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called before Pharaoh to interpret his dream," he shaved himself," we are told. To an Englishman, who regards cleanliness, this seems a very natural and necessary operation; but it would have appeared quite otherwise in any country but Egypt at that time. Almost all Eastern peoples have always thought much of, and cultivated the beard. Its loss was regarded as a disgrace. But, on the contrary, in Egypt, the face was always clean-shaven, as may be seen in hundreds of instances on the sculptures. If here and there one appears with a beard, the beard always has the appearance of having been fastened on, as an artificial mark of the male sex. "So particular were they," says Wilkinson, “on this point, that to have neglected it was a subject of reproach and ridicule.” The priests even shaved the head; and other people cropped their hair as closely as does the barber of the modern inmates of the Old Bailey. If a man appears represented on the monuments in long hair, it is always in the shape of a wig, as shown by Wilkinson in his engravings (which see). Joseph, however, had been in prison, and had allowed his beard to grow, but he knew that it would have been an indecency to appear before the king in that condition, and he therefore “shaved." The writer of this account plainly knew the Egyptian custom, though it differed from almost all other Eastern peoples'; or, if he had written at a guess, it must have been a remarkably fortunate one.
The "seven fat and seven lean kine,” in Pharaoh's dream, are just as remarkable, viewed as an invention, for it so happens that, in the symbolical writings of the Egyptians, the ox represents agriculture and subsistence, and the Nile, out of which the cattle came, is regarded as an emblem of the source of fertility, which-taking in the lean kine-as an appropriate prefigurement of plenty and dearth, could hardly be surpassed. So of the “ seven ears of corn” represented as belonging to one stalk about which critics have cavilled a good deal --for though such a kind of wheat was then, and is still unknown in Palestine, it was not unknown in Egypt, nor is it at the present time. As we have before intimated, such a kind of wheat has been recently grown in England, from seeds brought from an Egyptian tomb; and Dr. Hawks, in his “Monuments of Egypt” (which see), states that the same kind of wheat now grows in California, and usually yields seven ears to one stalk. The “magicians and wise men,” sent for by Pharaoh to interpret his dreams, were a class of men called "holy scribes,” who were always applied to to explain difficult questions, and who seem to have been educated for the purpose. Divination was a part of these men's business, and when pestilence raged, they pretended to stay it by magic. In the Bible they are called “wise men," by the Greeks “sages ;” and Lucian, speaking of a voyage, says that “There was with us in the vessel a man of Memphis, one of the holy scribes, wonderful in wisdom, and skilled in all sorts of Egyptian knowledge. It was said of him," he continues, " that he had lived twenty-three years in subterranean sanctuaries, and that he had been instructed in magic by Iris.”
When Pharaoh made Joseph head “over his house,” it indicated what is said immediately afterwards, that he had "set Joseph over all the land of Egypt.” The office of “steward” in the house of a mere subject conferred great power, but when a king conferred this honour,
it meant that the recipient should be the first man in the kingdom after the king himself. “Only in the throne will I be greater than thou,” added this Pharaoh ; and this account perfectly accords with the practice of Eastern despots until this day, as instance the Pachas and Beys of the Turkish sovereigns, who are still invested with the most arbitrary authority. The “ring” given to Joseph was a badge of authority, and was a seal-ring, no doubt given to attest Joseph's official acts. There are numbers of these signet-rings cut in the monuments, and many real ones have been found, and are preserved in private cabinets. They are still used in Persia and other Eastern countries in place of the signature of the sovereign. In Egypt, a counterfeiter of these rings was punished by the loss of both hands; in Persia such a crime is now death to the criminal. The “ vestures of fine linen” in which Joseph was arrayed, were another badge of high office. Wilkinson tells us that, in a tomb at Thebes, there is the representation of a "fan-bearer" to the king—a post only held by royal princes and sons of the first nobility-where the priests are clothing him in his new robes, one putting on the necklace, and another arranging his dress, &c. Nor is anything better attested by monumental evidence than the practice of placing a “gold chain," or necklace, round the neeks of those installed into important posts, as was done by Pharaoh to Joseph. Over one of these sculptured chains, in the tomb of Beni Hassan, are the words,“ necklace of gold.” But representations of these chains and necklaces are very nume
The change in Joseph's name by the king was not only intended to naturalize him, but was another mark of honour, as the name itself imports. Zaphnath-paaneah, we are told by scholars, means “saviour," or "sustainer of the age," a not inappropriate designation, for Joseph, no doubt, not only saved Egypt from starvation, but introduced a system of government which saved the country from anarchy and disruption, into which it was fast going, and which, for many ages, gave it comparative quiet and prosperity.
