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fourscore years; and are again corrupted by i naan, part of whose formidable host consisted ease and prosperity. Their national charac- of nine hundred chariots of iron; and who ter and conduct, are a striking representation for “twenty years together mightily opof those of many individuals, whom we are pressed the children of Israel.” Calamity is daily meeting with in the world; who are peculiarly oppressive, when it is embittered capable of bearing neither prosperity nor ad- with the reflection, that it might have been versily; whom it is impossible to serve or prevented; that it is the native fruit of our to save; who, by their perverseness or folly, own doings: and with finding the wretched are perpetually undoing the kindest designs, associates of our guilt the wretched partakers and counteracting the most vigorous efforts of our wo. of their friends in their behalf, and whom, Hope seems quite extinguished in Israel. at length, friends are constrained to abandon Not one man of common spirit, in the course in despair. Well has Nehemiah, their coun- of twenty years'oppression, appears awakened tryman, described this character, and display- to a sense of his country's wrongs, and geneed the patience and long-suffering of God, rously prompted to hazard his life in removin that recapitulation of their history, addressing, or avenging them.

But the cause of ed solemnly to Heaven, in the ninth chapter the church of God is never to be despaired of. of his book : " And they took strong cities, Its emblem is, “ the bush burning, but not and a fat land, and possessed houses full of consumed.” Its motto, "cast down, but not all goods, wells digged, vineyards, and olive- destroyed.” And whither are our eyes, at yards, and fruit-trees in abundance. So they this time, directed to behold the saviour of a did eat, and were filled, and became fat, and sinking country? Behold the residue of the delighted themselves in thy great goodness. Spirit is upon the head of a woman; the saNevertheless, they were disobedient, and cred fame of public spirit, smothered and rebelled against thee, and cast thy law be dead in each manly breast, yet glows in a fehind their backs, and slew thy prophets which male bosom; and the tribunal of judgment, testified against them to turn them to thee, deserted by masculine virtue and ability, is and they wrought great provocations. There- honourably and usefully filled by feminine fore thou deliveredst them into the hand of sensibility, discernment, honesty, and zeal. their enemies, who vexed them: and in the “ And Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Latime of their trouble, when they cried unto pidoth, she judged Israel at that time."* She thee, thou heardst them from heaven; and was a wife and a mother in Israel, and such according to thy manifold mercies thou a wife is a crown to her husband, such a mogavest them saviours, who saved them out of ther, the glory and pride of her children; but the hand of their enemies. But after they her great. her capacious soul, embraced more had rest, they did evil again before thee: than her own family, aimed at the happiness therefore leftest thou them in the hand of of thousands, sweetly blended public with their enemies, so that they had the dominion private virtue. Is it unreasonable to supover them; yet when they returned and cried pose, that the discreet and wise management unto thee, thou heardst them from heaven, of her own household, first procured her the and many times didst thou deliver them public notice and estecm: and that the pruaccording to thy mercies; and testifiedst dent deportment of the matron, passed by a against them, that thou mightest bring them natural and easy transition into the sanctity again unto thy law; yet they dealt proudly, of the prophetess, and the gravity and auand hearkened not unto thy commandments, thority of the judge? Certain it is, that the but sinned against thy judgments

, which if reputation which is not established on the baa man do, he shall live in them; and with-sis of personal goodness, like a house built drew the shoulder, and hardened the neck, upon the sand, must speedily sink, and fall to and would not hear. Yet many years didst pieces. thou forbear them, and testifiedst against Hitherto, we have seen only "holy men them by the Spirit in thy prophets : yet, of God speaking as they were moved by the would they not give ear: therefore gavest Holy Ghost." But the great Jehovah is no thou them into the hand of the people of the respecter of persons or sexes: " the secret lands. Nevertheless, for thy great mercies' of the Lord is with them that fear him, and sake thou didst not utterly consume them, he sheweth unto them his holy covenant." nor forsake them; for thou art a gracious The simple dignity of her unadorned, unasand merciful God."**

suming state, is beautifully represented : If we are to judge of the atrocity of the of- “She dwelt under the palm-tree of Deborah, fence committed on the occasion before us, between Ramah and Beth-el, in mount from the severity of the punishment, the Ephraim: and the children of Israel came up length of its duration, and the violence of to her for judgment.”+ Behold a female their oppressor, we must conclude it to have mind exalted above the pageantry and pride been uncommonly grievous ; for the Lord of external appearance; not deriving consesold them into the hand of Jabin, king of Ca- quence from the splendour of þer attire, the

* Judges iv. 4.

