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his camels. The steward stood by silently wondering at the goodness of Jehovah who had given him the very sign he had required, and admiring the sweetness and hospitality of the maiden's heart who so readily ministered to the wants of a stranger.
When the camels had done drinking, he asked her, “Whose daughter art thou ?” and she replied, “The daughter of Bethuel, the son of Milcah, which she bare of Nahor.” How wonderful that the Lord should thus lead him to his master's brother, and point out to him that brother's daughter as a wife for his master's son! Astonishment prevented his reply; but he bowed his head and exclaimed aloud “Blessed be the Lord God of my master, Abraham, who hath not left destitute my master, of his mercy and truth: I being in the way, the Lord led me, to the house of my master's brethren!" And he gave her a golden earring of half a shekel weight, and two golden bracelets for her hands.
When the damsel heard his exclamation, she hastened with delighted surprise to communicate to her family that some one had arrived from the brother of her father's father.
With wonder, and half-doubting, they heard the relation of the meeting at the well, but when they saw the jewels, Laban, the brother of Rebekah, could doubt no longer, but ran out to meet the man, and behold he found him with his camels by the well. “ Come in, thou blessed of the Lord,” he joyfully exclaimed, “why standest thou without ? for I have prepared the house and room for the camels.”
And now Rebekah was busied in preparing the evening meal to set before her father's guests, but the steward refused to eat until he had told the object of his visit and faithfully discharged his master's business. How joyfully did they listen to every word of his concerning their dear and long absent relative ! How did their hearts swell with thankfulness as they heard how exceedingiy God had blessed him in giving him great riches and honor, and more than these, dear children ; and when lastly he mentioned the object of this journey and related how wonderfully God had directed him to Rebekah, they could only reply, “The thing proceedeth from the Lord, we cannot speak unto thee good or bad. Behold, Rebekah is before
thee, take her and go; and let her be thy master's son's wife, as the Lord hath spoken.”
When the man heard this ready acquiescence in the wishes of his master, he bowed his head and worshipped God, who had given him such good success; and he brought forth rich and gorgeous presents of gold and silver, and purple clothing, and gave to Rebekah, and also to her mother, and her brother.
But when the man desired to hasten his departure, the tender heart of the mother could not part with her child : the brother too clung fondly to his only sister and they entreated for a short delay. Yet still the man urged that as God had so prospered him, it was incumbent upon him to return immediately; so they consulted Rebekah who consented to go. Then her mother and her brother no longer sought to detain her, but with prayers, tears, and blessings they sent her away accompanied by her nurse.
Long did the weeping mother watch from her lone window, the cavalcade that was bearing to a distant land her only child ; and often too, did the sorrowful daughter look back at that window and wave another adieu, until by
degrees each object familiar to her eyes, and dear to her heart, faded from her sight, and none remained to her but her nurse. Upon her bosom she then drooped her head, and poured forth all the sadness of her heart in tears.
During many days they travelled, and at length drew nigh unto the land of Canaan. Isaac, the true son of so faithful a father, was wont each evening, when the burning heat of the sun was withdrawn, and nature breathed forth soft songs of praise, to wander in the fields, that he too might mingle his prayers with the offerings of the rest of creation, and meditate upon the mercies he had received during the day. Here he would commune with his own heart, and find out all its secret sins ; here he would recount the blessings of the past day, and here lament its imperfections. And as he prayed, the Spirit of peace and love would descend into his breast, bringing an earnest of the joys of Heaven.
One evening, as he wandered lost it transports of gratitude for all the beauties spread around him, he raised his eyes, and lo! a cavalcade approached. From the back of a camel a female descended, followed by another. They approach him, and the first is very beautiful in her person, and her motions are full of grace; but her face is covered. She stands before him-she kneels at his feet. He raises her and removes the veil. Who is this maiden of such surpassing beauty, and gentleness of countenance, whose dark eyes scarce dare to seek his face, and whose black hair falls in such luxuriance over her fair forehead ? It is his cousin Rebekah-his bride.