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whiten them anew. It was in allusion to this that Jesus compared the Pharisees to " whited sepulchres,” that appear well outwardly, but within ar full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness. Selumiel was busily engaged talking with the boys, and repeating to them some of the discourses of Jesus in respect to this very subject, when they came in sight of the pillar of Absalom.
" Oh! uncle, see,” said Simon, " what a beautiful monument ! Whose is it? What was it built for ?"
“ Have you never read the story of Absalom, Simon ?"
“Oh, yes ; and was this built by David in honour of Absalom, whom he loved so much ?"
“* And why do you think he loved him, Simon ?” said Selumiel. 66 Was he not an undutiful and rebellious son?”
" I know he was, uncle; but I remember that David wept when he heard of his death, and would not be comforted, and kept crying out • Oh, Absalom! my son, my son Absalom! Would God I had died for thee, oh Absalom ! my son! my son !'” “Well, Simon, I am glad you remember
read so well. But this monument was not erected by David, but by Absalom himself. As I told you at the beginning of our walk, Absalom had no son. God had not blessed him with children, and there was none to keep his name in remembrance.' • In his lifetime, then, he reared up this pillar, and called it after his own name. Poor man! to have committed his fame to this senseless marble, while he was careless to secure the portion of the righteous, who • will be held in everlasting remembrance.' And what consolation can it now be to him, that the passing traveller is reminded by this stone of the rebel Absalom? Who would wish to be remembered as a traitor and a parricide ?”!
Passing the pillar of Absalom, they soon came to an enclosure, studded and filled with trees, such as cedars, terebinths, and olives, whose foliage hung in thick tufts, so as to form a shade through which the noon-day sun could hardly penetrate. “And this,” said Selumiel, “ this is Gethsemane, the scene of that mournful agony which our blessed Lord endured the night on which he was betrayed.
* 2 Sam. xxiii. 18.
These silent, or plaintively mourning trees witnessed the horror of that hour when the Son of the Father was forsaken of his God. The green turf of this shady arbour was wet with his bloody sweat, and the ground pressed with his bended knees. I can never enter this sacred spot and not weep. I feel an awe come over my spirit which I cannot describe. I once walked through this grove in company
with the beloved disciple,' and he described to me minutely all the circumstances of that mournful night.
“Jesus, the night after the last supper' which he ate with his disciples, and when he had given them the last and best assurances of his love, and commended them to his Father in a most affecting prayer, had passed over the Kidron with them, and as his custom was, had retired with them to this garden. Though he was uniformly grave and solemn, the disciples this night remarked an unusual melancholy in his countenance. He said but little after he had finished the discourses which he had held immediately upon leaving the table. • Hereafter,' said he, • I will not talk much with you; for the prince of this world
cometh, and hath nothing in me,' evidently alluding to the trying scenes which were just before him, Leaning on the arm of John, he had advanced into the garden about to the spot where we now are, when turning round, he broke the mournful silence which he had now for some time observed, and said to the disciples, •Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder. He then took Peter, and James, and John, whom he had honoured with his particular regard, and in whose affection and judgment he particularly confided, and went forward into the garden. There was the utmost tenderness in his manner, but a load of sorrow seemed to weigh him down, and the disciples felt that it was too sacred to be intruded upon.
He seemed to feel the presence even of these chosen and dear friends too much for him. Then saith he to them, my soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death ; tarry ye here and watch with me.'
• But,' said John (and his eyes filled with tears as he related to me the circumstances), . a strange stupidity and apathy had seized us. While grief pressed down his soul, and he was ready to die, we were indifferent to his
We had no compassion for him. Our hearts felt no sympathy with his distress. I blush and weep whenever I call to mind that mournful night; for when he had gone a little further on, and fallen on his face in prayer, deep sleep fell upon us, for our eyes were heavy. Then was the power of darkness permitted to prevail. What took place afterward I knew not then, or at least I had a very indistinct and imperfect knowledge of it, till Judas and the multitude came to take him. But blessed be God, he hath revealed it unto me since by his Spirit, and I am permitted now to relate to you, and intend to record for future ages, the events of that hour. Jesus had gone forward a little, and fell upon his face and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt. A blessed example of suffering patience! He then returned to us, and finding us asleep, he awoke Peter and said unto him, What! could ye not watch with me one hour ? Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation ;' kindly adding as an excuse for our unaccountable