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hours. They accepted of his kind invitations; and immediately, after informing Sarah of his wishes for his guests, and selecting a fatted calf, which he gave to a servant to prepare with all despatch, he had their sandals removed and their feet refreshed with a cooling bath. The refreshment being prepared, and the table spread under the oak at the door of his tent, simply furnished with bread and roasted veal, butter and milk, Abraham himself in person stood at the table and waited upon his illustrious guests.
Edward. Why did not Abraham call half a dozen of his Negroes to wait upon his guests, rather than officiate in person? Had he not many servants? Was it not parsimony, rather than politeness, that prompted this? And what gentleman, who owns five hundred or a thousand slaves, would have his wife to go out
prepare a meal for his friends when they call upon him? I do not understand this.
Henry. I did not know that Abraham had any Negroes in those days. Were Abraham's servants blacks?
Olympas. Abraham's servants were of his own color, and were not kept about his tent to wait upon his person, or upon that of his wife. They were for other uses in these patriarchal times. Besides, work was no disgrace to either patriarchal gentlemen or ladies. To be employed in the reasonable and necessary labors of the house, the garden, or the field, was then regarded as both pleasant and honorable, Besides, it was in much better taste for Abraham to serve his guests as he did, than to have employed inferior persons as proxies to do it for him. Would you not, Edward, consider it a greater lionor to have the master of a large household, his wife, or his sons and daughters, to wait upon you in their own persons, than to have him call up either a hired servant or some servile Ethiopian to minister to your comforts?
Edward. Doubtless I should: yet still I do not see the use of servants if we must wait upon ourselves.
Olympas. We often have more business than we can manage or perform: it is therefore expedient to have help-not, however, to enable us to dispense with labor, or to make it either irksome or disgraceful to ourselves. Depend upon it, my children, whenever any one regards labor as disgraceful, he is far gone in the theory of profligacy and ruin.
God made man to work, and furnished him with a case of instruments, called hands, of the most admirable contrivance, and with a patrimony on which to employ them both pleasantly and profitably. But with Prince Abraham in our eye serving his strange guests, who can regard such services as discreditable or humiliating? But I would have you more specially to mark the bill of fare for the day,
VOL V. -N, S.
It was princely fare; for Abraham was a great Prince, rich in gold and silver, in flocks and herds, and in men-servants and maid-servants.
Reuben. We should not call it princely fare in America. It would not be more than good common farmer fare-cakes baked on the hearth, roasted veal, butter and milk. It was very good common fare.
Olympas. True indeed, Reuben, Abraham called it only a "morsel of bread"-a mere hasty repast, got up at the moment. What could a King eat better than bread, and butter, and milk, and veal! Earth has not more luxurious fare. It is good, palatable, and healthy, and only needs to be a little more difficult to obtain, to make it quite luxurious living. If God had made these aliments scarce and costly, the products of some far distant land, kings would have preferred them to every thing else, and left our modern luxuries to their vassals.
Diseases are always in the ratios and qualities of food. If our food is various, complicated, and over plentiful, diseases are complex, nu. merous, and difficult of cure. If the fare be simple and moderate, diseases are so too. Hence, in part, the healthfulness and longevity of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and the more illustrious patriarchs of those times. And hence the dyspepsies, nervous and biliary diseases, fevers, consumptions, and nameless new and outlandish maladies which follow in the trail of our expensive and too rich and luxurious modes of living.
I doubt not it would be a mercy to the age that now is, and to that which is to come, were we compelled to live'as Abraham feasted these most illustrious guests: for if he was mistaken, and by not being forgetful to entertain strangers, he happened on this occasion to entertain angels unawares, he covered their board, and waited upon them in the best style that East or West could afford.
Touching the quantity, it has been supposed that Abraham on this occasion was somewhat extravagant. Three measures of four were baked, (about 75 gallons, more than fifty pounds weight,) and a whole fatted calf served up for three guests!! The ancients were a working people, and therefore were larger eaters than some of the moderns. And as Abraham's family and his heart were large, he was accustomed to have abundant fare. It was, however, usual among the ancients to be very abundant in the quantity of their provisions. Thus Homer represents the hospitality of the ancient Greeks. Eumeus, when he invited Ulysses to eat with him, dressed two pigs for himself and his guest.
"So saying, he girded quick his tunic close;
The whole well roasted, hanquets, spits, and all,
Reeking before Ulysses"-Cowper's Humer. William. Sarah, it seems, was not present. Abraham alone stood by them under the tree.
Olympas. I presume the customs of the country forbade a lady from being present when the guests were exclusively gentlemen. It seems she was in a tent behind that in which the guests sat; or rather, in the tent behind them as they sat under the oak; for it is said, one of these three sat immediately before the door. This most dignified of the three intimated a strange event—that the aged Sarah should have a son within a year of that day. How, James, did Sarah receive this intelligence?
James. She laughed at the novel idea!
William. Incredulous, I suppose. Hence the Lord said, Why did Sarah laugh?
Reuben. How could a woman so exalted as Sarah, be thrown off her guard so much as to deny this little affair?
Olympus. What think you, Thomas?
Thomas. The person that promised this extraordinary event suddenly seemed to assume a superhuman dignity; and, with a voice filled with majesty and authority, asked, “Is any thing too hard for the Lord?" She was panic-stricken, overcome with terror, and lost in amazement, and in the confusion of ths moment denied the fact.
