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WATER-CARRIERS.

MARK ix. 41.

"For whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in my name, because ye belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward."

As the water of the wells of Cairo in Egypt is slightly brackish, numerous "sackckas" (carriers or sellers of water) obtain their livelihood by supplying its inhabitants with water from the Nile. It is conveyed in skins by camels and asses, and sometimes, when the distance is small, by the "sackcka" himself. The water-skins of the camel are a pair of wide bags of ox-hide; the ass bears a goat skin; so also does the carrier, if he have no ass. The general cry of the water-carrier is, "Oh, may God compensate me!" Whenever this cry is heard, it is known that a sackcka is passing. There are also other water-carriers who supply passengers in the streets with water. The goat-skin of a sackcka of this sort has a long brass spout, and he pours the water into a brass cup for any one who would drink. There is a more numerous class, who follow the same occupation, bearing upon their backs a vessel of porous grey earth which cools the water. Many of these, and some of the sackckas who carry the goat-skins, are found at the scenes of religious festivals, and are often paid by visitors to the tomb of a saint, on such occasions, to distribute the water which they carry to passengers-a cupful to whoever desires. This work of charity is performed for the sake of the saint. The carriers thus employed are generally allowed to fill their vessels at a public fountain, as they exact nothing from the passengers whom they supply. When employed to distribute water to a passenger in the streets, they generally chant a short cry, inviting the thirsty to partake of the charity offered them in the name of God, and praying that paradise and

pardon may be the lot of him who affords the charitable gift. See Modern Egyptians, by MR. LANE, vol. ii. pp. 15-18.

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In India the Hindoos go sometimes a great way to fetch water, and then boil it that it may not be hurtful to travellers who are hot; and after this stand from morning till night in some great road where there is neither pit nor rivulet, and offer it in honour of their gods to be drunk by the passengers. This necessary work of charity in these hot countries seems to have been practised among the more pious and humane Jews; and our Lord assures them, that if they do this in his name they shall not lose their reward. DR. A. CLARKE,

"A kind Arab came forward from his seat as we passed, offering the refreshment of a drink of water, saying, Will you drink water?"-Narrative of a Mission of Enquiry to the Jews, p. 104.

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LEPROSY-SACRIFICES

CHAPTER XXI.

MISCELLANEOUS.

OFFERED TO IDOLS IN HIGH PLACESSHRINES SPOILS SUSPENDED IN SACRED PLACES-RELIGIOUS CUSTOM AMONG THE JEWS-IN CHINA AND PERSIA-JACOB'S Vow EASTERN GAMES - ROMAN SOLDIERS BARBAROUS CUSTOM IN EASTERN WARFARE - DESOLATIONS OF WAR HIDING TREASURES-PERSIAN BARGAINs-Weights-WEIGHING MONEY-TAX-GATHERERS -COURTS OF JUSTICE

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"EYE

FOR EYE, TOOTH FOR TOOTH"- CURIOUS CUSTOM-ILLUSTRATION OF MATTHEW Xii. 40-OATHS IN JUDEA-THE WHITE STONE.

LEPROSY.

LEVITICUS xiii. 46.

"All the days wherein the plague shall be in him ...(the leper) he shall dwell alone."

2 KINGS V. 27.

"And he went out from his presence a leper as white

as snow."

Mr. Carne, when in Cyprus, writes, "Near the foot of a hill, in a most lonely spot, and in a wretched cottage, lived a family of lepers. These unfortunate people were avoided by all the other inhabitants, who dreaded to come near their dwelling. The disease was hereditary, for every one of their numerous family was afflicted with it. Some of them stood at the door, and looked the pictures of sadness and solitude. They would be starvd, did not some of the people who lived in the plain

bring food occasionally, and place it at a short distance from the cottage.

“So great is the horror entertained of this disease, that the Mosaic law is fulfilled to the letter, of shutting them out from all society, without the hope of ever returning to it.”—CARNE's Letters, pp. 465, 466.

Mr. Caunter, when in India, gives the following account of a leper with whom he met. "One evening, as I was strolling along the sea-shore, I saw such an extraordinary object before me that I could not take my eyes off it. A man was coming towards me, whose only clothing (like that of all the lower orders of India) was a piece of cloth wrapped round the body from the waist downwards. His skin was perfectly white, and it seemed glazed as if seared with a hot iron. His head was uncovered, and his hair, which was of precisely the same colour as the skin, hung down in long strips upon his lean and withered shoulders. His eyes, except the eye-balls, were of a dull murky red, and he kept them fixed on the ground, as if it were painful to him to look up, which I found to be the case. He walked slowly and feebly, and he was so frightfully thin, that he seemed to stand before me a living skeleton. He did not at first venture to come within several yards of me; I moved towards him, but he walked further from me, beseeching me to give the smallest trifle to a miserable man, to save him from starving to death, as he was an object of universal scorn, and an outcast from his home and friends. He told me not to come near a polluted creature, for whom no one felt pity. He told me he had during many years, suffered dreadfully from the leprosy, and though he was now cured, it had left upon him these marks of pollution, which would prevent his ever being allowed to go near his fellow-creatures again. The colour of his skin was changed to a corpse-like white, and none could mistake that he had been a leper."

SACRIFICES OFFERED TO IDOLS IN HIGH PLACES.

DEUT. xii. 2.

"Ye shall utterly destroy all the places wherein the nations which ye shall possess served their gods, upon the high mountains, and upon the hills, and under every green tree."

It appears to have been from the first, the custom of the heathen idolaters, to offer their sacrifices to their gods on the tops of hills and mountains, and in groves and shady places.

The Israelites were therefore commanded, not to offer their burnt-offerings in every place they saw, but to offer them only in the place the Lord should choose.*

The

ancient Persians offered from the summits of the highest mountains sacrifices to Jove, distinguishing by that appellation all the expanse of the firmament. (He rodotus.)

The temples where the heathens went to consult their oracles, were also for the most part built in mountainous places.

SHRINES.

ACTS xix. 24.

"A certain man, named Demetrius, a silversmith, which made silver shrines for Diana, brought no small gain unto the craftsmen."

The false goddess Diana was worshipped in Asia Minor, and throughout the then known world, and a most magnificent temple was erected to her at Ephesus. The word which we translate shrines, is in the Greek temples. It was the custom with the Greeks and other heathen nations to make little models of a temple, and

* Verses 13, 14.

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