalon !" His prayer was heard, the Sun stood still, and the Moon rested, the whole length of a day-the elements of nature contributed their aid-hail stones of enormous size descended, and together with the heaven-directed sword of Joshua, completed the slaughter of the devoted Amorites !

CHARLES. Dear mother, are we to believe that the sun and the moon were literally stayed in their course ?

Mrs. M. Why should we question the reality of this miracle more than that of others ? Our imagination cannot reach the immensity of unlimited power, to which all things are possible. Nor is this stupendous prodigy represented as of common occurrence. The inspired writer affirms, that " there was no day like that either before, or since, that the Lord harkened in such an extraordinary manner to the voice of a man,” and he confirms his own relation by an appeal to another record_" the book of Jasher."

FANNY. Where is that book to be found ?

Mrs. M. It has been lost mnany ages; but that it once existed, is plain, from the frequent mention of it in sacred history.

These unquestionable indications of the splendid des

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