Judges iv. 5.

* Neh. ix. 25-31.

charms of her person, or the number of her fate, not to serve their bleeding country; it retinue, but from the aflability of her man was to rouse their haughty oppressors into ners, the purity of her character, the sacred- more violent rage and cruelty, not to attack ness of her office, the impartiality of her con- them with a probability of success. The force duct, the importance of her public services; called for by the prophetess, by divine apnot wandering from place to place, hunt- pointment, was thus small, that the glory of ing after a little empty applause, but sought all

, in the issue, might be ascribed solely to unto of all Israel for the eminency, and God: and it was thus great, to teach manextensive utility of her talents and her vir kind, that, as they hope to prosper, their own tues. Her canopy of state was the shade exertions must co-operate with the influence of the palm-tree, her rule of judgment the of overruling Providence. law and the testimony of the living God; her Such was either the general despondency motive, the inspiration of the Almighty; her that prevailed in Israel, at that dark period, aim an I end, the glory of God, and the good of or such the general confidence reposed in her people; her reward, the testimony of a good Deborah, that Barak accepts the commission conscience, the respect of a grateful nation, given him, and consents to head the forces of the admiration of future generations, the his country into the field, under the express smiles of approving Heaven. What are, condition that their prophetess and judge compared to these, the ermined robe, the ivory would be lais companion and directress in the sceptre, the chair of state, the glittering dia- warfare. To this she yields a cordial asdem!

sent, and cheerfully engages to take part in But alas! what availeth the most upright all that regarded the public serviee, whether and impartial administration of justice, among counsel or resolution were needful to carry it a people enslaved in the extreme, groaning on. She would not, could it with propriety under a foreign yoke, holding liberty, pro- be avoided, become a leader in arms, but feels perty, and life, by the wretched tenure of a no reluctance, is conscious of no fear, when tyrant's caprice? The ardent soul of Debo- attending the captain of the Lord's host into rah aspires at nothing short of a total eman- " the valley of decision.” It is pleasant to cipation of her bleeding country from these observe how the manly virtues, properly modiinglorious chains. And like a true prophet- tied and corrected, may be adopted into the ess of the living and true God, she engages female character, not only without giving of in this noble and generous enterprise, not fence, but so as to communicate the highest with the zeal of an enthusiast, not in an idle, satisfaction and win approbation; and how, on inactive reliance on supernatural assistance; the other hand, the softest of the female but in the honest confidence of a good cause, graces, may, without sinking the manly chathe diligent use of the most promising means, racter, without exciting contempt, become a the ultimate dependence on the blessing of shade to the boldest, hardiest, masculine Him“ who worketh all things after the qualities. Courage has been reckened an counsel of his will."

attribute peculiar to men; but it is easy to The character of this illustrious heroine, conceive it so raised, and so expressed, and grows upon us as we proceed ; and exhibits so exerted, as to be not only pardonable in, a picture of female excellence, to which her but highly ornamental to, woman. “A ben own sex may look with emulation and honest gathering her chickens under her wings" is pride, and ours, with admiration and esteem, a picture not only of maternal tenderness, but unmixed with envy. An ordinary woman, of the most undaunted intrepidity.“ A bear in her place, and possessed of her advantages, bereaved of her whelps," is not more fierce would probably have aimed at the sole repu- and more fearless. À mother defying the tation of having delivered her country. But danger of the pestilentiał air which she iswhen a military operation is to be set on foot, hales from her smitten child; a mother flying for the attainment of this end, with the modest as a lioness on the brutal wretch who dared reserve becoming her sex, she satisfies her to crush her little darling; how dignified, self with advising only. When the sword of what a noble creature she is ! A tender virIsrael is to be drawn, let it be wielded by gin stirred up into holy indignation at hearmanly hands; let Barak come in for a share ing her absent friend traduced by the tongue of the danger, the labour, and the praise. She of malevolence, forgetting herself for a mois to be the directing head, and he the active ment, to repel the barbarous insult O it is hand. But what was the broken strength of a disorder so lovely, that it almost deserves to two of the least of the tribes of Israel? What be stamped with the name of virtue. To see were ten thousand men, to carry on offensive Deborah quitting her seat under the palmwar, against a power which could employ tree, to attend Barak to the top of mount Tanine hundred chariots of iron as part of his bor, when the enemies of her God and of her force? What must have been the number of country are to be engaged and subdued; what infantry that corresponded to this formidable heart does not catch fire from her heroic ararmament? For such a handful of men to dour! what tongue can withhold its tribute appear in arms, was to provoke their own of praise !

