« 前へ次へ »
Helon related to him what he had felt on the second day of the Passover, when offering the burnt-offering ; how the desire of entering into the sacerdotal order had ripened into resolution, and how ever since that time the words of the prophet,* “the priest is an angel of the Lord,” had been perpetually before his mind, till at length his painful feelings on seeing the deserted city, and the joy which had revived in him on hearing the trumpet from Moriah, had convinced him that he could be happy only by entering into the priesthood.
Elisama embraced him, and both remained for a time weeping. At length Elisama, breaking silence, said, “We will go to-morrow to the high-priest; he knows our family and me. In truth,” he continued, “ Jehovah has blessed our house with much wealth in a foreign land, and thou, alas, art its only heir. It is right that thou shouldest revive the priesthood in our family, in which it has slept for four hundred years. This is the curse which rests on Israel in foreign lands. The privilege to be anointed to Jehovah by birth, and to have the right of ministering before him, is despised, and a Levite becomes but like another man. This I have often thought; the pursuits of commerce have indeed preyented my acting on this conviction, but all my wealth has been an inadequate consolation to me.”
* Mal. ii. 7.
6 My second father," exclaimed Helon, “ my heart overflows with joy to hear that you think so; and with gratitude, that you permit me to revive the priesthood in our family."
“ Yes, Helon," said Elisama, “I feel, too, that the priest is an angel of the Lord of Hosts. In the hour in which thou didst resolve to make a journey to the Holy Land, I framed in my heart the blessing which my lips now pronounce upon thee. But let us go to the grave of thy father, that thou mayest receive his blessing."
Without entering the house, they descended the staircase which led directly from the roof into the outer court, and so into the street. Passing along the Broad-street they came immediately from the Higher City into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and its cedars, and proceeded beneath their solemn shade, till they reached the well-known sepulchre of the Egyptian pilgrim.
Both stood before it awhile in silence, and seemed to expect that some voice should still issue from it, or that the spirit of the beloved father and brother should come forth.
“O! hadst thou lived to see this hour," at length exclaimed Elisama, “ how had thy paternal heart rejoiced !”.
Helon wept, whether in joy or sorrow he himself scarcely knew-but such tears are of a higher kind. He threw himself upon the grave, and long remained there praying and weeping Elisama too gave free vent to his tears. “ Arise,” he said, at length, to Helon, “and let us repeat together the 90th psalm. Thy father will answer thee in this song of Moses, and bless thee in the words of the man of God.”
Helon arose, and they both said together,
Lord, thou hast been our refuge
Thou turnest man to destruction,
And prosper thou the work of our hands;
“ Be that the blessing of thy father upon thee,” said Elisama when they had finished. “ Does not this psalm seem to have been composed to suit our circumstances; beginning with lamentation on account of death, and confession of sin; yet even in the midst of these, calling on Jehovah, on him who has been our refuge from generation to generation? Yes, Helon, such has he been to the whole series of our ancestors even to him who, with the prophet Jeremiah, was compelled to flee into Egypt; and on this we found our prayer, Return to us O Jehovah ! The Lord has heard thee, happy youth! Thou shalt behold the works of Jehovah! And from the sepulchre of thy father, from beneath these primeval cedars, his spirit blesses thee and says, The favour of the Lord thy God be upon thee. May he prosper all the work of thy hands, yea the work of thy hands may his goodness prosper. And now let us go. We will return home by Zion and by the spring of Siloah."