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The hills were covered with its shadow;
Ps. lxxx. &13. The feelings of the Jew had risen for the moment in his bosom above those of the Christian, and he could not believe that God had cast off his people. He thought of the patriarchs; of Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob; of the frequent interpositions of Jehovah in behalf of the oppressed and afflicted Israelites, and he could not but hope that one more trial would be made before God utterly rejected his chosen people. He remembered the “ zeal and strength” of Jehovah, the instances of his great mercy and forbearance towards Israel, and he could not think they were now for ever restrained. He thought of that pathetic expostulation, “How shall I give
, thee up, Ephraim ! How shall I deliver thee, Israel! How shall I make thee as Admah! How shall I set thee as Zeboim !"
But, with all this, he remembered too, that
when the great lord of the vineyard had sent one servant to receive the fruits of it, and they had beaten him and sent him away empty, and had cast stones at another and wounded him, and sent him away shamefully handled, and many others whom they had killed, beating some and killing some—when he remembered that this offended lord had sent even his only son, thinking, “surely they will reverence my son,” and they had conspired against him and put him to a cruel death, then he felt that the decision of God, that one stone of the proud towers of Jerusalem should not be left upon another, was just.
In the silence of his own thoughts, Selumiel had suffered himself to be led along by the boys, and ere he perceived that he passed the temple, he found himself at the door of Helah’s house in the valley of Cheesemongers.
“ There we will leave them for the present,' said Mr. Anderson, “ to enjoy the coolness of the inner court, and the cheerful meal which Sarah had prepared to welcome their return. Next week, I propose
about their visit to Gethsemane and the Mount of Olives.”
Mr. Anderson and the boys then united in singing Cowper's beautiful hymn; in which he describes the “fountain" purer than Siloam, and more efficacious than Bethesda, which Jesus opened for “ sin and uncleanness."
“There is a fountain filled with blood
Drawn from Emmanuel's veins ;
Lose all their guilty stains.?
That fountain in his day ;
Wash all our away.
Shall never lose its power,
Be saved to sin no more."
William Appleton. You promised last week, Mr. Anderson, to tell us about Selumiel and his scholars going to visit Gethsemane and the Mount of Olives. I wish very much to hear about those places. I remember you told us once about Jesus' agony in the garden of Gethsemane, and Judas and the soldiers coming to take him in it.
Mr. Anderson. Have you looked on the map, William, to see in what directionand how far Gethsemane was from the temple ?
William. It lies a short distance northeast of the temple, just over the Kidron, at the foot of the mountains. But I could not tell how far it was, because there are no degrees on the map, as there are on other maps. If there had been, I could have measured with my compasses, and calculated the distance. Why are there no degrees on this map, Mr. Anderson?
Mr. Anderson. I am glad you have asked me this question, as perhaps I should not otherwise have thought of it. The reason is, that the exact situation of Jerusalem is not known. It lies somewhere between thirtyone and thirty-two degrees of north latitude, and between thirty-five and thirty-six east longitude. Travellers in that country dare not carry with them the necessary mathematical instruments to ascertain and fix certainly the latitude and longitude. A traveller with a compass or other instrument would be taken for a sorcerer, and be persecuted, or put to death by the present ignorant and superstitious inhabitants.
William. Is there no way, Mr. Anderson, of finding how far Gethsemane was from the temple?
Mr. Anderson. Not with certainty. Josephus tells us that the city wall was thirtythree furlongs in circumference, i. e. about four miles and a half. The length of the city would then be about one mile and a half; and the distance from the temple to Gethsemane is about one third the length of the city, or half a mile.
“ What is Absalom's pillar ?" said William.
“ We are told in the Bible,” said Mr. Anderson, “ that Absalom, having lost his children, and being desirous to perpetuate his name, erected a pillar in the king's valley.* It was standing in the time of Josephus, who says that it was a marble column, standing
* 2 Sam. xviii. 18.