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BY THE REV. EDWARD HAWKINS, D.D. Provost of Oriel College, Oxford, and Prebendary of Rochester. I.
WE can scarcely conceive the thought of a religion without prayer; for we are accustomed to prayer from our very infancy; we regard prayer to the Almighty as the first and the last, and the most frequent and constant of all our religious duties. We have the highest example to guide us to this duty; and the most express, as well as the highest authority for its observance. And, in fine, the duty of prayer appears to us, no doubt, most natural, and reasonable, and exactly suited to the condition of a dependent creature, much more of fallen, weak, and sinful creatures. Nay, the duty of prayer appears so reasonable not only to us, who have been blest in the acknowledgment of Christianity, but, it might be almost said, to all men, that the very heathen addressed prayers to their gods, observing, upon the subject, that to sacrifice victims without prayer seemed improper and irreverent towards the gods; and hence accordingly they had various forms of supplication, deprecation, and commendation; and some unbelievers in Christian countries, who have not persuaded themselves that the Almighty would be moved by our prayers, have nevertheless thought prayer a useful and reasonable service, from its very influence on the heart of him who offered it. In a word, almost all who have had any
Bampton Lecturer for 1840, VOL. VII.-NO. CLXXVII.
OF THE UNITED
CHURCH OF ENGLAND
notions of God, however imperfect or corrupted, would, after their manner, join with the Psalmist, in addressing him, "O thou that hearest prayer, unto thee shall all flesh come" (Ps. lxv. 2).
But if these are our sentiments concerning the duty of prayer to the Almighty, we should be exceedingly surprised if we found a religion certainly proceeding from God himself, and yet not enjoining prayer as a religious duty, nor promising a blessing upon its observance. To say that this is precisely true of the law of Moses, as Moses gave it to the Israelites, would be asserting too much; but it is true of the Mosaic law to a very remarkable degree: and it may not be useless to consider the apparent omission of the duty of prayer in the Mosaic law, and to observe the state of the fact itself, and the reasons for the omission.
As to the state of the fact, it is not true that the books of the law contain no injunctions to offer prayer to God; but yet there are not, I believe, more than three cases in which prayer is expressly enjoined. The first is a command to offer up prayers to God at the end of the tithing in every third year (Deut. xxvi. 13, 14, 15); where, after a profession of obedience, the form of prayer is appointed: "Look down from thy holy habitation, from heaven, and bless thy people Israel, and the land which thou hast given us, as thou swarest unto our fathers; a land that floweth with milk and honey." And perhaps this is the only instance in the whole law in which prayer is implicitly enjoined as a duty of general or extensive obligation. For the two other instances relate to particular cases and persons; one is the com
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mand (Deut. xxi. 7, 8) enjoining the elders | the publican shews that the Jews were ac
of the city, next to the place in which a murder had been committed by some unknown hand, to make an expiation with this prayer: "Our hands have not shed this blood, neither have our eyes seen it. Be merciful, O Lord, unto thy people Israel, whom thou hast redeemed, and lay not innocent blood unto thy people of Israel's charge." And the remaining instance, if it can be properly called an instance of prayer, is the prescribed form of words in which Aaron and his sons were commanded to bless the people: "The Lord bless thee, and keep thee; the Lord make his face to shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee; the Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace" (Numb. vi.).
In this case the Lord promises that he "will put his name upon the children of Israel, and bless them;" and, after the expiation of the uncertain murder, ending with the prayer above mentioned, he promises that "it shall be forgiven them." And this may be called, in some measure, promising a blessing upon these prescribed prayers. But besides this, no blessing is promised to prayer in the law; and, after all, the injunctions to pray are not general commands, not suited at least to all persons at all times. For of the three instances which have been mentioned, one applies only to the priests; another belongs to an occasion which might never happen to many an individual throughout his whole life; and the third, which is the most general, is only applicable every third year. And even the command does not extend to all the people; for the whole tribe of Levi had no tithes to present, and only the males in other tribes had occasion to present them.
