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far as ascertained, as follows: in January, 51; February, 43; March, 44; April, 37; May, 41; June, 35; July, 43; August, 61, September, 50; October, 49, November, 35: December, 32. Not stated 51.
The following table gives at a single glance the mean average
of the ministers who have died within thirteen years, in the several states, so far as reported in the quarterly lists.
Leaving out of the account the states of Rhode Island, South Carolina and Indiana, because the number of cases is too few to justify so large an average of life as appears in them, we find the greatest average in Maine, and the least in Alabama. The mean average of these two extremes is 53410; and the mean average of the whole, including the above three states, 57342877.
Of the states in which the largest proportion of ministers have attained to the greatest age, leaving out of view the three states from which the accounts are too defective to serve as a basis of reasoning,—the balance is in favor of the state of Maine. Of 41 persons in Maine, whose ages were stated, 23,—more than one half of the whole number, -exceeded the age of 70; and eleven of them exceeded 80. Of nine in New Hampshire, three exceeded 70, and one 80. Of 12 in Vermont, four exceeded 70, and one 80. Of 38 in Massachusetts, 14 exceeded 70, six 80, and two 90. Of 82 in New York, 29 exceeded 70, fifteen 80, three 90, and two 100. Of 14 in Pennsylvania, three only exceeded 70, one of whom survived till 94. Of 32 in Virginia, nine only exceeded 70, four 80, and two 90. Of 12 in Tennessee, two only exceeded 70, and but one attained the age of 80. Of 13 in Kentucky, five passed beyond 70, of whom three survived 80, and
one 100. Of 28 in Ohio, but eight exceeded 70, three of them remaining at 80, and one at 90.
Of those who died at 40 years of age or under, -taking the same basis, — Maine numbers 7, New Hampshire 3, Vermont 3, Massachusetts 13, Connecticut 6 out of fisieen, New York 24, New Jersey 3 out of seven, Pennsylvania 4, Virginia 6, Georgia 2 out of fifteen, Alabama 5 out of ten, Tennessee 1, Kentucky 3, Ohio 6, and Illinois 6. The advantage here is in favor of Tennessee, which shows a loss of only one twelfth of the whole. The greatest mortality, at this early period of life, is in Alabama, being one half of the whole number; in Connecticut it is two fifths; in New Hampshire and Illinois, one third; in Vermont, one fourth ; in Kentucky, a little less than one fourth ; in Pennsylvania, two sevenths; in New Jersey, three sevenths; iu Massachusetts and New York, nearly one third ; in Maine, a little more than one sixth; in Virginia, less than one fifth ; in Ohio, nearly one fourth; and in Georgia, two fifteenths.
The views which have been presented in this article have an interest in various respects. They certainly present the ministry in a favorable aspect in respect to the longevity of those who embark in its pursuits. Laborious and responsible as it is, we believe that in this regard it compares very favorably with other professions and employments. We doubt if there is a single occupation of men, exhibiting so high an average of the duration of life. The average age in every state examined, (with a single exception, which for obvious reasons cannot be deemed reliable,) exceeds 51 years, and the general average exceeds 57).
It is true, some servants of God in the ministry die young, and others perish in the midst of their usefulness. There is no revealed arrangement of God's providence which makes us look with surprise or suispicion on such events. But when we contemplate the facts brought to light by this article, we are almost ready to look upon the prolongation of the lives of ministers as an exception to the general course of things, and a fulfilment of the promises which enumerate " length of days" among the blessings of God's people.
The views above exhibited present the ministry in a favorable light as to their virtuous and moral lives. The wicked, we are told, shall not "live out half their days."
To courses of sin God has affixed the premature decay of the body, and early death as the penalty. It is true, all who die young are not necessarily the victims of sin which God chooses in that way to visit upon them in judgment. Neither does the attainment of old age in all cases imply a life of uprightness and purity. But the duration of so large a proportion of lives in a single profession,—and that the sacred profession,-beyond the ordinary average, certainly wears the aspect of an honorable testimony to the morality of the ministry.
