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THE EXODE; OR, ISRAEL'S DEPARTURE FROM EGYPT. mony of monuments, with the inspired records of the Bible. To understand the narrative we must suppose that Moses has arrived on the eastern side of the Gulf of Suez, and is on the point of commencing his perilous journey towards Sinai; that he meets with an Arab chief and his company, who desire to receive some explanation of the festivities they had witnessed the day before in celebration of the passage of the Red Sea; and that Moses recites to them, in person, the incidents of the deliverance of Israel.

In the narrative Moses first speaks of the terror that reigned in Egypt after the night in which all the firstborn had been slain, how each family had its own sorrow and mourning over some one dead, how the priests and their false religion had no power to calm the troubles of the people, and how Moses availed himself of this judgment of God for bringing out of that land God's chosen people. He spoke of the enmity that existed between the Egyptians and Israelites, which answered one important purpose-that of keeping them separate-as slaves and masters, as worshippers of God and idolaters. Then he mentioned the slaying of the paschal lamb-a token of sin-offering and mercy to the Israelites,-a token of abomination to the Egyptians, for the sheep and goats were objects of their worship; and told how in one thing they all agreed-the Israelites were ready and prepared to leave the land of their bondage, and the Egyptians were loading them with gifts and offerings, and anxious to get rid of them, as Josephus says, "They (the Egyptians) also honoured the Hebrews with gifts, some in order to get them to depart quickly, and others on account of their neighbourhood and the friendship they had with them."


Moses then speaks of the embalmed body of Joseph, which, in their bustle and haste to depart, they could on no account leave behind; and, for the first time, mentions the pillar of light which came from heaven to lead and guide them,―manifesting to all that God was with them. This guiding cloudy pillar removed all doubt as to the road they should take to reach Sinai, where, as God had intimated, the law should be given. And so the march began; led by the cloudy pillar the crowds pressed on, joyfully leaving the land of their slavery, not one desiring to remain behind. On marched the multitude-not direct to the land of Canaan, but more to the south, until at length they found themselves hemmed in by rocks and mountains on either side, while in their front were the waters of the Red Sea

Moses then told what he had heard from an Egyptian captive, that the people of Egypt soon missed the services of their slaves, —that there was work, and toil, and labour to be done, but no servants to do it; that it was then determined by the king to follow after the unarmed crowd, and bring them back, and put the leaders to death; and chariots and horsemen, soldiers and warriors, were soon on the track of the Israelites. He told also of the terror of the Israelites when the host of Pharaoh appeared behind them—when there seemed no way of escape-how he retired within a mountain cleft to ask counsel of God, where he received the command to go forwards;-how in faith they went to the very edge of the sea, when God divided the waters, and they all passed safely through the midst of sea on dry land. He did not forget to mention that God's protecting pillar went behind, and stood between the army of Egypt and the Israelites, keeping back the soldiers until Israel had passed over in safety; and that afterwards, while the Egyptians were following along the bed of the sea, how the waves and the waters returned and overwhelmed them all. Then followed the song of praise and triumph, which has been rendered into verse, commencing,

"The horse and the rider are thrown in the sea,
And Israel, escaped from her bondage, is free;
Jehovah has conquered-to Him I will raise

The song that bursts forth from my heart in His praise."


"THE month of the passover was to be the beginning of months; Abib, or Nisan, was the first of the sacred, though the seventh of the civil year. For the passover was the feast of spring the spring-time of nature, when, after the death of winter, the scattered seeds were born into a new harvest; the spring-time of Israel's history, too, when each year the people celebrated anew their national birthday; and the spring-time of grace, their grand national deliverance, pointing forward to the birth of the true Israel, and the passover sacrifice to that 'Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world.'". Temple and its Services" (Sunday at Home).





¡ANY years ago our family lived in a large, rambling, old-fashioned house, near to Whitechapel. We were what is called strict or orthodox Jews, although for purposes of business we mixed freely enough with our Christian fellow-Londoners; our habits and modes of life underwent an entire change so soon as the doors of the old house shut behind a world which at that time looked upon our people with a distrust difficult to understand in the present days of religious toleration. This distrust was repaid on our part by openly expressed dislike and jealous exclusiveness.

Those to whom the word Whitechapel conjures up nothing but obscure poverty and vulgar ruffianism are not able to realize the comparative splendour and solid comfort in which the wellto-do Jewish families flourished in this neighbourhood, up to within a very recent period of time.

The passover was ever a great feast with us, and as the time of Easter came round there was always much stir of scrubbing, of cleaning, and of whitewashing. No part of the house might remain untouched; wherever the leaven had been, that place must be thoroughly overhauled. For the orthodox Jew is supposed to be defiled who, during the sacred week of passover, eats of or even touches anything which has come into contact with the leaven. Did not God deliver us miraculously out of Egypt, when each man carried on his shoulders his bag of unleavened dough, snatched up hastily in the hurry of flight, whilst yet the death of the firstborn cast a shadow through the land? And in memory of this we eat the passover.

