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NY MARY HOWITT.
My soul adores an universal God,
up their joyful anthems to the Lord !
Our hearts were made for worship! and we raise
YVON our last conversation,* John, you will remem
ber I told you of the exaltation of Mordecai, the Jew, and how the wicked Haman was punished.
John.-Oh yes, papa, I recollect all about that.
MR. W.-That is right, my boy. Well,
on that same day, the king gave the house of Haman unto Esther, who now told the king of her relationship to Mordecai, upon which, the king took off the ring which he had taken from Haman, and gave it unto her.
Esther placed Mordecai over the house of Haman.
John. - What was done about the poor Jews that were to be killed, papa ?
See page 222.
Mr. W.- Esther again fell down at the king's feet, and besought him, with tears in her eyes, to put away the mischief of Haman and his decree that had gone forth against the Jews. The king again held out the golden sceptre, and Esther arose and stood before him. She then prayed him to reverse the letters devised by Haman, which he wrote, to destroy the Jews in all the king's provinces.
The king told Esther to write for the Jews what she pleased, in the king's name. But, he also told her, what had been written in his name, and sealed with his ring, no man might reverse ; for among the Medes and Persians their laws are unalterable.
Then Mordecai got the king's scribes to write to all the rulers, deputies, and Jews, of all the different provinces, according to their language.
He wrote in the king's name and sealed them with his seal, and sent the letters by carriers on horseback, and riders on mules, camels, and
dromedaries. Wherein the king granted the Jews which were in every city, to gather themselves together, and stand for their lives, to slay all that attempted to destroy them, and to take their goods.
So you see, my dear children, although it was not in king Ahasueras's power to reverse his own decree, he did his best to prevent its bad effects; by showing the people who were unfriendly to the Jews, that they had a decree also in their favour, thereby rendering it dangerous to attack them,
Emma.—That was very kind of him, papa ?
MR. W.-Yes, my love. Mordecai, now raised to his new dignity, went from the presence of the king in
royal apparel of blue and white, a crown of gold on his head; and the city of Shusan rejoiced at his elevation.
The Jews were now full of joy and gladness.
Such an effect had it in every place where the king's commandment went, that many of the people of the land became Jews, out of very fear of them.
John.-Were the Jews then saved from the decree which the wicked Haman got from the king falsely, papa ?
MR. W.-No, John, that terrible day had not arrived at the time we are now speaking of.
At last the fatal 13th of the 12th month, called Adar, came; the Jews accordingly gathered themselves together in their cities, through all the provinces of the king, to lay hand on such as sought their lives : no man, we hear, could withstand them.
All the rulers, lieutenents, and deputies, and officers of the king, helped the Jews, for they now feared Mordecai's displeasure, he was so great in the king's house, and his fame went out through all the provinces.
Thus the Jews conquered their enemies, and did what they would with those who hated them.
Among those that were slain by the Jews were the ten sons of Haman, but they did not touch their goods.
On the 14th and 15th days of Adar, the Jews rested, and the 15th was a day of resting, and feasting, and glad
And Mordecai wrote to the Jews in all the provinces both far and near, to establish this among them, that they should keep the 14th and 15th days of the month Adar, as the days whereon- the Jews rested from their enemies; and
the month was turned from sorrow to joy, from mourning to gladness; they made them days of 'feasting and joy
The Jews undertook to do as Mordecai had written to them.
And because Haman, their enemy, had cast “ Pur,” (which in the Persian language means lot), to destroy them, so they called those days the festival of “ Purim, after the name of PUR.
The Jews ordained and took upon them and their chil. dren after them, to keep up this festival every year.
Esther and Mordecai both wrote to all the provinces in the kingdom of Ahasueras, confirming these doings. And the decree of Esther established this festival of Purim, and it was written in the book of the Chronicles.
Joan.-Was that a usual thing to cast pur, or lots,
Mụ. W.-Yes, John; they had an idea that one time was better than another for particular things; this idea still prevails in the East, particularly in Persia ; the lucky day, or hour, or moment, is sought on all occasions by all classes of persons. The astrologer, or the almanack, is consulted about a journey, or even the putting on a new dress.
John.-Do the Jews still keep up this festival, papa ?
Mr. W.-Yes. They have at various times instituted festivals and feasts, to commemorate remarkable occurrences in their history; and as they look upon their deliverance at this time as one of the most remarkable, this festival occupies a prominent place in their calender.