These views also conduct us to some inferences on the comparative healthfulness of different fields of evangelical labor. Life, it is true, is not and should not be a matter of very serious consideration, with him who loves the service of his divine Master better than life. Still, the longer the life and the more robust the health, the more will a man's opportunities of usefulness be multiplied, and the greater will be his vigor and efficiency in using them. If these statistics prove any thing, they prove that under divine protection, a Christian minister need not fear to go wherever the finger of God may point, or his convictions of duty may lead him. Amid the bracing mountain-airs of New Hampshire and Vermont, or the exhalations of the rice-fields and sugar plantations of Georgia and Louisiana, he may walk in safety. The consumption of the east or the intermittents of the west, the piercing winds of the north or the malaria and the burning heats of the south, will be alike to him who walks under the shield of God. Whether he plants himself at some point in New England, or roams over the forests and prairies of the west and south, he may expect equally that God will hold him in the hollow of his hand. With such guardianship he may go to whatever point he will, firmly trusting that he shall live out the average of his days.
DISPERSION OF MANKIND AT BABEL.
I. DISPERsion was not designed merely as a punishment upon the projectors of the city and town at Babel.
Two distinguished theological writers, Bishop Hall and Andrew Fuller, undertook to ascertain the object of the dispersion from the "design of the builders” of the city and town at Babel; but they differed widely as to what that design was, and therefore ascribed to the act of dispersion very different purposes. Bishop Hall favored the notion, that the builders of the tower designed to construct a literal passage-way to heaven, and thus provoked the indignation of the Almighty. He strongly denounced the enterprise as "shameful arrogance-most ignorant presumption.” The only foundation for this view of the design of constructing the tower at Babel is the phrase, “Whose top may reach unto heaven” (Gen. 11 : 4). But may it not be supposed that this phrase denotes merely a very high tower? Towards heaven, would not express the magnitude of the work undertaken. “ Unto heaven,” denotes the enterprise and loftiness of purpose which were manifest in rearing a pillar which would serve as a means of defence and a rallying point through a wide circuit, in the plain of Shinar. It may be worthy of notice, that the preposition translated unto does not so definitely express the force of usque ad, even to, as another Hebrew preposition ; and is yet different from a third, which signifies towards. The view of the phrase "unto heaven," here indicated, is confirmed by the language of the Lord: “And now nothing will be restrained from them which they have imagined to do” (Gen. 11:6). This language apparently admits the practicability of the work, under ordinary circumstances, and therefore precludes the idea of a literal passage-way to heaven. Hence, the object assigned to the dispersion by Bishop Hall,
as a punishment upon the infamous projectors of a profanely impracticable scheme, cannot be regarded the correct view of the subject.
Andrew Fuller treated the subject on broader principles than those entertained by Bishop Hall. He regarded the design of building a city and tower, as looking to the establishment of "A Universal Monarchy;" and therefore considered dispersion mainly designed as a check upon unrivalled, civil power; to prevent in some degree the oppression that might be exercised, were all the inhabitants of the earth subject to “one government.” Much that Fuller has written on the benefits arising to mankind from this general and wide dispersion, is doubtless true; but it is still properly a matter of inquiry, whether he viewed the subject in its true light, in respect even to the leading objects to be accomplished by dispersion.
Il. Dispersion was revealed to Noah; and was known in the world as an appointment of God, prior to the confusion of tongues.
The prophecy uttered by Noah (Gen. 9 : 25—27) contains plain intimations of the wide diffusion of the human race. "God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servants.” The word Japheth means widely spreading; and the prophecy of Noah declares that God shall " enlarge” him. The term "enlarge” implies many descendants. This language coinciding expressly with subsequent events, indicates that the idea of dispersion was then known to
We are informed in Gen. 10:5, to what parts of the earth the sous of Japheth were destined. “By these were the isles of the Gentiles divided in their lands; every one after his tongue, after their families, in their nations." Josephus says: "Japhet, the son of Noah, had seven sons; they inhabited so, that beginning at the mountains Taurus and Amanus, they proceeded along Asia, as far as the river Tanis, and along Europe to Cadiz; and settling themselves on the lands they light upon, which none had inhabited before, they called the nations by their own names." (Ant. Lib. I. C. VI. 1.) Bochart (quoted by Bishop Newton) refers the descendants of Japheth to all Europe, lesser Asia, Media, part of Armenia, Iberia, Albania, "et vastissimas illas regiones ad Boream," and those most extensive regions at the north, “quas olim VOL. XIII.-20. LII.