« السابقةمتابعة »
--and a result appears that must have been no less astounding to Esther and Mordecai, than it was surprising to the rival virgin suitors for the King's favor. During the twelve long months of suspense and preparation, in which they were required to undergo a process of purification with myrrh and sweet odors before appearing in the presence of the King, it had probably never entered the minds of the proud aristocratic ladies of the nobility, that the modest, unostentatious Esther, was to be the favored one.
We may well imagine, therefore, the perfect discomfiture and amazement of her ambitious rivals, when it was announced that the little orphan was the victor, and that she was crowned
queen, es successor to the ill-fated Vashti. Though retired and unassuming in her general deportment,as we have seen from the beginning, everything conspired to make her triumph the more complete, and her unsolicited exaltation the more brilliant and enviable. Without the least disposition to covet the proud station-preferring rather to pass an humble, peaceful life with her beloved father Mordecai—and envying rather the virtues that adorn the christian character than all the royal trappings and jeweled ornaments of a King's palace—this sudden transition from the lowest to the very highest position in life, must have seemed to her more like some dream of youthful fancy, than a real, settled, unalterable fact.
From the course of the narrative we are led to infer too, that Esther was the last who was presented to the King for acceptance or rejection. For we are told, that every maiden had gone in unto the king, and that whatever each desired to adorn her person and render her as attractive as possible, was freely given. But now when Esther's turn came, she, despising rather the splendid apparel and gaudy trinkets of the women's court, seems to have made no choice of " what she should wear' or adorn herself with; and required nothing, except what had been "appointed” for her. Still jealous for her native modesty and simplicity, she was resolved to throw herself upon whatever recommendation she might possess in her tastefully dressed, though not foolishly adorned, beautiful person. Yet from beneath this outward show of simplicity-having no superfluous gewgaws or artificials to disguise her queenly form—there shone forth to the eyes of the King that virtue and recommendation, which always appear to best advantage in their own native, original colors. Truly may it be said, that "the honor of modesty is the majesty of the female sex.”
And methinks there must have been, besides, more than an ordinary display of that brilliant beautifying power on this occasion, of which we have already spoken, and which could not but enlist the deepest interest on the part of the King in her behalf. And the King loved Esther above all the women, and she obtained grace and favor in his sight more than all the virgins; so that he set the royal crown upon her head, and made her Queen instead of Vashti.'
From the interesting history of our Orphan Queen thus far, we are taught some of the most important lessons relating to our general, social and moral relations; and which we cannot here forbear to impress upon the minds of our young readers before we conclude our present article. This, no doubt, is one of the great ends for which the history has been rerorded; for it is all according to God's own appointment. Notwithstanding the course of events may have appeared strange and mysterious at the time and to the actors themselves, yet viewing the whole scene at a single glance, as we now do, we cannot but discern the deep and wonderful workings of Providence in the whole movement. The lessons here to be learned arem
1st. That however poor or bumble our condition in life we should be content therewith, not knowing but that God may yet call us, in the midst of the ever-changing scenes of life—a8 he did Esther-to act some important part in the exhibition of His power and glory and in the extension of His kingdom. “For He chooses the weak things of the world to confound the things that are mighty.” If not so, the sure promise still is, “Blessed are the poor in spirit: for their's is the kingdom of God."
2d. We should learn to cultivate proper filial reverence and obedience for our parents and guardians, who, in the providence of God, may be placed over us. “ For Esther did the commandment of Mordecai,” (even after separated from him) " like as when she was brought up with him.”
3d. We are taught the great lesson that humility is always better than pride; and that the simple unadorned life of a truly virtuous and pious person, presents far more attractions to the good and wise, than all the fancisul vagaries of an overwrought and foolish “fashion.” “Beauty the more natural the more agreeable. And what a reproof does not the conduct of Esther here—in the midst of seemingly excusable circumstances for artificial adornment-give to the blind devotees of fashion in our own enlightened day! “Now when the time of Esther was come to go in unto the King, she required nothing” (different from what custom taught and from what all the other maidens had done before her) “but what Hegai, the King's chamberlain, the keep
er of the women, appointed.” She seems to have been perfectly indifferent as to any useless appendages or ornaments of dress. And this is the spirit that should pervade every truly serious, honest or christian breast. Our eyes should ever be open to the delusive dangers of a sickly, sentimenal “ fashionable life:” and professors of religion especially, should learn that every thing beyond good taste and decency in dress, only tends to render them contemptible in the eyes of the world, and still more unapproved in the sight of God. To the “ fair” readers of the “Guardian” especially, we would therefore, recommend the imitation of the example here presented in the person of the noble Esther-worthy to be a pattern, in this particular, for all
But there is another lesson to be learned, of even deeper and higher significance than all these, from Esther's modest and unfeigned approach into the presence of the King. Let us be reminded by it of the manner in which we should ever draw nigh to the King Eternal, Immortal and Invisible-He who has his throne in the heavens, and who sways the sceptre of universal dominion. Let us not come as did the proud and self-conceited Pharisee, but rather as the poor Publican, smiting upon our breasts, and thereby manifesting our repentance of sin and our unworthiness of being admitted to an audience in his august presence. Let us remember that, though mortal eyes may be deceived by outward appearances, nothing is concealed from him who knoweth the secrets of our hearts, and those all-seeing eyes pierces into the deepest recesses of our souls. Nothing will find favor and acceptance in his sight, but purity of heart—a simple, anadorned, virtuous and holy life. But with a character bearing these marks upon it, we need have no apprehensions to approach him in his holy Temple or at the mercy seat; for we are then prepared to stand undaunted before his scrutinizing glance, and to receive the crown of honor and glory, with which he delights to crown his faithful children.
