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Blessed be God, who having at sundry times, and in divers manners, spoken in times past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the MAJESTY on high.”
6. But the time would fail me, my dear boys,” said Mr. Anderson, “to relate to you all the conversation that passed between them. I must here break off again, as the time for closing our meeting has come. Meanwhile, let us sing the following beautiful hymn, which I have selected as appropriately describing the feelings of Helah and his newly-enlightened and converted friends.
“ Watchman! tell us of the night,
What its signs of promise are.-
See that glory beaming star.-
Aught of hope or joy foretell ?-
Promised day of Israel.
Watchman! tell us of the night,
Higher yet that star ascends.-
Peace and truth, its course portends.-
Gild the spot that gave them birth ?-
See, it bursts o'er all the earth.
For the morning seems to dawn.-
Doubt and terror are withdrawn.-
Hie thee to thy quiet home.-
Lo! the Son of God is come!"
CHAPTER V I.
VISIT TO SILOAM AND BETHESDA.
“ WELL, George," said Mr. Anderson, at the next meeting, “ what do you know of Bethesda ?”
“It was a pool having five porches," said George, “ in which lay a great many sick people waiting to be healed.”
“ Where was the pool situated ?" said Mr. Anderson.
“ The Bible says it was near the sheepmarket," said George, “and I suppose the
, sheep-market must have been near the temple where the sheep and lambs were wanted for sacrifice.”
Mr. Anderson.. Very well, George ; you reason very correctly about it, and this was the very reason, probably, which induced the maker of this map (unrolling the map of Jerusalem) to place it, as you see, just at the north-east corner of the temple.
George. And did not the man who made the map know, Mr. Anderson, where to place it ?
Mr. Anderson. Not exactly, George. It is not possible, at this distance of time and place, to fix precisely the position of most of the places mentioned on this map. The hills, the temple, the king's palace, and some other of the principal places can be definitely marked. But other and less important particulars are not certainly known, and we are obliged to make them out in the same way in which you concluded that the pool of Be
thesda was near the temple, that is to say, by inference. The streets, which are marked in this map, are all marked by chance. We know that there must have been streets in a city, and it makes no particular difference to us in what direction they run.
William. Then this map is not worth much after all, Mr. Anderson, is it?
Mr. Anderson. And why not, William ? All the principal places are correctly marked. Every important scene in and around Jerusalem is placed where it should be, and as to the others, the sites of particular houses, the number and direction of the streets, it is of very little consequence whether we know their exact position or not.
The object of the map is to give a general idea of Jerusalem, and his object it effects. I intend this evening to give you an account of the visit of Selumiel and his scholars to Siloam, Bethesda, and some other places.
The next morning a clear atmosphere and bright sun invited them to an early ramble. Having taken breakfast, they sallied out, intending to spend an hour or two in wandering through the valley of Jehoshaphat, before the
time of the morning sacrifice. They passed through the valley of Cheesemongers, winding round the northern wall of the city of David, leaving the fortification of Millo on the left, and by a short walk found themselves by the side of the principal fountain of Jerusalem. “ See,” said Solomon, “how.gently and beautifully the waters flow !* how clear they are !"
The fountain of Siloam had long been celebrated for its delicious and living (i. e. perpetually flowing) waters. Its very name, Siloam (which is, by interpretation, sent), indicated the value which the Jews set upon it. It rose fresh from the foot of Mount Ophel, and was the principal source of fresh water to Jerusalem. It furnished water so abundantly, that it rendered Jerusalem secure from having its supplies of water cut off by an enemy. Tacitus, a Roman historian, mentions this perennial fountain among Jerusalem's means of defence. When Selumiel and the boys visited it, great numbers of the inhabitants were there to draw water.
Some were washing themselves in the stream below the fountain. When Jonathan saw them, he
* Isaiah viii. 6.