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we wait, the Consolation of Israel. But on account of the dulness of the people's heart, this intimation is given in a twofold way, audibly by the words of holy writ, and visibly in the sacrifices. The sacrifices are visible prophecies of the Lord who is our righteousness. How often does Jehovah declare, that he has no pleasure in sacrifices and burnt-offerings, i. e. when they are not presented with a reference to the Messiah. Taken in this connexion, they have a reconciling virtue. Every sacrifice, therefore, has double import. The sacrificer lays his hand upon the victim's head, and thus transfers his own sin to it, and so far sacrifice is a memorial of the offerer's guilt: but on the other hand, when Jehovah accepts the sacrifice and permits the blood to be sprinkled and the flesh to be burnt upon his altar, he confirms the promise which Moses made at the establishment of the covenant in the wilderness. 'Behold, this is the blood of the covenant which Jehovah maketh with you concerning all these laws.'* The Messiah will be the true offering. As Isaiah prophecies that God will 'Lay our sins upon him and inflict chastisement upon him that we may have peace,'t so by this means he will become our righteousness, and the promise of God is confirmed and fulfilled in him. But these are dark, sacred, unfathomable thoughts; who can comprehend them in all their extent? Thus much is certain, that in his sacrifice all others will be united, and what are now called by different names, will form only one. Till he comes, there are various sacrifices according to our various necessities; some for the people collectively, as on the day of atonement and at the Passover; others for individuals; morning and evening sacrifices for each day; sabbath-offerings for the week; offerings at the new moon for the month, and at the annual festivals for the whole year. There are trespass-offerings for sins; thank-offerings of gratitude for blessings received. But enough of these things, on which it is so easy but so dangerous to enlarge. Yet hope not to understand them, till light from heaven has beained upon thee here.

* Exod. xxiv. 8.

† Isaiah liii. 5.

Keep these principles in view, pray for divine illumination, and the dark shall become light to thee. Thou knowest, even from those heathen who where the objects of thy former admiration, that there are things the knowledge of which cannot be learned, but must be given."

While they were speaking, Elisama came to the door and announced that Selumiel of Jericho was standing without, and that he wished to speak with the old man. He himself called Helon aside, while Selumiel conversed with the old man, and told him that in the ensuing week he was going to Jericho, and wished him to accompany him, as his week of service would expire on the morrow. Helon was unwilling to leave Jerusalem, but he bethought himself that it became a priest to honor his father and his mother, or those who stood in this relation to him, that his days might be long upon the earth. He therefore assented to the proposal of his uncle, especially as he heard that their journey would take them near the Oasis of the Essenes, whom he had a great desire to see. Elisama left him well pleased, and Helon hastened back into the court of the Priests.

On the fifth day the old man called Helon after the morning-sacrifice, and commanded him to follow him to his apartment. Both of them seated themselves on the carpet, and the old man began with unusual energy.

"Thy week of service is drawing to a close, and Selumiel tells me that he proposes to take thee to the pleasant city of Jericho. The angel of the Lord encamp on the journey about those that fear him! But as I foresee that he will introduce thee to the knowledge of the Essenes, I must, ere thou depart, give thee one admonition; and O, young man! remember that it is written, 'Days should speak and length of years should give understanding.'

"Eighty years have now passed over me, since I began to be acquainted with men of every variety of religious opinion among my people. I was then, as thou art now, young, without an adviser, and easily attracted and deceived by every


