صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني
[blocks in formation]

we have come to bring back the same Bible and Gospel in its purity to this distant land, whence we had received it through the apostles and primitive Christians 1,800 years ago.”

He records his impressions more at length in his letters from which large extracts are made. The following letters were addressed to the editors of the “New York Observer :"

“At length our feet stand within thy gates, O Jerusalem.' "Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth is Mount Zion. Pray for the peace of Jerusalem : they shall prosper that love thee.' How rich and thrilling are the associations that throng upon the mind as you enter the Holy City. The abode of the prophets, apostles, and Saviour himself; where the sublime scenes of our faith transpired, atonement, resurrection, ascen. sion; where the Holy Spirit descended on the day of Pentecost, to the disciples, in cloven tongues as of fire, and all spake in strange languages the wonderful works of God. Next to walking the golden streets of the new Jerusalem, to stand within the earthly city, and gain a vivid, realizing sense of these spiritual scenes, yields perhaps the highest joy to the Christian heart. To look upon Mount Zion, Mount Moriah, and the mountains round about Jerusalem, Gethsemane, Cal

[blocks in formation]

vary, the Sepulchre, and the Mount of Ascension, where the heavens were opened, and the Saviour received into glory, quicken one's faith and zeal in the service of his Divine Master, as no other influence can, save the movings of the Spirit of God upon the heart. .

“The first day that I spent in Jerusalem was one of the most deeply interesting of my life. In the morning (though not the Sabbath), we attended service in the English church upon Mount Zion, an elegant Gothic building, and a fitting sanctuary to worship God in his ancient chosen dwelling-place. The Scriptures were read, embracing the preaching of John the Baptist, 'Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth : and all flesh shall see the salvation of God. Also the baptism of Jesus, when the heaven was opened, and the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son: 'in thee I am well pleased.' The Gospel comes to us as the oracles of salvation from the lips of the earnest preacher, and the songs of praise, and the voice of prayer ascend as incense before the throne, to call down the blessing of heaven upon the worshipping

[ocr errors]

158

FIRST IMPRESSIONS.

6

6

assembly. Surely, this is none other than the house of God, this is the gate of heaven,' to our souls, and here we do sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.

“It was a scene and impression never to be forgotten. "They that trust in the Lord shall be as Mount Zion, which cannot be removed, but abideth for ever. As the mountains are round

' about Jerusalem, so the Lord is round about his people, from henceforth, even for ever.' After service, we were introduced to good Bishop Gobat, and an excellent circle of Christian friends, faithful watchmen on the walls of Zion. Then we went forth in company with Dr. Bonar, of Scotland, and Dr. Tyler, of America, to gain our first views and impressions of the holy city, and the sacred localities around.

"We first examined the town of David, a quadrangular fortress built in the walls upon the western side of Mount Zion. It is partly of modern, and partly of ancient construction. The lower stones are large, and leveled in the ancient Jewish style of workmanship, which is as distinctly marked as the Roman or Grecian. The foundation must therefore undoubtedly be referred to the time of David when he took the fortress of Mount Zion from the Jebusites, and strengthened it, and made Jerusalem the capital of his kingdom. Then passing beyond the Jaffa gate, and ascend

VIEW OF THE CITY.

159

ing a flight of stone steps, we climbed to the top of the city walls. They are built of square masses of limestone, and strengthened with towers and battlements in the Saracenic style. A wide space is left upon the top, and a parapet upon the outer edge gives security to the walk that commands a beautiful view both within and without the city. From this point at the northwest angle of Mount Zion, we looked westward to the upper and lower pools and valley of Gihon, that terminates in the valley of the Sons of Hinnom. It is recorded that 'Hezekiah stopped the upper water course of Gihon, and brought it straight down to the west side of the city of David.' This aqueduct is still traceable, and conducts underneath the walls to the pool of Hezekiah within the city. At this fountain of Gihon, Zadok the priest took an horn of oil out of the Tabernacle and anointed Solomon king of Israel. “And they blew the trumpet, and all the people said, God save king Solomon. And all the people came up after him, and the people piped with pipes, and rejoiced with great joy, so that the earth rent with the sound of them.'

“As we looked down upon this valley, and the reservoir still remaining, around which the anointing of the Wise King was celebrated, the whole scene was vividly impressed upon the mind. From this point also we traced the course and

6

[blocks in formation]

6

direction of the ancient walls of the city, and the whole was spread out as a physical map before us. Turning to the right we saw the gardens of Bathsheba within the walls now planted with green growing grain, and portions of Mount Zion under the plough of cultivation. 'Zion shall be ploughed like a field. Also piles of ruin and rubbish were heaped around, and an air of desolation prevailed, like a city overthrown. “Jerusalem shall become heaps, behold your house is left unto you desolate.' The whole not only forcibly illustrated Scripture history, but also the terrible, fulfilment of Scripture prophecy .pronounced against the covenant people for their transgression and unbelief. We now continue

. our walk

upon the walls, and come to the Damascus gate on the North, that forms the great public way to Samaria and Galilee. Before us on the left is Mount Scopus, where Titus pitched his camp and displayed his army to the Jews before attacking the city, thinking they would at once surrender at the sight of the Roman legions, but they were doomed to a more fearful destruction, that the Saviour's prophecy might be literally fulfilled. “And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations; and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.' ' And as some spake of the temple,

« السابقةمتابعة »