Now, if this is the state of the fact, this approaches very nearly to an entire omission of the duty of prayer, or of a blessing upon it, among the injunctions and promises of the Mosaic law, as Moses himself delivered the law. And we at once perceive the immense difference between the law and the Gospel in this remarkable respect.
But before we look to what the Gospel enjoins and promises respecting the duty and privilege of prayer, let us notice two or three circumstances which may tend to lessen our surprise at the omission of the law, so far as it existed; and some of which have not always been sufficiently regarded by writers on the subject. In the first place, we know, from Scripture, that the Jews, in the time of our Saviour, were not ignorant of the obligation to prayer. On the contrary, some of the disciples of Jesus entreated him " to teach them to pray, as John also taught his disciples." The parable of the pharisee and
customed to pray separately: and before the time of the Baptist the people were accustomed to pray in a body at the temple; for whilst Zacharias was in the temple burning incense," the whole multitude of the people were praying without at the time of incense" (Luke, i. 10). And we can carry this practice of prayer among them much farther back, without looking to any other authority than that of the Scriptures themselves. Thus we have many recorded instances of prayer among the children of Israel, as in the instance of Daniel, whose constant practice it was to pray in his chamber towards Jerusalem three times a-day; of Elijah, the efficacy of whose prayers is held forth in the New Testament for our encouragement; of Hezekiah, Solomon, David, Samuel, and other eminent persons, whose devotion is sometimes a model for ours-sometimes, as in the book of Psalms, forms the very substance of our prayers.
We know further that this practice was not confined to prophets or eminent men; witness Hannah's prayer (1 Sam. i.). Isaiah speaks of the practice of all the people of Judah: "When ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you; yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear; your hands are full of blood” (i. 15). And before that time Solomon had not only told the people expressly that "the prayer of the upright was the delight of the Lord" (Prov. xv. 8), but he evidently supposes, in his remarkable prayer at the dedication of the temple, that it would be the practice of all faithful Israelites, and even of the stranger who should join himself to Israel for the Lord's sake, to lift up their prayers to the Almighty, praying towards that house which he had built; and he entreats the Lord of heaven to "hear their prayer and their supplication" (1 Kings, viii.; 2 Chron. vi.)
I do not recollect that the Scriptures give us any account much earlier than this of the practice of prayer, as observed by the people of Israel. But we learn from uninspired writers that they were accustomed to accompany their sacrifices and offerings with prayers; and the forms of these prayers, confessions, deprecations, and consecrations, have come down to us; but how early they were employed, is not, I believe, exactly known. But in all probability these prayers, or others similar to them, were offered up at a very early period of their history. Samuel, we know, accompanied a sacrifice with prayer, and that at the express desire of the people of Israel; and even in the books of Moses themselves, though the practice of prayer is not commanded (except in the three instances already mentioned), yet the propriety of
prayer is evidently implied. Thus the IsThus the Is- | raelites knew, from the book of Genesis, that their father Abraham was more than expressly commanded to pray, or allowed to pray, even for others by the Almighty himself. And their great lawgiver had often, and with success, lifted up his prayers to God in their behalf. Perhaps also the book of Job might teach them, that men might "pray unto God, and he would be favourable unto them" (xxxiii. 26, xxi. 15, xlii. 8). If, then, we put all these things together, it will be clear, both that the practice of the Israelites to offer up their prayers to almighty God existed at a very early period, -earlier, for instance, than the birth of Samuel-a period antecedent to those great improvements in the law which the prophets by degrees introduced, and also that the Israelites could not have been ignorant of the propriety and efficacy of prayer even in the time of Moses himself.
