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with our own safety. Very many of those brilliant actions that have inscribed the names of heroes on the tablets of fame would be detestable in our view of moral obligation. These remarks, however, although they may serve to palliate the conduct of many celebrated men in both sacred and profane history, may not, perhaps, be applicable to the case of Jael any more than they would be to other acts of the Israelites in their contests with the natives of Canaan, which are repugnant to our opinions. He who commanded the end, directed also the means; and here we must rest the vindication of Jael, who is believed by correct commentators to have been moved by a divine impulse, to put Sisera to death. This victory over the king of Hazor was a great blessing to the suffering Israelites. Sisera, his captain, was the hated instrument of his tyrapny; the zeal of Heber's wife in the cause of religion and liberty, was therefore celebrated in rapturous gratitude by Deborah and Barak in the sacred song* which they composed for this remarkable deliverance. As you were pleased with my versification of Moses's hymn, I have thrown this into the same form for your entertainment.


Praised be the Lord, the high, the holy one
Who Israel's sons avenged-Himself alone.
Our willing hands the sacred banners raise,
Thine is the cause, be thine our God the praise !

Hear, Oye Princes--0 ye kings, give ear.
Sing praise to Israel's God, adore and fear.

* Judges, chap. 5.

When Thou went’st forth from Edom's smoking field,
The heavens bow'd down, the clouds their droppings yield,
Seir's dewy mount thy awful presence felt,
Its bases tremble, and its summits melt !

From Israel's hille, unhallowed altars rise ;
Then wasting wars, the guilty land chastise,
In valiant Shamgar's rule and Jael's days,
Oppressed Israel walked in secret ways ;
From wonted paths they turn in fearful haste,
Their towns deserted and their fields laid waste !
Vengeance they cry, in vain--of all bereft,
With forty thousand not a spear was left,
The heaven-appointed Deborah arose,
To rescue Jacob, and chastise his foes,
From Tabor's sides th' awakened people pour,
And fill the plain of Kishon's wide-spread shore.
The chiefs of Israel to the combat came,
Led by Jehovah. Praise his mighty name !
Speak ye his wond'rous deeds, who ride in state,
Who sit in judgment in the lofty gate.*
Speak ye, whose happy villages are freed,
Whose flocks beside your wells securely feed.
No more the archer's shouts, your ears assail,
Ring through the hills, and sadden ev'ry vale.

Barak arise! Lead on—in triumph lead,
The captive princes, and the prancing steed.
Mother in Israel ! Deborah awake,
Judgment, renown, and wide dominion take !
Why Reuben didst thou in the sheep-fold stay,
The bleating of thy flocks, what charın had they?
Asher beside the sea secure remained ;
His freighted ships, ignoble Dan detain'd;

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* The gate of the city-where anciently judgment was dispensed,

Gilead from far, beheld the hostile scene,
While Jordan's peaceful current roll'd between.

Thy patriot warriors, Zebulon, were they,
Who dared the battle that disastrous day!
Thy chiefs, too, Naphtali, were they who fought,
On Tabor's heights, they set their lives at nought.
Canaan's impious princes came from far,
Megiddo's waters saw the unrighteous war.
Vainly they strove the coursing stars can tell ;
They fought for Israel, when bold Sisera fell!
Kishon, that ancient stream, avenging roars,
And sweeps the invaders from his blood-stained shores.

Awake, my soul! thy mighty deeds rehearse,
But curse ye Meroz—said the angel-curse !
They came not to the battle of the Lord,
Nor in Jehovah's honour drew a sword.

Blessed beyond the lot of woman's fame
Be Heber's wife-illustrious her naine !
The deadly implements her hands impel
And at her feet proud Sisera bowed-he fell !

Ah, hapless mother, thou enquirest in vain,
What direful cause his chariot-wheels detain ?
Her ladies answer-she herself replies,
While fearful visions in her bosom rise,
Comes not my son in gorgeous robes array'd,
The victor's spoil, of curious texture made?
Do captive maids the conqu’rors' triumph grace,
The blooming daughters of that hated race ?”

As Sisera, be thine enemies, O Lord !
While those who love and trust thy holy word,
Shine like the sun, progressive in his strength,
And reach thy glorious mount of peace at length.

FANNY. Difficult as it is to reconcile our present notions with the conduct of Jael--or indeed to the participation of women in warlike exploits at all, I must plume myself on Deborah. The appointment of a womau to the dignity of a ruler and a prophet, by unerring wisdom, is in favour of my opinion, that the mental powers of the sexes are naturally equal.

Mrs. M. That is a question, my dear, which we can never determine until their natural powers are alike cultivated by education. So long as one and twenty years are unremittingly given to the improvement of the one, and not more than half that time to the other, and that besides in a desultory manner, it will be altogether unfair to estimate the minds of men and women by their subsequent conduct.

That the creator has separated their respective spheres of action by a line almost impassable, there ought to be no question, and perhaps the entire devotion of females to study for so many years, might be somewhat incompatible with their peculiar destination : still we may be allowed to contend, that a large portion of knowledge, the early and careful improvement of every talent, is necessary to qualify women for the useful discharge of those duties as well as to sustain them, under the sufferings to which they are peculiarly liable. Neglected as they are, and unfurnished with adequate armour, they often meet the ills of life with surprising fortitude, and have even governed empires with ability. I cannot however gratify you with the elevation of another female besides Deborah in this period of sacred history. A female sovereign arose some centuries after in Israel, but we derive no honour from her character.

A peace of forty years succeeding to the victory of Barak, great prosperity blessed the land. Their granaries were filled with corn, and wine, and oil, and their pastures


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offered a rich' repast to the lawless tribes on their borders. The Midianites poured in upon them with immense herds of cattle and laid waste the whole south of Canaan. Their grain was cut up as soon as it appeared, or if perchance, a small portion was suffered to ripen, the harassed owners were obliged to conceal it in caves which they dug out of the mountains, and at length to fortify themselves with their scanty provisions in these wretched dens.

Charles. Why did the Israelites, who were always able to cope successfully with their enemies, submit to such cruelties ? : MRS. M, The Israelites in this interval had returned to idolatry, to which they were ever prone in a season of repose. Vicious practices debase the whole soul, and render it unable to make any noble effort. When the Israelites fell into idolatry, they were always punished by an abject disposition to submit to their oppressors. And

hus they did in this instance, until seven years of severe suffering had brought them to a sense of their criminality. “ The angel of the Lord" then appeared to Gideon, a man of the house of Manasseh, whilst he threshed a little wheat in a secluded place that he might hide it from the Midianites. “ The Lord is with thee, thou mighty man of valour," was the reviving salutation of the bright messenger:

But Gideon was not revived—the excessive sufferings of his people had impressed his mind with the sad persuasion that the posterity of Jacob was entirely forsaken by the power that had wrought such miracles for their fathers ! “ Surely I will be with thee, continued the heavenly herald and thou shalt smite the Midianites as one man." Still suspicious that the flattering vision might be but a delusive effort of his own misery to procure

relief-he ventured




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