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and various other representatives of that tiny vegetable world, whose strange antique forms and marvellous structures afford an unwearied study to every lover of nature. Such spots in a glaring country like Palestine, are more lovely and refreshing than even palm or olive groves, or fields blazing with the rainbow hues of narcissuses and daffodils. There is no express mention made of any cryptogamic plant in the Bible. We have, however, indirect evidence that the lower orders of fungi were fully more numerous and destructive in Bible times than they are at the present day. The mildew, which committed such dreadful ravages in the barley, wheat, and millet fields, and often reduced the people to the extremity of famine, was never once suspected to be of vegetable origin–different species of parasiticfungi of the Uredo and Puccinia families—but was looked upon entirely as a meteorological product, or as a peculiar form of pestilence sent directly from the hand of God. It was far more frequent in their fields than we should have expected from the dryness of the climate and the brilliancy of the sunsbine; shewing that these advantages must have been more than neutralized by a wretched system of agriculture. The leprosy of the house and of garments was another occult phenomenon, which almost every commentator has persisted in misunderstanding, though its vegetable character appears as clear as day-light from the graphic description given of it in Exodus. It is evident that the language of Moses is popular, not scientific; and may therefore be supposed to include several agencies as concerned in the production of these two kinds of leprosy, distinct in themselves, but giving rise to somewhat similar appearances. The different colours of the plague clearly indicate this. The reddish patches may have been caused by a species of fungus called dry-rot (Merulius lachrymans), which appears at first in the floors and beams of buildings, in the form of round white cottony patches, from one to eight inches broad, afterwards developing over their whole surface a number of fine orangeor reddish-brown irregular folds, distilling drops of moisture when perfect, hence the specificname. Thisinsidious disease, once established, spreads with amazing rapidity, destroying the most solid houses in a few years. So virulent is its nature, that it extends from the wood-work of a house even to the walls themselves, and by penetrating their interstices, crumbles them to pieces. The houses of Palestine, built for the most part of mud or wood, were peculiarly exposed to its ravages ; and when once this fungus obtained a footing, the desperate remedy proposed by Moses had often to be resorted to after the failure of every attempt to extirpate it. The green patches on garments and on the walls of houses may have been caused by a species of mould, a fungus much lower in the scale of organization than
Leprosy of Garments.
the other, and much simpler in construction. It is the most protean of all plants, assuming different forms on different substances, but familiar to us in the light fleecy covering which it spreads over old shoes, stale pieces of bread, or cast-off clothes left in damp ill-ventilated places. The red leprosy of garments has played a somewhat remarkable part in history. It was very common in the middle ages, occurring often before the outbreak of epidemics, which it was supposed to herald; appearing suddenly on the sacramental host, and the vestments of priests, and was regarded with superstitious fear, as a signaculum or omen of gloomy presage. The researches of microscopists have dispelled the mystery and terror which surrounded it for so many ages, and resolved it into a mere collection of minute and simple fungi.
Our fast lessening space warns us to conclude. We might have examined in detail the mass of facts and arguments accumulated in the identification of such extremely doubtful plants as the hyssop, Jonah's gourd, and the gourd of the prophets. These plants have been the subjects of keen and violent controversy among commentators since the days of the fathers; but as we are not possessed of any new information regarding them, we must leave the matter as Royle has settled it. We have omitted altogether many plants deserving of special mention, and briefly alluded to others that might have furnished materials for whole paragraphs; for a subject like this, to do it ample justice, would require, not a magazine article, but a large volume. The necessity of brevity has also compelled us to leave untouched the Hebrew classification of plants, and those questions regarding the origin and distribution of species which are suggested by the first chapter of Genesis, and there more satisfactorily settled in one or two brief sentences than by all the elaborate treatises of the Darwinian school of science. We close our brief and rapid survey of the flora of Palestine with a mingled feeling of pleasure and dissatisfaction. While much has been done, much more remains still to do. And in an age of universal research like this, when the earth, the air, and the waters have been compelled to give up their buried secrets to a persevering curiosity, which nothing can repress, we may surely hope for clearer light regarding those vegetable productions which have this interest superadded to them above all others, that not only did the hand of God create them in the consecrated soil of the Holy Land, but His Spirit transplanted them into the sacred enclosure of His Holy Word, there to bloom in amaranthine freshness, till the fair face of nature itself vanishes away, and the written oracles shall give place to the living Presence and the living Voice.
ART. VIII.—The Rev. James Sherman. Memoir of the Rev. James Sherman; including an unfinished Aulobiography.
By HENRY ALLON. London: Nisbet & Co. SITUATED on the southern side of the Thames, with the exception of its new neighbour the Metropolitan Tabernacle, Surrey Chapel is the largest place of worship in London ; for the mighty fabrics of Westminster and St Paul's are scarcely designed for congregations. Erected at the moderate cost of five thousand pounds, through these fourscore years it has been nobly fulfilling the intentions of its pious founders. The present membership we do not exactly know, but in 1848 there were 1200 communicants; in the Salbath classes and ragged schools there were 3590 children under the charge of 380 teachers; a Christian Instruction Society, a Dorcas Society, and a Provident Institution, were carrying temporal and spiritual blessings into the densely peopled neighbourhood; and Hourishing auxiliaries were sending liberal contributions to the Bible, the Missionary, and the Tract Societies. At the same time, even although we did not include those special efforts of sacred rhetoric which, on a Tuesday morning in early May, attract to the great missionary sermon the representatives of English Nonconformity, we question if any other church or chapel has been the theatre of so much earnest and effective preaching. From the days now distant, when its pulpit was frequently occupied by men like Scott, and Venn, and Berridge, to the period more recent, when Jay, Sibree, and James, were among its occasional or stated supplies, its walls have habitually re-echoed the joyful sound, and would cry aloud against any other gospel. Nor can we wonder that, with the days of the Son of Man which they have witnessed beneath its roof, many of its old frequenters can find themselves at home in no other sanctuary; to their fond eye the plain unornamented octagon is the very perfection of beauty; and anything like its music they cannot hope to hear, aught like its fellowship they do not hope to enjoy, till promoted to the temple on high.
