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the furniture, and vessels, and floors had been washed. The unleavened bread was all baked, and arranged on tables in the women's apartment. That which was the portion of the priest was of greater size than the rest; it was baked the first, and laid upon a separate table, adorned with flowers.
Helah was to carry it to the temple in the afternoon.
6. The first and best of every thing," said he, addressing himself to Selumiel, “belongs to Jehovah. In honouring his servants, we think we honour him, and we set apart the first portion for the priest who lives by the law.”
The guests remained an hour or two during the warmest part of the day, reclining under the palm-trees in the middle of the court, conversing on the scenes of the festival, and explaining to the younger part of the company the origin and meaning of the rites. Moses, by God's appointment, had taken peculiar care to have the Jewish youth instructed respecting the law and its ceremonies, and had given them a special charge for this purpose. " And it shall come to pass,
children shall say unto you, what mean you by this service? That ye shall say, it is the sacrifice of the Lord's passover, who passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt, when he smote the Egyptians, and delivered our houses."
Selumiel sat apart from the rest of the company with Simon and Jonathan, and endeavoured to explain to them the still deeper and more spiritual meaning of the service. He taught them that the paschal lamb, though the sign of so great a deliverance as that from the plagues and bondage of Egypt, was, after all, nothing but a mere type of an infinitely more noble passover, even the “ Lamb of God, that taketh away the sins of the world.” And as he talked with them, and discoursed of the life and death of Christ, and his heart burned within him, his tone of earnestness gradually increased, and he was filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to “ speak the word” boldly to those who had silently gathered round him. Selumiel had often before talked and reasoned with Helah respecting Jesus, and vainly tried to convince him from the Scriptures that he was the Christ. But as yet his heart was blinded, and the veil remained upon his mind, untaken off in the reading of Moses and the
prophets. But now the unusual fervour and earnestness of Selumiel's manner, and the more than earthly power with which he addressed his blinded countrymen, saying, “We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph,” affected him with feelings which he had never experienced before. All at once the truth flashed upon his mind. The promised Spirit, the comforter, the guide, the teacher, of all whom the Father had given to the Son, had come, and had begun in the heart of Helah his office of “guiding him into all the truth.” He wondered that his mind could ever have been so blind and dark ; that the meek and holy Jesus, who now suddenly seemed to him “all lovely, the chief among ten thousands,” could ever have been to him a “root out of a dry ground, without form or comeliness."
So rapid and entire was the change in Helah's mind, that he who but an hour before wondered and despised, became at once a defender of the faith which formerly he sought to destroy.
William Appleton. But I thought, Mr
Anderson, that those Jews who became Chris-, tians were cast off by their family and friends. I do not exactly understand how Selumiel was received so kindly by Helah before his conversion.
Mr. Anderson. This is an important difficulty, and I gladly embrace the opportunity of explaining what appeared at first to me to be an inconsistency in the story of Selumiel and his scholars. There were times after the death of Christ, when the Christians were “ put out of the synagogues," as Christ had predicted, and “ hated and persecuted” by all men, especially by the Jews. But it was not so all the time. The people are very fickle and changeable in their feelings, and will persecute one day those whom they will favour the next. So it was with the Jews in relation to Christians. One day or year, they persecuted them, and regarded them as the offscouring of all things, and the next day or year, they treated them not only without cruelty, but even with kindness and favour. So we read in Acts, that immediately after the ascension of Christ, the Christians "continued daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking
bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, praising God, and having favour with all the people.” So, too, after Paul's conversion, the “ churches had rest throughout all Judea and Galilee, and Samaria, and were edified; and, walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied."* It was probably during one of these intervals of quiet, that our travellers visited Jerusalem. There was also another difficulty in my mind when I read the story of Selumiel, which you may have felt perhaps as well as I, and therefore I will tell you how I satisfied myself in relation to it. The difficulty was this ; I did not see how Selumiel, a Christian, could join in the Jewish rites so fully, when he knew that Christ had come, in whom all those rites had their spiritual meaning fulfilled. But when I thought more upon it, and read the New Testament to find some direction respecting it, and found that Christ himself always observed all these ceremonies, and never expressly told his disciples, during his lifetine, that they were to be abolished, I could
* Acts ii. 46, 47 ; ix. 31.