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still stands as it stood then. The court of the gentiles encircles the whole. You see a fortress of the whitest marble, with its wall ri. sing six hundred feet from the valley ; its kingly entrance, worthy of the fame of Solomon; its innumerable and stately dwellings for the priests and officers of the temple, and above them, glittering like a succession of diadems, those alabaster porticoes in which the scribes sit teaching the people. You see, rising above this, the court of the Jewish women, separated by its porphyry pillars and richly sculptured wall ; above this, the separated court of the men ; still higher, the court of the priests ; and highest, the crowning splendour of all, the central temple, the place of the sanctuary and the holy of holies, covered with plates of gold, its roof planted with lofty spear-heads of gold, the most precious marbles and metals every where glittering in the sun. Truly it is, as it has often been described, • a mountain of snow, studded with jewels.'
But Jesus, when he had looked upon this glorious sight, and the disciples were expecting that he would break forth in admiration
of the glories of his Father's temple, he turned mournfully to his disciples, and said unto them, “See ye not all these things ? Verily I say unto you, there shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.'"
“ And must that beautiful temple be destroyed,” said Simon? 6. Will God forsake that house which has been consecrated to him, and where he has delighted to dwell ?”
“ Alas," replied Selumiel, “that temple of Jehovah has been made a den of thieves. The chief-priests and our rulers, in rejecting and crucifying Jesus, have sealed the fate of Jerusalem. Jehovah, who has been a wall of fire round about her, and a glory in the midst of her, has withdrawn his favour, and Jerusalem already totters to its fall. Our countrymen, uneasy under the yoke of Rome, and expecting still a Messiah to come who shall free them from bondage and make Jerusalem the capital of the earth, are ripe for rebellion, whenever some bold adventurer shall appear to lead them on. There needs but a torch to be thrown among them, and the flames of war will rage around Jerusalem, as they have never
done before. The Roman power will never yield, till Jerusalem is level with the dust, and I know my countrymen too well to believe that they will ever retire from the contest till yonder towers shall be crumbled down around them. Ah! my dear boys, it is a dreadful thing to have offended Jehovah. Well might the Philistines say to one another, when the ark of old was brought into the camp, .God is come into the camp ! Wo unto us! Who shall deliver us out of the hands of these mighty Gods ? these are the Gods that smote the Egyptians with all the plagues in the wilderness.*
Ill-fated Jerusalem! Poor, infatuated people!
Sad was the curse which they imprecated on themselves when in the madness of their bitter zeal against Christ, they exclaimed, • His blood be on us and on our children !' Fearfully will that curse be executed.”
Here Selumiel paused, overcome with the violence of his feelings. He was silent for some minutes, evidently struggling inwardly to subdue that national pride with which every Jew was wont to look upon their glorious
* 1 Sam. iy. 8
temple. But calmer and more liberal feelings succeeded. For Selumiel was too well versed in the knowledge of the truth, and had imbibed too much of the spirit of the gospel, to be long swayed by the narrow prejudices of his countrymen.
“ Yonder temple,” continued he, “ will indeed be laid low. The towers of Jerusalem will all be prostrate in the dust. But through the desolations of that time, I see by the eye of faith, a brighter scene in prospect. For though there shall then indeed be great tribulation, such as there was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be, yet those days of vengeance shall be shortened. Hath God utterly cast away his people ? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, and of the seed of Abraham. God hath not cast away his people whom he foreknew. For as in the days of Elias, when weeping over the wickedness of the times, he complained that he was left alone, and they sought his life, God answered, • I have reserved to myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal,' even so now there is a remnant according to the election of grace. And
through their fall, too, salvation is come to the gentiles. Yea, the fall of them is the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them, the riches of the Gentiles ; how much more than their fullness ? For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be but life from the dead ? Blindness hath indeed in part happened to Israel, until the fulness of the gentiles be come in; but then all Israel will be saved. In the latter day the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations (not Jews alone, but gentiles too) shall flow unto it."
The sun was now sinking beneath the western sky. Its parting rays were still lingering and playing round the golden summits of the temple. The whole western horizon was in a glow. The busy hum of the thronged city beneath was gently borne to them. The scene before them, the refreshing breeze, the discourse of Selumiel, all conspired to excite and elevate their feelings.
6. But there is one more scene connected with this mountain,” continued Selumiel, “ which I thought you would