The annals of Surrey Chapel would be an interesting monograph, and they would form a valuable contribution to the history of religion in the capital. In the life of its first minister, Rowland Hill, we have good materials, as also in the biographies of some of its faithful members, such as Thomas Cranfield and the second Mrs Shernan. To these, in his memoir of Mr Sherman, Mr Allon has made an invaluable addition ; but there must be still many incidents dispersed through various miscellanies, or preserved in a few surviving memories, which, if brought together, would present a wonder
ful testimony to the grace of God and the power of the gospel. Might not the present excellent pastor undertake the task ? How heartily the public would welcome from the pen of Newman Hall the story of “old Surrey !”
To be minister of such a church is no small distinction, and we may say without disparagement that it is to this circumstance mainly that we owe a biography of Mr Sherman. Not a genius, without any transcendent talent, with no passages in his sermons which you would care to quote, nor any sentence in bis talk which you would be able to repeat, the originator of no great movement, the hero of no adventure, the champion of no party, the martyr of no experiment, the great incident in his life was the invitation to become Rowland Hill's successor, his great claim to our admiration is the full proof which, for eighteen years, he made of that arduous and overwhelming ministry. Yet, as pastor of Surrey Chapel he was singularly successful, and amongst eminent contemporaries he was especially beloved and honoured. Dr Pye Smith was a scholar; Dr Winter Hamilton was a voracious and universal reader; Dr Ebenezer Henderson was such a linguist that to him the confusion of Babel must have been the greatest of blessings; Dr Fletcher of Stepney was a man of exquisite culture ; Mr Šortain was a dialectician soacute and intrepid that he would have crossed swords with the Master of the Sentences, or even with the mighty Stagyrite, bad he come in his way; and, with his wide range of thought and deep habits of reflection, each idea of Dr Harris spread out into a volume, and required several hours to develop. But Mr Sherman, neither a logician nor a man of letters, had the tact to turn to the best accountall the knowledge he possessed, and on the strength of his sound understanding and practical wisdom took rank with more learned brethren, whilst in tenderness of feeling and promptitude of sympathy he excelled them all. This was the attribute which made him unique. Habitually gentle, and in the unreserve of friendly intercourse quite playful, bis whole nature was pre-eminently emotional ; his kind heart was seen in his beaming looks, and his soft eye was ready to melt in a moment. Love to Christ was his religion, and in the forthpouring of affection, neither forced nor restrained, lay the secret of his ministerial success. Of course, there were a sound mind, and a memory well stored with scriptural truth, and a command of appropriate words; but the magic was in the man : it was his fund of fellow-feeling which gave him the voice of the charmer. And therefore was he popular. No one could ascend the sacred desk whom the great congregation more rejoiced to see, nor would any one leave the audience more deeply impressed; not even Leifchild, with his manly force and dramatic energy; not even James Parsons, with his tense and sustained solemnity, his ever-rising urgency. And, although he had built no palatial hospital nor originated any imposing movement likethe million-Bible scheme, although his speech was not likely to contain anything comic, much less to end in a great sensation, there was no one who appeared on the platform or rose up to speak who received a more cordial greeting, or who shed a truer sunshine over the assembly, and there were few who left a better impression when they ended
As Mr Allon has said, “His social affections were very strong. To love and be loved were the necessities of his social being. ... Indeed, the intensity of the emotional part of his nature was his constitutional characteristic; and to this, sanctified by the grace of our Lord, his peculiar religious fervour, both in the pulpit and out of it, was, no doubt, to be attributed.” Not that other men lacked in loving-kindness, but Mr Sherman let it out. Being " affectionately desirous” of his hearers, he was not ashamed to "change his voice” and tell them, “even weeping,” those truths which in other tones might have given offence or glided unheeded by. And, surely for the gospel of the grace of God a kind and tender spirit is the appropriate vehicle. In the case of Mr Sherman it remarkably succeeded. We remember once accompanying him on a week-day to the anniversary services of a little chapel at Theale, in Berkshire, which he had been instrumentál in building. The rain notwithstanding, the concourse was large, and was mainly composed of his old Reading hearers; and although we cannot recall a single word of the sermon, we remember very well what a clear, full-orbed gospel it contained ; and, like the rain on the mown grass around, as his speech fell soft and refreshing, we remember how it filled the place with the fragrance of the Saviour's name. And when at length, with hands firm-clasped and glistening eyes, he and his hearers parted, it brought to mind the scenes in apostolic story, when, with hearts like to break, converts and pastors separated from one another.
To return to his biographer. “The general efficiency of Mr Sherman's ministry while he was at Surrey was very great, rarely has it been surpassed in the history of the English pulpit. He was in the meridian of his days. The excitement of the then largest congregation in London pressing and crowding every nook of the spacious edifice, and closing in upon the preacher as he ascended the pulpit stairs, until the door of it was pressed with a buttress of living eager men, aided his natural fervour, and he frequently swayed the feelings of the mighty mass, as the wind bends the standing corn. The contagion of crowds aided the effect, and it was by no means a rare thing to see hundreds in tears together." Nor was it mere human excitement or transient emotion. Take the fol