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FOUND BY PHARAOH'S DAUGHTER.
In works of art it has been the practice to place these occurrences in the centre of a pond, and to give the characters an Italian costume, while the child is represented stretching its naked limbs on a vessel similar to a needlewoman's fancy basket. Such is the celebrated picture of Vandyke; and, to carry out his European ideas to the utmost, he has represented the princess and a single attendant reaching over a bed of flags, such as are seen on the margin of our own rivers, as though they were in the act of searching for some lost treasure, while tame water-fowl of the family of the Anatina, stand gazing and cackling at the intruders.
In opposition to these travesties, it has been the artist's aim, in the accompanying drawing, to give a faithful translation of the Scripture narrative. In doing so, however, he has been compelled to infer the presence of the various objects which constitute the action and locality of the picture. Still, in these arrangements, he has been guided by the analogies furnished in the contemporary monuments of Egypt, which pour a flood of light on ancient usages. Thus, he has determined that when the daughter of Pharaoh went “ down to wash herself at the river,” she went not down into the open stream. Had she done this, she would have been exposed to the inconveniences of a scorching sun, to the dangers of a rapid current, and to the devouring jaws of the crocodile. According to oriental and classical, to ancient and modern usages, the cool chambers of a bath are employed for such a purpose. Hence it is, that the princess is supposed, in the drawing, to be walking on the terrace of such a bath, where she becomes a witness to the safe arrival of the little stranger at its portal. Hence, it is also supposed, that the affectionate care of the mother would prompt her to close the ark, and give it a form capable of floating. The narrative intimates, indeed, that when the maid had“ opened" the ark the princess “saw the child :” and it was common in Egypt, in the days of the ancients, to make little barks of the cyperus papyrus, to float upon the Nile at the period of its inundation. Such vessels were also used, with slight variation, on the rivers of Mesopotamia; and Lucan describes such in connexion with our own forefathers.
The bending willows into barks they twine,
On such to neighbouring Gaul, allured by gain,
The after-history of Moses is one of the most interesting recorded in the pages of Holy Writ. Carrying out her benevolent designs, when the child needed a nurse no longer, the princess took him to court, and caused him to be instructed in all the “wisdom of the Egyptians. He was regarded as a prince in the palace of the monarch who had decreed his destruction. Thus he lived till he was forty years of age, when, moved by a Divine impulse to undertake the deliverance of his countrymen, he, “ by faith,” refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, “ choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward,” Heb. xi. 24–26. He was finally empowered to break the chains of Israel's bondage, and to lead them, in the face of danger, to the promised land.
Moses was an eminent character; but there is One “worthy of more glory, inasmuch as he who hath builded the house hath more honour than the house," Heb. iii. 3. That One is our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom Moses was a type. As this great prophet brought forth the Hebrews from their house of bondage to a land of rest and liberty, a land“ flowing with milk and honey,” so Jesus Christ brings his people, whom he hath redeemed with his blood, out of the prison-house of sin, and leads them to a land, where they hunger and thirst no more, and where God wipes away all tears from their eyes, Rev. vii. 16, 17.