Home page The Occident and American Jewish Advocate Jews in the Civil War Jews in the Wild West History of Palestine The Occident Virtual Library Shopping Mall of Zion AHAVA Hero Products 250x250

בס"ד

On Miracles.

A Sermon.

How glorious, O Lord! is thy testimony; how exalted the truth which Thou hast revealed to us. All the works of man have crumbled before thy messenger of decay, the flight of time over this changeable world; and empires no less than moral systems have one by one yielded to those which came springing up after them in the march of events. But thy word and thy law have stood unmoved, firm as the source from which they have sprung; fresh and youthful amidst the hoariness and decay which have overwhelmed all else besides. Be it therefore thy will to let this great truth be deeply impressed upon our minds, that we may make it the foundation of our life, and the sure support of. our hopes of a happy future. In order that our souls, redeemed from the jaws of perdition, in which sink they who are strangers to thy ways, may sing thy praises for everlasting, O, Eternal One, our God. Amen.

Brethren,

In the course of the inquiry which we lately instituted into the doctrines of the Jewish religion, we stated, that we must admit as one of them the possibility for God to work his will in whatever He pleases, though to do this, He would necessarily have to act against the usual course of nature. We also stated, that nature herself is a miracle, or an effect of God’s will, to produce which nothing impelled Him but his own pleasure; and that therefore it requires no greater creative powers to introduce temporary changes or permanent alterations in the regular course of things, than to institute the same in the first instance. That God is the Creator, admits of no doubt, or else He would and could be no object of adoration. That God is the Preserver of things, follows from the very nature of the terms, or else there must be a second, to whom would in that case be transferred the preservation of the universe, who, however, would of necessity have to be independent of the Creator; for if the preserving power were not independent, God the Creator would be, what He is in truth, the Preserver as well as the Creator: and we have already shown, that the harmony every where observable, and the perfect accordance of cause and effect, in the material world no less than in the history of the mind, as far as this can be elucidated in the affairs of mankind, tend to prove that there is but one will, one spirit; hence there must be but one power, one ruler, and there can be no second, independent, coëxisting being to share, much less to dispute, the superintendence and government of all objects and things that have their existence by the Supreme Creator’s will. This will give us, then, what we claimed for God—the perfect and absolute power to do whatever He deems best, without any control or hindrance, not only from any extraneous power, but from the laws of organization as by Him instituted, inasmuch as they are depending upon his gracious pleasure for their continuance in existence, but are by no means necessary to his happiness, nor can they contribute the smallest item to his greatness and power, farther than to prove to the sentient beings whom He has formed, that He is in truth the Lord of lords, and the King of kings, the Creator of all spirits, and the Author of all that is in the heavens above, on the earth below, and in the waters beneath the earth.