The marriage of Joseph to Poti-pherah (a priest's daughter) of Ou, is worthy of remark. This word “On” is the ancient Coptic word for "sun,” we are told; and the name Poti-pherah means “of” or
belonging to the sun.” Now On was a very noted city in Egypt, celebrated for the learning of its priests, and here it was, the Greeks tell us, that Plato and Eudoxus studied under the priests for thirteen years. Strabo
says, when he was in Egypt he was shown the house in which they received their instruction at Heliopolis, which is the Greek for On, meaning "the city of the sun." The monuments show that this city must have been in existence before Joseph's time, and Strabo says that in his day the temple was very ancient; while Herodotus speaks of the priests of Heliopolis as the most learned men in the country. That Pharaoh should have married Joseph to the daughter of a high-priest of such celebrity-and the high-priests were a sort of hereditary princes—is no wonder, because it would at once give him a standing corresponding with the dignity of the office into which he had just been installed. But if the writer in Genesis should have dropped upon the name of this city and of this priest's daughter by chance, it would be about the most wonderful hap-hazard stroke in all history.
We have before spoken of the crops, the harvesting, and the granaries, where labourers and “stewards are seen hard at work, reaping, threshing, and storing up the grain, as if for use years to come. These pictures are supposed by some authorities to represent the collecting the corn by Joseph during the seven years of plenty ; and if this was their design, it is marvellously well executed, for we are told that “ Joseph gathered corn as the sand of the sea, very inuch, until he left numbering,” though we may see from the sculptures that, for a time, the stewards did "number," as they stand at the granaries, book in hand, “ dotting down” as the vessels were emptied into the stores. The "seven years ” of dearth, which“ over all lands,” has been much snarled at by sceptics, who say that famine is not known in Egypt, as the Nile never fails, though sun and rain may. This certainly shows great ignorance of the question in hand, for though the crops in Egypt are, no doubt, more regular than in any other land, they do fail occasionally, and fail lamentably. The truth is, that a few feet more or less above or below a certain mark are sure to produce partial or total famine; and then Egypt fares worse than other countries in this respect, for there is only one overflow of the river in the year; but in many latitudes, as in some parts of Italy, when one crop is ruined, another and another may be tried. But though the Nile rarely fails in bringing plenty, it has failed on some occasions, and the history of its failure is full of horrors and miseries. One writer has filled a book with accounts of these famines. Abdollatiph, an Arabian author, tells woful stories. He
says, " Parents eat their own children (A.D. 569), human flesh was a very common article of food ; they contrived various modes of preparing it. Man-catching became a regular business." We need not give more.
But the objectors ask, “How about a famine simultaneously in the neighbouring countries ?”. A meteorologist would never have asked the question. : Atmospheric currents, and the laws of evaporation and condensation would easily account for it. - Even Herodotus guessed that it was the rains on the Abyssinian mountains which sent the Nile floods; and now we are certain of this, as Banks, the traveller, two or three years ago, was a witness to it, for he saw the waters, far away np the country, rush into the bed of the river in immense floods. A general dry season, then, reaching over Western Asia, and Eastern and North-Eastern Africa, as far as Ethiopia and Abyssinia, would explain the whole phenomenon which to these critics looks so wofully mysterious. Then, even supposing as to Egypt the evaporation produced by a tropical sun should have been as copious as usual, strong winds, even if the vapour had been condensed into clouds, might have carried the clouds away into other, but not far distant latitudes, to fall, in the shape of rain, into river-basins, whose streams follow a contrary slope to that of the Nile. Moreover, if we conceive these winds to have been extremely dry winds, the visible vapour might have been re-absorbed and converted into vapour,
and thus have been carried anywhere ; or they may have, through some peculiarity of temperature, been condensed and precipitated, in the shape of rain, so gradually as not to affect sensibly either the Nile or any other river in Africa. Similar phenomena to those described above, occurring with respect to the vapour arising
from the evaporation of the waters of the Mediterranean, would produce the same results in Western Asia, and thus a general famine would be inevitable. Or an extraordinarily copious evaporation in the tropics and condensation of vapours on the Abyssinian mountains, by overflooding Egypt, might have produced famine there, just as completely as an underflooding. Certainly, it is not likely that the scientific knowledge of the writer of Genesis, even supposing he had been learned in all “the wisdom of the Egyptians," would have enabled him to account for a general famine in this fashion, for the science of meteorology is now scarcely half a century old ; and yet he wrote his story, knowing its improbability, with the openness and freedom of a man narrating an ordinary occurrence. In our opinion, he could only have done this because he knew he was simply relating facts.
