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the exiiith and cxivth Psalms sung. This formed the first half of the great song of praise which was called emphatically the Hallel, consisting of six Psalins, from the cxiiith to the cxviiith, and was sung on all great festivities. A second washing of the hands followed, the cup was a second time blessed and sent round. The master broke off a piece of the unleavened bread, wrapped it in the bitter herbs, and, having dipped it in the charoseth, ate it and then distributed a portion to each of the company, who did the same; and now the eating of the Lamb began, in which the Paschal feast properly consisted."
When the festivities of the Passover are concluded, and the crowds returned home, Helon feels an irresistible desire to enter into the order of the priests that he may re w and perpetuate the delight which he has felt from the services and offerings of the Temple. Being Levitically born, he presents himself to the HighPriest, and seeks admission into the sacerdotal order; his request is granted, but he is told that he must produce the genealogical register of his family, and to obtain this he makes a journey first to Joppa, and, not finding the genealogist there, afterwards to Ziklag, to find him. This gives the author an opportunity of describing these parts of Palestine; and Helon and Elisama return to Jerusalem in time to witness the triumphal entry of the sons of Hyrcanus, after their victories over the Samaritans. Helon, after due probation by the Sanhedrim, is admitted as a priest, and all the ceremonies and offerings which attended such an initiation are described, perhaps, with too much of monotonous repetition. We are next called to attend him in a visit to Jericho, the abode of Salumiel, the brother of Iddo; he becomes enamoured of his lovely daughter Sulamith, and, on his marriage, takes up his residence there in a splendid house purchased for him by Elisama. They visit Jerusalem together at the Feast of Pentecost, and all seems to promise pure and lasting happiness, when the indiscretion of Myron, who had accompanied them to Jericho, occasions a fatal accident, and plunges the whole family in the deepest distress. In a moment of thoughtless gaiety, he has plucked
Elisama by the beard, as he sat one evening among the citizens at the gate of Jericho. The consequences of the old man's wrath are terrible.
"Elisama arose, with glowing cheeks and a look in which the expression of the wildest rage grew every moment stronger. His limbs trembled; his features were distorted, his hair stood on end, and his breast heaved with a feverish gasp. Accursed Heathen!' he exclaimed in fury; accursed Heathen!' he repeated, and drawing his sword, aimed a blow at Myron. The offender, awakened to a consciousness of what he had done, saw the weapon about to fall on him and evaded the stroke; a citizen of Jericho, whom the tumult of the assembly had pushed forward, received it and fell mortally wounded at Elisama's feet. In silent horror all stood around, and looked by turns on the murderer, the corpse and the author of the mischief. The whole city hastened to the spot; Myron escaped, and Salumiel, taking the unconscious Elisama by the hand, led him home. Helon preceding them, burst with a cry of horror into the house, exclaiming, Woe, woe-homicide-Elisama!' The women hastened from their apartments, and knew not the cause of the confusion. Salumiel entered with Elisama -one in eager haste, the other bewildered, with fixed eyes and open mouth. 'Bring horses, bring camels, bring any beast of burden,' exclaimed Salumiel. Thou hast slain him, Elisama, and must flee before the avenger of blood.' Whither?' asked Helon. To a city of refuge,-to Hebron in Juda-to Bezer in Reuben-to Ramoth Gilead best of all.' At these words Elisama awoke from his trance. Tears flowed from his aged eyes as he exclaimed, 'Merciful God, must I in my old age flee as a murderer, and die by the hands of the avenger?' His voice was choked with sobs. Two rapid dromedaries, ships of the desert, were brought. Helon accompanied the unhappy man. It was already night, and they passed unobserved out of Jericho. Without a salutation or an adieu they urged their flight, in dread least the avenger should be on their traces, Elisama with his hair loose, his turban floating on the wind, and death on his countenance.
"It was one of the most terrific
customs of the East, that the next of
On their arrival, they learnt that Elisama was dangerously ill. The agitation of mind and fatigue attendant on his flight, had overpowered his feeble frame; he had been attacked by a fever, under which he was hourly sinking. A Levite, who was the physician of Ramoth, and possessed great knowledge of the human frame and the virtues of plants, had been summoned. Strengthening baths had
been employed, and the precious balm
'My days pass away as a shadow,
But thou, Jehovah, shalt endure for
And thy name remaineth from genera-
"His voice again became faint, and was after some interval that he was heard to say
He weakeneth my strength in the way,
"And then with a firmer tone
The children of thy servants shall con-
"He turned with an expression of the deepest affection to Helon, and said, 'Greet thy mother from mewhen the High-Priest dies, carry my bones to the valley of Jehoshaphat and lay them beside thy fathers'wait on Jehovah and thou shalt obtain,'-his words became inaudible.
of the family began to weep along with her. They arose, twisted their handkerchiefs together, and ran shrieking round the room, while Salamith, sitting motionless in the middle, wrung her hands and tore her beautiful dark hair. When she ceased, the mourners resumed their song till she again gave them a signal, and the relatives renewed their lamentations. This lasted till towards evening, when the inhabitants assembled at the door, and the corpse was carried to the grave, Those who carried the bier proceeded with such hasty steps, that they seemed rather to run than walk-an usage which was said to bear this meaning, that death the most terrible punishment of sin. Every one who met the procession joined the mourners, and bore part in the cries of the women.
Helon held his cold hand, and bathed it with his tears; and all who stood around his bed, in mournful silence, thought him already dead. But the dying eye opened once more-gazed round on them all-then fixed itself on heaven. His head sank back in Salamith's arms. Twice the mouth was distorted in the bitterness of pain -then once again. The body became rigid-the respiration ceased."
"After a solemn pause, each reading in the countenance of the rest the confirmation of his fears, all uttered at the same moment a piercing shriek of grief. The men rent their upper garinents, beat their breasts, threw their turbans on the ground, strewed dust and ashes on their head, put on sackcloth, covered their chins and went barefoot. Helon was hurried away, least, being a priest, he should contract pollution from the dead body. The eyes of the corpse were closed, and it was carried into the Alija (a small chapel on the roof of the house) by the nearest relatives. As it had been the custom in Judea, since the Captivity, to bury very soon, the night was past in making preparations. The body was wrapt in a large sheet, the head bound with napkin, and then the whole, from head to foot, swathed with a broad bandage, and each foot, each hand, each finger separately. At midnight came the Levites with their musical instruments: the female mourners began their office by lifting up their voices and lamenting, strewing ashes on their heads and singing a dirge. On the following morning the house was filled with neighbours and friends, expressing their sympathy. Salamith ran about, weeping and wringing her hands above her head. The men sat in another apartment upon the ground and mourned in silence. Salamith was conducted to the apartment of the women, where she placed herself on a carpet in the middle, and the rest of the females of the family sat round her. The hired mourners formed a wider circle at a little distance. Each of the women held a handkerchief in her hand by two of the corners. The mourners, who knew a variety of funeral songs, began one which expressed the virtues and calamities of the deceased. Salamith gave them a sign and they ceased; and all the females
"Before the gate of the city, in a garden planted with trees, stood the sepulchre of Elisama's host, hewn out of the rock; and in this the corpse was deposited; for burning was deemed dishonourable by the Jews and regarded with abhorrence. The bearers threw alocs, myrrh and other fragrant substances upon the body so as to cover it, and the sepulchre was closed with a stone, which was annually whitened with lime. The friends and relatives remained standing awhile before the closed sepulchre, then bow ed themselves thrice to the earth and preyed: then taking up a sod threw it behind them and said, ‘Remember, O man! that dust thou art and to dust thou shalt return.' The procession returned with a repetition of the funeral lamentations. On reaching home they washed their hands, and the neighbours brought them the bread of mourning. A beautiful and humane custom in Israel! No victuals were prepared in the house which death had visited, but the neighboursand friends came with costly viands and invited the mourners to partake of them, to recruit their strength and spirits. This was called the bread of mourning, and the cup which was handed round, the cup of consolation. The mourning lasted seven days, during which it was held indecorous to wash the garments, to bathe or anoint the body, or to wear the sandals or the turban. Every day Salamith went with the women of the family to lament, at the tomb of the
deceased, his true affection and his calamitous fate. When the days of mourning were ended, suitable presents were made to the friendly host, and Helon, Salamith and Salumiel returned from the Perca over the Jordan to Jericho."
This calamity is represented by the author as a punishment of the pride of Helon, who, according to a notion which Judaism was not unlikely to inspire, believed his own prosperity to be a mark of the peculiar favour of heaven, and thought that his zeal for the law, and his delight in the services of the Temple, had already advanced him to the rank of a chæsidean, or perfectly righteous man. He is gradually recovering his composure, and learning to think more humbly of himself, when Myron, who has been wretched from the consciousness of the sorrow which he had brought on his friend, seeks a reconciliation, and obtains it chiefly through the mediation of Salamith. His return is the cause of fresh calamities. Finding that it was to Salamith that he owed his forgiveness, he goes one evening, in ignorance of Oriental manners and the fury of Oriental jealousy, to the Armon, or female apartment, to express his gratitude to her. She warns him of his danger, but before he has made good his retreat, Helon appears. Their protestations of innocence are unavailing: Myron is contumeliously driven from the house, and Salamith, being brought before the judges of Jericho as an adultress, declares herself willing to undergo the fearful ceremony of drinking the water of jealousy. For this purpose she is conveyed to Jerusalem. The author, though in general very remote from the modern German school of theology, appears to have adopted the opinion of Michaëlis, that this was intended as a trial of the power of conscience on the mind of the culprit, and that the method to which the priests trusted for obtaining the truth, was to accumulate horrors upon her, which nothing but the force of innocence could enable her to bear. She is led through the streets of Jerusalem, exposed to every species of indignity, harassed with exhortations to confess her crime, and at last produced, before the whole people, to take the test which the law prescribed. She bears
all with the most admirable meekness and dignity, and, having drunk the water uninjured, is declared innocent of the charge. Helon, though forgiven by his wife, cannot forgive himself for the pain he has caused her; and remains in a state of the deepest dejection, till his conscience is relieved by the sacrifices on the day of atonement. The change in him is chiefly brought about by his intercourse with the old man of the Temple, a venerable personage, into whose mouth the author puts those interpretations of the Jewish rites and history, with reference to the expected Messiah, which he supposes to have prevailed among those who, avoiding the sectarian tenets of Pharisees, Sadducees and Essenes, were desirous to fulfil the law without addition or diminution. By him Helon is taught the folly of his former presumptuous self-righteousness, and to consider the sacrifices of the law as the appointed means of reconciliation with God, till the Messiah should come, to take away the sin of the people. His cheerfulness returns, and he celebrates the feast of Tabernacles, which closed the annual cycle of Jewish festivals, with more true religious feeling than any of the preceding. On their return to Jericho, they hear that the plague has broken out, and determine all together to go to Alexandria, to see Helon's mother: but before they can embark at Joppa, news reaches them that she is dead. They set out, however, and for several days have a prosperous voyage. Myron, who has become a proselyte of the gate, is one of the party.
"The Phoenician vessel in which they had embarked, ran swiftly along the coast, and Jamnia, Ashdod, Ascalon, Gaza and Raphia, were soon left behind. The mind of Helon was as clear and calm as the mirror in which the sea reflected the bright blue heavens. His grief for the death of his mother had only increased his trust in the Divine compassion, which had bestowed on him that perfect peace of mind which neither in death nor life sees any thing to fear. One morning they were watching the broad red dawn, announcing the approach of day. All were in an unusual frame of mind. Helon, full of tranquil joy, was relating to his friends, as they sat
"While he thus spoke, delightful anticipations of futurity seemed to take possession of his soul. All who sat around him were silent; for the power of his faith seemed to communicate itself by an indescribable operation to their minds. All at once, confused voices exclaimed throughout the ship, a storm, a storm! The heavens grew black with clouds, the tempest rose, and the waves beat on every side against the ship. They endeavoured to avoid the shore, which was rocky and produced breakers which threatened every moment to overwhelm the vessel. The Phonician mariners called on their gods, the children of Israel prayed to Jehovah. Helon stood in the midst of threatening waves and terrified men, tranquil and full of confidence. At once the ship received a violent shock, and sprung leak. Their efforts wer in vain. Salamith flew to Helon's arms, and each repeated to the other passages from the Psalms. All hope of
safety was at an end, and sounds of terror and lamentation were heard on every side. Suddenly, the ship struck violently upon a rock and went to pieces. The crew sunk, and no one could bid another farewell. Helon supported himself for a short time upon a spar, and looking round saw Salamith and her father sink. Alone for a few moments with the stormy and scarcely conscious, he struggled waves. One of tremendous height claimed amidst the uproar of the elecame rolling onward; Helon ex
The angel of the covenant
Behold he cometh, saith Jehovah of Hosts,'
and was buried in the waters.
"After an hour the storm had ceased. And the storms of this world, too, had ceased for those who had found death in the waves and life in the bosom of their God."
The melancholy impression which the close of this story will leave on the mind of every reader of feeling, even in this imperfect sketch, is the best proof how well the author has succeeded in the fictitious part of his work; and it is this circumstance which distinguishes it above all the stories which have been written as vehicles of antiquarian information. He has deprived us of the means of judging how far it is an exact picture of the Jewish life and sentiments in the period assumed, by entirely withholding references to authorities, on the insufficient ground, that they would be useless to the unlearned and superfluous to the learned. We are glad, however, to perceive that the remonstrances of his German readers have induced him to promise to supply this great deficiency, by giving his own notes, and those which the Dutch Professors, Vanderpalm and Clarisse, have added to a translation which has appeared in Holland. Full and accurate references alone can enable us to use such a work with any confidence for the purpose of instruction, and correct, in some measure, the fallacy which leads the reader to feel as if he really had contemporary authority for the facts and descriptions which it contains. The picture of the Jewish people is probably idealized, and we