While Deborah, without hesitation, agrees But, II. However weak and contemptible to accompany Barak to the high places of the the instrument were in itself, from the hand field, by virtue of the spirit of prophecy which that wields it, it becomes mighty and respectwas found upon her, she informs him that the able: and the history before us becomes, and glory he should obtain, was to suffer consi- that not darkly, a typical representation of derable diminution, not only by her participa- the gospel of Christ, which was " to the Jews tion of it, but also by the communication of a stumblingblock, and to the Greeks foolishit to another woman, for whom Providence ness.” Pride and self-sufficiency smile at the had reserved the honour of putting the last idea of a female prophet, a female judge, a fehand to this arduous undertaking. Indeed male poet, a female politician, a female warrior; this seems to be a crisis, in the history of hu- and yet, in truth women have filled all these man nature, at which Providence intended offices, with credit to themselves, and with sato exhibit the powers of the female mind in tisfaction to the public. And “who hath made all their force and all their extent; intended man's mouth? or who maketh the dumb or to represent the sex in every situation that deaf, or the seeing, or the blind?” In the can create esteem, inspire love, command re-honoured list of those who “through faith spect, or awaken terror. The united spirits subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, and achievements of Deborah, and Jael the obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, wife of Heber, seem to comprehend the whole quenched the violence of fire, escaped the compass of the feminine character in its more edge of the sword, out of weakness were extraordinary feelings and exertions; and in make strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned the displaying the conduct of these two indi- to flight the armies of the aliens,” female viduals, rouse our attention to the whole sex names too stand recorded with commendation as the most warm, steady, and affectionate of and renown. And “what hast thou, O man, friends, or the most formidable, dangerous, but what thou hast first received ?"__"God and determined of enemies.

hath chosen the foolish things of the world to But we must not bring forward both at confound the wise; and God hath chosen the once. We conclude with a reflection or two, weak things of the world to confound the on what has been suggested from the history things which are mighty; and base things of of Deborah.

the world, and things which are despised hath I. It exposes the folly of despising or un- God chosen, yea, and things which are not, dervaluing any description of our fellow-crea- to bring to nought things that are: that no tures in the lump. All national reflections flesh should glory in his presence." are founded in ignorance and folly; and the III. As the great Ruler of the world never despisers have often paid dear for their inso- can want an instrument to save, so he is allence and presumption. The illiberal abuse ways provided with instruments to punish. so indiscriminately poured upon the gentler “ Fie is wise in heart and mighty in strength; sex, is of the same nature. It generally comes who hath hardened himself against him and from men something worse than the worst hath prospered ?" The haughtiest of mopart of womankind. The truly sensible, and narchs is at length constrained to “praise, the truly brave, entertain far better and far and extol, and honour the King of heaven, more just sentiments of female utility and all whose works are truth, and his ways judgimportance in the scale of being; and are ment, and those that walk in pride he is able ever disposed to ascribe to female capacity to abase.” “By a strong hand and stretchedand worth, more than female modesty and out arm,” Pharaoh is at length compelled to wisdom are disposed to assume, or even to " let Israel go." “ Humble" then “thyself,” receive. No good man ever wished to see O man, “ under his mighty hand.” “Be wise the female character undervalued or de- now, O ye kings, be instructed, ye judges of graded; and perhaps very few good women the earth, serve the Lord with fear, and rehave ever violently coveted stations and em- joice with trembling.” ployments which belong peculiarly to men. The next Lecture will carry on the histoBut as nature delights in producing variety, ry of Deborah, in connexion with that of Jael. as well as uniformity, it is not to be wonder- I conclude the present, with calling on the ed at, if we sometimes meet with men more female part of my audience to bless God, that silly, timid, and frivolous, than the most insig- while he has carried some of their sex, nificant of the other sex; and on the other through the most arduous employments, most hand, women as daring, as enlightened, as eminent stations, and most hazardous entermagnanimous, as public spirited as the first prizes, not only with safety, but with applause, among mankind." The rivalship, however, he is pleased, in general, to put their talents and competition of the sexes, is altogether and their virtues to a trial less severe; and ridiculous and absurd. Each has its dis- let them remember, that after all which has tinct, and both have their conjoined dig. been, or may be said, in praise of the few nity and usefulness--and mutual concession who have acted wisely and well nipon the is the truest wisdom in the one and in the public theatre, to the generality, " the post other.

