38Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.
38 Verse 38. That he will send forth labourers] οπωςεκβαλλη
εργατας, that he would thrust forth labourers. Those who are
fittest for the work are generally most backward to the
employment. The man who is forward to become a preacher knows
little of God, of human nature, or of his own heart. It is, God's
province to thrust out such preachers as shall labour; and it is
our duty to entreat him to do so. A minister of Christ is
represented as a day-labourer: he comes into the harvest, not to
become lord of it, not to live on the labour of others, but to
work, and to labour his day. Though the work may be very severe,
yet, to use a familiar expression, there is good wages in the
harvest-home; and the day, though hot, is but a short one. How
earnestly should the flock of Christ pray to the good Shepherd to
send them pastors after his own heart, who will feed them with
knowledge, and who shall be the means of spreading the knowledge
of his truth and the savour of his grace over the face of the
The subject of fasting, already slightly noticed in the
preceding notes, should be farther considered.
In all countries, and under all religions, fasting has not only
been considered a duty, but also of extraordinary virtue to
procure blessings, and to avert evils. Hence it has often been
practised with extraordinary rigour, and abused to the most
superstitious purposes. There are twelve kinds of fasts among the
1. The person neither eats nor drinks for a day and night. This
fast is indispensable, and occurs twenty-nine times in the year.
2. The person fasts during the day, and eats at night.
3. The person eats nothing but fruits, and drinks milk or water.
4. He eats once during the day and night.
5. Eats one particular kind of food during the day and night,
but as often as he pleases.
6. Called Chanderaym, which is, to eat on the first day, only
one mouthful; two on the second; and thus continue increasing one
mouthful every day for a month, and then decreasing a mouthful
every day, till he leaves off where he began.
7. The person neither eats nor drinks for twelve days.
8. Lasts twelve days: the first three days he eats a little once
in the day; the next three, he eats only once in the night; the
next three, he eats nothing, unless it be brought to him; and,
during the last three days, he neither eats nor drinks.
9. Lasts fifteen days. For three days and three nights, he eats
only one handful at night; the next three days and nights, he eats
one handful if it be brought him, if not, he takes nothing. Then
he eats nothing for three days and three nights. The next three
days and nights he takes only a handful of warm water each day.
The next three days and nights he takes a handful of warm milk
10. For three days and nights he neither eats nor drinks. He
lights a fire, and sits at a door where there enters a hot wind,
which he draws in with his breath.
11. Lasts fifteen days. Three, days and three nights he eats
nothing but leaves; three days and three nights, nothing but the
Indian fig; three days and three nights, nothing but the seed of
the lotus; three days and three nights, nothing but peepul leaves;
three days and three nights, the expressed juice of a particular
kind of grass called doobah.
12. Lasts a week. First day he eats milk; second, milk-curds;
third, ghee, i.e. clarified butter; fourth, cow's urine; fifth,
cow's dung; sixth, water; seventh, nothing.
During every kind of fast, the person sleeps on the ground,
plays at no game, has no connection with women, neither shaves nor
anoints himself, and bestows alms each day.-AYEEN AKBERY, vol.
iii. p. 247-250. How much more simple and effectual is the way of
salvation taught in the BIBLE! But, because it is true, it Is not
credited by fallen man.
FASTING is considered by the Mohammedans as an essential part of
piety. Their orthodox divines term it the gate of religion. With
them, it is of two kinds, voluntary and incumbent; and is
distinguished by the Mosliman doctors into three degrees: 1. The
refraining from every kind of nourishment or carnal indulgence. 2.
The restraining the various members from every thing which might
excite sinful or corrupt desires. 3. The abstracting the mind
wholly from worldly cares, and fixing it exclusively upon God.
Their great annual fast is kept on the month Ramzan, or Ramadhan,
beginning at the first new moon, and continuing until the
appearance of the next; during which, it is required to abstain
from every kind of nourishment from day-break till after sun-set
of each day. From this observance none are excused but the sick,
the aged, and children. This is properly the Mohammedan Lent.
See HEDAYAH, prel. Dis. p. LV. LVI.
It is worthy of remark, that these children of the Bridegroom,
the disciples, did not mourn, were exposed to no persecution,
while the Bridegroom, the Lord Jesus, was with them, but after he
had been taken from them, by death and his ascension, they did
fast and mourn; they were exposed to all manner of hardships,
persecutions, and even death itself, in some of its worst forms.