The cooking utensils and ordinary domestic vessels, platters, and household objects used for the preparation of food at other times, are carefully stowed away at this period, and an entirely other set-which have been as carefully stowed away from the time of the previous passover-is again brought to light; and these, after doing service during the feast, are once more relegated to the limbo of the passover china closet, until they shall be wanted next year for a similar service.

But perhaps I shall make you understand more clearly if, instead of describing generalities, I recall from the dim past some fragments of experience which for me will never lose their charm. It was my dear mother's custom then, after having superintended the cleaning of every part of the house, to arrange along all the


shelves and dressers strips of fine white paper, so that the vessels and kitchen utensils might suffer no chance of defilement. When all was prepared, on the evening preceding the 14th Nissan, or the day before the eve of the passover, my father would go round the house armed with a feather and a wax taper, carefully brushing out the corners in search of stray crumbs, beginning his search with an appropriate blessing, and gathering any leaven he might find; at the end he would repeat the following:- All manner of leaven that is on my premises, that which I have not seen as well as that which I have not removed, is hereby annulled, and accounted as the dust of the earth." These were, however, but preliminary duties; the great preparations were for the service, half religious, half festive, which every Jewish father holds in his own house and around his own table on the first night of the passover; they consist in the purchase or manufacture of a number of matsaz, or unleavened cakes, and in making of the ceremonial wine, compounded from raisins, filtered water, spices, &c. Of this wine each member of the family is obliged to drink four cups during the evening, the capacity of each cup to be one rebingith, or about the fifth of a pint. There have likewise to be prepared the shank-bone of a shoulder of lamb and an egg, both roasted; the lamb bone in memory of the paschal lamb in the old days sacrificed at this season; the egg to keep us in mind of the festive sacrifice offered during the existence of our beloved temple; some bitter herbs to remind us of the bitterness of our Egyptian bondage. Three special passover cakes, called "mitzvoth," a cup of vinegar, or salt and water, and lastly, the "haroseth," a compound of apples, almonds, spices, &c., made in the form of a ball, and intended to remind us of the lime and mortar with which our ancestors built the Egyptian store-cities. These, together with our most costly plate, and the vessels containing the ceremonial wine, were arranged on a clean white cloth, spread over the table of the principal room in the house.

As the evening came on we adjourned to the synagogue, and on our return gathered round the table bearing the symbolical offerings. My father sat at the head, and next him sat my mother, whilst gathered round were my numerous brothers and sisters, and any Jewish domestic we might have sojourning with us at the time; for at the feast of the passover Jewish prince and peasant are alike equal, in commemoration of the time when all were alike in bondage. My father then read aloud in the Hebrew language the history of our redemption, which is formulated in a book of prayer and thanksgiving appointed for the



occasion, this work is called Haggadah; it contains many historical and metaphysical speculations, and is exceedingly quaint and interesting as a literary work, portions of it being as old as the Babylonish captivity, and written in the Chaldaic dialect; one particular part, referring to our bondage in Egypt, is usually read out by the youngest present at table, who enjoins the others to lean, or rest at their ease, in token of our present blessed freedom.

About midway in the ceremony, the books would be put aside and the feast brought in. This usually consisted of tea and coffee, with various kinds of fish, cooked in an elegant manner, and supplemented with passover cakes, and sometimes with spiced confectionery specially provided for the occasion. After supper it was not permitted to eat anything else during the evening. Every one having done justice to the meal-and at our house we did good justice in that particular-there ensued a period of conversation, often turning upon the happy memories of passover's gone before; sometimes, too, by tearful memories, and silent, longing looks towards places made vacant by death or emigration since last we celebrated the feast together; looks not less longing, nor regrets less keen and tearful, because the circle of our sympathy was all too narrow. But still through our regrets there ran a cheerful, hopeful undertone, for no people more than the Jews believe in the goodness and mercy of God. Supper being over, the service was continued. Firstly, the beautiful Hebrew grace after meat, and then various hymns of praise and thanksgiving, often ending at a late hour of the night-with curious songs, fables, and invocations, chaunted in a strange, weird, monotonous measure, with mingled notes of joy and sadness, once heard never to be forgotten.

The Jews have a traditional belief that on some commemoration of the Passover the Messiah will appear, and therefore towards the end of the service a glass is filled with wine, and placed upon a side table; that should he appear, he may not be altogether without refreshment.

At the conclusion of the service, it was our custom to go up to where our parents sat to kiss them and receive their blessing before retiring to rest with happy, thankful hearts. This was the manner of our making in the passover long ago; and still as Easter comes round the same is practised as aforetime in every Jewish family. Of those who were wont to make it in with me in the old rambling house near Whitechapel some are dead, and all the rest are scattered; therefore as I lay down the pen my eyes are blinded in a mist of tears. D. J. ANDERSON.

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