In the instance of a skilful mechanician who has contrived a cunningly devised fabric, with the joints, screws, levers, and wheels of which he is necessarily perfectly acquainted, we will readily believe that he may be able to introduce some alteration which, so far from injuring the machine, will render it more simple and effective; as we will admit that the one who produced a thing so lifelike and wonderful is thereby not presented from carrying the fruits of his invention yet farther into the regions of discovery, which are totally inaccessible to ordinary minds. It would not be considered a mark of wisdom in any one to say that he did not believe the artist could alter his machine, because there appeared to him no reason for this alteration, and because he conceived that it was as perfect as it could be; for, admitting the objection to be true, still that does not abridge the power of the master to do with his handiwork what he may think best, and to alter it in any manner he may deem fitting in his superior experience and knowledge. Now extend this simple position to the Supreme Architect, who not only shaped the world, but created it from nothing; who not only works with preexisting materials, but also calls them into being; who is not only endowed with inventive faculties like a man is, which proceed from a superior source, but who is himself the Source of wisdom and understanding. And of Him shall it be said that his power is so circumscribed by his own rules, that it is impossible that such a change should be wrought by Him in the magnificent fabric which his widsom has built? The perfection of nature merely proves the greater perfection of its Creator; not that He is unable to construct a better one, one yet more wonderful, more free from evil, more allied in purity to his own pure essence. And what does his holy word teach us? Simply this, that step by step He organized nature, and is gradually perfecting what He has made. At first He spoke, and matter started forth in a vast expanse, of which the human mind cannot conceive the end. It was yet rude and unformed, for the will was merely to create a mass of throbs, elements, vast powers, terrific in strength, but as yet unorganized, without determined individuality. Again He spoke, and globes separated in wonderful array in the different regions of space, revolving each around a centre, all obedient to one directing will; but there was no life, no light, no verdure, in all their extent. Again He spoke, and there was light, springing from his own mighty being, to illumine and to rejoice the face of nature; and from then until now, there was evening and there was morning in each sphere, according to its own proper position in God’s world, and the blessing of light has not been withheld in its due season from the many globes that thirst for its presence. Again the word went forth, and the atmosphere of life-sustaining air was cast around our world at least, and no doubt round many another likewise, to become the sustainer of animated beings that were to dwell upon the same thereafter; and from the beginning till now, the mixture of respirable gases has been so nicely balanced, so scattered far and wide without stint or scanty measure, that every spot has always been supplied with a due portion for all that dwell there; and this stream has always been every where of the same healthy proportions, unless disturbed by causes for which nature, as such, cannot be considered responsible.—Scarcely were light and air provided, when a separation of the elements took place, the aqueous parts were collected into vast receivers, and formed oceans, lakes, and rivers; whilst the solid parts stood forth, as mountains that pierce the clouds, as sloping hills, as pleasant valleys, as rolling plains, and as shelving beaches. And then suddenly sprung forth, from the soil fitted for culture, many thousand plants, herbs, and trees, bearing fruit and seed, all calculated to subserve the use of creatures of a higher order, to be thereafter created, and all adapted by various wonderful contrivances to propagate their species, some by seeds, some by layers, some by roots, and some by other methods, known best and most admired and most dwelt upon with rapture by those who have penetrated into the mysteries of the great book of knowledge which nature every where unfolds.—The orbs next, which are capable of illuminating by the light which radiates from them, were assigned to dispense their invaluable treasures to the bodies which are opaque in their substance, and which therefore need to receive this precious gift from others more blessed than themselves.

Now behold the new creation standing bright in its Maker’s presence; the brilliant sun flies on in his course, sending forth rays of glorious effulgence to gladden and to fructify the kingdoms assigned to him by his Creator; and beneath his influence stand erect the lofty cedars on Lebanon, waving to and fro their gloomy tops, as the invisible spirit of the wind passes through them on his mysterious message to purify the heated atmosphere; see in the valleys, how brightly, glowingly, stands the blushing rose, or the snow-white lily, or lies concealed amid the verdant turf the modest violet, or scents the gale the cinnamon tree in the farther India, or spreads over the rosy sea the fragrant breath of the sweet shrubs of the happy Araby, or smiles the perfumed carnation in the fair fields of Asia; whilst the gaudy piony, the coral honeysuckle, the tinted pansy, or the simple daisy, each contribute to deck the landscape with an additional trait of loveliness. Behold in yon wide plains the mellow sea of ripening corn, bending in graceful waves to the gentle breeze which sways them like the billows of the yielding ocean; and the blushing fruits concealed almost under the dark green leaves which shade them from the heat of the mid-day sun; and listen to the dull, gentle heaving of the sea, as it dashes against the newly formed strand, gifted with fearful power when it rises into wrathful spray urged by the stormy blast, but now playful, placid, bright, harmless, like an infant giant unconscious of his strength. And lo! when the sun has set, how sweetly beams the host of stars in their new state of innocence, and the silvery moon sailing in her own deep blue heaven, the image of purity and truth:—and say, is not the scene beautiful, soothing, enchanting in the extreme? And yet there is no life, nothing—nothing—that moves of a free accord from the spot on which it stands. Nevertheless, the creation is thus far finished; there is organization, and there are laws; there are causes implanted in nature which must produce their effects; and consequently there is a species of perfection already attained, and. there are beings who feel the impulse of their Maker’s will. But say, were God’s powers exhausted when he had proceeded thus far? was He withheld from doing more, as soon as the suns, the planets, the elementary powers, the light, the atmosphere, the sea, the land, and vegetation had been finished? or was it a reasonable objection to his farther action, that enough had been done, and wisely done? Both investigation into nature and the history of Holy Writ teach us quite another lesson; for as soon as the earth had become fitted for the habitation of a different order of beings, they were called forth to the light of day, and soon the voiceless forests were filled with the song of many a feathered minstrel; birds of gay plumage flitted among the groves of the sunny south; the gaudy parrot chatted amid the branches of the orange and the palm; and the changeable humming-bird sipped the honey from the open flowers which invited his restless wings to hover over them; and the merry water-fowls sailed majestically down the northern rivers, whilst the shores resounded with the sweet voice of the dusky nightingale. In the seas was planted the mighty whale, who sported mirthfully and fearlessly on the face of the deep, whilst he lashed into spray the dark green waters assigned to him for his habitation; the rivers were alive with the children of the finny tribes, which rejoiced as they glided swiftly, undisturbed in the element which sustains their life and gives them shelter. Insects, too, in myriads, drilled along on busy wings, reflecting the bright light in their many gaudy colours, and sought from the inward call of nature the home which was provided for each in the bosom of the earth, on the face of the waters, or the many fruit-trees, shrubs, and flowers which every where stood ready for their reception.