But we should observe further, that it was the very genius of the Mosaic law to teach by actions as well as by words; and it is by no means to be supposed, even if the Israelites were not expressly enjoined to pray, that they were therefore not enjoined such religious services as would carry with them the spirit of prayer, the feelings and dispositions suitable to devotion, if not the form and words of prayer. Thus (Deut. viii. 10) it is enjoined them, "When thou hast eaten and art full, then thou shalt bless the Lord thy God for the good land which he hath given thee." In this passage no express form of words for a blessing and thanksgiving is prescribed, possibly none was intended to be used; but still the devout feelings of praise and thankfulness are evidently required of them; and wishes suitable to prayer may be made known to God by a devout worshipper, without their being actually embodied in express language.
THE ROBBERS OF ARABIA.*
THE Arabian robber, (and they may well be styled a nation of robbers,) considers his profession as honourable; and the term harúmy (robber) is one of the most flattering titles that could be conferred on a youthful hero.
The Arab robs his enemies, his friends, and his neighbours, provided that they are not actually in his own tent, where their property is sacred. But the Arab chiefly prides himself on robbing his enemies, and on bringing away by stealth what he could not have taken by open force. The Bedouins have reduced robbery, in all its branches, to a complete and regular system. If an Arab intends to go on a predatory excursion, he takes with him a dozen friends. They all clothe themselves in rags. Each takes a very moderate stock of flour and salt, and a small waterskin; and thus slenderly provided, they commence on
From "Scripture Elucidations." Edinburgh, Whyte and Co.
foot a journey of perhaps eight days. The harámys or robbers are never mounted. When they arrive, about evening, near the camp which is the intended object of their enterprise, three of the most daring are despatched towards the tents, where they are to arrive at midnight, a time when most Arabs sleep: the others are to await their return within a short distance of the camp. Of the three principal actors, each has his allotted business. One of them (styled el mostambeh) stations himself behind the tent that is to be robbed,
and endeavours to excite the attention of the nearest watch-dogs. These immediately attack him, and they pursue him to a great distance from the camp, which is thus cleared of those dangerous guardians. Another of the three, called emphatically el harámy, or "the robber," now advances towards the camels, that are upon their knees before the tent; he cuts the strings that confine their legs, and makes as many rise as he wishes. He then leads one of the she-camels out of the camp; the others follow as usual. The third adventurous companion (styled käyde) places himself meanwhile near the tent-pole, called "the hand," holding a long and heavy stick over the entrance of the tent, ready to knock down any person who might come forth, and thus give time for the harámy's escape. If the robbery succeeds, the harámy and käyde drive the camels to a little distance; each then seizes by the tail one of the strongest camels, which they pull with the men thus dragged, and followed by the other all their might: this causes the beasts to gallop; and camels, arrive at the place of rendezvous, from which they hasten to join the mostambeh, who has in the meantime been engaged in defending himself from camels are stolen in this manner. the dogs. It often happens that as many as fifty The robbers, travelling only at night, return home by forced marches. To the chief of the party, and the three principal actors, an extra share of the booty is allowed." project. If any neighbour of the tent attacked perBut very different effects attend a failure of their ceives the harámy and käyde, he awakens his friends; they surround the robbers, and he who first seizes one of them makes him his prisoner, or rabiet. Bedouin laws concerning the rabiet are very curious, and shew the influence which custom, handed down through many generations, (although not connected with religion,) may exercise over the fiercest characters amongst the wildest sons of liberty. The rabat (or he who seizes the rabiet) asks his captive on what business he had come; and this question is generally accompanied by some blows on the head. "I came to rob; God has overthrown me," is the answer most commonly given. The prisoner is then led into the tent, where the capture of a harámy occasions great rejoicing. The next act of the rabát is to clear the tent of all witnesses; then, still holding his knife, he ties the prisoner's hands and feet, and afterwards calls in the people of his tribe. Some one of them, or the rabát himself, then addresses the harámy, saying, Neffa, or "renounce;" and the harámy, dreading a continuation of the beating, is induced to answer, Beneffa," I renounce." This ceremony is founded on a custom of the Dakheil, which is as follows:
It is established as a law among the Arabs, that so soon as a person is in actual danger from another, and can touch a third Arab, (be the last whoever he may, even the aggressor's brother,) or if he touch an inanimate thing which the other has in his hands, or with which any part of his body is in contact, or if he can hit him in spitting or throwing a stone at him, and at the same time exclaims, Ana dakheilak, "I am thy protected," he is no longer exposed to any danger, and the third is obliged to defend him this, however, is seldom necessary, as the aggressor from that moment desists. In like manner, the harámy would be entitled to the same privilege, could he find an opportunity of demanding it. On this account the persons entering
the tent desire him to "renounce" the privilege of dakheil; and his reply, "I do renounce," makes it impossible for him to claim any further the protection due to a dakheil. But this renunciation is only valid during the present day; for if the same persons on the next day should enter the tent, the same form of renunciation would be necessary, and in general it is repeated whenever any person enters the tent. That the harámy may not easily escape, or become the dakheil of any one, a hole is formed in the ground of the tent, about two feet deep, and as long as the man; in this hole he is laid, his feet chained to the earth, his hands tied, and his twisted hair fastened to two stakes on both sides of his head. Some tent-poles are laid across this grave, and corn-stacks and other heavy articles heaped upon them, so as to leave only a small opening over the prisoner's face, through which he may breathe.
If the camp is to be removed, a piece of leather is thrown over the harámy's head; he is then placed on a camel, his legs and hands always tied; wherever the camp is pitched, a hole or grave is prepared (as above described) for his prison. Thus buried alive, the prisoner does not yet resign all hopes of escaping; this constantly occupies his mind, while the rabát endeavours to extract from him the highest possible ransom. If the former belongs to a rich family, he never tells his real name, but declares himself a poor beggar. If he be recognised, which generally happens, he must pay as a ransom all his property in horses, camels, sheep, tents, provisions, and baggage. His perseverance in pleading poverty, and in concealing his real name, sometimes protracts an imprisonment of this kind for six months: he is then allowed to purchase his liberty on moderate terms, or fortune may enable him to effect his escape. Customs long established among the Bedouins contribute much to that effect.
If from the hole, which may be called his grave, he can contrive to spit into the face of a man or child, without the form of renunciation before mentioned, he is supposed to have touched a protector and liberator; or if a child (the rabát's own child excepted) give him a morsel of bread, the harámy claims the privilege of having eaten with his liberator; and although this person may be the rabát's near relation, his right to freedom is allowed, the thongs which tied his hair are cut with a knife, his fetters are taken off, and he is set at liberty.
Sometimes he finds means to disengage himself from his chains during the rabát's absence; in this case he escapes at night, and takes refuge in the nearest tent, declaring himself dakheil to the first person he meets, and thus regains his freedom. But this seldom hap pens; for the prisoner always receives so very scanty an allowance of food, that his weakness generally prevents him from making any extraordinary effort; but his friends usually liberate him either by open force, or by contrivance, in the following manner :
A relation of the prisoner, most frequently his own mother or sister, disguised as a beggar, is received in the character of a poor guest by some Arab of the camp in which the harámy is confined. Having ascertained the tent of his rabát, the disguised relation introduces herself into it at night, with a ball of thread in her hands, approaches the hole in which he lies, and throwing one end of the thread over the prisoner's face, contrives to guide it into his mouth, or fastens it to his foot: thus he perceives that help is at hand. The woman retires, winding off the thread until she reaches some neighbouring tent; then awakens the owner of it, and applying the thread to his bosom, addresses him in these words: "Look on me, by the love thou bearest to God and thy ownself: this is under thy protection." As soon as the Arab comprehends the object of this nocturnal visit, he rises, and winding up the thread in his hands, is guided by it to the tent which contains the harámy.
He then awakens the rabát, shews him the thread still held by the captive, and declares that the latter is his dakheil. The harámy is then released from his fetters; the rabát entertains him as a guest newly arrived, and he is suffered to depart in safety.
