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32,000 men in the field. Yet he was made to feel that the Lord of Hosts was with him, who soon dissipated all his fears. He was directed to visit the camp of Midian by night, as a spy, in company with his trusty servant Phural, and there his drooping spirit should be revived. It was then, when near the sleeping legions of his giant foe, that he overheard one Midianite relate to another this singular dream, whilst the other at once responded with the following interpretation: "This is nothing else save the sword of Gideon the son of Joash, a man of Israel for unto his hand hath God delivered Midian, and all the host." Here then, we have both the occasion and import of the dream. Strange that those who were seemingly of so little co sequence as not to deserve being named, should thus singly set forth the predeterminations of Diety in the dim foreshadowings of a dream, which to all human foresight was so shrowded in mystery as not to give the least clue to its interpretation. When he learned, therefore, out of the mouths of his enemies, as well as from the Lord, the success of his own expedition, he no longer scrupled with regard to the propriety and result of meeting his enemy on the field of battle.
The preparation that was now made for the contest, was no less wonderful than the issue thereof. Though, to all human calculations, the army of Gideon might already appear too small to compete with that which was likened to the stars, yet the Lord declared, "the people that are with thee are too many for me to give the Midianites into their hands." And, lest Israel might vaunt herself in saying, “my own hand hath served me," the Lord challenged from the army all who were fearful, and directed that they should be sent to their homes. This at once swept away more than two-thirds of their number. And, again, the Lord said there were too many, and again He directed the cashiering of the small remnant. They should all be taken to the well of Herod, near which they were encamped, and according to the particular manner in which they should driuk, it should be determined which the Lord desired should go forth with Gideon to victory. Only those who lapped the water with their tongues like a dog, should be chosen, whilst all those who bowed down upon their knees to drink should be dismissed from service. The number thus selected was reduced to only three hundred brave and trusty soldiers.
These equipped, each with a trumpet, an earthen pitcher and a lamp, marched forth at the dead hour of night upon the slumbering hosts of the enemy. Small as the army now was, it was still divided into three battalions, which from three different quarters were to make a simultaneous attack. Soon the terrible blasting of trumpets, the crashing of pitchers and the glare of elevated torches burst upon the awful quiet and darkness of the midnight hour, and a still more terrible shout rent the air with the victorious battle-cry, "The sword of the Lord and of Gideon!" The sudden and unexpected attack was overwhelming; and in the dreadful confusion produced by such an unsightly army, the Midianites turned their swords upon one another in a most fearful and indiscriminate slaughter.
Thus was Israel avenged for her wrongs by cutting off the retreat of the enemy at Jordan, and by hot pursuit in their flight, in the death of two princes, two kings and 120,000 left dead upon the field of car
nage! And henceforth, during the righteous sway of Gideon, the seventh of the Judges, Israel had peace for forty years.
But for a more full and satisfactory history of these events we must refer our readers to a careful perusal of chapters vi, vii and viiith of the book of Judges. Thus much we have found it necessary to say only in explanation of our dream with its inseparable connections.
The singular method here taken to defeat the Midiandites has not inaptly been compared to the destruction of the Devil's kingdom in the world; the sounding of the trumpets representing the preaching of the everlasting gospel; and the holding forth of the lights, the ministers of the gospel, in whom, as in earthen vessels, the treasures of that light are deposited. "Thus God chose the foolish things of the world to confound the wise—a barley-cake to overturn the tents of Midian, that the excellency of the power might be of God only." The gospel is a sword, not in the hand, but in the mouth-the sword of the Lord and of Gideon; and it hath pleased the Lord, by the foolishness of preaching, to save them that believe.
As applied to the terrors of the great day, says Bishop Hall, if these pitchers, trumpets and firebrands did so daunt and dismay the troops of Midian and Amalek, who shall be able to stand before the last awful scene when the trumpet of the archangel shall sound, the elements shall be on fire, the heavens pass away with a great noise, and the I ord himself shall descend with a shout!