But there were yet wanting some more beings, that, uniting more energy than falls to the lot of insects, birds, and fishes, should have their habitation on the face of the earth itself.—Again stood the glory of God anew revealed in the many beautiful creatures that sprung at his creative word into life and being. They too sought out the homes which were suited to each, where best their natural development could be carried to the utmost perfection, where a due portion of heat, and the proper sustenance were provided, by the bountiful hand of their Creator. The arid fields of Africa beheld the tawny lion and the lioness watching with anxious care and fearful strength their tender young. The sagacious elephant reared his towering form amid the deep shady woods of the tropical land, secure and careless because of the might of his limbs and the invincible power which had been imparted to his matchless frame. The spotted tiger and the beautiful leopard ranged the forests and jungles of the eastern countries, whilst the graceful gazelle and the swift-footed deer fled with unapproachable speed over the extended plains. Here behold the heavy heavy hippopotamus, dividing the flood of the sparkling Ganges, or the torrents of the river of Egypt, whilst on the shores of many streams grazed the peaceful ox, and lowed in the green pasture the useful cow, regarding with maternal solicitude her new-born calf. In the sands of Arabia you might see the prancing steed rushing on with resistless speed, and pawing the soil, that you would fancy the earth to shake beneath; there ranged the wild ass, hurrying on in his wild career, free and untrammelled as the air he snuffed in with his extended nostrils; there, too, browsed on the hardy shrubs of the desert the patient camel, regardless alike by his habits of abstinence, and power of endurance, of the gnawings of hunger and the burning of thirst. On the grassy plains skipped joyfully the harmless sheep, and the horned goat, and over the Alpine precipices wended their way the daring chamois as they leaped from crag to crag in their unapproachable solitude, whither naught ascends but the strong-winged eagle, or the mighty condor. And there where the cold offered a fitting habitation, stalked abroad the shaggy bear, or showed itself the stately reindeer; every where was life:—every where stood before the light of the sun the beautiful works of the great Creator.—If we thus view the Lord as the Author of the earth only, we shall find cause enough to admire his power and his infinite ability to work his will, seeing that the effects produced thereby are so varied and surprising in their organization. But this is not all; the system of nature in which we live is of immense extent, no man has yet measured its greatness, no man will ever understand its astonishing structure. And wherever there is any part of God’s creation, and this is all that our imagination can grasp, there must be the same tokens of power and goodness which are discoverable on earth; for knowing as we do how good the Almighty is to the inhabitants of the terrestrial globe, we cannot imagine that there should be so many worlds which we can see nightly, with our eyes, revolving in the immensity of space which we cannot discover the end of, which should all be surrendered to dreary desolation without atmosphere, vegetation, and life. But if it even were so, that all else in creation but our own earth were desolate and dreary, there would still be enough to satisfy the most incredulous mind of the ability of God to work his will in all He desires. Look at the various countries which chequer the face of the globe; examine the variety of climates, and temperatures, and vegetables, and animals which are assigned to each; reflect on the peculiarities of the sea-breeze which renders the tropical sea-coasts habitable to the white race of man, and the brilliant northern or southern lights which illumine and break the dreariness of the winter in the hither latitudes; consider the peculiar adaptedness of the polar animals, or those living in rigorous climates, by the additional coat of thick white fur which every year defends them against the cold of the frozen season, or which teaches them to hide themselves in a living state of suspended animation in the depth of caverns, or in hollow trees, or in sandy banks where they pass away the mouths when ice and snow cover the ground in a happy forgetfulness of the storm which rages without, and which would prove fatal to their existence; and then turn to the astonishing organization of the different human races, who are all best calculated by their physical, and not unfrequently by their mental developments, for the very countries where we find them placed in a state of nature; moreover, reflect upon this peculiar fact, that a race originally living in one sort of climate, is materially changed in one or two generations if transplanted to one of a different degree of heat, so as to render it in a great degree better fitted to bear the especial hardships which it has to encounter in its new home; nay more, let us ponder upon the astonishing truth, that the same man when quitting his own country for one at a distance from his own often becomes acclimated, and in a manner physically changed in order to render him a fit inhabitant of the place which he has chosen for his residence:—consider all these facts, end you must acknowledge that there is enough on this earth to make you stand astonished at the power of the Creator. For there is evidence of design and forethought in all this; the very exceptions we meet with to these general rules, prove that nature as an inert uniform agent cannot cause them; or else there could be no exceptions; but the exertions of a Power so eminently beneficent, so nearly universally uniform in its working, demonstrates it to be one of intelligence, and of living, active, all-pervading wisdom, which is not limited in its strength, not defined by any outward agency.