If, however, no means can be devised for effecting the prisoner's escape, he must at length conclude some terms of ransom. A sum being fixed, it generally happens that among the rabát's tribe some settlers of his own tribe are found who become responsible for the amount. He is then consigned to those friends, one of whom accompanies him to his own home, and receives from him the stipulated ransom, camels, or other articles, which he delivers punctually to the rabát. If the liberated robber cannot collect among his friends the full amount of the ransom, he is bound in honour to resign himself up into the hands of his rabát, and thus again become a captive. There are but few instances of the rabiet's refusing to pay, or to return if his friendly bail cannot enforce the payment, he must satisfy the rabát from his own property; but he can inflict a severe punishment on his false friend, a punishment so dreaded, that the Arabs very seldom incur it. The bail has only to denounce the other as a traitor (yeboagah) among all the tribes of his (the bail's) nation: after this, if the denounced person should come, in peace or war, to any tent of that nation, he cannot claim the privilege of a guest or of a dakheil, but may be stripped even by his host of all his property.
If the father of a family (or a son) resolves upon a predatory expedition, however dangerous, he never mentions it to his nearest friends, but orders his wife or sister to make a provision of flour and salt in a small bag. To any inquiry respecting the object of his journey, he either replies, "That's not your business," or gives the favourite Bedouin reply, "I go where God leads me."
A father whose son has been taken prisoner, (as a rabiet,) often sacrifices his whole property for the ransom, because he considers it an honour that his son should be a harámy; and hopes he will soon repay him by the result of a more successful expedition.
Arabs never approach a hostile camp on foot, or in small numbers, but for the sake of robbing. To make an open attack, they come mounted on horses or camels; and though their attempt fail, they will be treated like fair enemies, not as robbers; stripped and plundered, but not detained. On the contrary, when an Arab meets an unarmed enemy on foot, he knows him to be a harámy coming with the intention of robbing; he is therefore authorised to make him his rabiet, provided he can seize him in a place from which it is possible that he can return to his own camp before sunset, or reach the tents of some friendly tribe. In this case, the presumption is, that the enemy intended that very night to roh the camp; but if the place where he meets the enemy be at a greater distance than one day's journey, or as far as one can march during the remainder of the day, (counting from the time of meeting till sunset,) he is not justified in making him rabiet, but must treat him as a common enemy.
Should a man be seized at the moment when he is endeavouring to release his captive friend or relation, he is himself made rabiet, provided that he arrived directly from the desert; but if he has been received as a guest in any tent of the camp, or if he has even drunk some water, or sat down in one of the tents, and pronounced the salutation, Salem aleyk (“Peace be to you,") he must be protected by the owner of the tent, and not molested, although his generous design
Burnt at St. Albans, August 26, 1555.*
THE attention of the readers of this Magazine has been repeatedly called to those devoted followers of the Lord, who, at the time of the Reformation, shed their blood for the Gospel's sake. But hitherto the martyrdom of those only has been related who were distinguished by their learning or their station, the captains of the noble army of the cross. The common soldiers, however, if I may so term them, were the more numerous part of that body. For whereas five bishops, twenty-one clergymen, and eight gentlemen, were burned in the miserable reign of Mary, there suffered by fire, in the same period, eighty-four tradesmen, one hundred husbandmen, servants, and labourers, fifty-five women, and five children. The characteristic of the Gospel was then, as in every other age, that to the poor it was preached, and of the poor it was received. The inferior classes, therefore, may well examine with especial interest the annals of that persecution. It is this reflection which has induced me to gather a few particulars of the martyrdom of George Tankerfield, a humble cook of the city of London.
which denotes that some sad spectacle is looked for, or wonderful event has happened.
