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not see how a Jew, who had been educated from his youth up to observe these rites, and believed them to be divine, could renounce them, without a direct revelation from heaven. Besides, the question arose in the church, whether the gentiles should be also circumcised ; and the apostles declared, that if circumcised, they would be " debtors to obey the whole law.” But Paul says expressly, “ Is any man called, being circumcised ?”'i. e. does a Jew become a Christian ? 6 Let him not become uncircumcised ;' i. e. let him not renounce Judaism. 66 Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God. Let every man abide in the same calling wherein he is called.".
** These reasons satisfied me that it was right for Selumiel to engage with his countrymen in keeping their solemn feasts.
But to go on with the story. The conversion of Helah had a great effect on his guests. Many of them, as they lived in distant parts of Palestine, and some of them in other and distant countries, had barely heard the name
of Jesus, but had never before heard about his character and doctrines. They thought he could not be the Messiah, because they supposed Messiah would be a great king, who would deliver them from the Romans, and set up again the throne of David in its glory. But when Selumiel told them that the kingdom of Messiah was not of this world, and opening to the fifty-third chapter of Isaiah, read, "He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and we hid, as it were, our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. He was wounded for our transgressions, and bruised for our iniquities,” they began to be in doubt, and “ diligently to search the Scriptures, to see whether these things were so.”
While they were busily employed in this most interesting study, the trumpets from Mount Moriah announced the commencement of the passover, and a thousand horns in the streets, from the houses and the tents, replied to the signal.—Here Mr. Anderson proposed to defer the account of the passover to the next week, as he had already kept them longer than usual.
"Oh, no, Mr. Anderson," said George, we are not tired. We should never be tired of so interesting a story."
“I should be happy to gratify you,” said Mr. A.; “ but I am afraid you would not be able to remember it all. You will feel more interest in it next week.”
The boys yielded cheerfully to the wishes of their teacher, and they united with him in singing Watts's beautiful version of the hundred and twenty-second psalm :
“How pleased and blessed was I
To hear the people cry,
Yes, with a cheerful zeal,
We haste to Zion's hill,
Zion! thrice happy place,
Adorned with wondrous grace,
In thee our tribes appear,
May peace attend thy gate,
And joy within thee wait,
The man who seeks thy peace,
And wishes thine increase,
My soul repeats her vows
Peace to this sacred house!
And since my glorious God
Makes thee his blest abode,
“Well, George,” said Mr. Anderson, as he resumed his narrative the next week, “ are you sorry that we broke off where we did last week ?"
George. Oh, no, Mr. Anderson ; when I went home, and tried to remember and repeat to mother and sister what
I could not recollect half what you said. But I told mother, that
intended to make a little book of our conversations, and she wants to see it very
much. Mr. Anderson. Well, as soon as we get through with these conversations, and I have time to write them out and prepare them
for the press, I will do it. Now, boys, do you remember where we stopped in our story?
William. It was just as the trumpets sounded from the temple, to give notice of the commencement of the passover. But I have thought of one question which I want to ask respecting the temple. Was the temple which Selumiel and his scholars visited the same one which Solomon built?
Mr. Anderson. That is just the point which I am going to touch upon to-day. It was not Solomon's temple in any other respect than that it stood upon the same spot, and was built in the same general form, as Solomon's.
The temple of Solomon, which was costly and splendid, and the building of which occupied seven years and six months, as you may find by the full account in 1 Kings v. vi., and 2 Chron. ii.-vi. remained as Solomon left it only thirty-three years, when it was plundered by Shishak, king of Egypt.* It was frequently profaned and pillaged after this, and was at length utterly destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar, in the year B. C. 588, after
* 1 Kings xiv. 25. 26. 2 Chron. xii. 9.