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sanctuary, which was the sure banner of victory in battle, was taken from them ; the beautiful Temple which Solomon built, rased to the ground; and they were carried captive into Babylon.
And why, Mamma, did God choose these people, and tben permit them thus to sin?
My child, God gave reason to man, by which he «ould distinguish good from evil; so that he might avoid the penalty of the law, by becoming sensible of sins,and humbling himself before God, and depending upon that blood of his sin offering, which he would have offered, in deep repentance, to God, by this high priest, with which offering he mediated for man. Besides which, Jny love, there were Prophets, who proclaimed the vengeance of God, if they continued in their sins ; and moreover explained to them, that it was not the blood of bullocks and rams that would cleanse them, but broken and contrite spirits, and the shedding of other blood which their sacrifices merely typified, even of the Messiah, who was promised to be the future king of the Jews, and to reign over them in righteousness for ever, Jo put their enemies under his footstool, and to sit on the throne of David for ever, as it was promised to David, as you may remember, my Joye.
Afld were, they ready to hear the prophets, IVlani
Nay, my child, they stoned them, and treated God's messages with contempt.
Did they believe the Messiah was to come, Mamma, to reign over them?
O yes, they believed that, my child, because it suited their pride and vanity. They supposed that he would come in great grandeur, that they would be a great people, and that he would destroy all the world: this was their idea of the Messiah, so that all the noble daughters of Israel expected to give him birth.
And did God, Mamma, intend thus to favour them, if they continued good?
Nay, my love, God is too holy, too just to favour one people more than another. You will remember, my dear child, 1 told you of God's covenant with Abraham, when he offered his only beloved son as a free will offering to God, when God said, "In thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because thou hast obeyed my voice;" showing, that with God there was neither distinction of person or nation.
Then, Mamma, what was the reason why God chose the Israelites, and called them his children?
It was at the period, my love, that God chose Abraham, when there was no people who sought God or knew him on earth. He, therefore, in his wisdom, elected Abraham, and determined that from him the nation of Israel should descend; that they should be a peculiar people, distinct from the rest of the world, which were called Gentiles, and who were living in the most awful state of sin and idolatry. It was by the Israelites that God determined to evidence to the world that there was a God, and only one. This He did, by the most wonderful miracles, signs, and wonders; so that they are kept in remembrance to this day by all nations on earth. And it is, my love, remarkable that sacrifices are offered to this day, after the forms of the Jews, in all parts of the world, especially in India, saving that they have degenerated by viciousness into idolatry. He also showed by this people the character of every individual on earth; that in spite of every mercy, favour, and miracle, still they will rebel against God: in order that every individual on earth might know the necessity he stood in on earth of an atonement. He therefore took the Israelites into Egypt, where they were made slaves under hard taskmasters; he delivered them with a strong hand, by miracles, signs, and wonders; he then brought them through the Red Sea; thence into the wilderness, where there was neither food nor water; so that he fed them by raining down bread day by day from heaven, and gave them water from
a rock. All which was to convince them that there was a God, and that on him they were dependant. He then gave them a law, to show men that he was; a holy God, and would be obeyed. He likewise gave them the ceremonial law of sacrifice and atonement, to show how disobedience would be forgiven. Yet in despite of all his mercies, they showed their disposition to idolatry. He, at length, brought them into the land of Canaan, of peace, and of milk and honey.
And is the character of this people the Jews, Mamma, your character and mine?
It is, my love, and of every one on earth, until they are changed.
O pray, explain it to me, Mamma?
You will remember, my child, the influence of our evil passions, which I have mentioned before. The moment the Holy Spirit changes our hearts to worship God, or to come near holiness, we become deeply sensible of these passions, and our iniquii tous nature: we feel that we are in bondage, that is, in captivity by our sins, by which we are as it were under taskmasters. Think, my love, of the number of unhappy states into which our evil tempers put us,—how often we are disturbed and dissatisfied with ourselves, from our unruly, violent passions,— how our peace is disturbed by our discontented*
Bess,—the envy we feel, and disappointments and sorrows,—our afflictions of pain and sickness :— surely this is a captivity which all men experience whohave known God j and our own nature is the hard taskmaster, spurred on and tempted by an evil spirit.
But, Mamma, why do so many people who never pray to God, as you do, appear so happy, merry, and gay?
Because, my love, they are in darkness; they do not perceive their unhappy state; and although there are moments when they feel deep melancholy, of the cause of which they are ignorant; and when Buffering in sickness, feel an awful terror of death; still the God of this world has so blinded their eyes by ushering them into a routine of various pleasures and gaities, which composes to sleep their consciences,that they pass through their pilgrimage without knowledge of, nor in any degree swayed by, the duties of serving God. But the day,my child,the awful day must arrive, when death will yield his prey up to that solemn judgment which plunges the victim into everlasting destruction! There are others, who profess to know God, and build their hopes, like the Jews, on their groundless integrity,—who have served men well, and declared they have injured none, but have done to all as they would be done unto; but God will demand, why they neglected Him, and his