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167. Palestines.

333

Fuller takes a curious method of proving the enormous size of the timber in Judea. “If the body of Hercules, (he says) may be guessed from his foot, take the mustard, the little toe of trees, into consideration, and thence collect the vast proportion of great woods. Our Saviour’s words of the extraordinary growth of this plant must needs be true; and by the same proportion (surely the Jews had not more sauce than meat), other trees must be allowed to be of unusual greatness.”

Pisgah View. Book 1, Chap. 4. §9.

This quaint old writer proves the extraordinary fertility of the holy land by some odd arguments. To the 334objection that it is a country insigificantly small, he replies, “that what it lacked in length and breadth, it had in depth, as if nature had heaped one acre upon another in the matchless fertility thereof.” To the objection that it is full of mountains, he exclaims, “was ever a great belly brought for an argument of barrenness? especially seeing these mountains did not swell with a mock-mother tympany; but were pregnant with special commodities.” Modern travellers report it to be a bare surface of sand. This he admits, and answers, in that happy manner which characterizes him. “Who can guess what Naomi was by what March is? (Ruth. 1.20.) The stump indeed stands still, but the branches are withered; the skeleton remains but the favour and flesh thereof is consumed Judea is, and is not what it was before; the same in bulk, not blessing, for fashion, not fruitfulness; the old instrument is the same; but it is 335neither strung with stock, nor played upon with the hand of skilful husbandry. The rose of Sharon is faded, her leaves lost, and now nothing but the prickles thereof to be seen.”

The writer thinks that there are some footsteps of a scriptural story in the fable of Agamemnom sacrificing his daughter; for that Iphigeneia is “haply corrupted for Jepthagenia, or Jehptha’s daughter.”

(Pisgah View. B. 2. chap. 3. § 11.)