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to our ears, and more especially if she were a married woman. Some supporters of “female inferiority? would doubtless be very willing to put Deborah back into her proper retirement,' and to give the prophesying and the judgment to Lapidoth, her husband. But God's thoughts are not our thoughts,' and He saw fit to inspire a woman with His Spirit, both for prophecy and for judgment.
To her all the children of Israel came for judgment; that is, for advice in their disputes, and for instruction as to the Mosaic law, and other religious matters. How strange, say some, that such an honour should be put on a woman! True; and under the Christian dispensation, women are appointed to keep silence' in public, and to ask' for information at home;' yet Deborah and other prophetesses are proofs that there is nothing in the nature of woman to render her incapable of the bighest and noblest public duties. It is part of the original denunciation upon her, that she must be in subjection; nevertheless, God has often been pleased to vindicate the character and powers of those whom man too frequently chooses to view as an inferior class of beings, and he has vouchsafed that deliverance by the hands of woman which He has denied to those who call themselves • the
Barak was wiser than such modern men, fused to go to the appointed camp without the propbetess, feeling his own inferiority to her, both in wisdom and in inspiration. The captains, princes, and leaders of Israel were of the same mind; for in her song (chap. v. 13,) she says, “ The Lord made me to have dominion over the mighty.” They recog. nized the hand of Jehovah in her leadership, and
did not refuse to obey a woman, if such were His will.
“The princes of Issachar were with Deborah," (chap. v. 15,) awaiting with Barak, her instructions, until the time that she said to him, “Up; for this is the day which the Lord hath delivered Sisera into thine hand; is not the Lord gone out before thee?” Thus we see that the direction of the whole enterprise was entrusted to this female seer; and she was the sole means of communication between the God of Israel and his chosen champion, Barak.
But let us remark some other particulars of this heroine's bistory. We do not read that she went down to the field of battle; her conduct affords no sanction to those of her sex who would place themselves in unseemly situations, to which they are not called. Many women, had they been so far distinguished by Divine favour as to foretel and arrange the war, would probably have intruded themselves into the very scene of action, and thus have not only hazarded their own safety where they were not required, but have hindered rather than helped the army. Let all females take example by this part of Deborah’s conduct; if this “mother in Israel” be an example in her wisdom and bravery, let her be an example also in her prudence and propriety.
Again, after she had performed her part in the victory, by leading the praises of her people, and giving them a song inspired to embody and preserve their grateful thanksgivings, we read no more of her. She does not seem to have taken honour to herself, nor to have presumed upon the great public services she had been privileged to render, but doubtless returned to her former occupation, of judging disputes and in
structing the ignorant, while “ the land had rest forty years.” Let this teach her sex in general that no extraordinary honour which may fall to their share should place them above their duties, be those duties what they may. If the direction of an army did not unfit Deborah for her ordinary office of judgment, surely no mental superiority, no advancement of fortune should render any woman indifferent to those domestic or relative duties which devolve upon her. Let her ful6l them as her part of the arrangement, made by the Father of all, for the general benefit of His creatures; not despising them on the one hand, yet not, on the other, bounding all her powers and faculties to the narrow circle of household affairs. Let her cultivate her mind, improve her talents, and interest herself for the welfare of those around her, of her country, of the world at large; let her be a rational being, not a slave to trifles,-man's intellectual companion, not his drudge, nor his plaything,-a benefit and ornament to human nature, not its poor, pitiable, weak side.
Above all, let her do these things “as unto the Lord, and not unto men,” feeling herself a member of the great Christian family; placed indeed, as a punishment, under the yoke of subjection, but capable of as high attainment, both of soul and spirit, as the rest of the community. Then we shall see her what she ought to be,-an ornament to society, and a blessing to the world.
INVITATION TO UNITED PRAYER,
FOR THE OUTPOURING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT, ON WEDNESDAY, IST OF JANUARY, 1840, BEING THE
FIRST DAY OF THE NEW YEAR.
DEARLY BELOVED IN THE LORD, AGAIN that season approaches in which guided, as I trust, by Him from whom “all holy desires, all good counsels, and all just works do proceed,” I have for these past three years invited the sincere followers of our blessed Saviour, to unite in a general concert for prayer for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. I would, therefore, again renew the invitation FOR A SIMILAR CONCERT TO BE HELD ON THE FIRST DAY OF THE NEW YEAR; which will be on WEDNESDAY, 1st JANUARY, 1840.
Whilst each revolving year has presented some special reasons for this devotional union, we are now encouraged to persevere, as the dawn of the New Year appears to approach with some of those delightful streaks which inspire a hope that “the bright and morning star” may be near at hand. For answers have lately been vouchsafed to these former devotional unions which give promise that the day is hastening on when the Lord will fulfil his gracious word—“ Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of Hosts, and see if I will not open the windows of heaven, and pour you out such a blessing that there shall not be room to receive it.”
The happy events to which I refer are–First, the delightful intelligence transmitted by the bishop of Calcutta, that the inhabitants of fifty-five villages in Northern India have simultaneously renounced idolatry. No less than a thousand of these converted heathens having been actually baptized; whilst double that number have declared themselves desirous to follow their example. And this as soon as they are properly instructed and prepared for that holy sacrament.
Surely we may say “of these tidings from a far country,” “ the Lord hath done great things for them. The Lord hath done great things for us, whereof we are glad.”
The second event to which I refer, is the remarkable power of the Holy Spirit accompanying the outward means of grace which has lately taken place in different parts of Scotland, and more particularly at Kilsyth. There according to the testimony of eye-witnesses, whose reports have been examined and fully accredited by sober-minded and experienced ministers, it appears, that persons of almost all ages and of different habits and dispositions, some among them open transgressors, have been brought to that godly sorrow for sin, which leads to repentance not to be repented of; and this followed by that lively faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, which has manifested itself by a conversation becoming the gospel.
These are cheering facts. They are facts, however, which should only stimulate us to greater earnestness in prayer. For, along with these favorable