EUDORA, Heathen.—ZACHARIAH, JOHN, RACHEL, REBECCA, SALOME, MARY, and JEZEBEL, Jews.
Eudora. Well, Rachel, I owe you more than tongue can tell. The more I study Moses and the prophets, the more I believe in and love Jehovah; and the more surprised am I, that, for a moment, I hesitated in giving up the false gods of my childhood.
Rachel. To Jehovah be your thanks, my friend, my sister; for never by human reasoning should we have been different from you. In love Jehovah revealed himself to us; and what we have so fully learned from him, we have given to you.
Eudora. But what think you of the prophet in the wilderness,—John I think they call him?
Rachel. He is dead. He was a bold man, and a good one, I think; but the best should be careful how they rebuke kings. John rebuked Herod, and lost his head in consequence thereof.
Eudora. Well, we must all die.
Rachel. Not so says he whom John declared to be greater than himself,—Jesus of Nazareth.
Zachariah. If he be what many claim him, he speaks with more authority on that point than the Pharisees.
Eudora. And what do people say he is?
Zachariah. The Messiah.
Eudora. Israel’s Deliverer?
Eudora. Well, what says he?
John. That they who believe in him shall never die.
Eudora. Surely, no one believeth that. Or does he jest, by saying what he knows they cannot receive?
Rachel. You have never seen him, or you would not ask that question. No one hearing him can doubt, that he, like John, would seal his words with his blood.
John. You have seen him: is he like John?
Rachel. In boldness very like him. In other respects they differ. John was clothed like the prophets; Jesus wears the common garb. John dwelt in the wilderness, and on the banks of the Jordan; but Jesus frequents the cities and villages. John was stern in manner, and abstemious in food; Jesus is neither. He is gentle and social; often seen at the feasts of the publicans, and associating with the multitudes.
Eudora. But does he, like the former kings of Israel, combine military ardor with his religious enthusiasm?
Rachel. He seems, with all his boundless benevolence, formed to command; but never has he aimed to form an army, though the people would at one time have declared him king. Salome promised to meet us here at this time. I wish she were present. She can tell you more of him than can I.
Eudora. And here she is.
John. Welcome to our circle! and doubly so now; for we would hear of you concerning this Jesus, who we hoped was to be our deliverer from bondage.
Salome. Right glad am I to be here, and more so to speak of him; for he hath come indeed to deliver us from bondage,—a worse, however, than Roman bondage.