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told him, that there was one method still remaining, which had never been tried, but which, if they could but prevail with him to use with perseverance, might free him, in time, from all his complaints; and that was a temperate and regular way of living. They added, moreover, that unless he resolved to apply instantly to it, his case would soon become desperate ; and there would be no hopes at all of his recovery. Upon this, he immediately prepared himself for his new regimen; and now began to eat and drink nothing but what was proper for one in his weak habit of body ; but this was at first very disagreeable to him. He often wanted to live again in his old manner; and did indeed indulge himself in a freedom of diet sometimes, without the knowledge of his physicians; but, as he informs us, much to his own detriment and uneasiness. Driven, in the mean time, by the necessity of the thing, and resolutely exerting all the powers of his understanding, he at last grew confirmed in a settled and uninterrupted course of temperance; by virtue of which, as he assures us, all his disorders had left him in less than a year; and he had been a firm and healthy man from thenceforward until the time in which he wrote his treatise.
THE ANCIENT AND MODERN HISTORY OF NATIONS.
ANCIENT SACRED HISTORY. Scripture history being so much interwoven with the different parts of ancient history in general, we intend to give a rapid sketch of the principal epochas into which the Old Testament history is usually divided. In doing this, we trust, that we shall be performing a work that will be deemed useful and interesting, especially to our young readers.
The first remarkable period of the Old Testament history contains the age of the antediluvian patriarchs, which includes about one thousand six hundred and fifty-six years, from the creation to the deluge. The most remarkable characters who flourished during this space of time, were our first parents, Adam and Eve, who, for disobedience to the divine command, were banished from the garden of Paradise. From these descended Cain, whose name is infamous on account of the murder of his brother Abel; and Seth, from whom the race of patriarchs descended. Under the patriarchal government every father had the sole government of his family, and exercised the power of distributing justice and inflicting punishment, according to his own will, upon those who had been indebted to him for existence. Enoch is another remarkable character, that flourished in this period, who, on account of his piety, was. translated from earth to heaven. Methuselah is celebrated on account of his great age ; and Noah for having lived both before and after the flood. The antediluvian fathers are supposed to have been ignorant of arts and letters, but the great extent of their lives must have enabled them to obtain considerable knowledge of nature, and of the business of agriculture. It appears also that the art of building* and music and some of the handicraft arts were known and practised in this period.
The second period of ancient sacred history includes eight hundred and fifty-seven years, ur the space which passed from the deluge to the going forth of the Israelates out of Egypt. Noah with his family entered the ark in the year before Christ 2348 : and we are informed that when the waters assuaged, the ark rested upon Ararat, a mountain of Armenia. By this event the earth is supposed to have undergone considerable alterations; the spoils of the sea, such as the bones of fish, &c. which are frequently found on the tops of mountains and in the midst of rocks, do not merely render this supposition highly probable, but demonstrate the certainty of such an event as the deluge having taken place at some period of the world. Noah had three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japhet, whose descendants peopled the earth. Europe, with a part of Asia, fell to, Japhet; the rest of Asia to Shem; and Africa to Ham.
* Gen. iv. 17.21, 22.
Of the posterity of Ham and Japhet we have no certain accounts; but the Scriptures have given us a very ample history of the descendants of Shem, the most remarkable of whom are Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph. Abraham was styled the father of the faithful. He passed into the land of Canaan, called the holy land, a district of Asia, bordering on the Mediterranean Sea, which has been since inhabited by Jews, Christians, and Mahometans, and at present is subject to the Turks. Circumcision was instituted by Abraham, by which his posterily was distinguished from other nations. Isaac, the only son of Abraham by Sarah, was father to Jacob. JACOB, afterwards called Israel, left twelve sons, the founders of the twelve tribes of Israel. With the interesting history of Joseph all our readers are doubtless acquainted. After Joseph's death the offspring of Jacob increased in Egypt to such a degree as to alarm the reigning monarch, who commanded the destruction of every male infant; but Moses was saved by the interposition of Pharaoh's daughter. Moses was employed in executing the divine command for freeing the Israelites from Egyptian bondage. The fate of Pharaoh and his army has been already described in our history of Egypt. The Israelites continued travelling in the deserts of Arabia forty years, when they entered into the promised land under the conduct of Joshua, which closes the second period of ancient sacred history. The circumstances which deserve particular notice in this period are the institution of the rite of circumcision by Abraham; and the promulgation of the written law by Moses from Sinai, which is a mountain in Arabia Petrea, near the Red Sea, and about two hundred and sixty miles cast of Cairo.
The third period of sacred history commences with the going out of the Israelites from Egypt, and extends to the time of the kings, a period of three hundred and ninety-six years. During this period the people of Israel were governed first by Joshua their leader, then by the elders, and afterwards by judges, who were extraordinary magistrates, appointed for the purpose of defending the people against their enemies; of promulgating the
law;-and of preserving the purity of divine worship. For the history and transactions of these we refer the reader to the books of Joshua and Judges in the Old Testament. The character of Samuel, the last of the judges of Israel, deserves to be had in remembrance; he was an excellent magistrate, and upon his death, the people fell again into the practice of idolatry, and were in consequence of it oppressed and kept in bondage eight years, by Chushan, a king of Mesopotamia. This whole history exhibits striking and remarkable instances of the inconstancy of the Hebrews, and shows that their piety varied in proportion to the prosperity or adversity of their worldly concerns.
(To be continued.)
LIVES OF CELEBRATED CHILDREN.--NO. I.
Volney BECKNER, born at Londonderry, in 1748, and devoured by a shark at the age of twelve years.
The child whom we here commemorate, had not the advantage of springing from a wealthy or distinguished family; but of what importance is birth? What is the effect of riches? They often corrupt the morals. He who is worthy, he who is honest and wise has no need of ancestors. Volney Beckner was the son of a poor Irish sailor ; he received no instruction but what related to his father's profession. Yet all destitute as he was of education, he does not the less deserve a place in this biography. Nature had endowed his body with singular address and agility, and his mind with unusual intelligence and penetration. He had a soul of no common temper; and from his earliest years he discovered sentiments of valour, which would certainly have led him to great enterprises, had he run a longer course. One art essentially necessary to a sailor, and to all others who travel by sea, is that of swimming. Besides that this exercise is very favourable to the health, and that it gives suppleness to the limbs, it is indispensable in a shipwreck; there is no medium in such a case; a person must either swim or be drowned. After little Beckner was weaned, his father taught him to move and to guide himself in the water. He threw him down into the sea from the stern of the ship; then suddenly plunging into this perfidious element, which swallows so many men and so much riches, he sought for him again. He after wards supported him with one hand, taught him to extend his little arms and legs, and thus accustomed him from his cradle to brave dangers in their very bosom. When he grew a little bigger the ship-boy already knew how to render himself useful to the crew. In tempestuous weather, when the wind blew with violence, when it tore the sails, and the rain fell in torrents, he was not one of the last in maneuvering. When he was at the top of the highest mast, even in the fiercest of the storm, he appeared as little agitated as a passenger stretched on his hammock. Such is the force of habit and example! Happy are those who see none but good ones! Cradled in the effeminacy of cities, abandoned to timorous and ignorant nurses, most children tremble like a leaf at the creaking of a door, they are ready to faint at seeing a mouse pass by at their feet. It is not so with those who are brought up in the midst of toils, and contemplate brave men. To be fed with biscuit broken with a hatchet, sparingly moistened with muddy water full of worms, to be half covered with a garment of coarse cloth, to take some hours of repose stretched on a plank, and be suddenly awakened at the moment when his sleep was the soundest; such was the life of Volney, and yet he enjoyed a robust constitution. He never caught cold, he never knew fevers, or any of that crowd of diseases springing from gluttony and idleness. A severe and hardy education is always the best, it alone forms superior men; of this fact the history of all ages surnish us with a multitude of examples. Such was the aptitude and industry of Beckner in his twelfth year, that at this age he was judged worthy of a higher station, and double pay. The captain of the ship, on board which he served, cited him as a model to the