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things. . . . for the tree beareth her fruit, the fig-tree and the vine do yield their strength.”1
The pomegranate grows on a low, bushy tree, with dark green leaves, and presents a beautiful appearance when the large crimson flowers are open.
The fruit is about the size of an orange or apple, and contains many seeds embedded in refreshing, juicy, rose-coloured pulp, which is much valued in those hot Eastern lands. This fruit was one of the luxuries for which the Israelites longed. When thirsting for water in the dry and sandy desert of Zin, they said to Moses and Aaron, And wherefore have ye made us to come up out of Egypt, to bring us in unto this evil place? it is no place of seed, or of figs, or of vines, or of pomegranates; neither is there any water to drink.” On the hem of the high-priest's robe pomegranates were worked in blue, and purple, and scarlet, alternately with the golden bells, the sound of which were heard when Aaron went into the holy place and when he came out. The pillars in Solomon's temple were also adorned with rows of pomegranates of molten brass. 4 The sycamore fruit mentioned in the Bible is
much like the fig, but not equal to it in quality. The tree on which it grows must not be thought the same as the sycamore of this country, which produces an entirely different kind of fruit or seed. There was a curious practice of cutting or scratching this fruit with a nail or iron comb, and it is supposed by some that this was the employment referred to by Amos when he says, “I was a gatherer (or scratcher) of sycamore fruit."5
The common almond-tree grows wild on the mountains of Lebanon, and was formerly extensively cultivated in the Holy Land. It is one of the first trees to blossom in the spring, the light pink flowers appearing before the leaves. The fruit consists of a thick green coat inclosing a hard shell, which contains the kernel or eatable part of the fruit. 1 Joel ii. 21, 22.
2 Num. xx. 5.
3 Exod. xxviii. 33. i Kings vii. 18.
5 Amos vii. 14.
In September, when it has arrived at maturity, this outer tough coat splits open, and the nut falls out. Almonds formed a part of the present sent by Jacob to Joseph, when he allowed Benjamin to go with his brothers on their second expedition into Egypt to buy corn. And carry down the man a present, a little balm, and a little honey, spices, and myrrh, nuts, and almonds.”ı
There has been quite a difference of opinion respecting the fruit called apple in the Bible. By some persons our own apple has been considered the fruit intended, but apple-trees do not flourish in the regions where the Bible scenes are chiefly laid. Many have considered it to be the citron, but there are objections to this. One is that the tree on which this fruit grows hardly attains sufficient size to be spoken of as affording a place of rest and shelter; another, that this fruit requires preparation before it is wholesome or pleasant for food. This last objection applies equally to the quince, which has also been brought forward as the apple of Scripture. Canon Tristram, a recent traveller and writer, suggests the apricot as the true apple of the Hebrews. He says that it flourishes throughout the Holy Land, and yields a crop of prodigious abundance.
* Many times have we pitched our tents in its shade, and spread our carpets secure from the rays of the sun.” “As the apple-tree among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved among the sons. I sat down under his shadow with great delight, and his fruit was sweet to my taste."2
The melon, which is a favourite fruit in hot countries, from its cool, juicy nature, has not much claim to be considered here, as it is only mentioned once in the Bible. This fruit grows to great perfection in Egypt, and the Israelites had doubtless often enjoyed its refreshing qualities whilst working in the sultry brickfields. When in the wilderness they became tired of the manna the Lord provided for them they seem to have forgotten how their lives had been made bitter with hard bondage, in mortar, and in brick, and in all manner of service in the field, and to have looked back longingly to some of the pleasures they had enjoyed in that land of slavery and oppression. « We remember the fish, which we did eat in Egypt freely; the cucumbers, and the melons, and the leeks, and the onions, and the garlick."1
1 Gen. xliii. II.
2 Cant. ii. 3.
The Flesh and the Spirit.
Are they wholly on your worldly goods, your pro-
on human learning and earthly science? Or on your wife, your husband, your children, or yourself? Or on the goodwill or approbation of your fellow-men? If your heart be engrossed with these, or any of these things, you are sowing to and walking after the flesh—you are carnally-minded. You may be free from any gross sin, nay, you may be conscientious and amiable and pleasing in your conduct and conversation, yet if the spring and motive of your life be in this world, in self, Christ is not your life. His Spirit is not the moving power in your heart; your spiritual strength is not from Him; nay, you are, as to the things of God, dead. Hence, if you ever enter into the kingdom of heaven, into true spiritual communion and fellowship with God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, a new life must be given to you—you must be born again! Blessed, then, is that man who is not satisfied with a carnal mind, and who is seeking, and that earnestly, for a new heart; for he shall surely find, and then, and then only, he shall have “ life and peace.” They that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with its affections and lusts; the body is dead because of sin, but the new life they have received is life indeed because of righteousness. Read Rom. viii.
i Num. xi. 5.
RAY earnestly and constantly for a meek and humble
spirit, and if you are a young Christian, guard especially against intruding your religious opinions,
and making uncalled-for remarks, good though those remarks may be in themselves, when in the society of persons who are older or more experienced than you are. Indeed, the present duty of the young at all times is rather to learn than to teach, and their position and language 1 Anon. From “The British Messenger.”
should be those of the listening Samuel: “Speak, Lord, for Thy servant heareth.” Yet among those of their own age they may now and then find a most blessed opportunity for speaking a word in the cause of truth and holiness, and they may teach some little child about the good God who made all beautiful and wonderful things, and of the love of that tender Saviour who carries the “lambs” in His bosom.
Let all, whether young or old, be careful not to make their own feelings or opinions with regard to every religious subject the standard for others; let all be willing to receive as well as to impart, and fear especially lest in their eagerness to invite others to join them in their heavenward pilgrimage they lose the faintest whisper of that voice behind them saying, “ This is the way, walk ye in it."
Do not watch impatiently for the results of your efforts to do good. The word of needful warning, accompanied by an earnest though silent prayer, and uttered after a long and painful conflict with reserve or diffidence, may be received with haughty displeasure or undisguised amusement; the tender effort of Christian sympathy to encourage and to cheer the mourner may be coldly repulsed, and the embittered heart refuse to be comforted; the apparently hopeless ignorance of some, and the determined prejudice of others, may meet and baffle you at every point, and year after year the seed of the kingdom may appear to be scattered in vain. Yet be not discouraged; it is yours indeed to sow, but it is of God to give "the increase.” Leave all to Him who will not forget your “work of faith and labour of love;" they shall not be ashamed who wait for Him; and the morning and the evening seed at last "alike" may “prosper."
Oh, reader, seek as far as in you lies to fulfil the sacred duty of speaking "a word in season."
a word in season." Hear the Preacher's estimate of such efforts to do good: “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.” “The words of the wise are as goads, and as nails fastened by the masters of assemblies.” “ Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet