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[Continued from p. 190.] When Lot had chosen the fruitful plains of Jordan, Abraham removed his tent, and came and dwelt in the plain of Mamre which is in Hebron.

It was from thence that he heard of his kinsman Lot having been taken captive by Chedorlaomer and three other kings, on the news of wbich he went against them with a company of his own servants and others, and coming upon them at Dan, he “smote them, and pursued them to Hobah, which is on the left of Damascus, and brought back all the goods, and also brought back Lot and his goods” (Gen. xiv. 16). On his return, Abraham was met by Melchisedek, king of Salem, and priest of the most high God, who brought forth bread and wine to Abraham, and blessed him; Salem being the same as Jerusalem. The city of Hebron, to which Abraham had removed on his first parting with Lot, is frequently spoken of in Scripture. It was a city of great antiquity, as may be learnt from the book of Numbers, where it is said that it was built seven years before Zoar in Egypt. The name of Hebron was given by the Israelites, it having before been called Kirjath-Arba (Joshua xiv. 15), or the city of Arba, and also Mamre (Gen. xxiï. 19). It lies in the south of the land of Canaan; and when the children of Israel took possession of their inheritance, it was given to Caleb as part of his portion. It was afterwards made a city of the Levites, and one of the six cities of refuge on this side Jordan. Here David dwelt for the first seven years of his reign, and it has been supposed also to have been the dwelling-place of Zacharias and Elizabeth, the parents of St. John the Baptist.

The plain of Mamre, in which Hebron stood, was probably so called after that Mamre who went with Abraham in pursuit of Chedorlaomer, and who

may be supposed to have been possessor of this plain and the city of Hebron, which was also called by his name. It was here, in the plain of Mamre, that Abraham entertained the three angels under an oak, when the promise was renewed that his children should inherit the whole land. And from hence it was that Hagar, on having been hardly dealt with by Sarah her mistress, fled southward to the wilderness, and there was found by an angel of the Lord at a foun. tain in the way to Shur, which was therefore called Beer-lahai-roi, that is the well of him that lives and sees me;" Shur being the name given to that part of Arabia Petrea which adjoins to Egypt and the Red Sea. It was from the way of the well Labairoi that Isaac went forth to meet Rebecca, whom his father's servant brought to be his wife.

After the institution of circumcision, and the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, we next read of Abraham's removal southward from the parts about Hebron, and sojourning in Gerar. This place is frequently mentioned in the history of Abraham and Isaac. It was a royal city, and the usual name of its kings seems to have been Abimelech, as Pharaoh was the usual name of the kings of Egypt in those early times. There (at Gerar) Isaac was born: and from thence Ishmael and his mother Hagar were sent away on occasion of Ishmael's mocking Isaac, and went into the wilderness of Paran, which became the dwellingplace of Ishmael's descendants. While Abraham dwelt at Gerar he made a covenant with Abimelech concerning a well that Abraham had digged, which was called, on occasion of the oath that was taken, Beersheba, i. e. the well of the oath, the word Beer signifying well. There Abraham planted a grove, and called on the name of the Lord. The greatest length of the land of Israel is frequently denoted in Scripture by the distance from Beersheba in the south to Dan in the north.

While Abraham dwelt at Beersheba, it pleased God to make that signal trial of Abraham's obedience,

by requiring him to go into the land of Moriah, there to sacrifice his son. The generally received opinion is, that this mount Moriah is the same Moriah on which the temple was afterwards built. In the second book of Chronicles we read (chap. iii.1), "Then Solomon began to build the house of the Lord at Jerusalem, in mount Moriah.” Thus on the same mount were seen the types and the fulfilment. Abraham offered his sacrifice, and afterwards the sacrifices of the Lord were offered continually; and on one part of the mount (that is, Calvary) our Saviour did afterwards actually offer Himself up to God for the redemption of mankind.

