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for they beset every station from youth to grey hairs, and from the peasant to the prince. At first setting out in life especially, when yet unacquainted with the world and its snares, when every pleasure enchants with its smile, and every object shines with the gloss of novelty, youth should beware of the seducing appearances which surround them, and recollect what others have suffered from the power of headstrong desire. Pride in 'particular is of a most dangerous tendency, and prosperity is too apt to produce it; when once indulged, there is no knowing to what enormities it will lead. Haman was not delivered up all at once to the madness of revenge. His passions rose with the tide of prospe "rity, and pride completed what prosperity had begun.
MORDECAI HONOURED-HAMAN HANGED.
From Esther, Chap. vi, vii, viii.
On that night could not the king sleep, and he commanded to bring the book of records of the chronicles; and they were read before the king.
And it was found written that Mordecai had told of Bigthan and Teresh, two of the king's chamberlains, the keepers of the door, who sought to lay hand on the 'king Ahasuerus.
And the king said, What honour and dignity hath been done to Mordecai for this? Then said the king's servants that ministered unto him, There is nothing done for him.
And the king said, Who is in the court? Now Hȧman was come into the outward court of the king's house, to speak unto the king to hang Mordecai on the gallows that he had prepared for him.
And the king's servants said unto him, Behold, Haman standeth in the court. And the king said, Let him come in.
So Haman came in. And the king said unto him, What shall be done unto the man whom the king delighteth to honour? Now Haman thought in his heart, To whom would the king delight to do honour more than to myself?
And Haman answered the king, For the man whom the king delighteth to honour, let the royal apparel be brought which the king useth to wear, and the horse that the king rideth upon, and the crown royal which his head:
is set upon
And let this apparel and horse be delivered to the hand of one of the king's most noble princes, that they may array the man withal whom the king delighteth to honour, and bring him on horseback through the street of the city, and proclaim before him, Thus shall it be done to the man whom the king delighteth to honour.
Then the king said to Haman, Make haste, and take the apparel and the horse, as thou hast said, and do even so to Mordecai the Jew, that sitteth at the king's gate: let nothing fail of all that thou hast spoken.
Then took Haman the apparel and the horse, and arrayed Mordecai, and brought him on horseback through the street of the city, and proclaimed before him, Thus shall be done unto the man whom the king delighteth to honour.
And Mordecai came again to the king's gate. Haman hasted to his house mourning, and having his head covered.
And Haman told Zeresh his wife and all his friends every thing that had befallen him. Then said his wise men and Zeresh his wife unto him, If Mordecai be of
the seed of the Jews, before whom thou hast begun to fall, thou shalt not prevail against him, but shalt surely fall before him.
And while they were yet talking with him, came the king's chamberlains, and hasted to bring Haman unto the banquet that Esther had prepared.
So the king and Haman came to the banquet with Esther the queen.
And the king said again unto Esther on the second day at the banquet of wine, What is thy petition, queen Esther? and it shall be granted thee: and what is thy request? and it shall be performed, even to the half of the kingdom.
Then Esther the queen answered, and said, If I have found favour in thy sight, O king, and if it please the king, let my life be given me at my petition, and my people at my request.
For we are sold, I and my people to be destroyed, to be slain, and to perish. But if we had been sold for bondmen and bondwomen, I had held my tongue, although the enemy could not countervail the king's damage.
Then the king Ahasuerus answered and said unto Esther the queen, Who is he, and where is he, that durst presume in his heart to do so?
And Esther said, The adversary and enemy is this wicked Haman. Then Haman was afraid before the
king and queen.
And the king arising from the banquet of wine in his wrath went into the palace-garden: and Haman stood up to make request for his life to Esther the queen; for he saw that there was evil determined against him by the king.
Then the king returned out of his palace garden into
the place of the banquet of wine, and at the king's command they covered Haman's face.
And Harbonah, one of the chamberlains, said before the king, Behold also, the gallows fifty cubits high, which Haman had made for Mordecai, who had spoken good for the king, standeth in the house of Haman, Then the king said, Hang him thereon.
So they hanged Haman on the gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai. Then was the king's wrath pacified.
On that day did the king Ahasuerus give the house of Haman the Jews enemy unto Esther the queen. And Mordecai came before the king; for Esther had told what he was unto her.
And the king took off his ring which he had taken from Haman, and gave it unto Mordecai. And Esther set Mordecai over the house of Haman.
ANNOTATIONS AND REFLECTIONS.
It must doubtless be considered as an interposition of PROVIDENCE, and not the effect of chance, that the king could not sleep, that he should send for the records, and that they should be opened at so critical a place. Haman's mortification and subsequent punishment bear evident marks of Divine judgments, and af ford a warning to all who indulge in their minds the malignant passions of hatred and revenge. On the other hand, the honours which were paid to Mordecai, and his future advancement, plainly shew that the LORD is ever at hand to maintain the cause of his faithful servants: and is not only able to defeat the schemes of the wicked, but to turn their mischief upon their own heads which they designed for others. In this case there was no miracle; all was brought about apparently in the usual
course of human affairs, which gives particular encouragement to good people, who live under a dispensation in which miracles are not to be expected.
There was admirable propriety in Esther's answer to king Ahasuerus, and her accusation of Haman was noble and just. She gave him an opportunity of justifying himself if he had any excuse to offer for abusing the confidence which his monarch had reposed in him.
What repeated mortifications did Haman's pride endure! Before he could recover from that of paying homage to Mordecai, he was obliged to become a suppli. cant for his life to Esther, and even this was not enough: the loss of his sovereign's favour, and the sentence of death suddenly followed; and he, who in the morning boasted of the glory of his riches, and his exalted station, was now suspended as a common malefactor on that very gallows which his malice had caused to be erected for Mordecai. How justly may the words of the royal Psalmist be applied to this portion of sacred history: I have seen the wicked in great power, and spreading himself like a green bay-tree; yet he passed away, and lo, he was not: yea, I sought him, but he could not be found. Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright: for the end of that man is peace. The transgressors shall be destroyed together, the end of the wicked shall be cut off, but the salvation of the righteous is of the LORD; He is their strength in the time of trouble. And the LORD shall help them, and deliver them; He shall deliver them from the wicked, and save them, because they put their trust in Him.
THE KING'S LETTER IN FAVOUR OF THE Jews.
From Esther, Chap. viii.
AND Esther spake yet again before the king, and fell down at his feet, and besought him with tears, to put