FAITH AND VICTORY.
BY A. J. H.
By faith is here meant belief as the first element, trust as the second; belief in evidence according to its laws, trust in the facts or truths op behalf of which the evidence is given : the one an attribute of the intellect, the other of the soul. As water, in all its depth and brightness, is formed by the blending in fitting proportions of two elements, so faith, in all its strength and tenderness, is the union of belief and trust. Thus it is related on one side to intelligence, on the other to emotion. And by victory we mean conquest over evil, whether within or without; victory of the Christian man over the un-Christian world ; victory of life over all that is opposed to life. In one view, when the vessel is cleansed it is the keeping of it clean; in another, it is deliverance from the spirit of the world, and the keeping of ourself unspotted from the world; and in yet another, it is the protection from evil influence of the growing life within the soul. But whatever the particular view of victory, the evil to be overcome has many forms, but only one spirit-worldliness, worldliness as opposed to Christianity. And the coupling of Faith and Victory in the title of this article is intended to indicate that the former is the condition and means of the latter. And this in two senses. As light is itself a victory over darkness, so is faith over unbelief; and as light enables us to see things material as they are, so does faith with things spiritual. Or, more truly, as the opening of the eyes to the day is at once a reception of natural light, and a condition of material knowledge, so the opening of the eyes of the soul to the Word and Spirit of God is at once the reception of spiritual light, and the condition of all further spiritual knowledge. Thus faith is itself victory over the first form of worldliness-unbelief, and thus becomes the condition of victory over every other form. We must believe and trust before we overcome and while we overcome. A life of victory must be a life of faith.
Worldliness is worship of the world. Worship something we must—God or less than God; the seen if not the unseen. The heart will not be denied of every object of worship. We may keep from it
the right object, we may raise such clouds of dust and so darken the air that through the gloom it cannot see the spiritual world stretching far and wide, but then, robbed of God and heaven, the heart will turn towards man, and exalt him far above his just glory in things earthly, even while no lustre lights his brow in things heavenly; or towards nature, and lavish upon material forms and beauties the praise which belongs to the Maker and Lord of nature—forms and beauties which, as revealing no inner spiritual power, have no outward spiritual effect. In forgetting the spiritual, even nature and human nature are seen out of perspective, are not truly understood or justly loved ; that often is despised which is most worthy of honour, and that exalted which is least deserving of praise. But this is far from being the worst. The misunderstanding of man and nature is certainly an evil; but it sinks almost into less than nothing when compared with another evil which is the chief feature of worldliness itself
. It is opposition to, or forgetfulness of, God. Indeed, rightly viewed, forgetfulness is opposition. “Whosoever is not with me is against me;" for neutrality in relation to God is impossible. “The carnal mind is enmity against God;” necessarily, just because it is carnal. For to ignore the existence and will of the Supreme Being —to neglect every service of love and duty which justice requires--to live as if the name of God had never been heard-in short, to be worldly-minded is opposition-enmity to God—whether hatred be cherished as a sentiment or not. For to be worldly-minded is to care for the things of man, and earth, and time, to the utter exclusion, or at least to the complete subordination, of the things of God, and heaven, and eternity. It is to love the world, and the things of the world, so as almost to exclude God from both thought and heart; at the least, so to love them that, by comparison, God is not loved at all. Worldliness is, therefore, in its very nature opposition to God. Love of the world is enmity to God.
Hence it is impossible to doubt that Christian life must be a perpetual warfare against all tendencies and temptations to worldliness. For, most unhappily, there is tendency within, as well as temptation without. Were it not for the restraining grace of God, even if all temptation ceased, it is to be feared man would yet sin by the forceof the evil impulse within. Indeed, there is scarcely a single power of the mind that has not been assaulted and taken captive. Reason, imagination, conscience, heart, has each suffered ; and to the evil heart it is so easy and natural to yield, that there is scarcely a temptation from the world that cannot count its victims. The cold, sceptical pride of reason has frozen many a soul into an eternal winter of indifference; the arrogance of passion, the overweening haughtiness of exaggerated self-esteem, the excessive desire of superiority, power, fame, has parched and burned hundreds of hearts into the sultry barrenness of an arid desert ; the fascination of pleasure has ruined thousands--nay, it has proved the moral Gehenna of tens of thousands ; the absorbing passion of avarice, too, has seized, with its arms of flame, numberless victims, and has burned them out of humanity into a mere incarnate thirst for wealth. But why enumerate? Worldliness takes many forms ; but in every one of them it is a curse and bitterness. Oh, blessed be God! there is power in the blood of Jesus.