new wisdom which appeared. I wish to guard thee against errors into which I fell; for it is a bitter feeling at last to discover that we have been wandering from the truth. Thou rejoicest in Israel and the temple, and holdest the Hellenists alone in abhorrence. But believe me that there are things yet more to be abhorred in Israel itself, nay, even in those that are within the walls of the temple. There is a fearful division and confusion in Israel; seven sects wage war against each other. May it fare with thee as with the old man! Thou wilt find many things in all of them which will not displease thee, but pray to God that thou mayest be enabled to see, that each of them has more or less departed from the right way, and mingled human wisdom with the divine law. Thou wilt find in all, honorable and upright men, but also among all, the proud man and the hypocrite; and all, without exception, are deficient in the humility and the simplicity which are essential to the knowledge of divine truth. I do not reckon among them the proselytes of the gate, whom we have in all nations; and I mention them only that I may omit none, and may begin where I have least to blame. Praise Jehovah that their number is constantly increasing, and pray that he would guide them yet further-that they may renounce everything that is heathenish, and become proselytes of righteousness. It is still worse with the Hellenists, who have been punished, by the blindness with which they have plunged into allegory, for that worldly-mindedness which made them disdain to return to the land of Promise. This the Essenes did in some measure, and for this, and for their rigid obedience to the law, I praise them - but why do they imitate foreign manners in the land of Jehovah, pride themselves on vain wisdom, drawn from their ancient books, and despise the temple of our God? The Pharisees are their opponents, and while I justly praise their zeal for the faith of our fathers, I must blame them for mixing oral traditions so lightly with the written law, and for the pride which has prompted them to do it. For this fault they are justly re


proved by the Sadducees; but much greater is their departure from the truth, who reject the prophets of Jehovah, and resemble more the disciples of a heathen Epicurus, than of the Lord who spake on Sinai. I say nothing of the Samaritans, who like ourselves expect a Messiah, but prefer the desolate Gerizim to our Moriah. What confusion in Israel! What dissention and mutual hatred! There is still a small handful, whom I will not call a sect, men of pious, peaceful minds, who wait in simplicity and humility for the appearance of the Messiah, who reject every other word but that of God, and keep his ordinances in his temple. Of their number I reckon myself one- Elisama also belongs to them, as do nearly all the Aramæan Jews who live in the Diaspora. In Jerusalem, however, there are few such to be found. Now thou art forewarned, go, and Jehovah bless and keep thee!"

This was the last interview which Helon at this time had with the old man. On the sixth day, the last before the new sabbath, the course of Malchia finished its term of service after the evening-sacrifice. Helon quitted the temple, and hastened to join his friends in the house of Iddo.

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THE impression which the first week of his sacerdotal duties had made upon Helon was quite different from all that he had experienced before. Hitherto his mind had been excited, and his curiosity and expectation raised; what he had lately seen and felt had given a quiet sober calmness to his mind, which was only broken at times by the eager desire of further knowledge on those subjects, on which his conversations with the old man in the temple had turned. The

following sabbath he attended the morning and evening sacrifice, in a portico, which lay on the northern side of the court of the Priests, and opposite to the altar of burnt-offering, and was called the Covert of the sabbath. This was a distinction allotted to the course of priests who had been on duty the preceding week, and were now resting from the noblest of all occupations, the service of Jehovah.

The sun was rising on the Holy City on the first day of the week, when Iddo took leave of his guests at the Watergate. They took the road to Jericho, which leads over the mount of Olives. They had before them a journey of one hundred and fifty stadia, or about twentyfour sabbath day's journeys. Passing the dry bed of the brook Kedron, they walked under the shade of the cedars, till the road wound up the side of the mount and led them through rows of olivetrees over the easternmost of the three summits. It is loftier than any of the hills on which the city stands. As they ascended it, Helon cast back a look of gratitude and regret on the sacred spot, where God had shown him so much good. The summit commanded on one side a view of the temple, the castle Baris, Zion, and the wide-stretched city; on the other, the eye could reach to the Dead Sea and the glittering line of the Jordan's course, which winds on the other side of the walls of Jericho and falls into the Dead Sea. Towards the east, the exhalations rose from the sea, at the place where once Sodom and Gomorrah stood a terrible memorial of Jehovah's vengeance on the transgressors. Towards the west the smoke of the morning-sacrifice was ascending from the altar of burnt-offering in the temple. "See," said Elisama, as he pointed to Moriah, "the fulfilment of the words of Moses, the glory of the Lord appearing to all the people in the fire that comes from before him and consumes the burnt-offering on the altar."* And then turning to the clouds of pitchy smoke that hung over the Dead Sea; "Behold there the fulfilment of another word of Scripture, 'The Lord thy God is a consuming fire, and a jealous God.' "†

Lev. ix. 23, 21.

† Deut. iv. 24.

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