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The latter upon hearing it was deeply affected, and to comfort her, said, “The two youths are sacred angels, who have come to lead the virgin to the true wedlock of the celestial kingdom.” At these words she melted into tears; but still they were soothing to her in the prospect of parting with her child. Both she and Luther, now anticipating that the hour of separation was at hand, engaged in religious exercises; and the scene presented in Magdalene's dying chamber was solemnly impressive. In deep agony of spirit he fell on his knees at her bedside and earnestly prayed in her behalf, resigning her to God, if it was his will to take her to himself. Then rising up and bending over her, he said with touching sweetness, “Magdalene, my dear daughter, you would be glad to remain here with your father; are you willing to depart and go to that other Father?" “ Yes, dear father,” she replied with a faint but calm voice, "just as God pleases." Unable to repress his emotions at these words, which came to his heart with a thrilling tenderness, he turned aside to conceal the tears in his eyes, and looking upwards, exclaimed, “If the flesh is so strong, how will it be with the spirit? Well, whether we live or die we are the Lord's." She expired in his arms. Katherine at the time was in the same room, but at a little distance from the bed, on account of her deep affliction. She knew that it was her duty to be resigned, but nature will have its way, and she wept bitterly over her bereavement. To allay her sorrow,
Luther said, “Dear Katherine, think where she has gone. She has certainly made a happy journey. With children everything is simple. They die without anguish,
without disputes, without the temptations of death, and without bodily grief, as if they were falling asleep.” When the deceased daughter was put into her coffin, this was a renewal of Katherine's grief, as well as of Luther's, and she again gave vent to her feelings. To comfort her and himself, Luther said, “You, dear Lene, you will rise again, and shine like a star, yea, as the sun. I am joyful in spirit, but I am sorrowful in the flesh. We, dear Katherine, should not lament as those who have no hope; we have dismissed a saint, yea, a living saint for heaven. O, that we could so die ! Such a death I would willingly accept this very hour.” We feel as if we had never seen into the heart of Luther until we met with him in a domestic scene like this. If we admire him as a Reformer, when we behold the lion-like courage with which he defied and stood unquailed before the might and the rage of earth and of hell, we love him as a man when we see these deep and gushing fountains of tenderness in his heart opened.
Ladies of the Reformation.
MY MOTHER'S BLESSING.
“God bless you, dear!" Long years have past
This was her earnest constant prayer,
THE TOWER OF DAVID ON MOUNT ZION.
Mount Zion, which you will find often mentioned in the Psalms and other parts of the Bible, was the hill on which Jerusalem was first built. It is supposed that this was the “ Salem" of which Melchizedek was king. (Turn to Gen. xiv. 18.)
Before the Hebrews under Joshua took pos
session of the land, this city was held by the Jebusites, and was called “Jebus." (See Josh. xv. 8; and xviii. 28.) It is very likely that the name Jerusalem came from these two words “ Salem" and "Jebus"—for by putting only one letter—r—in the place of -b-in the word Jebus, and adding salem to the end of it, we have the word “ Jerusalem.”
It appears, however, that the Jebusites were not finally driven out of this “stronghold" until the days of David. See 2 Sam. v. 6. for a description of its capture by Joab.
The ancient city was on the south of the hill of Zion, but David built a new city on the north, of which you will find a glowing description in the 48th Psalm; on the south of the city he also built a tower of observation, of which the picture is supposed to be a representation.
A Traveller who visited Mount Zion a few years ago, says, -
“It is probable that the fort of the Jebusites, 'the upper city,' occupied the crest and level of the hill; that the lower town extended nearly to its base; and that a strong wall encircled the whole. It is difficult to see in the bleak, unpicturesque hill before us, surrounded with gloomy ravines and arid and desolate ridges of naked rock, that Mount Zion, 'beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth,' of which glorious things are said not only in the Psalms, but throughout the whole range of Hebrew poetry. Its dull slopes, once covered with towers and palaces, and thronged by a people whose bones are mingled with the soil, are now terraced and ploughed,* and but sustain a poor crop of wheat and sprinkling of olive trees. Broken paths descend into the valleys below; and a flock of goats, with a solitary shepherd, or at long intervals an Arab woman, slowly mounting the steep ascent, alone relieve the melancholy vacancy of a scene which in general is silent as the grave.”
The same writer observes :
“In tracing the early history of Jerusalem under David's rule, as described in scripture, we should bear in mind that it is to this most ancient portion of the city that it refers; and that the other quarters of Acra, Moriah, and Bezetha were, at a later period, successively added to its narrow confines. The ‘Royal City' of David was indeed little better than a hill fort, the wild hold of a successful chieftain, whence he might descend upon his enemies as an eagle from his eyrie.”
* As Micah prophesied it would be. Micah iii. 12.