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three days, for she would go to the king, and speak for them. The queen did not, at first, tell Ahasuerus what was her errand, but, when he spake kindly to her, she invited him and Haman to a feast which she had prepared for them. They went, and the king then wished to know what was her request, telling her that it should be granted, even unto the half of his kingdom; but even then she said nothing of the matter, but asked them to come again the next day. Then was Haman lifted up in his heart, because he thought himself in such favor with the king and queen; but when, in going home, he passed Mordecai, who stood not up nor moved for him, he told his wife and her friends that he could never be happy while this man sat at the king's gate. His wife seems to have been as cruel as himself; for she advised him to have a gallows made, and then to speak to Ahasuerus that Mordecai might be hung thereon.
On that night the king could not sleep, and he called for the book in which was kept an account of all the events which took place in the kingdom, that it might be read before him: there he found that Mordecai the Jew had saved his life, and
be happilis wife, for shend then
he asked what had been done to him for this? When he found that no notice had been taken of it, the king sent to know who was in the court. Now Haman was found there, who was coming to ask that Mordecai might be hung upon the gallows which he had made. Then was Haman brought in before Ahasuerus, who said unto him, “What shall be done unto the man whom the king delighteth to honour?" Now Haman thought in his heart, “TO whom would the king delight to do hònour more than to myself?” Then Haman proposed, that whoever it might be, should be set upon the king's own horse, clothed in his robes, of state, having upon his head the crown royal, and be thus led through the city by one of the nobles of the land, who should say before him, “Thus shall it be done to the mari whom the king delighteth to honour.” He thought, in his vanity, that this would certainly be done unto himself: what-must have been his surprise, when he was told to do as he had said even unto “Mordecai the Jew, that sitteth at the king's gate.”
The same day he went to the feast with the king, who, whilst there, again wished to know what was Esther's request? The queen then made known to Ahasuerus all that Haman had done; at which he was very angry, and commanded that Haman should be hung on the gallows which he had prepared for the Jew. Then was Mordecai made a great man in the nation, and the Jews allowed to defend themselves on the day which had been fixed by Haman for their destruction. · After the return of the Jews from their captivity, they seem to have been much more faithful to the Lord their God than before. They enjoyed peace and plenty for nearly three hundred years: they were sometimes subject to more powerful nations, but at one time they were made free by a brave and pious man, named Matthias, during whose life, and for some time after, they had troops of their own, were ruled by themselves, and became friends with some other nations, among whom were the Romans. You may perhaps have heard of the city of Rome, in Italy: this was once the capital of a very large empire, which at length went to war with the Jews, and conquered them.
Still they were ruled by their own princes, and governed by their own laws, till after the birth of the Messiah, the Saviour of the world, whose coming had
been foretold, for the first time, when Adam and Eve were turned out of the garden of Eden, and who had been promised to Abraham, and to many good men since his death.
And now, my dear children, a few words before we part: you have seen the power of the God of heaven and earth, in His dealings with His own people, in saving them so often out of the hands of their enemies, and working so many miracles in their behalf; also His goodness and mercy in forgiving them their many sins, and making known to them, above all other nations of the earth, His will, by giving them His commandments, and sending unto them His prophets; and, above all, in causing that among them His Son Christ Jesus should first appear as the Saviour of the world. I have wished that you might know and understand these things, and I would now ask each of you a simple question: Do you wish to have for your friend this Almighty Being?
I hear you all say, Yes; for what would become of us, if He were against us? Oh, then, pray to your Saviour, that He may fill your hearts with His Holy Spirit, which will lead you to God, to Him who hath said, that nothing shall ever harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good.
“Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth,” is a Scripture command, and if you obey it, you will find no cause to repent; for all you enjoy is from God: He has given you health, strength, kind friends, and even life itself; if it had not been His will, you would have had none of these things: and, besides all this, He offers you a home above, where you may live with him for ever in peace and joy, if you will but give Him your whole hearts, and try to do what you know to be most pleasing in His sight.
You all wish to be wise, and the beginning of wisdom is to fear God: if you have the fear of your Heavenly Father daily before your eyes, it will keep you from doing what you know to be wrong, and you will each day love Him better, until you find that all His ways are ways of pleasantness, and all His paths peace.
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