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tomb is regarded, by all the Jews who yet exist in the empire, as a place of particular sanctity ; and pilgrimages are still made to it at certain seasons of the year in the same spirit of holy penitence with which, in former times, they turned their eyes towards Jerusalem. Being desirous of visiting a place which Christians cannot view without reverence, I sent to request that favour of the priest under whose care it is. He came to me immediately, and seemed pleased with the respect manifested towards the ancient people of his nation, in the manner in which I asked to be admitted to his shrine.
“I accompanied him through the town, over much ruin and rubbish, to an enclosed and somewhat elevated piece of ground. In the centre was the tomb, a square building of brick, of a mosquelike form, with a rather elongated dome at the top. The whole seemed in a decaying state. The door that admitted us into the tomb is in the ancient sepulchral fashion of the country, very small, consisting of a single stone of great thickness, and turning on its own pivots from one side. Its key
is always in the possession of the head of the Jews resident at Hamadan, and doubtless has been so kept from the time of the holy pair's interment, when the grateful children of the captivity, whose lives they had rescued from universal massacre, first erected a monument over the remains of their benefactors, and obeyed the ordinance of gratitude in making the anniversary of their preservation a lasting memorial of Heaven's mercy, and the just faith of Esther and Mordecai."
“ The original structure is said to have been destroyed at the sacking of the place by Timour; and, soon after that catastophe, the present unobtrusive building was raised
same spot. Certain devout Jews of the city stood to the expence; and about 150 years ago (nearly 500 years after its re-erection) it was thoroughly repaired by a Rabbi of the name of Ismael."
“ After passing the little portal, which we did in an almost doubled position, we entered a small arched chamber, in which are seen the graves of several Rabbis over which we trod lightly, and then came to a second door, at the end of the
vestibule, of such very straight dimensions that we were constrained to enter on our hands and knees; when, standing up, we found ourselves in a larger chamber, to which appertained the dome. Immediately under its concave stand two sarchophagi, made of very dark wood, carved with great intricacy of pattern, and richness of twisted ornament, with a line of inscription in Hebrew running round the upper ledge of each. Many other inscriptions in the same language, are cut in the walls; while one, of the greatest antiquity, engraven on a slab of white marble, is let into the wall itself. This the priest said, had been rescued from the ruins of the former edifice, at its demolition by the Tartars; and, with the sarchophagi themselves, was preserved on the consecrated spot."
“ The following is a translation of the Hebrew inscription on the marble slab in the sepulchre of Esther and Mordecai :
"Mordecai, beloved and honoured by a king, was great and good. “ His garments were as those of a sovereign.
“« Ahasuerus covered him with this rich dress, and also placed a golden chain around his neck.
“ The city of Susa rejoiced at his honours, and his high fortune became the glory of the Jews.'
“With the sacred volume in my hands, which contained the accounts of the devoted goodness of this fairest daughter of Israel, I could not look on her tomb without feeling awe and admiration that made my heart bow to the memory of such perfect virtue, in such perfect beauty.”—Sir R. K. Porter's Travels in Georgia, Persia, &c. vol. 2, p. 113, 4to.
The Book of JOB delivers to us an account of a person eminent for piety, whom God permitted the Evil Spirit to attempt to seduce from his obedience, The struggles between his sense of duty and the infirmities of nature are beautifully exemplified, and the history concludes with his being restored to the highest prosperity, as a temporal reward for his distinguished virtue. This very ancient book is supposed to have been written at least as early as the time of Moses. In the 19th chapter we find a remarkable prophecy of Christ's coming to judgment; which has been judiciously inserted in our funeral service. The sublimity of thought and language in which the whole story is conveyed, has excited universal admiration; and it moreover affords us a most illustrious example of patience, humility, and piety, under all the sore afflictions which were heaped upon his head.
The PsALMS, which come next under our examination, though generally called the Psalms of David, were not all composed by that monarch; about one half of them being considered the work of other inspired persons. The 49th is supposed to be Solomon's; the 137th was composed by some captive Jew during the Babylonian captivity ; some greatly before the time of David ; some even by Moses. These Psalms contain many remarkable prophecies respecting Christ; predicting a variety of circumstances relative to his birth, his sufferings, his death, resurrection, and ascension. The late excellent Bishop Porteus has observed that “the Psalms are full of such exalted strains of piety and devotion, such animated descriptions of the power, the wisdom, the mercy, and the goodness of God, that it is impossible for any one to read them without feeling his heart inflamed with the most ardent affection towards the great Creator and Governor of the universe."