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the people went up, thrice in every year, to appear before him, encouraged every one to intrust his family and all his interests in the hand of God.
William. But I thought, Mr. Anderson, that the Jews were not pious, and did not go up so joyfully and happily to attend the feasts.
Mr. Anderson. I am glad, William, that you have suggested this difficulty. It does indeed seem strange how this harmony and joy with which I have described the Jews as going up to Jerusalem, could be consistent with the hypocrisy and hardness of heart with which Christ so often reproached them, But this is the secret of it. The Jews were proud of their privileges. They boasted of their descent from Abraham and the patriarchs. They gloried in being called the peculiar people of Jehovah. They were pleased with the pomp and bustle of their rites and ceremonies. Their pilgrimages to Jerusalem were to them what elections, holidays, &c. are to They trusted in the external forms, and had no perception of the spiritual import of these ceremonies. They drew near to God with
their mouths, and honoured him with their lips, but their heart was far from him. In all this outward reverence and seeming holy joy, God was only mocked. He did not require this at their hands, to tread his courts. Their incense was an abomination to him ; the new moons and Sabbaths, and the calling of assemblies, he could not away with ; they were iniquity, even the solemn meeting.*
In all the descriptions, then, which I give of the Jewish rites and customs, I mean to describe only the appearance. A few pious Jews attached a spiritual meaning to them. The great mass of the people looked no further than the mere external rite.
But to proceed with my narrative. Jonathan and Simon rode along on their camel by the side of their uncle, for some time entirely overcome with the feelings which the novelty of the scenes, the splendour of the procession, and the thrilling sound of the music had excited in them. Selumiel roused them just as they were turning a corner where the road bent round, so as to give them a fair view of the whole procession of the elders and Levites before them, and was pointing out to them and describing the various instruments which the Levites carried, when they began the following psalm, which the whole train united in singing, till the surrounding hills rang with the deep echoes of their full and powerful voices.
* Isaiah i, 12, 13.
How lovely are thy tabernacles, Lord of hosts!
For Jehovah, our God, is a sun and shield;
uprightly. O Lord of hosts, Blessed is the man that trusteth in thee.”—Ps. lxxxiv.
Both Jonathan and Simon had often repeated this psalm before, but they both thought it never seemed half so beautiful. O uncle," said Simon, “I wish my little sister Ruth could hear this music; she loves the psalms so much, and is singing them all the time."
-"Well, Simon,” said Selumiel,“ remember, if you can, all you hear and see, and be able to tell your sister all about it when you return.
Brothers ought always to be mindful of their little sisters, who are obliged to stay at home, and endeavour to do all they can to instruct and interest them."
Conversing thus together, and remarking upon the various objects which they saw, the pilgrim procession moved on through the winding vales, and between the bluff hills of the country of Dan. In every town and village they were received with shouts of joy. Before the doors of the houses stood tables with dates, honey, and bread. New crowds of persons, dressed in their holiday attire, were waiting at the place where the roads met, in the fields, and at the entrance of the towns, and joined themselves to the long procession. Here and there, before the houses, in the fields, or in the vineyards, stood an unclean person, or a woman, or a child, who had been compelled to remain at home, and who replied with tears to the salutation of the passing multitude. Before a house in Rama, stood a fine boy of ten years of age. The tears were streaming from his dark eyes, and his countenance bore the marks of the deepest grief. His mother was endeavouring to comfort him, and lead him back into the court, promising that his father would take him the next time. But the boy heard her not, and continued to exclaim, “O fathér, father, let me go to the temple! I know all the psalms by heart." Jonathan and Simon were very much moved by the entreaties of the little boy, and earnestly besought their uncle to intercede for him with his father. Selumiel finally proposed that the little boy should go, and promised that he should be taken care of with his nephews, so