The greatest crowd, however, was assembled round the Cross-Keys Inn, where a man that had been sent from London was sitting quietly with the host, who carefully attended to him, and supplied him with all that he asked for, and conversed with him as with a friend. That man whom the crowd had collected to see was George Tankerfield, who was kept waiting in the inn all the morning, till the sheriffs had returned from the wedding-dinner; after which he must be had to Romeland, and there at the stake be burned to ashes, because he would not yield to the idolatrous worship of the papists.
Tankerfield was a young man, aged about twentyseven or twenty-eight. He was born at York, but had settled in London. Through King Edward's days he was a stanch Romanist; but when, on the coming in of Queen Mary, he saw the virulent persecution with which the reformers were assailed, he began to think that that could not be the true religion which needed to be maintained with so much cruelty. He began also to mislike the mass; and while doubting in his mind which was the true faith, he betook himself to prayer that it would please God graciously to resolve his difficulties. Then being directed to the New Testament, he saw clearly, by what he read there, the evil of the popish doctrines; which therefore he not only renounced himself, but earnestly endeavoured to prevail also on his friends to renounce with him.
It is by trial and discipline that any one is armed and prepared for conflict; and as God had intended to use this man as a soldier in his cause, he thought good to discipline him previously, that when the last final onset came, he might boldly stand, and unflinchingly maintain the quarrel he had espoused. Accordingly, the chastening of sickness was laid upon him, in which doubtless he communed with his own heart, and was strengthened in the faith he had embraced, and was enabled in quiet retirement to look forward to the death by which he must have seen it likely he would be called to glorify God. As soon as he came forth from this school, he was summoned to practise the lessons he had learned. For having, when somewhat recovered, walked forth one day into the Temple-fields, a man named Beard, one of the yeomen of the guard, called to inquire for him at his house, pretending that he was wanted to go and dress a dinner at Lord Paget's. His wife, deceived by the tale, courteously invited the messenger to refresh himself; and with the eager hope that her husband would earn something for their support, ran to fetch him home, telling him that he was sent for to dress a banquet. But Tankerfield knew well what that message meant. "A banquet!" said he; "indeed it is such a banquet as will not be very pleasant to the flesh; but God's will be done." When he came into the house, he recognised the officer, who made him immediately his prisoner; while the afflicted wife, in a paroxysm of grief at the fate she saw prepared for her husband, was with difficulty restrained from a violent attack upon the guardsman. He was committed to Newgate about the end of February 1555.
Tankerfield underwent examination before Bonner; and so well did he witness his confession before that
It was a bright summer's day, when a goodly company was assembled at the house of a gentleman of Hertfordshire, close by the town of St. Albans. There was mirth and there was feasting there; and many young and joyous spirits were at the banquet. For that gentleman's son had that day received the hand of a fair bride; and belted knights, and magistrates, and ladies, were collected to do honour to the house. Many a loving wish was breathed for the welfare of the young couple-no more twain, but one flesh; and there were anticipations of their future happiness, and affectionate hopes that they might live in honour, and see their children's children. But it seemed, amid that gay company, as if now and then thoughts of a different kind from those suggested by the scene before them, were in the minds of some that were sitting at the board. The high-sheriff of the county, Mr. Brocket, and his under-sheriff, Pulter, were among the guests; and occasionally, with looks of meaning, they exchanged a word or two; and then there was a sort of hush to the merriment of the assemblage, and a pause ere the lively jest and the joyous laugh again circulated. Thus rolled the hours on, till, when dinner was over, after the early fashion of the age at two o'clock, the sheriffs departed, as men who were hurried away by some call of stern duty.
That forenoon the attention of the inhabitants of St. Albans had been directed to a spot near the west end of the noble Abbey-Church. It was a green and pleasant place, called Romeland, where it is likely children had often sported in gleeful play; but now no sport, as it seemed, was to be acted there. For there was a large dark post set up, and there were bundles of brushwood lying about, and reeds, and sturdy constables were keeping a strict watch, and little knots of people were gathered here and there, talking to each other in that low and earnest tone • See Fox, vol. iii. 1