Tof honour is a private station.”



Then Jael, Heber's wife, took a nail of the tent, and took a hammer in her hand, and went softly

unto him, and smote the nail into his temples, and fastened it into the ground : (for he was fast asleep, and weary) so he died. And behold, as Barak pursued Sisera, Jael came out to meet him, and ad unto him, Come, and I will show thee the man whom thou seekest. And when he came into her tent, behold, Sisera lay dead, and the nail was in his temples. So God subdued on that day, Jabia the king of Canaan before the children of Israel.-JUDGEs iv. 21-23.


When we consider how frequent, how the evening, a bleeding corpse, fallen ingla violent, and how sudden are the transitions riously by the hand of a woman. from condition to condition in human life, Deborah, the prophetess of Israel, having pride appears to be a mystery of folly, below transfused the patriotic ardour of her soul contempt. To behold a rational being as-into Barak, not only directs him what he suming consequence on an empty, unmean- should do, but offers herself as the companion ing title; or from the possession of a little of the expedition which she had planned. wealth, that bird of passage, eternally on the With ten thousand men of the tribes of wing; or from beauty and strength, which Zebulun and Naphtali under his command, accident or disease inay blast in a moment, Barak takes possession of mount Tabor, and which the lapse of a very few years meaning to act only on the defensive, till certainly will impair; to behold a man put- Providence should point out an occasion of ting confidence in princes, or feeding on the acting to advantage. The rashness and imapplause of a multitude; to hear him saying petuosity of Sisera soon presented him with to himself, “Soul, take thy rest; thou hast such an opportunity. Enraged to think that much goods laid up for many years.” “My an enemy so often discomfited, so long op mountain standeth strong; I shall never be pressed, so broken by calamity, should premoved." All this is calculated to excite sume to make head against their lordly derision, not resentment; and when reason masters, he collects the whole of his fast and experience ponder what the end may be, strength, and invests the mountain, deteranger sinks into pity. Not only is frail man mined to crush the puny insurrection at one every moment at the mercy of a Being, blow. almighty to save and to destroy; but the The sagacious judge, and divinely inspired proudest and mightiest is every moment in prophetess of Israel, observes the season to the power of the weakest and meanest of be favourable, observes that the unwieldy his fellow-creatures. The tongue of the army of the Canaanites was ready to fall in wretch whom thou despisest, may ruin thy pieces by its own weight, that their vain reputation for ever. The crawling insect in confidence was destroying them, and that, thy path is armed with deadly poison against above all, Heaven was propitious. She gives thy life. That nodding wall threatens to the signal of attack, and lo, “one chases & crush thee to pieces. Arm thee at all points, thousand, and ten put ten thousand to flight." as well as thou canst, malice or hatred, envy The cause was of God, and it prospers: or revenge will still find some part unguard- and the mighty hand and outstretched arm ed; and bleeding to death, thou shalt find of Jehovah, once more asserts Israel into thou were not invulnerable.

liberty. Those who are distinguished by their rank, Whatever praise is to be ascribed to the their abilities, or their virtues," attract the conduct of Barak on this occasion, and to the notice of many observers, and create to intrepidity of his little army, it is evident, themselves many open and many more secret from some expressions in the song of praise, enemies. The history of Sisera, the captain composed in celebration of the victory, that of the host of Jabin, king of Canaan, is a the defeat of the Canaanites was in part, at striking illustration of most of these remarks. least, miraculous. “They fought from hea. In him, we see a man rendered insolent by ven." “The stars in their courses," it is success, intoxicated with prosperity, betrayed said, “ fought against Sisera.” By " the into disgrace through confidence of victory, stars” some interpreters understand the the dupe of confidence in his own strength, angels of God," who are sometimes designed and then the victim of confidence, equally by that name. Josephus takes the words in unwise, in the fidelity and attachment of a a different sense, and affirms, that an extrastranger. We behold him in the morning, ordinary storm of rain, mixed with hail, advancing to the unequal conflict at the head blinded the eyes of the Canaanites, and drove of a mighty, and hitherto invincible host; in back the darts upon their own heads. The

