« EdellinenJatka »
ly affected the little boys to think of it), the great part of the immense multitude they saw before them had rejected Christ, and were doomed to an awful judgment.
As they were talking with each other on these things Selumiel joined them. He had been separated from them by the crowd during the services, and now came to explain to them the typical meaning of these ceremonies. Standing in the court of Israel, and looking through the open rails that separated them from the first * “ tabernacle," or place wherein was the golden candlestick, and the table, and the shew-bread, which was called the sanctuary ; beyond which, behind the second veil, was the tabernacle which was called the Holiest of all, which once had the golden censer, and the ark of the covenant overlaid round about with gold, wherein too was the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron's rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant, and above which rose the cherubims of glory, shadowing the mercy-seat;* he described particularly the various services which were performed in them, and their spiritual meaning. He told
* Heb. ix. 25.
them that the law having only a shadow of good things come, and not the very image of the things, could never, with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually, take away sin ; that the priests ministering daily and offering sacrifices in the first tabernacle, and the high-priest entering once a year through the veil into the inner tabernacle, not without blood, which he offered for himself and for the errors of the people, was a figure only for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make even him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience; that the whole service consisted only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, which were imposed on them until the time of reformation. “But,” said he, “ that time has come. Christ being come, a highpriest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building ; neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood, he entered in once for all into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. And now, my dear boys,
there is free access for us, for all, into the holiest of holies through the blood of Jesus. We may
draw near by a new and living way which he hath consecrated for us through the veil, even his flesh, to the secret place of the Most High. . Now, too, the true worshippers may worship the Father, not here in Jerusalem only, but in every place; not with the service of the lips only, but in spirit and in truth."
In such discourse the time had flown rapidly by, and the crowd of morning worshippers had gradually retired, till the courts were left nearly solitary. Selumiel led the way through the marble-paved courts to the north-west part of the temple, and passing out by a covered passage which led from the temple into the tower of Antonia, met the different companies of Roman guards which were stationed in this town, to watch the people on these festivals, and prevent any uproar.
Selumiel had procured a passport from the centurion who commanded the tower in the morning, which he showed to the guard, and was permitted to pass.
The tower was a spacious palace within,
being divided into bagnios, halls, open courts, or spaces for the soldiers. A whole Roman legion, of a thousand men, were stationed in it, so that it seemed a little city in itself. It was built by Herod the Great, and named Antonia, from his friend Mark Antony, the Roman consul. Selumiel led them through the various apartments, some filled with the curious implements of Roman warfare, shields, helmets, coats of mail, greaves, swords, jave- / lins, &c., and others elegantly furnished, and appropriated to the officers of the garrison. The guard, who accompanied them, led them up a winding flight of stairs, upon the battlements of one of the four towers which crowned the corners of the great tower, or citadel of Antonia. From this place, the temple and all the surrounding parts of the city could be
Antonia was built on a steep rock, which was cut away on three sides, so as to present a perpendicular height of three hundred cubits (four hundred and fifty feet), and the rocks were “ covered with smooth pieces of stone, both for ornament, and that any one who would either try to get up or go down
it, might not be able to hold his feet upon it.' It was thus a very strong fortress. Indeed, the temple itself was like a citadel. As they stood upon the battlement of the south-eastern tower, and looked down upon the massive buildings of the temple, Simon ventured to say to Selumiel, “ Uncle, you told us that all these great buildings will in a few years be thrown down. How can an enemy get possession of the temple? Its high walls, its large courts, where many soldiers might be placed, and the cisterns and pools of water which we see on the north side; all these would make it very difficult to be taken, I should think.”
“ So it would seem, Simon,” said Selumiel, “and yet you have not mentioned half the means of defence which the temple would afford. To human view it would seem that no mortal power could drive a body of resolute men from such a commanding position. But as the people have rejected God, he will reject them. Civil commotions, divisions among the people themselves, will probably be the means of their destruction. In the
* Josephus's Wars of the Jews, v. 5. 8.