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They had not proceeded far inward from the sea , in the direction of the river Besor , when they reached the confines of Juda ; they stood at the foot of its hills , and the land of the Heathen lay behind them . Helon seemed to feel for the first time what
home and native country mean . In Egypt , where he had been born and bred ; he had been conscious of no such feeling ; for he had been taught to regard himself as only a sojourner there . Into this unknown , untrodden
native country he vyas about to enter , and before he set his foot upon it , at the first sight of it , the breeze seemed to waft him from its hills a welcome to his home . * Land of my fathers , ' he exclaimed , * land of promise ,
promised to me also from my earliest years ! and quickened his steps to reach it . He felt the truth of the saying , that Israel is Israel onl y in the Holy Land . * Here / said Elisama , * is the boundary of Juda / Helon , unable to speak , threw himself on the sacred earth , kissed it and watered it
> vith his tears , and SaUa , letting go the bridle of the camels , did the same . Elisama stpod beside them , and as he stretched his arms over them , and in the name of the God of Abraham , of Isaac and of Jacob , blessed their going out and their coming in , his eyes too overflowed with tears , and his heart
seemed to warm again as with the renewal of a youthful love . They proceeded slowl y on their way ; Helon gazed around him 6 n every side , and thought he had never seen so lovely a Spring . The latter rains had ceased , and had given a quickening freshness to the breezes from the hills , such as he had never known in the Delta .
The narcissus and the hyacinth , the blossoms of the apricot ana the peach , shed their fragrance around . The . groves of terebinth , the oliveyards and vineyards stood before them in their living green : the corn , swollen
by the rain , was ripening fast for the harvest , and the fields ot barley were already yellow . The wide meadows covered with grass for the cattle , the alternation of hill and valley , the rocks hewn out in terraces , and filled with
earth and p lanted , offered a constant variety of delightful views . You might see that this was a land , the dew of Which Jehovah had blessed , in which the prayer of Isaae oier Jacob had
been fulfilled , when the patriarch said , * God mre thee of the dew * of Heaven , and of the fatness of the earth , and plenty of oil and wine / He drank of the pure , clear mountain stream , whose sparkling reflexion seemed to
him like a smile from a parent's eyes -on a returning wanderer , and thought the sweet water of the Nile , so praised by the Egyptians , could bear no comparison with i $ . Elisama reminded him of the words of the Psalm ( lxv . ) :
* Thou lookest down upon our land and waterest it , And raakest it full of sheaves . The river of God is full of water . Thou preparest corn and tillest the land .
Thou waterest Us furrows and softenest its clods ; Thou moistenest it with showers , thou blessest its springing , Thou crownest the year with Thy
blessing , And Thy footsteps drop fatness . They drop upon the pastures of the wilderness , And the hills are encompassed with re-* *
joicing : The pastures are clothed with flocks , And the fields are covered with corn ; All shout for joy and sing / " Helon replied to him from another Psalm ( civ . ) :
The springs arise among * the valleys , They run among the hills . Here the thirsty wild beast cools itself , The wild ass quenches his thirst . The fowls of Heaven dwell beside them , And sing among the branches . 'He watereth the hills from his clouds
above ; The fruit of his works satisfieth the eart h * He maketh grass to grow for cattle And herb for dip service of man ,
Preparing brea < J from the earth And wine that maketh glad man ' s heart ; The fragrance of the oil for ointment And bread that giveth strength . The cedars of Lebanon , tall as Heaven , He has planted , he watereth them . !*"
They reach Hebron in the evening , and are hospitably entertained by Elisama ' s friend . On the following morning , they set forth again for Jerusalejn .
•• At the first erowipg of the cock , all was in motion ; their host was making the last arrangements for Mb departure ; the neighbours ente * e <| to tuinotince that the inarcb was about
14 " Helon ' s Pilgrimage to Jerusalem , " by M . Strauss .
Monthly Repository (1806-1838) and Unitarian Chronicle (1832-1833), Jan. 2, 1823, page 14, in the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (2008; 2018) ncse.ac.uk/periodicals/mruc/issues/vm2-ncseproduct1780/page/14/