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Rabbins, with still less appearance of proba- | that, on their settlement in Canaan, he, and bility, allege, that certain constellations of a his family, and descendants, should share in pestilential influence, consumed the army the fruits of victory, and obtain a portion in of Sisera, burnt them up with thirst, and the land promised to the children of Abraham. drove them for refreshment to the brook This accounts for our finding them establishKishon, where they were met in a languid, ed, at such a distance of time, in the border enfeebled state, by the troops of Deborah of Kedesh Naphtali. On the invasion of the and Barak, and put to the sword. The ex- country, however, by Jabin, king of Canaan, pedition from first to last, was without con- we find them observing a strict neutrality. troversy conducted and crowned by the hand " There was peace between Jabin the king of Providence. But the narration of the of Hazor, and the house of Heber the Kenite." event, on the sacred page, is too general and in the confidence of this, Sisera betakes himconcise, to enable us to pronounce with con- self to the Kenite for protection; and is refidence, where the province of human saga-ceived by Jael, the wife of Heber,


every city and valour ended; and where the inter- mark of humanity and respect, due to a great position of Heaven began.

man, and a friend, in distress. She brings However it were, the victory was complete; him milk to quench his thirst, covers him the enemy was totally routed and put to the carefully up in her own tent to repose himedge of the sword; the commander in chief self from the vexation and fatigue of that alone escapes the universal carnage of the disastrous day, and to conceal him from the field; and he, who a little before had nine pursuit of Barak. She promises inviolably hundred chariots of iron at his disposal, sees to keep secret the place of his concealment; himself stripped of all, and is constrained to and relying on that promise, weary and worn consult his safety by flight. A prince with out, he falls into a profound sleep. Jael out subjects, and a general without an army, avails herself of his defenceless situation, shrink into poor, wretched, solitary individu- and seizing such arms as were at hand, a als, the more to be pitied, from the giddy hammer and one of the pins or nails used in height whence they have fallen.

stretching out the tent, she transfixes the The history drops the myriads which com- head of the unhappy sleeper as he lay along, posed the army of Sisera, into a silent grave; and with redoubled blows fastens the bleedand pursues the sad tale of the unhappy man ing temples to the ground. himself up to his tragical death. Seeing his Such was the inglorious end of a man, on army slarightered and put to flight, and him- whom that morning's sun had risen with a self in danger of falling into the hands of smiling aspect;

who awoke from sleep in the triumphant Israel, he alights from his chariot, possession of all that royal favour could beand flees away on foot. How are the stow, all that sovereign power could compel, mighty fallen, and the weapons of war pe- all that flattering hope could promise. Of rished!" What a sad reverse, within the the motives which could impel Jael to such a compass of one short day! And to such re- deed of horror, we have no information. Her verses, human life is eternally liable. The conduct, we know, is celebrated in the song greatest of uninspired bards has put this pas- of Deborah in terms of the strongest approsionate exclamation in the mouth of a de- bation; which obliges us to conclude, that throned monarch of our own country, address there are circumstances in the story, which ing himself to his few wretched attendants, the Spirit of God has not thought proper to the poor remains of his departed state: disclose. The great Jehovah needs not a

vindication of his conduct, from the labour Cover your heads, and mock not flesh and blood With solemn reverence; throw away respect,

and ingenuity of a wretched, ignorant mortal. Tradition, form, and ceremonious duty,

He has but to discover a few little particuFor you have but mistook me all this while: I live on bread like you, feel want, taste grief,

lars, which are as yet hid from our eyes; and Need friends :-Subjected thus,

then, what now confounds and overwhelms How can you say to me-I am a king?

our understanding, becomes clear and inSAAKSPEARE. King Richard II.

telligible to the meanest capacity. Instead, Behold the mighty Sisera weary and faint therefore, of vainly and presumptuously atwith thirst, without one, of so many thou- tempting to reconcile this action of Jael with sands, to assist or comfort his flight, seeking the laws of morality, which, by the glimmerrefuge from his pursuers in the tents of an ing light we have, is impossible, we shall allied power, Heber the Kenite.

make a few observations on the history, of a By looking back to the book of Numbers, general and practical nature. And chap. x, we find that Hobab, the son of I. We repeat, what has been already sugRaguel or Jethro, the father-in-law of Moses, gested, " that human reason is a very inhad left his native residence, to attend the competent judge of divine proceeding.” We camp of Israel as their guide through the know so little, so very little of the system of wilderness, and had been persuaded by nature; our own constitution is such an inMoses, his brother-in-law, to cast in his lot explicable mystery to ourselves; we meet among that people, upon a solemn assurance,

Judges iv. 17.


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