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steep and precipitous in some parts, they would not be considered in this country any thing more than high hills.
They had now arrived at the sepulchre of David, near the top of the hill. It was a beautiful tomb, enclosed by rails and shaded with trees. The Jews regarded it almost with superstitious reverence, and took peculiar pains that it should be whitened and garnished.* In this monument Solomon deposited his immense wealth. Josephus tells us that the high-priest, Hyrcanus, after the return from Babylon, opened it and took out three thousand talents at one time; also, that Herod the Great searched it, and took large sums from it. Standing by the tomb ot the royal bard, Selumiel recounted to the boys many of the exploits and interesting facts in the history of David. His encounter with the lion and the bear; his victory over Goliath ; his friendship with Jonathan; all afforded to Simon and Jonathan, who had often read the history, topics of conversation. But it was principally asking on Zion,' that his history interested them on this sacred spot. Selu* See Acts ii. 29
miel then glancing hastily at the incidents of his early life, came now to speak of him as the conqueror of Jebus, and monarch of the citadel of Zion. This city,' said he, is supposed to have been founded by Melchisedek, about the year 2023, who called it Salem. Hence he is called, in Genesis, king of Salem. About a century after its foundation it was conquered by the Jebusites, who extended the walls and erected a citadel on this mountain. By them it was called Jebus. When Joshua conquered Canaan, he put to death the king of Jebus,* and took possession of the town, which was inhabited by Jews and Jebusites until the reign of David. After David had been made king of Israel, and for some time had held his court at Hebron, he expelled the Jebusites, removed his court to Zion, and uniting the two names, Jebus and Salem, called it Jerusalem. There (pointing to a pile of ruins on the southern slope of the mountain) are the remains of what was once the palace of David. There the patriot-king sat in the days of Zion's glory, and sung, Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised is the city of our God, * Josh. x. 23; xiii. 10
the mountain of his holiness.
situation, the joy of the whole earth is Mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great king.' There, too, near his own palace, was once deposited the ark of the covenant,' in a tabernacle which he erected for its reception, when he received it from the house of Obed-edom.* And when the ark was brought up, the Levites sung, in alternate chorusses, that beautiful psalm which he had composed for the occasion:
"Who shall ascend into the mountain of Jehovah ? And who shall stand in the sanctuary of his holiness?"
"He that hath clean hands and a pure heart, Who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity."
"Lift up your heads, O ye gates,
Yea, be ye lifted up, ye everlasting doors,
"Who is the king of glory?"
"Jehovah, strong and mighty,
* 2 Sam. vi. 17. 1.Chron. xvi. 1.
ye lifted up, ye everlasting doors, And the king of glory shall come in."
"Who is the king of glory?"
"Jehovah of hosts, he is the king of glory."
Here David reigned thirty-three years, and having subdued the Philistines, and Moabites, and Syrians, extended his kingdom on the east to the Euphrates, on the north to the stronghold of Damascus, and on the south to the extreme limits of Philistia and Edom. It was in his heart to have built a house for the Lord his God. "See now," said he to the prophet Nathan, "I dwell in a house of cedar, but the ark of God dwelleth in curtains." But this privilege was reserved for his more peaceful son. "Thou hast shed blood abundantly," said God to him, by the prophet, “and hast made great wars; thou shalt not build a house unto my name, because thou hast shed much blood upon the earth in my sight."
But why do I dwell upon his history? You know it all. The praise of the man after God's own heart, the unequalled war
rior, and poet, and king, is in the mouth of every son of Israel. But David is chiefly to be remembered by us, and will be remembered by future ages, when the fame of his victories has perished, as the prophet and the type of him whom God hath raised up to sit upon his throne for ever. David died, and was buried, and returned to the dust, and saw corruption; but he of whom David sung,
"Therefore my heart rejoiceth, and my soul exulteth,
In thy presence is fulness of joy,
At thy right hand there are pleasures for ever more,
has risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that sleep.
Leaving the tomb and palace of David, they passed round the southern border of the "city of David," in which part of the mountain the asccent was so steep, as to be inaccessible, and on which side therefore there were no gates. The boys were particularly struck with the strength of the fortifications. The towers of the wall of Zion, as I told you once before, were sixty in number. As they walked along