SWEET flowers! tenderly I take you, one by one, to strew upon the bier. Come first, Camellias !-pure as an infant's soul-too delicate to bear the pressure of a finger's weight, ye shall lie here above the heart which ever beat warm and true, but could no more than you endure the rude rebuffs of life.
Blossoms with Orange breath! I scatter you around, that so your sweet perfume shall rise, even as does his memory now from parents' and brothers' hearts.
Gentle Violets, and Rose buds fair! Say, did some spirit whisper to you of your sad mission, and tell you for what ye unfolded your white and purple petals? Methinks ye wear a look of chastened grief, like those who linger round the loved remains.
Crocus, and Primrose pale! Types of Spring and Youth! Be not reluctant to go down with him into his cold and narrow bed. For, oh, he loved your delicate shapes, and cherished in his soul your dainty beauty.
Now, full-blown Damask Rose, with smell of garden odor! Come, take your turn last. I'll put you here, as if the hand but now had plucked you from your stem; whilst to my thought you shall be typical of royal robes
There I have made you all dewy with my tears. So shall your freshness last the longer, when the earth shall hide you from my sight. 'Tis the last-last tribute I can bring.
Ah, here upon the floor has one small violet fallen, which I will place between the lids of leaves where I shall read-"I am the Resurrection and the Life." Sweet, gentle flowers! You'll bloom again one morn, with brighter beauty, to grace the living form now so cold and dead.
THE POWER OF LOVE.
BY THE EDITOR.
THERE is a story which you may have heard,
It wakens thoughts that far out-run the tale,
The child had just attained that pleasant age
Ply kind suggestions to that infant heart?
Oh! then the sudden rush and blest embrace!
I know a tale which first my mother told,
A world of wandering, erring. sinning men,
O tell this story to the earth's far ends;
LINES ON THE FOLLY OF JESTING WITH SIN.
WHO laughs at Sin, laughs at his Maker's frowns,
THE TWO WITNESSES;
OR, NOTHING SHALL REMAIN SECRET.*
[FROM SUPERINTENDENT'S ADDRESSES.]
CHILDREN, how much sin would be prevented if we would always beep in mind these words in our lesson to-day, "There is nothing covered that shall not be revealed; neither hid, that shall not be known. Whatsoever ye have spoken in darkness shall be heard in the light; and that which ye have spoken in the ear in closets, shall be proclaimed upon the house-tops!"
When sinners are about to do what is wrong, they choose the dark night, or go by themselves. If they can be but alone, they think all shall be well. They think if no eye sees them, they will be safe. How carefully they will sometimss prepare for their dark deeds! How they will watch their best chance, and lay their plans in secret! And when they think the right time has come, they strike the fatal blow, or snatch the wished for treasure, thinking the crime is all a secret. But lol in a very few hours, perhaps, all is known; or perhaps they have been caught in the very act of sinning.
Those two boys who broke into the drug store a short time ago, had no idea that they would be in jail for it before the next evening. Thoughts of God were far from their minds. They thought if they could but do the act when the eyes of men were not on them, they would have nothing to fear. But how sadly were they mistaken! The night would not keep the dreadful secret! That which they spoke in darkness was heard in the light; and that which they spoke in the ear in their secret closets, was proclaimed upon the house-tops in a very few hours the next day.
But sometimes the wicked are not so soon found out. They commit their crimes so secretly, and cover them up so well, that nobody suspects them. Little children, even by telling an artful lie, sometimes when they have done wrong, deceive their parents and friends, and make them believe they are innocent. But, children, suppose you should be able thus to hide your sin from others, and keep it a secret from all the world, covered up in your own breast, are you sure it will be safe there? Is it indeed a secret? Ah no! There are two witnesses, whom you cannot deceive, from whom you cannot hide yourself in the darkest night, or in the most secret cave of the earth. Do you ask who they are? I will tell you.
1. One of these is Conscience. That is a witness God has placed right in your own breast. Ah! who can hide any thing from conscience? Or who can silence it when it is determined to speak? That is the very thing for which God has put it there-to speak out against the breakers
*Luke xii. 1-10.