Olympas. A good apology, Thomas, for mother Sarah. But the Lord said, “Nay, but thou didst laugh.” And there is no other extenuation of it other than Sarah was a woman-a good woman; but she was but a woman-and the best of women are but women at best. Abraham, indeed, once displayed a similar weakness; and therefore there is no just reason to impute to Sarah either less faith or less courage than to her husband Abraham, in this, as in all other cases, his own not excepted. Still it was a sin of which she did repent; and Moses faithfully records, with like impartiality, the virtues and the vices of those he admired and valued most.
Thomas. Are not these three men, now beginning to appear to be unearthly men, natives of the skies?
Olympas. The sequel will make it plain that they were two angels and the Lord himself—not merely the Adonai, but the Yehovah of Abraham. They only assumed the human form, speech, and manners, and appeared to eat, and to be in all respects of the human race. The transfiguration on Mount Tabor, and the appearance of iwo men from heaven that were then present with the Lord, were not greatly unlike to the transfiguration of the Lord here and that of his attending spirits, who, with him, assumed the human form and tried Abraham's hospitality and Sarah's faith in the most discriminating style. But as we have not time to amplify on every incident here, I especially request your profound attention to the reason why the Lord divulged the secrets of his providence to Abraham at this crisis: for the secret of the Lord is with them that fear him," as said king David of old.
Abraham, in true eastern politeness, accompanied his guests from his tent into the path that led them towards Sodom, whither, at that time, they were intent on going. Meanwhile, as the Lord conversed very intimately with Abraham while the two angels seemed to walk on before, he said to himself, “Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I am about to do, seeing that Abraham shall become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him: for I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord to do justice and judgment, that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him.”
Here is a volume in one sentence. Abraham is a model of faith, of obedience, and is destined to be a model in family training and government; and because of these attributes he is to be, as in many other points, a great benefactor of nations. I know Abraham that he will bocommand his children." What, Thomas, think you, means the com• manding of children and households?
Thomus. It would indicate the exercise of authority, tempered with wisdom and benevolence-attributes of which both God and man speak with approbation.
Olympus. To command a family is only another way of saying that it is subordinate to the parental government; and this, indeed, is a rarity in our land. Democracy is breathed into the infant's nostrils with the breath of life in the American atmosphere; and children soon learn to know that they, too. as well as their parents, have certain natural and inalienable rights and privileges from which they ought not to be debarred; amongst which are self-will, liberty to dissent from the commands of their parents, and the pursuit of pleasure any way and every way they judge most fitting. Under this system there can be little or no moral culture. Abraham was to be monarch of his house: “I know Abraham that he will command his family and his household.” He was to act the patriarch—the monarch. father-and the result would be_ They shall keep the way of the Lord to do justice and judge ment.” This is the native consequence of such a system. I hope, 'therefore, we shall all do our duty, and that you, my dear children, will early learn to do justice and judgment; for these imply every rela:ive duty.-- -We must leave the case of Sodom and Gomorrah, and Abraham's intercession, till our next lesson,
A TO NEMENT_No. X. REVIEW OF BROTHER CAMPBELL'S LETTER VI. Dear brother Campbell,
You yet complain of my irrelevance to the point in discussion. In this I stand not alone; for of all, with whom you have publicly discussed any theological question, I find similar complaints. I have imputed it to the superiority of your logical acumen, with which few can compete. All who know me, know that I am a plain matter of. fact-man, and always endeavor to communicate in the plainest style. You must bear with me a little longer, and then I hope we shall close our friendly discussion, and labor more abundantly in reforming the hearts and lives of our readers.
On page 9, in your first letter, you made a number of assertions, 10 which I objected, as speculations; (a word you did not like,) as that the death of Christ is interwoven with all the designs of the universethat Christ crucified is the most transcendant mystery in the moral dominions of God—that it is the mainspring of all-heavenly impulsesthat it is itself the consummation of all wisdom and prudence. From my remarks on these speculations, page 109, you are bronght to doubt their propriety; and yet endeavor to establish them by scripture; as, “great is the mystery of godliness; God was manijest in the flesh. All things were created by him, and for him, and he is before all things, and by him all things consist-in him dwells all the fulness of the godhead bodily-in him all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are deposited—he upholds all things by the word of his powerGod will gather all things together in him, both in heaven and in earth—he is the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last.” My dear sir, what have these texts to do with your assertions? I can see no coincidence, and verily think, that any other texts would have answered as well. Let any unprejudiced mind examine the texts with their context, and will he find any proof of your assertions?
On page 273 you say, “In your second review you recur to your peculiar and favorite acceptation of the active transitive word kaphar, to cover with blood or water, and metonymically to cleanse.' My peculiar acceptation! Where or when have I accepted this definition of the word? It is not my acceptation, and very far from being a favorite one with me. I have shown that its literal and scriptural definition is to cleanse, when connected with sacrifice for sin. Had I accepted this peculiar definition, I should have contradicted Paul; for I have proved that he defined this very word kaphar by the Greek word katharizo, to purge or cleanse: never to cover. Heb. ix. 22. “Almost all things by the law are purged with blood.” This same word katharizo, and on the same text, your favorite Parkhurst defines 10 cleanse, or purify. This same word, and on the same text, your version has it, to cleanse. Then Paul, Parkhurst, and yourself agree with me that kaphar is an active transitive verb, and literally (not metonymically) to cleanse. Our translators, as I have proved, have given ihe same translation of the word very frequently, and the Septnagint commonly. But our translators have not once translated the verb kaphar by to cover. Is it my peculiar and favorite acceptation of