Ye stars! which are the poetry of heaven!
If in your bright leaves we would read the face
That in our aspirations to be great,
And claim a kindred with you; for ye are
In us great love and reverence from afar,
AN EXAMPLE AND A WARNING.
BY REV. H. HARBAUGH.
It is astonishing what depravity and wickedness begins to manifest itself in all our large cities. It is said that there is more evil, ignorance, moral degradation and heathenism, this moment in London than in the Sandwich Islands, which but a few years ago were yet peopled with idolators, without any light from Revelation. Our American cities are fast tending in the same direction. It is even now scarcely safe for an inexperienced and confiding young man from the country to trust himself alone in our cities. We will give an instance of the depravity to which we have referred, which may serve both as an example and as a warning to any of our young friends who may have occasion to go to the cities.
A young man of our acquaintance went lately to New York, and put up for a few days at one of the hotels. One day he returned to his hotel just a few minutes before dining time; and, to pass the time, he took a paper and sat with others, in the recess before the door. After awhile he observed a well dressed stranger cross the street to the hotel, and take a seat among the boarders, and near to where our young friend was sitting. He at first sat with his head upon one hand, as if in some calculation or study. He then drew from his pocket a blank book, such as merchants have, in which they enter their purchases. He seemed to be making some entries with a pencil, and casting up some accounts. Presently he seemed to have finished his work, and returned his book to his pocket. He then, after sitting a moment leisurely, turned toward our friend, and began, in a friendly and familiar way, to enter into conversation with him. “I suppose you are a resident of the city,"
was the reply of our friend, “So. What part of the country are you from, sir ?" “ I live in Lancaster county, Pennsylvania.”
“Pennsylvania? A fine State—in many respects superior to ours.
“Where are you from?”
“From Ohio-I am engaged in the mercantile business in Dayton, Ohio—have just finished my purchases, and my goods are shipped to-day--weary business over."
“I suppose so; it must be tiresome.”
“Yes, indeed, it is a very timesome business. You have been to the Crystal Palace, I suppose.'
66 No sir,
“Yes, sir, I just came from there."
“A fine sight. I have been there several times; but I shall not go
back; it is so hot in the great crowd. A great many strangers are going over to Hoboken; I intend to go over with a friend this afternoon. It is quite a place of resort-a great deal of interest there. Perhaps you will accompany us?"
Here the dinner bell rang. After dinner, as our friend stood before the door of the hotel, this merchant stood near him talking with another man. Incidentally he appeared to discover that our friend stood near him, when he turned round and said to him, “This is my friend, a merchant from Cincinnati, who is going with me to Hoboken this afternoon. If you have made up your mind to accompany us, we will take an omnibus for the wharf in a few minutes.'
As our friend had nothing particular before him, he thought he would go with these merchants, and thus see something of the suburbs of New York. They took an omnibus to the wharf, and then on a pleasant steamer rode across to Hoboken.
When the steamboat landed, the merchant from Dayton proposed that they would first visit the "Subterranean Fountain a great curiosity,” he said, “and visited by many strangers.” They went on to the outskirts of one side of Hoboken, where they came to an entrance into a field, that led down into a pieoe of woods; but there was no path through it. Our young friend thought, that it could not be a place of much resort, or there would be more of a thoroughfare leading to it; and, excusing himself, said he would stroll through town awhile. They went on; and he, passing down a few streets, turned up into town.
After some time the merchants met him again at the other end of town. They remarked to him that they were just on their way to the “ Fort” and “Battle-ground," where General Washington had been with his army during the war; and asked him if he had any desire to see it. "An interesting spot-much visited by strangers--is just a few steps beyond the edge of town."
He concluded to walk along with the merchants. They went down a slight descent, but were still only at the edge of the town; when lo! these two friends who had all the time used their arts to decoy him into some secret place, sprang upon
him like lions ! One exclaimed, "you have a pocket book!" at the same time striking his open hand with a desperate grab upon the place where the pocket book was! “Hand over your money," exclaimed one of the fiends, while the other tore his gold watch from him with violence!