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Mordecai Honored

FROM THE ESTHER SERIES PAINTED BY JEAN FRANCOIS

DE TROY, THE FRENCH ARTIST, DIED 1752.

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Thus shall it be done unto the man whom the king delighteth to honour."-Esther, 6, 11.

INGS, especially Eastern kings, are wont to do many things indirectly. Ahasuerus knew nothing

of the enmity between Haman and Mordecai, yet instead of explaining to Haman the honor planned for Mordecai, he asked his favorite a question. “What shall be done unto the man whom the king delighteth to honour?” Who was that man? Haman, naturally enough after all that had previously happened, assumed that it was himself, that the king was taking a delicate way of finding what pleasure would most delight the favorite.

At once Haman's arrogance soared high. He advised that this fortunate man should be dressed in the king's own royal apparel and mounted on the king's horse with the king's own crown upon his head. Moreover, the happy man should be thus arrayed by the highest princes in the land, and then the chief of these, walking before the horse's head as a servant, should lead the man through the streets of Shushan, proclaiming “Thus shall it be done unto the man whom the king delighteth to honour.”

Perhaps the king thought all this somewhat extravagant, but he felt his gratitude had been already overcautious, so he assented to all Haman said, and bade him go and himself lead the horse and do all these things he had described to Mordecai, “the Jew that

sitteth at the king's gate.”

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PSALM LXXIII--THE FOLLY OF YOUTH

993

14 He shall redeem their soul from deceit and violence: and precious shall their blood be in his sight.

15 And he shall live, and to him shall be given of the gold of Sheba: prayer also shall be made for him continually; and daily shall he be praised.

16 There shall be an handful of corn in the earth upon the top of the mountains; the fruit thereof shall shake like Lebanon: and they of the city shall flourish like grass of the earth.

i7 His name shall endure for ever: his name shall be continued as long as the sun: and men shall be blessed in him: all nations shall call him blessed.

18 Blessed be the LORD God, the God of Israel, who only doeth wondrous things.

19 And blessed be his glorious name for ever: and let the whole earth be filled with his glory; Amen, and Amen.

20 The prayers of David the son of Jesse are ended.

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Psalm 73

1 The prophet, prevailing in a temptation, 2 sheweth the occasion thereof, the prosperity of the wicked. 13 The wound given thereby, diffidence. 15 The victory over it, knowledge of God's purpose, in destroying of the wicked, and sustaining the righteous. A Psalm of Asaph.

RULY God is good to Israel, even to such as are of a clean heart.

2 But as for me, my feet were almost gone; my steps had well nigh slipped.

3 For I was envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.

4 For there are no bands in their death: but their strength is firm.

5 They are not in trouble as other men; neither are they plagued like other men.

6 Therefore pride compasseth them about as a chain; violence covereth them as a garment.

7 Their eyes stand out with fatness: they have more than heart could wish.

8 They are corrupt, and speak wickedly concerning oppression: they speak loftily.

9 They set their mouth against the heavens, and their tongue walketh through the earth.

10 Therefore his people return hither: and waters of a full cup are wrung out to them.

11 And they say, How doth God know ? and is there knowledge in the most High?

12 Behold, these are the ungodly, who prosper in the world; they increase in riches.

'Here closes the second section or book of the Psalter.

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994

PSALM LXXIII–GOD GUIDETH YOUTH

13 Verily I have cleansed my heart in vain, and washed my hands in innocency.

14 For all the day long have I been plagued, and chastened every morning.

15 If I say, I will speak thus; behold, I should offend against the generation of thy children.

16 When I thought to know this, it was too painful for me;

17 Until I went into the sanctuary of God: then understood I their end.

18 Surely thou didst set them in slippery places: thou castedst them down into destruction.

19 How are they brought into desolation, as in a moment! they are utterly consumed with terrors.

20 As a dream when one awaketh; so, O Lord, when thou awakest, thou shalt despise their image.

21 Thus my heart was grieved, and I was pricked in my reins. 22 So foolish was I, and ignorant: I was as a beast before thee.

23 Nevertheless I am continually with thee; thou hast holden me by my right hand.

24 Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory.

25 Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee.

26 My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.

27 For, lo, they that are far from thee shall perish: thou hast destroyed all them that go a whoring from thee.

28 But it is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord God, that I may declare all thy works.

Psalm 74 1 The prophet complaineth of the desolation of the sanctuary:. 10 He moveth God to help in consideration of his

power, 18 of his reproachful enemies, of his children, and of his covenant. Maschil of Asaph.

GOD, why hast thou cast us off for ever? why doth thine anger smoke against the sheep of thy pasture ?

2 Remember thy congregation, which thou hast purchased of old; the rod of thine inheritance, which thou hast redeemed; this mount Zion, wherein thou hast dwelt.

3 Lift up thy feet unto the perpetual desolations; even all that the enemy hath done wickedly in the sanctuary.

4 Thine enemies roar in the midst of thy congregations; they set up their ensigns for signs.

5 A man was famous according as he had lifted up axes upon the thick trees.

6 But now they break down the carved work thereof at once with axes and hammers.

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