But we are leaving our subject. We wanted to portray merely the wisdom and power of God as displayed in his creation, and to exhibit Him as working miracles in every thing which meets our view. We stated that the creation was a miracle, and we may freely rest satisfied with the rapid view we have taken of its origin and its causes.—At every step which nature took in advance under the creative commands of the Lord, He might have rested if so it had pleased his wisdom; He needed not to have added one more miracle to those already wrought before; but He willed it otherwise; and as the world was more blessed with creatures of beauty, power, and usefulness, at each successive period of the formation of the universe, his wisdom, his glory, his goodness, his might, were rendered more evident for the intelligent beings whom He designed to frame as the crowning work of his creation.—We traced the earth as divided into sea and land; as surrounded with an atmosphere of living air, as illuminated and warmed by mighty worlds which shine by day, or appear at night; we beheld it decked with plants of a thousand different kinds; we saw it peopled, with many living things which have their home in the air, on the land, or in the water; but there was yet no animal so like the divine majesty of the Author of all, as to utter its thoughts in words, to reflect in a continuous train of reasoning, to feel the weight of responsibility, and to choose from free reasoning between good and evil.—The thought to create such a one ascended, if we may so express ourselves, before the Lord; and straightway the thought became will; the will went forth into the creative word; the dust of the earth assumed the shape of the human form; the breath of divine life was breathed into the mortal clay, and man stood there a creature of the earth fired by a soul of unending endurance, whilst nature holds sway, whilst the existence of the universe is suffered to continue by the will of its Maker. How wonderful is this creature! how fearfully great is this body of ours! how surprisingly sublime the soul which lives within us! Well might David exclaim, when feeling the great power of the Lord as displayed in his works, and especially in the formation of the human body: “I will praise thee, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made, marvellous are thy works, and that my soul knoweth right well.” (Psalm 139:14.) In truth, the more you investigate, the various combinations of bones, of muscles, of veins, of ligatures, of sinews, of channels, of viscera, of fluids composing the human body, the more will you be surprised at the extraordinary adaptation of each part to the ends of its formation; and it is not an ignoble study to trace the developments and uses of every particular part of our body, especially if the student rises from his study with a deeper reverence for his God, with a profounder humility for his Creator. Men of research have argued from the economy of animal life the existence of design in the creation; they have proved that so wonderful a mechanism could not, by any possibility, be the effect of chance; and truly is it so! if the beautiful flower displays in its shape, its colour, its odour, the undeniable goodness of God, the animal frame no less demands of us to acknowledge that He who so contrived each part to answer in the best manner the object for which it was required, who repeats the same arrangement in so many millions of creatures from age to age, from generation to generation, cannot be otherwise than wise and intelligent, able to work his will, and designing all He does for a special and useful object.

So much with regard to the body. Put is the soul less wonderful? No, no! it is this which constitutes the essence of man, which gives him dominion over the other creatures. Regard well the gradual development of the mind of an infant, and the instinct of the inferior animals; and how surprisingly great will the difference strike you. The animal soon attains the full growth of its body, and equally speedily all the few which are within its reach. But the human infant grows slowly, and as slowly does its intellect increase in intensity and comprehensiveness; it has much to learn, and therefore the age of childhood is long continued, that it may not be diverted by the cares of seeking a livelihood which fall to the share of brutes, from attending to its mental cultivation. There may appear, at first sight, some degree of hardship in this state of weakness; but it leads to the great results which every where appear to demonstrate, that subordination, obedience, and gratitude, are the means of government which the Lord designs for the world. It is thus that the weakness of the child renders it necessarily subordinate to its parents; it next is the source of the child’s obedience to the wholesome counsels of its wise benefactors and progenitors; and at length influences it with feelings of gratitude for the many favours conferred unceasingly and uncomplainingly, and induces it to follow now willingly from a free choice, the lessons of wisdom which it has learned in early infancy in this manner We shall discover by a careful inquiry, that, provided the mind be not too overtasked at the very outset, and that our research be confined within the ample bounds which God has set for its exercise, man can acquire an astonishing number of facts and ideas; and not alone this, but can enlarge upon what he has received, and add greatly to the general stock of knowledge by the elucidation of new truths, and the careful analysis of previously known ideas in almost every branch of knowledge. It is barely necessary to advert to the power of speech, which so surprisingly marks the human species, whereby one communicates the nicest shades of thoughts which agitate him to the comprehension of others; or to the faculty of informing one another by written characters of things done in the absence of those we wish to instruct, and by which we know what has passed in former ages, and by means of which we treasure up our thoughts for future generations. All these are powers peculiarly appertaining to mind, wherein matter, as far as we understand it, can exercise but little if any agency, any farther than that a corrupt and diseased body is not a fit instrument for the soul to effect therewith its objects and purposes.

It will thus be seen, that as we view each successive act of the Creator, from the formation of the rude mass of the material world to the communicating of spirit to man, we must come to the conclusion that his ability to work his will is unlimited in extent, and unconfined to any period of time; seeing that in every epoch of creation, whether this mighty event, lasted six days only, as the simple words of the Bible would seem to indicate, or whether it lasted for many centuries, as the philosophers assert, and which is not altogether contradicted by Scripture, his power was exercised to add to creatures already existing others equally or more wonderful, and all proceeding, as their predecessors had done before, from his will solely, without there being the least force, necessity, or inducement from any other source whatever to influence his will or to urge on his action.

When therefore the whole earth had been finished, and it was peopled in every part thereof with things of life, things of growth, and those which are not increasing as animals and plants do; when man had been placed there to rule over every thing beneath him in the scale of being: the miraculous power of the Lord did not thereby cease and become extinct. On the contrary, we would derogate from his dignity, deny his omnipotence, even doubt of his being, were we to assert that with the creation of the material world, the whole of God’s will was accomplished. No, He is yet almighty, and will continue to be so to the end of all creation; and when every thing shall have ceased to be, if so this be his ultimate will, then will He yet be, without tell this wonderful organization, King, God, Almighty, able to reproduce the same or another world, as soon as He deems it best to do so. Upon this we rest our belief in the truth of miracles. With the creation of Adam, the work of creation was not complete. True, the material world had received an organization, which, for all that we know, may be final; but the spirit was yet to progress, just as the soul of a child advances under the guidance of parents and teachers. But the teacher of the world needs to be the Lord himself, who himself must instruct, himself educate, himself correct the works of his hands. We, therefore, are satisfied that He actually has left the world at large in a state of infancy, and from age to age He permits improvements and new developments to take place which were unknown before that time. And are these discoveries not in a measure wonderful, even somewhat miraculous, when we consider the immense influence they have from time to time upon the whole framework of society at large? It was, therefore, that when the world had so far progressed as to be ready in a small degree for the reception of the law which God had ordained from the beginning (for we maintain that every principle of the moral law was, from the necessity of the case, always unalterably in the mind of the Lord), He revealed himself by new creations, by changing things already existing, by infusing new powers into objects otherwise inert or inefficient, to demonstrate his almighty power, and to effect his unalterable will, to teach mankind the truths of his omnipotence, and to induce them to look upon Him with hope and confidence. So was the rod of Moses no more in itself than another branch of a tree on which man leans for support. But wielded by the prophet in obedience to the command of God, it assumed the shape of a devouring serpent, it converted the waters of the Nile into blood, it changed the dust of the earth into noxious vermin; it produced hail and thunder in Egypt, it divided the sea for the passage of the Israelites, it brought forth water from the flinty rock, and at length was sanctified by a repetition of the same event in the last year of the seer’s life. All this was done, all the miracles exhibited during that fruitful period of great events were performed, that the world might become prepared through Israel, the children of Abraham, for the reception of the law of God; this important step in the gradual progress of the human mind required a powerful impulse; and this is best explained in the miracles recorded as having been wrought to bring this truth home to the people of Israel, that the law they were to receive must indeed be the veritable gift of the Lord, seeing that He alone could effect the acts, contrary to the course of nature, which occurred before their eyes. Does any one of you believe that it was a mere idle parade of wonderful power which was the object of the miracles? He would certainly be in error; for we find explicitly stated in the first appearance of the divine prophecy to Moses, as the result of all that he saw: “And this shall be a token unto thee that I have sent thee; when thou hast brought forth the people out of Egypt, ye shall serve God upon this mountain.” (Exodus 3:12.) This evidently means that all the miracles would be as naught, were it not for the public proclamation of the law, which had already for centuries been inscribed in the presence of God, as the Rabbins figuratively say, with black upon white fire, so pure are its words, so sacred its ordinances! as a gift of the Lord to the children of man.

We will therefore maintain that the miracles were necessary accompaniments of this wonderful exhibition; it was the creation of a new mind, the divine wisdom of the law, which the Lord purposed; and this event, in itself as wonderful as the formation of the universe, in fact, itself a suspension of the law of nature, since mortals became cognisant in a direct manner of the intentions of God, which is unattainable in the ordinary course of events, was preceded, accompanied, followed by the works of nature feeling likewise the presence of the Supreme, more immediately than at other periods of history.—Was the object worthy of this divine manifestation?—Yes, truly it was; God meant to teach the world, and his works became terrified, to use the Bible phrase, at his presence, the laws of nature relaxed in their hold, when the Sovereign himself assumed the rule in his glory and might. And so sings Asaph, the man who knew the service of the Lord, and spoke forth his thoughts from a worshipping heart:

אלהים בקדש דרכך מי אל גדול כאלהים׃ אתה האל עשה פלא הורעת בעמים עזך׃ גאלת בזרוע עמך בני יעקב ויוסף סלה׃ ראוך מים אלהים ראוך מים יחילו אף ירגזו תהמות׃

“Thy way, O God, is in the sanctuary, what god is so great as God! Thou art the God that doest wonders, thou hast declared thy strength among the nations. Thou least redeemed with thy arm thy people, the sons of Jacob and Joseph—Selah.—The waters saw thee, O God! the waters saw thee: they were afraid; also the depth was troubled.”—Psalm 76:14-17.

Without a public manifestation of the Lord, the world would not have accepted the law, notwithstanding its truth and holiness; the miracles were, therefore, the most natural means to effect the great end of Providence. Well might the earth shake, lightnings play athwart the gloom, the thunder roll in terrific echoes along the crags of Sinai; well might the fire shoot heavenward from the peaceful Horeb’s peak; well might nature stand affrighted at the awful Presence; for there were combined all the elements of power and grandeur.—And truly the manifestation was not in vain; the miracles were indeed transient, for now Sinai sleeps quietly, a pasture for the flocks of the desert; the Red Sea admits not now the passage of a mighty host; the vision of the prophet no more enlightens the mind of Israel’s sons. Yet the law remains, the desired creation of the light of the soul was effected, established for ever; equally so with the grand chains of the Andes mountains, which stand as the frame of the earth; that she may never be moved. And if storms assail the holy legacy, if furious onsets of adversity threaten danger to its upholders: thy fury will in vain exhaust itself, the danger will pass, and leave the troubled sky more serene, more unclouded than before.—And though now the miracles have ceased among us, the time will come when the farther developments of the will of the Lord will render again familiar his presence among us, when all the earth shall see that the word of the God of Jacob is true, abiding among us for ever.

Bless, O bless, our Father! thy children, as Thou hast blest their fathers who feared Thee; let thy countenance shine unto them, and fill their souls with the abundance of peace which is ever before thee; and let thy light be their joy and support in every stage of their lives. And when adversity comes nigh unto their dwellings, do Thou, O Lord! interpose thy protecting hand, and cover with the panoply of thy shield those who seek refuge under the shadow of thy wings. May this be thy will. Amen.

Friday, Feb. 3, 1843. Adar, 5603.