The next event of which we read is, the death of Sarah at Hebron, and of Abraham's buying “ the field of Ephron, which was in Machpelah, which was before Mamre, the field and the cave which was therein,” fora burying-place. Before Mamre' is thought to mean, to the west or south-west of Mamre ; for Abraham bought the cave of Machpelah from Ephron the Hittite, and the land of the Hittites lay in this direction adjoining the plain of Mamre. After the death of Sarah, Abraham procured a wife for his son Isaac from amongst his own kindred, having sent his servant into Mesopotamia, to the city of Nahur his brother (Gen. xxiv. 10). It is thought that the city of Nahor here mentioned was the same with the city of Haran, or Charran, to which Abraham with his father Terah first removed from Ur of the Chaldees. Before his death, Abraham gave gifts to the sons of his wife Keturah, and sent them away eastward into the east country ; but gave to Isaac all that he had, that is, his main possessions; after which he died, at the age of an hundred and threescore and sixteen years, and was buried by his sons Isaac and Ishmael in the cave of Machpelah. In this same place was Jacob afterwards buried, according to his express desire: “ Bury me with my

fathers in the cave that is in the field of Ephron the Hittite: there they buried Abraham and Sarah his wife,

there they buried Isaac and Rebecca his wife, and there I buried Leah.” And his sons took him up out of the land of Egypt, and buried him there.

[To be continued.]

great benefits

AN EASTERN STORY. The following story is taken from a book describing the modern Egyptians, and is given in this place as a sort of allegory, which my little readers will not find it difficult to understand for themselves.

There is in the East a class of men called Welees, who profess to have an insight into mysteries, and to be acquainted with things concealed from ordinary mortals. A story is told of a Moslem tradesman of Cairo, who felt dissatisfied with his calling, and desired some station of higher dignity and more universal usefulness. He therefore petitioned to be made a Welee, that he might be in a condition to confer

upon his neighbours. He was hardly in a state of mind to profit by so high a distinction, and was little aware of the difficulties in which it might involve him. But, however, his prayer was granted, and he suddenly found himself changed, and conscious of many things of which he was before in ignorance. A certain district was given in which to exercise his powers for the good of those intrusted to him. As soon as he had entered upon his office, he walked through his district; and seeing a man at a shop, with a jar full of boiled beans before him, from which he was about to serve his customers as usual, took up a large piece of stone, and, with it, broke the jar. The beanseller immediately jumped up, seized hold of a palmstick that lay by his side, and gave the Welee a severe beating. But the holy man complained not, nor did he utter a cry: as soon as he was allowed, he walked away. When he was gone, the beanseller began to try if he could gather up some of

the scattered contents of the jar. A portion of the jar remained in its place; and on looking into this he saw a venomous serpent in it, coiled round, and dead. In horror at what he had done, he exclaimed, “I implore forgiveness. What have I done? This man is a Welee, and has prevented my selling what would have poisoned my customers.” He looked at every passenger all that day, in the hope of seeing again the man he had so much injured, that he might implore his forgiveness; but he saw him not, for he was too much bruised to be able to walk. On the following day, however, with his limbs still swollen from the blows he had received, the Welee limped through his district, and broke a great jar of milk at a shop not far from that of the bean-seller; and its owner treated him as the beanseller had done the day before. But while he was beating him, some persons ran up, and stopped his hand, informing him that the person whom he was thus punishing was a Welee, and relating to him the affair of the serpent that was found in the jar of beans. “Go and look," said they, “in your jar of milk, and you will find at the bottom of it something either poisonous or unclean.” He looked, and found in the remains of the jar a dead dog. On the third day the Welee, with the help of a staff, hobbled painfully up the street, and saw a servant carrying upon his head a supper-tray covered with dishes of meat, vegetables, and fruit, for a party who were going to take a repast in the country. He put his staff between the servant's legs, and overthrew him; and the contents of the dishes were scattered in the street. With a mouth full of curses, the servant immediately began to give the Welee as severe thrashing as he himself expected to receive from his disappointed master for this accident. But several persons soon collected around him; and one of these bystanders observed a dog eat part of the contents of one of the dishes, and a moment after fall down dead. He instantly seized the hand of the servant,

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